Editor’s note: There was some confusion last issue (May 9, 2019) and an incomplete version of Jon Lynch’s column made it onto our pages. We missed some good ass information, so we’re repubbing the entire column this issue for your musical information and reading enjoyment.A friend and musical confidant recently relayed to me a reoccurring frustration about an artist. We were discussing albums that have already been released this year, albums he had already listened to a little bit of and rightly enjoyed. The mention of that one artist led to another as the discourse turned to a conversation about the intermingling of various record labels and like-minded or like-sounding bands.
There was a genuine sense of excitement when discussing how an artist was touring nearby – within a three to five-hour radius – as the conversation meandered into when and where that was happening. Traveling to see live music is now the routine norm for some living in our area. As long as bands keep churning out higher caliber albums, people will support them. The most assured way of supporting artists in 2019 is to see them live. If you are so moved, buy the record, or a shirt, or whatever you can at the merch table post-show. This puts money directly in the palm of a touring act. That said, catch any of the following if you are able.
“Destroyer,” Black Mountain, Available May 24th via Jagajaguwar There are so many bands that have taken up the Sabbath-ian mantle, but it was a five-piece from Vancouver that made me feel it anew back in 2005 with their self-titled debut record. Fourteen years have passed and they’re on their fifth record, but it’s as though no years have gone by at all. Their brand of psychedelic stoner sludge has come full circle and is as sharp and thudding as ever, even with lineup changes. Rachel Fannan (Sleepy Sun) and Adam Bulgasem (Dommengang, Soft Skull) have joined the Stephen McBean ranks while the record features contributions from Flaming Lips’ Kliph Scurlock and Oneida’s Kid Millions.
“Trope House,” Urochromes, Available May 31st via Wharf Cat Records Urochromes, formed in Western Massachusetts in 2015, are far from your run of the mill brand of punk. Tight knit blasts of spastic electro and punchy guitar licks are woven into an echo-y experimental fold. Their first proper long-player has the raw energy of DEVO or Suicide, with songs bursting in surges that rarely last more than a minute or two. Fans of their “Night Bully” 7-inch (which featured a Boy Harsher remix) will find the same sonics expounded on further here. Guitarist Dick Riddick and front man Jackie “Jackieboy” McDermott have found a perfect mix of the absurd and paranoid, transformed it into song, and captured it to tape.
“Lust for Youth,” Lust for Youth, Available June 7th via Sacred Bones Records Hannes Norrvide, Malthe Fischer, and Amanda Eriksson make up the current lineup of Gothenburg, Sweden’s minimalist dark synth act. Lust for Youth was originally formed in 2009 by Norrvide after friends were starting a heavier-guitar leaning punk band, and all he had to contribute was keyboards. It led to Hannes making a solo go of it and moving in another direct altogether. Lust for Youth’s fifth full-length for Sacred Bones is an “album is driven by a dance-pop agenda, hustling its way through upbeat peaks that level out into reflective ballads…sound brighter than they ever have before, taking tips from some of the flirtiest Eurobeat,” according to their press release.
“Perfect Version,” Julia Shapiro, Available June 14th via Hardly Art Records The answer for what Pacific Northwest band Julia Shapiro is associated with or best known for may vary greatly depending on who you ask. Some might know her as one third of Childbirth, along with Bree McKenna of Tacocat and Stacy Peck of Pony Time. Others may recognize her as guitarist and vocalist for Walla Walla’s Chastity Belt. Either way, her first foray as a solo recording artist is as welcome as it was surprising. After an emotionally trying and physically draining Chastity Belt tour, Shapiro came home to Washington seemingly spent. Once back, she began slowly working on the ten tracks that would become her debut for Sub Pop sister label, Hardly Art. Shapiro recorded and played all the instruments on the album, with the exception of a “mouth trumpet solo” and a guest violin part. Given her exceptional all around talent, there’s little doubt that “Perfect Version” will be any less compelling. Really looking forward to this one.
Jon E. Lynch