Tuesday, April 28, 2009



Formed in Elgin, Illinois around 2001, Colossal featured members of renowned punk acts like The Lawrence Arms and Tuesday. However, Colossal's sound was much more rooted in the gentle, jazz-influenced emo styling that dominated Chicago's music scene in the mid-90's; taking a nod from bands such as Braid, Friction, American Football, and Cap'n Jazz (huh, imagine that) Colossal's sound is characterized by clean guitar tones, jangly pop riffs, the occasional flourish of trumpet, upbeat drums, and baritone vocals.

Pat Ford is the primary vocalist here, and his deep voice dominates the tracks. However, when other band members pipe up the result is absolutely wonderful (check out "Plateau Song" on the EP and "The 1/5 Compromise" on the full length).

The music that Colossal has created is imaginative, and rehashes many staples of the midwestern emo scene without making them seem old and worn out. So check it out!

The band is currently on hiatus.

Their myspace is here.

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Brave the Elements

Brave the Elements [EP] (2003)


Welcome the Problems (2004)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Grave, Shovel... Let's Go!

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I guess you could call Grave, Shovel...Let's Go! a indie/post hardcore band. I mean, they have noodly guitars and scream sometimes, but then again, they are not really a screamo band. I thought they were kinda screamoish, but then the band sent me their demo, and it just really sounds like good post-hardcore with some sweet emo riffs and shit. Anyways, Grave, Shovel are from Germany and the United States, which is fucking sweet. Its cool enough when band members do the long distance thing from town to town, but from country to country? That just kinda rules. I first heard Grave, Shovel when i downloaded their split with Me and Goliath, and fell in love with the song "Edgy Electrician". I got kinda pissed though because I couldn't find any other music by these guys anywhere. One day way back I messaged them via myspace and told them about le blog and how I wanted to do a post and what not, and then last week they sent me a message with links to all their music and some pictures. Its so cool that some bands are all behind being on blogs and really support the whole underground music trading scene and all that hip shit. Blah blah blah, I couldn't find any videos, sorry dudes.

Below is everything that the band sent me, which I'm assuming is everything they have.

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Split with Me and Goliath

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Live Set

Sunday, April 19, 2009

SNOWING DEMO/Ad Lib Cafe/The Stomping Grounds 4/18/09


So for the past few days Lancaster, PA has been hosting the Launch Music Conference, some kind of weird conglomeration of bands playing in clubs across the city over the course of three days.

To be honest, when I jumped in my friend's van to head up to Lancaster yesterday afternoon I had no idea there was a music festival going on. I thought I was going to a punk show. When we showed up at the Ad Lib Cafe in downtown Lancaster, we were all pretty surprised to see a huge crowd of all different kinds of kids milling around Central Market and the Cafe.

At first, I was confused. But when our friend Raphael (bassist of We Were Skeletons) walked out to greet us and lead us in a back door to the upstairs stage area, I was comforted. The show soon started, with We Were Skeletons kicking things off with an absolutely awesome set. These guys have done nothing but grow since releasing their debut "Summers, and their new self-titled album (recorded by none other than Will Killingsworth of Orchid/Ampere at Dead Air Studios) which is slated for release within the next few months following the release of the Ryan Oatman EP, is full of desperate dual vocals, insane drumming and mind-bending guitar riffs. I hadn't seen these guys play since I booked them for a show in my hometown almost a year ago, and couldn't believe the difference. I had been bumping the new material Raf had sent over, and I loved it, but seeing it live gave me an all new appreciation for their growth.

Next up was 1994!, another Lancaster based band that have quickly become one of the darlings of the national DIY scene. This was also the second time I had ever seen them, the first time being at Barclay House in October of '08 (check the archives for a review of that show). I would have to say that this time they were far better, but that could be just because the crowd was incredible. The energy for the upstairs show was absolutely incredible. It seemed everyone knew each other and were friends, and everyone was having a great time jamming out the music together, a stark contrast from what I saw when I poked my head in to check out some of the downstairs shows: a few people, standing a few feet back from the stage, as boys in designer clothes tended to merch tables while frantically texting on sidekicks. Anyway, 1994! played a bunch of songs off their debut LP Thank You Arms and Fingers, (again, check the archives) and they sounded great. They also played a cover of Weezer's "My Name Is Jonas", which I had heard they occasionally play, so I was excited to see that. After their set I bought an LP from Mike (drums), and it looks great. You can get your own personal copy from Inkblot Records.

After the 1994! set, Forensics played, but I only caught a fraction of their set. From what I caught, I could describe their sound as loud, sort of metal influenced punk with gruff vocals. I believe that the singer of this band runs Magic Bullet Records. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Following the Ad Lib show, we headed over the The Stomping Grounds, 1994's house for an after show/party. Snowing played first, and once again I was amazed at the energy of the crowd. It was such a great experience to go to two shows in one night with such positive energy.

Snowing features members of Hightide Hotel, Street Smart Cyclist, and Boy Problems, and their sound is very much in the same vein; High-energy 90's-esque emo with noodly guitars reminiscent of Braid, propelled by John Galm's raucous vocals. The set ended with John smashing his bass into the drum set and diving in.

