The Philly dance-punk trio W.C. Lindsay recently released their first full-length album Easy Victim, Charitable Deceptions through Big Footprints Records, and we gotta say it’s a cause for celebration. W.C. Lindsay brings the party as they explore their youth in retrospect and evaluate the present.They are not a group that can be pigeon holed into a single genre, for example the album ranges from ecstatic pop to intricate electro jams to sincere rock ballads and everything in between. What’s even more impressive than their ability to conquer almost every genre under the sun is their ability to do it while still sounding like the same band. While most bands would lose their sound doing what W.C. Lindsay has done, they’ve found a way to stay sonically diverse and consistent all at once.
“Into the Night” opens with epic militant drums as a call to arms for their fellow party troopers to rally. The bands’ indie-electro-pop influences are clearly showcased with upbeat synths and layers of vocal tracks being grounded by anthemic drums. The next track “Kids These Days” is an ode to the youths that has been declared THE song of the summer (by us, right now). Its infectious melody paired with the moombahton inspired beat will be stuck in your head for eternity, in the best way possible.
The album then takes some twists and turns into nostalgia. If you didn’t know that electro-pop-folk-rock was a thing, “Slowly, So Sweet” has proven that it is. We are then transported to the 80s with the track “Kelsey”. It’s about simpler times, driving around in cars with friends “under the age and under the influence”. The nostalgia continues with the acoustic number “Oregon,” a sincere, stripped down song that sounds like Chris Martin could have written it.
The second half of the album begins to explore a slightly darker side of the band. As Lindsay stated in an interview with Red Bull, “The ‘Easy Victim’ half is the more upbeat portion that deals with how it feels to be restless, and young, and to long so intensely for the responsibilities and freedoms that age will afford. The ‘Charitable Deceptions’ half is the darker portion of the record that examines what it means to reach that age that was once so desired, and to find that you only wish to go back to the age of naiveté.” “Hard Youth, Hardly You” might sound like the album’s most uplifting track, but don’t let the music fool you. Lyrically it’s a kind of tongue in cheek criticism of the youth culture. It’s like looking at a picture of yourself when you were a teen wearing an All American Rejects T-shirt and smoking a cigarette because you thought it was edgy. Now that you’re older you can criticize yourself, but you would also give anything to go back to that moment as you were just starting to discover what decent music and alcohol was. The song explodes at the bridge as Richie “Ghost Note” Straub absolutely nails the drums and Lindsay strains,“Let’s get sold, Take my heart but not my soul, I’ll sell when I get old,” the gang vocals responding with a resounding “WHOA”.
The smooth female vocals on the next track “Little Ghost” matched with the contrasting strictly punctuated drums create a head-swaying jam. Some seriously clever lyrics rapped by Lindsay (“I looked to the sky and called on God for guidance, left a voicemail and learned about self-reliance.”) deliver clarity on issues concerning love, broken homes, and teenage mistakes alongside swelling synths and a hip-hop swagger. The final tracks that make up Easy Victim, Charitable Deceptions rely on more straight rock influences than the rest of the album, such as “Finally Learning the Language” and “Hum and Roar” with their distinctive catchy guitar riffs and established drums. “Tree” is also grounded by its rock roots and enhanced with subtle synths. A fantastic mesh of every previous song “Ungrow”, closes out the album with pounding drums, resounding guitars and synths that seem to ebb and flow together to eternity.
You can get the album at the link below! And you should definitely do so because:
a) It’s fantastic.
b) $1 from every album purchased will be donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
LCM Rating: 8.5/10
With Death By Broomstick the Philly gypsy-punks, OhBree, will swing and sway you into their avant-garde imagination with their dramatic instrumentation ie bright and sassy horns. The album is appropriately titled as it sums up its dark yet fun-loving attitude. The songs on Death By Broomstick are a mix of circus-pop with a punk attitude and a touch of burlesque mysticism that evoke a carefully carefree vibe as the band explores different parts of the gypsy-punk spectrum.
There are appealingly eerie tracks such as “Carefulness” and “Death By Broomstick,” then there are sweeter, more heartfelt jams like “Sweater,” where Andrew Scott declares, “I can make you better than a sweater on a cold and rainy day could ever make you.”
"When I Become a Stranger" is a pleasantly simple acoustic song that allows a break from the mass instrumentation on the rest of the tracks, and allows Scott’s anguished voice to shine through before it begins to warp and echo towards the end, blending into one of our favorite tracks, the harmony rich “Salt”. The layers of synths and vocals supported by the consistently vivacious drums make it an instantly addicting song.
OhBree is a band to watch out for - they put a modern and fun spin on gypsy punk music comparable to legends of the genre such as Motherhead Bug or Golem, mixed with vocal influences from bands like Grizzly Bear and the Front Bottoms. Get the album here!
