The So So Glos had a great 2013. They put out our Album Of The Week pick, Blowout, and dropped a series of great music videos including the surreal B-movie adventure of “Wrecking Ball.” Now they have a video for that album’s title track in the form of a chaotic cut-and-paste cartoon that features screaming fans, a pencil-and-paper devil, Street Fighter’s Zangief, and the Beatles. Watch.
These New Puritans’ 2013 LP Field Of Reeds is frequently compared to Talk Talk, in part because of the album’s emotionally shattering and dense neoclassical explorations. Also, though, both bands inspire a similar assumption that their music would be impossible to recreate live. Talk Talk never bothered, and no one can be blamed for expecting the same of TNP. How do you perform songs live when the instrumentation includes gigantic swords clashing, melons being smashed, and an actual hawk? That’s part of what makes this live video, released in anticipation of a few US live dates, so incredible — they found a way. Below you can watch a live performance of Field Of Reeds’ epic centerpiece, “V (Island Song),” displayed on six split screens to capture the entirety of what the band is doing. It’s a performance that only generates more appreciation for the band. Watch it and check out the tour dates below.
Winnipeg’s KEN mode released one of our favorite metal albums of 2013 — the career highlight Entrench — which they toured the fuck out of all year long. They’re gonna spend plenty of 2014 on the road, too, including their current jaunt with Helms Alee and Russian Circles, which winds up at the end of this week in Chicago. They’ve just released a new video for Entrench track “The Terror Pulse”; it’s an animated clip created by Christopher Mills, and as far as I can tell it depicts a nightmare of road life — something that’s gotta be pretty familiar to KEN mode’s collective subconscious by now. Watch and check out tour dates below.
The Michigan punks La Dispute make grand, intense, emotionally wracked post-hardcore without the slightest twinge of self-consciousness, and on their new album Rooms Of The House, they dive headlong into feelings like it was still 1996. La Dispute don’t really fit into the right-this-minute emo revival because their music clangs and bangs too hard, but it mashes some of those same nostalgic buttons while still feeling absolutely vital. We’ve posted the single “Stay Happy There” and the band’s “For Mayor In Splitsville” video, and now you can stream the whole album at Noisey.
Rooms Of The House is out 3/18 on the band’s own Better Living label.
In the January installment of our monthly metal column the Black Market, Stereogum contributor Aaron Lariviere wrote the following of 2014′s then-emerging storylines: “Only one month in, this year should be too young for trends to reveal themselves, but the narrative already looks clear: This is the year of hideous sludge.” Here he was writing specifically about Chicago band Indian, but mentioned in the same breath the forthcoming releases from Thou, Lord Mantis, and Coffinworm.
The Snow is a new supergroup featuring three frontmen of dreamy new wave and post-punk bands: Beach Fossils’ Dustin Payseur, Wild Nothing’s Jack Tatum, and Holograms’ Andreas Lagerström. Their first single together, a Record Store Day release called “Memory Loss,” sounds exactly like you’d think — ethereal haze, gleaming guitar arpeggios, driving melodic bass, steady backbeat, melancholic moan — and it’s as good as you’d expect. Hear it below.
Broken Social Scene is on hiatus right now, but it’s a loosely-defined hiatus; this summer, they’ll headline their Toronto hometown’s Field Trip festival for the second time in two years. But frontman Kevin Drew is still getting busy with his solo career, and next week, he’ll release Darlings, his second album under his own name. We’ve already heard the early tracks “Good Sex” and “Mexican Aftershow Party,” and now the prettily bleary new album is streaming online; listen to it here.
Last week Shaquille O’Neal announced plans for a sequel to his widely panned cult classic 1994 video game, Shaq Fu, funded in part through Indiegogo. The goal behind Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn is ostensibly to redeem the legacy of the original, known for being one of the worst games ever. (Indiegogo tagline: “Shaq Fu returns and this time we won’t FU it up!”) The original Shaq Fu does have its devotees, though, and apparently Wavves’ Nathan Williams and Trash Talk’s Garrett Stevenson are among them. So Interview put the two young punks on the phone with Shaq to discuss this reboot. The musicians are pretty stoked, and Shaq is in PR mode the whole time, but it’s a fun read, and you can read it here.