Saturday, February 28, 2009

Oh, Canada (Part 4): North Of America

North Of America is probably my favorite of all the Canadian bands I planned on covering in this "ongoing" series. And since this could very well be my last post for awhile, I figured, go out with a bang. North Of America went from originally sounding like Pavement and Polvo had a love child, to getting heavier and more technical. Eventually getting to a point where they sounded fairly similar to singer/guitarist Michael Catano's other band, The Plan. They broke up in 2003. But have reunited numerous times. In 05 they got back together to do a Canadian tour with Ted Leo. And they just recently played a couple shows at the end of this past December which marked their 10th anniversary as a band. I fucking hate myself for missing those shows because now I'll probably have to wait for some other anniversary or special occasion to see them. They will always have a special place in my heart. Fans of blah, blah and blah should definitely listen to them.

-matthew st.

their stuff I have in chronological order...

Buy them from a independent record store if you like them
Or you can get them all from Rewika Records Online.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Knot Feeder - Light Flares

(I'm not going to go into the details of this band because I already wrote about them once on here. You can view that post here. )
This album is as great as I expected it would be. The instrumental math rock quartet has their shit down. Not that its really a surprise all things considered. Hard hitting and heavy and other times bringing it down and having a cello or glockenspiel join in. One surprise for me listening through, was that a couple of songs have singing in them. It works for those songs and whats cool is, they don't feel out of place. I'm really excited on this band. And this is only their first album. I hope they continue to put out good music.

-matthew st.

p.s. Look forward in the near future to a interview with Mike Banfield from Knot Feeder once I can get my shit together enough so I wont seem like a giddy school girl talking to him. haha.

I highly recommend you buying yourself a copy
You can also listen to the track "You Are My First Choice (To Be Thrown Out The Window)" from the album on Knot Feeder's Myspace Page

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Built To Spill - Keep It Like A Secret

I don't know if anyone else remembers, but HBO used to have a weekly show called "reverb". It showcased live music from alot of bands that were around at the time. One of my favorite episodes, that I can remember, was Pavement & Built To Spill (another great one was Björk Sigur Rós). It successfully got me into two of my favorite bands. I guess this album has always had a special place in my heart because it was the first I heard by them. The reverb episode featured mostly songs from this album if I remember correctly. Overall, its a great indie rock album by one of the great indie bands. For fans of good 90's indie music. And though I HATE to say this, some people have made comparisons between them and Modest Mouse. So I guess if you like Modest Mouse (their old stuff preferably) check it out? But I have to say...

Built to Spill > Modest Mouse

-matthew st.

Buy it from a independent record store if you like it

Friday, February 20, 2009

Sed Non Satiata

I wish that so many of my favorite bands weren't from places far away. Toulouse, France for instance. That's where Sed Non Satiata is from. The band is a screamo band. (Or I guess the kids are calling real screamo skramz now. wtf youths? Get the fuck out of here with that shit.) They play passionate heavy music. Often, the songs have an epic feeling to them. Post rock-esc build ups. Its so weird to hear a part in a song and think "This is so fucking beautiful, and so fucking heavy at the same time." But this band nails it. If you like any real screamo or post hardcore, definitely listen to this band.

-matthew st. 

I uploaded there Full Length, Two Splits and their Demo
I believe its all they have released as of yet
Listen to the song "Les Hommes Sans Visage" on this fan myspace page if you want to hear what they sound like before downloading all their stuff.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Slint - Spiderland

preface: Touch & Go Records is one of the most important labels in underground history. They are right up there with Dischord. I had quite the scare today when I read that they were pretty much going to cease to exist as a record label. I literally shouted “NO!” when I read it. That ended up not being true (turns out that they are going to be cutting their distribution of other labels records, which is still a big deal) but it just made me realize how important the label was to me. So today I decided to post one of my favorite records the label has put out.

I'm not going to go too much into this album. Slint were one of the first "math rock" bands, along with Chavez and Polvo. The genre has changed alot since then. Initially it was more related to post rock, which you can hear on this album. Angular quiet/loud guitar parts. Speaking/screaming lyrics. Changing/shifting time signatures. Great album.

-matthew st.

Buy it from a independent record store if you like it
Or better yet, get it directly from Touch & Go's Online Store
Please support the Touch & Go Record Label

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Adebisi Shank

High energy dancy mathy type instrumental music from Ireland. Often some thing happens in their songs that reminds me of the 8bit glory days of yore. For me, their songs are like that old slogan for Lay’s potato chips. Substitute "eat" with "listen" mind you.  I really cant think of a band that they sound like. But I will say that my description of what they sound like is pretty accurate, so if that’s intriguing to you, have a field day. 

-matthew st.

Buy them from a independent record store if you like them
Better yet, head over to Adebisi Shank's Myspace Page and buy from them directly.

