New Jersey is home to Double Double Whammy, an independent label responsible for a measure of releases that reign in Modern-Emo delicacy and lo-fi punk. They’ve brought together a gang of musicians that have produced some stellar output, Frankie Cosmos’ ‘Zentropy‘ being one of a number of high quality albums, since the imprints inception in 2011, which has opened up the possibility of a exposing a little light on the ever-prospering label.
Now teaming up with Exploding In Sound, (another independent that has provided some pleasingly caustic output, including Speedy Ortiz‘ ‘Sport‘ EP), the two labels are throwing four bands into a fatal-four way of gratifyingly noisy and fervid US slacker-rock. With the record set for a 14th October release date, the first band walking out to the ring are Boston, Mass noise-crafting trio Krill, with their dropkick of a 3-minute track, ‘Peanut Butter‘.
Lead by incensed personalities, jarring melodies and sharp signature-directions, Krill please thoroughly with stop-starting rhythms and quiet-loud dynamics, all kicked through with surprising coherency. ‘Lucky Leaves‘, their latest LP, is soon to be re-released over here with the aforementioned ‘Peanut Butter‘ as a bonus track, the album an unsettled animal producing a very dry wit (“Oppressor“) and striking refrains. ‘Peanut Butter‘ is their clearest attempt at letting their music speak for itself, those now familiar yet still disconcerting progressions have evolved and somehow sound brasher than on their record.
Joining the three-piece on the double-sided 7″ will be Connecticut Alt.Rock 5-Piece Ovlov, who last year released their slacker-grunge, lo-fi debut LP ‘am‘. Low-slung bass and Steve Harlett’s grit-eating call lay in debt to Dinosaur Jr and the cult-followed scene of 90s American youth, prospering quite interchangeably with Sadie Dupuis in Harlett’s ability with a melodic hook and a rasping, affecting lyric. Paradoxically they bear a striking resemblance to a cascading Parquet Courts, distinctly on ‘There’s My Dini!‘. Accompanied by late 90s Emo-melodies, the group flourish as much while they dwell as when in a raucous state. Ovlov have the propensity to animate as much with their feelings of desolation as their frustration.
Philadelphia’s Radiator Hospital have released their latest record ‘Torch Songs‘ this month, 15 tracks of superbly scrappy lo-fi pop that is available on a name-your-price basis on their Bandcamp. A particularly irresistible collection of songs, Sam Parrott is an astute lyricist incensed by his natural surroundings and experiences, laying conversations with a dispersed delivery over radiating yet raw hooks and unfastened, symbol heavy-percussion. Being friends of the Crutchfield Sisters, both Katie (Waxahatchee) & Allison (Swearin’) make appearances on the record, providing Parrott with perfect sparring partners on vocal duties, yet it’s guitarist Cynthia Shimmer that provides spectacularly on ‘Honeymoon Phase’, a mellow calm to Parrott’s erratically charged performance. ‘I’m All Right’ is one of the most beautifully inspiring tracks you will hear all year, Parrott bare of band and professing sanity over harmonious chords. Whether the tracks they provide are pace-setting melodic thrash or confession-filled lo-fi, it will compel you instantly to their sound.
Lvl UP’s ‘Hoodwink’d‘ typifies all of the addictive components of US Alternative Rock. The driving, engaging rhythm, the Pixies-esque change in genre-direction while remaining creatively homogenous, the intriguing identity writing influentially powerful lyrics and delivering them in such a lackadaisical nature (Cuomo, Malkmus, Corgan?), it’s all here on the four-piece’s impressively-constructed LP. Developing an understanding for understated hooks, the band provide two parts subtlety to three parts fuzz as they lay a distorted laminate over concealed euphony, Mike Caridi’s low-baritone yielding compassionate verses that with further listening unveil another compelling personality with relatable thoughts alike to their contemporaries, and most likely inspirations.
Four bands with evident ability in what they create, Exploding In Sound and Double Double Whammy are two labels providing us with the very thing most people don’t even know they need; passionate, compelling and exciting music with added bonus that they can call make a bit of noise.
Krill / LVL UP / Ovlov / Radiator Hospital Split’ is available for download on 14th October.