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Record of the Month: Conduit - "Drowning World"

The sheer volume of this album is bound to be a deal-breaker for some listeners; it may even serve to deflect some of the musical variety on offer for those seeking simple guitar rock. Yet for the thoughtful listener there is much to appreciate here. “Saturn,” its opening track,” flutters and screeches, hanging in suspension as any good intro might. “Hypnagog” is the album's full-scale launch, however, pitched somewhere between the muscular metal of the Melvins and the more orthodox hardcore-punk from which this band is clearly spawned. The hybridity is escalated by the song's modulating sections, which shift in rhythm and intensity throughout (and revel in acid-laced deviations of noise and lyrics). “End Times” is built on a minor chord guitar dirge and pounding rhythm, each taken from the Black Sabbath playbook, yet juxtaposed by screamed vocals meant more to confront than to articulate. “Gille de Rais,” a song one assumes is about the French hero of the Hundred Years' War (15th Century), is the closest Conduit comes to modern psychedelic music. Its menacing rhythm gives rise to a thick wall of guitar pedal distortion which skirts the line between post-rock and metal. (The album cover even looks like one by Godspeed! You Black Emperor.) “Parasites” is the closest to straight-up hardcore; yet even here the tension felt in its combination of instruments seems less message-driven, more about the experience. “Zero Days” finishes the LP with a clear almost direct incantation—an oddity in terms of strategy (yet not out of place in the greater context). Shouts of “We cannibalize ourselves!” and “Nature breeds in a vacuum!” seem like surmising statements in what has become, by the end, a visceral expression of the world as it tumbles towards apocalypse. It can be taken as topical—the depressing state of politics; the system as bubonic plague. Yet that would limit the message to politicians and people in power, whereas this seems generally more bleak to me, as if to say: the heart of darkness is an endless well. And if such thoughts make you shudder then be forewarned. Drowning World is not for the faint of heart. But if straight-up truth is your poison then here's the antidote. - Brian Chidester

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New Shannen Moser LP Available for Streaming & Purchase

Let the gentle, acoustic strums and country-tinged hymnals of Shannen Moser's I'll Sing take your weary heart back to the warmth and comfort of home. The reflective nature of each recording carries us to familiar places, opening up a floodgate of feels. Allow them to wash over you. I'll Sing is out now via Lame-O Records, and you can stream and purchase it below. Moser will be performing this Saturday, September 15 at Underground Arts with Okkervil River, and don't miss her co-headlining, dual record release celebration with labelmates Thin Lips on Saturday, September 22 at the First Unitarian Church.

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Ritual Talk releases single "Something To Look Forward To"

Psych-rock outlet Ritual Talk have a new single coming out on September 7th called "Something To Look Forward To". We've highlighted the group before for their layered harmonies and lush soundscapes; "Something To Look Forward To" brings those in full force, backed by the power of Alex DeSimine's voice and his and Dylan Gleit's Frippertronics-style guitars. The synths on the new track create a space-age atmosphere that will carry you away with each listen. To celebrate the new track, the trio performed a release show at Mercury Lounge last night (September 6th); they'll set out on a nationwide tour afterwards which will take them through the next few months. Listen to "Something To Look Forward To" below. - Will Sisskind





Kissing Is A Crime unveil new video featuring Sunflower Bean’s Julia Cumming

Among the tracks on Kissing Is A Crime’s self-titled LP, released by Don Giovani in 2017, “Noise At Night” stands out among the jangly, punk-tinged guitar pop for it’s dark minimalism. The verses are driven by bass and a simple drum beat while lead vocalist Matt Molnar steps back to allow bassist/vocalist Beatrice Rothbaum to take the reins. Kissing Is A Crime’s new video for the single matches the mood of the track perfectly, with director Assal Ghawami providing a dark affair intentionally reminiscent of work by Luis Buñuel and David Lynch. Among the surrealist, frequently black and white imagery Ghawami fits a cameo by Sunflower Bean’s Julia Cumming, who’s been known to join the band from time to time in recordings and live performances. Watch the video for “Noise At Night” below. – Cameron Carr





Uma Bloo "Lullaby" Video

Uma Bloo has released the video for her single “Lullaby”. The video was directed by Violet Royal and is as dark and sultry as Uma Bloo’s vocals.

You can catch her at Hideout on Sept 28th with Seasaw and Dream Version.

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