Category Archives: Noise rock

Open Windows 1: New music bits and bytes this week

The year 2016 might not be new at this point, but I plan to make a habit out of this: Tired of not having time to properly blog about everything I want to hear and learn more about, I’m just going to pile up those dozens of web pages with album streams and bandcamp goodies I save through the week, then check out what I like and paste it all here, along with a quick note or two. This way, I’m not totally abandoning them, but at least giving them a more permanent bookmark for readers and the blog — There’s that much good music out there, every day, every week.

First thing’s first:


Stream Iggy Pop and Josh Homme’s new album, Post Pop Depression at NPR. Not much more to be said, just the godfather of punk laying down the law with grit and grime, with help from a rock god.

Oh Bree is a nine-piece orchestral punk band from Philadelphia who’s just put out a four-song EP, just out March 11, Feed Me Poison:


Kristin Welchez, aka Dee Dee, Dum Dum Girls’ leader, is back with a new project, the aptly named Kristin Kontrol. Check out “X-Communicate” and revisit the retro-rock ’80s sound Welchez is so good at. The new album is out May 27 on Sub Pop.


Noise rap outfit Dalek from NJ has a new single “Guaranteed Struggle,” their first music since 2009. Just make sure you’re in the right headspace for this addictive hummer. Their album, Asphalt For Eden is out April 22 on Profound Lore.


Sheer Mag came out with four new songs a few weeks ago, the EP III 7″, and everyone went mad. Catchy, fresh emo-rock, with intelligent lyrics about these shitty economic times.


Mitski’s album Puberty 2 won’t be out until June 17, but better find out about her now so you won’t be left behind. Mitski was raised on Japanese pop, and folk records and loves MIA — a compelling hybrid. You can only hear one song from the album so far on Bandcamp, the powerful and bleeding tome “Your Best American Girl,” and that will have to tide you over for now.


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Filed under Garage Punk, New Music, Noise rap, Noise rock, Open Windows New Music, Post-punk, Shoegaze, Uncategorized

Animal Farm: Let’s revisit Girl Band’s creepy “Paul” video

Animal Farm: In honor of Halloween, let’s revisit a pleasant video from noise punk group Girl Band.

Girl Band’s videos are almost always incendiary, so disturbing images from a fake kids’ TV show is business as usual for them.

Director Bob Gallagher talked about his inspiration for Girl Band’s video for “Paul,” and it involves Big Bird:

While I was researching I watched a documentary about Big Bird and there’s a line in where Carol Spinney says that a woman was complimenting his performance but that she couldn’t see that inside the costume he was crying. It’s quite tragic. I think everyone has experiences of having to put on an outward expression, and feeling trapped, so Paul’s costume is a visual extension of that. He’s inside the suit, at a distance from everybody around him, but wearing this absurd smile that’s totally false to what’s going on inside.

If the video is meant to illustrate how people’s hidden thoughts are closer than we think, then Gallagher was successful. “Paul,” in the girl-pig suit in the video, manages a smile at co-workers, but in the dressing room he looks morbid. Seeing his eyes through the pig’s nostril is just creepy on so many levels. Just be glad “Sunrise Farm” is not a real kids’ show.

As the song progresses, it gets darker and more sinister, with a creeping bass line that keeps regurgitating and a building drum beat that signals something wicked’s coming.

As the video continues, Paul seems to be losing his mind, dancing with chickens and foxes, and doing the same activities day after day. The only difference is, he’s getting more drunk and high. It does not end well for him.

“Holding Hands With Jamie” was out Sept. 25 on Rough Trade.

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Filed under From the 2015 vault, Noise Punk, Noise rock, VIdeos

Half Japanese’ EP “Bingo Ringo” spits in the eye of song conformity

When noise-punk, lo-fi grunge band Half Japanese formed in a Maryland bedroom in 1975, Kurt Cobain was only a kid. But by Nirvana’s In Utero tour in 1993, Cobain had sought Half Japanese as openers. And when Cobain died, he was also reportedly wearing a T-shirt with Half Japanese’ name emblazoned on it.

Since its early days, Half Japanese’s influence has spread far, to 90s groups like Sonic Youth and Teenage Fanclub, Neutral Milk Hotel and Daniel Johnston.

Mark Jickling, some guy from Nirvana, John Sluggett, Gilles Rieder photo by Mike Galinski

Mark Jickling, some guy from Nirvana, John Sluggett, Gilles Rieder
photo by Mike Galinski

Brothers Jad and David Fair have always kept the band’s DIY roots over the years. Jad Fair continues to prefer untuned guitars, famously saying, “The only chord I know is the one that connects the guitar to the amp.”

Half Japanese’ irreverence, paired with Jad Fair’s half-singing, half-talking off-beats, leads to freeform lo-fi punk songs that revolve around creature-feature monsters and sci-fi freaks, as well as more standard song fodder such as young love.

With its latest six-song EP, “Bingo Ringo,” Half Japanese continue to upend any conventionalities they happen to run into.

In the fruit-infatuated “Stuck On You,” Fair sings of blueberries, lemon-limes and strawberries — the garden that feeds his puppy-love crush.

