A dash of screamo, a touch of pop punk, and a lot of rock gives the recipe that makes up Uh-Huh Baby Yeah!’s Trash Talk EP. With this release, these Louisville boys demonstrate a firm grip on its sound and knack for striking hooks and melodies in 6 well-cultivated tracks.
Uh-Huh Baby Yeah! gets the ball rolling with “Dances with Wolves,” a strong opener that features herky-jerky guitar and Kevin Fletcher tackling a loopy Ronnie Spector oh-oh. I originally mistook the lyrics “I never want it to be you” for “I never wanted to be you,” thinking well, true, no one wanted to be Kevin Costner in 1997 for sure. But it’s about a girl. A lot of the songs are about a girl it turns out!
“Whores Will Be Whores,” if one ignores its problematic title, is super catchy and does a perfect job of capturing the vindictive, angry energy of someone who done you wrong. However, hey, it’s music guys, there are so many more imaginative things you can say. Song rocks otherwise.
Fellow single to “Dances with Wolves” is “Dead Friends,” a total homerun lyrically and musically, “tackles the departure of [Uh-Huh Baby Yeah!’s] guitarist and bass player head on,” and is a great middle finger to listeners who can relate to betrayal.
“C*ntroversey” and “You Creep Me Out” show off UHYB!’s ability to infuse guitar into tracks as if it’s also a vocalist. Closer “Ocean of You” spins the EP 180° into ballad territory, an undulating guitar and cruising vocals akin to Starsailor; UHYB! doesn’t ditch the rock completely though—the last third of the track goes all out with wails and shredding before Fletcher croons “Falling to pieces, lost in an ocean of you.”
Trash Talk hits tomorrow.
Transistor-on Takes “The Way Back Down” on EP
Transistor-on calls their goods “fuzzed out reverb music,” and in the spirit of post-rock, EP The Way Back Down is full of that melodious texture and sensation. Recorded at The Cottage with Damon Moon, The Way Back Down is a mere four tracks. But those songs make a satisfying sampling of a band with a big future ahead.
Atlanta duo Joey Piersante and Chris Armistead offer up a hazy fugue state that is the blueprint for this coming summer, showing that they can run with the best of the lo-fi crowd with their unique rhythms and finger-picking. The minimalist use of instruments that whip up the dream poppy wall of sound succeeds in taking the listener in a layered, chill journey.
Tracks like “Calling Out” and “Solar Flare” are so catchy (the former with its title refrain; the latter with its main guitar melody), that they etch onto your brain and trick you into thinking these are songs that have been around for maybe 20 years or so already.
Reviewers are throwing out comparisons—and they’ll continue to—of Transistor-on to Explosions in the Sky. The similarities are there for sure; both bands share a genre, after all. But saying only “they remind me of Explosions in the Sky” overlooks the fact that Transistor-on are stepping out in earnest on this EP, sounding comfortable in their skin without being jaded. Plus, having smoky vocals on the tracks adds to the spacey miasma and mystery that serves as the overarching feel of the record. The singing on “Empty Planet,” for example, highlights the track’s slow burn into its rocking guitar-driven crescendo.
Though the last piece on The Way Back Down is called “Exit,” by no means is that a harbinger of the band’s future. Transistor-on closes with a sure-footed tapestry of distortion and crisp rhythm, wrapping up a consistent and skillful release that definitely marks their arrival.
The Way Back Down is available to stream on SoundCloud or for purchase on iTunes. The gorgeous photo cover by Richard Casteel.
Muse “Drones” Review
Emily Hearn Saves Time in a Bottle on “Hourglass”
Emily Hearn’s sonic journey on Hourglass shows that she is a woman coming into her own, figuring out the knots of past heartache, the bliss of newlywed life, and the passage of time.
Time acts as the overarching narrative on the record; Hourglass spans the two years following the Athens, GA native’s debut Red Balloon and 2013 EP Promises. “We fall in or out of love as time moves us,” she explains. “We learn life-changing lessons as time goes on. We figure out how to handle important relationships as time shapes us. We decide who we want to be and what we believe as time reveals our priorities. And ultimately, we grow older as time goes by.”
Hearn sings wistfully “Oh, to be young, and to have time” on the third track “Oak Tree,” longing for the naïve feeling that time would never move forward, or at least not so fast. She frets over seeing her parents age so quickly. The existential worries of a twenty-something come delivered in a package of a catchy, infectious chorus and clap-along-able melody.
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