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The Cropper!

A blog featuring #indiemusic news, interviews, & the best darn free songs east of Stockholm

Paste Had Some Great Things to Say About Guts Club's 'The Arm Wrestling Tournament'

Baker’s songs sometimes play like the unfiltered id of someone hiding in your closet and watching through a crack in the door as you get ready for bed: she means you no intentional harm, but there’s no telling what she might do next.

(READ THE REST OVER AT PASTE!)

The Gods Themselves: The Gods Themselves Review

When Astra Elane announces “I am the president” on The Gods Themselves’ self-titled debut, it’s less a declaration of status than a hyperbolic warning that she’s not to be trifled with. In fact, you suspect she’d bring down fence-jumping intruders herself with a deceptively sweet smile and a forearm to the throat.

The song, handily titled “I Am the President,” pairs her lean voice with a tough riff that blossoms into a storm of wah-wah guitar in the middle eight. It’s a standout track on The Gods Themselves, which matches Elane and former Atomic Bride bandmate Collin O’Meara with Autolite Strike singer and guitarist Damion Heintschel (who doubles Elane’s vocals on the chorus of “I Am the President”). Together, the Seattle trio pursues a loose-limbed, lo-fi vision of rock ’n’ roll that incorporates elements of their other groups—the psych-rock scuzz of Atomic Bride, say, or the scrappy power of Autolite Strike—while pushing past them with an approach all their own.

One of the core elements of the group’s sound is, well, a lack of sound. The Gods Themselves surround, um, themselves with space in these nine songs, giving a snarly guitar riff plenty of room to feint at a wah-laced counterpoint, and putting Elane’s vocals out in front of a stinging guitar part on “Nerves.” Elsewhere, they go in for loping guitars and ripples of wah on “Gaslighter,” which features Heintschel delivering lead vocals with enough of a leer that Lux Interior would have been proud. “Thunderbird” shows the band’s more rugged side with superheated guitars clanging together in the vast emptiness that surrounds otherworldly vocals from Elane.

Two tracks later, “On the Meds” uses space a different way, letting Elane’s offhanded vocals float through an ebb-and-flow bassline, tip-tap drums and drifts of meandering guitar. The song contrasts with the juiced-up rockers that bookend it—the punky call-and-response “W.I.T.O.” comes before, while the terse stoner-rock jam “Pony” comes after—but it’s certainly distinctive. The same goes for The Gods Themselves, which offers a formidable combination of melody and swagger on a most promising debut.

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Dolfish premieres new song via Paste Magazine

As we move towards the October 30 release of I’d Rather Disappear Than Stay the Same, Paste has shared the newest single from Dolfish’s debut LP. Check out “Grown Ups” on Paste Magazine and preorder the record from Afternoon Records.

Paste Magazine Premiers New Video from Brian Keenan

Brian Keenan, frontman of cosmic Americana outfit, Proud Simon, recently released his debut solo album, Today This Year. The record was produced by Jamie Candiloro (Ryan Adams, R.E.M., Willie Nelson) at the legendary Avatar Studios in NYC. The video for the first single, “From Scratch”, takes Keenan on a magical journey through the forest and beyond. Check it out on Paste.

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About The Cropper!

A blog featuring #indiemusic news, interviews, & the best darn free songs east of Stockholm

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The Cropper! accepts submissions of music of all kinds. Though we can’t guarantee write-ups, we eagerly anticipate writing about new and exciting artists. Submit your music now. Thanks!

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