WKDU Picks: 2020 Selects

Our smooth blend of 2020 selects have notes of electronic, slowcore, hip hop and powerviolence, among other delicious genres. Perouse our list, keeping in mind these albums have been hand selected to best suit the taste of true enjoyers and listeners of music. As you read through our list, please note the DJs associated with their pick. Although they may enjoy a range of music, one may expect these albums to make an appearance on their show. Pair these albums with friends, a candlelit dinner, or scaring off fascists. We at WKDU hope you enjoy our delicately chosen selection.

Bart Jaskulski // General Manager 

NO – Boris

https://boris.bandcamp.com/album/no

I wanted to finally dip my feet into the genre of metal this year, and NO was such a great album to start that out with! I’ve heard little about them before this album and I regret not finding them sooner. A killer, raging album from start to finish, no track disappoints. Fave track: Anti-Gone

Inner Song – Kelly Lee Owens

https://kellyleeowens.bandcamp.com/album/inner-song

This album surprised me with how it combines genres together! One track will sound like a “dreamy electro” sort of song, and the next track can go into a moody house+techno combo. The whole project is so satisfying to listen to. Fave track: Night

WHAT WE DREW – Yaeji

https://kraejiyaeji.bandcamp.com/album/what-we-drew

Yaeji went towards a more relaxing setting with this album, but it still makes way for some heavier tracks. Listened to this album a bunch during the Spring and Summer and it really set a good mood. Fave track: WHEN I GROW UP

DEEWEE Sessions, Vol. 1 – Soulwax

https://emssynthi100.bandcamp.com/album/deewee-sessions-vol-01

A side project from Soulwax, they created a roughly 30 min album with a sound that is unlike theirs. Think of Jean Michel-Jarre blended with Soulwaxes’ unique mixing and that’s what makes this album. Fave track: Movement 6

Derek Hengemihle // Station Manager

Something Nothing – Clothesline from Hell

https://clothesline.bandcamp.com/

Latest release from a Toronto DIY artist, lots of murky acoustic tracks with hints of somber prog rock influences in the likes of Pinback and Elliot Smith and Sebadoh.

The Three EP – Pulsr

https://pulsr3000.bandcamp.com/

Debut release from a trio based in New Haven, CT. Comprised of members and collaborators from beloved CT bands like waveform* and sundots, this is an exciting sneak peak of the swirling rock tracks to come from this powerhouse of a band.

Moral Panics – Peel Dream Magazine

https://peeldreammagazine.bandcamp.com/album/moral-panics

An early 2020 release from NYC’s Joe Stevens. A hearty tribute to 90’s dream pop legends like Stereolab and Yo La Tengo complete with driving harmonies and tight drum tracks.

Brooklyn Fellner // PR Director

Kiss My Superbowl Ring- The Garden

https://thegardenmusic.bandcamp.com/

I think this is the best album to come out this whole year…. Or literally any year that I have been alive. It is unapologetically angry, fun and genre switching. You can literally listen to it all the time, anywhere and scare everyone but also leave them intrigued.

A Country Western (Self Titled) – A Country Western

https://acountrywestern.bandcamp.com/album/a-country-western

Slowcore has never sounded so gritty yet romantic. This nostalgic genre of choice was incorporated into the album which was created completely over quarantine by two of WKDU’s DJs (no bias here, I swear). Hit Derek and Garret up for a tape and get engulfed by the hypnotic bass tones and cryptically delightful lyrics. 

Perfect Break- Squat!

https://squatmusic.bandcamp.com/album/perfect-break

This is a lovely surf album released by some lovely Jersey people. A surf album is what we needed at the end of the summer of no fun. It leaves a hopeful taste in everyone’s mouths, remembering sunny days at the beach and excitement for the future when we can roadtrip to this album on full blast. 

Madeline Avarese // Program Director

Charm and Mirror – Kitty

https://kitty.bandcamp.com/

Ok so not a full album but EP, but I definitely danced to this in my room while getting ready 🙂

Perception is/as/of Deception – ADULT.

https://adultmusic.bandcamp.com/album/perception-is-as-of-deception

The first song I heard off of this album was Why Always Why through one of our new DJ’s songs during her on air test. After listening to the rest of the album much later it is definitely the electronic pick-me-up I needed with Second Nature and Controlled By being my second and third favorite songs off of this album.

