Archive for ‘The Midweekly’

June 23, 2021

The Midweekly – Mrs. Piss

The Midweekly is our column from Mike Jeffers; lead singer of Chicago punk stalwarts SCRAMmusic junkie and all around righteous dude.

The nails are sharp and painted black, and there’s a whole lot of dirt under them. Just like the debut record, Self-Surgery, from rock duo Mrs. Piss. Its doom metal maiden Chelsea Wolfe, and bandmate Jess Gowrie, both based out of Sacramento. Gowrie took over on drums for Wolfe’s full band back in 2017, but their friendship and songwriting collaboration goes back even farther with an earlier band. This project though is just for the two of them. Those familiar with Wolfe’s style will expect the dark and heavy here, and they’d be right. But there’s a quicker energy to some of these tracks as well. The riffs, provided by both members, are dragged through sludge, then whipped into a frenzy, splattering everything in its path. Menacing electro rhythms also make a few appearances, showing the experimental approach Piss took to the production. Lyrically, the songs emit a feminine power that encapsulates strength, and pride, but self-deprecates in cathartic ways, too. The filthy claws on this banger will leave you muddy, bloody, and ripped wide open. 

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June 16, 2021

The Midweekly – Leon Bridges & Khruangbin

The Midweekly is our column from Mike Jeffers; lead singer of Chicago punk stalwarts SCRAMmusic junkie and all around righteous dude.

These young Texans team up to reinvigorate their southwestern roots. On a solid EP called Texas Sun, psyche-rock group Khruangbin (Houston), known for the funky, chill vibes, join singer Leon Bridges (Fort Worth), who made quite the splash on the R&B scene with his debut album back in 2015. The result is four tunes that take very different turns, but all down the same dusty road. The title track slides and twangs a country sound, while the vocals express the joy of two people traveling the long road in love, under their native sun. Serving as a contrast to that, “Midnight” finds the group rolling out a latin-reggae style number under the stars of a big night sky, LB still in the car with his love, but this time they’ve found a quiet place to stop. Flip the record over, and we get a sexy jam, complete with lusty lyrics. Then concludes with a sober, gospel hymn about faith, and righteousness. Texas Sun is a release by talented neighbors that challenged each other, and if we’re lucky we’ll see them together again.

June 9, 2021

The Midweekly – HMLTD

First thought it was an abbreviation for Humiliated, then learned their first EP was titled Hate Music Last Time Delete. But that too was wrong. It comes from their previously hilarious name Happy Meals Limited. Can’t imagine why a label would ask them to change that! West of Eden is the London group’s debut release, and it spins the roulette wheel of styles and tones. Their often bright, flamboyant image isn’t just a gimmick. They confidently back it up with well polished brit pop, glam rock, and post punk. The production and songwriting takes turns between heavy electronic beats, layered guitar, stripped down tunes reminiscent of a surf, western, or cabaret feel, and even a few weirder tracks of fx laden spoken word. Vocalist Henry Spychalski croons and screeches out lyrics mostly of a dark storytelling nature. The album is definitely an ambitious start for this flashy band. 

June 2, 2021

The Midweekly – Kota The Friend & Statik Selektah

The title comes from the line, “Thank you for pressing play, they tried to kill a sunrise, but you can’t contain the sun, trust me, we have just begun.” Line after line, in every verse, is packed with this kind of positive attitude on the new record To Kill A Sunrise, by Kota The Friend & Statik Selektah. The Brooklyn rapper has been putting out a lot of material in a short amount of time, and doing it the way he wants.. After turning down offers from majors, he decided to start his own label. That independent, hard working spirit shows in the lyrics. There’s the determination of a self-made artist, and a reconciliation with enemies in these verses. Also tracks about seeing the world, an appreciation for those who helped him along the way, and the confusion of new relationships. All of this is scored by Boston-born, NY-based DJ and producer Statik Selektah, a well respected name in the business. Statik lays down classic-style beats, cut with jazzy piano and soulful horns. That sunrise represents the beauty of beginning, new color and warmth thrown over everything. Kota & Statik won’t let anyone take that away from them. 

May 12, 2021

The Midweekly – Kali Masi

The Midweekly is our column from Mike Jeffers; lead singer of Chicago punk stalwarts SCRAMmusic junkie and all around righteous dude.

Subtitles? Stage direction? What’s with the brackets? Doesn’t matter. Is there humor? Sure. Along with passion, frustration, vulnerability, and a lot of supercharged rock on this album. [laughs] is the second, and latest full length from the Chicago quartet, Kali Masi. Here we get ten tracks of songwriting that take the best parts of pop rock, punk, emo and serve them up with excitement. Clever dynamics and tasteful production take the listener from an epic slow-burner to open the record, to a sheer head-banger to close it out. The stops along the way treat us to themes of inspiration, nostalgia, and longing, with classic riffs, offbeat hooks, and vocals that croon as well as scream well-crafted lyrics. The subtitles under any fan of real, smart punk rock will definitely read [enjoys] while spinning this one.

May 5, 2021

The Midweekly – Genghis Tron

The Midweekly is our column from Mike Jeffers; lead singer of Chicago punk stalwarts SCRAMmusic junkie and all around righteous dude.

