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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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Nightlands

New Music Video: "So Far So Long" - Nightlands

Below is a new music video from Nightlands, a.k.a. Dave Hartley, for the track "So Far So Long," off his latest album Oak Island (Secretly Canadian). It premiered yesterday over at Noisey, and was directed by David S. Kessler, who filmed the footage in northern Iceland as part of the international exhibit, "Due North," opening January 2014.

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Nightlands Supported by Ape School & Our Griffins at JB’s May 31

This upcoming Nightlands show should require a pillow to enter. The multi-talented Dave Hartley transports listeners to the place just between dreams and sleep with free-flowing choral effects with ambient noise. In fact, that’s where he came up with most of the ideas for Nightlands’ tracks: recording inspiration that came to him in REM cycle. However, his most recent release Oak Island finds him wandering a poppier side of music, but it still feels like poppy fields are scattered throughout the landscape. (BTW: I heard that there might be some live choral arrangements this evening.) Opening for Nightlands is Ape School, a solo(ish)-project from Michael Johnson. The band gives an oft tongue-in-cheek experiment in lyricism, resulting in a truly fun musical experience. Also taking the stage is Our Griffins, fronted by Dennis Joseph “DJ” Brown, who provides a gentle and soft-spoken sound that packs an emotional punch.  Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., $12, 8pm, 21+ - Shaylin O’Connell


New Music Video: "Born to Love" - Nightlands

Below is a new music video from Nightlands, a.k.a. Dave Hartley, for the track "Born to Love" off his latest release Oak Island. It was directed by She Policeman (who was inspired by Andy Warhol and the song, itself), using footage from another video filmed with an old VHS camcorder. Nightlands also just announced a string of headlining dates that will make a local stop on Friday, May 31 at Johnny Brenda's. BTW: Send out some good vibes to Hartley this weekend because he'll be competing at the Professional & Amateur Pinball Association's 2013 Match-Play Championship in Pittburgh, alongside four-time world champion Bowen Kirens and pinball champion/former '76 Todd MacCulloch, who both personally invited him.

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Congrats to Nightlands' Dave Hartley & Luke Bonner for Their Successful #LetBonnerShoot Campaign!

Congrats to Dave Hartley, a.k.a. Nightlands, and Luke Bonner on their successful #LetBonnerShoot campaign! The San Antonio Spurs announced yesterday that Matt Bonner will be competing in the Foot Locker Three-point Contest (which will be taking place on Saturday, February 16) at the 62nd NBA All-Star Game weekend. The guys ran a brilliant grassroots social media campaign that garnered support from high-profile folks like Arcade Fire and Eva Longoria. The people have spoken, and we were heard - cheers fellas!

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New Track: "Nico" - Nightlands

Nightlands, a.k.a. Dave Hartley, recently premiered the track "Nico" from his latest record Oak Island. You can listen to the album version below, and check out Hartley's interview with ARTINFO as well as the vocals only and instrumental version of the song HERE. He'll be heading on tour next month opening for Efterklang.

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