This is my Beloved – Mort Garson (single)

https://mortgarson.bandcamp.com/album/music-from-patch-cord-productions

I found this song through someone who I liked and honestly it is the cutest little romance song for 2020. Hints of video game-like sounds add a nice touch!

Cameron Vickens // Development Director

Alfredo – Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist

“God made sell crack so I’d have something to rap about.” Freddie Gibbs is the gram that finds himself in the pocket of Alan The Chemist’s instrumentals on Alfredo. This album is the fusion of elite lyricism and perfectly warm, cohesive, and tightly stitched beats. Alfredo is a crystal clear lens into the backstory of Freddie Kane and is the unintentional blueprint to the sound of the hip hop revivalist movement.

F*** The World – Brent Faiyaz

F*** The World provides a small peek into the world of Brent Faiyaz characterized by excess, luxury, and Earthly pleasures over a landscape of smooth, sultry instrumentals. “…Some of the qualities that make up the people that relate to my music is like an empathetic narcissism or attention to detail and over-indulgent personality when it comes to sex and drugs. And if you get it, you get it because you live it.”

SAD (She Already Decided) – Smino

SAD hearkens back to a time when mixtapes were comprised of rappers spitting over contemporary, popular instrumentals with originals sprinkled throughout the project. Smino gives new life to beats from the early 2000s and 2020 with standout originals and remixes from Groove and Phoelix. This project feels like Shasta Tiki Punch washing down a bag of Red Hot Riplets. It feels like a freshly oiled scalp. Pass the most(k)accioli.

Ioana Racu // New Member Coordinator , PSA Director

SAWAYAMA – Rina Sawatama

One of the best pop albums of 2020. Every time I was sad, I would listen to this album and I would instantly feel better. XS is the first song I am going to play at a party post-corona

Nightmare Vacation- Rico Nasty

I have been really into hyperpop this year and Rico Nasty dropped one of the most creative albums of the year.

Charli XCX- how i’m feeling now

Another hyper pop album that talked about quarantine and it was released at the perfect time. Charli XCX has the perfect combo of extremely energetic instrumental and meaningful relatable lyrics.

Dominick Baglivo // Music Director

Kiss My Super Bowl Ring – The Garden

https://thegardenmusic.bandcamp.com/

On their fourth studio album, The Garden absolutely excel at what they have always done best—getting weird as fuck. Following up 2018’s Mirror Might Steal Your Charm, which saw the duo of Wyatt and Fletcher Shears adopt jester aesthetics, the two have now enlisted the help of what can only be described as green goblins. Whether you credit the green goblins or natural artistic progression for this is up to your discretion, but there is no doubt The Garden have never embodied their own artistic vision of “vada vada” as well as they do on Kiss My Super Bowl Ring.

From The Garden’s website, “Vada Vada is a term that represents total freedom of expression without boundaries or guidelines of any sort.” If we are discussing the boundaries of Kiss My Super Bowl Ring, let’s be very clear—there are none. The album starts out rather tame for the duo with lead single, “Clench to Stay Awake”, which—save for a mildly chaotic midsection—describes feelings of helplessness and subsequent struggles to cope over light instrumentation. From there, Kiss My Super Bowl Ring quickly transforms into the most impressive musical clusterfuck you might ever hear, in which The Garden seemingly knows nothing and everything at once.

Synth-heavy, bass-heavy, loaded with screams, Kiss My Super Bowl Ring thrives off of chaos and unpredictability, shifting from one extreme to another at a moment’s notice. Perhaps the biggest surprise, and a shining example of the duo’s unpredictability, is the extent to which they have incorporated more aspects of electronic music to their already eclectic sound. Littered throughout the track list, most notably “Sneaky Devil” and “Please, Fuck Off”, you can find instances where the song evolves into or simply is based around breakbeats and drum ‘n’ bass. The duo’s willingness to experiment has always been their calling card, and they appear to have mastered it on Kiss My Super Bowl Ring by injecting electronic music into their musical backbone of fiery and chaotic punk.

