Massachusetts queer-core punks Dump Him released their newest full-length production Dykes To Watch Out For on August 30th via Get Better Records & Musical Fanzine Records. Though the ten-song record clocks in at a rather brief 23 minutes, do not be fooled; Dykes is like a punch to the face from Regina George- awesome!
The record explodes right out of the gate with a wall of guitar feedback before charging into ‘Puritan’; a fast, melodic, firecracker of a song that merges the catchiness of indie pop punk with the raw, visceral sound of 2010’s DIY rock music. Following ‘Puritan’ is the album’s title track, which can only be described as a DIY punk magnum opus. ‘Dykes To Watch Out For’ is an infectious track with a chorus that will have listeners humming for a week after they hear it. The track opens with a nasty drum fill courtesy of drummer Larz Brogan before a wall of guitar explodes into the mix; by the time the first chorus is out, it’s clear that this song is an instant classic. The track goes out with a face-melting guitar solo courtesy of the band’s producer Zach Weeks.
The record pushes on with memorable guitar riffs, explosive drumming, and a healthy dose of the basement punk vibes we all know and love. Tracks like ‘Trash’ and ‘Dreams, Live 1997’ feature some particularly tasty licks from lead guitarist Mattie Hamer; bassist Otto Klammer takes a mean, fuzz-laden solo on ‘Dreams’ and is easily one of my personal favorite moments on the record. While vocals on the record are primarily delivered by guitarist Jac Walsh, each band member takes a singing part at some point on the release. Each member sang whatever lyrics they wrote, which makes for a very inclusive dynamic when listening to this record. It shows that Dump Him is not simply a band, but also a team; a family.
The band is currently touring the continental United States in support of Dykes. The tour kicked off September 3rd in Philadelphia, and will make stops in the midwest, the pacific northwest, and California before heading home to New England where the band will play a homecoming show on September 27th in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Dykes To Watch Out For is available now on all major streaming platforms, so do yourself a favor this week and stream it. The album is also available on bandcamp for the “name-your-price” option, so listeners are encouraged to donate to the band while they complete the remaining dates of their album release tour. The remaining dates are listed below. Information regarding venues can be acquired through messaging the band’s facebook page.
9/9 Seattle, WA @ Vera Project
9/10 Portland, OR @ Black Water
9/11 Olympia, WA @ New Moon
9/12 Tacoma, WA @ 607
9/13 Corvallis, WA @ Mudville Stadium
9/14 Oakland, CA @ Hawk And Pony
9/15 San Francisco, CA @ The Knockout (21+)
9/16 Fresno, CA @ Friends Know
9/17 Los Angeles, CA @ Zebulon
9/19 Denver, CO @ The Horse House
9/20 Wichita, KS @ DIYMCA
9/22 Cincinnati, OH @ XTUD1O
9/23 Pittsburgh, PA @ Glove World
9/24 Brooklyn, NY @ Rubald
9/27 Cambridge, MA @ The Democracy Center
By: Nick Manduley
Brick Township, NJ-based singer-songwriter Kelli Faith dropped her latest single “More” off her upcoming album “21” on August 9th. Clocking in at just over four minutes, the acoustic country pop-rocker sings passionately about finding a love that is not only reciprocated, but also open and honest. The track opens with the rhythmic strumming of an acoustic guitar, with Faith’s vocals effortlessly dancing over the chords as the bass and lead guitar begin to round out the arrangement. After the first chorus, the drums begin to kick in and song rips into a sweet, classic rock-influenced guitar solo that makes it immediately clear that this song is perfect for summer. As a another verse rolls through the listener is brought back into a chorus that is not only catchy, but also makes it clear that Faith isn’t afraid to wear her heart on her sleeve. The music video for “More” showcases Faith performing her song as she walks along the beautiful beaches of Asbury Park, as well as touching acting performances from Faith and her partner Jonathan Greulich.
Faith’s music career began in 2015 with the formation of Manasquan, New Jersey pop punk band Before It’s Too Late. Faith energetically fronted the quintet as they wrote songs inspired by bands such as Hey Monday, All Time Low, and State Champs. In 2016, the band released an EP entitled “Miscommunication” and played a plethora of shows across their home state, opening for bands such as Hinder and The Stolen. Faith personally took a lot of musical influence from Hey Monday’s Cassadee Pope, and after Before It’s Too Late disbanded in the fall of 2017, she translated that inspiration into a new solo project.
Fans can stream “More” on all major streaming platforms, as well as Faith’s debut full-length record “21” which is due out on September 20th. Faith’s late 2018 single “Him” is also available on all streaming services and will be featured on the upcoming album. Faith will be performing songs from her new record at The Brighton Bar in Long Branch, New Jersey on September 5th. She will be sharing the stage with acts such as The Ian Walsh Band, Holdn, and Aqua Aura. The show is available for all ages, and fans can gain entrance for a cover fee of ten dollars.
