A Place to Bury Strangers – Hologram EP (Dedstrange)

Legendary New York City post-punk noise benders A Place to Bury Strangers return with their rawest and most unrestrained release in recent times. This is a record that harks back to a time when garage rock was downright dirty and total noise and complete destruction were the status quo. The opening cut “End of the Night” features a distorted drum beat and pulsating guitars. it’s a track that wouldn’t be out of place on an earlier record like Exploding Head. If you’re looking for a record to blow up pipe bombs to or the soundtrack smashing bottles in an alley, look no further.

Hologram is out on Dedstrange.

Smile Machine – Bye For Now (Exploding in Sound)

The latest and the greatest new band on Brooklyn label Exploding in Sound, Smile Machine acts as a creative outlet for Stove drummer Jordyn Blakely. Her brand of lo-fi indie punk is impeccably tight and melancholic. Bye For Now is a record that feels drenched in ten layers of spacy goodness and fuzzy guitars making it quite possibly to most distorted lo-fi release of the year. That being said it’s still a quite melodic record. Blakely’s vocals are soft and sweet yet punchy and pronounced.

Bye For Now is out on Exploding in sound.

Midwife – Luminol (The Flenser)

Self-described as “Heaven Metal”, Midwife is the project of Madeline Johnston. As the term “Heaven Metal” suggests there are moments of heavenly beauty on the record, coupled with moments of heavy intensity. This record is all about dynamics. The majority of tracks begin with soft synthesizers that slowly build to a crescendo. “Christina’s World” is the softest track of the bunch giving the record a melancholic ending. If you’re looking for something moody and, at times, intense this is a good bet.

Luminol is out on The Flenser.

Rey Sapienz & The Congo Tech Ensemble – Na Zala Zala (Nyege Nyege Tapes)

Rey Sapienz grew up in the Democratic Republic of Congo during the Second Congo War. Despite being one of the bloodiest wars of the century Sapienz finished school, practiced his skills as a rapper, and later went on to move to Uganda. Due to yet another civil war in the Congo Sapienz finds himself exiled in the Ugandan capital of Kampala. In that time Sapienz established himself as one of the most exciting musical acts in the country. Na Zala Zala is his debut record. It’s a combination of traditional music coupled with a futuristic, cutting edge electronic sound. It’s lyrically potent channeling stories from the Congo to give a firsthand perspective on the countries history and future. Truly one of the most promising musical acts coming from the African continent. Don’t pass this one up!

Na Zala Zala is out on Nyege Nyege Tapes.

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