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Artist of the Month
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October 2014
Mumblr
"Full Of Snakes
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mp3

The major takeaway for Mumblr’s new album Full Of Snakes (Fleeting Youth Records) is that it really takes balls to write songs that truly say nothing. As counter intuitive as it may sound, there really is something admirable in using music to not really express all that much. Any jerk with a voice and a few chords can say a whole lot about how their ex is horrible; what really matters is how much of that content is actually worth hearing. And brother, Mumblr has found a way to make saying nothing profound.

On the surface, the album initially sounds like some sort of early 2000’s generic pop-punk; the first song “Got It” opens with that familiar sense of vague, safe anger. It’s very “high school” reminiscent, right off the bat, with lines like “I got it if you want it” and “I’ll invite you to my room.” But as the song closes and we drift into “Sober,” the tone very gradually starts to feel off. It starts to feel a bit weirder, with this sense of reckless abandon that you only hear in a Violent Femmes song. And it’s not that one is true, and the others is not; this album is walking a razor’s edge between the most self-aware of indie post-punk and the obliviousness of adolescent guilty pleasures.

And while that may sound like a chaotic mess, the seventeen-track full-length really is the having-and-eating of one's cake. We get the indulgence of grandiose guitar riffs and over the top shrieks, but with just enough originality in the composition to give it a sense of being slick and even avant-garde. Don’t let the outward sense of crazy abandon fool you - this thing is airtight. And a lot of that can be chalked up to Nick Morrison’s vocals; he brings a real sense of cleverness to the whole thing, in no small part to the fact that he can turn his voice on a dime.

One endlessly fascinating reoccurring theme is the use of repetition in their lyrics, with phrases like the aforementioned “I got it” and “someone’s been sitting in my chair” echoed over and over again, beyond the point of simple parody. It’s that old artistic trope of repeating something until it becomes meaninglessly applied to lyrics, and it’s interesting to hear expressions of youthful angst to become so alien and meaningless.

They take these universal touchstones of adolescences, including the use of “shock” lyrics such as “if God is a woman I’m going to hell” and gleefully drive them into the ground while enjoying the ride. It’s fun, it’s cool, and will leave you thinking more than any other post-punk album in months. And it does so while still being a genuinely fun throwback to a sort of music that you don’t really hear in earnest these days. - Daniel Ludwig


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Asaad

Asaad Album Release Show at Silk City March 26

Asaad (born Saayid Asaad) has been one of the most prolific and controversial artists in the local hip-hop scene. Since dropping his debut mixtape Flowers in 2009, the North Philly emcee/producer has released seven other albums and nearly a hundred tracks. He first caught our attention with 2011's #DIRTYMIDDLECLASS, which helped to get him nominated for The Deli's annual year-end Best Emerging Artists Poll, where he won Philly's Readers'/Fans' segment of the competition. 2012 proved to be his most productive year to date with the release of New Black History Month, #WHITE, and #TROY, as major music media outlets began to take notice, but the venomous tongue of the brash, young talent and an album cover that depicted Tupac having sex with Notorious B.I.G. seemed to alienate him from the rest of the hip-hop world. An artist, who once thrived on the controversy, began to show signs of wear in 2013. Asaad surprisingly changed his stage name to Saudi Money, attaching it to a handful of releases, and then, after showing great dissatisfaction with the music industry (there were rumors of him being "blackballed" by the hip-hop community), he attempted to delete the existence of himself and his music from the internet. Well, it seems that the time out of the public's crosshairs has helped to rejuvenate the Philly-bred talent. He'll be returning this evening at Silk City under the name Asaad, once again, with a new record, Flowers II, in tow. Come out tonight and experience his rebirth! Silk City Diner, 435 Spring Garden St., 9pm, $10, 21+ (Photo by Snaps NY) - Q.D. Tran

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