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October 2014
Mumblr
"Full Of Snakes
"
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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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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