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Indie Rock

Veil of Maya "Disco Kill Party"

Veil of Maya have released visuals for the second single, "Disco Kill Party", from their recently released album, [m]other.

This is the work of Danny Hauser (bass), Sam Applebaum (drums), Marc Okubo (guitar), and Lukas Magyar (vocals).

Photo Credit: Paige Margulie


Baby Teeth "Carry On Regardless"

Baby Teeth have released a new album called Carry On Regardless. This is the first new album from the trio of Abraham Levitan (vocals, keyboards), Jim Cooper (bass, vocals, guitar, melodica), and Peter Andreadis (drums, vocals, guitar) since 2012's White Tonight.


Cusp "You Can Do It All"

Cusp have released their debut album, You Can Do It All. This is group led by the recent Chicago transplant from New York, Jen Bender.

Photo by Taylor Eads


Night Spins spin their silver medals into gold on new Woohoo EP

I hope that Night Spins doesn’t take offense at my opening gambit here cuz they seem like swell guys and also it’s totally meant as a compliment as you'll soon see but nonetheless it bears pointing out that in the past year the band has come in second place in two, count ‘em two, music competitions…

…the first being a web series called No Cover produced by Hit Parader magazine at The Troubadour in West Hollywood that’s essentially a Pop Idol type show except featuring full on bands playing original music, and the second being Our Wicked Lady’s second annual Winter Madness competition held at the aforementioned Bushwick indie music mecca with a pre-selected “Sweet 16” of local bands going head to head in front of live audiences over the course of several weekends…

…and hey without a doubt placing second in either competition is extremely impressive--not to mention placing second in both of them--seeing as the Winter Madness drew over a hundred applicants and who knows how many bands tried out for No Cover not to mention celebrity judge Alice F*cking Cooper telling Night Spins lead singer/rhythm guitarist Josh Brocki that “you’re a rock star, man…it borders on funny and at the same time I’m believing all of it” after they performed their breakout hit “Knockin’” in the first round but what impresses me even more is who Night Spins ultimately lost to...

 …which in the case of Winter Madness was gonzo skronk-rockers Pons who are the only power trio we know of with two drummers whose overall sound and stage presence is something like Cannibal Corpse after having ingested the members of Sonic Youth (both Kim and Thurston must be pretty gamey) and contracted Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease as a result to the point where I'd bet the avant-noise band would freak out Alice Cooper if they ever appeared on his show and nevermind Gavin Rossdale who would surely be found cowering under the judges’ table…

…whereas on the flip side the winners of the No Cover competition, The Native Howl, would be equally unlikely to emerge victorious at OWL Winter Madness tho' less due to their bluegrass meets thrash conceit (“thrashgrass" is pretty cool if you ask me) but more due to their (with all due respect) banjo-driven Mumford & Sons-meets-Dave-Matthews-on-speed vibes that wouldn't fly in that setting not to mention the growled Eddie Vedderisms of their vocalist that is if Eddie were auditioning for a nü metal band…

…and once again I must offer my apologize to Night Spins, this time for dwelling on other bands in what’s supposed to be their record review, but at least we’re finally reached the salient point which is that THERE IS NO OTHER BAND IN THE KNOWN UNIVERSE THAT COULD POSSIBLY PLACE SECOND IN BOTH OF THESE COMPETITIONS EXCEPT FOR NIGHT SPINS or so I would contend and look, seriously, we’re talking about a Venn diagram overlap of one because what other band could possibly appeal to the almost diametrically opposed musical aesthetics of these two contests which if nothing else speaks to Night Spins' black swan uniqueness…

…in delivering feel good party-rockin’ vibes overlain with new wave angularity (not to mention the angularity of Josh’s hair) and/or blusey hard driving Southern rock swagger and/or Tom-Waits-meets-Iggy-Pop-fronting-Modest-Mouse street-preacher abandon (seriously, see them live) while at times veering into somewhat more menacing territory like on the aforementioned “Knockin’” which should’ve won the 2018 “Every Breath You Take” award for audience-pleasing songs about stalkerish behavior if such an award existed tho' to be fair it's more of a tongue-in-cheek, self-effacing song than Sting's slinky ode to watching every move you make and every cake you bake...

…serving as an extreme example of Night Spin’s overall predilection for potentially discomforting contradictions ("drench the house in gasoline / I promise I won't be mean") and multiplicity and moral ambiguity which let’s face it are deeply human qualities that must be acknowledged even if they make us uneasy, otherwise we’re all rigid walking pressure-cookers ready to blow at any moment, and along these lines this band of Brooklyn-based Southern transplants (hailing from North Carolina and Texas) has found a way to win over both East and West Coast audiences (and talent show judges) nevermind straddling the tricker divide between Northern vs. Southern which in light of today’s polarized cultural climate makes me think maybe the State Department should fund Night Spin’s next tour as a first step in healing this fractured, fractious nation

…but hey OK enough of my pontificatin’ cuz Nights Spins released a brand new record JUST TODAY called Woohoo, an EP of material recorded over the course of a weekend at a barn upstate, and I’m sure you all wanna hear more about their new music so let’s get right to it especially seeing as we solicited comments from Night Spins themselves--about whom it behooves us to tell you includes not only Josh (obviously) but also lead guitarist/co-vocalist Manquillan Minniefee who’s no slouch in the high energy/angular hair department himself, alongside a crack rhythm section made up of Andrew Jernigan (drums) and Jesse Starr (bass) both of whom do some vocalizing as well...


