Angel Du$t – Justice Tripp, vocalist / guitarist for Baltimore, Maryland’s Angel Du$t, has never been one for making rock albums, at least not in the traditional sense. For Tripp, an album is not a singular, rigidly defined work, but rather an ever-evolving experience, a grab bag of creative tricks and treats that’s enjoyable whether its contents are savored individually or all at once. “People get really married to the idea of making a record that sounds like the same band,” Tripp explains. “If one song to the next doesn’t sound like it’s coming from the same band, I’m ok with that.” This spirit of creative restlessness, reinforced through a staunch work ethic and a revered live show, has fueled Angel Du$t’s steady ascent over the past eight years. The way Tripp sees it, Angel Du$t are neither hardcore nor a supergroup: just a revolving lineup of like-minded peers and ride- or-die friends, making guitar music, rocking the fuck on forever. YAK: A Collection of Truck Songs, Angel Du$t’s latest full-length and the follow-up to 2019’s Pretty Buff, sees the group channeling an anything-goes philosophy into their tightest, most forward- thinking material yet. Produced by Rob Schnapf and recorded over a two-month period in Los Angeles in 2020, it’s a rotating smorgasbord of percussion, guitar tones, effects, genres, and influences, fashioned in the spirit of a playlist as opposed to a capital-R “Record.” Like every great playlist—and Tripp makes a lot of playlists—it’s a carefully- engineered project that still manages to sound effortless, with brisk pacing and constant switch-ups that keep the spirit of discovery at the forefront.
Candy – The band that holds it all in to best let it all out.
Heaven Is Here is the sort of record that some people may like to describe as groundbreaking or genre bending but this kind of claim comes with a caveat. I’ve got good news for the world: you’re no longer able to redefine hardcore. It was always a figment of someone’s imagination anyway and at this point we’re all trying to guess what it even is, let alone how or why to change it. Breaking ground is no longer about formal innovation but about the desperate and frantic hope that you can make sense of as much information in the world as you possibly can at once. Being human, but pulling the worst of yourself out and putting into your music-making might seem like a reckless way to make a statement but for Candy, it works. Heaven Is Here puts together so many chronologically disparate elements with the confidence and care to graft their relativities together under what basically sounds like extreme duress. Their words and music specifically strive to replicate moments of impact and anxiety, obsessive compulsive thinking, and extreme cynicism so that they might not have to effect how to come down from these types of overwhelming feelings on a day to day basis. Negativity-as-productivity fills the sensational energy that Candy have built into their sound and live shows, and now most specifically their latest LP.
BIB – Love, peace, poetry and hardcore from Omaha to the world
9million– The sound of 9million infuses a shoegaze / alt rock foundation with elements of brooding alternative pop, indie rock, and synthwave – resulting in something that recalls ahead of their time 90s bands like Hum and Failure while connecting that sound from the past to the modern world of post-Lana Del Rey slowcore pop sound that Tomasi traffics in on records like Preacher’s Daughter, Natural Born Losers, and Married In Mount Airy.