Back in the mid 2000s the band Genghis Tron materialized onto the scene with a tastefully inventive style that combined hardcore metal with electronica, and one of the most clever names in heavy music. After only a few releases they unfortunately called it quits. Over a decade later the New York based group is back with Dream Weapon, their third LP. Though a lot of the record maintains GT’s harder edge, it also displays an evolution into more subtle riffs and tones. It’s difficult to classify this album as metal to be honest. For instance, their original vocalist, who decided not to rejoin the band, brought the screams. But the new singer has a cleaner approach. Another change up is the frenzied blast beating, or lack thereof. In the past GT relied on drum programming, but with the addition of a real drummer the music has taken on a more organic and driving rhythm. Most of the songs stretch long, and the lyrics are as abstract as the shapes and textures these tracks conjure. The digital conqueror rides once again with Dream Weapon in hand, across the territories of rock. 

April 28, 2021

The Midweekly – Armand Hammer & The Alchemist

The Midweekly is our column from Mike Jeffers; lead singer of Chicago punk stalwarts SCRAMmusic junkie and all around righteous dude.

An album by the now deceased oil and pharmaceutical businessman? Nah. It’s the latest from hip hop duo by the same name, Armand Hammer. On their fifth record, Haram, the New York group, consisting of Billy Woods and EUCLID, have collaborated for the first time with legendary producer The Alchemist. Fans of the genre will know the west coast producer and DJ always brings a unique style to the table, and on this release there’s no shortage of that. The music is a blend of dusty LPs delivering samples of jazz and blues, cut with haunting, minimalist sounds. The rhymers themselves give the record it’s true rhythm as they shift and change meter with their flow. Lyrically experimental, the verses are as dense as a forest. Seemingly about a hundred things, and at the same time nothing at all. But the enjoyment isn’t in the deciphering. Let the thicket of poetry surround you. Like the NY entrepreneur they too deal in fuel and drug, just in a more metaphorical and rewarding way. 

April 21, 2021

The Midweekly – Wye Oak

The Midweekly is our column from Mike Jeffers; lead singer of Chicago punk stalwarts SCRAMmusic junkie and all around righteous dude.

Open with rolling drums that keep a procession moving in time, as the dozens of angelic voices build. Then they take center stage at a pageant, to boom over dreamy grooves. Finally, as the ceremony comes to a close, the beautiful choral track leaves in a spiritual place. That’s what you get with the incredibly intricate Brooklyn Youth Chorus. Probably why the band Wye Oak decided to collaborate on their latest No Horizon EP. The duo from Baltimore have been around awhile, putting out their own great brand of synth, indie, and folk rock. But here on this release, Wye Oak shows us they are capable of so much more. Andy Stack’s keys and beats complement the Chorus with warmth, and Jenn Wasner’s lyrics are delightfully perplexing, like old timey riddles. With the power of the BYC backing her up, those words are given even more gravitas. This EP may be short but it is packed with sound. 

April 14, 2021

The Midweekly – Coriky

The Midweekly is our column from Mike Jeffers; lead singer of Chicago punk stalwarts SCRAMmusic junkie and all around righteous dude.

Any fan of a specific scene in the 90s era is going to be familiar with this certain sound. A stripped down, dynamic, passionate sound. Decades after that Do-It-Yourself attitude was harnessed, and turned into some of the best post-punk rock of it’s time, the energy continues on the debut self-titled record from Coriky. The trio consists of pioneers, Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat, Fugazi), Joe Lally (Fugazi, The Messthetics), and Amy Farina (The Evens). All of these members have been playing with each other in some form or another. MacKaye and Farina are not only writing partners, they’re also married, and many of us know the contributions to music MacKaye and Lally have made together. But this is the first time for this particular lineup. Well known friend and producer of most of Dischord Records, Don Zientara, is the silent fourth member in this endeavor. The minimalist production let’s each instrument shine through their own parts. Cynical yet hopeful takes on a dysfunctional society, and the bloated war machine. Farina and MacKaye share lead vocal duties, delivering great hooks only seasoned punks can. It’s the riffs you know, the words you know. If you’ve been a fan up till this point, you’re still going to be a fan. 

April 7, 2021

The Midweekly – Yves Tumor

The Midweekly is our column from Mike Jeffers; lead singer of Chicago punk stalwarts SCRAMmusic junkie and all around righteous dude.

If this record was the soundtrack to an elaborate, romantic weekend the locations might include a fashion show with hologram models wearing gowns made of vapor. It might also include a dark cocktail bar in a refurbished bomb shelter somewhere in central Europe. And it definitely includes a lavish jacuzzi hotel room on a sunny coast. All of this curated by singer/songwriter/producer Yves Tumor, on their latest release, Heaven To A Tortured Mind. The Miami/Turin based artist collected styles like technicolor wigs for this album, and weaved them together into a wonderfully experimental production of chillwave, psychedelic funk, and soft, sexy rock. Packed with guest talents from singer/songwriters Diana Gordon (Beyonce’s Lemonade) and Julia Cumming (Sunflower Bean), to multi-instrumentalist Sylvain Carton (Japonize Elephants). Yves’ lyrics mostly reflect on the chaotic and passionate side of love for others and oneself, and occasionally stretch into the obscure. Sound isn’t the only realm they excel in. As a visual artist early in their career, YT pushes new boundaries in their videos as well. Check them out when you get a chance. What would heaven be to a tortured mind? Maybe to take a romantic weekend booked by a wildly eccentric artist. 

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