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Pianos Become The Teeth'
ADAD-EPI-4410xPianos Become The Teeth
Wait For LoveWait For Love, their fourth album, sees PIANOS
BECOME THE TEETH taking another sonic
step forward to craft a musical statement that truly
transcends genres. The Baltimore natives have
produced a collection of songs that feature lush
soundscapes and a more nuanced and melodic
sound when compared to the screamo-aggression
of their early work.
Fans who have followed the band's trajectory-
from their 2013 split with TouchÉ AmorÉ-can
trace the way the band's sound has evolved from
a melodic screamo act to a group that create
heaviness and weight via raw emotion instead of
distortion and dissonance.1. Fake Lighting
3. Bitter Red
4. Dry Spells
5. Bay of Dreams
6. Forever Sound
7. Bloody Sweet
9. Love on Repeat
10. Blue$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
ADAD-EPI-7819xPianos Become The Teeth
Keep YouPianos Become The Teeth are from Baltimore, Maryland; the band made waves on the
scene with their 2009 debut Old Pride and gained national attention with 2011's The
Lack Long After. Their third album and Epitaph debut, Keep You, sees the band taking a
brave step forward to craft a musical statement that truly transcends genres. "There's
still the same amount of passion and energy inherent in this record, it's just presented
in a different way," frontman Kyle Durfey explains. The immediately noticeable difference is Durfey's vocal approach that sees him traded the throat-gutting screams of
the band's early releases with cleaner, more intelligible vocals. However anyone who
has followed the band's trajectory-specifically the song "Hiding" from their 2013 split
with TouchÉ AmorÉ-can trace the way the band's sound has evolved from a melodic
screamo act to a group that create heaviness and weight via raw emotion instead of
distortion and dissonance. Capturing the band's creative vision this time around, producer Will Yip (Circa Survive, Braid) enhances the band's new vision, bringing out harmonies and swelling strings that compliment these songs in exciting ways that even the
band couldn't initially predict . "I think it's a musical growth not a departure," Durfey
summarizes. "I wouldn't say we would never make another overtly aggressive record
again but this is the record we wanted to make."1. Ripple Water Shine
4. Old Jaw
6. Late Lives
7. Enamor Me
9. The Queen
10. Say Nothing$19.99Vinyl LP + CD - Sealed Buy Now
The Lack Long AfterThe Lack Long After is the post-rock/screamo act, Pianos Become The Teeth's follow-up to their critically acclaimed full-length debut Old Pride. The 8-song set expands upon its predecessor with the band's most emotional and honest music to date.1. I'll Be Damned
2. Shared Bodies
3. Good Times
5. Liquid Courage
7. Such Confidence
8. I'll Get By$18.99Vinyl LP Buy Now
After The PartyFor their fifth full-length After the Party, The Menzingers set
out to make the quintessential jukebox record: an unstoppably melodic
album primed for bar-room sing-alongs. Delivering anthemic
harmonies, furious power chords, and larger-than-life melodies, the
Philadelphia-based garage-punk four-piece amply fulfills that mission
while achieving something much more deeply nuanced. With its
delicately crafted storytelling and everyman romanticism, After the
Party ultimately proves to be a wistful but life-affirming reflection
on getting older but not quite growing up.
"We spent our 20s living in a rowdy kind of way, and now we're at a
point where it seems like everyone in our lives is moving in different
directions," says Tom May, who joined fellow singer/guitarist
Greg Barnett, bassist Eric Keen, and drummer Joe Godino in forming
The Menzingers as teenagers in their hometown of Scranton. With
each song unfolding as its own fully realized story, After the Party
came to life thanks largely to an introspective yet outward-looking
lyrical sensibility on the part of Barnett and May.
