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Editors' Picks: Dear You

Posted by brian on Saturday, November 20, 2010 at 5:00 PM (EST)
Yeah, it might be sort of gimmicky to name your band in such a fashion, but it's not like I wasn't going to check out Dear You after receiving a notification that a band named after a favorite LP of mine were now following me on Twitter. My severe lack of activity on the hotbed social networking site is probably going to disappoint them, but their songs didn't disappoint me. The band's three-song EP, The Night a Forest Grew, bears a really promising, melodic post-hardcore/emo sound that seems to take a dollop of influence and then some from fellow Connecticut growlers Make Do and Mend. They also count on inspiration from acts like Dresden Dolls, the Promise Ring, the Get Up Kids, Latterman and Jimmy Eat World--try to guess which two-to-three of these I hear in there. You can download that brand new EP (and another one from May) over at their Bandcamp page for free.

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Editors' Picks: Residuals

Posted by brian on Sunday, October 3, 2010 at 12:30 PM (EDT)
Brian: Hey, remember these? Perhaps we should try to bring them back.

Anyway, Residuals added me on MySpace--remember them, too?--several months back. I think they only had a very rough demo on the page at the time, but the diverse array of influences seemed promising (As Cities Burn, Circa Survive, Verse, Tera Melos, ...Who Calls So Loud), so I accepted the request and then forgot about them for a long time, since, well, MySpace is becoming the red-headed stepchild of social networks.

Cut to yesterday. I came across the band browsing Caravels' page and their name jogged my memory. Since that initial add, the band has posted a very solid four-song demo for free download (you can acquire that here) and posted up two newer songs that are even more impressive. Think Comadre's singer fronting a more pensive and brooding act, with plenty of moody atmospheres and cathartic tension and release. If you listen to one song, let it be their new one, "For Joy." It's on their aforementioned MySpace.

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Editors' Picks: Sainthood Reps / The Republic of Wolves

Posted by brian on Saturday, August 22, 2009 at 1:00 PM (EDT)
Brian: With anticipation for Brand New's Daisy continuing to mount (and the release date exactly a month away), I thought today to be appropriate to showcase a couple related projects I've been feeling recently.

One is Long Island duo Sainthood Reps, who just recently debuted some material on their MySpace page. One of the two guys is Derrick Sherman, who acts as third guitarist for Brand New on most tours. If you're into this style of delicately atmospheric and progressive yet rather heady indie rock (sprouting up thanks to fellow acts like Robbers and Prawn), check them out. It's fairly pensive and earnest sounding stuff and seems to have a ton of potential.

The other is another Long Island act, the Republic of Wolves, a new side project of indie-folk pair Tigers on Trains (I think these dudes like animals). Without telling TROW, a friend of the band recently leaked snippets of their demos onto YouTube claiming they were Daisy demos. I don't think the band was too pleased with the stunt, but it certainly fooled a lot of people and garnered them a ton of publicity in the process. So, yeah, they sure sound quite a bit like Brand New, but I'd say their style mostly leans close to those leaked batch of demos from early 2006. There are some moments of brilliant restraint in their songs and I'd love to see where they can take this. Check them out on their MySpace.

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Editors' Picks: Boost

Posted by brian on Sunday, August 9, 2009 at 12:30 PM (EDT)
BoostBrian: I saw these guys open for Bridge and Tunnel at an apartment show a month or two ago and they fit in the lineup well in a weird way, while remaining totally their own band. If you like your "punk" really frantic, really noodly and a bit screamy and desperate -- think early Hot Cross or the more dynamic L'antietam stuff -- Boost is a good way to go. As far as I can tell, the band has thus far released a cassette split with a band called Fine Lines, and a three-song summer tour CD-R. If you like what you hear on their MySpace, feel free to download their brief discography here free of charge. They're seemingly on a brief hiatus until spring 2010 (college kids?), but it would definitely be cool to see where they take this sound next.

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Editors' Picks: Restorations

Posted by brian on Sunday, June 21, 2009 at 12:00 PM (EDT)
Brian: Restorations feature three-fifths of gruff, quirky post-hardcore revivalists Jena Berlin. While similarities between the two are present enough to bridge the gap for JB fans, there are plenty of atmospheric flourishes and a wonderful restraint to Restorations' procedure to sensibly warrant them being their own truly unique and self-standing project. You can hear hints of admitted influences like Lucero and the Weakerthans in there, but there's a surprising sparkle in the guitars that reaches far past any home/prarie-land punk acts. I like to think of them as what might've happened if Polar Bear Club took it in another whole direction after their demo release (that just woke mikexdude up from his Sunday nap).

I probably should have featured them a long time ago, but something recently jogged my memory and I noticed they finally had legitimate songs on their MySpace page after a long period of only providing live YouTube videos. They've been active for over a year, but no real demo or release has seemed to surface; here's to hoping they get their asses in gear while JB continues resting.

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Editors' Picks: Greater Visions

Posted by brian on Sunday, June 14, 2009 at 12:00 PM (EDT)
Brian: I have no idea when Greater Visions formed (late last year?), who they might cite as influences (Fairweather? Polar Bear Club? Stay Gold? Fuck if I know at this point) or if they have ex-members of any other notable bands (they sound too accomplished not to). But they friend-requested me on MySpace a few days ago and are surprisingly pretty fucking good. And you know those random friend requests; they're usually pretty disastrous. If you only listen to one of the two songs on their MySpace page, let it be "My Fight Club"; their vocalist sort of sounds like the dude from Fireworks at first, but the music is arrestingly atmospheric, definitely dynamic and suddenly throws in a few shocking changes before launching into more straightforward, melody-tinged hardcore territory. I can't gauge any information on this band other than the fact that they're looking for a guitarist and may have released an EP earlier this year (I asked if they had a demo or anything available and they decided not to respond). But still, this is really, really promising stuff and I'm curious as to what their deal is.

