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Anybody who’s known me for more than five minutes knows that I have a bit of a hard on for Irish music (I run a blog exclusively devoted to the stuff here) and those who’ve known me a little longer know that I have a special place in my heart for Irish hip hop, which is nothing like the oxymoron that it initially appears.

Ireland has been producing underappreciated rap for years, going back to the innovative trip hop of Marxman through Scary Eire and modern acts like Messiah J & the Expert, the Infomatics and Melodica Deathship. Unfortunately, the general view of Irish rap is dominated by half-baked acts like House of Pain (though some of Everlast’s solo output is legit) and… well I don’t even know what the fuck this is but it needs to be fucking put down immediately.


This has been floating around the Internet for a little while now (and I play it in turntable almost daily) but nothing’s really been posted on Sputnik about it yet. Lana Del Rey doesn’t have an album out yet but she’s working on one and it’s going to be awesome. Check it out.


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With the debut albums of both bands having occupied top 10 spots in my previous two year-end lists, the double bill of Australian rock acts Dead Letter Circus and Closure In Moscow at the Hi-Fi Bar in Melbourne sure looked like an appetizing gig. What would be unbeknownst to me at the time of entry however was that the third act on the bill – Perth outfit Wolves – would make the evening all the more attractive.

Playing a heavy, yet extremely accessible, brand of alternative rock, the quintet distinguish themselves via electric violin player Rachael Aquilina. And while she undoubtedly adds a satisfying sense of melody to proceedings, it would be foolish to overlook her colleagues, all of whom were accomplished on the night. Frontman Adam Burford has an impressive vocal range which can move from a soft croon to a harsh scream in an instant, while Russell Winter’s guitar-work was sporadically impressive. In fact, if there is one area of improvement to be highlighted, it was that Winter too often looked hesitant to steal the limelight from Aquilina. When they worked in tandem, the results were fantastic… As can be heard on Wolves’ lead single ‘Children’:

Often, the major concern with support acts is that they are going to bore the hell out of the majority of the audience who are there to see the headliners. With Wolves having done exactly the opposite, Closure In Moscow were next to step up and keep the…


Left Spine Down – X-Ray

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Left Down Spine have signed with Metropolis Records and are back with their second album of digital hardcore. Those familiar with the band will notice that major changes have taken place since Fighting For Voltage was released in 2008. The band have dropped all of their metal influences and wall-of-sound production in favor of a fun mixture of punk, industrial and electronics. “X-Ray” is the first single from the album, Caution. Caution was released on the 26th of August.


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Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Actually Exhibit B is kind of cool but that picture is unforgivable. And I don’t remember Kevin Costner bullying a troll with a fish. Dude was just minding his own business under a tree. Fuck’s sake lads, get it together.

‘Robin Hood’ appears on Edguy’s new album, Age of the Joker, which is scheduled for release on August 26 a.k.a. tomorrow.


(EDIT: Playback must be seen on YouTube due to copyright reasons. It’s worth it!)

It was only a matter of time. The Decemberists’ third single from their new album The King Is Dead features a fantastic video with a finely detailed reenactment of a scene from David Foster Wallace’s mammoth tome Infinite Jest. For those familiar with the book, the legendary tennis academy scene featuring a full game of Eschaton, a sort of thermonuclear war simulation played with tennis lobs, is set to “Calamity Song” (quite the appropriate lyrical choice). Given Colin Meloy’s hyper-literary tendencies, the connection isn’t too surprising, and true fans of the book will have a good time spotting out all the slight references stuffed into each scene. It’s also a damn good looking piece of work.

Now if only the band’s next video somehow recreated “The Entertainment” from the same book, that would be a real treat…


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Rabbit Junk have always been an eccentric band. They’ve been known to mix anything from industrial and black metal to hip hop and hardcore, and this song is no different. “What Doesn’t Kill You Will Make You a Killer” is the first single from the band’s upcoming album (currently untitled). It features the return of the more fun, tongue-in-cheek Rabbit Junk and also the return of Sum Grrl. The song itself is really two parts — the hip hop influenced beginning and the metalish second half. Oh, and the video is pretty cool too.

