Album reviews are at times difficult to write for a number of different reasons. One reason is that when music is good, it tends to not be so easily defined or explained. Shitty music is derivative of something else and can be summed up by saying its shoegaze, or pop-punk, or metal, or better yet, it sounds like The Smiths or “is influenced by” Radiohead. Of course, that’s a diminutive point of view that good, truly original music cannot be lumped in with. Another instance is when a piece of music transcends being just music and instead represents something larger than itself. The bad news for me is that both of these things are true for LKFFCT‘s latest EP, Cayenne, released back in April. The good news for you is that its got some fucking bangers.
New Brunswick’s Secretary Legs have been making some waves in the past few years with the release of two EPs coupled with a busy performance schedule spotted with some short tours. Though comprised of members of former New Jersey stalwarts Brick Mower and the Soft Maybes, the band was patient in developing and refining their sound, working towards the conception of an album that would really stand out. That album, Cool Myths, was released last Friday on Sniffling Indie Kids.
Hey everyone, welcome back for another episode of N.J. Racket’s Racket Radio Podcast. Joining us for Episode #2 are two are very popular artists and personalities in the New Jersey DIY scene. Max Rauch of LKFFCT and NGHTCRWLRS is not only a great artist and performer in his own right, but is a well respected engineer who has worked with some of the best artists New Jersey has to offer, and John Cozz of John Cozz and the Squirts is everybody’s favorite anti-folk turned pop-punk, amateur filmmaker, crab leg enthusiast. In our episode, Max and Cozz talk about some of their other favorite artists in the scene, irony and sincerity in their songwriting, what their grandmothers think of their music, and how none of us have read Infinite Jest.
We have some very special guests joining us for the first ever installment of N.J. Racket‘s Racket Radio podcast series. Sniffling Indie Kids is one of the most influential labels in the New Jersey independent music landscape and the three owners, Frank DeFranco, Eric Goldberg, and Joe Lanza are some of the most passionate and knowledgeable people that I’ve had the privilege to know.
In this episode, Frank, Eric, and Joe talk us through the inception of the label, going back to the creation of the Tiny Giant Artist Collective, through meeting Neil Sabatino of Mint 400 Records, starting the North Jersey Indie Rock Festival, and their plans for the future.
The saying goes, “I can’t define melody, per se, but I know it when I hear it.” Okay, so that isn’t at all a thing that people actually say, but it is exactly how I felt when I first heard “View From the Bleachers,” the first single from Subtitles’ fourth EP (fifth counting a 2015 split release with Cranes Are Flying) titled Modicum, out Friday, January 12 on Sniffling Indie Kids.
Subtitles is a three-piece indie alt-rock band out of Newark, NJ consisting of Russell Payan, Brian Roy, and Ben Petty (also of ManDancing), formed back in 2014. Over the past few years, the band has refined their songwriting to further evolve the storytelling that is so prevalent in their music. This is accompanied by light guitar riffs that create a soft and sweet vibe to songs that are thematically, at times, much darker than they initially seem.