Simple Perfection in Joy Cleaner’s Total Hell

I hate end of all the end of year countdowns with a passion.  All the “best of whatevers” to feed someone’s ego and narcissism in such a way that their opinion can quantify and reduce art to fit the formula of some weak-ass, bullshit “countdown.”  To make music a subjective competition is counter productive to the general purpose of this community.

That being said, Joy Cleaner‘s debut full length album Total Hell would absolutely be one of my sleeper picks that should be on everyone’s “album of the year” list.  Originally released back in July by Jigsaw Records, the album has just recently been re-released in a special, limited run on pink vinyl.  I’ve already got mine.  You should go ahead and get your copy NOW!


New EP From Fascinations Grand Chorus

Fascinations Grand Chorus’ third EP, Anglesea, comes out today, Friday, December 8th, a self-described “audio experiment of pop stylings.” This EP features the band’s range of styles, yet still feels cohesive. Despite their competitive songwriting, there’s no hint of tension on this EP; it flows smoothly track after track.

Starting out with “When You’re Mine,” the duo gives us an accessible door into the rest of the album, with familiar light, muted vocals and rollicking indie-pop feel. Its fluid, upbeat chord progressions make the song seem like a carefree trip through a jellybean forest (you know, one of the many Great Jellybean Forests of North America). It’s got that delicious indie pop feel, with Stephanie’s light vocals and Andrew’s lively drums. Combined with Stephanie’s killer keyboard, the result is a sound much larger than you’d expect from two people.


Fire is Motion Releases “Still, I Try”

I need to be honest with you people.  This is a confession that I’ve made before, but I feel is worth repeating.  I am neither a journalist or musician.  I do not know what I’m talking about half the time.  I’m sure that most of you are not the least bit surprised.  The point being, sometimes an album comes around that is so artistic, so technical, so complex that my immediate reaction is “ah fuck, I’m gonna look like a jackass trying to review this.”  Thank you to Fire is Motion for making me look like that jackass once again with their new EP, Still, I Try.


Mutual Interest Single Release: Sunset on a Perfect Day

On of my biggest pet peeves is when band’s are defined in terms of other bands instead of given the credit for their own individuality and creativity.  When you read things like “They sound like Green Day,” it’s usually bull shit because even Green Day doesn’t sound like Green Day anymore, but that’s a conversation for another time.  Point being, I was a little ashamed of myself when I listened to Mutual Interest‘s upcoming album Better Than I Expected and immediately thought to myself “holy shit! they sound like The Smiths….sans Morrissey’s pretentiousness.”  But so much that made so many people fall in love with The Smiths is present in Mutual Interest, from the jangling post-punk riffs to the melodramatic new wave tones, and if you doubt me, listen for yourself.  The premiere of their single “Sunset on a Perfect Day” is streaming below.


Hodera’s First Things First is as Real as it Gets

There’s a ton of great music coming out of the New Jersey indie scene these days from a ton of talented artists, but there are certain intangible qualities beyond sheer talent which are responsible for a piece of music being able to truly resonate with people on a level that exists deeper than enjoyable listening.  Such an album was given to us by Hodera and Take This to Heart Records in First Things First.

On November 3, Hodera celebrated the release with a show at The Brighton Bar in Long Branch along with Save Face, Secret Stuff, and Halogens.  The venue was packed with an enthusiastic and attentive crowd.  To have followed these guys’ work and to see them receive the feedback and support First Things First has brought them has been nothing short of remarkable.


Big News From The Vaughns

One of New Jersey’s most exciting and promising young bands, The Vaughns have been gaining more and more attention as of late.  Following their 2015 release tomfooleryThe Vaughns had released the single “Santa Cruz” back in May of this year and debuted a music video in September.  

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