Bilge Rat - Pals

“Cupio,” the album’s second single is on the more restrained side of their new experimental focus, instead opting for monolithic walls of distortion and ever off-kiltered rhythmic attacks that pound away under the most blistering of guitars. The song starts casual enough, a slowcore indebted introduction crawls forward, bursting with squalls of bleeding guitars, the song relying on it’s various textures to color in otherwise grayed picture. They twist and scrape with cascading drum feels and enraged feedback roaring against one another, building into an ever chaotic whirlwind of controlled fury and paint peeling bliss.
— Dan Goldin, Post-Trash

The Hempsteadys - Séance Séance!

My first thought when I heard that The Hempsteadys were releasing Séance! Séance! was that this is going to be the party album of the fall. The self described P-Funk of Street Punk are known for their super high energy ska and reggae, as proven on their last album El Amor de Los Muertos, a rocksteady opera from 2015.

Much to my surprise Séance! Séance! opens with “Still Life With Woodpecker” and “Compass” a pair of songs that are reminiscent of 1372 Overton Park from Lucero, hard driving barroom rock with a horn section that delivers a punch. This sets the stage for the expectations from the rest of the album. Gone are the conceptual operatic love songs about monsters, here are heartfelt lyrics layered over hard driving rhythms with soaring guitars and a horn section that knows when to strike. “Classic Cars,” “Ghost of Joe Strummer” and “The Well” showcase this sound with surgical precision.

5/5
— Dying Scene

NOVA ONE - secret princess

Playing all the instruments on show, including drums for the first time, the Nova One makes an immediate impact, Raskin’s voice as mood-soaked and maudlin as ever before as it rolls gently over the plain-stated but perfectly placed instrumentation that certainly crafts the aforementioned moody atmosphere; the whole piece akin to some late-night paean to the dimly lit bars that this kind of lulling heartache so compellingly evokes.
— Tom Johnson, GoldFlakePaint

Lilith - I'll Come Over // In Real Life

Their new single, “I’ll Come Over,” is more crystal-cut than anything on their EP. Liuzzo and Francis echo each other over lurching guitars, while Demirjian’s drumming pounds away, supporting the doodads and drop-outs that pepper the song, from chimes to squeaks to gently building harmonies. It’s confident and catchy and a little defiant, as they search for the middle ground between upholding someone’s personal accountability and outright forgiveness.
— James Rettig, Stereogum

Sibylline - SPACE

Hannah Daman is the songwriter and lead singer of Sibylline. She plays a big echo-y acoustic and cuts a very unassuming profile until she’s behind the mic, a confident performer with, despite her young appearance, years of playing in bands domestically and abroad under her belt. Sabine and Martelle take the lead on violin and mandolin, respectively, and both hold down delicious, feminine three-part harmonies with Daman, a gilded, golden cage for this rare songbird.
— Victoria Karol, Portland Phoenix

Tuxis Giant - Here Comes the Wolf

If there was an album to pack for a road trip, Tuxis Giant’s “Here Comes the Wolf” would be a must-bring. Maybe the minimalistically inspired album artwork, a photo of an outstretched road, surrounded by empty, barren fields and a hazy, ambient violet sky inspires this thought. Comprised of Matt O’Connor on guitar and lead vocals, Tim Regan on bass and piano, and James Steinberg on percussion, Tuxis Giant sounds like freedom, clean sheets in the wind, yoga in the park, and some serious self-reflection. “Here Comes the Wolf” is melancholy yet whimsical, forlorn yet bright, and expels pure clarity at every turn.
— Mary Menzemer, Boston Hassle

Clever Girls - Luck

Perhaps most noticeable about the new record is its heaviness. Loose Tooth was hefty, too, both emotionally and sonically. But it was a bit manic. Luck feels more even-keeled and lands solidly in grunge and shoegaze territory. Hardly a trace remains of the alt-country-ish strains of its predecessor. The group also makes some bold compositional and structural choices, which are further evidence of its cohesion.
— Jordan Adams, Seven Days

Courtney Swain - Growing Pains

Courtney’s newest EP, Growing Pains, is her opportunity to strip away the complex arrangements and theatrics, and focus purely on songwriting. Armed with her voice, piano, strings, and life experiences, Courtney takes us to a place where she is completely exposed not just as an artist, but as an individual, with emotional and intensely personal stories. The product is a gorgeous, ephemeral, melancholy journey through her mind and heart.
— Thomas Hatton, Proglodytes

Roz and the Rice Cakes - Devotion

Ever since the band’s inception, Roz and the Rice Cakes has been a quintessential Providence college outlet that breathes fire into DIY indie rock. Singer and keyboardist Roz Raskin, drummer Casey Belisle, and guitarist Justin Foster formed the band shortly after meeting at Rhode Island College back in 2009. They’ve been at it for enough years to have a routine. So, as usual, the trio wrote a few songs to prep for their newest studio album sessions. When it came time to record, however, things shifted dramatically for the better—though at the time they had no idea know what was about to happen.

It all began when engineer, co-producer, and friend Bradford Krieger invited them to record their next album in Big Nice Studio, a new recording studio opening in Rhode Island. Roz and the Rice Cakes were one of the first sessions the studio had. The studio, relatively untouched at the point, was their playground. Thanks to Krieger’s openness, the band began goofing around on synthesizers—a sound that became the vital crux of Devotion, their newest record, out this Friday on Team Love Records.
— Nina Corcoran, Dig Boston

Soft Fangs - Fractures


Soft Fangs’ new album, Fractures, brings a feeling of spatial closeness. John Lutkevich plays every instrument on this record, but there is something about Lutkevich’s voice that feels like he’s singing directly to you in a small room. It may be the whispery intonation of his voice that brings this on. Although some of these songs have a softer acoustic quality, Lutkevich is able to transition into a sound that is reminiscent of label mates Horse Jumper of Love. Some of the quieter tracks have a country-esque sound to them, such as the piano driven “Apple Picking,” or the organ that is being played on the closing track, “We Don’t Live Together Anymore.” A major theme throughout this record is the feeling of hunger. Soft Fangs’ new album, Fractures, is a wonderful rock record that makes you think about the current state of food security as well as economic security and other current social issues.
— Charles Hoyt, Post-Trash

All Talk - S/T

After recording their last EP, upstairs/downstairs, in a Brighton apartment, the members of All Talk were ready to get back into a large studio to work on their new self-titled full-length release. Band members, Tim Mensel (bass, vocals), Cole Maxwell (guitar, vocals) and Dan Shapiro (drums) ended up choosing Big Nice studio in Lincoln, RI as their base of operations. The space this studio provided lent itself well to the sound of the new record.

As Mensel put it, “Big Nice has 30 foot high ceilings so a lot of the character of our new record comes from working the natural sounds of that room.” This more open space is clear as day on Maxwell’s guitar work – often hopping from groovy arpeggios to jangly riffs. It also shines through in moments like the downtempo, calming close to “Endless Love is a Mantra” and the gentle guitar bounces of “Habit of Living.”
— Harry Gustafson, Allston Pudding