McCafferty – Beach Boy

Beach Boy is a wordy and captivating set of tracks from Ohio singer-songwriter Nick Hartkop and his band. It’s a mix of danceable punk music and acoustic emo ballads. It’s catchy and energetic, yet, downtrodden and slightly melodramatic. While I know this kind of music doesn’t translate for everyone, I think Nick has a strong pop sensibility that transcends his occasionally too-tragic vocals. Enjoy!

Girl Talk & Freeway – Broken Ankles

Where have these guys been, and why haven’t they been collaborating already?

Pennsylvania is teaming up on this one with mashup master Girl Talk providing a handful of beats for Philly rapper Freeway. Some might think his style is gimmicky, but Girl Talk’s never really disappointed me. It’s actually funny that he’s been musically silent for the past four years, because I think music fans aren’t really paying attention to genre boundaries like they used to. Now that music discovery on the internet is in full swing, people are listening to whatever the hell they want. That’s exactly what Girl Talk’s megamix albums represented to me, anyway.

As far as Freeway goes, I’ve never really been a fan outside of The Stimulus Package–which dropped the same year as Girl Talk’s last record–but I think he’s sounding completely revitalized over these sample-heavy beats.

I think Freeway and Girl Talk are finding new purpose together with this new EP of theirs, Broken Ankles. The lyrics are grimy, violent, forceful. I’d call the instrumentals unlikely, but nothing happens here that albums like Feed The Animals didn’t already set a precedent for. Still, it’s great to hear Girl Talk focusing on some completely original material rather than just assembling tracks out of pieces of other songs. Stuff like this EP could really build his rep as a producer, because the beats have a lot going on for them on this thing. Enjoy via the widget above or the link below!

Download: Girl Talk & Freeway – Broken Ankles

Tobacco – “Streaker” ft. Notrabel

Black Moth Super Rainbow frontman Tobacco will drop his third solo album Ultima II Massage next month, and from what we’ve heard so far, it’s gonna be a filthy, scuzzy affair. Now, if you thought lead single “Eruption” wasn’t filthy or scuzzy enough, this new one “Streaker” might just scratch that dirty itch of yours. This new song proffers perhaps Tobacco’s heaviest instrumental yet – overdriven electronics buzzing, whirring, and crashing in every which way, and even the vocodered voice is decidedly distorted and nasty compared to the lightness and gentleness typically brought by Tobacco’s vocals. He doesn’t care if he’s harshing our buzz this time around. In fact, I think he wants to, and that’s oddly refreshing. Stream the track above and enjoy!

Ultima II Massage is out May 13 via Ghostly. Check out Anthony’s thoughts on Tobacco’s last LP here.

ZelooperZ – “Can’t Hang”

The previously mentioned Bruiser Brigade MC Zelooperz strikes again with a new track titled “Can’t Hang.” The dude continues to bring an over-the-top delivery, eccentric lyrics, and an animalistic flow that even Zelooperz himself seems like he’s hardly got a hold of. Oh, let’s not forget to mention the B-A-N-G-E-R beat on this thing. Damn!

From what I understand, this dude’s got a tape on the way titled HELP, and I can’t wait for it right now. My brain is about to explode from the suspense.

Silver Mt. Zion – “Birds Toss Precious Flowers”

Having dropped the art rock wonder Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything earlier this year, Thee Silver Mt. Zion is readying a new “remix” EP that will be released just later this month. It is called Hang on to Each Other and features two lengthy revamps of the song of the same name from the collective’s 2005 effort Horses in the Sky.

Now, I’m wondering if fellow post-rock act Mogwai stole the name Rave Tapes from them, as judging from the EP’s B-side, “Birds Toss Precious Flowers,” that would be a fitting name for this project. This song is a headlong foray into electronic dance music…and the guys and gals at Thee Silver Mt. Zion actually pull it off. While it doesn’t remotely resemble the mostly acapella track it purports to have used as a “launching point,” the track is a true-blue house odyssey that remains captivating for its full 12 minutes. I can’t say I was expecting this from the band, but hell, I think now I’d like to them go totally electronic for a release in the future.

