Posts Tagged ‘Sub Pop Records’

The rollicking guitar pop of Aussie band Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever captured our attention at SXSW 2017. Now signed to Sub Pop Records and with a full length album Hope Downs on the way this summer,

Fresh off Coachella, Melbourne-based indie rock band Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever performed live on Morning Becomes Eclectic. With two outstanding Talk Tight and French Press EPs already released and a debut full length album on the way – this quintet bounced around their catchy catalogue with ease (including an unreleased standout track and an Orange Juice cover).


Fran Keaney – Vocals, Guitar
Tom Russo- Vocals, Guitar
Joe White- Vocals, Guitar
Joe Russo – Bass
Marcel Tussie– Drums


Hope Downs

It’s rare that a band’s debut album sounds as confident and self-assured as the Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever’s “Hope Downs”.

To say that the first full-length from the Melbourne quintet improves on their two buzz-building eps from the last few years would be an understatement: the promise those early releases hinted at is fully realized here, with ten songs of urgent, passionate guitar pop that elicit warm memories of bands past, from the Go-Betweens’ jangle to the charmingly lo-fi trappings of New Zealand’s Flying Nun label. but don’t mistake Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever for nostalgists

Hope Downs is the sound of a band finding its own collective voice. the hard-hitting debut album is a testament to the band’s tight-knit and hard-working bonafides. prior to forming the band in 2013, singers/guitarists Fran Keaney, Tom Russo, and Joe White had played together in various garage bands, dating back to high school. when Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever . started, with Joe Russo [Tom’s brother] on bass, Marcel Tussie, Joe White’s then-housemate on drums, the chemistry was immediate. after a split ep with You Yangs (another Russo brother’s band), released in the form of a frisbee, they self-released talk tight in 2015, which Sydney-based record label Ivy League gave a wider release the following year. talk tight garnered plaudits from critics, including legendary rock scribe’s.  In 2017, Sub Pop released the French Press ep, bringing the band’s chugging and tuneful non-linear indie rock to the rest of the world as they settled into their sound with remarkable ease.

Hope Downs was largely written over the past year in the band’s Melbourne rehearsal room where their previous releases were also written and recorded. the band’s core trio of songwriters hunkered down and wrote as the chaos of the world outside unavoidably seeped into the songwriting process. “we were feeling like we were in a moment where the sands were shifting and the world was getting a lot weirder. there was a general sense that things were coming apart at the seams and people around us were too,” Russo explains. the album title, taken from the name of a vast open cut mine in the middle of Australia, refers to the feeling of “standing at the edge of the void of the big unknown, and finding something to hold on to.” with the help of engineer/producer Liam Judson and his portable setup, the band recorded Hope Downs live, and co-produced ten guitar pop gems over the course of two weeks in northern New South Wales during the winter of 2017. Hope Downs possesses a robust full-band sound that’s all the more impressive considering the band’s avoidance of traditional recording studios. if you loved Talk Tight and the French Press, you certainly won’t be disappointed.

But you might also be surprised at how the band’s sound has grown. there’s a richness and weight to these songs that was previously only hinted at, from the skyscraping chorus of “Sister’s Jeans” to the thrilling climax of album closer “The Hammer.” Hope Downs is as much about the people that populate the world around us—their stories, perspectives, and hopes in the face of disillusionment—as it is about the state of things at large. it’s a record that focuses on finding the bright spots at a time when cynicism all too often feels like the natural state. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever are here to remind us to keep our feet on the ground—and Hope Downs is as delicious a taste of terra firma as you’re going to get from a rock band right now.

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METZ have a new animated video for the blistering Mr. Plague, taken from their 2017 album, Strange Peace.

As described by director, Shayne Ehman, the video examines: “…the crumbling remnants of civilisation…a broken justice system…a consumer wasteland… Was it all part of the plan?

The Toronto-based trio Metz have incorporated harmony into their heavy sound on their third full-length. They shift away from all-out abrasion, adding color to their eruptions. Metz haven’t turned into a pop band. They’ve actually done the opposite, incorporating harmony without going soft. The fact that so few heavy bands have been able to pull that off attests to how difficult it is. With Strange Peace, Metz make it sound easy.

