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by Brice Ezell

22 May 2015


The Atlanda outfit Starbenders’ frontwoman Kimi Shelter has described their music as “blasphemous candy-coated bubblegum punk.” “Blasphemous” may be a bit hyperbolic, but there’s no doubt an irreverence to Starbenders’ music, one that’s delivered through a sarcastically sugar-sweet image. Case in point: “Diet Soda”, the B-side to the group’s upcoming “Powder” 7-inch release. Although the tune itself is sunny and catchy at times, particularly in the verses, Shelter really lets it wail in the chorus, with the attention-grabbing line “Am I still beautiful to you with this blood on my hands?” becoming the most distinctive feature of the track.

by Brice Ezell

22 May 2015


If based on their name you suspect that Gringo Star are a bit cheeky, you’re probably right. There’s a definite playfulness to the band’s brand of pop, as their latest singl e “Undone” makes plenty evident. The track, whose most distinctive features include plinked piano notes and a whistling melody, sounds like the kind of tune that would play well over a Wes Anderson film’s closing montage. As such, it’s utterly appropriate for the coming summer months; after one or two spins, you’ll be whistling along to “Undone” as you walk out into the sunny season.

by Brice Ezell

21 May 2015


Photo: Tim Ivy

Songs about breakups are a dime a dozen, but there’s a reason why that’s the case: it’s a powerful universal emotion that has a million different angles to it. No one song can be all-encompassing in its examination of the lovelorn state. Mississippi’s own the Shoe Birds know this, and for their take on heartbreak, “You Leave Me Blind” they craft an anthemic, driving pop/rock number that culminates in its sing-along ready chorus.

“You Leave Me Blind” can be found on the Shoe Birds’ forthcoming Southern Gothic LP.

by Brice Ezell

21 May 2015


On their Facebook page, Sneakout describe their sound as “fuzz pop”. Their latest tune, “Savior”, does somewhat fit that mold, but what it brings to mind more distinctly is the early ‘00s rock revival, where vintage amps and distortion pedals flooded venues worldwide for gigs played by bands whose names invariably started with “The”. (The White Stripes, the Hives, the Vines… the list goes on.) With a vocal delivery that can be described as somewhat Ozzy-esque, frontman Robert Fleming declares, “I’m your savior!” atop boot-stompin’ guitar riffs.

by Brice Ezell

21 May 2015


With an aesthetic that brings to mind groups like Joy Kills Sorrow, the Colorado-based the Railsplitters find that perfect balance between bluegrass instrumentation and earwormy pop melodies. On their newest LP, The Faster It Goes, all the players are all uniformly great, supporting each other but also taking breaks off to let their instrumental chops shine. Some of their riffs and melodies evoke the knotty playing of Punch Brothers; in fact, “Salt Salt Sea” close sonic kin to that band’s “Movement and Location”.

Below you can stream “You”, which juxtaposes poppy mandolin chords and jangly banjo picking. Above all else, though, is the stellar vocal interplay of the group, evoking both classic pop harmonizing and the communitarian sense that’s found in the best bluegrass and folk music.

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Moving Pixels Podcast: Unearthing the 'Charnel House'

// Moving Pixels

"This week we discuss Owl Creek Games's follow up to Sepulchre, the triptych of tales called The Charnel House Trilogy.

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