Braid - No Coast
/200 translucent orange & solid orange split vinyl || Topshelf Records 2014
The comic I’ve been working on is now available for preorder!
Ben Sears, killing it, for like the millionth time.
After 8 years of freelance music journalism (and plenty of cultural sociology masked as music criticism), you’d think I could effectively express why I remain drawn to propulsive, aggressive hardcore. Unfortunately, I don’t have any easy answers for you. Sure, I listened to the stuff in high school, college, and into my mid-20’s, but shouldn’t I have outgrown this genre by now? Hell, I was never the moshing, circle pit type, as I was afraid my glasses would get jostled off my face and break (and I certainly didn’t have the money to replace them). Yet, despite my many dalliances with pop and rock of both the indie and “poptimist” persuasions, all it takes for me to throw my fist in the air and wish I had the gumption to attend just one more sweat-soaked hardcore concert is to be exposed to an amazing band like myfictionsband.
Hailing from Lowell, MA, this talented quartet has created 10 robust, powerful songs that are packed to the gills with galloping goodness and earnest energy. The chops and arrangements on display in Stranger Songs speak to a band fully immersed in the legacy of its preferred genre, but the intensity and ferocity shown evince an outfit not content to rest upon anyone’s laurels. The sounds of label mates Pianos Become the Teeth and The Saddest Landscape rear their heads early and often (it’s obvious why TSL released the When You are Close, I am Gone with My Fictions in 2013), but I’m entranced by the appearance of Converse, Fucked Up, and Ferret-era Zao.
Admittedly, it’s the vocals and lyrics of Bryan Carifio that first capture your attention and then hold them throughout the record - they’re a desperate, passionate growl that manages to sound pained, but never painful or shredded into oblivion. What’s more, his bass work features an angry, aggrieved tone that provides sustaining depth for the rest of the musicians. The guitar onslaught crafted by Tyler Bradley and Ryan Boone balances the right amount of dark, distorted chugging that’s perfect for breakdowns with a keening, careening buzzsaw that keeps your teeth on edge in the best way possible. And when the frenetic, furious drumming of Seamus Menihane is added to the mix, it’s altogether an unsettling and chaotic experience that sends you deeper into the music as you Carifio on his quest for catharsis.
My Fictions has figured out a way to swing between running around in the circle pit and stopping to bang one’s head at a tremendous breakdown, but without devolving into tired cliches. Just listen to the unbridled and tortured majesty of “Postcard,” “Lower (a selfish song),” “Wake Anxious,” and “Parking Lot” to hear what I mean. Call it brooding, call it angry, or call it frustration personified - whatever you say, just be sure to call Stranger Songs one of the best records of 2014.
A straightforward storyteller, Keith Latinen works in details and similes, not abstraction and metaphor. Braid’s Bob Nanna sings a verse in this lilting emo song from the long-running duo.
Two very big things!
1) You can now pre-order our record and listen to a new single at NPR Music:
Count Your Lucky Stars Records: http://countyourluckystars.bigcartel.com/
Topshelf Records: http://www.topshelfrecords.com/store
2) We have a show tonight in Lakewood, OH at Mahalls Lanes with The Early November! Come out
We will post a new set of lyrics tomorrow too
On September 9, 2014 we’ll be releasing Installation — the most recent album from the amazing LITE —on vinyl. In support of the release, they will also be coming over to the US for a tour starting on September 10th with Mike Watt. Info for that’s below:
If you’re not familiar with LITE, check out the live video of them playing their track “Contemporary Disease” above or check out what they’re about on Facebook (they post in English too!). Longtime fans of the label who’re familiar with our releases from bands like Rooftops, Talons, Duck. Little Brother, Duck!, Enemies and — of course — toe, will find a lot to love with LITE.
Hi! Kevin here. I usually post everything on our tumblr but I’ve been on an ~adventure~ across the US and haven’t had any wi-fi so I’m posting this a couple days late — sorry! But yeah, Field Mouse's reallllly good new album Hold Still Life is now out everywhere and here is where you can listen to / download / stream it:
Here’s a list of shops and stores that are carrying it:
For Rachel Browne and Andrew Futral of Field Mouse, seeing the release of their debut album Hold Still Life has been years in the making.
This October The Saddest Landscape and Frameworks will be headed overseas for a short run of dates with The Tidal Sleep in support of their new albums — When You Are Close, I Am Gone and Loom, respectively. Info below:
* w/ The Tidal Sleep
ICYMI @eeiwale pre-orders are now up at http://topshelfrecords.com! (at topshelfrecords.com)
First ever Topshelf Tour! @agreatbigpileofleaves, @dmndyouth, @prawnmusic & @fieldmousemusic. Tickets go on sale Friday at noon with more dates being announced shortly. We’ll have a free tour 7” courtesy of @atozmediainc and giveaways from @newnoisemagazine. Use Google for the dates I can’t figure out how to paste them here haha.
Guess what?! We are the Record of the Week at Pirates Press! Take a sneak peak at what our records look like! Pre-orders will be up soon, pick which color you want and hopefully you are fast enough to get it when they go up
Here is the pressing info:
250 Black- 180 Gram
500 Splatter: Milky Clear Base with Baby Blue + Hot Pink + Easter Yellow
500 Color in Color- Ultra Clear Base with Cyan Blue