Category Archives: Mathy Alt-Rock

Old News ‘Castro’ EP

Indie-rock/alternative group, Old News have released their new EP ‘Castro’ which was mastered by TJ Lipple, who has worked with American Football, Fugazi, Look Mexico, and others. Old News is an indie-rock band based out of Kansas. Inspired heavily by math-rock, emo revival, and jazz harmony, the group combines these influences into a genre defying mix of sounds. Their new EP, ‘Castro’, is full to the brim with off-the-wall grooves, wailing trumpet, and spiraling, slinky guitar passages. Old News is comprised of current and former WSU/Friends University jazz alumni and oddball music fanatics, Beau Harris, Max Abood , Blaine Martin, and Sutton Wilson.

‘Castro’ is a rowdy collection of gnarly rock with some slickness in the form of jazzy elements and the odd trumpet bellow. With the twinkly guitar intro of ‘Everyone’s A Minimalist’ these guys display a knack for intricate instrumentation arrangements weaving fluidly between boisterous drums and grainy vocals. They balance the sweet and soothing with the fiery and powerful seamlessly. The trumpet injections add a touch of vibrancy to the turbulent tracks. When you think they couldn’t get more diverse Old News break into a subtle jingly instrumental that is like a sweet melodic elevator tune before fading out. ‘Disappointed But Not Surprised’ is brimming with energy and golden guitar moments. Crashing instrumentation slams into your eardrums like a cannonball before the lushest slinky guitar melodies and warm trumpet jingles iron out the sound creating an instantly chill dreamy haze. They shift between melty sweet and boisterous so rapidly and fluidly its amazing. ‘Spring Sensibility’ is the instrumental intermission packing a lot of gumption. Delicate soothing trumpet melodies lament with sweet nostalgia before the pounding drums and crashing guitars are introduced. This track slowly creeps into its thrilling crescendo, displaying a band that can keep you blissfully intrigued in their tunes even without vocals. Those guitar quivers and flickers are just sublime and take you to a beautiful scenic state of euphoria. ‘1917 Cherry St.’ is the final track on the EP and returns to the bands math rock heaviness. Sweeter vocals caress the verses while honey melodies on guitar and trumpet twinkle around with an airy feel. The verses then become more aggressive and ferocious.

An impressive EP from Old News. It’s well thought out and meticulously crafted as each detail, melody and flicker adds a new dimension and richness to the tracks. What appears to be a meaty skull bashing math rock EP blossoms into a pure richly layered experience that is pretty special and at times sweetly delicate.

Stream ‘Castro’ below

 


Civil Villains Double A-side Heathens and Cream // Haunted Hokum

civil-villains

Civil Villains are London trio Mark Hudson (Bass), James King (Guitar & Vocals) and Toby Warren (Drums & Vocals). These long time friends have created a sound that is hard to pin down. Walking the tightrope between mathy alt-rock and desert riffage. Having played in all manner of London venues, Civil Villains have recently returned from a North American tour, where they performed headline shows in Toronto and Cambridge, played Envol et Macadam Festival in Quebec City, and Mondo. NYC Festival in New York. Recently they were main support for Listener at The Borderline, played with Tides from Nebula and Polymath at The Boston Music Room (London), and Wild Throne at The Old Blue Last (London). They are now set to release their forthcoming double A-side Heathens and Cream // Haunted Hokum on December 2nd via Milky Bomb Records, which was recorded at Brighton Electric with Josh Harrison (Royal Blood, Tigercub, British Sea Power).
Civil Villains present us with two uniquely creative and complex tracks.

‘Heathens and Cream’ is a spine tingling hair raisingly chilling track coated in a darkened eerie atmosphere with thick slimy guitar licks and flexible sensual luring bass. Deep enthralling vocals give a haunting yet seductively captivating creepy quality to the verse. It tempts you and draws you into the track, while the howl like screech and growl for the chorus adds aggression and a frightening realisation of danger. Featuring atypical rhythmic structures ‘Heathens and Cream’ leaves you wondering what you have just experienced yet yearning to hear more.
‘Haunted Hokum’ is my favourite of the two its rapid slap bounce beat and Queens Of The Stone Age – esque vocals once again hook and lure you into the quicksand of infectiously sweet sensual entrapment of the melody. Steamy sultry desert hot guitars sting and burn with striking chords and scorching licks. The enticing driving bass lulls and coaxes its prey into a spellbinding comma fully submissive to this enchanting beguiling track.
Civil Villains display fantastic musicianship with their double A-side Heathens and Cream // Haunted Hokum. Its a bubbling concoction of moody erratic indie blended with gritty rock with a whole load of steamy sensual haunting confusion thrown in, add a dash of the sweet comfort of nectarous tones on guitar and your hooked.
Watch the video for  ‘Heathens and Cream’  below