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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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The Spinning Leaves

Lovers League Album Release Show at JB's June 26

Head on over to Johnny Brenda’s this evening to celebrate the debut release and witness the collaborative musical union of Reverend TJ McGlinchey and Dani Mari with Christopher Davis-Shannon and Dean Gorfti completing the quartet known as Lovers League. Melding their vocals, McGlinchey and Mari create a smooth yet earthy, enriching texture with a folk-oriented acoustic country-blues foundation that provides a natural heartfelt penetrating sound on their promising self-titled debut LP. However, the lineup tonight is chock full of excellent local talent. In fact, the Raph Cutrufello-led creative folk collaborative known as Hezekiah Jones will headline the bill, taking the concepts of folk and reshaping them via unexpected, slightly twisted maneuvers, generating an excitement and energy in the process. The Spinning Leaves, whose members share strong ties within the bill, help to make it a family & friends affair. Wilmington-based indie folk-rock five-piece New Sweden, whose latest EP Fabric Room is due out July 15, will kick off the festivities that is presented by the Philadelphia Folksong Society. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 8pm, $10, 21+ - Michael Colavita


The Spinning Leaves 7” Release Party at Underground Arts April 27

For their latest album Head Aglow, the Spinning Leaves recorded with Henry Hirsch (Lenny Kravitz, Madonna) from Waterfront Studios inside a 19th century church in Hudson NY. If you’ve tuned into the bands website over the past few days, then you’ve most likely already streamed the soulful acoustic melodies of their latest 7”, which is being released today on vinyl (digital May 1) by Drexel’s Mad Dragon Records. And when James Michael Baker and Barbara Gettes play at Underground Arts tonight they’ll be backed by the likes of Ross Bellenoit, Jonas Osterle, Phil D’Agostino and an array of special guests. Just 2 months ago Lightninging celebrated the release of their EP in the very same building, so they’ll be right at home when they open the evening. The album release celebration will also feature the latest project from The Weeds' Emily Ana Zeitlyn called Divers and the humorous storytelling of Juliet Hope Wayne. Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St., 9pm, $10, All Ages - Bill McThrill

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The Spinning Leaves New 7” Available for Streaming

The Spinning Leaves are releasing a new 7” record entitled Head Aglow on April 27 (digitally May 1) via Mad Dragon Records. You can stream the album HERE. They’ll also be celebrating its release this Friday at Underground Arts with Lightninging, Divers and Juliet Hope Wayne.

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