N O D R E A M – Jeff Rosenstock

https://jeffrosenstock.bandcamp.com/album/no-dream

Jeff Rosenstock’s fourth solo studio album, N O  D R E A M, continues his streak of creating chant-worthy pop punk hits. Subtlety is largely out the window as Rosenstock comes crashing in and never lets off the gas, creating short and punchy tracks that directly address issues he has always stood for throughout his lengthy career. 

Looking back through Jeff Rosenstock’s catalog – whether that’s with The Arrogant Sons of Bitches, Bomb the Music Industry, his prior solo efforts, or any number of his side projects and collaborations – you will almost always find lyrics that are shrouded in uncertainty and anxiety. Rosenstock has never hesitated to offer political takes in his music either, as they are inevitably linked to the feelings of existential dread he is constantly dwelling on. On N O  D R E A M, these feelings of uncertainty and confusion feel more pressing than ever, both in his lyrics and the context in which they were released.

In 2016, we got WORRY., the aptly-titled record addressing the corporatization of society, our growing dependence on technology, increasing levels of gentrification, police brutality, and more…all the while having been released just a month prior Donald Trump’s election as president. Talk about things to be anxious about. January 1st, 2018 saw Rosenstock surprise release POST-, ringing in the new year with an album that directly addressed the fallout of said election and the subsequent hopelessness it evoked in much of America.

Four years removed from WORRY., it would be hard to argue that N O  D R E A M — based off title alone ­– paints a brighter picture. While certainly packaged beautifully with catchy hooks, infectious energy, and colorful instrumentals, the core of N O  D R E A M consists of an overwhelming sense of helplessness and frustration.

The title track features Jeff shouting the words, “The only framework capitalism can thrive in is dystopia,” which ultimately functions as an overarching theme for the album. In Rosenstock’s eyes, and in the eyes of many, the current structures that exist have failed to protect us and have failed to provide for us. Systemic inequality, abuse of power, and widespread injustice are constantly occurring around all of us, and we have continually failed to make progress against these issues. And while Rosenstock’s gripes against structural issues (capitalism) are plenty, the kicker of N O  D R E A M, and what makes it so relatable is his ability to reflect on his own apathy. Getting out of bed is a struggle of its own, but how do you muster up the energy to fight back against a system designed to discourage you from doing so? Rosenstock does not seem to have the answers, and maybe no one does. But if you feel similarly to Rosenstock, the revolution will be worth the fight.

Heaven to a Tortured Mind – Yves Tumor

https://yves-tumor.bandcamp.com/album/heaven-to-a-tortured-mind

Yves Tumor’s fourth studio album, Heaven to a Tortured Mind, is an ambitious genre-bending record that only further solidifies them as one of the more innovative artists of recent years. The follow up to 2018’s Safe in the Hands of Love sees them adopt a more lavish and elegant aesthetic as they build upon sounds of traditional pop with the fusion of psychedelic soul and glam rock. Throughout Heaven to a Tortured Mind, Yves weaves through hazy, soulful, and extravagant instrumentals—delivering impassioned vocal performances that detail stories of love and desire.

Pain Olympics – Crack Cloud

https://crackcloud.bandcamp.com/album/pain-olympics

Pain Olympics is the debut album from Vancouver-based, DIY collective Crack Cloud. Most of the members met each other through recovery programs amidst Canada’s rising opioid crisis — something they have openly embraced and incorporated into the ethos of their work.

“Based On True Shit” is a reoccurring phrase that you’ll find in each of their recent music videos and on the artwork for the album’s singles. The more you listen to their music, the more you hear the message they’re conveying on Pain Olympics, the more that indicator almost feels unnecessary. It doesn’t need to be said, you can simply feel it and hear it at every turn.