‘Strange Peace’ (Release date: September 22, 2017)

The Thermals, photo by <a href="">Jason Quigley</a>

The Thermals are breaking up. Hutch Harris, Kathy Foster, and Westin Glass have decided to call it a day, issuing the following statement:

We are officially disbanding. After 15 years and 7 records, we feel our band has reached far beyond our initial expectations and goals, and are stepping away from it while we still cherish it. We traveled further, soared higher and played louder than we ever dreamed, and we now look forward to a new chapter in our lives, our art, and our friendship. We would like to thank all the great labels who have released our records, all the amazing people who have worked so hard for us, and most importantly our fans, who we consider to be some of the smartest, sweetest and most compassionate people in the world. We love you, and we hope to see you again some day.

Originally formed in 2002 by Harris and Foster following early folk recordings as the duo Hutch and Kathy, the band’s first album “More Parts per Million” was released on Sub Pop Records in 2003. The band rotated through several percussion players, ultimately recruiting Glass in 2008. The Thermals’ last album “We Disappear” came out in 2016. That same year, the group performed in support of then-Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders at a rally in Portland.

The Portland trio called it quits this week, but for many, they leave behind a fiery legacy that can’t be put out.

The Thermals wrote one Perfect Record and like one thousand other great songs, all before the pop-punk revival was a socially acceptable thing, The Body, The Blood, The Machine by The Thermals. its orange and red cover, all thanks to an incendiary anthem I’d heard called “Here’s Your Future.”

The first time I heard “Here’s Your Future” was quickly followed by the twentieth time I heard “Here’s Your Future.” It’s a short tune, In it, frontman Hutch Harris climbs an apocalyptic pulpit to act as the voice of a tyrannical, punishing Christian God who floods the world before lighting it aflame with a sneering indictment: “Here’s your future. It’s gonna rain.”

Legend has it, Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard heard The Thermals’ demo and got them in touch with Sub Pop. There, they released the scrappy statement of purpose More Parts Per Million (2003), the gut punching Fuckin’ A (2004) and immortal hellraiser The Body, The Blood, The Machine (2006). They then jumped to Kill Rock Stars, recruited Westin as their permanent drummer, and released their deepest, most existential record Now We Can See (2009) and the intimate, slightly experimental Personal Life (2010). They made their final home with Saddle Creek and released the lean Desperate Ground (2013), and, as their surprise finale, the suspiciously titled We Disappear (2016). It’s a shame. The Thermals are a hell of a band to lose at a time when righteous indignation from a young generation is offering the greatest push toward progress.

In between records, they toured the world and led sweaty crowds in clubs to scream back several memorable lines of righteous indignation and political outrage, including:

– “They can tell me what to read / They can tell me what to eat / They can beat me and send me the bill / But they tell me what to feel?/ I might need you to kill!”

– “Our enemies lie dead on the ground and still we kick”– “Pray for a new age / Pray for information / I can hope, see? / Even if I don’t believe”

Their main and best mode was loud and fast, but their lyrics—even at their most blunt—kept a sense of nuance: The Body, The Blood is most definitely a middle-finger to theocratic political tendencies, but it’s also a healthy dose of bloodied and bruised hope. It’s the same case for Now We Can See—maybe Harris’s highest lyrical accomplishment to date.

That album is, squarely, all about death, dying, and being dead. But a few spins reveals clever takes on the pitfalls of routine existence (“Liquid In, Liquid Out,” “When We Were Alive”), the clarity of hindsight (“We Were Sick,”Now We Can See”), and the grace found in accepting our inevitable, eventual demise (“When I Died,” “You Dissolve”). This is the album they wrote nearly ten years before their breakup, mind you. It stands to reason that The Thermals were well prepared for their last hurrah long before we were.

