Liars – “Mask Maker” (Extended Version) (Video)

Released earlier this year, Liars’ diverse but focused project, Mess, received average to good reviews, mostly because even though it was interesting, progressive and at the same time still quite retro, they did little to stray from their usual early 2000s dance punk sound. The intro track “Mask Maker” led the pack with a viscous New Order-esque bass beat, peculiar lyrics and a synth horn section that could have come from a punk Atom Heart Mother; and was noticed as one of the best–if not the best–tracks on the record.

Consequently, the release of the new music video for “Mask Maker” was pretty exciting, as Liars would have the chance to put their aesthetic talent to use once again to match the boldness and power of the track. Characteristically the video features a minimalistic approach, each band member wearing white suits and being drenched in multicolored wool threads, with jumps from image to image in time with the beat. Although I would have enjoyed a reference to whatever the lyrics actually meant, I actually preferred the abstract approach.

If you haven’t heard the track, the video is an interesting accompaniment, and a must see for Liars aesthetic lovers.

- Fin Worrall

The Wytches – Annabel Dream Reader

Fusing surf rock, horror punk, and lo-fi garage, the new Wytches album is an electrifying experience.

Iceage – “Against The Moon” (NSFW Video)

One of Denmark’s greatest noise rock bands goes baroque punk on the track “Against The Moon,” which you can catch on their latest full-length album Plowing Into the Field of Love, which is out now via Matador.

The band saw fit to tag some Martin Masai Andersen & Kim Thue-directed visuals to the track, and they’re an esoteric exploration into sexuality, age, and regret. Or, well, at least that’s how I interpret it anyway.

A Place To Bury Strangers – “Straight”

New York’s A Place To Bury Strangers has announced a new album for 2015, and they just dropped the first single, and it’s titled “Straight.” This is one of the most ferocious noise rock bands on the East Coast, and they live up to that reputation with rumbling distortion, squawking guitar feedback, and a driving bassline.

While the band’s last record seemed a little distant and underwhelming, this new single sound up close and personal, which is just the way I like it.

Look for the new A Place To Bury Strangers album, Transfixation, via Dead Oceans on February 17th.

Ariel Pink – pom pom

Pop’s biggest oddball comes through with his strongest set of songs since the 00s.

Parkay Quarts – “Content Nausea”

Seeing Parkay Quarts, a.k.a. Parquet Courts, live at the intimate and classic venue DC9 will forever inform the way vocalist Andrew Savage’s singing reaches me. I’m not 100% certain, but I’m fairly sure that he alternated staring down members of the crowd while pummeling them with his trademark rapid fire stream of consciousness lyrics. On most of their records, it can become all too easy to overlook how fast the man sings, but watching him perform these songs in person while staring straight through me and other audiences members truly emphasized this talent. Well, “Content Nausea” captures that experience and even amplifies it. The song begins with a sauntering drum roll and polite yet punky guitar, before Savage’s word urgent but nonsensical monologue spills out and overtakes the song. Like it’s taken by a sudden bout of nausea, the instrumentation disintegrates from its previous structure to wailing noise. “Please stop!” it almost pleads, but thankfully Savage doesn’t. He wouldn’t be so savage if he did.

This track comes from Parquet Courts’ latest album via What’s Your Rupture?, which can be picked up here.

- Garrett Cottingham

Liars – “I’m No Gold” / “Poison Bender”

Liars released their single “I’m No Gold” on November 4th, a song that was originally featured on their innovative LP from March titled Mess. The single will be accompanied by 2 b-sides and 3 remixes as well. Mess’s dark, electronic, and extremely heavy dance jams turned more than a few heads after their relatively tame foray into the world of electronica on 2012′s WIXIW. “I’m No Gold” embodies the harsh post-punk aesthetic of this album, alternating between bouncy glitch hop and driving house beats combined with very dark synths. The song is terrifying, but stays immensely fun throughout. Sure, there are hundreds of post-punk electronic albums out there, but you can’t convince me the world isn’t a better place without Liar’s take on the genre. Check out the haunting video that accompanies the single above, and find a b-side from this forthcomign single below:

- Garrett Cottingham

Parquet Courts and PC Worship – “Fell into the Wrong Crowd”

Can’t say I was expecting this: an 11-minute collaborative live recording from PC Worship and the New York post-punks over at Parquet Courts. Isn’t it “Parkay Quarts” now? Who knows? I certainly don’t know if the song at all works, especially with its disgustingly distorted vocal, but I’ll give it credit for being an interesting, left-field turn at the very least. Granted, it’s not nearly as profound as anything off that other garage rock/post-punk surprise from earlier this year.

Parkay Quarts has a new album on the way called Content Nausea. It’s out November 11 via What’s Your Rupture? and doesn’t feature this track. It’ll be the band’s second album this year, after Sunbathing Animal, whose review you’ll find below:

Big Ups – “Rash”

Previously loved New York noise rock newbies Big Ups have a new split 7″ on the way via Exploding In Sound, and “Rash” is one of several tracks on it. Give a listen via the embed above, and try not to bob your head too violently.

Viet Cong – “Continental Shelf”

Ever since the sudden breakup of Canadian noise rock band Women, and the untimely passing of member Chris Reimer, there’s been a lo-fi-shaped hole in my heart few bands have been able to fill. Many have tried, but no group has successfully balanced catchy and subversive in the way Women has.

Enter Viet Cong: This new band not only features a similar aesthetic, but ex-Women members Matt Flegel as well and Michael Wallace. Scott Munro of Chad VanGaalen‘s band also works his way into the mix–if you didn’t know, Chad produced both of Women’s two full-lengths. And let’s not leave out bandmate Daniel Christiansen and.

Viet Cong started to test out the waters last year with a cassette that ended up on Mexican Summer, and now the band is gearing up to release a self-titled debut via Jagjaguwar in January 2015. Considering the quality of this lead single, I’m psyched.

The howling, haunting melodies on this track are fantastic! The galloping beat is a nice touch, and the vocals remind me of an early Wolf Parade record. It’s lo-fi, catchy, noisy, and there’s a touch of goth rock somewhere in there as well. January can’t come soon enough!