Pain Olympics has a chaotic nature to it that feels like a calculated representation of what can only be described as troubling times, brought to you by those who have battled some of the worst of them. Crack Cloud loses a smidge of their intensity and is significantly less jarring on their debut LP when compared to their previous work, but they trade this for a more refined and purposeful sound.

Pinning down genre identifiers to this can get a bit murky and feels rather redundant — post-punk, art punk, experimental rock, whatever. Across 8 tracks, Pain Olympics manages to sound jarring and abrasive, raucous and chaotic, bouncy and danceable, dark and depressing, beautiful and uplifting — covering so much ground in less than 30 minutes and often incorporating a trifecta of these descriptors in any given track.

This album is about pain, addiction, the failures and abuse of those with power and so much more — it is about all the fucked up and very real shit that often feels out of control. There’s no question. But at the heart of Pain Olympics is the search for acceptance and inner peace. And it is very much a reflection of many of the members’ experiences in recovery programs, both as former addicts and as current frontline workers amidst an overlooked crisis.

And if we are to learn anything from their teachings, it is the importance of collective togetherness and supporting one another through our struggles. In the darkest of times, show compassion and show empathy.

Kirby Bell / Alumni Liaison, Philly Haps Director

In This House – Lewsberg

https://lewsberg.bandcamp.com/album/in-this-house

Okay let’s get this out of the way – yes, this band sounds A LOT like the Velvets. You could even say they are derivative AF and you would not be wrong. However, unlike a lot of the VU’s acolytes, Lewsberg (Rotterdam, Netherlands) actually channel that vibe (think the VU’s post-Cale work) to the point where you forget about comparisons and just groove along. While never scaling the heights of the VU (few, if any, bands do) you will find yourself listening to this album only to arrive at the end and saying “Dang, it’s over already?” RIYL: VU/Lou Reed, Cate Le Bon, Television

Brain Drugs – Brain Drugs

https://braindrugs.bandcamp.com/album/brain-drugs

Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, the duo of Pete Warden (drums, percussion) and Michael Beach (guitar, keyboards) have made an all instrumental album that is cerebral, trance inducing, and (at times) mysterious. RIYL: Terry Riley, Eno, Kraftwerk

A Golden Brain – Kraus

https://ultraeczema.bandcamp.com/album/a-golden-brain

A one man band from New Zealand, Kraus, makes psychedelic electronic music for the 21st century. A Golden Brain is an all instrumental album that meshes analog synths, tape loops, drum machines with standard rock instrumentation (guitar, bass, drums) to produce music that is ambient (with a tinge of rock), but that also rewards deeper listening. Like peeling away the layers of an artichoke to get to heart, A Golden Brain, reveals more with each listen. RIYL: Eno, Pierre Henry, Suzanne Ciani

Amy Carson // New Member Coordinator, Librarian

What’s Tonight to Eternity – Cindy Lee

https://cindylee.bandcamp.com/album/whats-tonight-to-eternity

This album feels like it was made for me. Somehow perfectly blending the sounds of 60’s girl groups, harsh guitar noise and feedback, and John Carpenter-esque synths, the end result is an album that is haunting, beautiful, ominous, and deeply sincere all at once. It makes me feel like I am dancing alone in the dark, smoky bar of a run-down 60’s desert motel at 10 pm, blissfully unaware that I am about to be murdered in the next 20 minutes, and I mean that as the highest of compliments.

Island – Owen Pallett

https://owenpallett.bandcamp.com/album/island

Owen Pallett is one of my favorite musicians of all time. Even though their hands have seemingly been in every indie project with strings over the past 20 years, Island was dropped after a 6 year hiatus from recording solo work. The songs balance the lush, orchestral string arrangements Pallett is known for with intimate songwriting and delicate, fingerpicked guitar The whole album feels like a retrospective of their past work, spanning back to the Final Fantasy days and up to their more modern scoring work, and they even bringing back the character of Lewis from 2010’s Heartland. And while it’s definitely an album you just have to sit down and listen though in one shot, Fire Mare (version) is by far my favorite individual song released this past year.

