Bandcamp Artists: Discover, Support, Share – Volume 33 0 470

Bandcamp Artists: Discover, Support, Share – Volume 33 0 471

Doesn’t really matter where you have been this July but it is HOT!! So nothing like some new tunes to help hanging out on the inside where it is COOl! This July edition has some new young talent from Dayton, lo-fi from Sweden, surf out of the Bay area, punk from Delaware, pop rock from the NYC, and some alt-country from Columbus, OH. It wouldn’t be a Bandcamp feature if you didn’t Discover, Support & Share – just do it already!

plow united Plow United
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Punk may not be in the mainstream like it was back in the day but Phili’s Plow United make a great statement here of why you should still be listening. The group’s debut came out in 1994, so they lived it through 1998 until a break. Three represents their second release since reuniting in 2011 and after listening – you would never believe they went away. Think Face to Face, Rancid, and MxPx as Plow United bring the right vibe.

Plow United Bandcamp

will-bennett-tells Will Bennett & The Tells
Columbus, Ohio

Should someone tell Columbus, OH band Will Bennett & The Tells that they should be playing in Austin, TX? Why? Well, their upbeat Old 97’s alt-country style is beer bottle breaking, girl stealing, belt buckle fun and deserves some attention. Their debut, Wichita, has everything from some good relationship stories to a little rollicking honky tonk which works well with Bennett’s laid back vocal delivery. The band may call Columbus home but you can gladly dust the southern dirt off of this one!

Will Bennett & The Tells Bandcamp

cool-ghouls Cool Ghouls
San Francisco, California

Cool Ghouls have a 60’s rock pop sound with psychedelic harmonies and intricate guitar playing. The band will be releasing their third record, Animal Races, on Aug 19th via Empty Cellar. The group definitely has refined their sound and focused in on their Nugget highlights from previous outings. Animal Races is easily their most confident LP to date and should bring a bigger audience with its warm California sound that never gets old.

Cool Ghouls Bandcamp

this-pine-box This Pine Box
Dayton, Ohio

Finding new talent in your own backyard always seems like a big win. This Pine Box are young but talented with their big song structures and engaging guy/gal harmonies. Their strength is in their restraint, as both vocalists come across very controlled while the music swirls around them with some solid guitar work. The group has just recently released their impressive debut EP, For Awhile, so who knows what will happen next with their still untapped emotion that only comes with experience. I wouldn’t wait – give them a shot now!

This Pine Box Bandcamp

sleepies Sleepies
Brooklyn, New York

Be careful searching for this group on Google or you could end up with a mattress! Sleepies are on their third full length with Natural Selection and it is another angular punk record that at times feels Dead Milkmen while others – Interpol. Their music has a modern edge to it that will surprise you around every corner and should suck you in. After a couple spins of their tracks – we both can agree that Sleepies have a great indie rock sound.

Sleepies Bandcamp

glyders1 Glyders
Chicago, Illinois

We actually featured these guys back in our Jan 2015 edition but thought they were worth mentioning again with the release of the 6 song DIM. This laid back jangly lo-fi set shows off the Glyders area of specialty and I think you will dig every song.

Glyders Bandcamp

shy-mirrors Shy Mirrors

Last we heard from Shy Mirrors at TFN was back in 2013 with Negative Collector but the band has kept steadily busy releasing cassette full lengths with the latest, When Nothing is Next, out via our friends at Hope For The Tape Deck. The record is another blast of short lo-fi goodness and brings plenty of “hit replay” moments. Besides the obvious GBV comparison, Shy Mirrors also have an energetic Superchunk side to them as well which rocks!

Shy Mirrors Bandcamp

jeanies The Jeanies
New York, New York

The Jeanies released this single last year but one of our favorite labels, HoZac Records, just put this single out on wax giving the band their first proper 7″. If you like solid sounding pop rock like Shoes, Big Star and Redd Kross then The Jeanies will be in your wheelhouse. I just keep spinning this track again and again!

The Jeanies Bandcamp

satellite-go Satellite Go
Wilmington, Delaware

Melodic punk rock! If you are into it then Wilmington’s Satellite Go should be on your speakers. It is this type of fever that always brings me hope that more people will fall back in with this genre. Tight songs, tight drums, tight guitars – enough said – rock out with Satellite Go!

Satellite Go Bandcamp

love-dimension The Love Dimension
San Francisco, California

San Francisco musical collective The Love Dimension has a bit of it all in their sound from the psychedelic ’60s to ’90s grunge with plenty of surf rock to bridge the two. On their new EP, Freakquency Space Mind Continuum, the band shoots out of every track like a surfer’s barrel and never seems to let up as most of the five tracks stay in the 2 to 3-minute range. The Love Dimension bring a classy golden era of rock forward here that should be for fans ranging from Beach Boys to Dick Dale to La Luz.