Produced by Will Yip (Title Fight, Balance & Composure, Pianos
Become the Teeth) and recorded in Yip's Conshohocken, Pennsylvania-based
Studio 4, After the Party finds the band breaking into new
sonic terrain. The Menzingers' most refined album to date, After
the Party was also shaped from an intensive writing and pre-production
process that involved holing up for five weeks in Yip's
studio. Along with sculpting more expansive arrangements, the band
focused on experimenting with new effects and production techniques
to forge the album's dynamic but intricately textured sound.1. Tellin' Lies
2. Thick as Thieves
4. Midwestern States
5. Charlie's Army
6. House on Fire
7. Black Mass
8. Boy Blue
9. Bad Catholics
10.Your Wild Years
11. The Bars
12. After the Party
13. Livin' Ain't Easy$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
What's Left To Let GoHailing from the United Kingdom, Goodtime Boys are one of Bridge Nine Records' newest signees. Signing to a hardcore label such as B9 carries with it an expectation that Goodtime Boys immediately buck. The band share more in common with La Dispute and Pianos Become the Teeth than other B9 bands like Foundation or Expire.
What's Left to Let Go starts off with Bloom, which has a chilling relaxed guitar intro. However when the full band come in, it kicks it up a notch with a melodic but upbeat rhythm. Then vocalist Alex Pennie comes in with his powerful vocals and really brings in the full sound of the band. I immediately noticed the accent on the vocalist, but it's a good thing as it makes the band sound different than most bands of this hard-to-name genre that has been gaining a lot of ground in the hardcore community. His lyrics are immediately at the forefront of everything, as well they should be, being powerful and emotional. The rest of the song keeps up this swing of going from relaxed to very powerful and back again like a lot of the songs on this record. However, it doesn't get monotonous or boring as the band have a good enough writing ability to keep the music interesting.
In the middle of the record the song Rest cools things off a bit coming in with a simple drum beat and an almost haunting guitar melody that fit the lyrics and vocal delivery perfectly. And that's the great simplicity of What's Left to Let Go; Goodtime Boys aren't afraid to use a pattern and vocal style that has been established, but do their own thing with it to try and keep it interesting. This album is technically a double EP and not a singular LP as the first five songs were previously released on the Are We Now, Or Have We Ever Been EP. However, if I had not known this I would not have figured it out from listening to the record as the songs flow so fluidly it sounds like one album. This is partially due to the band's cohesive writing and also partially due to those songs and the new songs being mixed by Defeater guitarist and Getaway Recordings engineer Jay Maas.1. Bloom
10. Sleep$15.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
I'm Not The DevilCody Jinks was raised on country music but he cut his teeth on metal. "Metallica was king. They set the tone for me and I spent a good part of my youth wanting to be James Hetfield." After a dedicated stint as a frontman in a thrash metal band, Jinks willingly found himself back to where it all began. "My dad loved the outlaw country icons, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard. That never ending consistency of incredible music growing up laid some very deep seeds. I'm mean, come on nothing better than mentally diving into 'The Hag' and metal when it comes time for me to write songs."
Always avoiding trends and ferociously choosing his direction was the only option from day one, even though that very path could have prevented success. "What is success if you can't wake up everyday being who you really are. In the end, that will catch up with you." Jinks has been tested countless times by his career choices. The better part of the last 15 years have included numerous empty bar rooms and a never ending financial loss. "Yeah, I've been pretty good at losing money. Not the greatest feeling in the world to be gone from home for long stretches of time, only to walk in the door broke. Luckily I've got a damn good woman in my life. She has stood by me with unmeasurable strength to say the least and it is an absolute fact that I seriously overplayed my hand when landing her."
His long, dark beard and endless array of tattoos are no fad. They unquestionably define Cody Jinks. His prototypical metal/hard rock band frontman look is not a well orchestrated image, but again, define Cody Jinks. Diving into to his album, I'm Not the Devil is the perpetual truth of who he is and where he has found himself at this point in his career. "I'm just glad that I ended up where I am now," Jinks said. "It makes complete sense that I'm at this place in my life. Country music found me when I was young and chased me down as I grew older"
Jinks' latest project is his deepest, darkest and most provocative album to date, with a metal common denominator, the apocalypse, running throughout the record. "It's a pretty scary time," Jinks said. "There are some evil people running things in the world. It hits me since I have a six and three-year old."
There's not a weightier song than the aptly titled "Heavy Load." It's the most apocalyptic song on the album but the dense cut, with a pretty violin break, is a gorgeous tune. The vocal hook grabs ears when Jinks croons "Train Jumps Tracks Some Time Ago/You Can't Root That Heavy Load." "That was the last song I wrote on the record," Jinks said. "I couldn't be happier how that one turned out."