Various Artists – Louis Wayne Moody High

https://cabinetofcuriosities.bandcamp.com/album/louis-wayne-moody-high

Numero Group compilations are always a treat, often focusing on capturing specific feelings rather than just a time or place. A compilation of songs recorded by high school garage bands from the 60s and early 70s, the songs are all catchy and full of amateur charm. However, instead of the poppy dance tracks the niche is known for, the songs on Moody High all have an underlying theme of sadness, loneliness, and heartbreak that can only be expressed with such earnestness when you’re a teenager. Haunting, genuine, and danceable (in that sort of sad, swaying way), it really is a testament to the wisdom of youth.

David Juro // Production Engineer

Live Forever – Bartees Strange

https://barteesstrange.bandcamp.com/album/live-forever

This debut album is the manifesto of a proud Black artist in an overwhelmingly white indie scene, bucking simple genre descriptions and pulling no punches. Bartees experiments with styles ranging from indie to hardcore to hip-hop to house as means for expressing his unique voice and often gritty production style, hooking listeners from start to finish.

Songs – Adrianne Lenker

https://adriannelenker.bandcamp.com/album/songs

Even though it’s musically bare and stripped back, featuring only Lenker’s voice, acoustic guitar and minimal shaker percussion, this album is hypnotic. It’s lyrics are introspective, personal, and sometimes surreal, while the guitars are constantly weaving a melodic tapestry. All this paints a haunting, lonely, and intoxicating picture.

Long Haired Locusts – Godcaster

https://godcaster.bandcamp.com/album/long-haired-locusts

Godcaster committed their frenetic and dynamic musical chemistry to tape with this exciting debut record. Their brand of funky psych rock, showing off commanding vocal performances, propulsive rhythms, and gorgeous harmonic textures, makes me REALLY miss the carefree fun of packed house shows.

Moveys – Slow Pulp

https://slowpulp.bandcamp.com/album/moveys

I was waiting for this debut LP from Slow Pulp for a while, and it was a great addition to their shoegazey indie rock catalogue.

Jahred the Mutt Shares Video for “Shadows”: Watch

“P’s on our caps, we look so good in bright orange”

Image is from Astronaut Club

By Antonio Young

Philadelphia rapper Jahred the Mutt (MADDOGG collaborator) has shared the music video “Shadows.”

With footage compiled by Zeke Scorsese from over eight years of Sweet Chunk prosperity, Jahred offers a retrospective on the lighter times before the COVID-19 epidemic.

Earlier this year, Jahred debuted with his solo endeavor “Prayers for a Hungry Dog” after recording with Darryl Jenifer (of Bad Brains) at his home studio in upstate New York.

Prayers for a Hungry Dog came out in April of 2020 via Sweet Chunk

ARTIST PROFILE: SADIST PINK

Interview by Sam Spencer

With the drop of Sadist Pink’s debut album Dolorem Ipsum, I got a chance to do a little Q&A with him about what it’s like to be making and releasing music while the world continues to cave in on itself. 

Firstly how are you and what have you been spending your time doing amidst this pandemic shit?

I’ve been doing good, thanks. Most of the time I’m catching up on schoolwork and just generally worrying about the state of the world or being misanthropic, so nothing too far from the usual, I guess. In my free time, I’m going into work alone at the local community garden and reading a bunch. Aside from being far from friends, I’m very appreciative of how lucky and safe I’ve been.

How do you feel about dropping a project right now?

There’s a little guilt about the timing…it’s a wild feeling to be promoting my work at a time like this. But simultaneously, this album is all about the ‘end of the world’ ideas and emotions that I’m usually dealing with, so it also feels like there’s no better time to release these songs.

Where are you from originally/where do you live now?

I’m from Trenton, New Jersey and that’s where I’m at right now.

What kind of music scene did you get introduced to early on? And who put you on?

I started just going to Philly noise and DIY shows a while back in high school, but I haven’t been deep into that recently, I guess. It’s a long-ish drive from Trenton. I guess I just stumbled into it.

When did you start making music?

I’ve been making my own music since around 2013-ish, but I’ve been playing instruments since I was young.

What did your first stuff sound like? How much has it changed since then and how so?

