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"You Are Here" - The Lawrence Arms

Chicago’s The Lawrence Arms are back. Noisey has premiered “You Are Here,” a track off their upcoming album Metropole. Due out on January 28th via Epitaph Recordsthe place for new albums from my favorite older punk bands - the album is their first since 2006’s Oh! Calcutta!, making it two months shy of eight full years in between records.

The wait was painful, but the reward will be that much sweeter. Brendan Kelly promises “that alone-in-a-crowd, stranger-in-a-strange-land kind of shit—a feeling of such weird solitude that you don’t even know what’s up and what’s down ‘cause you’re so caught in the wake of the city” feeling. You know, that one.

Regardless of the dire feelings that promises - and this track’s lyrics seem to follow - it’s a last to have the Larry Arms back, and with such an engergetic shot. 

- Tyler Hanan

"Inside your house; it will swallow us too" - Ricky Eat Acid

This piece was first posted a few days ago, but it’s pretty enough to be revisited daily in the time between now and January 21, the day Ricky Eat Acid’s Three Love Songs will be releeased on Orchid Tapes

We’ve heard a few songs song already; this one is simply further evidence for how pretty this album is likely to be. A shame we have to wait so long for the album, but a few more lovely tracks are sure to drop in the meantime. 

- Tyler Hanan

"FUCKMYLIFE666" - Against Me!

Continuing to ride a tidal wave of goodwill following Laura Jane Grace's reveal that she was transgender (back when she was still known as Tom Gabel), Against Me! have finally started the rollout for the album that has been the subject of high curiousity and anticipation since the moment that bit of news exploded the internet. 

Transgender Dysphoria Blues will be out on the band’s own Total Treble label on January 21st. We’ve gotten a few tastes of it, namely this summer’s True Trans EP. That EP had an acoustic version of this song on it. Now we have the full album version.

Against Me! is best at anthemic, fist-pumping punk singlalongs - songs like the timeless-feeling, pitch perfect nostalgia piece “I Was A Teenage Anarchist” and the fantastically titled “Thrash Unreal.” 

This song isn’t in the same area code of exquisite anthemic construction or fantastic titling (let’s be real, guys), but it’s an effective first single held up entirely by hooks Grace voices in such a way that you can almost see the steel curvatures and spiky little barbs. 

More fun facts: as the band has suffered a pair of departures (bassist Andrew Seward and drummer Jay Weinberg) in the last year or so, we have guests! NOFX’s Fat Mike is on bass, most notably, and Atom Willard (now that’s a name) of The Offspring and Angels & Airwaves sits behind the kit.

Regardless of opinion on any of these matters, Transgender Dysphoria Blues remains one of the most intriguing of 2014. Now, as news continues to roll out - news has a habit of doing that - the trend that will be most fun and infuriating to watch will be whether certain “respected” music publications and websites continue to use ignorant phrasing like “since she changed her gender.” Come on, guys. This isn’t that hard.

- Tyler Hanan

"It Had To Happen (It Had to Be)" - Mathew Lee Cothran

I drafted this post at least a week ago. I then promptly forgot about it. 

Tiding us over between the release of Coma Cinema’s Posthumous Release in June and Elvis Depressedly's next album, New Alhambra, (not a solo project), Mat Cothran released an album under his own name. It’s a brief release full of brief songs, as simple and sparse as one could hope for. 

I like “It Had To Happen (It Had To Be),” the longest song. The bass line is serene, and that extended playing out could go on forever. 

- Tyler Hanan

"In Stellar Orbit" - Raum

I chose the right day to check Portals (a few days ago), as I discovered this lovely track in my blind stumbling about their fine site. Raum is NSB favorite Liz Harris (Grouper) and Jefre Cantu-Ledesma (founder of Root Strata). Another tracks off their upcoming album The Event of Your Leaving was premiered by emo scene-infiltrator Ian Cohen on Pitchfork

Both tracks follow the expected sound of Harris, who also released The Man Who Died On His Boat to wide acclaim (from those who listen to such music) earlier this year, in addition to an album with Laurence English (which I imagine was also well regarded). It has a distorted beauty, an otherworldly - subworldly? - quality, lifted from another, incomprehensible dimension.

The album will be out on Glass, house this Friday, Novemeber 15. We’ll be all over it. 

- Tyler Hanan

True Love Kills the Fairy Tale album trailer - The Caket Girls

The Casket Girls have announced their next album, True Love Kills the Fairy Tale (an enticing name).The album will be released on February 11 of next year by Graveface Records. Their past work has been quite enthralling, and it sounds from these song clips as though that dark allure will continue through this album. The band also included a promise of early 2014 touring with the announcement. No word on whether those live shows will be as eerie as the album is apt to be. 

- Tyler Hanan

"Vale" - Midlake

You’re old enough now that I feel obligated to sit you all down and break the news that I don’t know one tenth of the things I’d like to pretend I know. Midlake has eluded me in my music life, and I have no excuse. That is changing, though, for three simple reasons:

  1. Antiphon is a pretty cool album title. I’m a sucker for cool album titles.
  2. That exploding firework orb album art is pretty cool. I’m a sucker for cool album art. 
  3. This song is fucking fantastic. I’m a sucker for fucking fantastic songs.

That’s about all I got. The budget ran out before I could reach the proper word count for this post. I shouldn’t have wasted so much time talking about myself. Antiphon is out now on ATO Records.

Man, this song just goes, doesn’t it? Unfurls into a giant, dark sensory sphere with dynamic abandon. I’m lost in this.

- Tyler Hanan

"Thank You" - Busta Rhymes ft. Q-Tip, Kanye West, Lil Wayne

It’s been a week, one noticeably lacking in content here but overflowing with obligations in that bittersweet land called “real life.” It’s getting late, but keep the night bouncing with Extinction Level Event 2 cut “Thank You,” a banging cut with a beat like a telegraph wire. Busta’s gangsta flow and Q-Tip’s chill stream actually meld well, both bouncing off and rolling with that frenetic beat effortlessly.  

There is one questionable moment when Busta (Mr. Rhymes?) goes Eminem-level onomatopoeia (did… did he just say “boop-i-dee-dee-bop” to describe how he beats the hell out of a guy?), but it flows briskly besides that brief moment. 

- Tyler Hanan

"Children In Heat" (Misfits cover) - Superchunk

Merge Records just tweeted out this little gem. Indie darlings cover the heroes of Halloween, again. Superchunk has also covered “Where Eagles Dare" and "Horror Business.” I think they’re fans. Enjoy, and happy Halloween. 

- Tyler Hanan

"Horns Surrounding Me" - Julia Holter

Julia Holter today released a music video for “Horns Surrounding Me,” a bit of news that was always more a matter of “when” than “if.” Since 2011’s Tragedy helped bring her to a larger audience, Holter has recorded music videos for a good amount of songs. This is already the fourth off her critically acclaimed album from earlier this year, Loud City Song

I considered this news inevitable due to that fact, but also to because of the song itself. It’s one of the most dynamic and forceful cuts from the album, a propulsive, anxiety-spawning vortex. It’s magnificent as it reduces me to tears in a dark corner. 

Directed by Angus Borsos and conceptualized by Ramona Gonzalez (Nite Jewel), the video takes a nightmarish turn, as was to be expected, and is light on action and heavy on some rather nice frames. I especially like this one. It comes out of nowhere for a few seconds, and is the only shot quite like it:

- Tyler Hanan

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