Thursday, October 31, 2013

This Weeks Shorts Bursts: Mogwai, Merge Records at 25, & LVL UP

Glasgow's post rock stalwarts, Mogwai have announced the follow up to 2011's hyperbole inducing, Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will. On January 21st Mogwai will issue Rave Tapes via Sub-Pop. The band recorded the new set with Delgados' drummer, Paul Savage who also assisted in the recording of the bands landmark Young Team LP. Mogwai has offered up the advance track, Remurdered which finds them delving a little deeper into the electronics they utilized on "Hardcore", on the synth infused instrumental track.

North Carolina's esteemed Merge Records kicked off their 25th anniversary celebration today with the issuing of Superchunk's cover of Misfits'Children In Heat which you can stream below. In addition, the label is currently taking pre-order for Or Thousands of Prizes, a subscription based box set that will be released throughout 2014 and consist of 12 7 inches that will be mostly split releases and includes contributions from The Mountain Goats, Mikal Cronin, Destroyer, and of course the aforementioned Superchunk. These singles are exclusive to the box set and not available separately or in stores, proceeds from of Or Thousands of Prizes will go to Oxfam America. You can pre-order this unique release at the Merge Store now.

Splitting time between Spook Houses, LVL UP and running the Double Double Whammy imprint, Dave Benton and his co conspirators have been delivering a steady flow of impressive scuzz pop releases and the new LVL UP release is no exception, a split release with label mates, Porches. LVL UP's contribution, Across The Sea starts with gently strummed acoustics and Benton's affecting and warbling vocal delivery before giving way to a blast of Pinketonesque guitar fuzz with titanic hooks. Currently, LVL UP have hooked up with Boston's post hardcore dynamos, Pile for several shows in the Southeast.

Friday, October 11, 2013

An Introduction: Worms

Last spring Amherst's rising sludge punk trio, Worms issued their self tiled debut full length digitally via the DIY collective Dark World and recently on vinyl thorough Last Watt Records and to say we've been a bit slack jawed ever since, is a total understatement. Worms play loud, fuzz covered, hardcore leaning punk with sizable pop hooks. Consisting of guitarist/vocalist Chris Wardlaw as well as brothers Lucus (bass) and Dana Kendall (drums) Worms existed for a few years as Whirl, at least until they we're forced to change their name after another artist legally known as Whirl issued a cease and desist order. The band answered this legal entanglement by issuing a striking punk recording that could only come from Western, MA. It's no surprise these guys formed at the same High School that can lay claim to Deep Wound and Dinosaur Jr. The Pioneer Valley is already having a banner year, what with handful of records guaranteed to show up on many year end lists, but perhaps none more affecting or punishing as the one Worms have issued. Hardcore pop is that a thing? If so, I'm in.  Worms new set hearkens backs to the genre's heyday, while delivering something wholly unique, complete with strained vocals, charging guitars, driving rhythms and intelligent  song writing, that you'd swear was captured in a metal container, but in this case recorded in a proper studio on Cape Cod. Worms, Worms, Worms!