King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard – Butterfly 3000 (Flightless Records)
The astounding eighteenth record in their decade of existence, Butterfly 3000 finds the legendary Aussie rockers at their softest and most pop inspired since 2015’s Paper Mache Dream Balloon. Continuing on their never ending quest of exploring new genres this record introduces synth pop to the large arsenal of sounds in the band’s discography. The fuzzed out guitars and reverb drenched vocals are traded out in favor of quirky synthesizers that lead the way on this LP. This is certainly a record that will stand out in the Gizzard discography as the sweetest and most catchy. It’s almost atypical in it’s melancholy and somber sound. Regardless this is a totally fun summer record and one well worth checking out.
Butterfly 3000 is out Flightless Records.
Dead History – Dead History (Landland Colportage)
Dead History is a Minneapolis post-hardcore group made of members from bands like Align, The Book of Dead Names, Story of the Sea, and a number of other Minnesota punk bands. Their sound is a unique blend of hardcore and spacy ambient pop in the vain of bands like Duster and Helvetia. This leads to a very dynamic record of heavy hitting moments of wailing guitars paired with softer ambient passages. The record is emotionally heavy, but not afraid of being loud and unrestrained. Overall, some quality heavy music that pays homage to its influences while still being original.
Dead History is out on Landland Colportage.
Meat Wave – Volcano Park EP (Big Scary Monsters)
No longer stunted by pandemic related lockdowns Meat Wave return with their first record since 2017, and it proves to be a triumphant release of pent up creativity. The opener “Tugboat” is a ferocious riff heavy pop punk masterpiece that builds to a chaotic finale. Tracks continue with chaotic post-hardcore/pop punk sounds that are equal parts menacing and aimless. It isn’t until the track “Truth Died” that the record slows it’s pace giving the listener a moment to breathe. This EP is constantly anxious and pushing on to the next moment with feverish aggression as demonstrated with the finale track “Fire Dreams” which feels like the most noise rock inspired of the bunch. Volcano Park celebrates the band’s tenth year together and I can’t think of a better finale to their first decade as a band than this release.
Volcano Park is out on Big Scary Monsters.
Danny Elfman – Big Mess (Anti- & Epitaph Records)
The former front man of Oingo Boingo, and in recent years acclaimed film composer, Danny Elfman is certainly unique in the music world. The record spans eighteen tracks that seem to combine the best of his art rock past and classical composer present. The opening track “Sorry” finds itself sounding like something off of Daughter’s You Won’t Get What You Want if they had an orchestra backing band. This is a theme that continues throughout the record. There are moments of soft Scott Walker-esque spoken word like on the track “In Time”. What I think is most unique about this record is the constantly evolving sound. No two tracks sound quite alike. Elfman doesn’t settle for the same idea twice.
Big Mess is out on Anti- & Epitaph Records.