Next up was Boyfriends (formerly known as Barf Academy), featuring both members of 1994! and a dude named Bean playing the drums, and the crowd went absolutely insane, crowd surfing in a basement that had a ceiling that couldn't have been more than seven of eight feet tall. The vocal style in this band is similar to that of 1994!, since Chris (vocals/guitar in 1994!) takes care of vocal duties. I don't really know how to describe these guys except that there was a lot of delay going on and sweet melodic, chilled-out parts. I'd suggest giving their myspace a listen, but if you ever get the chance see them live, because they are awesome.

I missed whatever band played next, because I was seduced by the roof, which Mike had recently decked out with astro turf, railings, and a TV and VCR featuring none other than that epic of our time, Wayne's World. Soon the roof filled up, and everyone was talking and watching the movie. Once again, I was absolutely amazed by how awesome and friendly every single person we met was. Lancaster, you have an awesome, awesome scene!

At around 2:30 in the morning, most of those who had stuck around to drink and dance to the T.I. remixes being played in the living room headed back down the basement to watch one more act, Ring Finger. Ring Finger was one woman, backed by only an iPod. She had set up a quilt she had sewn herself, complete with robots and window detail, as well as an end table, a lamp, and several random items, which she explained was a re-creation of her living room. She explained that she used to be in a hardcore band, and the last time she had been on tour was in 1996, and that this was only her second show. She played a few songs, and I was a bit too drunk to decide whether or not this was good, or just the most bizarre thing I'd ever seen. She played a song that Aaron of Isis (off her iPod, Aaron of Isis was not present) had played guitar on, so I guess she has definitely been around the circuit and made some friends.

After saying some goodbyes, we piled back in the van and our DD Robbie (co-author of this blog) drove us home, where we arrived at 5:30 in the morning. All in all, it was an awesome, awesome time, and I got to meet some awesome new people and hang out with some friends.

Below I've posted the Snowing demo, Fuck Your Emotional Bullshit, which is going to be released on 7" pretty soon, so buy it when it comes out, asshole.

Fuck Your Emotional Bullshit

Fuck Your Emotional Bullshit (2009)

Sunday, April 12, 2009



So, I was supposed to do a Monument post forever ago. Dan (vocals/bass) had contacted me via an e-mail asking to listen to his band Monument and post some songs. We get a lot of these e-mails, and usually they are just spam from some ridiculous metal band, but I was bored. So I downloaded the songs and took a listen. I was amazed at the quality. I then surfed on over to their myspace page and found out that the group features an ex-member of The Summer We Went West, a band I absolutely love! (that post is coming soon) However, my lazy nature got in the way of me actually putting in the time to sit down and write a well-thought out post, and anyways, it seemed that these guys had all the internet hype they needed. Suddenly they were everywhere I looked!

And they absolutely deserve it. They play upbeat, midwest-esque emo in the vein of Braid, or American Football on speed. These guys hail from Washington, D.C., a metropolitan area with a long history of punk bands, but these guys are something totally different from the whole Dischord scene. I not too long ago had the pleasure of playing with these guys and watching their set, and it was incredible. Great, wild, off-kilter vocals bounce off extremely imaginative guitar work and a tight rhythm section.

The "Honey, I Shrank the Kids" influenced Florida EP is a fun listen (sample lyric: DON'T EAT ME!), but the real meat and potatoes of this band's material can be found on their Demo and 7". The demo lays the groundwork for the Monument sound, and it was what I heard first. The 7" just came out, and it is really, really amazing. If you listen to this record, I don't see how you couldn't love it.

Buy their 7" off their myspace.

Here's a video live at WMUC (UMD College Park radio), I haven't watched it personally sooo I dono what happens! It's a surprise!

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Florida EP


3 Song 7"

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Ghosts & Vodka


This was posted by Ghosts and Vodka all over the internet recently:


We just got done having our first practice in 8 years or something like that. Honestly I can't remember the last time we were all in the same place at the same time. At any rate... It happened.

We will keep you posted... or not. One or the other.


So, in light of Ghosts and Vodka's recent reunion, I've decided to stop being lazy and start updating more, although I've been telling myself that since they got back together, which has been at least a week. Whatever. All you need to know is that Victor Villareal (Cap'n Jazz, Owls) and Sam Zurick (Joan of Arc, Make Believe) are playing the guitars. Great post-Cap'n Jazz era band that plays midwest style post-emowhateverthehell. They put out a seven inch and one full length LP (Precious Blood) between 1998-2001. Addicts and Drunks, a discography release put out by Six Gun Lover in 2003 after the band broke up, compiles these two releases.

If you used to listen to this band back in the day and lost your CD or you've never heard of them before, get it. Because apparently we'll be seeing more of these guys soon. Although videos of Victor Villareal's new solo material, which had an album slated for release originally sometime last month or so, is a bit puzzling, to be honest:

Now, some bizarre video of Ghosts and Vodka I found on youtube.

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Addicts and Drunks (2003)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Snowing Songs

Short entry today.

Unmastered Snowing demo songs are on the band's myspace here

Check it out!