The Love Dimension Bandcamp

-Feature by Christopher Anthony and Thomas Wilde

Fire Note Staff

Fire Note Staff

Online Music Magazine: Independent Music Reviews, Vinyl Spotlights, Music News, Videos, 7-inch record features + more!
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Bill Mallonee & The Big Sky Ramblers: Forest Full Of Wolves [Album Review] 1 892

Bill Mallonee & The Big Sky Ramblers
Forest Full of Wolves
Self-Released [2018]

Fire Note Says: Bill Mallonee is one of those best-kept secrets you really want to share with the rest of the music loving world.

Album Review: No one is ever going to call singer/songwriter Bill Mallonee an under-achiever. His latest release, a 10 song full-length effort, Forest Full of Wolves is his 78th album by his own count. Mallonee spent the 1990s fronting the Athens, GA-band Vigilantes of Love, shuffling from one label to the next, driving a van from coast-to-coast playing every alternative rock/Americana friendly venue who would let them. Hometown friend, Peter Buck (R.E.M.) co-produced one of the band’s early more-acoustic albums, the Killing Floor. The band’s 1999 album, released on three different labels of the course of 18 months, Audible Sigh was produced by Nashville’s favorite side-man Buddy Miller, and includes a guest vocal by Emmylou Harris, as well as some of Mallonee’s best loved songs. Paste Magazine has named him one of the 100 greatest living songwriters.

A rough count, say there were 10 songs per release (usually there were more), puts Mallonee’s songwriting output at nearly 8000, and those are the one’s he’s recorded. Now basic logic would suggest that they can’t all be good, and surely not all of them are memorable, but Mallonee’s work, his actual raison d’’etre, has proven especially consistent over the decades, and in the 2010’s he’s delivered a solid album’s worth of tunes each year, with a noticeable uptick in production values starting with 2011’s The Power & The Glory. Last year’s excellent The Rags of Absence was a case in point, with Mallonee especially attentive to his lead guitar parts.

Forest Full of Wolves continues to chronicle the challenges to working class people and even songwriters, as if Mallonee is creating his own musical version of John Steinbeck’s “Grapes of Wrath” for what he calls this “new dark age.” “Greed and fear (have) gained the upper hand,” he sings in “Changing of the Guard,” so he’s “grabbed a guitar & a notebook or two… became a phantom with some conjuring ‘neath the moon.”

Musically, Wolves takes the energy of Rags to the next level, with bigger, noiser guitar tones. Mallonee captures a Neil Young jamming with Crazy Horse in the garage vibe throughout, which is likely a lot harder to pull off since Mallonee’s playing all the instruments. Mid-tempo alternative country rock at it’s most earnest and relevant, and against all odds, Mallonee manages to offer a word of hope. “In the New Dark Age” he sings, borrowing the title from a different song that he recording on 2014’s The Winnowing, “the best thing you can do is fall in love.” Of course, “Love Is Always Risky Currency,” but it’s the best chance any of us have of surviving in this “Forest Full of Wolves.”

Like many artists scrambling to make art in the challenging digital marketplace and survive financially Mallonee has struggled to reach out and connect with Americana fans, break ground with new audiences, even though he’s stayed off the road in recent years. As a fan who first heard the singer songwriter live in the early 90’s, and many times over the years, Bill Mallonee is one of those best-kept secrets you really want to share with the rest of the music loving world. It’s artists who wear their passion on their sleeves, who keep pouring out their hearts in songs, that make the music that matters. (One reason to order the hard CD copy of this one, is the cover art produced by another singer songwriter, Chris Taylor, from San Antonio, TX.).

Key Tracks: “In the New Dark Age” / “Voodoo Ink” / “Trimmed & Burning”

Artists With Similar Fire: Neil Young / Bob Dylan / John Prine

Bill Mallonee Website
Bill Mallonee Facebook

– Reviewed by Brian Q. Newcomb

Fire Note Staff

Fire Note Staff

Online Music Magazine: Independent Music Reviews, Vinyl Spotlights, Music News, Videos, 7-inch record features + more!
Fire Note Staff

Stars: There Is No Love In Fluorescent Light [Album Review] 0 442

There Is No Love In Fluorescent Light
Last Gang Records [2017]


Who: Veteran indie pop band from Canada.

Sound: Indie pop with a heart and a head.

TFN Final Take: Stars is like a well-worn glove that is comfortable, reliable, but lacking in surprise or unpredictability. There is nothing wrong with that; they are still great at what they do. And what they do is construct a song, engage you, and give you space to reflect on what you’re hearing. My standout track is “Alone,” which has a chorus that stuck with me. The song takes its time to unfold and then slowly recedes into silence. “Real Thing” is another good one that throws an off-speed pitch for a chorus. Per usual, established fans will find a lot to like in the latest album and new fans will hopefully take advantage of Stars’ great catalog.

Stars Website
Stars Facebook
Last Gang Records

– Reviewed by Matthew Heiner

Fire Note Staff

Fire Note Staff

Online Music Magazine: Independent Music Reviews, Vinyl Spotlights, Music News, Videos, 7-inch record features + more!
Fire Note Staff

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