Blunt Bangs "Proper Smoker (Rough Trade Publishing)"
Proper Smoker, the debut LP from indie-supergroup Blunt Bangs, is proof that power pop remains perennial. Boasting a lineup that includes Reggie Youngblood (Black Kids) on guitar and vocals, Christian “Smokey” DeRoeck (Woods, Deep State, Meneguar, Little Gold) on guitar and vocals, and Cash Carter (Tracy Shedd, The Cadets) on drums, Blunt Bangs’ debut melds the canon of 90s indie rock with a spark of optimism for these uncertain times.
Real Friends "Torn In Two (Pure Noise)"
Real Friends‘ Torn In Two was produced by Andrew Wade, who has worked on albums for punk bands A DAY TO REMEMBER and NECK DEEP, as well as Mike Green, who has co-written and produced on projects for SUM 41, NEW FOUND GLORY, and THE ACES. This new EP incorporates a recurring motif of the torn-ness and separation we have recently experienced in our everyday lives, as vocalist Cody Muraro elaborates. “I really liked how we were able to incorporate the Torn In Two theme throughout. The album artwork being people separated. The five main songs on one side and five alternates on the other. I think the past year has left a lot of us feeling torn, scrambling to reconnect with a sense of familiarity.”
Mono "Pilgrimage of the Soul (Rough Trade Publishing)"
Pilgrimage of the Soul is the 11th studio album in the 22-year career of Japanese experimental rock legends, MONO. Recorded and mixed – cautiously, anxiously, yet optimistically – during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in the summer of 2020, Pilgrimage of the Soul is aptly named as it not only represents the peaks and valleys where MONO are now as they enter their third decade, but also charts their long, steady journey to this time and place.
Lydia Hol "Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream (Rough Trade Publishing)"
Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream, Lydia Hol’s newest record, captures the strange paradox of Hollywood, and the illusion of utopian happiness. Societal fragmentation and darkness underneath the gloss are key themes of the record, with each of the nine songs offering a distinct lens to peer inside of, encapsulating the artificiality of the California dream.