Richmond • July 6, 2018
Young Scum have always been determined to examine life’s journeys as a way to celebrate youth in the face of impending struggles. Whether that meant the moments of sharing tacos with loved ones or a beloved beverage that fills the drinker with the sweetest memories, they have never failed to capture the whimsy in these gestures. That could be why the crushing realities of entering his late twenties is what inspired vocalist/guitarist Chris Smith to focus the group’s debut on these dilemmas. The results are sure to impress listeners as they have a tough time picking their favorite tracks to include on mixtapes that they plan to make for close friends.
Whether it’s wasted ambition, uncertain futures, or languishing at a despised job, Young Scum have crafted a perfect melancholy anthem for each. As disciples of Belle and Sebastian and Teenage Fanclub, the fancied juxtaposition found in upbeat pop songs reveling in sadness is a pristine fit for the band. Opener “Wasting Time” is quick to establish the theme of the record. “Itchy Sweater” could be a clear standout from the entire album for its graceful start and how it purveys each facet of the group. Their debut is a triumph all around.
Every Day It Feels Like I’m Dying…
Roanoke • May 4, 2018
On past efforts, Eternal Summers always succeeded at discovering the perfect balance between intimate minimalism and avant garde rock freakouts. For their latest, they engage these thoughts with a bit of a matured fervor that feels reminiscent of The Sea and The Cake or Stereolab. Never hesitating to take a few cues from the ancestry of twee pop, their continued fascination with burgeoning adulthood and mortality is prevalent throughout with tracks like “Famous Last Words” and “Master Of It All.” The trio are masters at articulating treasured sentiments that feel like tokens of wisdom from an old friend that you don’t see nearly enough.
The Judy Chops
Love Is The Answer
Staunton • April 27, 2018
Operating as musical chameleons, The Judy Chops fancy themselves genre-smiths and it shows throughout on “Love Is The Answer.” There is a coy playfulness to the proceedings that lends itself nicely to the charms of the group. Tracks like “Q 4 U” and “Hipster Haircut” showcase their swing-a-billy and country western-blues influences, while a classic like “I Put A Spell On You” feels right at home beside the group’s original compositions. And for a record that appears to have been recorded on location in a cabin in the woods with mobile recording apparatus on hand, The Judy Chops sound fierce and rambunctious on each offering.
Space Is For Dogs
Richmond • June 9, 2018
A record like “Space Is For Dogs” could only emanate from the denizens of the service industry. Neat Sweep could best be described as Andrew W.K. meeting up with The Replacements on a day off after working a long stretch at your restaurant gig and filling every other second with house shows, river days, and never fading ambition. The release balances out nicely between sardonic tracks like “No Friends Anymore” or “No Days Off”, while still giving a slight perk of optimism to the album with aptly titled “Party All The Time” and “Anthem 1 & 2.”
Charlottesville • June 14, 2018
There is a synchronicity at play with each genre defying composition from Space-Saver that feels like it could find a home in a not-so-far-away David Lynch-ian universe. There are moments where these songs could belong to the sonic family of Chicago’s Lurker Bias records or even up I-95 at DC’s Dischord Records with the likes of former sonic compatriots such as Black Eyes. “Save Yrslf” is a plea to escape musical comfort zones. The duo succeeds tenfold with each blistering moment where all of their ideas align to create wonderfully nuanced microcosms of doom metal and acid jazz.