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November 2014
Sheer Mag
"7"
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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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Best of [YOUR SCENE] 2014 Poll for Emerging Artists - ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS!

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Submit your band for The Deli's Best of [YOUR SCENE] 2014 Poll for Emerging Artists - who wins gets featured in our SXSW pocket issue, distributed in Austin during Music Week! (Other prizes to be announced...)

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The Deli's SXSW Issue 2014 is online!

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P.S. 10k free copies of this issue hit the street of Austin during SXSW Music week!


Debut Release: Atlas and the Astronaut's 'Tiny Artifacts'

Traditional rock stylings and modern experimentation exist simultaneously within the fuzzed-out, controlled chaos that Atlas and the Astronaut have crafted into their debut full-length record, Tiny Artifacts. Simmering feedback, combustible rhythms and fire-breathing vocals all serve to super-charge the tight riffs that act as the backbone of the album, starting from the first note of the opening track, “On the Shoulders of Giants.” The quiet, droning of an initial progression fades into a bluesy melody that is quickly distorted into a lumbering colossus of a chorus; showcasing the raw energy that this borderline psychedelic brand of hard rock embodies.

The album continues as “On the Shoulders of Giants” fades into “Snake Oil,” a track that references a punk rock energy in it’s driving rhythms and anarchic shouts. This same energy is encapsulated at different moments throughout Tiny Artifacts, possibly most dynamically in the chorus of “Enter the Sun Beast,” one of my favorites on the first listen. It moves through quiet verses, fluctuating through subtle shifts into an explosive chorus. As the track ends and moves into “Weight of a Hummingbird” I’m reminded of some of my favorite progressive rock albums. It sounds as though the tracks are being woven together, and through the reverberating stitches I’m able to pick out a thematic arc without being quite certain of the story I’m being told.

The album continues on it’s rocking path from this point forward with “Flight II” and “Kings with Plastic Markers,” pausing for a few moments of silence and noisy experimentation. After returning from the “Flight III” and being driven to the end of the album with “Tension and Release” Atlas and the Astronaut leave the listener where they began, but with a new perspective on the place that they’ve landed. Overall, this album is a fantastic example of the quality of rock music that is being being produced in our area. Join Atlas and the Astronaut on Friday, November 21st at Analog Cafe as they celebrate the release of Tiny Artifacts along with The Mercury Tree, Divides and Patrimony.  

- Ben Toledo 


XRAY.FM Present Modern Kin and The Ghost Ease 11.20

XRAY.FM’s broadcast signal is warming up the city, one receiver at a time. On top of the 168 hours of local unreceptive air play, they’ve put together a fantastic show this Thursday at Mississippi Studios. Headlining the show is Portland’s Modern Kin, along with The Ghost Ease and Kithkin

Modern Kin play lush textured rock and roll music. Their excellent self-titled record shows serious song writing chops with arrangements that call to mind Electric Light Orchestra and Tom Waits. Their live sound provides a raw stripped down Replacements meet R.E.M vibe that is entirely fresh and a sound all of their own. Below, check their live version of “Abandon" from the fine folks over at Banana Stand Media to see for yourself.

If you're not familiar with The Ghost Ease you must have just moved here. They are one of Portland's most unique adventurous bands who would be right at home on a mix tape with Television, Pavement and Patty Smith. Seattle’s Kithkin will open the night with their brilliant self-described “tree punk” and join Modern Kin for the The Great PNW 'Kin Tour of 2014. 

- M. Rowan

The Great PNW ‘Kin Tour of 2014

Thursday, 11/20 - XRAY.FM Presents: @ Mississippi Studios 

Friday 11/21 - KEXP Presents: @ Columbia City Theater (Seattle)

Saturday 11/22 - EMI Presents: @ The Cannery (Everett)

DONATE TO XRAY.FM

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Video Premier: Rio Grands "Liz"

Portland soft-rock studs Rio Grands have a killer new music video for their track “Liz,” from their March, 2014 album A-Z. It’s a loungy, Strokes-meets-Beach Boys song featuring the band playing on a yacht named “The Sun Princess” on the Willamette River. The music pairs very nicely with the imagery, which depicts the timeless tale of unrequited love...and weed. Measure 91 enthusiast and frontman Colin Jenkins explains, “...it's basically about me chasing around a girl, Liz, who's too stoned to notice I'm around.” The video was shot and edited by Josh Spacek and John Denlinger, and features some spots around Portland you probably recognize.
 
Catch Rio Grands live at Holocene on Sunday, Nov. 30th for the non-internet premiere of the video. They will be joined by New Move, who will also be releasing a new single, "Don't Wanna Lose," as well as No Lala featuring members of Minden + Papi Fimbres + Seth Mankowski. Should be a night filled with tasty grooves and very tight arrangements. Also a boat/yacht-themed photo booth.

- Chandler Strutz

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