San Francisco punks Spiritual Cramp are deeply connected to home. You can hear the influence of the original Bay Area punk sound within their songs, which are all honesty and no bullsit. They recently channeled their California roots and made a playlist for AdHoc. "The people in Spiritual Cramp listen to a ton of different music which comes through in many ways that go beyond our songs," the band told AdHoc. "Inspiration is a funny thing that appears in all kinds of shapes and forms not limited to sound. With that said, here is a playlist of songs from California artists who inspire us to keep creating."
Brendon Avalos, the bassist and vocalist of Brooklyn rock band B Boys, has given us a present with solo effort Gift Wrap. “Either Way,” the first single from his upcoming full-length, Losing Count, is a no wave gem. The percussion is gleaming, a shimmery metallic base for the blanket of synths and vocals he weaves overtop. He chants the chorus like it's a mantra, the repetition reflecting the song's inward-looking gaze: "Self-reflection, dissent is normal."
“The song is about trying to understand yourself better through meditation," Avalos told AdHoc via email. "I took some drugs that messed with my head, so I started meditation as more of a restorative thing, and then kept pursuing it because it really helped with some other anxiety-related problems I was experiencing. This song in particular is more of an ode to how meditation was really helping me through some stuff at the time.”
Losing Count comes out on March 2nd on Captured Tracks.
Philly natives (and Eagles fans) Dark Blue are gearing up for their next seven-inch release, out February 23rd on 12XU. The A-side, “Fight to Love," feels like a dark cloud after a drought, a much-needed cleansing. Over a steady beat and melodic fuzz, Singer and guitarist John Sharkey narrates a tricky love/hate relationship with a gentrifying Philadelphia. Toward the end, the underlying wash of guitars gives way to a beautiful acoustic rendition of the tune, picking back up and reiterating the song's central message: “You shouldn’t have come here.”
“Philadelphia is a great city but it’s being overrun by developers with tax abatements and snobs from the outer suburbs," Sharkey told AdHoc via email. "This song is a direct response to all the muppets who move from what might as well be Iowa and complain when we have a parade for the city’s most beloved sports team because their kids (I mean dogs) won’t be able to get to get to yoga. GO BIRDS!” This reflection on their hometown's current state is an apropos look at the way the things we love change as they grow and morph. Even as our homes begin to change and our old haunts disappear, we still have a love for where we came from.
Catch them on February 15th at Saint Vitus, opening for American Nightmare.
Big Bliss are speeding into 2018. Named “New York City’s Hardest Working Band of 2017” by Oh My Rockness, they played a whopping 150+ shows last year. On February 2, they're releasing a 7-inch double-single through Exit Stencil Recordings. Their newest music video, “Contact,” is a testament to their ability to plunge you into a dream world with their effects-laden post-punk.
"Contact" is a driving whirl of sound. The pinging guitars perfectly accentuate the shimmering cymbals. The gently insistent timbre of the vocals pulls at you and lulls you into a trance as Tim Race and Wallace May plead, "Give me every moment, give me all your time." The video is gorgeous in its own right. Haze and rich colors engulf the band as the camera cocks from one angle to the next. The band pushes themselves into panes of glass, contorting their lips and noses as if they're trapped. They rub their faces, then rub red and black paint onto the glass.
Over email, guitarist and vocalist Tim Race told AdHoc, “'Contact' is about attachment and anxiety of distance, and how it’s dealt with considering modern communication. In the video, we used a giant piece of plexiglass, paint, and a ton of smoke to gradually obscure the image in between us and the camera to illustrate the idea."
Big Bliss plays with Psychic Selves, You’re Jovian, and Birds at Alphaville on February 8th.
Casey Weissbuch is a busy guy. He’s drummed for Diarrhea Planet, Colleen Green, gobbinjr, Mitski, and a slew of other fantastic acts, and curated Infinity Cat’s famed Cassette Series.
Today, we're excited to debut a track from Casey's new solo project, Greatest Champion Alive, which crystallized during a trying time. The band’s bio reads that Casey “started Greatest Champion Alive while he was recovering from brain tumor surgery last year. The project moved around in different wobbly forms until it all made sense while he was touring in Japan, alone in a hotel room. He put the songs together, sent them to some of the best musicians he knew, and came out the other end ready to blast what he’d been working on." He has now decided to loop us in on the fun.
"Same Light," the first single from Greatest Champion Alive, is a funky pop odyssey that has the potential to become a total earworm, its punchy keys making way for Casey's gentle voice. The song also has strong basslines that keeps the song afloat on a pillow of cloudy grooves. "The more warped I could make the keyboard sound, the further behind the beat the hi-hats were, the better it felt when I’d listen back,” Casey told AdHoc over email. He also gave us some hints about the lyrics: “It’s just about the differences in people but ultimately what ties everyone together in the end. Crazy stuff ya know, lights and things, bing bang bosh.” This song’s warmth and fuzziness will encapsulate you—check it out below.
Greatest Champion Alive opens for Homeshake on 2/13 at Market Hotel.
When an artist remixes a track, it can come out of the process bearing little resemblance to its former self. This new Yoke Lore remix by Blondage, however, uplifts the original without throwing away its meat. Blondage replaces the song’s dark synths with a more percussive tempo, adding on punchy drums and synth choruses that amplify the track’s underlying melody. It feels like a new pair of shoes, primed for the dance floor.
“Sometimes I'm afraid to play someone else's game for fear of losing or coming up short,” Adrian Galvin of Yoke Lore told AdHoc. “All I can do is me, I feel as though sometimes I'm relegated to my own instincts. This remix takes ‘Goodpain’ to the opposite side of the ring for me. It goes against all my better judgment and I love it.”
Yoke Lore plays with Vita & The Woolf and Elijah at Park Church Co-op on February 2nd.