PURSES (including members of bands like District Attorneys, Party Dolls, Modern Skirts, Grand Vapids, Blue Blood, Crooked Fingers, and more) made a catchy debut with their “Hitchhiker/Wheels on the Run” double-single. Newest single “Clementine” offers further proof that their debut record should contain equal parts jangle, indie pop guitars, noise, harmonies, and anything else in between. “Clementine” offers a new facet of the band’s sound, as they explore some push-and-pull dynamics. Guitars stab through the song’s quiet vibe, building up to walls of sound and ebbing again before coalescing into an insistent lead line to close things out. B-side “White Wire Handle” feels more down-home, with a lo-fi treatment on the vocals and a four-to-the-floor arrangement that lands just on this side of IRS-era R.E.M.
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Of all the bands that helped bring thrash metal back into fashion in the late 2000s, San Francisco band Hatchet was one of the best, but incredibly they never did attract the attention that more fashionable thrash revivalists like Municipal Waste and Toxic Holocaust did. Still, though, the band has carried on with founding guitarist Julz Ramos, losing the odd member and gaining others, churning out quality thrash of the Bay Area variety, influenced primarily by Exodus and Death Angel. The band’s third album Fear Beyond Lunacy will be released 30 October on The End Records (pre-order it here), and you can listen to the scorching new track “Prophet of Delusion” below.
Reunions can be a dicey proposition, especially for bands who seemed to have run their course organically and ended on a high note, which Sleater-Kinney certainly did with its heavy-duty 2005 swan song The Woods. Then again, if anyone can be counted on not to simply give into nostalgia and come back just for the heck of it, it would be a band that never took anything for granted and was as committed to its craft as Sleater-Kinney was—or, rather, is.
“Everything’s Bigger”, from the Real Hair EP, due out February 11th on Carpark, wins by marrying these same two strengths. The song hooks with its twisting riffs, crisp rhythm section and versatile vocals, and keeps the listener coming back for more with guitarist/vocalist Sadie Dupuis’ smart, quotable writing.
Ex-Constantines frontman Bry Webb brought down the volume considerably on his mostly acoustic solo debut Provider, but still managed to stir up a fair bit of excitement with its Canada-only release in 2011. On October 2nd, Idée Fixe will give U.S. Constantines fans the chance to hear Webb in low-key mode when it releases the album stateside. Long-listed for the 2012 Polaris Prize and praised by PopMatters’ Zachary Houle as “a stunning and revealing record full of worldly insight”, Provider is a surprising turn from Webb’s old work, but not an unwelcome one. Webb will also tour the U.S. in support of the release.