Justin: Dave House of the promising young UK hardcore outfit the Steal has posted his two solo outings for streaming on his MySpace page. The albums are titled See That No One Else Escapes and Kingston's Current. The albums are available from Banquet Records and are self described as being in the vein of Billy Bragg, the Weakerthans and Death Cab for Cutie. It's hard to argue against that description. The title track from Kingston's Current features an instant sing–a–long while the track "In This Machine" bursts forth with an electronic backdrop straight from the Postal Service's cutting room floor. There's yet to be a US release, but with two solid albums under his belt I can't imagine it will be long.
Brian: To be quite honest, I wasn't huge on Junius's Blood Is Bright EP when first receiving it close to two years ago. However, with the band beginning to heavily eschew the new wave / post–punk textures that resulted in so many comparisons to the Cure and Joy Division, the band straight blew me away opening for frequent tourmates Circle Takes the Square this past week in Brooklyn. Think Jupiter–era Cave In, but more atmospheric and dissonant and with a lesser reliance upon guttural screams, tempered with the band's earlier influences. Check out some music from a compilation of their first two EPs as well as their recently released 7", the epic The Fires of Anteiluvia.
Ben: Crosstown Rivals have been a part of east coast Canada's punk scene for a number of years. Tonight the band will be playing their last show in Fredericton, New Brunswick. While they didn't ever break through into the national spotlight, they did offer themselves as a fairly consistent act in a town that hasn't always drawn touring acts. They played simple pop punk, and while that may no longer be where current tastes lie, it's always nice to fall back on. Check out 'Wellington St.' on the bands MySpace page.