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Editors' Picks: Disguster

Posted by adam on Saturday, April 25, 2009 at 12:00 PM (EDT)
The Punknews Twitter account has become a great way to keep in touch with readers, and it's starting to provide some great feedback from folks who read the site but don't necessarily participate in the usual comment fray. Here's a recommendation that was tweeted our way. Fullerton, California's Disguster plays, fast, rough rock'n'roll in the vein of the New Bomb Turks or the Dragons. The band recently released a split with the ex-Humpers act the Hitchhikers (with whom Disguster shares a drummer) via Zodiak Killer Records and have a gig coming up supporting the Angry Samoans in Anaheim. Check their stuff out over at MySpace.

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Editors' Picks: Daylight

Contributed by inagreendase. Posted by adam on Sunday, March 22, 2009 at 11:40 AM (EDT)
Brian: I know, we haven't done one of these in a while, but I finally got really inspired to post one up. Set Your Goals posted a bulletin on Friday night with some updates and casually recommended a friends' band. That band, Daylight, is pretty fucking good. Further proving Pennsylvania is absolutely killing it this last year or so (see Title Fight, Tiger's Jaw, Balance & Composure, etc. etc.), Daylight play the type of gruff but emotional punk rock with double-time licks that newer bands like Polar Bear Club and Transit are operating on full-scale. And they seem to do a damn good job of it. You can grab their five-song demo for free here, but if you're impatient, stream it at their MySpace page.

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Editors' Picks: Thousandaires, Tellison

Contributed by inagreendase. Posted by aubin on Saturday, November 8, 2008 at 3:00 PM (EST)
Brian: Usually, "members of" information doesn't really provide any insight into what a band actually sounds like. However, Thousandaires not only comprise of members from Bridge and Tunnel, Halo Fauna and Get Bent, but they actually resemble a potent, smooth blend of all those bands. Brooklyn videographer punx If You Make It recently posted a veritable wealth of releases for free download, one of which is Thousandaires' three-song demo. Don't let it get lost in the shuffle -- you can download it in a ZIP file here.

Aubin: Tellison's record is a relatively old one having been released in 2007, but it remains one of my surprise favorites - at least according to iTunes. The young band takes the sound of 90s-era emo, channeling both The Promise Ring and Braid along with a strong rock foundation. They have some terrific songs posted on their myspace page, but if you have to pick two, go with "Gallery" and "Reader."

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Editors' Picks: Heathers / The Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir

Contributed by inagreendase. Posted by adam on Saturday, June 21, 2008 at 8:00 PM (EDT)
Brian: Heathers are Irish twin sisters playing delectable, indie pop-basted folk that not only sounds like Tegan and Sara on paper, but CD as well. They seem to harken back to T&S's earlier days, but with more effective songwriting and the upbeat candor and constant uptempo jangle that actually makes them a decent fit on Plan-It-X. That's right, those overcutesy DIY punks are helping the siblings by releasing the duo's delicious full-length, Here, Not There., in the US. If the comparison piques your interest, definitely head over to their MySpace page where you can stream three songs.

Adam: Calgary's Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir is one of my absolute favourite bands, and I'll recommend 2003's St. Hubert or 2005's Fighting and Onions at the drop of a hat. The four piece churns out often rowdy, often dark tunes that are ostensibly roots music but far better suited for a dingy rock bar than a folk festival. Commentators have been apt at coming up with influences like Appalachian folk, delta blues, swamp country and ragged gospel. The accuracy of those tags is pretty suspect, but it sure sounds awesome. The obviously amused band recently commented "People will probably continue to describe us with nouns like moonshine, potato sacks, hobo campfire, and caveman." Figure it out for yourself at MySpace by playing "Oh Sorrow" and "Buried Them In Water." Give the new track "Never Go Home" a spin as well, it's from the band's new record Ten Thousand which was just released.

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Editors' Picks: Editor's Picks: Carpenter, Eli “Paperboy” Reed

Contributed by inagreendase. Posted by jesse on Saturday, June 14, 2008 at 4:00 PM (EDT)
Brian: Vancouver's Carpenter have one huge collective mancrush on John Cougar Mellencamp. Seriously. Look at their MySpace page. Whether it's ironic or not, a certain level of down-home Americana certainly comes through in an otherwise melodic and fluid punk rock sound, and consequently, those who fell in love with last year's Marriage by Attack in Black should quite easily flock to Carpenter's new album, Law of the Land. The album was released this past Tuesday via Smallman Records. If you need more motivation to check them out, perhaps it'll pique your interest to know their alumnus includes By a Thread, All State Champion and Daggermouth.

Jesse: The words "soul revivalist" usually tend to conjure shudders and shrugs amongst music nerds, along with utterances of "Amy Winehouse?" from the masses. But there's a new boy in town by the name of Eli "Paperboy" Reed who's music rings true to the soul, R&B, and Spectorish pop of the late 50s and early 60s. With a slew of tracks up on the boy's MySpace page, one would think it would be hard to pick a favie; not so, however, as "Take My Love With You" takes the cake (incidentally, this is the cake I brought for an 'Org editor's picnic, sorry dudes, it's been stolen). Starting out with a shrieking howl and some bluesy riffs, the song breaks down into one of the most hip-shakin'-est tracks of the decade. And he's pretty easy on the eyes too.

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