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Rabbit Junk – What Doesn’t Kill You Will Make You a Killer

Download this song (and another from the album) free here.


Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of August 23, 2011. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Active Child – You Are All I See (Vagrant Records)
Apathy – Honkey Kong (Dirty Version Record)
Zee Avi – Ghostbird (Universal Republic)
Balam Acab – Wander/Wonder (Tri Angle)
Black Tide – Post Mortem (Geffen Records)
Bunnydrums – PKD (Metropolis Records)
Circle Takes the Square – Rites of Initiation (Gatepost Recordings)
CSC Funk Band – Things Are Getting Too Casual (Fat Beats)
CSS – La Liberacion {UK} (V2)
Gabe Dixon – One Spark (Fantasy)
Darondo – Listen To My Song: The Music City Sessions (Omnivore Recordings)
Downhere – On the Altar of Love (Centricity Records)
Edguy – Age Of The Joker {EU} (Nuclear Blast)
The Game – The R.E.D. Album (Interscope)
Ganglians – Still Living (Lefse)
Ghost Brigade – Until Fear No Longer Defines Us (Season of Mist)
Global Noize – Prayer for the Planet (Lightyear)
Trevor Hall – Everything Everytime Everywhere (Vanguard Records)
Hard-Fi – Killer Sounds (Warner Bros UK) – Davey Boy
Hawthorne Heights – Hate (Cardboard Empire)
Heart – Greatest Hits (Audio Fidelity)
Heart-Set Self Destruct – Of Nightmares [EP] (Sound Mine)
ICS Vortex – Storm Seeker (Century Media)
Jorn – Live in Black (Frontiers Records)
Kourosh – Back from the Brink (Now Again)
Krum Bums – Cut The Noose (Century Media Records)
Left Spine Down –…


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It’s been over a decade since One Be Lo first burst on to the Midwest’s hip-hop scene as part of the now legendary Binary Star and he’s still more than alive and kicking. His fourth solo release since the original dissolution of Binary Star, L.A.B.O.R., is due out on September 6th and if its first single “The G.O.A.T.” is any declaration of what’s in store One Be Lo’s powerful wordplay and trade marked murky and soulful beats are back in full form.


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Pictured: what happens when you Superman the wrong ho.

In what’s arguably the most bizarre (and strangely adorable) collaborations of the summer, indie dance duo Matt and Kim, the swagalicious Soulja Boy, and the Godfather of Partying Andrew WK recently took part in Converse’s “Three Artists. One Song.” campaign, spawning the so-called ‘party anthem to kick off the end of summer’, entitled “I’m a Goner.”

Upon first listen, I didn’t quite “get it,” but as Andrew WK mentioned to me a while back and has since Tweeted, “You don’t have to understand something to enjoy it, and you don’t have to like something to love it.”

Granted, I don’t LOVE the track if it means that summer ends soon, but it is indeed a very happy tune.

Plus, can you imagine partying with Andrew WK? The guy’s party tips are frequently weird as hell, but he’s got a partying heart of gold.

Stream it here:

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Matt and Kim f/ Soulja Boy and Andrew WK – “I’m a Goner”

Converse also has a behind-the-scenes video of the whole recording process, if you are so inclined.

What say you? Thumbs up or thumbs down?


Thrice have posted a lyric video (?) to another song from their upcoming album, Major/Minor, entitled “Promises”.

Stupid lyric videos aside, “Promises” shows Thrice continuing in the direction they took on Beggars, away from the experimentation and expansiveness that led to Vheissu and The Alchemy Index. It’s another straightforward, four-minute rock song, and while it’s something that Thrice has done better than anyone for years now, it still feels a little underwhelming to hear them play their cards so close to their chest. Major/Minor is shaping up to be exactly what Beggars was, an album of tight songs that hardly expand the band’s sound palette.

Watch the video below.


Green Day performed a new song entitled ‘Amy,’ presumably written in tribute to Amy Winehouse, at the Tiki Bar in Costa Mesa, California last week. The band performed 15 new tracks in total at the gig in aid of cystic fibrosis.