“Eventually,” Harris explained during a live episode of the podcast Song Exploder in 2014, “what represented the Thermals the best was: Everything is kind of falling apart, and everything is just madness, but it’s more of a celebration of it as opposed to letting it get you down.” Given that quote, it makes complete that sense that, after releasing a generous and thankful joint statement announcing their end, Rather than let the world and its growing list of troubles burn them out, the trio is fading away, happy and celebrating, on their own terms. Here’s to your future, Thermals

While Bully’s 2015 debut ‘Feels Like’ tumbled headlong into the precarious nature of Alicia Bognanno’s young adult life, its follow-up Losing is their first for Sub Pop (which in many ways feels like their spiritual home; Bully’s sound is an outgrowth of the bands the label championed in the late ‘80s and ‘90s). Losing is a document of the complexity of growth: navigating breakups with sensitivity, learning not to flee from your troubles but to face them down no matter how messy they may be (“Well, this isn’t the summer I wanted,” she muses on “Blame,” before admitting that she’s trying to “cut down on booze and you”). Written as the group slowed down from touring constantly and Bognanno attempted to adjust to how different a home schedule is from a road schedule, her songwriting has matured from the quick one-two punches of Feels Like to tracks that contemplate the necessity of space in both song structure and emotion. Bognanno’s gruff yet dynamic voice is allowed to bloom, and it has a tenderness and openness to it here that’s new. There are multiple layers of wistfulness and care to her delivery of lines like “It just takes one disagreement for you to remember the one time I fucked up,” from “Spiral,” turning songs that could be one-dimensional kiss-offs into warm and complex expressions of regret.

The group returned to Electrical Audio in Chicago, another home for Bognanno, to record Losing. Their core—Bognanno, guitarist Clayton Parker and bassist Reece Lazarus—truly solidified during the process, a detail-oriented push for perfection in which each moving part was labored over and polished. Emily Lazar’s mastering adds the perfect cap to Bognanno’s engineering; this is a record that has both shimmer and heft. There’s power in the guitar attack, delicacy and toughness in the melodic hooks, precision in the drums, and backbone in the bass.

While Bognanno wouldn’t call this a political record, she doesn’t deny that the current political atmosphere and its urgency and tension haven’t shaped some of her ideas on this record, too—though she does not want that to be its focus. Mostly, this is an internal record, a universalized diary and an exorcism—not of any one specific demon, but of the host of them that characterize contemporary anxieties. Bully are growing up, sure, but their fire is in no way diminishing.


7 is the 7th full-length record from Beach House. It marks the start of a new chapter for the band, who’ve been together for over 13 years and had most recently released an album of b-sides and rarities which they they described as “…a good step for us. It helped us clean the creative closet, put the past to bed, and start anew.”

The new album, 7, is about rebirth and rejuvenation for the group, allowing them the opportunity to rethink old methods in the writing and recording processes and shed some self-imposed limitations. They’ve delivered a truly remarkable work of art in this new album and we can’t wait for you all to experience it for yourselves.

Pre-orders of the album in any format will get early access to stream the record from your  2 weeks before the rest of the world does on May 11th (streaming starts on April 27th!).

Frankie Cosmos‘ new album, Vessel, is available for release on the 30th March from  Sub Pop Records. While listening to the album you can also read along to this new feature on Pitchfork where Greta gives a short breakdown of every song on the album. The New York-native songwriter Greta Kline has shared a bounty of her innermost thoughts and experiences via the massive number of songs she has released since 2011. Like many of her peers, Kline’s prolific output was initially born from the ease of bedroom recording and self-releasing offered by digital technology and the internet. But, as she’s grown as a writer and performer, devising more complex albums and playing to larger audiences, Kline has begun to make her mark on the indie scene.
Her newest record, Vessel, is the 52nd release from Kline and the third studio album by her indie pop outfit Frankie Cosmos. On it, Kline explores all of the changes that have come in her life as a result of the music she has shared with the world, as well as the parts of her life that have remained irrevocable. Frankie Cosmos has taken several different shapes since their first full-band album, 2014’s Zentropy, erupted in New York’s DIY music scene. For the band’s lineup comprises multi-instrumentalists David Maine, Lauren Martin, Luke Pyenson, and Kline. The album’s 18 tracks employ a range of instrumentations and recording methods not found on the band’s prior albums, while maintaining the succinctly sincere nature of Kline’s songwriting.