“Me and you, and you and me are like peaches in an apple tree…… The pot of gold is ours/bless our f*ing lucky stars,” sings Fair. Slashes of noise-punk guitar bitterness slice through the lyric sweetness.

“I feel his fangs in my neck, there ain’t no way out,” he drones and sputters in “Dracula’s Casket.”

And during the country swagger of the uplifting “New Awakening,” Fair forcefully spits out, “Put more pep into your step,” parodying that overused anthem.

Initially, the EP’s title track might seem bred from cookie-cutter pop blandness, but Jad Fair’s comical spoken-word, grit-your-teeth vocals carry it safely away from Top 40 conformity.

fairjad_large half japanese

With “Bingo Ringo,” Half Japanese sticks to what it does best — playing benign melodies that quickly degenerate into rabid vocals and electric guitar recklessness, the conduit through which funky hooks and infectious melodies are found.

Released July 31 on Joyful Noise Recordings, only 173 lathe-cut records have been made of “Bingo Ringo.”

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Filed under artpunk, EPs, Lo-Fi, Noise rock, Post-punk, Punk, Review

Parquet Courts sign with Rough Trade, reveal details on “Monastic Living” EP

Protopunk aficionados Parquet Courts said today they’ve signed to Rough Trade Records and have announced several tour dates to take them through the U.S., Canada and Europe.

They’ve also announced a new EP, “Monastic Living,” with a release date of Nov. 13.

Hopefully more details will be on the way soon, but you can preorder “Monastic Living” here.

Thu. Aug. 27 – London, UK @ Birthdays
Fri. Aug. 28 – Reading, UK @ Reading Festival
Sat. Aug. 29 – Leeds, UK @ Leeds Festival
Sun. Aug 30 – Paris, France @ Rock En Seine
Wed. Sept. 2 – Galway, Ireland @ Roisin Dubh
Thu. Sept. 3 – Limerick, Ireland @ Dolan’s
Fri. Sept. 4 – Belfast, Ireland @ Limelight 2
Tue. Sept. 8 – Stockholm, Sweden @ Debaser Strand
Wed. Sept. 9 – Oslo, Norway @ Blaa
Thu. Sept. 10 – Copenhagen, Denmark @ Pumpehuset
Sat. Sept. 12 – Berlin, Germany @ Lollapalloza Berlin
Mon. Sept. 14 – Vienna, Austria @ Chelsea
Tue. Sept. 15 – Zagreb, Croatia @ Culture Factory
Wed. Sept. 16 – Ravenna, Italy @ Bronson
Thu. Sept. 17 – Rome, Italy @ Monk
Sat. Sept. 19 – Athens, Greece @ AN Club
Thu. Nov. 5 – Denton, TX @ Rubber Gloves
Fri. Nov. 6 – Sat. Nov. 7 – Austin, TX @ FFF
Mon. Nov. 9 – New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jacks
Tue. Nov. 10 – Memphis, TN @ Hi Tone
Wed. Nov. 11 – Lawrence, KS @ The Bottleneck
Fri. Nov. 13 – Denver, CO @ Marquis
Thu. Dec. 3 – Northampton, MA @ Flywheel w/ Pill
Fri. Dec. 4 – Boston, MA @ Middle East w/ Pill
Sat. Dec. 5 – Portsmouth, NH @ 3S Artspace w/ Pill
Sun. Dec. 6 – Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground w/ Pill
Mon. Dec. 7 – Quebec City, QC @ Le Cercle w/ Pill
Tue. Dec. 8 – Montreal, QC @ La Sala Rossa w/ Pill
Wed. Dec. 9 – Toronto, ON @ Lee’s w/ Pill
Fri. Dec. 11 – Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw w/ Pill

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Filed under Noise Punk, Noise rock, Post-punk, Protopunk, Punk, Punk-rock, Tour Dates

Titus Andronicus releases film “The Magic Morning”


Punk/indie band Titus Andronicus has released a short film, “The Magic Morning,” which incorporates music from his upcoming album, “The Most Lamentable Tragedy.”

The music stems from what he says is the second act of “Tragedy,” which is Tracks 7-12, or Side B of the first disc.

Singer/songwriter Patrick Stickles wrote and directed the video, which you can see below:

If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the lyric video for the punk blast of “Dimed Out.” One of the best lines has to be “Don’t wanna buy an ounce– For me the right amount is the entire pound.” If you don’t smile at its rebellion, you’re missing something.

Also today, the lyrics to “The Most Lamentable Tragedy” are out on Genius: See it here, complete with annotations.