Red House Painters - First Self Titled LP

Red House Painters tend to be a sad fucking band. I said it. Mark Kozelek must have had some super duper awful stuff happen to him. I really hope that description doesn’t turn you off. Cause I really love this band. This is my favorite Red House Painters album. Start to finish its awesome. Great guitar work, lyrics, just the overall feeling. Almost shoegaze-y at points. If you’ve ever heard of the “genres” of  sadcore or slowcore and wondered “what the fuck is that?” I guess this would be sort of a defining album and band. For fans of 90’s alternative rock and shoegaze. There might also be some interest from people into singer/songwriters from the 70’s. Also, if you love sad music. Haha. 

-matthew st.

Buy it from a independent record store if you like it

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Dasha - Damned If We Do

I wasn’t too sure what I should write about today, being Valentines Day. But when I arrived home from work and looked in my mailbox, there starring back at me was the answer. 

I’ve loved this band from the first time I heard them. I had been waiting to hear this album as long as I knew it existed in some unfinished form. The female fronted Rochester quintet plays upbeat indie rock. Very pretty guitar work, powerful rhythm section, and heartfelt singing and lyrics. I could easily see this band on a label like Polyvinyl or Jade Tree. Their sound just sits so well with those bands. This album is great and I highly recommend you purchasing a copy for yourself A.S.A.P. 

On a personal note I would like to say that I wish Colleen Vasey was my Valentine. Listening to her sing today has made my day. Awww! She’ll never read this blog. Haha. Tomorrow I’ll post death metal to make up for that emo slip. Haha.

-matthew st.

Listen to a couple tracks from the record on Dasha's Myspace Page
You can buy the album from Whaleplane Records.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Uzeda - Different Section Wires

Italian. Way Awesome. End review. Haha. Just kidding. 
I first started listening to this band back in the early 00’s. I couldn’t find anyone locally who listened to them or had even heard of them. And believe me I asked the people you’d think to ask (ex. Grant J.). I just wanted someone to talk about how awesome I thought they were. The band falls somewhere in between the genres of math rock, noise rock, post hardcore, maybe even post punk. Hard hitting drums. A more noodlely/riffy Shellac guitar sound. Solid pounding basslines. All the while with lyrics/poetry being shouted over in a discordant way. Its not really a surprise that Albini has recorded the majority of this bands releases. This is probably my favorite of their albums. If you like Shellac or Touch & Go, you need to hear this.

-matthew st. 

Buy it from a independent record store if you like it
Or you can get it online from Touch & Go's Website
(disclaimer: it has been brought to my attention that Touch & Go has a history of killing uploads of their albums. try to get this album before they kill the link.  if you find the link dead, report it to me. like i said above, if you like the album, support the band and the label and buy it!)

Castevet - I Know What A Lion Is EP

This is a band that is strange because I don't think they should work, but they do. Really well in fact. Chicago Indie rock in the vein of Cap'n Jazz, American Football, etc. BUT, with a singer that I've heard some people describe as a "beardo". What does that even mean? I have no clue. I should know. Should I know? Is this a new genre of music? haha. Honestly, and I don't want this to upset the band or people that like them, but the singer's singing sometimes reminds me of when Jimmy from Polar Bear Club screams. That's really all I have to relate it to with my limited musical knowledge. Just go from the bands they kind of sound like. If you like them, there's a good chance you will like Castevet. They've only been around for a few years. Expect, more great shit from them in the near future. They have a full length set to come out this summer. 

-matthew st.

If you like it, please support the band!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hum - Downward Is Heavenward

My hot plate of the day today (haha) is one of my all time favorite albums by one of my all time favorite bands. Hum had a hit in the mid 90’s with the song “Stars” off of their 3rd album “You'd Prefer An Astronaut”. For a lot of people, I think that’s where it began and ended for them and their interest in the band sadly. Popular music is a cruel bitch mother. Its too bad for them. “Downward Is Heavenward” is a really great follow up. A lot of people, myself included, consider this Hum’s best album. Considering what it had to follow, its outrageous what they created and were able to accomplish. If you have any interest in 90’s alternative rock, you need to hear this album. Hum is one of the most underrated bands of the 90’s.

-matthew st. 

Buy it from a independent record store if you like it

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


BA-NA-NAs is a 3 piece instrumental math rock band from Somerville, Mass. I just heard this band recently. Which is surprising. Because Paul Joyce from Lynx plays bass in the band. And I've always tried to keep up to date on his projects. Anyhow, check them. Some of the stuff I've heard reminds me of the more melodic side of Lynx. For fans of instrumental mathy bands. 

-matthew st.

listen to songs @ BA-NA-NAs Myspace Page
this fellow has some live videos of them

Monday, February 9, 2009

Oh, Canada (Part 3): Rockets Red Glare

What a band! I don’t know why more people haven’t heard of them. 2/3 were in the popular Canadian math/emocore band Blake (who I will no doubt be writing about in this blog at some point). Rockets Red Glare played mathy post hardcore with elements of heavier post rock. Their rhythm section destroys my life. Dissonant/angular guitar parts with shouting over top. If I haven’t established it yet, this kind of music is sort of my thing. Haha. They’ve been compared to bands like Slint, Shellac and Mission Of Burma. But they’ve also been compared to Neurosis. So yes, they were quite the treat. I personally don’t think they sound like any of those bands, but I guess I always need a point of reference. Just listen and see what you think.