My earlier stuff was definitely way less put together. I was working off GarageBand and just fucking around with an amphead and a looper pedal in my room. It was all very glitchy and slow and dark, so I guess my stuff’s gotten more formal and less repetitive, but I’ve really been down for the same general vibe.

What is your creative process like?

It sometimes starts on the piano in my house or a guitar, where I might come up with a melody, but usually, it just gets going on my laptop. I usually just post up in Logic software for a couple hours on the porch and just work on a beat and vocals. I come up with something I like and then let it sit for months on my computer before I ever re-record vocals on my microphone upstairs. It’s a long process with no guarantee of success. I’ve got way too much music just sitting on hard drives. Maybe I’m just lazy.

Tell me about your name.

I just liked the sound of the two words together. It’s jarring but pretty.

When people listen to Dolorem Ipsum, what kind of environment do you suggest they be in?

Hmm… I think being on public transit on a rainy day makes this project sound 10 times better but I suggest they dodge that fare tho.

Was there a conceptual bottom line going into this new project?

Going into this project I was thinking a lot about how I feel very chaotic inside most days and I almost always see that chaos mirrored by the outside world. It’s such a struggle to see beauty in the world’s violence. I’m always wondering what finding peace looks like in a broken world and if that peace will always just be escapism or ignorance. And how do we justify finding that peace? Imma stop myself before I start a philosophical monologue.

Do you feel like you achieved it?

Very much so.

How long did this project take?

It’s been a while. At least a year or so now.

What role does music play in your life right now?

Music is and has always been a great place for me to process what I feel and think. It gives me ways to dissect myself and the world around me that I think are crucially important. Only recently have I been thinking about how others relate to my music, which is weird because it’s always been such a personal experience for me.

Who are you inspired / who do you listen to at the moment?

My mom was always bumping Sade when I was young so I think she’s my biggest influence for sure, and then there were Bjork and Toro y Moi too. These days I’ve been listening to lots of Yves Tumor, Ecco2k, Jessica Pratt, and Oneohtrix Point Never. 

Who did the cover art? I’m a fan

Thanks, it’s just something I threw together.

Do you have a favorite track on it?

I think ‘Esc’ sums the project up the best. 

Where can people listen/stream when it drops?

The album’s up on Spotify and Apple Music but there’s also a music video for ‘Of Desire’ up on YouTube.

Can we look forward to any shows or live performances when things calm down?

Ahhh, I’ll give that a maybe. That shit makes me mad anxious, but we’ll see. 

Any shout outs or last words?

Shoutout to my friends for their love, and Noam Chomsky. Plus shoutout to you for this interview, right?

Chunky Shrapnel: A Movie-esque Review

By Bartek Jaskulski

As we approach our second month during our surreal quarantine, we’ve come to quickly adapt to our surroundings. This includes a number of changes within the industry, whether it be grocery stores, school systems, and even our national parks. One specific industry that has taken a massive hit from this is the music industry. In times where concerts have been delayed for the foreseeable future, artists have to quickly adjust themselves on how to bring a “live experience” to their fans. While some of these artists took the approach of performing for Minecraft festivals (a completely real and surreal experience), others have taken the approach of creating movies for listeners to enjoy in the comfort of their home, a “straight to DVD” experience per se. One prime example of this is the band “King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard”, if their brand new movie “Chunky Shrapnel”.

King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard (also referred to as simply King Gizz) is a psychedelic rock band of 7 people originating from Australia. When looking up the band through a Google search, the group is labelled as a psychedelic rock band, although their last two albums from 2019 proves to show that they are anything but that in recent years. Starting off 2019 with their album “Fishing for Fishies,” the album starts off showing us what they’re capable of in the blues/boogie rock area. As it progresses, the album slowly deforms into a much darker, “synthier” style as seen in Arcanine and Cyboogie. Later on in the year, the band released a second album by the name of “Infest the Rats’ Nest”, which comes off of a completely different spectrum of what “Fishing for Fishies” was. Bringing on the genres of thrash and metal, the group manages to bring a cohesive look on their take of the heavy genres. This brings us to “Chunky Shrapnel”, a movie showcasing the band through their tour of Europe in 2019.

