Title Fight – Hyperview
Title Fight’s third full length album, Hyperview, is an extreme departure from the aggressive punk of their previous releases, even the most recent Spring Songs EP (which featured heavily in WUOG’s rotation last year). They’ve replaced the loud, post-hardcore sound, with a lusher shoegazey guitar sound that still packs the punch of their previous albums. Hyperview is still a killer punk album and it shows that Title Fight’s steady growth has paid off with such a rewarding album. It may prove divisive to fans of their older material, but it’s as good a place to start as any for the uninitiated. “Chlorine” still has guitars that swell and explode into softer, melodic vocals. “Hypernight” is still firmly entrenched in post-hardcore despite the shoegaze inspired riffs. “Your Pain is Mine Now” is beautiful and heart-wrenching with the refrain “Don’t cry your eyes out.” This song feels like the centerpiece of the album as it strips away the noise and shows the strong influence of mumbling post-punk and nineties indie rock dressed up as punk. The band stated that Dinosaur Jr. and the Beach boys were big influences on the record, and the transition from “Your Pain is Mine Now” into “Rose of Sharon” encapsulates those influences perfectly. This record is glorious, go listen to it.
The Church – Further/Deeper
Further/Deeper is the newest release from the Australian outfit The Church, building on more than three decades of experience and 25 albums. As would be expected with any band that created 25 albums and gained and lost a few members along the way, there is a disparity between original Church from 1981 and Church in 2015. The loss of an essential member (Marty Willson Piper) and gain of another (Powderfinger’s Ian Haug), is one of the reasons for the shift into the Church of today. Despite this, their distinct sound carries through: emotionally searching, full of shimmering guitars and distant drums, but still wholly relatable. In Pride Before A Fall, Steve Kilbey’s pleading voice drones “And now you know that actual love / It goes further, deeper,” revealing the album’s namesake and staying true to the yearning songs of the band’s past. This album brings forth new ground that is apparent from the lead track “Vanishing Man” through to the psychedelic “Globe Spinning.” Further/Deeper maintains the dreamy atmosphere reminiscent of past years while traversing new ground that is applicable to the 2015 music scene.
Benjamin Booker – Live at Third Man Records
Benjamin Booker, relatively new to the music scene, has already made a name for himself with his interesting take on post-war blues. His self-titled debut album, released last year, combined elements of blues with a DIY, garage-punk sound. His raspy voice sung, or sometimes screamed, over that lo-fi guitar sound and punchy percussion create a truly unique musical experience. While recording in a live setting sacrifices some production and overall sound quality, Booker more than makes up for it with his raw, energetic performance. The live album also features arrangements with fiddle and mandolin, including his cover of Furry Lewis’ “Falling Down Blues”, which he takes in a much folkier yet equally (if not more) powerful direction. Overall, the album is definitely worth a listen, and I am excited to see what the future holds for Benjamin Booker.