1. “Caramelize”

Pitchfork: You talk a lot about light and grace and goodness on this song. It’s like the Gospel of Greta.

Greta Kline: I’m not trying to go for a spiritual vibe on this one, but I’ve always really liked religious language, and I read the Bible as literature in school. It’s so huge, but also specific. Spiritual words are used over and over again, so they become bigger than a single word, and this song has a little bit of that. The “you” changes throughout, and it’s about so many different kinds of relationships, and parts of my life, and how they’re patched together.

I actually have a lot of fans that are really religious. There were these students in a priest school who messaged me on Facebook five years ago telling me they loved my music. It’s weird, because I feel that some of my songs are almost too irreverent for that, but it’s cool that anyone can hear their own thing in them.

2. “Apathy”

One line in this song really stands out to me: “I just want to feel like I’m neatly designed/Like a telephone pole.” What inspired your writing here?

I wrote that lyric when I was on tour feeling crazy and wishing that I had a clear purpose that I was designed for; I was in a car driving past a bunch of telephone poles, which are perfectly built. When I hear that line, I think “Oh yeah, duh.” It’s not super poetic. I love poetry, but I’m more inspired by the small moments throughout my life that have meaning. I went through a weird archiving phase when I was younger, where I wanted to capture it all. I was so fixated on archiving my friendships, and my thoughts, my everything. That was kind of how Frankie Cosmos started.

3. “As Often as I Can”

You address your listeners here, telling them, “I love you.”

I love interacting with the audience onstage and telling them, “I love you.” That’s part of why I put that in, because it’s so fun to get to say that out loud to different people every night.

4. “This Stuff”

There’s a lyric from this song that I found funny and kind of sad: “I’m living in a condo/It replaced your favorite movie theater though.”

I feel like a cheater, because someone else told me that story. But the poetic part is me choosing to put it in the song, right? I remember walking around with a friend, and they talked about how their favorite movie theater was being turned into a condo. That’s not funny, but it would make a funny line: That living there would destroy the thing that someone you love also loves.

5. “Jesse”

Why did you guys decide this should be the first single from Vessel? It sounds bigger than most Frankie Cosmos songs.

It’s one of my favorite songs on the record. It also has five instruments, the usual four plus an extra guitar, which is exciting and new. Having someone who was not in the band write a second guitar part for a song was scary, and it took me accepting that the song wasn’t going to sound the same live. Our records are almost like recorded versions of our live set, and I don’t like having a bunch of parts on the record that we can’t achieve live. So coming to terms with the live set being different from the album arrangement was a big part of letting the sound get a little bigger.


You originally released this song in 2014, and you revived some old songs on your last album as well. How do you decide which ones to revisit?

We do it because certain old songs get requested at shows, and we feel like we have to make band versions later. But the more I revisit those old songs, the more they take on different meanings. It’s like reading your old diary, and thinking “wow” at how specific it was. There’s this whole emotional experience to re-learning my old songs, and there are a lot of realizations about my life back then that I can only make now.

7. “Accommodate”

In this song you introduce the idea of how the body can fail you when you need it.

A lot of this album is about this feeling of disconnect between myself and my body, but on “Accommodate,” I’m describing the experience of being a woman; what being born into this body means for the rest of my experience in the world. I really think that my body was not meant to exist in this atmosphere. I’m allergic to everything and I’m weak! Is your body a part of who you are or does it contain all of who you are? Does it stop you from fully being yourself? I don’t know.

8. “I’m Fried”

The lyric “I just wanna know that I would walk away from wrong” stands out to me. What does that mean to you?

For a long time, I wasn’t giving enough love to myself, and it made me so tired. I was like, “I need to figure out how to take care of myself.” “I’m Fried” is all about that, so the line is about wanting to know that I’m gonna be looking out for myself. Not that I’m gonna walk away from being a bad person, but knowing that I’m not going to get myself into situations that are harmful.

9. “Hereby”

This is the halfway point of the album, and it’s the most heartbreaking song on here. Were you aiming to structure the record to have that hurt come midway through?

