Featuring Brand New, Grizzly Bear, and Fat Joe
Last week, we covered big names like Lorde and Red Hot Chili Peppers while also focusing on lesser known acts like The Growlers and Leftover Crack. You can find last week’s article here.
Brandon Allin: Anti-Flag – American Attraction
Anti-Flag is back and as pissed as ever. Frontman Justin Sane’s blood is no doubt boiling with “he who must not be named” at America’s helm. Fortunately for the rest of us, political outrage is where the Pittsburgh quartet thrives, and “American Attraction” is no exception. Blending together one part American Spring and one part 2003’s The Terror State, the lead single from the band’s whopping eleventh full-length pairs Sane’s blueprint snarl with a huge chorus that results in one of their best offerings in years.
Premal Bhatt: Fat Joe feat. Dre – So Excited
Fat Joe teams up with half of the producing duo, Cool & Dre with this summer anthem. This time, Dre steps out from behind the sound boards, with Streetrunner serving as producer, to provide a Drake-like classic hook and chorus that really sets this jam apart. Fat Joe’s verses are solid and boast about the lavish lifestyle he lives and wants to provide that for a very deserving special someone. This one’s perfect at the gym or for a turn-up.
Matt Bram: See Through Dresses – Horse of the Other World
See Through Horses, from my father’s hometown of Omaha, crafted a great indie-rock record that borrows as much from pop as it does shoegaze. There is a lot of diversity in sound on Horse of the Other World but it’s the title track and closer that cemented this group as one for me to remember. Lovely production, a haunting vocal melody, and dark, emotional lyrics drive the first two and a half minutes. The vocals depart on one final, melancholic plea; “just smile when you see us.” From there, I wish I could play this song louder but my headphones and computer both come up short. The full band bursts in astounding intensity. It’s the perfect release of tension and emotion that they spent half the song building up. In the end, it’s a very promising note to end the album on. If this is a sign of what’s to come, get ready for See Through Dresses.
Grant Evan: Brand New – Can’t Get It Out
The seemingly endless wait for Brand New’s final album was announced for mid-October. In true Brand New fashion, the band surprise released it that week. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve shouted “I’m just a manic depressive!” this week. Brand New taps back into what’s always made them great. Melodic, aggressively honest lyrics, and a seamless fusion of futuristic rock sensibility with an emotional drive. The remainder of the album is among their best work, worthy of competition with The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me.
Akshat Singhal: Grizzly Bear – Losing All Sense
Grizzly Bear released their newest album, Painted Ruins, last week, almost five years after the release of their last album. The 5th song on the track, “Losing All Sense,” is a track that combines dreamy synth with dual vocals of Ed Droste and Daniel Rossen laid over top. The track dives into the personal, touching on the subject of love lives and having a crush. Painted Ruins is a beautifully compiled album that I recommend everyone should listen to.
Drew Steele: Maxwell – Bad Habit
During a conversation about television as a reflection of contemporary social norms in our Slack chat, I discovered that some of our staff has no clue who Maxwell is. I know, blasphemous. Maxwell was one of the pioneer’s of the neo-soul genre. His debut album Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite is a defining album for crafting the sound. After the release of his 2001 album Now, Maxwell went absent from the music scene. He did not release another album until 2009. The song “Bad Habit” is the first song off that 2009 album BLACKsummers’night. It’s a fantastic song from a man who didn’t release an album in eight years. It’s a testament to how excellent Maxwell is as an artist.