You Blew It have dropped their exclamation point and announced their next record to be released through Triple Crown Records. If I were to guess from this video, the album is titled Abendrot and will be released on November 11. You Blew It will be touring with Taking Back Sunday this Fall.
Shape Shift With Me has been in heavy rotation for me over the weekend, and the second track is easily one of the most fun and catchiest. Laura Jane Grace captures all the excitement and anxiety of the start of a new relationship. It’s very similar to the Searching for a Former Clarity song “Pretty Girls.” Also, Laura’s calling out Topshop for that $700 Against Me! jacket is punk as fuck.
Beach Slang-“Noisy Heaven”
I thought about including a song from Here, I Made This For You, but with the release of A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings coming up, I’ve been revisiting Beach Slang’s first album.
The Front Bottoms-“Tighten Up”
New Jersey’s The Front Bottoms have sprung two b-sides from Back On Top onto the internet, and it’s fucking awesome. The band will be touring with Brand New and Modern Baseball this Fall, followed by their own Champagne Jam 2016 in New York City. Hopefully this and “Joanie” will be played at each show. It’s classic catchy and bizarre TFB.
Motion City Soundtrack–“Pulp Fiction”
Motion City Soundtrack may have played their final show this weekend, but I’m not ready to let go. This My Dinosaur Life is an easy favorite deep cut from a band that won’t soon be forgotten.
Kendrick Lamar-“m. A. A. D. city”
I’ve been reading Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib’s The Crown Ain’t Worth Much, and his poetry has had me revisiting some of my favorite artists, and I just read his poem “The Author Explains Good Kid, M. A. A. D. City to His White Friend While Driving Through Southeast Ohio.” Music is obviously very important to Abdurraqib, and he pays tribute to everyone from Pete Wentz and Elliot Smith to Drake and Kanye.
Crying-“Wool in the Wash”
I’m getting on the Crying bandwagon a little late, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this track over the weekend. I’ve gone back and listened some of the chip-rock band’s older work, and this is them at their most realized. They have the large soaring video game sounds, but with some of the poppier, jingliest work yet.
The Hold Steady-“Chips Ahoy”
The second of three “Wish I was at Riot Fest” entries, I’m just upset about not seeing The Hold Steady this weekend at Riot Fest, because I missed Riot Fest. The only other options I’m truly bummed about are…
The Misfits-“Hybrid Moments”
Here’s to crossing my fingers for a Misfits tour!
Leonard Cohen-“Chelsea Hotel #2”
Following terrorist attacks in Chelsea, it seems fitting to play this Leonard Cohen cut a gloomy, rainy Monday. It’s been raining in New York, and this mellow song about Janis Joplin is fitting.
During “ProVision L-3,” it seems like Against Me!’s seventh album will be a return to more hardcore punk roots albeit in a bland way. Laura Jane Grace and company shatter that idea by the time Grace sings the opening lines of “12:03.” Against Me! deliver a nice helping of heavy power-pop throughout Shape Shift With Me. If Transgender Dysphoria Blues was a rebirth for the punk outfit, Shape Shift With Me is the band finding steady footing.
Transgender Dysphoria Blues set out for Laura Jane Grace to record her experience as coming out as a trans-woman, and Shape Shift With Me seems to show what Grace’s love life has been like since she came out. She has songs that both show excitement for a new relationship (“12:03,” “Crash”) and others that show anger and grief (“Delicate, Petite & Other Things I’ll Never Be,” “Boyfriend”). The melodic instrumentation is reminiscent of punk rock heavyweights like The Gaslight Anthem or Green Day. Grace’s vocals still cut through everything making some of Against Me!’s most solid music and lyrics.
Laura Jane Grace sings some songs at a mile-a-minute. Tracks like “12:03,” “333” and “Norse Truth” have moments where Laura’s speak-singing style crams in all the words she needs to say. “Delicate, Petite & Other Things I’ll Never Be” is one of the most powerful moments on Shape Shift as it seems to see Grace tackling her gender dysphoria again as she had on Transgender Dysphoria Blues. “Boyfriend” has Grace chastising a lover not to treat her like “some dumb fucking boyfriend,” and you can hear both the anger and lament in her voice. Where most of the early cuts on the album are self-reflective and emotional, the latter tracks of the album take a more lustful approach. “Rebecca” glorifies “just a good couple casual fucks” in a seemingly BDSM relationship, and “Dead Rats” seems to blur the lines between love and lust.
Shape Shift With Me only suffers from the lack of boundaries it pushes. Against Me! have constantly been a band of reinvention, and Shape Shift With Me only succeeds in being a pretty great album. It doesn’t tackle large issues like on Reinventing Axl Rose or Transgender Dysphoria Blues, but Grace’s explorations of personal relationships are still just as enjoyable.