By: Nick Manduley
Lo-fi alternative rock solo act Lavender Sky released their sophomore LP “Technical Limitations” on July 26th. “Vines”, the first of thirteen tracks, opens the record with a casio keyboard drum loop followed by the strumming of a very twinkly, clean-toned guitar. The listener is quickly enveloped in a hazy fog of psychedelic guitar and synth tones, combined with reverby, melodramatic vocals courtesy of vocalist and guitarist Luke Hoffman. “This Car Climbed Mt. Washington” opens with an infectious but gentle guitar riff that is reminiscent of bands like Turnover. Tracks such as “Stop H8in”, “When I’m Not Sick”, “I Don’t Know (RIP)”, and the album’s outro were completely improvised, and surprisingly wound up being some of the most profound songs on the record.
“It really helped recording stuff just from my brain and heart on the spot into the tape recorder,” says Hoffman in the description of the record on his bandcamp account. “Some of them ended up being the deepest tracks on the album.”
“Winter Is Over” shows a bit more of a country, Bob Dylan-influenced side of Hoffman’s musical range. The track opens with a sweet harmonica melody over the strumming of a twangy guitar, and leads into Hoffman singing about cherry blossoms blooming in the spring. The record’s title, “Technical Limitations” is derived from Hoffman’s dedication to create his art using only the equipment directly available to him. “From the beginning of this project, I never wanted to use drum samples I could easily download or use from a pad. I wanted to be constricted to using the given drum settings and synth tones from my casio keyboards that I’ve collected over the past couple years” says Hoffman.
On July 19th, Hoffman held a release show for the new record at the Meatlocker in Montclair, New Jersey. A live album of Hoffman’s set that night was released on the 22nd. Fans can purchase “Technical Limitations” (as well as the rest of Lavender Sky’s discography) for the name-your-price option bandcamp. Fans can also stream the new record on all major streaming platforms.
By: Nick Manduley
Jersey Shore-based emo rockers This Year’s Comeback independently dropped their latest record “Missing Pages” back in March. “Missing Pages” is a follow up and thematic sequel to the group’s 2018 debut LP “Far From Fine, A Garden State Tragedy.” ‘Far From Fine’ told the story of an unnamed protagonist who falls into a pit of emotional distress as a result of being in a toxic, mentally abusive relationship, which is continued on “Missing Pages.”
‘Missing Pages’ shows the band in a more dynamic light. The record opens with frontman Brian Matthew fiercely strumming an acoustic guitar and singing passionately about our protagonist feeling like he’s being “torn out of missing pages,” but then segways into the upbeat, distorted sound the boys gave us on “Far From Fine.” However, this time, the band puts a heavier, more metal edge on their sound. Tracks such as “Dropout” end with an electrifying breakdown and intense screams courtesy of Matthew. Other songs such as “Speedkasket,” “Monotony” and “Young & Angry” delivers the raw, emotional punch that leaves fans screaming every word.
“The purpose of ‘Missing Pages’ was to tie any loose ends that may have been left on ‘Far From Fine,” wrote the band in a social media post. “[We] further develop the psyche of the protagonist, and finally, give a proper resolution to the tail. If anything is to be taken from this, it’s to always persevere in the face of adversity.”
However, while the pop-punk tale has drawn to a close, it’s clear the boys in This Year’s Comeback are eager to push forward; they’ve been pretty busy since “Missing Pages” dropped earlier this year. After a slew of shows across the state, including a performance at the famed Stone Pony in Asbury Park, the band is once again writing new music. The band is reportedly halfway through recording their new EP, which they say could be out by the end of the summer at the earliest. For fans who are itching for new content, the band plans on releasing a compilation of unused demos and songs from their time recording “Garden State Tragedy” and “Missing Pages” later on this week, so be sure to catch up with This Year’s Comeback on social media to stay updated! Links to the band’s socials are conveniently located on their bandcamp account, where listeners can also download all their music for the “name-your-price” option. Fans can catch This Year’s Comeback in concert on August 31st at The Clubhouse in Toms River, New Jersey with other local acts such as The Open Minds, Ventress, and Night’s Edge.
Nick Manduley is a publicity intern with Muddy Paw PR, and a senior at Monmouth University where he is studying public relations and journalism. Manduley is also a staff writer for Monmouth’s student-run newspaper, The Outlook. Since 2016, Manduley has provided guitar and vocals for Jersey Shore-based punk outfit Drive, Kid. Drive, Kid has shared the stage with notable and upcoming artists such as Slaughter Beach, Dog, Rarity, and The Ones You Forgot. Their music can be streamed here as well as all major streaming services.
I guess you can say that Shameless Promotions did quite a great job shamelessly promoting our new band Constant Coogan! Below you can read more about their brand new album Bury Me Alive and learn more from their interview:
“I’ve struggled with shyness my whole life. I’ve been in a lot of situations where you have things that you want to say to people, but for some reason there’s something blocking the ability for you to get it out there. It’s just so disheartening when you have so much to express and you can’t find the strength to do it. Going through that can really feel like you really feel like you’re being buried alive. Just the pressure and loss; there’s just no hope sometimes. I really wanted to express that with this song, and let other people that are struggling with shyness know that they’ve got to do something. We’ve all got this ability to break the cycle and strengthen our muscle that helps us to get stronger with the ability to communicate with other people. You’ve just gotta do it; otherwise, you’re dying inside. ”