The band also posted the lyrics for ‘Amy’ on their website:

Amy
Is your heart singing out of tune
Are your eyes just singing the blues
Dirty records from another time
Some blood stains on your shoes
No one really knows about your soul
And I barely even know your name
Burning rhythms and posting lies
For a bunch of fools drown in shame
Amy don’t you go
I want you around
Singin’ woah please don’t go
Do you wanna be a friend of mine?
Did you tattoo a lucky charm
To keep you out of harms way?
Warding off all evil signs
But it never really kept you safe
You’re too young for the golden age
Cause the record bin’s been replaced
27 gone without a trace
And you walked away from your drink
Is your heart singing out of tune
Are you eyes just singing the blues?
Dirty records from another time
Some blood stains on your shoes
May I have this last dance
By chance if we should meet?
Can you write me a lullaby?
So we can sing you to sleep


Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of August 16, 2011. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

All Pigs Must Die – God Is War (Southern Lord)
Awol One & Nathaniel Motte – Child Star (Fake Four Inc.)
Belle – Never Too Late (Ingenious Records)
Blue October – Any Man in America (RED GENERAL CATALOG)
The Bottle Rockets – Not So Loud: An Acoustic Evening (Bloodshot Records)
Braid – Closer To Closed (Polyvinyl Records)
Breaking Benjamin – Shallow Bay: The Best of Breaking Benjamin (Hollywood Records)
Jeff Bridges – Jeff Bridges (Blue Note)
Chimaira – The Age of Hell (Entertainment One Music)
Cianide – Gods of Death (Hells Headbangers)
Guy Clark – Songs & Stories (Dualtone Music Group)
Ghost Brigade – Until Fear No Longer Defines Us {EU} (Season of Mist)
Gotye – Making Mirrors (Eleven)
The Cool Kids – When Fish Ride Bicycles (C.A.K.E./Green Label Sound)
Denial Fiend – Horror Holocaust (IBEX MOON RECORDS)
Kosha Dillz – Gina and The Garage Sale (Team Kosha)
The Duke & The King – The Duke & The King (Silva America)
Friday – It’s Finally Friday (Grind Season Ent.)
Gold Leaves – The Ornament (HARDLY ART)
Hercules and Love Affair – Blue Songs (Moshi Moshi)
Hexentanz – Nekrocrafte (Agonia Records)
Jewel – The Merry Goes ‘Round (Fisher-Price)
Mac Dre – Da Treasure (Thizz Nation)
Mister Heavenly – Out Of Love (Sub Pop)
Natalia Kills – Perfectionist (Interscope


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Just scroll down to the song if you are not in a story-reading mood.

This is going to be kind of a sob story, so I’ll try to keep it brief in the interest of not turning this into a pathetic Xanga entry.

When I was in junior high, my parents thought it was a brilliant idea to move to a new city without bracing me for the move. For any twelve year-old, that can be pretty devastating, and sure, thanks to Facebook and things like that I keep in contact with my ‘old’ friends, but I had a bit of a tough time readjusting to my new surroundings because, as a socially-awkward adolescent at the time, I didn’t exactly have the gift of gab to make friends easily.

WHAT UP, BITCHES! You guys wanna play some POGS?

However, I did make one immediate friend right away — for the sake of this story, I’ll call her Beth. She was a grade higher than me, and while it’s seriously frowned upon to talk to kids in lower grades, she never treated me any differently. Unfortunately, she went off to high school while I wrapped up junior high, and her parents got into a colossally-shitty divorce. She wound up moving a couple counties away with her dad while her mom and brother continued to live next door. I had no idea where she went because it was that…


It is fairly easy to see that Alex Smith matches his peers within Detroit in terms of talent and quality of his output. That says a lot given the rich musical legacy of Detroit. His output of late hasn’t dropped off the standards set by 2005’s Just Ask the Lonely. On its own, Here’s Your Trance, Now Dance! can attest to that.

Though one can keep pretty close tabs on artists’ releases these days, sometimes a very pleasant surprise comes about unexpected. High School Graffiti is one of these pleasant surprises, with five cool little tunes. My Naffew Randy is one especially worth checking out. So hurry up and grab this EP for free here, and remember your please and thank yous.


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