A Reflection On A First Summer Tour

This summer I tagged along for a tour that my friends in Holy Shadow and Koala Tea Time were going on through the Midwest and Southeast. Altogether there were 4 of us total, Greg and Andrew of Holy Shadow, Nick of Koala Tea Time, and myself, crammed into a 1994 Toyota Camry with no air conditioning and barely functioning brakes.  This nearly three week tour was to be the longest such endeavor that any of us had ever been on and, as we traveled from the northeast through numerous states that we had never set foot in before, we definitely had some memorable experiences. Continue reading


Q&A with Aaron Bedard of Bane

The people that know me know that Bane is very personally pivotal. I’m sure that a lot of individuals in the hardcore punk scene would vouch for the same sentiments. Bane has been around for 18 years now, and in that time, they’ve shown themselves to completely shatter the less favorable aspects of the hardcore punk scene such as the high turnover rate and sense of fashion. They’re a band that you can’t not bring up when discussing hardcore punk in the early 2000’s, as well as, up to the present day. They’re a staple in contemporary hardcore. They’re an important band. With this in mind, the announcement of Don’t Wait Up brought to attention the fact that their time in hardcore couldn’t last forever, as much as people might’ve wanted it to. On Bane’s tour with Code Orange Kids (now operating under the moniker of Code Orange) and Give, Aaron Bedard and I discussed the Don’t Wait Up and his thoughts on going about the foreseeable end of Bane. Continue reading


Mammoth Grinder – ‘Cosmic Crypt’ Review

Mammoth Grinder’s latest LP, Underworlds, garnered a consensus among listeners that Texas’ authorities of death-metal-hardcore crossover know how to write a fucking strong record. I don’t think that fact (with the subjectivity of music well in mind) could be thoughtfully and successfully debated by fans of hardcore, punk, or metal without fail. The question that follows the aforementioned understanding goes as follows; how do you follow up that kind of sonic prowess? The ideal situation is that you write another release that proves to be even greater than the last. With the amount of material aside, Mammoth Grinder proceed to show vast possibility and a wealth of promise with the growth in their sound that has been demonstrated through Cosmic Crypt. Continue reading


Foxing, Hop Along, Dikembe and Kittyhawk, 7/26

This weekend was a big one for fans of expansive and creative indie-rock. The city’s annual Wicker Park Fest (which featured performances by Owls, Hop Along, Foxing and Pet Symmetry) happened to coincide with a Dikembe and Kittyhawk co-headlining tour, compounding the already hard “who should we see” debates that festivals bring on. Luckily, we were able to catch both! Hit continue reading to check out our review and photos from both events. Continue reading


Field Mouse – ‘Hold Still Life’ Review

No phrase conjures up music snob rage quite like “emo revival.” This sloppy label has been applied to everyone from Owen to Dads, with no clear definition of what exactly makes this a “revival.” While I try to steer clear of this term for its ambiguous nature, there is one genre that seems to actually be reviving: shoegaze. Not-so-impressively dubbed “nu gaze,” bands like Pity Sex, Nothing and Whirr have been bringing fuzz back into vogue, replacing the reverb-heavy indie guitars of the early 00’s.

With this resurgence in distortion, 90s babies that once swooned over Hawthorne Heights now turn their adoration to My Bloody Valentine. As always, what was once old is new again. I write this not with better-than-thou, music snob snarkiness, but with happiness that this oft-forgotten genre is finally getting recognition, and that it’s inspiring some of the year’s best albums, a perfect example being the Topshelf-signed Field Mouse. Continue reading

Poor Thing

Premiere: The Calm Before – ‘Poor Thing’

For our first ever premiere, we’re psyched to present you with the newest track from The Calm Before. Pulled from their upcoming full-length, “Poor Thing” builds upon the foundation laid out on the screamo four-piece’s split with I Made You Myself by condensing everything down to a minute and a half burst of post-hardcore fury. From the Comadre-inspired blooming guitars and cathartically clattering drums to bassist Matthew Meifert’s searing delivery, “Poor Thing” is everything you could want in a post-hardcore song. If you couldn’t get enough of the new Frameworks LP or spend your time tracking down obscure City of Caterpillar releases, hit continue reading to stream the new song and head to their Bandcamp to pick up their back-catalog.

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Joyce Manor – ‘Never Hungover Again’ Review

As far as emo goes, Joyce Manor has always edged on the “happier” side of things – the side that titles songs “Five Beer Plan” and makes perfect party-shouting songs (see: countless nights of me screaming the lyrics to “Constant Headache” while clutching a 40 oz.). On “Never Hungover Again,” the Torrance, Calif. quartet slides in to more “sad” territory; like actual adult sad, not just teenage-heartbreak sad. There are friends leaving for the army and getting full-times jobs – but that doesn’t mean all fun is lost. Continue reading


It’s Mid-July and I’m Still Cold: A Feel-Good Summer Playlist by Dakota Bahney

Dakota Bahney is one of the best people I’ve gotten to know since starting the site. On top of running Cool Shoes Records and a brief stint in Smash Mouth, she plays in a bunch of awesome bands (check out the new Unraveler album, guys). Dakota was kind enough to provide us with her favorite feel-good (or at least feel-bad in a good way) summer jams. Check it out!

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next 4 years

United Nations – ‘The Next Four Years’ Review

It’s difficult to know exactly what to make of United Nations. Occasionally we see flashes of their excellent sense of humor; on the flipside, they can be deathly serious and explosively political. Often, this is what makes them a compelling group. Beyond their anonymity and penchant for being frustratingly vague about which musicians have contributed what to the group, they have managed to become more than just a gimmick.

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Loose Planes

Loose Planes – ‘Loose Planes’ EP Review

Consisting of members of Make Do and Mend and Fireworks, Loose Planes delivered their debut, self-titled EP via 6131 Records.  Considering the acts that consist of this band’s DNA  play very different styles of music (and the fact that I count both among my least favorite bands in recent memory), I was very intrigued to find out what Loose Planes would sound like.  I was not disappointed. Continue reading


Late Bloomer – ‘Things Change’ Review

Generally, most albums seem to follow one course of sound on an album. Even “experimental” bands usually just dance a bit outside of their genre before returning to the sound that they’ve honed. On their debut full length, Things Change, Charlotte, North Carolina group Late Bloomer wanders a bit further out and the result is an amalgamation of sound produced by three guys who listen to a lot of different music. Described as “punk, hardcore, garage, shoegaze and grunge”, there’s certainly a lot of material to dice up with Things Change.

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