Pkew Pkew Pkew "Open Bar (Rough Trade Publishing)"
Pkew Pkew Pkew is looking on the bright side.
As a band that lives and dies by touring, it’s been a while since they could say fuck it, we’re taking a year off to make something. That decision wasn’t entirely theirs, but 2020 handed them an opportunity. Open Bar doesn’t navigate any of the tired pandemic tropes. Instead, Pkew is celebrating the things that make their lives awesome, even if those things suck sometimes.
The band was forced to take a step back and use a slower approach. Mike Warne (guitars/vocals), Ryan McKinley (guitars/vocals), Emmett O’Reilly (bass/vocals) and David Laino (drums) bounced song ideas off Craig Finn of The Hold Steady, and went into the studio with Jon Drew, who produced their first album.
“Since we didn’t have a hard deadline to finish, we felt a lot more freedom to take our time and mess around in the studio. Jon is the kind of producer that is down to try anything, so we had lots of fun playing with trumpets, old moog synths, glockenspiels,” says Warne.
In a weird year, the familiar Pkew themes—navigating life’s small daily troubles with a sardonic grin and your friends by your side—are comforting, nostalgic.
The result is tight, rowdy modern punk with the heart and soul of classic rock. It’s cracking a beer in the park, plugging in the AUX cord on a summer road trip, cramming into a sweaty bar with your friends and a million strangers.
Pink Mountaintops "Peacock Pools"
Since their 2004 self-titled debut, Pink Mountaintops have supplied an outlet for the more arcane fascinations of Black Mountain frontman Stephen McBean. On Peacock Pools—Pink Mountaintops’ first new music in eight years—the British Columbia-born singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist shares 12 songs sparked from his magpie-like curiosity for a wild expanse of cultural artifacts: the sci-fi body horror of David Cronenberg, Disney Read-Along Records from the 1970s, early Pink Floyd and mid-career Gary Numan, John Carpenter movies, Ornette Coleman live videos, a 1991 essay on the cult of bodybuilding by postmodern feminist Camille Paglia. Featuring counterculture icons like Steven McDonald of Redd Kross and Dale Crover of Melvins, Peacock Pools alchemizes those obsessions into a body of work with its own enchanting power, the sonic equivalent of falling down a thousand rabbit holes at once and landing somewhere gloriously strange.
Terror "Pain Into Power"
For two decades Terror have been relentless. The band has achieved a kind of longevity that’s exceedingly rare, managing to stay both consistently active and consistently ferocious–a feet that’s taken them from their underground roots to being one of the most legendary groups in hardcore. Now on their eighth studio album, Pain Into Power, the band have bridged the gap between their past and present, with original guitarist Todd Jones returning to the fold to produce an extraordinarily visceral record that proves Terror’s future is looking as fast, heavy, and aggressive as ever.
Hayden Calnin "Something/Anything"
“‘(Something/Anyhting) is an EP that is bringing some never released tracks back to life. I chose to put all these songs together to show what can be lost musically and because they sat around the same key, so it flowed into what hopefully sounds like one big journey of a song,’ Says Calnin Hayden.
Hayden released his latest album, What It Means To Be Human, in the fall of 2021. The record showcases Calnin’s growth as an artist and finds him confidently embracing orchestral-infused, progressive, cinematic folk pop into his sound. Written, recorded, and produced almost entirely by Hayden, the record is meant to be a movie score for human existence, pushing the listener to explore their place in the world and who they want to be in it. It follows recent EPs and his 2016 debut double album, Cut Love Pt. 1 & 2.”
– Michael Major, Broadway World