“Chunky Shrapnel” was originally to be shown in select cinemas throughout the globe, but due to the pandemic they took on a different approach. Starting on April 17th at 6 PM, the band released the movie on Vimeo exclusively for only 24 hours, making this seem much more like a grand premiere. The film is a prime way to experience the thrill of attending a King Gizz concert and it could not have come at a better time. In addition to this, a live album will be released on April 24, showcasing many of the songs performed throughout the film as well as adding on songs that have not been heard before.

Not only was it fan-fulfilling to watch this film concert, but it was also pleasurable to see that the whole piece was recorded on Kodak film and it shows. The raw nature of film could be seen greatly throughout the movie, especially within the shots of the band performing throughout pieces such as “Murder of The Universe” and “Planet B”. The colors especially tend to stand out during these times, giving a warm, fuzzy feeling to the viewer as the show goes on.

Although the movie brings much to the viewer, it can also be said that there’s not much that you can experience if you have already. Coming from a person that has seen them live at Franklin Music Hall this past August, the movie reminisces of those times. The film starts us off with the killer entrance of the song “Self-Immolate”, reliving it the same way back in August. “Murder of The Universe” was also a outstanding thriller within the film, as well as Ambrose’s dive into “Let Me Mend The Past”. These two were also songs that very well stood out to me back at the Franklin Music Hall, but I am in no way complaining to relive it once more.

Chunky Shrapnel was coincidentally brought to us in a time where we have to stay put and make radical changes to even our ways of enjoying ourselves, such as seeing live shows once again. This fills parts of the gap for us, letting us experience a truly blunt, gritty King Gizzard concert. Fans will find themselves indulging in many aspects of the film that they greatly favor, whereas bringing a great experience to people beginning to sink their toes into the world that is King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard.

Chunky Shrapnel comes out digitally on April 24th. It will also be out on vinyl on May 18th.

color theory by Soccer Mommy Review

by Lukas Da Silva

image of Soccer Mommy promoting her new album, color theory, from npr.org

Sophia Regina Allison, aka Soccer Mommy, has been putting in a lot of work these past couple years to make her own place in the music scene. She has been doing everything from putting out single after single to touring all around the world in an attempt to get her name out. Now with her new album, color theory coming out, she has finally cemented herself as a staple of the indie scene right now. This album was a great success that not only built upon what she created on her previous albums, but also improved on it with new elements on her instrumentation and lyricism. With a clearer sound and focus, beautiful instrumentation that sounds even richer than her previous work, and her unique and instantly recognizable vocals, Soccer Mommy has presented us with an album that is truly a culmination of years of work. 

From songs such as “circle the drain” to “lucy”, Allison brings back the passionate and emotion filled lyricism from her previous works such as For Young Hearts while enriching the instrumental sounds she touched on in past songs. Hitting heavy topics such as her mother’s terminal illness, her own mental health, and the happiness lost as you slowly become an adult, Allison seems to be showing off the growth she has gained since becoming an artist and making her debut album.

As you listen to this album, expect to hear a wide variety of sounds that Allison has cultivated over the years, as some of the best tracks from this album are sure to stick with you even weeks after listening to them. The infectious and ear catching “circle the drain,” with its 2000’s sounding instrumentals, is sure to leave you humming it long after it ends. The melancholy inducing “royal screw up,” with its soft drumwork and pensive lyrics, leaves listeners questioning their own insecurities. Finally, the tear-jerking ode to Allison’s mother “yellow is the color of her eyes” is a tribute to the pain caused by terminal illness. These songs show the broad range of emotions and ideas the album has while still maintaining a consistently beautiful sound. These songs are some of the best that Soccer Mommy has ever put out and it’s easy to hear the amount of time and work that was put in each track. While these three songs might be the best of the album, that doesn’t mean the album is lacking in the other songs. Each song tells its own story and further propels you into the mind of Soccer Mommy, so take your time to enjoy this beautiful album.

