Punk

DC's punk/emo revival duo The Obsessives release a single and announce their upcoming debut LP

Some of us are starting to feel old, hearing genre names like "emo revival". Whatever happened to emo music after those side-bangs days of myspace yore? No matter the year, there will always be kids getting their hearts broken apart and making bold eyeliner decisions, and the music must follow. DC's two-piece The Obsessives have been pals since childhood, and channeled the final bits of their collective teenage angst into a debut LP entitled "Heck No, Nancy" (a direct quote from Slaughterhouse Five). The LP was written and recorded within their last few weeks of high school and will release this September. They put a single out just a few days ago - "Daisy"- that follows two people from the first time they meet and discuss books and solitude (love-at-first-sight seems to hit peak hour during study hall/detention) to the present where their friendship "has grown into a sad display". This may be their debut LP, but it will be the duo's fourth musical release within the past three years. The Obsessive's have got the spunk of The Front Bottoms paired with the proud fetal position perfected by Dashboard Confessional. "Heck No, Nancy" is available now for pre-order via local label Near Mint on vinyl and Bandcamp.

- Leora Mandel

   

The many layers of Havania Whaal

Since 2012 Portland’s Havania Whaal has been making their own rules. Their ethereal sound can be likened to post-punk meets shoegaze...sort of. They call themselves “noise pop”, but when you’re forging new territory the descriptors fall short of the mark. All three members share vocal duties, which adds to the layers and dimension of their reverb-drenched domain. Stepping it up further, they recently created a live stage production with dancers and costumes, the soundtrack of which was the band performing their new cassette release “13 A.D.” Rumor has it that live productions will be a hallmark of Havaia Whaal shows henceforth. They’re touring the east coast with Portland’s Lubec for 10 days starting July 9 in Massachusetts.

See their tour kickoff show at The Know July 2nd. Buy their tape, pop it in the cassette deck of your ‘85 Volvo, and cruise around town lamenting the summer, wearing the darkest shades you can find. 

-Just Dave

   

New ¿Que Pasa? Videos for Tracks from Friendly Punk Album 'BIG MISTAKE'

“We can’t wait to meet you,” says the ¿Que Pasa? description of one of Austin’s most anti-pretentious, most-likable rock music bands. That’s not rock referring to the guitar-inflected whatever that mostly associates itself with that agin’ word these days; no ¿Que Pasa? is of the punk (with some post-punk notes and venturing into psych at times) flavored school of this rock thing, and they just put out a pretty damn good modern punk album this last December that is now gettin’ the music video treatment on a couple tracks.

That sentiment of welcome found upon yon FB page is an extension of the band’s general attitude, which presents a kind-of “friendly punks” attitude that, if you’ve ever known any punks that weren’t just into the life for the infamy, is actually dead representative of a certain side of the genre. “Infeliz” is the latest track off album BIG MISTAKE to get visuals, and it shows off a band that you just really wanna go get some P. Terry’s with after and hang out drinkin’ in a park or some shit. I mean, the other track with a vid, “My Family,” literally lists singer Liz Burrito’s friends, including all members of the bands and a few others, and involves cake, board games, beer, bathtub candles and the lyrics “My friends, they are my family.”

Yet, the punk is strong with this one, and the songs are fun and often heavy and harsh, and entirely sincere. Passion + friendliness used to be the unofficial/official Austin creative way, and in the modern muddle that is an Austin where Cheer Ups has to fight to preserve a beautiful natural limestone wall being torn down for no other reason than money, we’re fully into bands that keep alive the spirit that made Austin a destination in the first place and preserve something very Austin. ¿Que Pasa? is what Austin’s about in its soul, and you should all go and be their friends now. Seems like they’d be pretty into it, if yer a non-dick and all. Music video below, full album to be found at their Bandcamp here.

   

Slutty Hearts bring their noisy pop to The Trillium on July 3rd

"In the pocket" is a phrase used by music geeks to describe bands that are just... feeling it. And after a few years and some lineup changes, Portland's Slutty Hearts are there. Watch the closed-eyed communication between the band as singer Marisa Laurelle bashes a cymbal with a tambourine, smiling out lyrics about love crimes, and you'll see the prowess of musicians that have paid their dues. The confidence of their live set is obvious, yet there is a vulnerability that brings them to the level of the crowd. Combining the gritty realness of punk with the slick veneer of pop without sounding forced and pretentious isn't easy, but this band does it effortlessly - and with style. Catch them at the Trillium in Hood River July 3rd, or when they'll be covering the Kinks for Ray Davies Day at Bunk Bar July 15. - Just Dave

   

The Sindicate release new album Sleepwalker

What the world needs now is not love sweet love, what it needs is bands that can make dynamic music! It is not often I come across a band or album which I find myself, well, impressed with… The Sindicate impressed me. The band released their new album Sleepwalker Friday at the Star Theatre.

After having lived in California for a number of years and consequently having my ears flooded with every Sublime acolyte who could form a band I am always a bit leery of reggae bands. The first track on Sleepwalker dispelled any fears I may have had. I could immediately tell that this group of guys not only had a diverse range of influences but that they  were proficient at channeling them into their own music. The cherry on top was that they did it well. Each track has a really balanced blend on genres ranging from fairly straight forward reggae sounds to what I would say sounded like early Stones/ early punk stuff. As each track played I was quite pleased to hear very dynamic and diverse sounds in each individual song. Songs like Zombie evoke a sense of mystery and suspense almost like you’re tip toeing through some foggy graveyard at night while the very next song RB-HB feels more like a small Californian beach town on a sunny afternoon. Each song has its own vibe to the point it doesn’t feel like they took the same music and simply repackaged it with different lyrics. The work put into these songs shows. The band describes themselves as “reggae rock” and I would say that’s quite accurate. 

The overall dynamics of the album are similarly silky smooth. The placement of each track is very well done so that listening straight through the album feels like a musical journey. I was very impressed with how the album achieves a sort of roller coaster effect and does what a good album should do. It take you on a journey down through valleys and up through mountains.

The Sindicate and their team did a great job on this album on both a micro and macro level. The band shows excellent musicianship in a genre which is too often scabbed over with repetitive sounds. The band just embarked on a tour, but catch them when they return to Portland. In the meantime, listen to their new album here.

-Cory Huennekens