"All You Can" features a pretty piano line and sobering wordplay. When Jinks belts out 'What Are You Living For," you can't help but think about the serious question posed in what is becoming an increasingly shallow existence. "I was really tired when I wrote that song," Jinks said. "We had been on the road for awhile. The bottom line is that if you're not helping people, you're not doing your job as a human being. It's time to quit feeling sorry for yourself and do something."
One of Jinks' favorite songs on the album is "The Way I Am," a cover of a Merle Haggard classic. "I love that song," Jinks says. "I wrapped it up just before Merle died. The song always resonated with me. I relate to that one since there are times I would rather be out fishing."
"No Words" is a stunner of a gritty, autobiographical love song, which is a throwback to how songs used to be written. It is a tuneful gem, inspired by reality. Jinks starts out dark as night. "My Whole View of the World has Changed/ I Guess that Comes with Age/I Don't Believe there is Good in Every Man Like I Did Back Then/I May Drink More Than I Should/You've Seen Me on the Floor/I Spent my Lifetime in this Cage I Built Around Me." But the song is actually a tip of the hat to his beloved wife of 19 years. "There Aint' No Words/ To Say How Much I Need You/With You Here/ You Make This Life I Lead Worth Living." "It's about my wife," Jinks says. "But the funny thing is that she doesn't like it. She thinks it sounds too sad."
With the title track "I'm Not the Devil," Jinks wakes us all up to the realities of mistakes and the heartfelt desire to be forgiven. "We are all guilty of mistakes and very guilty of pointing out the mistakes of others. Forgiveness feels so much better or so I think."
It's impressive how Jinks is getting his message across. Jinks utilizes space well in his songs. Notes aren't crammed in. Jinks lets his songs breathe. "After all I've experienced, I think I've matured," Jinks says. "I think you can hear it in the music. I've grown up."
Even though he still looks the part of the headbanger he was back in the day, he has moved on. "It's all for the best, Jinks says. "I'm where I was meant to be."
It's all about the music and the fans, who are the fuel that drives Jinks. "They come out night after night giving up hard earned money and precious time to see me play," Jinks says. " It's truly is amazing when you really think about it. The best way I can say thanks is by giving back with effort and gratitude."1. The Same
2. I'm Not the Devil
3. No Guarantees
4. No Words
5. Give All You Can
6. She's All Mine
7. The Way I Am
8. Chase That Song
9. Heavy Load
11. Church at Gaylor Creek
13. Hand Me Down$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Santa Rosa FangsSanta Rosa Fangs is a stirring, stunning, and cinematic look and listen into the sometimes autobiographical, sometimes fictional journey of the venerable California musician Matt Costa through the tangled groves and grapevines of his home state.
Throughout the album's twelve songs, Costa illuminates what he has learned and how he has grown in the past 15 years of his career. His music has taken him around the world, allowing him to work with diverse, respected artists and to connect with people everywhere-from his albums released on Brushfire Records to recording with Belle and Sebastian in Glasgow, to penning film scores and releasing a variety of genre-bending EP's, and to finally coming home to Los Angeles's Dangerbird Records for his first new proper full-length release in nearly five years. A rebirth in a sense, through his keen pop sensibility, studious songwriting, technical mastery, and a modern-meets-vintage sound bursting with bite, Costa has recorded the album of his career, one sure to reach new shores and sailors alike.
"In the past 15 years of my career, I feel I've continually been breaking through, speaking out, and reaching different people," Costa says. "If one of my songs connects now to someone who didn't connect before, then we have a dialogue together. That's the point of music, to have that dialogue and tell a story, and to entertain with a sound that has depth."
He began the recording of Santa Rosa Fangs over a year and a half ago, though some songs here predate that mark. Over the past few years, Costa had challenged himself to explore new terrain, from the acoustic-fingerpicking/lo-fi garage/experimental sounds of 2015's EP's to the acid-washed and reverb-laden soundtrack to the film Orange Sunshine to another complete album that never saw the light of day. Realizing he sought a collection of dyed-in-the-wool songs rather than sonic experiments, in July of 2017 he and producers Peter Matthew Bauer (The Walkmen) and Nick Stumpf (French Kicks) entered a studio to begin work.