Kiss My Super Bowl Ring by The Garden

by Dominick Baglivo

Image from https://www.spin.com/2020/02/garden-kiss-my-super-bowl-ring-album/

On their fourth studio album, The Garden absolutely excel at what they have always done best—getting weird as fuck.

Kiss My Super Bowl Ring, the fourth studio album by Orange County duo The Garden, sees them build upon their weirdo-art punk sound to create their most adventurous and impressive output yet. Following up 2018’s Mirror Might Steal Your Charm, which saw the duo of Wyatt and Fletcher Shears adopt jester aesthetics, the two have now enlisted the help of what can only be described as green goblins. Whether you credit the green goblins or natural artistic progression for this is up to your discretion, but there is no doubt The Garden have never embodied their own artistic vision of “vada vada” as well as they do on Kiss My Super Bowl Ring.

From The Garden’s website, “Vada Vada is a term that represents total freedom of expression without boundaries or guidelines of any sort.” If we are discussing the boundaries of Kiss My Super Bowl Ring, let’s be very clear—there are none. The album starts out rather tame for the duo with lead single, “Clench to Stay Awake”, which—save for a mildly chaotic midsection—describes feelings of helplessness and subsequent struggles to cope over light instrumentation. From there, Kiss My Super Bowl Ring quickly transforms into the most impressive musical clusterfuck you might ever hear, in which The Garden seemingly know nothing and everything at once. 

Synth-heavy, bass-heavy, loaded with screams, Kiss My Super Bowl Ring thrives off chaos and unpredictability, shifting from one extreme to another at a moment’s notice. Perhaps the biggest surprise, and a shining example of the duo’s unpredictability, is the extent to which they have incorporated more aspects of electronic music to their already eclectic sound. Littered throughout the track list, most notably “Sneaky Devil” and “Please, Fuck Off”, you can find instances where the song evolves into or simply is based around breakbeats and drum ‘n’ bass. The duo’s willingness to experiment has always been their calling card, and they appear to have mastered it on Kiss My Super Bowl Ring by injecting electronic music into their musical backbone of fiery and chaotic punk.

Injury Reserve at The Foundry

Image from soundcloud.com

By Lukas Da Silva

Injury Reserve played at The Foundry on September 26th and it was a jaw dropping performance. The show started off with the duo “Body Meat,” a group that started as the solo act of Christopher Taylor. He eventually paired up with the drummer named Infinity (named because of his other group “Infinity Dance Complex”) to begin making their post-punk R&B amalgamations. 

This duo really brought their all to the show, creating an atmosphere of unchained imagination and sounds. Taylor was unleashing on the vocals, using autotune to further the crazy energy that he brought with his singing, while Infinity was making some really intricate and unique beats with his electronic drum pads. They blew away everyone in the audience as people looked dumbfounded that you could combine so many different noises and make it sound phenomenal. People looked taken aback by how good of an opening act that Body Meat was.

The second act, “Slauson Malone” was strange to say the least. To describe his music as experimental would be an understatement. The man used barely any lights and used some of the weirdest samples I’ve ever heard. These included flies buzzing and Amazon’s Alexa talking about the end of the world commencing. 

His music contains some of the darkest vocals I’ve heard in a long time and it genuinely scared me at times. 

Then finally, Injury Reserve came on and they brought the house down. The lighting had a chaotic yet controlled feeling that made me think the lighting was its own entity. The beats created by Injury Reserve member, Parker Corey, were so energetic and infectious that it didn’t take long before people were bobbing their heads to the music.

To top it all off, the vocals and flow of both Stepa J. Groggs and Ritchie “With a T” were top notch and filled with intense energy. The group brought so much energy that it didn’t take long before the crowd was moshing and chanting with them.

They had some awesome bangers like “Eeny Meeny Miny Moe”, “Jailbreak The Tesla”, and “Three Man Weave”. By the end of the concert, I felt like I had gone through a very intense workout and was still feeling the rush from it. My body was physically tired from rocking out so hard but mentally, I felt as hyper as ever. I left the concert very satisfied and felt that I had made some memories that would last me a long time. It was easily one of the most energizing shows I had ever experienced.