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Alt Rock





Hallelujah the Hills previews new album with dual singles

The cool winds of the fall are settled in, but New England bands are still bringing in the heat. Such is the case with Boston’s Hallelujah the Hills, whose dual singles are hot alt-rock music to gather around. “Folk Music Is Insane” is melodic in the verses and destructive in the choruses: from grand piano embellishments to swelling orchestral instrumentation drowned in guitar distortion, you never quite know where the song is headed, and that is alright. “Running Hot With Fate” has more of an indie feel to it, with harmonies glazed atop a steady rhythm section that drives the song forward with sweet style (you can’t help but be infected by the groove). Hallelujah the Hills is not afraid to go big; the band stands out by blending indie rock with a distinct Americana touch—now that is different. The singles are part of the band’s upcoming album, I’m You, which is slated for release November 15, 2019. Stream “Running Hot With Fate” below to start your week right. - Rene Cobar





Pendant releases “Through a Coil”

Photos by Isadora Sales

Oakland-based Pendant (the musical project of Christopher Adams, of noise-rock group Never Young) released the first two singles ahead of their forthcoming album Through a Coil (out November 8 on Tiny Engines). Title track is alternative reverberating rock with enough poppy touches to keep things interesting and extra sweet. We’re staying tuned for more shows on the horizon and the full album release next month. - Michelle Kicherer, Associate Editor

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ACL Weekend Two Highlights

 

The ritual of ACL has persevered through another year in which lesser known artists have risen to the forefront, headliners have met and exceeded expectations and then the acts that, consequently, flubbed their appearance. For weekend two, gone was the heat stroke-inducing weather of the previous weekend, and in its stead was an overcast, chilly and grey mood that lingered over the festival grounds. With optimal weather threatening to make every set perfectly enjoyable, the backdrop had been set for ideal viewing conditions and spectacular performances


Friday - Day 1

 

While rain tempered the mood a bit, most of Friday was filled with brisk weather and stellar performances.  Flamingosis kicked off Friday with vapor wave-inspired electro jams.  Relaxing and blissful, Flamingosis proved to be the perfect musical segue into a long day at the festival. Cherry Glazerr would come next with their angst-riddled grunge dressed with a heavy dose of Hole and Bikini Kill influence.  Their shoegazed rock would ebb and flow as their feedback-laden droning melodies entranced the crowd. Local duo, Black Pistol Fire, brought a raucous injection of pure rocker mentality and guitar shredding to a crowd that was  ready to turn loose. Stage antics and guitar solos revved up the appeal of these guitar slingers on a mission. King Princess was a pleasant surprise since accompanied with her music, she also brought a heaping pile of sass and witticisms. The dance party would begin with Kaytranada, as the Haitian-Canadian DJ refused to let crowd half-ass their dance moves and unleashed groove after groove for a hungry crowd.  The DJ’s set would end with a slew of hits that would have the crowd singing along and pressing to get closer to the front. Lil Uzi Vert  would blast out his cryptic lyrics over trap beats to a younger crowd who didn’t seem to notice the Vert played the same song twice. Instead of tapping into the nostalgia wellspring of Guns and Roses, I would opt for Tame Impala who despite having no new releases, played a show that featured nearly every hit of theirs, while a lightshow melting minds of viewers. 

Many of Tame Impala’s audience worshipped at the altar of Kevin Parker and it wasn’t hard to see why this Aussie psych rock band had ascended to the headliner spot, as their show was a grandiose spectacle of psychedelic brilliance.

 

Best of the Day:  Tame Impala, Cherry Glazerr, Kaytranada

Leaves More to be Desired:  The Raconteurs


 

 

Saturday - Day 2

 

ACL on Saturday got off to a fast start with local powerhouse hip-hop acts, Blackillac and Abhi the Nomad, playing early sets that energized the crowd and pleased local fans. The momentum of the early afternoon hit a snag when Houston hot girl, Megan Thee Stallion, didn’t show up to her set leaving, a legion of her fans disgruntled. Denzel Curry and Sigrid both brought an inordinate amount of energy and stage presence to their respective sets, while Tierra Whack displayed why her soulful R&B stylings were making her one of the hottest rising artists around. Lead singer of the Alabama Shakes, Brittany Howard, answered many fans questions as to whether Howard would have quality solo songwriting outside of Alabama Shakes. Howard brought a tour de force of soulful vocals, epic melodies and incendiary political statements that made her set one of the most memorable of the weekend. Kali Uchis ignited a latin-flavored dance party that was as genre-bending as it was infectious and Billie Eillish unleashed her darkly intimate hits in front of a massive crowd which hung on her every word and move. Emily Haines of Metric was in rare form on Saturday as the rock goddess led her band through some heavy-hitting deep cuts. The night would end in grandiose fashion with Childish Gambino returning to avenge last year’s cancelled show.  Gambino rolled out the crowd-pleasers and didn’t hold anything back for what might have been one of his last performances as Childish Gambino

 

 

Best of the Day:  Kali Uchis, Metric, Brittany Howard

Leaves More to be Desired:  Megan Thee Stallion

 

Sunday - Day 3

 

The final day of the two week invasion that is ACL, ended with what can be described as a grand finale of musical acts. Aussie hell raisers, Mallrat, served as a welcomed kick-in-the-teeth punk rock salutations to the day.  Only to be followed by Idles, who may be the most galvanizing yet raw band in the world right now.  The English punk outfit had a small but dedicated crowd that turned ACL into an anarchist mosh pit for the span of an hour. The dexterous and mesmerizing Gogo Penguin were themes technically music proficient group I saw all weekend and their mix of older jazz and blues with newer upbeat melodies made them incredibly magnetic. Houston songwriter turned performer, Wrabel, would unleash his heavenly voice on the BMI stage, and may have saddled himself as the candidate most likely to move up in stage size by next year’s fest. Third Eye Blind poured all of the nostalgia onto their audience, and even though they played “Motorcycle Driveby” it was not enough to escape the visceral feeling that the band was just going through the motions. The award for largest and most excitable crowd would go to Lizzo as her rising stardom and powerful live show coalesced into a magnificent spectacle of female and body-positivity empowerment. One could not ask for a better close to ACL than bringing the enigmatic Robyn to unleash her dance anthems on a weary ACL crowd in need of a pick me up.  While Robyn ambled through some of her slower tracks earlier on, she turned a corner and brought the fierce pop-electro fire that the crowd was asking to be bathed in.

 

 

 

Best of the Day:  Idles, Gogo Penguin, Lizzo

Leaves More to be Desired:  Third Eye Blind

 

 

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Tough Age - Garage Pop Music Video "Me in Glue", Junction City 10.19

Tough Age are a power pop trio on Mint Records spending most of their time in Toronto. They have a rather lengthy discography available on their bandcamp page which includes their latest release “Shame”. Earlier this year they released a video for the single “Me in Glue”. This tune is a catchy lo-fi rocker accompanied by a music video which shows the singer of the group having just a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. The guitar licks sound happy though! Tough Age will be playing a huge show at Junction City Music Hall on Saturday October 19th with the legendary BA Johnston and pop punk extraordinaire’s First Base. – Kris Gies





Lavisher “Garment"

Lavisher has released a new single, “Garment”, from their forthcoming debut album, Drastic Shadows, which will be released on October 18th via Nefarious Industries.

Lavisher is lead by the vocals and guitar of Gavin Cushman III, and this album follow’s their 2017 self-titled debut EP.

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