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Service release brash, expansive EP “CHARM”

Experimental-noise newcomers Service have released an aggressive debut EP, cheekily titled CHARM. The Boston quartet covers plenty of ground in the three track release, shifting from assertive punk dudes to meandering noise-heads by opening up tight, mathy structures into longform explorations. Though the momentum of CHARM dips from intensely focused to wayward abstraction, the volume is always up to 10, and there’s a great deal of integrity behind every note. Check out Service on December 17th at Deep Thoughts in Jamaica Plain, doors at 8pm. -Charley Ruddell





New Track: "Strangled by Stars" - The Skating Party

Patetico Recordings recently released a charitable compilation, Rock Back: Stronger Than the Storm, aimed to support victims of Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and Maria. “Strangled By Stars,” the new single from The Skating Party, a.k.a. Gregory James, is one of 50 songs included on the collection. Reverberating guitar provides an electrical storm to the head that lingers in a cloudy daydream haze, while the ascending vocals demonstrate a hopeful resilience.





The 5th Annual Freakout! Fest comes back tonight

Triple city-based indie label Freakout Records has been churning out some pretty fine electronic, psych and lively rock from three out of the four corners of the states. Operating out of Seattle, Los Angeles and New York, Freakout has taken to occupying various venues in Ballard for its festival since 2012, with artists of their own catalog, as well as other artists scattered around the Northwest and the country. Freakout! Festival returns again tonight, and its bill is as stacked as ever.

Co-presented by The Stranger, Audioasis on KEXP and supported by Killroom Records, Treefort Music Fest and Artist Home Record Club, Freakout! Fest will be hitting up its usual Ballard staples like Conor Byrne and Tractor Tavern, with Sarah Gerritsen and Roadkill Ghost Choir kicking things off with some early sets. Tonight's hip hop will be fulfilled by up and coming lyricist Taylar Elizza Beth, with some dark stoner psych coming from Blackwater Holy Light. Energetically folky blues comes from Battleme, who are out on tour supporting their new Cult Psychotica release, while Charms and FKL bring more of a dancey feel to a couple of the headlining spots.

Much of Saturday's bill recalls a warmer, more carefree season thanks to some surf-drenched sets from Baywitch, The Shivas and Guantanamo Baywatch, The White Tears and Pearl Dragon is Dead are collaborating on their performance at the Conor Byrne, Porter Ray and Jus Moni killing it in the rhythm and rhymes department, and Kelli Schaefer and Maiah Manser representing for solo noir pop.

There's so many more acts to see, thank goodness they're all playing on the same street. You can find more information about the artists, venues and tickets over at the Freakout Records site.





The Veldt supports Modern English on tour, plays Rough Trade on 11/22

NYC dream-rockers The Veldt’s latest EP Thanks to the Moth and Areanna Rose delivers seven new tracks that undoubtedly connect with their long-time followers, while potentially appealing to a new generation only recently discovering this sound. Opener “The Color of Love is Blue,” with its ethereal vocals and descending chord progression performed through tightly-coiled, clipped-chime guitar work, evokes Robin Guthrie and The Cocteau Twins, with an added, slight soul inflection. Streamlined percussive elements solidify the homage, reflecting the boldly struck accents so prevalent on classic albums “Heaven Or Las Vegas” and “Four Calendar Café.” Currently on tour supporting Modern English, the band will be playing Rough Trade in Brooklyn on 11/22. - Dave Cromwell

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Upper Wilds return from a quick tour to play Gold Sounds on 11.18

Upper Wilds are an experiment in distortion. Their debut album, "Guitar Module 2017" (Deli NYC record of the month last month) is one frenzied wave of noise going through the entire body. Once the senses accept this new experience, the lyrics can finally be appreciated. Somehow, through all the glitchy melodies come these heavenly vocals that find a near-perfect blend of pop and punk. This is another band that shouldn't work but totally does. To hear it, to believe it, check out Upper Wilds’ upcoming show at Gold Sounds on November 18, right after the band's brief east coast tour. - Amanda Ogea

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