If you're in need of some brutal guitar noise to wind down your summer, you're in luck - three bands I love put their new records up for streaming this week, and I couldn't not share them with you. Let's go:
PC Worship, Social Rust:
The Brooklyn weirdos behind PC Worship have been doing their thing around their hometown for years, but their more-polished new record Social Rust will likely be the LP that gets them recognition on a wider scale. I knew this was going to be my favorite record of 2014 the day they released quasi-title-track "Rust," a brutal-but-meditative, somehow-sexy post-punk slow-burner that my roommate overheard me listening to and called "very stressful." Then there's the matter of "Odd," which sounds like the band's personalized reinvention of "I Wanna Be Your Dog," and the delightfully creepy, acoustic-led "Baby's in the Back Room," like a lost Nick Cave track that includes the lyric "I look at everybody and think about hell." Check it out below and/or grab a physical copy September 9th via Northern Spy or Dull Tools, the label run by Parquet Courts' Andrew Savage.
The Ukiah Drag, In the Reaper's Quarters:
If you're ever in need of a confidence boost you should probably try Boston punks' the Ukiah Drag's "The Rat's Waltz," a song that sounds exactly like summoning demons - they released it last year on a fantastically titled EP called Jazz Mama is Cryin', through the venerable and mysterious Arizona tape label Ascetic House. These guys are really good at writing really scary songs that summon a kind of psychedelic Gothic carnival vibe, like you took a very bad, very wrong turn somewhere in New England, with all those dark woods and white churches, and wound up somewhere different entirely. If you couldn't hunt that tape down, never fear - there's a version of "The Rat's Waltz," alongside a ton of other great songs, on their new LP In the Reaper's Quarters, which you can stream now via Pitchfork Advance just ahead of its physical release via Wharf Cat Records on September 9th.
The Olympia, WA trio Vexx might be the best band in the Northwest, and they're also one of the best live bands I've ever seen (and definitely the best band I've ever seen in a pizza place), so I'm sure you'll be hearing about them in your own corner of the world soon. Frontwoman Maryjane Dunphe is a performance artist by day who wails like no one else and has killer stage presence, and it helps that she's backed up by a guitarist, drummer, and bassist with possibly superhuman abilities. Here's their self-titled debut EP, which constitutes eight tracks and is, trust me, an indicator of great things to come. I'd list favorite songs, but they're all my favorites, and they're all under two minutes, so you've got nothing to lose. If you dig, you'll be able to grab a physical copy via Portland's M'Lady's Records.
Hope y'all dig - and let me know what I should check out for next time, via Twitter.