The band’s highly anticipated sophomore album will be released next Friday, but you can listen below via NPR.
Pop-punk darlings, Joyce Manor, have released a sort-of lyric video for “Last You Heard of Me” from Cody. The song is simultaneously sludgy and subdued. Cody will be released October 7.
G.L.O.S.S. are one of the biggest unsigned bands in alternative music. After being offered a deal from Epitaph, the band released this statement:
For those who have been asking: G.L.O.S.S. will not be signing to Epitaph Records. It’s hard to say no to a $20,000 advance and $30,000 to market our album–“marketing” could include buying ourselves a new van, for example–but as Epitaph is distributed by Warner Music Group, we can’t ethically partner with them.
I would be lying if I said that this isn’t tempting or that it’s not deeply validating to be pursued by the label that put out the bands that got me through high school–Rancid, The Distillers, Osker, etc. I spent those years with a frown on my face and headphones on my ears, walking the halls and holding on to that music for dear life. But we want G.L.O.S.S. to be a threat to entrenched models– at the very least to be exciting.
We floated the idea of cutting a radical organization into the profit-sharing model if we were to sign with Epitaph. How cool would it be to make thousands of dollars for the homeless shelter here in Oly, for AMP in San Jose, Black Lives Matter groups, disabled queers? But if we can do the work of self-releasing an album, we will not only refuse to enrich corporate music but also in the long run make more money.
G.L.O.S.S. started casually in a basement and has grown to a level of popularity that feels overwhelming at times. Having our house in constant disarray with thousands of records strewn about is chaotic and becoming untenable. If we can come up with the startup money to rent a space and hire a couple friends, we can use Total Negativity (our guitarist’s label) to support our scene without having to turn to an outside entity.
When we get around to recording a full-length we’ll probably be doing a first press of 20,000 copies. That’s not a bedroom operation anymore. While signing to a label like Epitaph would be in many ways relieving, it would probably mean the death of the feeling that so many of you have told us means so much to you. We could never do that to all of you who have been so supportive and whose kind words have meant the world to us.
What I’m trying to say is that we don’t have to jump into their world, we can create a new one. Thank you for being a part of this feeling. It means so much to us ! ❤
Green Day-“Revolution Radio”
Green Day are vamping up for their return, and the title track from their new album is as explosive as ever. The melodic punk track features Green Day’s trademark catchy power chords. Tré Cool shines through locking the song down the most. Billie Joe Armstrong writes some of his wordiest lyrics continuing on from the equally intricate “Bang Bang.” Revolution Radio will be released October 7.
While Shape Shift With Me is streaming via NPR, the catchiest track remains the power pop gem “Crash.” Laura barks over some melodic guitar rock. “Crash” lands all the punches that Shape Shift With Me should when it’s released on Friday.
Kanye West-“Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1”
Not a new song, but I’m still coming down from a Saint Pablo tour hangover.
The Smiths-“Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now”
As summer officially comes to an end, Morrissey and Johnny Marr have written some of the best Autumn songs ever written. This Louder than Bombs track is essential Smiths listening, and it’s a bittersweet take for the start of Fall. It’s a Pumpkin-Spiced jam.
Beach Slang-“Atom Bomb”
This sludgy track has one of the best music videos of the summer, and James Alex sings this song with an intense snarl, that’s irresistible. While “Punks in a Disco Bar” sounds like a chunkier version of a track from Beach Slang’s first album, this song shows that the Philly outfit still has some tricks up their sleeves.
Lady Gaga-“Perfect Illusion”
This Tame-Impala produced single may be Gaga’s best following the flop that was Artpop. This era of Gaga may be exciting.
Kevin Devine-“No History”
Remembering 9/11 this weekend certainly puts a lot of things into perspective. Over the weekend, everyone that was around the same age as me when the World Trade Center attacks happened remembered the confusion. Kevin Devine’s first song from Instigator captures what I imagine it must have felt like for people that were much older than I was when the terrorist attacks happened. Devine is also aware of how this event has echoed to this day. As Devine sings “This is the future severe and always happening” is one of the eeriest to come during this haunting song. Devine doesn’t really memorialize any of those lost, but he does reveal the confusion, fear and anger that has never been forgotten.
Green Day have shared the title track from their upcoming album Revolution Radio to be released on October 7.
James is on Twitter.
The Front Bottoms have shared a demo version of “Historic Cemetery” from Back On Top. This is the grittiest of the demos thus far with an electric guitar as the basis.
James is on Twitter.