"There's a difference when I sit down to write sonic textures and when I sit with a guitar or piano and write a song," he says. "These new songs went back to a traditional sense, and when stripped back to their purest form, they still work. They tell a story, the melodies aren't leaning on anything, and they make instrumentation around them come to life in a new way, but their core is strong. My goal for the EP's was to develop conceptual ideas, making each one in a short period and with their own concepts; Orange Sunshine was a bigger exercise in that. Now, this record is all of those things I was exercising come into their own. It's more of a visualized record that takes you into the world of the Santa Rosa fangs."
The tale of Santa Rosa Fangs centers around a young woman named Sharon, her two brothers Ritchie and Tony, and their story of love, loss, and coming of age in a timeless yet contemporary California. It is replete with long distance love affairs and nostalgic romances woven through the loom of tragedy and time. Interestingly, rather than setting out to create a specific narrative, Costa began noticing a theme in the new songs as he wrote them: an unconscious embodiment of the surroundings in which he himself had grown up. According to Costa, the titular teeth refer to that inescapable feeling of a romantic, tragic, and eternal bite that certain places and events will always hold on us.
"I've interwoven my own stories into a fictional idea of what 'Santa Rosa Fangs' is, from my own time spent living in Northern and Southern California and years driving up and down the coast, seeing the landscape and where life can pull you within one state," Costa says. "It is all these things-the 'bite that is eternal, the smile in the neon'-and it has fangs. They stick with you: the romantic, the tragic, all that. It's the characters' story and my story, too, contemporary but still tortured by the past. It's a window into a time period but spoken as if it's the present. The beauty of love and loss doesn't have a date on it; it's timeless."
The album follows the siblings as they search for love and meaning in their lives, which are ultimately cut short by the passing of both brothers in unrelated accidents. Sharon, left battling with her own mortality and forced to see through a shattered lens, becomes the story's grieving, guarded hero and, as Costa says, is "a little bit me, and a little bit everyone." Similarly, the origin of the characters has one foot in reality and one in the ether. The song "Ritchie" is based on a true family saga, as two of Costa's cousins were twin brothers who died within a year of each other in motorcycle and car accidents in the early 1980s. Likewise, "Phosphorescent Letter" is the story of a local friend's daughter who endured a long-distance, online relationship with a boyfriend in Australia; in that dramatic situation Costa saw a through-line for Sharon's tale. "Because she is so tortured by loss she's afraid of love, so she sets herself up for a distant relationship, illuminated on her phone," he says. "It's a real-love thing that happens frequently these days."
Other concrete inspirations found their way into Santa Rosa Fangs as well. Costa imagined his creations in a setting similar to that of a Jim Jarmusch film, with dramatic events unfolding around them as they attempt to go about their daily lives as earnestly as possible. He also cites Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska as an influence for its songs and characters as well as its moments of sparseness. Like that iconic record, the cover of Santa Rosa Fangs is a stark black-and-white photograph tinged with deep red text, featuring three youths running along a freeway overpass. It's not clear whether the trio-Costa's real-life Orange County neighbors-are sprinting for joy or to escape some unknown entity; Costa hints that to him they are running away from the grabbing hands of time. "The song 'Time Tricks' is about that, too: it's inevitable and coming for you."
Costa also found inspiration in working with Bauer and Stumpf, whom he had previously admired from a distance and whose music resumes he respects greatly. "I really connected with Pete and Nick and took their lead on several ideas," he says. "That's why you partner with someone-you want their input. I shaped things a little differently by listening through their ears than I would have otherwise." Costa cites "Real Love," an upbeat, heavy tune written in 5/4 time, as such a moment of collaboration. Originally intended as an acoustic song, he was encouraged by his producers to approach it from a fresh direction. "I had done that sort of thing before, a Nick Drake, fingerpicking type thing," he says. "Pete and Nick inspired me to take it to a new place. To write a driving rock song in 5/4 is a real challenge, but I had the basis in my pattern and we all drove it home with a really strong beat. On my own I might have stuck with a simpler take, but it felt good to tackle some new ground."
