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November 2014
Sheer Mag
"7"
"
mp3
Relatively new outfit, South Philly’s Sheer Mag, fronted by The Shakes’ Christina Halladay, wastes no time with filler on their debut 7”. The four-track release is equal parts garage and punk bravado.
 
“What You Want” kick-starts the record with jangly percussion and pristinely fuzzed-out riffs. As the song’s melody unfolds, Halladay’s screamed-out, heartfelt vocals recount and flawlessly capture the dissonance of romantic antics and their aftermath. Guitar-drenched interludes and buzzing drums reminiscent of Colleen Green, circa Cujo, and early demos by Bleached render the piece memorable, while noisy shreds near the three-minute mark bring to mind the lo-fi glory of the Useless Eaters’ Daily Commute.
 
Sheer Mag’s “Sit and Cry” is bittersweet and abrasive. Opening with crisply executed riffage, the second track off the band’s EP audibly embodies the malaise of its namesake. Halladay’s vocals, coupled with trippy distortion, amplify the emotional nuance of the release as a whole. As “Sit and Cry” nears its end, chords morph into reverb as she croons “cry, cry.” Soon after, the satisfyingly moody “Point Breeze” begins. Starting off with a rhythmic drive evocative of Cousin Brian or Throwing Up, the undertone of “Point Breeze” captivates listeners nostalgic for Slutever’s Pretend to Be Nice. Crisp with caustic yet earnest diction by Halladay, the song is energetically catching from start to end.
 
The album’s closer, “Hard Lovin,” is gritty, like a mellowed-out Bobbyteens’ B-side. Shaking tambourine and whining guitar lines perfectly compliment her rowdy vocals as the song progresses. Thematically, “Hard Lovin” is a kindred spirit to acts like No Bunny or Hunx and His Punx. It’s a song for romantics with a penchant for rock ‘n’ roll. It’s an anthem.
 
Overall, Sheer Mag's debut release is brief. Despite this, the four-song EP is more than enough to wet the appetites of their soon-to-be adoring fans. - Dianca Potts

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Friend Roulette

She Keeps Bees, Luke Temple, Friend Roulette, Teletextile and Edan play Braincave Series tomorrow (05.03)

Saturday night, Baby’s All Right will host the first installment of BrainCave Series, hosted by Paper Garden Records.  In the past few years BrainCave has brought us some truly memorable weekend-long festivals that included NYC artists like Peelander-Z, Shilpa Ray, Hooray for Earth, Caged Animals, The Suzan, Black Cobra and more, alongside live art and DJs. Saturday’s stacked bill promises to be just as exciting, and includes Luke Temple of Here We Go Magic, Friend RouletteTeletextile, Edan and She Keeps Bees (pictured), among others. Check out under-appreciated Brooklyn/D.C. alt folkers She Keeps Bees' latest single "Counter Charm" - after this show they'll be touring with Sharon Von Etten in May. - Bill Dvorak


Friend Roulette releases "Grow Younger" EP

Here at The Deli NYC we like bands that don't think "straight" - maybe because our scene has a tradition for rewarding acts with a unique vision. Friend Roulette definitely doesn't lack this feature, as testified once again by their new EP "Grown Younger," out today on Goodnight Records. The band plays a rather loud brand of orchestral/synth pop, where the aggressive wall of sound created by drums, horns, guitars and keys is only partially tamed by violinist's Julia Tepper's oblique vocal melodies. Check out preview single "I Guess" below, and stream the entire EP here.

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Friend Roulette unveils gorgeous new video for "Lie" + plays Mercury on 10.02

Friend Roulette, probably the most unusual chamber pop band in NYC, has just released with very cool video of their single "Lie" - enjoy on your monitor now, or live at Mercury Lounge on October 2.

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Friend Roulette, Xenia Rubinos, Blanche Blanche Blanche at Union Pool on 09.05

Union Pool on September 5th will host a perfect show to indulge your musical ADHD. With tribal sounding percussion, reminiscent of earlier Local Natives or Wild Beasts, Friend Roulette (pictured) mixes a plethora of genres, from pop to psych to folk, without ever sounding like a forced fusion. The band just released a new single entitled ViVa ZyPreXa (streaming below), belonging to the sparser and more experimental side of their repertoir. They’re playing with Xenia Rubinos, an eccentric and sultry vocalist who crafts jagged jumpy rhythms into danceable avant-pop tracks. Obscure post punk group Blanche Blanche Blanche will be joining the set as well, adding a dark flavor to this eclectic show. All bands are based in Brooklyn! - Paul Jordan Talbot


Friend Roulette announces release + plays Deli UN/OFF show in Austin on 03.15

Brooklyn's Friend Roulette sounds like an indie band formed by an established and constantly high Hollywood movie soundtrack composer. The band's instrumentation ranges from your regular electric guitars and drums to strings and other instruments quite foreign to the pop tradition like bass clarinet and EWI. Their music favors not exactly uplifting atmospheres ranging from the melancholic to the downright tense, but pop melodies lie in there, between the guitar and violin drones and the clarinet arabesques. Their sound is rather unique and their live shows very enjoyable, and that's why we decided to book them for our Deli UN/OFF party in Austin next week on March 15 at Rusty's (8pm). The band has recently released the first single "Earthrise" (streaming below) from the album "I'm Sorry You Hit Your Head," out in April on Goodnight Records.

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