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Artist of the Month
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May 2015
The Weaks
"Bad Year
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On the heels of last year’s, debut EP The World Is A Terrible Place & I Hate Myself And Want To Die, The Weaks, led by a pair of former Dangerous Ponies Chris Baglivo and Evan Bernard, have released their full-length debut Bad Year via Lame-O Records.
 
The record wastes little time jumpstarting into the aptly titled “Kick It,” with its bass-thudding lines rolling into catchy, emotive power-pop mode, cleansed with a bit of synth before unleashing one of the album’s many blasts of guitar solos. “Nevermind” (an homage to Nirvana) reflectively takes the positive spin on a failed relationship, streamlining percolating instrumentation with stable yet aching vocals. The album’s title-track cracks through melancholy with a lyrical disposition harnessing polished twin guitar licks between trudging percussion-led transitions, destined for fiery flashes of solo prowess. With an aggressive, smashing instrumental storm, “Black Box” takes the ball and runs with its relatable crushing narrative, hooking you in as a silky synth slips in amid the treacherous landscape. 
 
“Dysania” is the cup of coffee that pushes the covers off. With its guitar-led jog, loosening into a bass-charging surge, it quickly reaches maximum speed. Tongue-in-cheek earnest yet humorous lyrical tones – “Too much blood for just two hands/and there’s so much shit we’re gonna need two vans” – set the mood whilst sprinkling in clean flares of guitar, maintaining that downhill thrust. The song contextually blends a pent up instrumental energy and memorable vocals to create a natural anthem feel. Turning a leaf, “I Don’t Wanna Be An Anarchist (Anymore)” melds percussion and synth, delivering a sincere yearning for change with that heart-throbbing, interwoven bass-drum combo, adding a real inside-looking-out perspective. 
 
Strumming acoustic guitar and a spacey synth serve as foils in “Welcome To Earth,” zooming in and then peering out in a battle of loneliness and self-exploration, once again enjoying a creative out there spin on a common searching topic. The closing track is another nod & wink to Nirvana and Hop Along frontwoman, “Francis Quinlan Will Have Her Revenge On Philadelphia,” embracing a snarky attitude with matching (rough around the edges) momentum-gathering guitar meets an avalanche of backend, delivering a mixed emotion-filled message “Who’s going to pull your weight if I leave you behind... Please stay with me. 
 
Bad Year embraces its Weezer power-pop influences, allowing listeners to join in on the emotionally personal ups and downs, while still coming away refreshed. It’s another great find for rising Philly indie label, Lame-O Records. - Michael Colavita

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Echo Orbiter CD Release Party at JB’s Sept. 18

Echo Orbiter CD Release Party at JB’s Sept. 18

Talk about an expansive musical career that’s about to unfold in a ray of light onstage! Ever since brothers Justin and Colin Emerle formed Echo Orbiter in 1996, and put out their first two albums with the help of sound engineer virtuoso Brian McTear, they have been about doing things with a little flare. From smashing instruments on stage in a Who-like fashion to recording 2 short film scores, the brothers have certainly demonstrated their adventurous musical nature, and they have 10+ albums to document it. Tonight Echo Orbiter celebrate the release of their newest album Eupnonicmontage at Johnny Brenda’s, and it will also mark the first time the band has played a show in 9 years! Joining them on this momentous occasion will be legendary frontman of the Dead Milkmen, Joe Jack Talcum, who is currently getting ready to bring back the Milkmen for their final show of the year at World Café Live next week for the Philly F/M Fest. Also on the already unique lineup are The Circadian Rhythms, who are currently busy working on 2 new EPs of their own. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 9pm, $10, 21+ - Bill McThrill
 
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