>> As little glimmers of the warm season creep around the bend, a new self-titled EP by the Portland jazz-rock group Where’s My Friend has us longing for its many hidden blisses. A trio, Where’s My Friend make total mood music, an emotive fusion of broken chords, expressive and largely free drumming, and rich swells of violin and banjo. They cull from groups like the fallen math-rock ensemble the Waldos and Butcher Boy, and these four songs incorporate the triumphant prodigiousness and defiant yearning both those projects are known for. We were drawn in by the fractured, circular melodies on “Summer Drive, Ocean City Fireworks,” inviting enough to relax with before hearing them explode into slurred chords near the send-off. “To Know a Dog’s Burden” really ponders its own condition before making its final strides, as guitarist Justin Glover returns again and again out a tonic baritone note before a lovely and dramatic finish. We’d say they sound like a less brooding Dirty Three, or maybe like some of those mid-’90s Chicago post-rock bands if they ever taken the time to get exploring/some sunshine/laid. Hear Where’s My Friend’s gorgeous, 20-minute EP at wheresmyfriend.bandcamp.com.
>> The power-pop band When Particles Collide just announced a vinyl pre-order for their new album, Photoelectric, last week, pressed on a limited run of 300 pink LPs. The Bangor duo of guitarist/singer Sasha Alcott and drummer Chris Viner, who met on the set of Penobscot Theatre Company’s production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, have been indefatigable lately, having played 77 shows in 2013 and doing a few Green Day tribute sets across Northeastern New England. We don’t really know how they have the time for that (Alcott being a high school chemistry teacher and all), but it’s great to see a band go for it at all costs, and their sound has gotten indisputably more appealing over the years. Look out for Photoelectric on June 12th, and hear more WPC at whenparticlescollide.com.
>> Metal fans whose tastes run slightly harsher than most will sink their teeth into Paracusia, a new album by Shabti released last December. The death metal trio summon some truly paralyzing themes over eight songs here, ranging from the evolved raw punk of tracks like “Dissolution” and “The Second Kingdom” to the bonecrushingly heavy “Run to Your End,” which is as unrelenting and destructive as Behemoth and other masters of the craft. Hear them at shabti.bandcamp.com.