-matthew st.

All of this stuff is quite hard to find. 

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Syracuse, NY's newest indie super group. The guitarist from Com Veo. The drummer of Ladies & Everyone, One Hundred Metronomes and Know Nothing. And the drummer of Sever The Hands(Awake) and Monolith, but playing bass and singing this time around. All of that pedigree awesomeness aside, Tailings play a style unlike any of those bands. Heavy rhythm section joined with pretty, often arpeggiated, guitar lines. Lyrics are shouted in a way and with a urgency that reminds me of Sinaloa. For fans of the Touch & Go/Chicago style of indie music. Hopefully these young turks keep on keepin' on. Syracuse needs more good bands that aren't afraid to not be hardcore or "punx".

-matthew st.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Fugazi - Steady Diet Of Nothing

Here comes the surprise. This is my favorite Fugazi album. Yep, fuck all of you, I don’t care. Haha. Though "13 Songs" was the first album I owned by them, as I assume it was/is the first album most people have heard by them, this album has continually been my fave. I’m not going to get into what the band sounds like or “for fans of whatever.” It’s Fugazi. If you haven’t listened to them, there is something fucking wrong with you. Especially if you consider yourself to have any knowledge of underground or indie music. They have influenced a lot of the bands you probably listen to. And even some mainstream bands claim to have been influenced by them. I pretty much view them as one of the best examples, and pretty much the definition, of post hardcore music.

-matthew st.

Buy it from a independent record store if you like it

Friday, February 6, 2009

Know Think - Clean Closet EP

I randomly downloaded this EP, and was pleasantly surprised. Honestly, I think anyone that digs anything the Kinsella boys have done would be down with this, and should def listen to it. Not to be that cut and dry, but there you go. Okay okay…fine. For fans of American Football, Cap’n Jazz, Braid, Aloha, Look Mexico, blah blah blah…are you fucking happy now?

-matthew st.

I don't honestly know if the band is still together, but please go to their myspace page and try to support them
This EP was self released

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Chevelle - Point #1

I hate this band! I fucking despise them. And this album is why. Most people who have ever heard of Chevelle have never heard this album I bet. Because, well, this is when the band was GOOD and wasn’t "radio rock". This was actually released on the now defunct christian record label Squint Entertainment. This album pretty much sounds like a band of young kids who listen to too much Helmet. Their singer kinda reminds me of the singer of Tool from time to time. But not enough to dissuade you from listening. Recorded by Steve Albini, the album has the sound you’d expect from his expertise. And it works really well for the youths of Chevelle. If you listen to Chevelle and haven’t heard “Point #1” , go fucking kill yourself right now. You’re a waste. That also goes for anyone who listens to them whose favorite album is another of their releases. If you have never heard the band before, this is definitely where you should begin, and end. 

-matthew st.

Buy it from a independent record store if you like it

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Knot Feeder

This band is a super group for anyone into instrumental math rock. Its headed by Mike Banfield, one of the founding members of Don Caballero.  You should be interested right off the bat with that little tidbit. Considering he sort of disappeared from music after the release of “What Burns Never Returns.” Their drummer and guitarist come from the band Tabula Rasa and their bassist is from the band Southpaw. All from Pittsburgh. What can be expected of their sound? To me, its reminiscent of a less “Che’d” Don Cab. “For Respect” era plus the good, actual cohesive, musical ideas from “What Burns Never Returns.” But who cares what I think, listen to them for yourself. 

-matthew st.

You can listen to a couple of songs at Knot Feeder's Myspace Page.
Here is a short clip of them in studio recording their album "Light Flares" with J. Robbins.
And here is a live video from their record release show last month. 
(Pretty sure it was taken with a cell or something. Dont mind the video quality, just listen to the music. haha.)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Jeff Buckley - Grace

One of the greatest song writers to live in my life time. One of the most amazing debut albums I can think of. One album you definitely need to hear at least once before you die. 

-matthew st.

If you like it, buy it.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Big Bear

This Mass band destroys my life. Weird mathy metal with girl singer. Screamer would be the better term. I love her voice actually. This probably will be a surprising pick to people who know me. Oh well. I have no clue who they sound like, but definitely listen to them if you like mathy screamy metal-ish stuff.

-matthew st.

You can listen to newer songs at Big Bear's Myspace Page
They aren't as heavy and the girl yells more now.
She kind of sounds like the singer Uzeda now.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

American Football

I'm posting this because of the event that is today. 
pretty guitar parts, technical/polyrhythmic drum lines and heart felt lyrics.
indie gold.