From the electronic press kit: This is the band's first self-produced group of recordings. With Jesse Starr(bass/vocals) at the helm, the band’s craft takes on new technical prowess as well. Having converted a barn in upstate NY into a recording studio, they were able to produce, record and mix the record that they envisioned. Mastering was then done by their old friend Joe Lambert...”Woohoo” celebrates our joys, triumphs, sorrows, and fears alike, all a part of our dance through life.

From personal correspondence: We really wanted to capture a moment that reflected us in a natural state of play; just the four of us performing in a room. No layered guitars or unnatural components, [an] un-pretty with a 5 o’clock-shadow kinda vibe. We found a big reverberant room in a barn, set up shop, and pressed record. The process of turning a barn into a recording studio over 2 days, spending the next two tracking everything we had been working on, and then spending a month mixing it, has been one of the most rewarding experiences in this journey.

On the EP’s three tracks:

WOOHOO - The song was formed in the first weeks of the pandemic when we retreated to a barn in upstate New York. Its theme rallies behind false pretense, “pretending it’s a holiday all through the storm, singing Woohoo!” which for us was justifiably the best way to appreciate our circumstances given that the world was devolving around us. It is a celebration of the shit show that is life.

The Deli says: Get ready for earworm city as the song opens with a “woo-hooing” battle cry that recurs throughout and if you’re gonna “spend [your] time playing make believe” one can only hope it’s in a make believe as happy as this one sounds even if there’s an underlying note of melancholy hidden underneath. Still, it’s the most joyous song to come out of COVID-19 that we know of.

CEREAL - touches on the frustrations of failure and deals with them through tongue-in-cheek creative dark fantasies that are fortunately never actualized.

The Deli says: A nice vibey mid-tempo rocker sung by lead guitarist Manquillan Minniefee that opens with the lines, “I got a left foot / I got a right foot / I got a hacksaw / to punish you real good” (now we’re talkin!) thus inverting the happy wish-fulfillment land of “Woohoo” into murderous fantasies that’s never come to fruition seeing as our protagonist is “just an insincere cereal [serial] killer” which ends up sounding like a personal failing and if you don’t pay attention to the lyrics and but only to the throbbing guitar and tension-filled, lusty tone of voice this sounds like a song of seduction (“we’re gonna go at in all night / in the back of the toolshed”) which I guess is the whole point.

BIG BLACK BOOK - having compounded fears and anxiety eventually reaches a breaking point, and that’s a good thing. Destructive release, but release nonetheless. The embrace of your dark side is an embrace of a part of you, and connecting with yourself leads to a deeper understanding and ultimate acceptance.

The Deli says: I remember this one from OWL’s Winter Madness and it was a standout even upon first hearing—a ranging beast of tension and release  (dig those heavy AF triplet guitar chords) where “sleepless nights full of bad habits” eventually turn one’s mind inside-out (like the seduction of “Cereal” fulfilled) and here you really feel the mental wavelength created by the pandemics's extended bouts of isolation and inward focus, alternately enticing and terrifying, where “all my dark wisdom’s seeping in” thanks to “open[ing] up the big black book” and finding your “own white rabbit” and while the latter image may suggest chemical adventures there’s something even more primal and elemental about this song imho as driven home by Josh’s frenzied vocalizing…

In conclusion: 
…and overall however brief in duration it’s quite a journey from the joyous escapism of “Woohoo” to the so-good-they're-bad habits of "Big Black Book" and one thing I like about this EP is it doesn't sound like was written by self-regarding “winners” but instead by underdogs and strivers and second-place finishers so there you have it and if the journey’s too short for you I’m sure Night Spins wouldn't mind me telling you there’s a physical edition of Woohoo available on CD (see the band’s Bandcamp natch) including not only the 3 new tracks but also the standalone singles released since their 2018 debut LP which means if you get both CDs then presto you own every Night Spins song ever released plus two exclusive live performances from Rockwood Music Hall in 2022 so go buy all the things and then say to yourself “winner winner chicken dinner”. (Jason Lee)


Kasia "Isn't Love Strange?"

Jazzy Indie Pop Vocalist Kasia recently released a new single called "Isn't Love Strange?".

This is the second official from the solo project of Catherine Krol of Honey Cellar.


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