We thought it’d be a good end to Side A. It’s harsh, and feels like a punctuation mark to the section. It’s also written almost entirely in words that were pulled from a contract. The lyrics are in a very legal language. It was funny to write in this cold way about this sad, personal moment. It’s like, “Here are the facts: I will not be your friend.”

10. “Ballad of R & J”

As opposed to the other songs on the album, this one is a narrative with fictional characters and a story arc.

The song is about being far away from the person you love and not being able to tell if they actually love you. The story was so sad that I refused to sing it, which is why my bandmates sing the choruses. It’s the only Frankie Cosmos song, ever, probably, where I don’t sing the whole thing. The characters in the song, Julie and Ricky, aren’t exactly based on my past relationships, but I wanted to explore who they could be and what they meant to each other. When a feeling is really big and hard to face within myself, I can use fictional narratives to deal with it, and write about it without having to actually ask myself how I’m feeling. It’s the songwriting equivalent of “asking for a friend.”

11. “Ur Up”

At the beginning of this track, you can hear someone in the background telling you the tape is rolling, and you mess up on the piano a little bit. It’s one of the most intimate moments on the album.

I liked keeping the mess-up in there because I love how sweet Hunter [Davidsohn], our recording engineer, sounds when he says, “No, keep going, it’s good.” It’s a little glimpse into the tender moments in the studio.

12. “Being Alive”

There are all these super fast tempo changes on this song.

Our drummer Luke [Pyenson] is very fancy! I can’t remember exactly what happened with arranging “Being Alive,” but my best guess would be to give Luke credit for the tempo. And since forming this band, I’ve gotten way more comfortable singing and messing around on guitar. I’ve been able to come up with really different stuff than I would have on Zentropy.

13. “Bus Bus Train Train”

Your dog, Joe Joe, seems to float throughout so much of your music. Here, he appears as a taxidermy sculpture in a museum.

He’s my best friend and the reason I never moved away from New York. I wanted to be here and spend time with him while he was still alive. Then he died my first year of college, so I was like, “Great.” That one part in this song came from a trip to RISD—I was visiting a friend, and there was this weird room where they had with all these taxidermy animals. But I also think that line is about trying to find him, and trying to find home, wherever I am in the world. For me, Joe Joe represents home.

So I don’t think that line is morbid, and I don’t even feel sad talking about him, because it really feels like he’s alive. This is going to sound really freaky, but I feel like part of his soul entered me when he died, and now I’m part dog. When I make eye contact, dogs will run, pulling their owners towards me to hang out. I feel like I’m almost one of them.

14. “My Phone”

The message of this one—about trying to keep relationships offline—is super relatable. Do you think love can rise above the need to be plugged in all the time?

Real love obviously goes infinitely deeper than technology, and you should be able to feel loved by someone, give love, and have them trust you without having to constantly be texting. I’m a really slow texter, and I’m really bad at responding to people, and none of that matters when you’re hanging out in person. But as a touring musician, I do spend a lot of time on my phone. So many of my relationships exist there, and sometimes feel like I only have friends because I’m texting them or seeing them on Instagram. It’s a weird way to exist.

15. “Cafeteria”

This is a secretly dark one: There’s all these feelings of doubt hidden right beneath this bright sound.

Lots of life is constantly putting on a brave face and not exactly giving everyone the true experience of what you’re feeling. So my songs are a fun place to sneak in those thoughts, right underneath a happy melody, or make something that sounds like a love song but is actually really sad. And “Cafeteria” is so fun to play because it’s all this bouncing around, and it has my favorite lyrics to sing live: “I had sex once, now I’m dead.” It’s insane to be on stage and see everyone get so quiet after I sing that. I always imagine that people can tell that it’s funny. But in my head, I’m almost waiting, wondering: “Are people gonna laugh at that line?”

16. “The End”

This sounds almost like an old Frankie Cosmos song, like a rough demo uploaded straight to Bandcamp.

I recorded it a day after a breakup, right into my computer mic. It’s pure emotion, and not thought through at all. I hadn’t figured out my future, or plans for later. I was sitting alone in this room that I shared with this person who doesn’t love me anymore, and I was like, “Gotta move.”

Did you try to edit or spruce up the song later?

