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Overwatcher
"Metaphysics
"
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Do some stretches, because Nashville-based Overwatcher are bringing the melodic hardcore madness, and some soft moshing is imminent.

Although a relatively new band, the guys have come out swinging with red-blooded live shows and a victory in our Band of the Month competition. The release of their debut EP "Metaphysics" will undoubtedly add fuel to their face-melting fire.
 
With the ample sound you'd expect from a six-piece, the guys are bringing a new vitality to the melocore scene. "Metaphysics" features the melodic exploration and merciless pulse of predecessors like Touche Amore, mewithoutyou and Defeater, with the brutal lyrical honesty and self-awareness of post-grad punk kids.
 
Overwatcher has created an engaging and discerning debut EP that is just as dynamic (if not more so) live. During their most recent performance at The East Room, lead vocalist Alex MacWilliam, performing through a head-wound he earned early in the set, filled up every ounce of space he could get his hands on. Often on tables and chairs, level with the crowd, even lying down, MacWilliam lead his crew through an intense, energetic set. Whether the audience is of five or 5,000, the performance remains wholehearted, and there is definitely something to be said for that.
 
Overwatcher is putting a refreshing spin on melodic hardcore, and "Metaphysics" is a testament to their musical prowess and clear passion for the genre. And, I can only assume this is just the beginning.  -Caroline Bowman

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scene blog

After a weeklong, sickness-induced break, I thought I'd come back with a handful of music for y'all. What I didn't expect is that so many of my picks would come from the family of "psych rock." And like many real families, where your sister can be a lawyer while you're up at 3am in a haze concocting recipes out of stale saltine crackers and various chip dips (the only ingredients you have in the house), the apples may not fall far from the tree but they can sure end up a ways off from one another. Rain Drop Garden from the Esskays is out there and verby, seemingly the only pre-reqs for being "psych," but it's flowers all the way down. Jangly and poppy, never too demanding (but not boring by any means either), it's an all-seasons offering of catchy numbers that wander but never lose sight of the path. Either way, take a shovel out to Rain Drop Garden and get to digging. -Austin Phy

June 28, 2016
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Fool. That's a band name I can get behind. It's simple, not too ornate...it just seems like it would look good on a poster, you know?  But maybe I'm fixating on the wrong thing, because it turns out these guys are every bit as good at making music as they are naming bands. Fool's debut is psychedelic in a way that said descriptor isn't used all too often now. It isn't grimy, it isn't fuzzy, it isn't a bit salty from all the surf that frequently gets mixed in, but is instead more akin to The Zombies, Love, or—take note, as this is the one-in-a-hundred time I use this comparison as a good thing—The Grateful Dead. Whatever it is, really, it's one of the more unique releases from Nashville in a while. -Austin Phy  

June 28, 2016
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 You're OK is something like the soundtrack to a high school prom in an alternate reality where the Cold War heated up and everybody ended up all melted and a little off-center. There's no anger, no aggression, just a cool, goopy go-with-the-flow relaxation the whole way through. It's lo-fi goodness as good as it gets, weird but not weird just to be weird, and uncomfortable but far from incomprehensible. There are moments of beauty, moments of breaking point tension, and an 8-minute slow burner that closes it all out with a sense of finality. Check out whatever kind of strange brew Mickee Poole's got going below. There's a solid chance you'll like it. -Austin Phy

June 28, 2016
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Summer isn't all sunshine and icy drinks with fruit in them. No matter what The Beach Boys tried to tell you, it's a season for loss as much as any other. A song like "Cruel Summer" works at taking a different approach to an overplayed trope, and the cover from The Daybreaks' camp pulls double duty. Fully indulging in the bleak sorrow suggested in the composition of the 1980s original, it's clearly a well thought out effort that doesn't take the gimmicky style-swap change of some covers or the miserably by-the-numbers approach of many others, but instead explores the intent of the original in a meaningful way and adds to what was already present. This version, held aloft by a restrained instrumentation and hauntingly cool harmonies, is like a nice bit of shade from the heat. If you want to get into the summer spirit but aren't sold on the idea of the season as a three month party, check out the video below. -Austin Phy

June 21, 2016
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I, for one, am thrilled that we're all coming around to recognize that "dad rock" doesn't have to be a snarky ol' put-down. Some folks were way ahead of the curve on that, though. Take for example Cordovas, whose 2012 debut is proudly dad rock as hell and sticks the landing. Between the Eagles-like harmonies and some heavy touches of The Band, the sound is a little like the greatest supergroup that never existed—classic, but a totally unique take on a sound. This album's a little on the old side but just now coming to my attention as the guys are gearing up for some extensive touring and new recordings due out before all too long. They'll be on the road for a little while after some recent appearances around town, but you can catch them in September at Americana Fest alongside some fresh-faced up-and-comers with names like John Prine and Steve Earle. -Austin Phy

June 21, 2016
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Generally uneasy and slyly experimental, when Rich Ruth's Thruster settles down for a moment, it likes to ease into a minimal funky groove like if Parliament had temporarily replaced George Clinton with a Gameboy. But that's only one sound of many to be found here—there's off-kilter folk, off-kilter new wave, off-kilter world influences, and other assorted sounds that generally leave the kilter at home, whatever that is in the first place. It's an enjoyable listen all the way through, sparse but never short on new ideas, and you can give it a listen below. -Austin Phy

June 16, 2016
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