By Tim Murr
Jade Jackson © Andrew Stuart
Over at The Bluegrass Situation you’ll find the video for the debut single from Americana artist Jade Jackson. The song, “Motorcycle,” is the lead track from the forthcoming album produced by Social Distortion’s Mike Ness. “Motorcycle” is scrappy but soft-spoken and feels like a dusty western noir. I’m really looking forward to this album; if “Motorcycle” is any indication Jackson will be an artist to watch in 2017.
Thrash veterans Overkill return on February 10 with The Grinding Wheel. The first single, “Our Finest Hour,” is exactly what you want/expect from Overkill, which is lightning-fast, squealing-tires-on-pavement, aggressive, and confrontational classic thrash metal. You can check out “Our Finest Hour” below. The album is currently up for pre-order on digital, digi-pak, CD, and vinyl. The vinyl comes in four variants; black, yellow, green, and splatter. You can pre-order from Nuclear Blast Records.
In keeping with the “coming soon” theme of the day, Mastodon released their first single for their March 31 album Emperor Of Sand a few days ago and you can preview it on Loudwire. It’s called “Sultan’s Curse” and sounds like the Mastodon we all know and love. I’ll admit that nothing the group has done since Leviathan has exactly thrilled me as much as their metal adaptation of Moby Dick, but that hasn’t stopped me from being excited every time a new album is announced. In addition to the video in the link, Loudwire also has some info on the album itself. Spoiler alert: it sounds pretty great.
Maiden remains one of the best live bands ever. Their heavy and ambitious Book Of Souls album is a highlight of their nearly four-decade career and with their latest tour they promise to bring back all the Eddies. I saw them a couple years ago with Alice Cooper (who also still knows how to put on a hell of a show) and it was a blast! It’s absolutely worth the experience. (And Ghost is opening!—Ed.)
JUN 03: BRISTOW, VA; JIFFY LUBE LIVE;
JUN 04: PHILADELPHIA, PA; WELLS FARGO CENTER
JUN 07: NEWARK, NJ; PRUDENTIAL CENTER
JUN 09: CHARLOTTE, NC; PNC MUSIC PAVILION:
JUN 11: TAMPA, FL; AMALIE ARENA
JUN 13: NASHVILLE, TN; BRIDGESTONE ARENA
JUN 15: CHICAGO, IL; HOLLYWOOD CASINO AMPHITHEATER
JUN 16: MINNEAPOLIS, MN; XCEL ENERGY CENTER
JUN 19: OKLAHOMA CITY, OK; CHESAPEAKE ARENA
JUN 21: HOUSTON, TX; TOYOTA CENTER
JUN 23: DALLAS, TX; AMERICAN AIRLINES CENTER
JUN 24: SAN ANTONIO, TX; AT&T CENTER
JUN 27: ALBUQUERQUE, NM; ISLETA AMPHITHEATER
JUN 28: PHOENIX, AZ; TALKING STICK RESORT ARENA
JUL 01: SAN BERNARDINO, CA; GLEN HELEN AMPHITHEATER*
JUL 03: LAS VEGAS, NV; T-MOBILE ARENA
JUL 05: OAKLAND, CA; ORACLE ARENA
JUL 07: SALT LAKE CITY, UT; USANA AMPHITHEATER
JUL 09: LINCOLN, NE; PINNACLE BANK ARENA
JUL 11: KANSAS CITY, MO; SPRINT CENTER
JUL 12: ST LOUIS, MO; HOLLYWOOD CASINO AMPHITHEATER
JUL 15: TORONTO, CANADAvBUDWEISER STAGE
JUL 16: QUEBEC CITY, CANADAvVIDEOTRON CENTRE
JUL 19: MANSFIELD, MA; XFINITY CENTER
JUL 21: BROOKLYN, NY; BARCLAYS CENTER
By Tim Murr
Gabby Gaborno; Photo © Riff55
The Pacific Northwest’s Dark Palms return with a four-song EP that expands the group’s sound in fantastic ways. Smoke opens with a title track that sounds like Black Sabbath by way of Hüsker Dü with a Funhouse Stooges digression. “Heroes” has a push and pull rhythmic thing going, almost as if the song is fighting against being buried alive. “Salton Sea” is more of a straight-forward rocker, like it could have been on the band’s previous release, Hoxbar Ghost Town, but there’s an aged quality to it, like a hot rod running against a desert wind.
The album closes with “Margarita And The Master” which borrows its title from the Mikhail Bulgakov novel about the Devil visiting the atheistic Russia. I haven’t read the book, so I can’t comment on the lyrics and if they actually reference the novel, but the song conjures an interesting notion. All four tracks are damn good and Smoke is a great companion to the group’s debut from last year.
