FUZZ AND GROOVES Broadcaster.
The Homegrown inbox here at 150 Chestnut never ceases to amaze, with quality submissions coming down the pipe on a weekly basis. There are already way too many releases that deserve a nod on the year-end best-of list, plus plenty of big names on deck: Deer Tick (stay tuned next week), Lolita Black, Kanerko, and Route .44. And be on the lookout for the debut from Torn Shorts (the new project from former Gamblin' Hands frontman Josh Grabert), plus dank and dense product from stoner-psychedelia mavens Sweet Love, Deleted Arrows, and Villainer. Meanwhile, here's a rock-steady three-pack of recent 3rd quarter '11 releases.
STEADY AS THEY GO
Lead singer/guitarist Trever McInnis played in Minneapolis-based hardcore act Song of Zarathustra alongside the Hold Steady's Tad Kubler more than 10 years ago, so it may not be much of coincidence that McInnis's new band, the Fortune Healers, cites THS as a prime influence. But McInnis comes off much more gruff than Craig Finn on the Fortune Healers debut EP, Hey Providence (Init Records). The searing "Clemintine" opens the post-punk proceedings, a harbinger of barroom-brawl anthems leading the way into "Sicklist," with its howl-along hook of "Hey Providence!" as TFH's rhythm section of Matthew Richard (drums) and Derek Dolan (bass) thump hard. Toss in Rocket from the Crypt and Seaweed as reference points when EP closer "Ship" mauls your speakers. Hands-down the best $3 you'll spend this week.
INDIE-FUN AT ITS FINEST
The Official Broadcaster Lovefest rages on here, as the PVD-via-Worcester quartet continues to impress with uber-catchy indie-rock anthems, as well as a thoroughly entertaining live show (it's always fun to watch seemingly-disaffected lead singer/guitarist Chris McTiernan spazzing and flopping around in a tattered sportcoat). Their latest release, a demo EP titled Tiger Tested (available for free at their Bandcamp.com site), contains all the jangly fuzz and rhythm grooves, and McTiernan's howling in raw form. He told me the songs will eventually be re-worked for their next full-length (tentatively titled Rational Music), the follow-up to their early '11 debut, Drunkard's Walk (75orLess Records). I implore you to get out and catch a Broadcaster show (hit 75orlessrecords.com for updates). Hey, there's a reason why the quartet took Best Breakthrough Act honors in our 2011 music poll. Fans of Modest Mouse, Built to Spill, Archers of Loaf, and Silkworm — rejoice!
Drummer/vocalist Michael Lamantia Jr. (aka Mikey Lams) and guitarist Alexander Laorenza long ago kicked up post-hardcore dust as founding members of A Trillion Barnacle Lapse, touring the country a handful of times in their late teens before eventually settling down and scaling back the apocalyptic noise with their guitar-and-electro rock outfit Makeupbreakup. I stumbled upon "Jungle City," the first single from their debut EP We Prefer Not To . . ., in early 2008 and was hooked. Depeche Mode, Slowdive, the Killers, and Interpol come to mind at various points of their 2010 full-length, SCENTS ("May Rx" from that album was nominated for Best Song in the '11 BMP). The new Italian Nightmare is decidedly louder and grittier than their past efforts, juiced by the work of bassist Eric McNiel, who relocated to Cali following the album's release. Lamantia and Laorenza remain, and for now have abandoned the idea of another tour — or maybe playing out at all. I caught up with Mikey Lams earlier this week.