NEW + EXCITING: Who Threw That - "Crickets"

Who Threw That - "Crickets" (self-relased) FFO - Cap'n Jazz, CSTVT, For Serious This Time.  Here's a wonderful example of what I'm gonna call "joyful emo". These four tunes are constructed from twinkly alt-tuned guitar, always-shifting rhythms and controlled yelling. Many folks will be reminded of ALGERNON CADWALLADER without the over-the-top aspects. For me the closest relative is the underrated Long Island band FOR SERIOUS THIS TIME.  I recently saw singer QUINTON TREMBATH's eponymous folk punk band and was blown away by his super-cozy vox and excellent attention to dynamics and flow. If anything these traits are more pronounced on this EP.  Did I mention this band is from Tazmania? Quinton and friends are quite keyed-in to the Hobart (main city on the island) DIY community and hopefully will make it over to the US at some point.  Crickets by Who threw that

NEW + EXCITING - Box Elder - "Arrows"

 Box Elder - "Arrows" (self-relased) FFO: SPRAYNARD, HOTELIER, BLINK-182 Hey look it's a band from Wyoming! Fun! BOX ELDER plays the kind of glossy emo/pop that I might have written off in the late 90s as "false" or "fake" emo cuz I was dumb and opinionated .Boy I'm glad I grew up a bit, as did the DIY scene I came up in. There's now plenty of space for huge hooks and polished songwriting, big shiny guitars and "classic" emo vocal affectations.  I hear a good amount of SPRAYNARD or GET BENT, and the kind of busy drumming that can be traced back to Travis/BLINK-182. There are few, if any, rough edges here but still tons of energy and passion. We're very excited to have them coming to Olympia in April.  Arrows by Box Elder

NEW + EXCITING: Vulture Feather - "Liminal Fields"

  Vulture Feather - "Liminal Fields" (Felte) FFO - Killing Joke, Lungfish, Jawbox, Fuel.  This is a new trio of DIY lifers playing what they describe as "past/present/future punk" and i describe as "magic". These folks turn open-tuned chiming guitar riffs into a substrate from which oceanic feelings can grow and take shape in a way that feels both precise and open-ended. The effect is similar to LUNGFISH or Colin and Brian's previous band WILDERNESS in that repetition allows for contemplation and mythmaking.  Colin's vox are reedy and strident as he deep-dives into a place of calm within the violence and turmoil of modern life. Lyrically he delivers on the "liminal" in the album title. Bass guitar handles the melodic movement and syncs with creative, floor-tom-heavy drumming. This is one of those albums that has an undeniable presence, Breathtaking, life-affirming stuff.  Liminal Fields by Vulture Feather

New + Exciting: NITE SPRITES - "No Notes"

Portland's fresh new punk trio NITE SPRITES bring both energy and experience to bear on this self-released cassette. Speedy drum fills, open minor chords, and gruff shouting place this firmly in the No Idea Records/The Fest territory. The sound and album art (bikes and stars and hearts) connect this to a slightly older time in DIY's trajectory. Despite the sorta-jaded/sorta-hopeful vibe they'd fit comfortably on a basement gig with the likes of Delay, Get Bent, Tiltwheel etc. It's catchy, hook-laden punk (not pop punk) in the tradition of Leatherface, Hot Water Music, or guitarist Mambo's work in Brave Hands No Notes by Nite Sprites