Trust me, if I had recorded it a month later, it would have different lyrics. Because the feeling was so pure and fast. We tried to arrange it with the band, but I was like, “Let’s not waste any more time on this, the demo’s going on the album.” I had this intense feeling that it had to be the demo. It’s my first ever GarageBand song that made it onto vinyl. It was so exciting when I got the test pressing and heard this. I was freaking out.

17. “Same Thing”

Your music has been described as being like an elliptical, musical run-on sentence, and this song feels that way.

This makes me think of the bio for our press release. We were talking about what should go in it, and why we think that people should listen to this album, and I was like, “I don’t. I don’t care.” [laughs] Ultimately, there’s nothing that makes this album more special than any other of the albums. The idea is it’s another chapter, and there’s gonna be a million more. Yes, it’s special to me right now, but it’s also not as important as the 50 new songs I’ve written since. So I don’t know how to promote it, because I’m a person who’s writing a bunch of music all the time, and I’m hopefully gonna do it for many more years. This is just one episode, and I think that’s cool!

18. “Vessel”

How did this become the title for the record?

I had been thinking about the concept of vessels, and it applies to a lot of things I deal with on the album: Not feeling like a woman and not feeling like I was made to make babies; not feeling like a vessel for my art and being projected onto; not feeling like being a performer comes naturally to me. All this relates to how my body is here to support me or hinder me. The other part of it is that this song is partly about being in a band and making music with other people. A lot of this record is about making music.

thanks Pitchfork for the interview

Forth Wanderers

Forth Wanderers employ a tin-can-telephone style of composition which they use even when living in the same area code. Since first collaborating in 2013 as Montclair, New Jersey high schoolers, guitarist and songwriter Ben Guterl and vocalist Ava Trilling have passed songs back and forth like pen pals. Guterl will devise an instrumental skeleton before sending it to vocalist Ava Trilling who pens the lyrics based off the melody. The duo then gather alongside guitarist Duke Greene, bassist Noah Schifrin, and drummer Zach Lorelli to expand upon their demo. It’s a patient and practiced writing system that has carried the quintet through two EPs (2013’s Mahogany and 2016’s Slop) and one LP (2014’s Tough Love). Forth Wanderers, the group’s sophomore record and Sub Pop Records debut, is the groups’ most comprehensive and assured statement yet. On Forth Wanderers these introspections include meditations on relationships, discovery, and finding oneself adrift. Despite the inherent heaviness of those themes, Forth Wanderers feels joyous, a rock record bursting with heart. Take Not for Me, a romping track about “the ambivalence of love. Opener Nevermine, is a surge of confidence inspired by an ex-lover who is still captivated by her image.

On Ages Ago Trilling paints the image of a constantly-shifting enigmatic lover. “I wasn’t sure who they were, they changed constantly (hence the metaphor describing the “grey coat” and cutting their hair just to “stay afloat”),” she says. “I wasn’t going to wait any longer to find out.” Recorded over five days by friend and audio engineer Cameron Konner at his Philadelphia home studio, Forth Wanderers amplifies the heartfelt sentiments of their earlier works into massive anthems. Guterl and Greene’s guitars have never sounded sharper, Schifrin and Lorelli’s terse rhythm section is restless, and Trilling sounds more self-assured than ever. These are exuberant, profound songs driven by tightly bound melodies and a loving attention to detail.

Forth Wanderers (Release Date: April 27, 2018) Sub Pop Records

Swami John Reis and Rick Froberg have been making noises together since high school. In 1986 it was the post-hardcore chime. In 1991 it was the sprawling, multi-faceted arrangements of Drive Like Jehu. In 1999 it was the lean, mean swagger of Hot Snakes. Reis and Froberg are responsible for some of the most turbulent rock and roll of their, or any, generation.

Hot Snakes streamlined Jehu’s complex compositions and emerged as bona fide downstroke warlords. They made 3 studio albums of high-velocity, slash-your-face, piss-punk: 2000’s Automatic Midnight, 2002’s Suicide Invoice and 2004’s Audit in Progress. The band ceased activity in 2005 but reunited for a triumphant world tour in 2011,
Now, after a 14-year hiatus from the studio, Hot Snakes have kicked down the door back into our lives with their new album, Jericho Sirens, due out March 16th from Sub Pop.

