Bandcamp Picks of the Week 7/19/17

Bandcamp Picks of the Week, as large and in charge as ever

bandcamp picks of the week jakals

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Genre: Indie Rock

Favorite Tracks: “If You Want a Companion,” “Young and Easy,” “Devil Eyes” 

There’s a lot to say about the current state of indie rock, almost all of which is contradictory, circuitous, and a bunch of hot air. What I ultimately believe is that it all comes down to having an interesting voice, in the figurative and literal sense. Thankfully, one of the more commanding voices I’ve come across in the scene is present in Jakals, courtesy of Katie Solomon. Oozing with warmth and complexity, Solomon’s voice is somewhere between Florence Welch and Kate Bush, effortlessly ebbing and flowing and preventing things from ever becoming stale. As their band bio suggests, Jakals is also of note for managing to strike a perfect stride between the personal openness of singer/songwriters and the more fully realized trappings of a traditional rock ensemble. What’s more, I find the instrumental songwriting unique in the fact that it’s never ostentatious; it’s perfectly designed to complement and bolster Solomon’s voice, letting her do most of the heavy lifting in terms of melody, but careful listening will reveal a quiet depth of technical skill and virtuosity. We’ve covered some Boston up-and-comers before, and Jakals prove it’s a scene worth continuing to give some attention to. You can listen to it here. [Thomas Seraydarian]

mutoid man war

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Mutoid Man – WAR MOANS

Genre: Post-Hardcore, Stoner Metal

Favorite Tracks: “Dance with the Devil,” “War Moans,” “Wreck and Survive,” “Open Flame”

Apparently all I do in these articles is talk about the endless resume of Kurt Ballou, who today might be known more as a producer than for his work with metalcore legends Converge. While we wait all in agony for their next record, the band’s drummer has teamed up with a bassist and the lead singer of fellow metalcore monoliths Cave In to form Mutoid Man. Not much has changed from their 2015 debut record BLEEDERS, but WAR MOANS is still an absolute blast that combines The Offspring’s anthemic, somewhat humorous punk, High on Fire’s merciless assault of stomping drums and shredding guitar, and Mastodon’s zig-zaggy tempo changes and flirtations with psychedelic textures. WAR MOANS is a thoroughly original listen that brings together a wide variety of punk and metal subgenres and makes them work with endless riffs and energy. It’s also surprisingly catchy and dominated by clean vocals, which may turn off listeners more attuned to harsher noise, but Ballou helps prevent it from seeming programmed or lacking in spontaneity or rawness. Both veterans and newbies to metalcore and other fusions of punk and metal should find a lot to like here, so give it a listen, and check out the interview Crossfader did with Mutoid Man here as well. [Blake Michelle]

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