LCM Score: 7/10
Bridget Battle, Jerri Queen, and Peyton Copes, otherwise known as Tweens, describe themselves as “trash pop”. We’d call them melody-driven bubblegum punks. Either way, their new self-titled album released on Frenchkiss Records is one of the catchiest pop gems of 2014 thus far, and is the band’s first full-length. “Be Mean” sticks out as the obvious single, yet every song on the album is equally as fun. (Check out the humorous music video here.)
Hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, they use swirly guitars, gang vocals and lots of “ooh/ahhs” to lure you into their fuzzy, sugar coated universe. The album starts off strong with “Bored in the City,” about a love/hate relationship with urban life, not wanting to leave “everything you’ve ever known” yet “waiting for something to happen”. Though the album hits a sort of lull in the middle with instrumental track “Stoner,” it picks right back up in the second half, dominated by power chords, reverb, and singer Bridget Battle shout-singing at you to stop blowing up her phone on “Girlfriend,” a catchy track about not wanting to be your girlfriend.
We slow down for a moment with “Want U,” a ballad still filled with reverb and fuzz-soaked guitars, only to pick back up for the final track, “Star Studder” in true Tweens fashion with building drums, plenty of Joey Ramone-style shouting, “ooh-ooh’s,” and that same bright, swirly guitar that reeled you in at the beginning. The whole album is an angst-filled flashback to your own tween years, and it feels so good to reminisce.
Tweens are currently on tour with Jaill and Radio Burns.
You can get their album here, but their Deluxe CD bundle is already sold out :/
For fans of:
Shannon and the Clams
LCM Rating: 7.5
It’s a rare and beautiful occasion when you listen to a new record in its entirety and it blows your fucking mind. After listening to The Hotelier’s second full-length album Home, Like Noplace Is There all we could think was, “DAMN, they did it.” The Hotelier (formerly known as The Hotel Year) made an authentic, diverse emo indie rock record that will (hopefully) go down in history. With a voice reminiscent of The Menzingers, the epic emo-rock sound of Brand New, passionate screaming jams comparable to early Thursday, and addictive song structures like that of early Taking Back Sunday, The Hotelier have delivered one hell of a record.
The understated first track “An Introduction To The Album” drifts in with its floating guitar melodies and organs that allow the lyrics to shine through, which are the real guts of this record. As the song builds and erupts lead singer Christian Holden proclaims, “I had a chance to construct something beautiful and I choked,” which can only be interpreted as irony as the listener realizes how incredible this album really is.
The crowning element of the record is the fantastic songwriting. Genuine and introspective with existential and even political leanings, Holden vocalizes the lyrics with equal fervor as he strains his voice to the verge of screaming to give every word the intensity it deserves. This is especially evident in the angst filled track “Life In Drag” that spits out lines illustrating the struggles of personal identity, more specifically gender identity. “Your Deep Rest” is another lyrical triumph for The Hotelier. An emotional marathon exploring with brutal honesty the mental journey of losing a loved one to suicide, he sings, “I called in sick from your funeral / The sight of your family made me feel responsible / And I found the notes you left behind / Little hints and helpless cries / Desperate wishing to be over”.
The best kinds of songs don’t beg for attention, but rather demand it through slowly building and gaining your trust. “Among The Wildflowers” slowly lulls the listener into a trance then completely breaks down and smacks you in the face, demanding your respect. And that is what this record deserves. It’s anthemic and cathartic in its misery and wrought with self-destruction and self-doubt. Unfortunately for us, Home, Like Noplace Is There is an album we can all relate to.
LCM Score: 9.5/10
Envision yourself in a dark room filled with flickering candles whose wax is dripping with melancholy. Now you’re ready to listen to the Halloween Dream EP by Miserable, the project of Kristina Esfandiari, former vocalist of Whirr. The EP kicks off with “Bell Jar” with sultry, dark feedback and vocals. The layers of shoegazey guitars and rapid, pulsating drums build into a dizzying crescendo that fills you up and leaves you wanting more. The next track “Orchid” continues to satisfy and follows with similar style, as digging through the haze of distortion and reverb uncovers brilliant melodies.
A subtle change in pace comes with “Spinning” which starts slow and steady with ringing acoustic guitar and vocals. The song build in instrumentation and *feels*, then suddenly drops out as she expresses the impossibly sad, “I know you say you hate me, but I hope you take it right back.” The EP comes to a close with “Halloween Dream” which belongs in the opening of an epic battle scene. The ghostly vocals overlap the heavy drums to create a sound that builds and resonates in the darkest parts of your heart.
LCM Score: 8/10