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Showing posts from February, 2019

Local Music Round-Up | Cave Light/Gather Data Pray for Death - "Ends"

Ah, the split. One of the quintessential underground releases, alongside label compilations and the immortal 7". Two bands, usually sharing a label, put out a few of their latest tracks - enough to take up one side of a record each. Minneapolis comrades Cave Light and Gather Data Pray for Death pursue this noble indie ideal on their split EP Ends.

The two bands share the same twisted guitar sensibilities. Notes aren't seen as something to be played; they're threaded together into a rope, tied into the tightest knot possible. Songs shift and shimmer like the sunset on one of Minnesota's 11,842 lakes. No idea overstays its welcome. The math-like randomness that possess these bands is a breath of fresh air. Honestly, we need more bands that are willing to let their songs go over five minutes (and actually fill them with creative music).

Gather Data's side haunts with delirious cacophony. "Swelling Over" menaces with a pointed guitar line and practically shout…

In Pursuit of Something Interesting: Blood Banks - "Dear Tomorrow"

Blood Banks is a band that was born from the Minneapolis punk scene. Its members came from acts like Cadillac Blindside and the Dirty Hits, which were staples on college radio in the late 90s and early 2000s, and with a pedigree like that, it's easy to see why their sophomore release Dear Tomorrow feels right at home among bands that were already established staples in the punk world or hit their stride during that era. Dear Tomorrow is a release that is both familiar yet a little different, and as a follow up their 2017 debut Be Alive the band is showing they have hit their stride too.

From the first note of the prophetic intro on "Night Falls," the songs on Dear Tomorrow feel like they all tell a story of events that take place over a single night. The spaghetti western tone paints a foreboding picture that compels the listener into the earnest story of unrequited love told during the following song, "Last Night." It is this attention to detail when it comes t…

Why Not - "EP" | Album Review

Minneapolis math punk trio Why Not has a musical output that is slowly approaching the prolific levels of artists like Ty Segall or John Dwyer. This band has put out a record or EP every year since 2017. This doesn't seem like a big deal, but when you take into consideration that these guys are in their senior year of high school, there is a whole new level of impressiveness. It's amazing that these three friends have found time to start a band, write three releases' worth of material, and still find time for regular day-to-day activities. Their lives feel like a plot to a mid-2000s Disney Channel TV show.

With 2019's EP, the band finds themself reflecting over their personal lives and musical career. The single "Ready 4 the World" has the band asking "Are you listening intently/What am I saying on the outside/Is it friendly?" The track echoes sentiments of feeling lost and looking for a foothold to move forward. Why Not's bassist and frontman He…

The Florists - "Bury Your Heart" Video

Noise pop trio the Florists have been gearing up for the release of their debut full-length record Prayer Starter with a series of four highly stylized music videos. Today, we were lucky enough to receive the most abstract of the four releases with a video for the track "Bury Your Heart." The video matches the angular nature of this song. It grows steadily more manic and surreal along with the soundscape of the song. This video along with the other two slate Prayer Starter to be a dynamic debut for the band.  

Prayer Starter is a follow up to the band's 2017 EP No Costume. The record will be released on March 1. You can watch the video for "Bury Your Heart" that was filmed by Tessa Loeffler below.

Catbath - "Check Byways" Video

Minneapolis jitter punk quartet Catbath have blessed us on this snowladen Friday with a new music video for their song "Check Byways." The absurd and loosely psychedelic clip was directed Matthew "Gravey" Graves. The band also recently re-uploaded some older music videos on their YouTube channel, so check those out while you're at it. Watch the "Check Byways" video and listen to Catbath's 2018 album Glitterbox below.

Glitterbox by Catbath

niiice. Release Surprise Second Single - "Minneapolis vs. St. Paul: This Time it's Personal"

It has been slightly over two weeks since punk trio niiice. released their music video for the emotionally potent single "Love Handlez" from their upcoming EP Never Better. In that short amount of time, the band decided that a second surprise single was needed to hold us over until March, and I could not agree more with this decision.

"Minneapolis vs. St. Paul: This Time it's Personal" continues the feelings of loneliness and emptiness found in "Love Handlez" by acknowledging one's frustration in their inability to improve their mental health. Yet again, the protagonist in this track looks for a moment of respite in someone else. From the get-go, you are met with the lyrics "Bring me peace and give me company/I need something to hang onto/I'm too old to be this goddamn sad" which sets the stage for the rest of the track before everything gets summed up with the poignant final line "I'm not making progress lately."


Keep for Cheap - "Day Without You"

Keep for Cheap have established themselves as a fixture of the Twin Cities indie kid circuit over the past several months, playing shows with Ear Coffee favorites like the Clean Tramps, Alexander Natalie, and Miloe. Finally, they're releasing their debut single, "Day Without You."

The quintet utilizes each member's assets smoothly and confidently.  Layered vocals act as a gentle wave that carries the listener into a cloud. There is an organ that shimmers in and out of focus. The sandy ocean floor is made out of rollicking (Ear Coffee's word of the day for describing guitar parts) electric guitar. It is a relentlessly pleasant song, even as the sentiment burns with longing.

I'm tempted to classify Keep for Cheap as a supergroup, even with only one song to their name. Sal Paradise's Robert Northrup, the Contingents' Ted Tiedemann, Kate Malanaphy on vocals and guitar. The group is rounded out with the exceptional Autumn Vagle on guitar and lead vocals and …

Sass Sign to Heavy Meadow Records, Announce Debut Album

The Minneapolis quartet Sass have announced they have signed to Heavy Meadow Records. Along with the news, the band also announced their debut album titled Chew Toy which will follow up Sass' 2017 EP Wet Paint. The self-titled first single from Chew Toy has garnered national attention since it was premier by The Grey Estates.

"Chew Toy" works perfectly as a flag bearer for the band's off-kilter pop influenced grunge sound. The track grows slowly from an understated intro to a monolith of fuzzed out guitars and biting lyrics. This song feels like it is almost going to burst at the seems. The b-side to "Chew Toy" is the aptly named, and equally tense, "Spoiled by Rotten." Both tracks fit together to spark emotions that are almost exclusively associated with people who are absolute dick heads.

This upcoming release from Sass will be the sixth record put out by Heavy Meadow since their inception. My hope is that Chew Toy's success will bring the …

Last Import - "Last Import" | Album Review

From the first notes of Last Import's self-titled debut full-length, there is a feeling that something different is going on here. The formless and free-flowing nature of "Lunar Rhapsody" acts almost as a palate cleanser for what you, the listener, are going to experience over the next 30 or so minutes. The band's debut EP Songs For Adam was released a year and a day prior to Last Import. Since then, Last Import has been riding a wave of increasing popularity. They received play on radio stations like the Current and Go96, and they've opened for Bastille and Lany at the Palace Theater.

Last Import expands on the ideas explored on their debut EP. To boil down the band's sound, they are a punk-influenced surf rock trio, but this is a gross oversimplification. There is a fire at the musical foundation of Last Import that propels everything that is heaped on top. Staccato guitars, pummeling drums, and fluid bass lines create dynamic performances that add depth to …

Pierre - "Smart" Video

Minneapolis grunge trio Pierre have released a new video for their song "Smart." The Ben Drake-directed clip features the band performing the song while a variety of performers do their thing in the background (two guys spinning fire staves, a kendama guy, and a girl hula-hooping). "Smart" appears on the group's self-titled 2018 debut album. Watch the video and check out Pierre below.

Pierre by Pierre