“I considered stopping playing guitar on a social media poll after I completely mastered the instrument,” Reis says. “But so many people kept sending me letters and voicemail messages, asking me at the dry cleaners, or the butcher shop to bring back Hot Snakes. They were missing rock and roll music. I’ve always considered Hot Snakes to be more in the vein of the proto-Vog movement of the early ‘70s. But to these people, this is their rock ‘n’ roll. I understand that. I totally understand people’s desire to be controlled and humiliated by my guitar. Anyone can play the stupid guitar. The new album blasts out of the speakers with the furious “I Need a Doctor,” inspired by Froberg’s experience needing a doctor’s note in order to miss an important work function. “Yeah, I had to be quick on my feet,” says Rick.

Throughout Jericho Sirens, Froberg commiserates with the frustration and torrential apathy that seems to be a fixture in our daily lives, while also reminding us that we have no fucking clue. “Songs like ‘Death Camp Fantasy’ and ‘Jericho Sirens’ are about that,” he says. “No matter where you look, there’re always people saying the world’s about to end. Every movie is a disaster movie. I’m super fascinated by it. It is hysterical, and it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. It snowballs, like feedback, or my balls on the windshield.”

Musically, the album incorporates the most extreme fringes of the Hot Snakes sound (the vein-bulging, 78-second “Why Don’t It Sink In?” the manic, Asian Blues on speed of “Having Another?”), while staying true to longstanding influences such as the Wipers, Dead Moon, Michael Jackson, and Suicide on propulsive tracks such as “Six Wave Hold-Down,” one of the first songs written for the project during a Mummer Parade 2017 session in Philadelphia. Other moments like the choruses of “Jericho Sirens” and “Psychoactive” nod to Status Quo and AC/DC with Froberg admitting, “I still flip bird and ride my BMX on top of cop cars.”

“My muse was love. It sounds like panic and chaos,” Reis says. “Restlessness and unease. That’s a sound that I would ask for. I want that record. The inspiration would be simple, maybe even kind of straightforward. Very early rock ‘n’ roll DNA with lots of rules. I would find some note or rhythm in it that captivated me and I dwelled on it and bent it. That’s where I found dissonance. Bending and rubbing against each other uncomfortably. Marinate and refine. A lot of the other Hot Snakes records always had tension and release, but this one is mainly just tension.” 

Jericho Sirens was recorded in short bursts over the past year, mostly in San Diego and Philadelphia with longtime bassist Gar Wood, Jason Kourkounis and Mario Rubalcaba, both of whom drummed on prior Hot Snakes releases but never on the same one. For Reis, reactivating his creative partnership with Froberg was one of the most rewarding aspects of the process: “Our perspectives are similar. Our tastes are similar. He is my family. And what more is there to say? My favorite part of making this record was hearing him find his voice and direction for this record. I came hard.” 

In tandem with a full back catalog reissue series and the new album, Hot Snakes will return to the road in 2018 to incinerate the villages, and they’re already looking ahead to more music. Says Gar Wood, “There’re already 2 more records written and recorded. We wanted to come out with this one using the more mainstream sounding stuff to give people a chance to catch up.”

Releases March 16th, 2018

Forth Wanderers signed to Sub Pop Records for their upcoming self-titled album. Lead single “Not For Me” suggested the wait for new music since 2016’s Slop EP has been worth it; we named it one of the week’s best songs when it dropped last month. Well, if you liked that one, I’m here to tell you the second single is even better — one of the best indie-rock songs of the year, in fact.

Album opener “Nevermine” is built around spindly guitar interplay that expands into a huge, glorious chorus, almost like the New Jersey combo’s instruments are constructing the foundation for a towering monument. It certainly sounds monumental, anyway, without being too showy about it.

Ava Trilling’s first words seem to be addressing an ex: “I am the one you think of when you’re with her, and what do you have? Nothing on me.” She continues from there with a drowsy detachment in her delivery that belies the intensity of the narrative.

Forth Wanderers (Release Date: April 27th, 2018)