Bandcamp Picks of the Week 6/14/17

Bandcamp Picks of the Week, again, and again, and AGAIN

L.M.I. _Far Beyond Nothing_ Cover

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Genre: Hardcore Punk, Noise Rock

Favorite Tracks: “Destined for the Ground,” “Emerald Motions,” “Sun Rites,”

Featured on our second ever installment of Bandcamp Picks of the Week (how time flies!), it’s a pleasure to once again welcome Pennsylvania “punk” act L.M.I. to our weekly recommendation series. Their full-length follow-up to 2014’s SLEEPWALKER, with FAR BEYOND NOTHING, L.M.I. has kept their propensity for a demonstration of chameleonic influences, but improved upon it with a notable increase in production panache and deft musicality. Kicking off with the math-y “Coffin Niche,” which smacks heavily of post-hardcore, the most impressive moments of the album occur when the band fully indulges in a shifting trade-off of rhythms and styles at the drop of a dime (“Emerald Motions”), with far more comfort and confidence than many other acts of a similar nature. Interspersed throughout with daring moments of experimentation (the touches of DAYDREAM NATION-esque guitar work on “Salamander,” the luscious, vaguely dream pop intro of “Poison Landscape”) and some pummelling riffs that bring to mind later waves of thrash metal (“Sun Rites”; early System of a Down, anyone?), L.M.I. continue to prove that they refuse to be boxed in. However, for my money, things are at their best when the punk is offered loud and unfettered, and in that regard, the band delivers in spades. About to embark on a nationwide summer tour, L.M.I. will likely soon be in a town near you, so why not stream the album here and catch a set? [Thomas Seraydarian]

bandcamp picks of the week moniquea

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Genre: Synth Funk

Favorite Tracks: “Knew It,” “Make You Feel My Love ft. Brian Ellis”  

I have almost zero familiarity with funk or what makes for good funk. I’m that rhythmless jackass who listens to “Superstition” and doesn’t see what the big deal is. Nonetheless, I don’t need to know anything about the genre to know that BLACKWAVEFUNK is an awesome record. Taking cues from g-funk and new wave, Moniquea has crafted a nostalgia-filled throwback to a style often underrepresented in modern times that doesn’t feel as unfocused as its wide array of influences might indicate. The production is the runaway highlight here; the percussion, basslines, and vocals all have a wonderful crispness to them, and the mix is densely layered yet crystal clear. Monique delivers a bold, confident performance full of spunk and playfulness, and there’s some great vocal layering and harmonies as well. It’s catchy, it’s sensual, and it’s a lot of fun (shoutout to the out of nowhere guitar solo on “Make You Feel My Love,” as well). If you want a more organic Daft Punk, then gives this a listen. [Blake Michelle]

bandcamp picks of the week zion

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Zion Rodman – YOU’RE INVITED

Genre: Singer/Songwriter, Indie Folk

Favorite Tracks: “Need I Say More,” “You Won’t Know,” “Into the Night”

Alright, it doesn’t quite fit the qualification of a Bandcamp Pick of the Week, but Boston singer/songwriter Zion Rodman’s debut release deserves some attention regardless (and is available on all other major streaming services). What is perhaps most distinguishable about YOU’RE INVITED is Rodman’s unique ability to retain the presence and gravitas of a singer/songwriter solo act while refusing to box himself into a corner of a “man and his guitar”; in an era of nigh insurmountable amounts of lo-fi bedroom projects, it’s refreshing to hear a young creative voice this professionally produced, fully realized, and cohesively structured around a distinct personality and energy. Not to say that Rodman’s studio crew is nondescript or easily ignored, by any means; YOU’RE INVITED hits an electrifying stride that often brings to mind Wilco and other Jeff Tweedy projects, which is about as high a comparison as a debut album in this vein can get. What’s further impressive is YOU’RE INVITED’s accessibility; these tracks already sound like they should be filling out venues across the nation, and there’s no doubt in my mind that with a few more releases under his belt, Rodman will soon reach stadium levels of anthemic songwriting triumphs. Topped off with a beguiling voice that evokes Ben Gibbard more often than not, all signs point to an exceptionally bright future for Rodman and his creative circle. You can listen to YOU’RE INVITED here. [Thomas Seraydarian]

The good people of Crossfader Magazine.

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