Rock

The expectations for Sleater-Kinney’s new album The Center Won’t Hold are remarkable. They released their first album in 1995, 24 years ago. Their first classic, Call the Doctor, came out in 1996. It is rare in the world of popular music for artists to still be working at the top of their game, 24 years in. But fans still hope for greatness from Sleater-Kinney. Not nostalgia but greatness. (More…)

Vancouver B.C.’s Alien Boys have put out a punk rock record that is pretty close to flawless. (More…)

Like millions of people around the world, I follow troves of bands online and frequently purchase music from Bandcamp, mostly punk and hardcore records. (More…)

I wrote somewhere, maybe here, that I always get nervous when I hear that Martyrdöd are about to release a record. I can still remember when I first heard their classic In Extremis (2005), a record which rocked me as hard as any crust record ever had. Ever since then I’ve been sort of waiting for them to drop off in quality. (More…)

Even viewed from a distance, the underground scene in Boston and eastern Massachusetts in the late 1970s and early 1980s was one of the most vibrant in the country. The city and its environs produced more than its share of blazing, straight ahead thrash acts, including the likes of Gang Green, Jerry’s Kids, the F.U.s, SS Decontrol, and DYS. (More…)

Natural disasters, mass shootings, constant political turmoil, and the sense that long-standing alliances might be irreparably damaged: 1968 was the year when everything seemed to be falling apart. And the eponymous double album The Beatles released near its end was the perfect mirror, a testament to the centrifugal forces that could break even the strongest bonds of fellowship. How fitting that it should be reissued now, (More…)

Usually, if I walk in on a concert in progress, it takes me a while to pay full attention. I’ll go buy a drink, look for people I know, size up the crowd. This past Monday was different. Although I’d never heard of the band Lié before that moment, I knew I’d never stop wanting to hear them. (More…)

It is both easy and difficult to label The 1975. Easy, in that they are a pop band; hard because of the hyphenates that attach themselves to the band’s sound (alternative-pop, indie, post-punk-pop). (More…)

The thing about punk in Israel is that it’s basically just like punk everywhere else: kind of boring, mostly apolitical, and more often than not sung in English. Conversations about the root causes of (sub)cultural hegemony aside, I feel like that sort of thing is especially glaring in a place that is as … Israel, as Israel is. (More…)

Seeing this poster in Tel Aviv for a Don McLean concert, you might think, “I didn’t even know he was still alive,” then ponder the afterlives of music careers, how even one-hit wonders make good money playing resorts and fairs. Or you might think, “How incongruous!” and marvel at the strange feats of decontextualisation that the intersection of capitalism and culture makes possible. (More…)

The first time I saw The Fall live was also the last. I was under tremendous pressure, both at work and at home. The band was late. The club was hot. I tried to distract myself by drinking, but that only made matters worse. I wanted to leave, but knew I couldn’t drive home. It was my birthday. I was depressed. Conditions were perfect. (More…)

When I walked into the Giant Sand show on Boxing Day, midway into the band’s first number, I was taken aback. Howe Gelb, the group’s sole permanent member, is a man of many moods, with performances that vary accordingly. But this time he seemed more interested in playing guitar than in playing himself. The music was still languid, but ferociously so. (More…)