In another circumstance, Costa again came up with two variations of the same song, but rather than being forced to choose between the two, he simply used both. As a result, "I Remember It Well" bookends the album, first as a rollicking, piano-driven number that sets the record's tone and pace, and second as a sparser, quiet version to end it. The latter was the initial version and was also the first song written for the album some four years ago. "That song is both the entrance and exit to this world, and also shows the process of how you can take a song, do it two ways, and both can be impactful and give you different feelings."
No matter how his process or approach may change-in the present moment or in any era of coming-of-age throughout his decade-and-a-half-long career-Costa recognizes that one unique thing in his work will always stay the same: his perspective. "Essentially, what it comes down to is this: I sit down with a guitar, and these are songs," he says. "I've worked hard to understand how to produce them in certain ways. You can try to dress up a song and put a different sound to it, but if the song isn't that kind of song then it's not going to work. I've had to exercise both of those qualities equally-to know how to develop these sounds sonically, and then when I know sonically where I want it to go, I have to write to that. I guess that knowledge comes with 15 years of songwriting experience. I couldn't have made this record any other time than now."
For Matt Costa, the world of Santa Rosa Fangs is the past, present, and future of his life all rolled up into one long stretch of sunlit California coastline.1. I Remember It Well
4. Pacific Grove
5. Santa Rosa Fangs
6. Time Tricks
7. Coming Around
9. Phosphorescent Letter
10. Windy Smile
11. Real Love
12. I Remember It Well #2$20.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Broken PeopleAmerican music is a mile-wide river that beckons black and white, urban and rural, dreamer and doer alike to launch their vessels. All the streams of style and genre flow into it; its tributaries are blues and jazz, mountain and folk, rock, soul and R&B.
The release of the debut album by Muddy Magnolias, Broken People, marks the launch of a great new vessel onto that waterway. The album showcases a confluence of style and sound as colorful as it is unlikely, steeped in that river of influence, yet bracingly fresh.
With Broken People, Jessy Wilson and Kallie North take us on an 11-song journey with its origins in two widely divergent backgrounds that came together in a friendship and creative partnership with world-changing resonance.
North was raised in southeast Texas and began singing with her family and studying piano at an early age. She grew to love rich vocal harmonies singing in church choirs and listening to artists like the Carpenters, Alison Krauss, James Taylor and the Eagles. By her early teens, she was singing lead parts in church and in musical theater productions at her high school. Her palette grew when a friend turned her on to the Grateful Dead, and after high school she spent every spare moment in the clubs of Austin, absorbing everything from alt-country and jam bands to New Orleans funk. She met her husband at a concert and moved with him to his native Mississippi. There, on their isolated farm, she had her awakening, starting a career as a photographer, capturing the spirited, deep history of the Mississippi Delta.
"To me, the Delta is the most overlooked and mysterious place," she says. "It was the birthplace of America's music, and all the legends were influenced by everything that came out of it. I went on this personal exploration to learn about the Delta blues and the region's history. I picked up a camera and started taking pictures, blogging about what I was experiencing, and I tapped into all the creative energy lying dormant inside me." When her husband gave her a guitar, she began spending her days on the porch of their farm learning how to connect her first chords. From there, the songs began pouring out and she knew she had to find a way to get to Nashville and write songs professionally.
Wilson, raised in Brooklyn, was in love with music from her earliest days. She was singing before she could talk, and was 5 when her mother recognized her passion for music. "I would cry because I couldn't hit the high notes in Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey songs," she says. Influenced by greats from Aretha and Smokey Robinson to Lauryn Hill, Mary J. Blige and The Notorious B.I.G., she began auditioning in the highly competitive New York entertainment scene and was working professionally in musical theater by the age of 10. Her mother took her to nightclubs where she experienced a variety of live performances. She attended New York's top performing arts schools, including La Guardia High School, the "Fame" school, where she discovered her love for gospel music and took part in the gospel chorus for four years. She worked at Cafe Wha? in Greenwich Village, making $500 a weekend while still in high school.
