Sauna Youth - Dreamlands - Gringo Records/Faux Disx
Opening track A Town Called Distraction really shouldn’t work. With a pounding drum beat and some nice guitar lines in the background, the song revolves around two seemingly separate but intricately linked spoken word stories, engagingly done with male and female vocals. The seemingly mundane tales of boredom and procrastination should drag, especially at ten minutes, long but it completely draws you in, refusing to let go as the guitars swirl between fuzzed out rock and straight punk and the lyrics strike a chord with everyone who has ever wandered the town before a date or a meeting while touching deeper ideas of relationships and human nature.
Dads - American Radass (This is Important) - Broken World Media
Dads have created a soundtrack here. Their brand of emo might not be particularly original but it’s so well done that it’s hard not to smile when you hear it, or get drawn in by its catchy nature. The opening track If Your Song Title Has The Word “Beach” In It, I’m Not Listening To It is almost hypnotic from beginning to end, and carries a cheeky sense of humour, even naming the next song To the Beach!
Puddle Jumper - You Were My October - Self Released
Puddle Jumper are full of energy on this, their debut album and it pays off for the most part in this mature mix of emo, indie and ska that bounces along and pulls you gently with it.
Young Turks - Where I Lie - Animal Style Records
Sometimes bands can do everything right and still get it wrong. Young Turks are one of these bands. Their frantic brand of screamo and rock ‘n’ roll should light a fire under any listener but there just seems to be something missing. Where I Lie feels shallow and dishonest, like it’s playing on the idea of being a punk band instead of actually being a punk band, it almost feels like they were something else and then chose this path because it was flashing in the pan.
Certain People I Know - Certain People I Know - Count Your Lucky Stars Records
There’s something strange about this album. It’s not bad; in fact it’s far from it and anyone who has followed Robert Nanna’s career up until this point will no doubt love it, but something just doesn’t sit right.
Adaje - Yore Veils - Broken World Media
There’s a moment of calm at the start of final track Harrowing Sounds from the Ravine; sparse drum beats and slowly building melodies mirrors the opening song Slithering Snakes on Those Slandering Mountains and give a beautiful contrast to the chaotic emoviolence that comes in between.
Reel Big Fish - Candy Coated Furry - Rock Ridge Music
God Reel Big Fish were funny weren’t they? Don’t Start a Band and Sell Out had people laughing and skanking across the dance floors. Now they’ve released Candy Coated Furry, an album so limp and lifeless you’d have to reanimate it before it even came close to skanking.
The Locust - Molecular Genetics from the Gold Standard Labs - Epitaph Records
It’s so easy to concentrate on the crazy side of The Locust. You can fill whole reviews about the perpetual headache you’ve had trying to describe them but it’s futile. Never giving you a second to adjust to your bearings, The Locust are, and always have been, a musical whirlwind; taking influence from everything around them.
Belle Histoire - Dreamers - InVogue Records
Jane Smith is incredibly talented; it might not show in her punk outfit Formulas where she’s too easily written off as a Hayley Williams rip off, but here in Belle Histoire she’s a revelation backed by gentle indie melodies which allow her to really push herself vocally; bringing her lyrics to life with her impressive range and soulful voice.
Duck, Little Brother, Duck - Don’t Take Our Filth Away - Topshelf Records
There’s so much going on through this release. Duck, Little Brother, Duck have created something rich and complex, never stopping for a second, always evolving and revealing a different influence or style. One second they travel along a more typical emo route, but it quickly collapses into something that sounds more improvisational, off kilter drum fills and spontaneous guitar lines that sound so right even though they might not fit at first glance.