Ah, Werewolves In Siberia, one of the most kick-ass synth-wave projects out there… This album hits Bandcamp today to coincide with the release of Death Race 2050. You get three tracks: the title track, plus two versions of “Frankenstein, The Indestructible,” one with a sample from the original film and one without. The trailer looks like a direct sequel to Roger Corman’s original Death Race 2000, and it looks fucking awesome. The EP is pretty great itself, as one would expect from WiS.
A while ago during my hiatus from Popshifter, Gabby Gaborno, lead singer of the Cadillac Tramps and Manic Hispanic, passed away after years of struggling with health problems. He was a great singer and frontman and both bands are well worth your time to seek out if you’re unfamiliar with them. From interviews I’ve read Gabby seemed like a really cool, nice guy. My heart goes out to his family and friends.
Mall Walk is a funny name for a band that takes their music pretty seriously. The trio of Nicholas Clark (drums), Daniel Brown (bass), and Rob I. Miller (vocals, guitar) hail from Oakland, CA and have a post-punk vibe, angular guitars, and the kind of addictive hooks that are like catnip for me.
Back in the days of MTV’s 120 Minutes, C86 darlings Close Lobsters were a fave. “Let’s Make Some Plans” reminded me of the heady days of when I first got into college radio. Granted, those days were just a few years earlier, but when you’re a teenager, that stuff matters. I listened to their ’88 releases Headache Rhetoric and What Is There To Smile About? fairly obsessively well into the early ‘90s.
After a hiatus of almost 20 years, the Scottish band returned briefly in 2009 with a retrospective singles collection, but reformed for real in 2012 for a few live shows, releasing the EP Kunstwerk In Spacetime in 2014. On June 3, the band’s newest EP, Desire and Signs, was released by Shelflife Records.
“Wander Epic Part II” is the B-side to the latest single “Under London Skies” and here’s what the band has to say about it:
“’Wander Epic’ is a yarn/yearn of disorientation in the spirit of Close Lobsters. Saudade for the vast and endless sea. Who are we and what do we need to do to be part of the world? If you listen to all three parts as a continuous (w)hole the streams that run down to the sea are revealed.”
After a split with Mute, Big Deal are back with their third album, Say Yes, on Fatcat Records. The path to Say Yes has been a difficult one, with band members leaving, relationships ending, and the theft of the band’s laptop, which had Big Deal’s demos and ideas for their new album on it. “It was fight or flight, and we decided to fight,” the band says. So they said yes.
The third single from Popincourt, “Happy Town,” provides an answer to what might have happened if Paul Weller had been French instead of English.
Check out our exclusive stream of Popincourt’s latest single from their upcoming album A New Dimension To Modern Love, released on June 17 from Jigsaw Records.
Popincourt says of the track:
On this one, I really wanted to have an up tempo beat, mixing Soul and Pop. I had “Dancing In the Streets” by Martha and the Vandellas in mind, but as well “The Gift” by the Jam. Then came the first terrorist attack in Paris early 2015: I was at this Unity March in Paris on January 11. Something you cannot forget: great sadness but at the same time this massive feeling of fraternity. People were even kissing cops!
I finalized the lyrics having this in mind, in a very naïve and optimistic way: the power of the street, the music that could change the world, the fact to live any minute “now”! Sadly enough, I received the master of the album two days after the second terrorist attack where 130 people were shot dead, some of them at this rock venue, le Bataclan, in November 2015.
After the runaway success of their self-titled debut, The Lumineers sound a bit disillusioned. Their newest, Cleopatra, is heavy. There are no radio-friendly, hand-clapping sing-alongs; instead there are thoughtful indie folk with songs of leaving those who tear you down, having dreams crushed and dying. Seriously, it’s heavy.
Davina and the Vagabonds are well-known for their live shows, blending jazz, soul, brilliant stage presence, and top-notch musicianship. Attendees walk away converts. It stands to reason then, that Davina and the Vagabonds would at some point put out a live album. So they did.
Last Christmas I discovered a song that quickly became part of my annual holiday playlist: “It’s Xmas (And Everyone Is Miserable)” by Dirty Sidewalks, a Seattle-based band who traffics in the kind of poppy shoegaze that put bands like the Jesus and Mary Chain and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club on the musical map. The undeniable hooks and straightforward attitude of the track won me over immediately.
Now Dirty Sidewalks have a new video: “Hey Girl (I Wanna Be Your Man)” is the B-side to the band’s recently released vinyl single, “It’s Getting Better.”
Filmed with a low-budget glitter aesthetic, the video suits the song’s sweet yet snarly charms perfectly and features subtle nods to both the Reid brothers and My Bloody Valentine. Singer Erik Foster sounds enough like his shoegazing forebears to reel you in, but Dirty Sidewalks have an appeal that’s all their own, and one that will keep you coming back for more.
If you like what you see (and hear), be sure to pick up the “It’s Getting Better” single, available on both black vinyl and white vinyl from No-Count Records.
Dirty Sidewalks have a full-length album planned for the summer, so follow them on Facebook to keep up with the latest news.