ISSUE #42 / JANUARY 10, 2019
Bur , Dark CIrcle
With a driving beat backing plenty of fuzz, Chicago’s Bur is our prescription for your cabin fever. Throw on “Sample Quincy” and drown in the pounding of Anthony Vaccaro’s drums, the thump of Juan Jauregui's bass, and the heavily distorted chords from Colin Burns and Jeremy Kush. Young and full of rocking ambition, this quartet is just what the doctor ordered. From the giddy garage rock energy of “Bored On A Floor”, to the extended post-rock jam in the middle of “Rod Blagojevich (For Mom)” to the classic grunge feel of the title track, they have clearly steeped themselves in the last 30 years of indie rock. Burns and Vaccaro are also members of power poppers Gal Gun, and while the two groups have a bit of crossover sound, Bur stands apart in the pure fuzz department, delivering a thick, soupy concoction of blissed out rock fever.
Bur just celebrated their release party last Friday at The Empty Bottle, and LPL was there! Check out her write-up in this issue. They don’t have any more dates as of now, but keep your eye on the calendar!
The crowd-funded, sophomore record from this quartet hailing from NYC takes the energy of debut, Jurassic Punk, and adds a bit more polish but not enough to keep the raw immediacy that permeates their original sound from taking over. Their version of the classic post-punk sound is a modern take on the artsy punk rock that is rooted in The Slits, The Raincoats, X-Ray Spex, and plenty of other influences. T-Rextasy tackles so many lyrical subjects from queer life choices, relationships, technology- related depression, to consent and coming of age, with plenty of humor and tongue-in cheek madness to make for a spirit-raising album just in time for the winter doldrums. Prehysteria starts off 2019 just right.
Unfortunately they hit The Empty Bottle last Saturday and probably won’t return till the Summer. We’re hoping for a street fest slot!
Soulful Irish singer/songwriter Dermot Kennedy releases a powerful self-titled album with folk, soul, indie, and R&B influences all in a 12-track album. The album has powerful themes of love, loss and friendship. Through intriguing lyrics and dynamic vocals, Dermot Kennedy paints a vivid picture in each of his songs. His most popular tracks, “Power Over Me” and “After Rain,” foreshadowed the singer’s immense talent as well as his versatility to create dynamics and mood between the somber of “After Rain” and a lover’s passion of “Power Over Me.” Dermot Kennedy’s self-titled album takes songs from his EP Dove and Ravens, such as “Glory,” a hard hitting love song with an R&B beat, chorus singers, and Dermot’s beautiful lyrics of love. Other songs such as “A closeness,” “All My Friends,” and “Boston” are added to the self-titled album, giving fans tracks they know very well as well as new songs “Young and Free,” “For Island Fires and Family,” and many more. A few of Dermot Kennedy’s tracks have either a large production ensemble of light techno and R&B or a piano playing in the background creating intimacy between Dermot’s voice and lyrics and the audience, as in “An Evening I Will Not Forget.” This debut is an incredible showcase of Kennedy’s variety and artistic poetry as a songwriter, and features beautiful visuals through his lyrics and powerhouse voice that fans will love to listen to over and over.
The singer is scheduled to be at Coachella on April 14th and April 21st.
Legion Of The Damned
Slaves of the Shadow Realm
Billed as a comeback record, Slaves of the Shadow Realm is the seventh LP from Dutch death-thrash metal wraiths, Legion of the Damned. Their last record, 2014’s Ravenous Plague wasn’t exactly shunned by critics or fans, so it’s a bit of a quandary as to what the band is coming back from. I guess if you haven’t released an album in five years, you’re declared dead in absentia in today’s extreme metal news cycle. So how does their return from the realm of relative obscurity stack up? I’d say pretty freakin’ well. SotSR isn’t as raw or austere as classics like Sons of the Jackal or Malevolent Rapture, but it still manages to surpass expectations. It’s not easy to stay fresh-sounding after almost three decades of laying down brutal rock ‘n roll like this, but Legion of the Damned manage to sound like their still in their prime. Who knows? Maybe they are! (There is no cap on metal musicianship.) The performances on SotSR are seriously tight and confident, and the songwriting exhibits an improved attention to melody and memorable hooks. Opener “Widow’s Breed” cuts to the bone with riffs that frantically crisscross like the claw marks of an undead werewolf ripping itself free from its grave. The tumbling death-riffs of “Nocturnal Commando” help keep the momentum rolling, while the diabolical gallop of “Charnel Confession” is an essential dose of danger to keep your adrenal glands pumping. As great as the first part of the album is, it’s not until “Slaves of the Southern Cross” that the band fully embraces their hook-smithing potential as well as the gothic overtones of their sound, and it’s the perfect wind up for the savagely hungry death-dive of “Warhounds of Hades.” If you’re a fan of Sodom, Kreator, and other demonic thrashers that have emerged from the void to seed chaos across continental Europe, then you’ll definitely want to add the latest Legion of the Damned to your collection.
Spending Eternity In A Japanese Convenience Store
Five minutes of exposure to the fluorescent lighting and energy-drink advertisements of a 7-11 can feel more or less like an eternity. It’s not a good feeling, and it’s a feeling you hope won’t last. Where should you go for lasting feelings that won’t harsh your eyes with unforgiving lighting and promotions for caffeinated heartburn bombs? Singapore’s forests, of course! What started out as the angrier, bitterer, Pacific cousin to Cap ‘n Jazz has blossomed into an aggressively mathey blood-relative of Snowing, who desperately want to get drunk and tell you how much you mean to them. It’s off-puttingly earnest, but that’s what people climb emo mountain to find after all: A person sitting cross-legged with a guitar in their lap who is going to cry-sing their state of mind until you feel their feels and cry-sing back at them. As far as the production and performances are concerned, Spending Eternity is a significant improvement over their debut in terms of the clarity of the band’s sound and their comfort with presenting densely lyrical material. There is also more of an emphasis on guitar riffs, spinney and elastic as they are, that accentuate rather than detract from the vocal melodies, and this definitely improves the overall shout-along quality of the choruses. If this is where the emo revival is headed in 2019, then save my spot on the bus, ‘cuz I’m in it for the long-haul. (Just promise me we won’t get lost in a Kwik Trip along the way.)