P.O.S + The Chariot

Minneapolis Minnesota is not usually the first town that comes to mind when thinking of hard hitting hip-hop. But the same town which produced Atmosphere and Brother Ali also brings us P.O.S., whose new album “We Don’t Even Live Here” seamlessly blends underground hip hop with contemporary r&b and indie rock. Two things stand out in this album. One is the super phat beats including plenty of beautiful instrumental samples and electronic fills. The second is keen content, politically charged and smart assed comments on materialism in the unbelievably catchy tune Fuck Your Stuff. In the next track How We Land they feature the famous falsetto of Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, but in a comical (daresay ironic) gesture auto-tune his distinctive vocals beyond recognition. We Don’t Even Live here is definitely an album to give thanks about.

Changing gears from hip hop to metal, we’ve got The Chariot. Hardcore is a tricky genre often plagued by unlistenably pretentious thrashing and screaming. The Chariot’s fifth full length One Wing presents a surprisingly reserved brand of their brutal mathcore which draws heavily on innovations by original mathcorematicians Botch and hardcore punk rockers Refused. Their sound is driving, using a hybrid growl/shriek over progressive movements of foot tappin, face shreddin rock. Dabblers in metal and hardcore, get down.

Social Studies + Summer Heart

Two more great bands for everyone today. Starting off with the San Francisco five piece band Social Studies. Their sophomore full length album Developer came out last week. Social Studies is a rock infused pop band that has intricate melodies and amazing vocals to give their sound a bluesy kind of feel to it. Sometimes the guitar gets a little buried behind the drums and keys, but when it comes up in full force, it shreds your face off. It’s hard to say that this is a pop album with all the other types of influences implanted into their songs. I really enjoy Developer and you should go out and buy it, or at least listen to it below. My favorite tracks are “Delicate Hands” and “You Still Laughing.”

Next up is Swedish artist Summer Heart. His latest full length About A Feeling came out back in April this year. This chillwave sound is very creative. Summer Heart’s technique on auto-tune is very interesting, whether it’s used for layering vocals or for the main vocal track makes his sound much more unique. Besides the vocals though there is cool clangy guitars and well used keys and synthesizers throughout the tracks. Though maybe not my favorite album of the year, About A Feeling has several gems that I’ve been putting on repeat. “Rusted Scars,” “I Wanna Go,” and “Los Angeles Lies” are my favorites that have been wearing out my speakers, so check them out below.

The Soft Moon + El Ten Eleven

Hi everyone, got some fantastic new instrumental music today. We’ll start it off with San Fransico band The Soft Moon. The sound that they produce is a darkly energetic trance of drone electronic music. Their newest full length Zeroes is full of anxiously driven guitar riffs and drum beats that keep pounding on your eardrums. It is such a great change of pace from what I have been listening to, it’s also great music to work out/ clean to. My favorite tracks are “Zeros” and “Insides.” Check it out below.

Now going in an opposite feel of instrumental electronic music is L.A. band El Ten Eleven. This duo has some of the best intricate and amazing looping that I’ve heard in a while. El Ten Eleven has a brand new full length album called Transitions. The album is so solid all the way through. It is so warm and pleasant that you drift through it for a little while, then the break down comes or there’s some sort of sweet new riff that is introduced, it makes you go woah that was cool. I really like the opening track titled “Transistions.” Check them out below then go buy their album and share with friends.

Live at Star Theater: Mr. Gnome

Mr. Gnome graced Portland’s Star Theater with their increasingly gnomey presence last night. The two-piece from Cincinnati has accrued a large cult following with their solid gold discography despite attention from the mainstream. Bringing along Seattle’s Eighteen Individual Eyes, and tapping the local Portland favorite And And And, the Mr. Gnome show culminated in high-energy rock n’ roll of the best kind; historically conscious virtuosic alternative.

On the lineup for several west coast shows with Mr. Gnome, Eighteen Individual Eyes opens the night. Performing songs from the album ‘Unnovae Nights’ which was released back in March, their sound captures the spirit of the night; dynamic and darkish. The rich passionate vocals of lead singer Irene Barber and mid-fi guitars recall the proggy post-emo style of Blonde Redhead or even their hosts Mr. Gnome. Certainly the project demonstrates vision and direction, and Killing Sasquatch will be keeping a close eye on the Seattle-based Eighteen Individual Eyes.

And And And follows with their distinctive mixture of freak folk, heavy metal, and indie ‘basement’ rock. Their alternative ethos precedes them, members active in the Portland show-going scene as well as the show-playing scene. Tender Loving Empire’s star-child And And And is a favorite here at Killing Sasquatch, where the cigarette-smoking falsetto vocals combine with quirky shredding guitars and drums to make the perfect music to get drunk to.

Lastly, as the crowd enters the inebriation green zone, Mr. Gnome approaches to perform a selection of their complex, dingy indie rock masterpieces, just the two of them. Using some looping, lead-gal Nicole Barille floats above the venue in a realm where early classic rock continued its psychadelic momentum straight (past the 80’s) into the rich post-modernism of the 90’s. Aloof but not obscure, fantastical but not frivolous, Mr. Gnome represents a special moment in indie rock history where heavy metal as solid as Black Sabbath itself could be effortlessly combined with contemporary indie pop/rock’s quirks and novelties.

Check out Mr. Gnome, as well as And And And and Eighteen Individual Eyes on your soundcamps and your bandclouds. Or Kazaa, or whatever y’all listen on nowadays.

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