Sleaford Mods – Singles Collection

Musically minimal and verbally maximal, this singles collection from Sleaford Mods is one of the oddest things I’ve come into contact with in the past month. Yeah, it sounds a lot like the Fall, but their use of drum machines and loops definitely sets them apart from them and any similar post-punk act. Not only that, but there seems to be a strong emphasis on societal satire in the lyrics, which is something I’m sure a Future of the Left fan an appreciate.

I could make numerous comparisons, but the insane rants and unadulterated rage displayed on this album is uniquely hilarious. The poetry behind the lyrics is actually pretty clever as well. Not bad for a set of tracks that sound like they were pulled together on a shoestring budget.

Also, I gotta tell you that these guys are actually planning on dropping a new record on April 28th titled Divide and Exit, which you can stream the first single from here. It sounds like they might actually be going for a fuller sound on this new record, which I’m very excited to hear!

En-fucking-joy!

Sorry, it just seemed appropriate.

Odonis Odonis – “Order In the Court”

The previously mentioned Odonis Odonis drops a new video that features some Terry Gilliam-esque animation from Lee Stringle. It’s a pretty overwhelming set of disturbing visuals that matches the music perfectly. The band itself delivers one of the noisiest songs I’ve heard them create yet, making me even more exciting for their next album dropping via Buzz Records on April 15th. The title: Hard Boiled Soft Boiled. Enjoy!

Dub Thompson – “Dog Races”

Recent Secretly Canadian signees Dub Thompson drop a new track and music video that reminds me of a more lush, psychedelic take on Odelay-era Beck. Really enjoying the band’s approach to groove, vocal delivery, and the slightly lo-fi tone of the recording. Not only that, but the marching theme melody of this track, strangely enough, is incredibly fun. If every track is this good on the band’s forthcoming album, 9 Songs, the only disappointment will be that it’s, well, 9 songs. Enjoy, and look for this album on June 10th!

Big Ups – Eighteen Hours of Static

Big Ups’ Eighteen Hours of Static combines numerous styles of underground rock music to create one of the most cutting, satirical rock records of this year. Think Minor Threat, Slint, D.R.I., and Dead Milkmen coming to a fantastic compromise on a collaborative album.

Swans – “A Little God in My Hands”

At long last we have the first single from Swans’ upcoming double album To Be Kind! “A Little God in My Hands” is quite the change of pace coming off thoroughly heavy efforts like The Seer and the limited edition live CD Not Here/Not Now (which contains a few early iterations of tracks to land on Kind). The track has that post-industrial strut not unfamiliar to fans of the band – such a beefy, beefy bass line! – but it’s strangely funky, even suggesting a bit of a krautrock influence. The uncharacteristically twangy guitar flicks call Neu!’s “Hallogallo” to my mind, and the trudge is also accented by these light synth splutters that are a welcome addition to Swans’ ever-growing compositional palette.

The sauntering stomp of the song’s verses gives way to eruptions of blaring horns (more likely Thor’s clarinet), piercing electronics, and revved guitars – the sort of crushing climaxes you expect from Swans, but the band has done well to keep things fresh.

Frontman Michael Gira has promised that although even longer than The Seer, To Be Kind will be “more vocal-oriented” than its predecessor. Gira opts to wail his lyrics throughout “A Little God in My Hands” in a nasally, although not at all off-putting sort of way. But judging from the Kind songs the band had been developing live on their last tour, there is going to be a great deal of variety across the LP on this front – ranging from soft, weathered crooning (the title track) to throat-searing howling (“She Loves Us!”). Moreover, during the second verse here, we get a vocal cadence from presumably Annie Clark (St. Vincent), and it is absolutely lovely. I am excited to hear where and how else her voice has been utilized over the course of the record.

To Be Kind drops via Young God on May 12 (or, a date that’s too damn far away)!

Big Ups – “Goes Black”

Here’s a piece of wordy, nerdy, and perturbed-y piece of art punk that’s been growing on me lately: Big UpsEighteen Hours of Static. “Goes Black” is one of the couple songs the band is letting people stream from their new album, which is out now via Dead Labour Records.

The tracks on this thing really check a lot of boxes for me. It’s well-read, aggressive, emotive, and plenty of skilled guitar play with a punk edge. Enjoy!

Xiu Xiu – Angel Guts: Red Classroom

While Angel Guts: Red Classroom might be Xiu Xiu’s most freakish record, I can’t help but feel a little underwhelmed by some of the purely freakish tracks here.

Girl Band – “Lawman”

You should know about Girl Band – they’re a noisy-as-all-get-out post-punk outfit hailing from Dublin. They have a new video out for their latest single, “Lawman,” which at over six minutes, shows off the band’s prowess in working with repetitive grooves. The video is appropriately dank, shot in B&W in a dark, featureless room through what looks to be a low-quality security camera. The visuals become very staticky as the members start going apeshit on their respective instruments towards the backend of the song. You, too, can lose your mind to their music; just click that play button right up there and enjoy!

You can download “Lawman” (as well as its very breezy B-side “Heckle the frames”) for free via the group’s Bandcamp.

Odonis Odonis – “New Obsession”

Odonis Odonis are ready to deliver another round of anthemic post-punk on upcoming album Hard Boiled Soft Boiled. However, the LP is apparently split into two halves, with the first being decidedly more hard-hitting than the second. Like the lead single, “Are We Friends,” this new track, “New Obsession,” is taken from the Hard Boiled side, with a composition that fuses thudding industrial with clamorous post-punk. It’s another killer song, and hopefully we’ll get a taste for the Soft Boiled side before the album drops April 15 (via Buzz Records).

Xiu Xiu – “Stupid In The Dark”

Xiu Xiu drops a dark, violent video for “Stupid In The Dark,” which is a cut from the band’s forthcoming album Angel Guts: Red Classroom. Don’t watch if you have an intense fear of seeing people take cast iron cookware to the head. Check a review for Xiu Xiu’s latest project, Nina, below: