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The Big Takeover Issue #93
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Jen Dan: June 4, 2019


After my previous female musician-centered TOP 10 SONGS, I’m skewing towards the male musician point of view for these newer tunes. Anger and frustration run through (punk) rockers, and then gives way to bittersweet and nostalgic wistfulness and bleak ruminations, before finally extending into an epic-length (nearly 25 minutes!), scintillating ambient soundscape.

1. Titus Andronicus – “(I Blame) Society”
Premier veteran New Jersey rock band Titus Andronicus, driven with vision by Patrick Stickles, releases a socio-politically relevant rager that bristles with Stickles exclamatory snarls and lyrical vitriol. New album An Obelisk rises via Merge Records on June 21st. The group will go on a 63-date North American tour soon.
CONCERT REVEW from 2015 with photos by renowned Bev Davies who is interviewed in the new issue #84 of The Big Takeover magazine!
7-inch REVIEW from 2010 (split w/ Free Energy)
CONCERT REVIEW from 2010 with loads of photos.

2. Hot Water Music – “Rebellion Story”
Renowned long-running Floridian punk rock band do it again with a tuneful and rousing track from their recent Shake Up The Shadows EP, out via Epitaph. The group is celebrating 25th years by hitting the road for a summer tour.

3. Defeater – “List & Heel”
Intense MA-based hardcore band Defeater unleash another killer track that pushes forward with extreme urgency. Their 5th full-length self-titled LP is out now via Epitaph.

4. Ghosts Of Social Networks – “Don’t Let Me Down”
I think the Manchester-based artist behind this no wave/darkwave/rock noir music project, Nathan Till, contacted me out of the blue and I was so taken by this compelling tune that I had to add it to my Top 10 Songs list this time around.

5. Burning House – “If You Won’t”
Newer British shoegaze/noise rock band are gaining acclaim for their tunefully abrasive music that adds grit under the soles of shoegaze music. This number is a bit more laid-back than recent tracks of theirs, but it retains fiery guitar conflagration and hazy vocals while adding a woozy, MBV-esque warp effect. Debut album Anthropocene sears the ears on July 12th via MIOHMI Records
MY VIDEO PREMIERE of propulsive “Mirror Song”
MY SONG PREMIERE of tasty “Mimosa”.

6. Tom Boy – “Lowrider”
Found out about this nostalgic, smooth, and driving pop-rocker with socially attuned lyrics earworm from a Canadian collective-run promotional emailing system that showcases Canadian artists. I must say that their platform works and I’ve become a fan of many a band/singer through their emailing system that dropped Tom Boy in my ear.

7. Benjamin Benedict – “Tell Me If You’re Lonely”
Good, gosh, this singer-songwriter’s (bassist in Peggy Sue) vocals just wound their way into my consciousness like a pleasurable, but odd-bodkins caress. There’s something sinuously silky (like the sonics) – and weirdly rounded and reverbed (almost a light Kermit the Frog throatiness at the end of certain phrases, and I totally mean this in a good way!) – to his voice on this number and I was hooked. His second album Truant arrived May 3rd via Sugarcoat Records.

8. Ryan Traster – “Endless Summer Blues”
Minneapolis-based Ryan Traster has been described as a “cosmic country” singer-songwriter. This highly nostalgic and wandering, folk-type slow-burner follows a long, rambling sing-talking narration (backed by airy female vocals) that contains very specific locations and situations (listening to “Mary Chain records”; living in Echo Park). Captivating! His upcoming album Choses Obscures (French for ‘obscure things’ and referencing hidden dark energy) releases July 19th via Slow Start Records.

9. Catacomb Saints – “Shanghai Grill”
This tragic dirge/lament is also a slow-burner that weighs heavy on the mind, if sparely atmospheric in sound. Death and dissociation abound, but the musical and lyrical result is mesmerizing. It’s from newer Canadian duo Catacomb Saints (I guess the name gives away the sonic ambience!), comprised of Neil Holyoak from Holy Oak and synth artist Devon Beggs. Their debut EP, Cruel As The Grave unearths June 11th.

10. Extreme Shoegaze – “ES2” (Full Version)
Sorry, this isn’t actually shoegaze music; it’s an coruscating ambient soundscape scintillation that I just happened to stumble upon on SoundCloud. It definitely caught my ear…


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