Deer Tick released an official music video for Main Street, the first single off their October 2011 release, Divine Providence. In an interview with PopMatters, lead singer John McCauley stated Main Street was his favorite track off the album. Check out the video and watch the band demolish their lonesome rock ballad to explosive proportions.
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Brooklyn collective Superhuman Happiness released a music video for “Needles and Pins”, a track off their latest The Physical EP. “Needles and Pins” expertly combines funky indietronica with orchestrated strings and horns. Pair that with light, airy vocals and you’ve got one cool party number.
Bands just can’t go around taking five years off these days… in such a fast-paced world, it pretty much amounts to career suicide. Try telling that to the Strokes though. Having single handedly created the template for every new band in the last ten years with debut Is This It, some might say they’ve earned the right to take a few years off if they feel like it, particularly when they return with arguably their best album since that epoch-making release. Angles ticks all the right boxes for where the Strokes should be at in 2011: schizophrenic experimentation, more considered production values and great scuffed-pop singles. And with Julian Casablancas choosing to forfeit sole songwriting duties, it means we now have a more rounded representation of who the Strokes really are. Angles may not be perfect, but it sure as hell makes a good bid for comeback of the year. Welcome back.
US: 29 Mar 2011
UK: 29 Mar 2011
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Everything about the Pains of Being Pure at Heart is perfectly indie-hipster, all the way down to their name. While their debut relied heavily on the now-popular tradition of emulating New Wave fundamentals, follow-up Belong found itself more atoned to the early ‘90s. Belong finds the Pains at their most consistent, with the opening three tracks, “Belong”, “Heaven’s Gonna Happen Now”, and “Heart in Your Heartbreak” comprising the band’s most solid run yet. The influences are all over the place, from Smashing Pumpkins, the Jesus and Mary Chain and even Violator-era Depeche Mode. The Pains stick to their “adolescence and naivete” schtick, but producers Flood and Alan Moulder flesh out the group’s sound to match their lyrical daydreaming. There are few points where that daydreaming sounds more akin to whining, but the Pains are getting better at writing pop songs about being young and sort of in love. Belong is proof of that.
There is no music award for getting under listeners’ skin. However, if that honor existed, it would certainly go to Liturgy for Aesthetica, the band’s follow-up to 2009’s Renihilation. Band leader Hunter Hunt-Hendrix catches endless Internet commenter grief for the lofty language he uses to describe the black metal group’s “transcendental” aims. His manifesto posits redemption and affirmation as philosophical and musical foundations within a nihilistic subgenre that rarely lets any light in. Yet Aesthetica‘s power lies not only in its ability to reveal the insecurities of listeners who would rather remain earthbound and hopeless; this is an album that completely supports the claims that preceded it. There is illimitable energy and life in these riffs and in the truly astonishing work of drummer Greg Fox, who recently left the band. Aesthetica houses some of the most uncanny sonic experimentation I’ve heard in years—at once, both virtuosic in its traditional metal musicianship and uplifting as poignant compositions of sacred minimalism. 2011 has been a good year for the genre of American Black Metal, and Liturgy’s Aesthetica is by far its crowning achievement.