“The Most Lamentable Tragedy” is out July 28 on Merge Records.

titusandronicus record

Titus Andronicus on tour:
+@ on tour:
Jul 24–28 Brooklyn, NY – Shea Stadium [ALL DATES SOLD OUT]
Sep 11 Philadelphia, PA – First Unitarian Church*^
Sep 12 Washington, DC – Black Cat*^
Sep 13 Richmond, VA – The Camel*^
Sep 14 Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle*^
Sep 15 Atlanta, GA – Masquerade*^
Sep 16 Nashville, TN – The Stone Fox*^
Sep 18 Dallas, TX – Trees*^
Sep 19 Houston, TX – Walters*^
Sep 20 Austin, TX – Red 7*^
Sep 23 Phoenix, AZ – Rebel*^
Sep 24 San Diego, CA – Irenic*^
Sep 25 Pomona, CA – The Glass House*^
Sep 26 Los Angeles, CA – Roxy*^
Sep 27 Visalia, CA – Cellar Door*^
Sep 28 Santa Cruz, CA – Catalyst*^
Sep 29 San Francisco, CA – The Chapel*^
Sep 30 Petaluma, CA – The Phoenix Theatre*^
Oct 02 Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios*^ + in-store at Music Millennium
Oct 03 Vancouver, BC – Biltmore Cabaret*^
Oct 04 Seattle, WA – The Crocodile*^
Oct 05 Boise, ID – Neurolux*^
Oct 06 Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court*^
Oct 07 Denver, CO – Marquis Theatre*^
Oct 09 Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock*^
Oct 10 Madison, WI – Frequency*^
Oct 11 Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall*^
Oct 12 Detroit, MI – UFO Factory*^
Oct 13 Toronto, ON – Horseshoe Tavern*^
Oct 14 Montreal, QC – Le Ritz*^
Oct 15 Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall*^
Oct 16 Brooklyn, NY – Warsaw *%
Nov 05 London, UK – Village Underground
Nov 06 Bristol, UK – Thekla
Nov 07 Brighton, UK – Bleach
Nov 08 Oxford, UK – The Bullingdon
Nov 10 Birmingham, UK – Hare & Hounds
Nov 11 Manchester, UK – Deaf Institute
Nov 12 Liverpool, UK – Kazimer
Nov 13 Glasgow, UK – Stereo
Nov 14 Leeds, UK – Beacons Metropolitan Festival
Nov 16 Nottingham, UK – Bodega Social Club
Nov 18 Paris, FR – La Mécanique Ondulatoire
Nov 19 Opwijk, BE – Autumn Falls Festival
Nov 20 Utrecht, NL – Le Guess Who Festival
Nov 22 Dublin, IE – The Hangar

* with Spider Bags
^ with Baked
% with Ex Hex

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Filed under Indie, Noise Punk, Noise rock, Punk, Rock

A Place To Bury Strangers release second single, “We’ve Come So Far”

A place to bury strangers

A Place To Bury Strangers is more than ready for their new album, “Transfixiation,” to be released, and guitarist/vocalist Oliver Ackermann explains why their second single, “We’ve Come So Far,” is so extraordinary.

Says Ackermann, “The lyrics were written by themselves. The meaning is absolute truth. Life is super intense and fucked up so even accomplishing anything is a huge feat. We should all be proud of that. When we have worked extremely hard for something for so long it is just amazing to look back on it all. Sometimes I just want to shake people for feeling useless. There is so much potential and amazing things going on all around. Help make something great for us all to enjoy. ‘We’ve Come So Far’ has an endless building feeling which mimics life.”

Listen to their latest single, “We’ve Come So Far.” The band will be joined on tour from Feb. 17 to May 10 by Ed Schrader’s Music Beat, Creepoid and others.

“Transfixiation” will be out on Dead Oceans on Feb. 17.

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Filed under Noise rock

Dub Thompson spins a new wall of sound on “9 Songs”


Dub Thompson’s sound is hard to pin down — you could call it clash-rock, noise metal against noise metal, noise rock, 60s flower-power on 21st-century acid– an experimental noise-rock tangle of everything but the kitchen sink. Either way, the duo of Matt Pulos and Evan Laffer have put their own tight spin on psychedelic rock and given “9 Songs” its own “wall of sound,” which proudly drives the album.

The album plows ahead from the start, with an onslaught of sound and punk and acoustic. On “Ash Wednesday,” and throughout the album, guitars are distorted and muffled and vocals are scratched up and bruised, while an overpowering beat keeps it all steady. The sometimes playful “Mono” tries to be suitable for the radio, but thankfully doesn’t go too far in that direction, instead milking a dark guitar melody until a chorus sends you down another wormhole.

Dub Thompson 9-songs

Different percussion forms the groundwork with which “Dograces” grows and ends with a march, then a vintage shopping-mall/playground melody that’s mashed up and deconstructed. It’s like some kind of strange, Clockwork-Orange circus where you don’t know what’s going to pop out next. Unexpected sounds creep out of the woodwork, settle in, then fade as a new sound takes over.

Melodic and strange, “9 Songs” spins you around and leaves you unsettled; it plays with reverb and oddball lyrics (The line “It’s only breakfast” comes to mind), organ and drums, styles and weird sound bites. It’s a whirlwind of sound and we’re just happy to be along for the ride.

“9 Songs” was released June 10 through Dead Oceans.

Listen to “Mono” to “Mono” on Soundcloud and watch “Dograces”  and  “No Time.”

Visit Dub Thompson‘s website or check out their record label, Dead Oceans.


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Filed under Experimental, Indie, Noise Punk, Noise rock, Post-punk, Psychedelic rock, Punk, Review