She sang backup for Alicia Keys in her teens, then worked four years with John Legend, and through him with legends like will.i.am, Kanye West, Raphael Saadiq and Babyface. Legend mentored her in songwriting and recording before she began writing songs on her own for American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino and others. Inspired by her evolving love of songwriting, she too moved to Nashville, looking for a wider creative palette. There, while meeting with then-BMI executive Clay Bradley, her eye settled on a photograph of "a rundown juke joint piano" in his office.
"I want to meet whoever took that photo," she said. The photographer was North-it had been taken during her creative awakening in Mississippi-and the subsequent meeting led quickly to collaboration and an epic friendship.
"The first day we wrote together," says North, "there wasn't much thought that we were blending genres and worlds. That never came up. It was just natural. She had never written a country song and I was writing them every day. We sat down to write one but when we listened back it was a country R&B song. And we decided to become songwriting partners." Before long, they had their first cut as collaborators, and they were off and running.
"The spirit of the Muddy Magnolias existed from the moment we met," says Wilson, "but we didn't know we were the Muddy Magnolias yet." North was toying with the idea of a solo career; Wilson had aspirations of making history as an African-American female songwriter in Nashville. Their new friendship was a game-changer.
"We spent a whole year writing, trying to understand what our message was when we combined our stories," says Wilson. Then one day over afternoon wine at Burger Up, their favorite hangout in the 12 South section of Nashville, both admitted to be being at a crossroads. "The next thing you know," says North, "Jessy said, 'What if we made a record together?' It was like all of our dreams in one."
"We went back to that same office on Music Row where I saw the photograph," says Wilson, "and sat down side by side in Clay's office and said, 'We've got something to tell you. We're going to make an album together.'" Bradley believed enough to sign on as their manager. They held three days of band auditions and found four best friends who had been playing together since college, primarily doing jazz. The fit was perfect, providing just the right sonic backdrop for their soulful approach and high-energy delivery.
As they continued to write and perform, opening for the likes of The Zac Brown Band and Gary Clark, Jr., they put together a project that crosses genres effortlessly, showcasing two voices that soar together in a blending of cultures as electrifying as if Janis Joplin and Tina Turner, or Whitney Houston and Lee Ann Womack had joined forces.
Broken People combines poetic imagery and vocal passion, with the musicianship and production of Motown or Muscle Shoals by way of the raw honesty of Sun Records. Of course it deals with love, longed for and unleashed, in songs like "I Need A Man," "Why Don't You Stay" and "Devil's Teeth," but the album soars as it reaches for bigger themes, dealing with the need for hope in "Take Me Home," for love on a societal scale in "Shine On" and "Brother What Happened," and hope for the future in "Got It Goin' On." With "Leave It To The Sky," the two, joined by John Legend on vocals and piano, make a powerful case for spiritual solutions, and few songs in the modern lexicon are as steeped in present-day reality as the gospel- and R&B-tinged title track.
"Ultimately," says North, "this album is a result of an unlikely friendship and is a testament to what can happen when you diversify your relationships."
"It's about getting out of your comfort zone and being rewarded with a great friendship," adds Wilson. "We've both felt the power of that."
"Our path is so much better and our lives are so much richer because of it," says North, "and we want to bring people along on this journey."
"We want to see what society would be like if we all reached out in ways we normally wouldn't," adds Wilson.
And that is the magic and the message. The music of Muddy Magnolias, live and on record, comes from a place where the Mississippi meets the A-Train by way of Nashville. Whether yours is the back porch or the front stoop, Spanish moss or window box garden, dusty country lane or crowded subway car, rural honky-tonk or uptown club, this is music that beckons. Muddy Magnolias are collaboration without boundaries, musical healing in a landscape of the heart, and all of us who treasure creative energy, honest art and the possibilities of love and unity, are better for their arrival.1. Broken People
2. Brother, What Happened?
3. Got It Goin' On
4. Why Don't You Stay
5. Take Me Home
6. Shine On!
7. It Ain't Easy
8. I Need A Man
9. Devil's Teeth
11. Leave It To The Sky (feat. John Legend)$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now