From the band: “It’s like that famous quote that Emma Goldman never said = “DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION”!”

Hang on to Each Other is due out April 29 via Constellation. A gentle reminder the band’s latest full-length is amazing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_UR-FF5h2I

Liars – “Mess on a Mission”

“Facts Are Fiction”

In the first music video in support of Mess, Liars reduce, deconstruct, and distort reality via a repetitious, cycled sequence of the trio, placed in the midst of an anarchic situation, slowly retreating backwards up a set of steps. With the end of each cycle comes some form of camera trickery, whether it be a different viewing angle, different computer-generated surroundings and props, or the blurring together of previously-seen elements in a sort of glitchy artifact soup. It’s a genius concept that perfectly matches the amped-up aesthetic of the album. It doesn’t do much good trying to explain it, though; so go on and press the play button right up there – and be prepared for the ensuing perceptual overload.

“What A Mess”

Mess is out now, and in case you haven’t heard, or forgot, it’s awesome:

The Body – “To Carry the Seeds of Death within Me”

Well, here’s a video that’ll surely give you nightmares. As if their compositions weren’t terror-inducing enough, Portland avant-garde, experimental metal duo The Body have enlisted the demented talents of London musician The Haxan Cloak just to make sure their new album I Shall Die Here is even more fucked up than its predecessor, last year’s Christs, Redeemers.

“To Carry the Seeds of Death within Me” is a horrific piece by itself – The Haxan Cloak’s rumbling bass has certainly enhanced this quality of The Body’s music. But  then there’s the Richard Rankin-shot visuals that are attached to it, which depict a man staring into a mirror, preparing to perform some kind of invasive procedure on his head, and going on to cut in. Thanks a lot, The Body, Haxan Cloak, and Richard Rankin; I dedicate my loss of sleep and consequent delirium to you.

I Shall Die Here is due out April 1 via RVNG. It is currently streaming on Pitchfork. By the way, we’re masochists and loved The Haxan Cloak’s Excavation, which dropped last year:

Xiu Xiu – “Botanica de Los Angeles”

Xiu Xiu has made plenty of videos in support of their great (but naturally polarizing) new album Angel Guts: Red Classroom – lead single “Stupid in the Dark” first got a really gritty one, followed by a Pornhub-hosted one for “Black Dick,” another NSWF, S&M-themed one for “El Naco,” and then two surprisingly inoffensive ones for “Lawrence Liquors.”

Thankfully, Xiu Xiu have continued going in a safe-for-work direction with their latest video, for the warm, oddly triumphant penultimate track “Botanica de Los Angeles.” It features twitchy, cubistic animation and it kind of reminds me of David Lynch’s early animation. It’s really neat!

I’ve been fine with the band’s more explicit, on-the-nose expression of Angel Guts‘ unsavory subject matters – although the visuals are repulsive, Jamie and co. are displaying a level of commitment to direction and aesthetic I’ve always wanted to see from them. Still, it’s nice seeing them get back to the more creative and abstract approach to conveying these themes, as they’ve done to fine effect for past projects. However, they hinted a while back at a video for “Adult Friends,” and things could get NSFW with that video real fast – let’s hope nobody gets down and dirty with a pig for it.

Angel Guts: Red Classroom is out now via Polyvinyl. Check out our review of it below:

The Scenes – “Anorexia Is Boring”

Finnish rock group The Scenes evidently feel anorexia is boring, but thankfully their music is anything but. This song is catchy, catchy, catchy. The “twiggy” guitar tones, that “woohoo-ooh” falsetto vocal, and my gosh that finale! – they all add up to an unlikely earworm. And of course there’s a good, powerfully-delivered message here: anorexia blows; lead a healthy lifestyle and be cool with your body, y’all. Check the track and its simple B&W music video out above.

“Anorexia Is Boring” is taken from the band’s upcoming LP Beige, which is due out in April via Sound of Finland. Be on the lookout for it!