Kississippi, Reduction Plan, Bilge Rat, and Milkshakes 12/21 @ Hardcore Sweet Cupcakes, Oakville CT By Susan McLean
There was no way in hell I was going to miss Kississippi's first CT show, so I had my calendar marked (weeks) in advance. Since their release of We Have No Future, We're All Doomed, I've been borderline obsessed with their raw vibe. The show was great, everything smelled like cupcakes (why don't we have more shows at bakeries????????) and it was a really cool homecoming for Kupson (Kississippi) who is native to the CT scene, but has been living in Philly.
Unfortunately I didn't grab any photos of Bilge Rat.
Reduction Plan call themselves 'Groovy goth jams' and I really liked them. Download their newest release on Bandcamp for free if you're interested.
Milkshakes identify as 'Connecticut Indie Punk FFO dessert' but are reminiscent of Born Without Bones.
Kississippi brand themselves as 'PHL Popviolence FT members of the CTEmo board' and have been featured on Bruised Knuckles recently for their new release.
Procedure Club, Medication, Cerise Montclair 12/12 @ Willimantic Records, Willimantic CT By Susan McLean
I live a few blocks from Willimantic Records so I obviously checked out the free show on 12/12. I wasn't familiar with Procedure Club, Medication, or Cerise Montclair, but I'm always down for music.
Check my Instagram @susanisrad for video.
Honestly, I enjoyed Cerise Montclair, a local Willimantic band, the most, and really vibed with their sound. They describe themselves as a 'duo consisting of Jason and John. Punchy noise rock.'
Medication calls themselves 'Lo-fi pop caterwauling with organ drones, shambolic drums and twangy guitars from Mikey Hyde.' They hail from New Haven.
Procedure Club, also out of New Haven, identify as 'swiriling, fuzzy dream pop / noise from Adam, Andrea, Tim, Kristianne and Sam.'
The World Is A Beautiful Place, Caspian, Old Wounds, The Island of Misfit Toys, and Loner Chic 12/11 @ Toad's Place, New Haven CT By Susan McLean
When The World is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die announced a release show for their new album Harmlessness at Toad's Place in New Haven, I knew I needed to go. TWIABP was kind enough to give me photo credentials, so Bruised Knuckles was in business.
I've been a fan of TWIABP since Whenever, If Ever, and Harmlessness was an incredible album. I was excited to see how TWIABP would celebrate coming from little old Willimantic CT to European tours.
The energy was amazing and everyone played incredibly well. I hadn't listened to Caspian, Old Wounds, or Loner Chic before but all three were great. Caspian and Old Wounds are new favorites, and TWIABP and The Island of Misfit Toys will always be great.
TWIABP was full of jokes and gratitude and frankly seemed a little exhausted, but played as well as ever. I was happy to be able to be a part of this moment in their careers and I can't wait to see what's next.
The Island of Misfit Toys
The Front Bottoms, The Smith Street Band, Elvis Depressedly 11/30 @ Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel, Providence RI By Susan McLean
I finally caught The Front Bottoms on their Back On Top Tour on the last night of their tour in Providence, RI at Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel. I've always had a soft spot for TFB since their 2011 Self Titled. In 2013 they released Talon of the Hawk and I was still a fan, and Rose in 2014 only deepened my love for their incredibly depressing messy style. This September, TFB released Back On Top and their sound changed a little, but it brought them loads of new fans. Personally, I only really loved 2YL off the new album but was ecstatic to see them live. I missed their show at Toad's Place on 10/16, so I found my way to the Providence show, excited as all hell. Most of the dates of the tour sold out, and I'm not sure that 11/30 was sold out, but I'm not sure that anyone else could have been stuffed into the venue.
Elvis Depressedly was on first, and I really enjoy them, but the crowd was being a little shitty, and I feel as though they went under-appreciated. They played Inside You, which has always been a favorite of mine. Unfortunately I wasn't close enough for any photos.
Next was The Smith Street Band, all the way from Australia. I'd never heard of them, but they played well and the crowd was a lot more into them. They were a lot more 'thrashy' and the pit opened up. In all honesty, I was very into the '666' shirt.
Finally, The Front Bottoms came on and the energy was incredible. They played well live and mixed old favorites like Twin Sized Mattress and Flashlight in with new songs like Motorcycle and Cough it Out. The pit was insane, and for most of their set, I found myself in the middle, thrashing gently along. For the most part, I found people were fairly decent and picked each other up when they fell, but I saw a lot of people taking advantage of other people without consent. Mosh pit groping is a huge issue, that myself and many of my friends have faced (and would love to end) and I saw a lot of this at this show. Since Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel is essentially a bar, some individuals were pretty inebriated and I think this lowered their inhibitions enough that they weren't aware that they were not given consent. In the Defend The Front Bottoms Facebook group the next day, I saw a lot of posts from young girls saying they had alerted security that they were being sexually assaulted and violated without their consent, and security had done nothing. I obviously don't know the full story in any of these interactions and am not accusing anyone of anything, however it is unacceptable for fans to come away from a show with complaints like this and Bruised Knuckles is working on a partnership with Girls Against, the UK group of girls standing up against mosh pit groping.
