by Adrienne Fisher, edited by Erik van Rheenen
There’s something in the water on Long Island. Not like this is news to anyone: we all know and love at least one band that came from that fabled region that sits in the Atlantic as a weird offshoot of New York City. But the thing that makes it worthy of continuous note is that many of the notable bands that call LI home have a similar demeanor. They may not share a genre, but acts like Glassjaw or Crime in Stereo or Daytrader or even Bayside (Queens isn’t technically Long Island, but it’s the same landmass, so close enough) are all, at the very least, tinged with a characteristic that I can categorize as sounding “forlorn.” Or “weary.” Or even “dismal.” Whether it’s a product of homogenized influences or just a reflection of how much it might suck to live in one of the most densely populated places in the United States, it’s an interesting phenomenon to be able to trace this sort of moodiness in music back to a regional source.
Sainthood Reps is the Long Island band of the hour that’s doing “it” best with their second full-length, Headswell. They avoid playing right into the hands of any one style or revival movement, resulting in a record that’s post-rock and heavy in nature with a tendency to flirt with ‘90s grunge. Opening track “Shelter” serves as a great example of this — a burst of an opening and a chiseled melody prove to make one of the most kinetic tracks on the record, driving and focused with heavy footfalls of coarse guitars in the chorus. As the record continues, it’s evident that it’s been dragged through the mud a fair amount, but it’s not so choked out with distortion that the songs can’t breathe. In fact, a lot of the record sounds more drearily dreamy than it does dirty or raw. Look no further than the wandering plod of “The Last Place I Left You” or “Rapture Addict,” with oscillating vocal melodies over airy musicianship and dynamic guitar tones; they’re tactics that the band began to develop on their first release Monoculture, but have been found again both stronger and better integrated into the songs on Headswell.
The album’s momentum, however, flickers in its midsection, and the pacing that was drummed up by the first few songs comes to an impasse. Songs like “Fall” and the eponymous “Drone” hold the listener at arm’s length with phone-calls-from-far-away vocals, flat soundscapes and a somewhat uninspiring rhythm section. The closing song also leaves something to be desired - a clangy acoustic selection that is somehow louder than the rest of the record feels out of place and ends abruptly, leaving the duty of providing final closure to a record unfulfilled.
October is just a few days away, and there are a slew of great records coming out next month that PropertyOfZack team members couldn’t be more stoked to hear. In today’s new Discussion, we’re highlighting our personal Most Anticipated October Releases. Check out our list below and feel free to reblog with what you’re looking forward to as well
A Loss For Words - Before It Caves (10/08)
After releasing the earnest, endearing No Sanctuary in 2011, A Loss for Words established themselves as a rock band wearing pop-punk clothing, with the musicianship and catchy tunes to build a great career for themselves. Now, they’re returning with their new album Before it Caves, which is sure to provide even more of what fans are used to: Matty Arsenault’s catchy, upbeat lyrics with guitars provided by Marc Dangora that soar higher than any pop-punk band out there can hope to accomplish. A Loss for Words are one of the most unique bands in pop-punk right now, so when Before it Caves is released on October 8, it should be a top priority for you to listen. - Donald Wagenblast
Tim Kasher - Adult Film (10/08)
After hearing a sneak preview of some new tracks on Tim Kasher’s solo tour earlier this year, it’s hard not to be excited for his new record, Adult Film. Kasher’s a wordsmith of sorts, known for putting together clever lyrics with just the right amount of bite and a pinch of self-loathing. He’s also quite good at creating interesting sounds that incorporate familiar tones of his work with both Cursive and the Good Life, while still finding a vibe distinctly his own. His debut solo full length, The Game of Monogamy, was nearly perfect, and I expect Adult Film to be no different. - Marie Scarsella
Dance Gavin Dance - Acceptance Speech (10/08)
Member changes! Drama! Disappointing sequels to a cult classic album! Tour cancellations! No news for months! Let’s be honest, nothing about the crazy career of Dance Gavin Dance is going to surprise you anymore. They’ve come back from the brink of breaking up nearly as often as they’ve released new material. Still, they’ve always had the potential to do great things, as seen by the successes of Jonny Craig’s best work Downtown Battle Mountain and the Kurt Travis-led Happiness, which always gives hope for their next release to live up to that potential. This time around on their new album, Acceptance Speech, frontman for hire Tillian Pearson has entered the mix, and his high-pitched vocals sound like a match made in heaven when paired with Jon Mess’s shrill, grating screams. Throw in the talents of guitarist Will Swan and drummer Matt Mingus, and we could see another shot at redemption for Dance Gavin Dance this October. - Donald Wagenblast
Producer Will Yip will be releasing his Off The Board: A Studio 4 Family Compilation on October 8th. The comp will feature exclusive (new) and previously unreleased songs from bands like Title Fight, Circa Survive, Balance and Composure, Man Overboard, Citizen, Turnover, Daylight, Koji, Tigers Jaw, Polar Bear Club, Dead End Path, Sainthood Reps, Mongoloids, None More Black, Light Years, Pity Sex, and Anthony Green. Check out the artwork and track listing below after the jump.
Polar Bear Club will be releasing Death Chorus on November 19th via Rise Records. The band has also announced a late-fall tour with Citizen, Diamond Youth, Sainthood Reps. Check out a new song called “Blood Balloon” and all the tour dates below after the jump.
Taking Back Sunday, Polar Bear Club, Transit Announce Tour
Our good friend, and maybe one of your favorite producers, Will Yip has officially announced his Off The Board: A Studio 4 Family Compilationthat will be released on October 8th. The comp will feature exclusive (new) and previously unreleased songs from bands like Title Fight, Circa Survive, Balance and Composure, Man Overboard, Citizen, Turnover, Daylight, Koji, Tigers Jaw, Polar Bear Club, Dead End Path, Sainthood Reps, Mongoloids, None More Black, Light Years, Pity Sex, and Anthony Green.
Purchases of records, shirts, and other memorabilia from the comp will go directly towards Yip buying Studio 4, the studio where he makes some of the best albums we’ve heard in years. Check out the store here to buy the comp and other goodies and a press release with all the details below!
POZ Perspective: Will Yip And The Power Of The Neve