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Alt Rock





OJR's "Somnonaut" is a laid-back psychedelic voyage

Somnonaut, based on a cursory internet search and the couple Latin words lodged in the "this would make for some perfect last-ditch party convo fodder" center of my brain, translates to something along the lines of "sleep sailor." And that's just about what you get with OJR's latest single—a drowsy slow-burner with voices fading in and out, like those intractably weird thoughts you have in the moments before drifting off to sleep. Fortunately for the weak-stomached among us, the seas are calm on this track thanks to a steady, unchanging loop holding all the madness together. Somnonaut does away with the heavy country leanings of OJR's Nashville Demos from last year, but whether that's a sign of things to come or just an artist having a little fun getting his jollies off remains to be seen. Either way, we're excited to float along toward whatever comes next. -Austin Phy

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Math-rock duo Hollow Ran to perform upcoming shows through February

Hollow Ran is hi-speed cyberpunk dissonance with an unstable core reactor—a locally-sourced organic alternative for the Tera Melos-starved patrician. They're the lost ark, the result of Nick Reinhart and Damon Che performing a fusion dance, and like their now-deceased senpai 100 Onces (rip in peace), eschew the power trio and full band. They go hard. They go fast. And they will melt your face faster than a chemical burn.

If you caught their performance last Friday at the Frida Theater—where they played to a collage of anime sequences including FLCL and Cowboy Bebop—or at Top Acid's Anniversary show, you've already fallen in love and you'll agree the duo should have scored the soundtrack to Tekkonkinkreet. But if not, get acquainted with their 2015 four-way split with Jitters, Dagrons, and MILKIS before running off to see them this month.  - Ryan Mo

2/16 Costa Mesa, CA @ La Cave (presented by Wordovmouth)

2/20 Los Angeles, CA @ DIY Fest 3

2/26 Gardena, CA @ [location tba]

2/27 Fullerton, CA @ Programme HQ

 

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READY THE PRINCE - LIVE AT THE RIVOLI!

3 piece indie rock from Toronto...Ready the Prince. They just released their debut self titled EP last August. The EP opens with “Your Way Or Mine”...a good introduction to the band...solid rhythm section and nice guitars laying nicely over top. I catch some Kings of Leon vibes right away. The track has some interesting dynamics which give guitarist Daniel Prada the opportunity to show off his fast fingers...almost throwing in some flamenco licks. The next track is called “Drunk Without A Drug” and I’m not sure if that is supposed to be a good thing or a bad thing. This track is a bit more relaxed to start with a bit of an atmospheric feel to the verses. Again the dynamics in the pre-chorus take you through a sonic tunnel leading to a bit of an epic chorus. It’s a well recorded and well played EP. I would have to think they know what to do live as well. So go see them on Friday February 12th at the Rivoli in Toronto! - Kris Gies

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The Pact @ Lincoln Hall

The Pact released their debut EP, Reaching In The Dark, late in 2015 after forming just 9 months earlier. They have a polished rock sound that seems to have them destined for larger stages and wider audiences.

You can catch The Pact opening for Family and Friends on Feb. 27th at Lincoln Hall.

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Boston's Dan Masterson plays Middle East in Cambridge on Friday (2/12)

There is an earnestness in the power pop tracks of Boston-based piano man Dan Masterson that is deeply refreshing. As the flowing title track from his 2015-released third EP 'Atlas' shows, the smooth-voiced singer isn’t afraid to convey feelings of loss and restlessness in his music yet seems keen on championing a spirit of perseverance. The Billy Joel of such iconic tracks as "Piano Man" appears to be an influence on Masterson yet, as the alternative rock-tinged "Nobody I Know (Slow Down)" (streaming below) from the album shows, he impressively adds some edge to his celestial songs. Dan Masterson plays at Middle East in Cambridge, MA on Friday (2/12). - Zach Weg 

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