Although this show left a bitter taste in my mouth, and I hate that young, potentially even underage, as TFB has a young fanbase, fans have to be wary of being groped in a mosh pit, an environment that is supposed to welcome all; I did enjoy the three bands and wouldn't hesitate to see any of them again. I'd love to catch Elvis Depressedly at a smaller, more intimate venue, and I'd love it TFB made some comments about sexual assault at their shows, as this might help form a stance that behavior like this is unacceptable.
Finally, I'd like to apologize for the delays on posting this, the holidays and finals have killed any schedule I might have had. I'd also like to thank Jenna Mancini for the photos and I urge you to check her out on Instagram @jenna_mancini
I Would Hate You If I Could: Bruised Knuckles December Playlist By Susan McLean
Somos joined Hopeless Records on 11/30 and is releasing a full length, 'First Day Back' on 2/19. Today they released 'Alright, I'll Wait' as a single. I'm sure 'First Day Back' will live up to the standard set by splits with both Have Mercy and Sorority Noise, as well as their first release, 'Temple of Plenty.' Preorder the album here, stream below via Spotify, and check out the video.
G-Eazy released 'When It's Dark Out,' the follow up to his debut LP 'These Things Happen.' The 17 track album is a mellow departure from his previous work, but a welcome shift. G-Eazy features some relatively significant names (Big Sean, Chris Brown) and I would think this is helping in his transition to a more mainstream rapper.
'When It's Dark Out' will not disappoint fans who've come to love G-Eazy's sharp tongue and quick wordplay. The album is full of self-reflective tidbits of insecurity that I love from G-Eazy. The album is a little more mellow than 'These Things Happen' with tracks like 'Order More feat. Starrah'
The album is very contemplative of his newfound fame, considering if he'd still be getting girls if he didn't rap, asking if things would be different if he wasn't white, etc. ('What If feat. Gizzle')
New fans will love 'Me, Myself, and I' and 'Drifting feat. Chris Brown and Tory Lanez' as well as 'You Got Me' but I think 'Don't Let Me Go feat. Grace' is also worth taking note of. I'd also note 'Sad Boy' as a highlight, but that may just be a personal favorite.
Stream the album below via Spotify and purchase 'When It's Dark Out' on iTunes now.
Note: album art from RCA pls don't sue Bruised Knuckles
Departure Touch released Deconstruct Me on 11/20. A highly personal project, Deconstruct Me catalogues the most emotional moments into raw and unapologetic epithets. Leaning heavily on elements of shoegaze, the album is the experimental brainchild of Conor Knox. Knox has always been involved in music and this solo album was inevitable after focusing on bass and guitar in college. I was able to speak with Knox briefly about the creative process:
Why go such an experimental route?
I wanted to try to accurately represent the chaos of my thought process so a lot of the record was written in very emotional states. I wanted the record to be the most pure representation of what I was going through at the time and not dilute it into a specific musically style, so I let it be experimental.
What artists do you draw on for inspiration?
Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine, Dan Barrett of Have A Nice Life, Ian Curtis of Joy Division, Morrissey, and like a million others.
Why did you embark on making an album on your own, I'd imagine it to be terrifying?
I wanted to make the album on my own to push my writing capability (musically and lyrically) and see if I could create a product I was truly proud of. And yes, it was terrifying. When you do everything by yourself (writing, recording, producing) you become very self critical but I just wanted something I could be proud of.
The whole album is so emotional, what track is the rawest?
The last one, "Time Makes Me Miss You More". It was written the day after the end of a two year relationship and recorded in one take the same day. It wasn't touched at all after.
I love the album art, tell me a little bit about it?
One of my good friends, Jack Hollant, who I have been in multiple bands with, has always done artwork. They built the artwork based off the lyrics of the record that I sent them. Jack says: "A single shoe print walking away is about dealing with loss. A lot of the songs on the record seemed to be dealing with loss or longing. There were also a lot of motifs about winter on the record and the music felt cold at times, so that reinforced the idea."
What's next for you, musically?
As of right now, I'm starting to write the next record. It'll probably a slow process again, but I've already started on it.
Stream (and purchase) Deconstruct Me from Bandcamp below, highlights include 'Vacant' and 'Old Places Where We Once Lived,' but the album as a whole is incredibly cohesive and is definitely something to listen to when you want to feel things. Personally, I really appreciate how unsettling and emotional the project is.
Knox's past projects include Mind Reduction Therapy and Colère.
Sunflower Bean releases their new album Human Ceremony on 2/5/16. They released the single 'Wall Watcher' on 11/12 to promote the upcoming release. Sunflower Bean is self proclaimed 'night music,' and Wall Watcher is lovely, haunting, yet slightly hypnotic and maddening. Preorder Human Ceremony and listen to 'Wall Watcher' on Bandcamp now.
What we're listening to.