As the summer rolls on with more festivals taking place in the coming weeks, July is a relatively quiet month for releases. Nevertheless, the middle of the month sees a wealth of new music arrive with mostly up-and-coming names delivering new releases. However, this month also sees the release of new albums from Silverstein, Goldfinger, as well as a ‘Punk Goes Pop’ compilation.
While those are worth a mention, we’re here to highlight five releases that we’re considering “must-hear” listens for this month. From a long overdue hardcore comeback to grunge-pop from one of the UK’s beloved emerging bands to compelling indie rock to sincere pop-rock, this month’s “Incoming” is sure to satisfy.
Manchester Orchestra – A Black Mile To The Surface
It’s been three years since Manchester Orchestra delivered their fourth LP, ‘Cope’, and it’s accompanying acoustic spin-off ‘Hope’. In between then and new record, ‘A Black Mile To The Surface’, frontman Andy Hull and lead guitarist Robert McDowell produced the voice-only soundtrack for ‘Swiss Army Man’, a festival-lauded critically acclaimed film starring Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano.
When it came to writing their fifth record, Hull and McDowell, along with drummer Tim Very and bassist Andy Prince, aimed at creating a ‘non-Manchester’ album. Whereas ‘Cope’ relied heavily on big, crunching guitars, ‘A Black Mile…’ offers a set of layered, absorbing songs with Hull taking up the role of storyteller. Lead off single, ‘The Gold’, is about a woman missing her husband as he descends into the blackness of the mines, while ‘The Alien’ is about a boy with no ears. It will be interesting to see how the narrative develops but with Hull’s reliable songwriting clout, it’s assured that Manchester Orchestra will develop another compelling record. (SR)
‘A Black Mile To The Surface’ by Manchester Orchestra is released on 28th July on Loma Vista Recordings.
Milk Teeth – Be Nice EP
It can seem like a backward step to follow up a well received debut album with an EP, but such is the shifting landscape of the music industry that if you’ve got a handful of songs and a heavy touring schedule then why not put em out? As such, it seems like a good shout by Stroud’s grungy punk rockers Milk Teeth; Becky Blomfield and co have a big UK tour lined up, besides a few festival appearances, so having a bunch of new tunes to spice up their set and keep their ball rolling could well pay off.
It will be interesting to see if their pick n’ mix approach, embracing the full alternative spectrum from sugary indie pop to visceral hardcore, has settled into a niche or continues to defy. However, given the noticeable commercial polish to storming first single ‘Owning Your Okayness’, it would be fair to expect something playing to their more obvious strengths this time around (EL).
‘Be Nice’ EP by Milk Teeth is released on 28th July on Roadrunner Records .
Trapped Under Ice – Heatwave
Six years since the release of the crushing ‘Big Kiss Goodnight’, Baltimore’s Trapped Under Ice’s members have kept themselves busy, releasing music and touring in Turnstile and Angel Du$t. But in the ten years since their self-titled demo, the influence two-step friendly hardcore can be felt in everyone from Expire to Wolf Down to Grove Street Families. So naturally, third album ‘Heatwave’ is worth getting excited about.
Packing eleven tracks into 14 minutes, ‘Heatwave’ is an album that trims all the fat over-production and atmospheric duties that their peers like to dabble in and gets straight to the business of whipping listeners into a state of violent hysteria. Lead singles ‘Do It’ and ‘No Relief’ achieve exactly that, injecting more pace to the TUI’s traditional concrete-slab form of delivery and adopting a less meaty, and more razor-wire production.
Self-described as sounding like ‘trailer park Sepultura’, expect a head-rush of annihilating groove and fury from ‘Heatwave.’ Ten years young, and Trapped Under Ice are back to destroy your local venue once again. (AD)
‘Heatwave’ by Trapped Under Ice is released on July 21st on Pop Wig.
The Gospel Youth – Always Lose
In the words of Creeper, misery never goes out of style, and another bunch of self-proclaimed South Coast sad boys are about to empathically prove that point. The Gospel Youth are set to release their anticipated debut full-length, ‘Always Lose’, this month. Although their couple of EPs and series of digital singles have, for the most part, gone under the radar, the Brighton-based group have honed in on an emotionally-driven pop-rock sound.
Nevertheless, the hype surrounding The Gospel Youth has grown in recent months, with their outing at May’s Slam Dunk Festival being an example of this with queues stretching far out of the Rock Sound Breakout Stage venues. Even the band was taken aback by the sudden buzz, who had only days previously released the record’s lead single, ‘Moods Like English Weather’. The track’s pop-punk bite and Sam Little’s soulful strainings are very much in keeping with the blueprint of previous songs, and it is a winning, tried-and-tested formula that holds similarities with early Fall Out Boy and Panic! At The Disco. Get ready to welcome the teen angst poster boys of 2017. (PS)
Us and Us Only – Full Flower
Formed in 2009 and following a succession of EPs, Baltimore’s Us and Us Only are finally ready to drop their debut album, ‘Full Flower’ – and if you’ve been paying attention you’ll know it promises to be something pretty special.
In the run up to the release of ‘Full Flower’, Us and Us Only have released three singles, and each one points to a different side to the same character. Take ‘Kno’, for example; a sparse and delicate indie-rock number, it’s mesmerising in its understated and languid beauty. That its video is equally devastating just emphasises the magnetic pull of what Us and Us Only are crafting.
Then there’s the title track, which possesses more cut and thrust, but still has moments of tranquillity to counter the dark undercurrent, while first single, ‘Bored of Black’ is muted but boils spectacularly for just the briefest of moments. Yet, for all the beauty musically, there’s also a tenseness to the lyrics that points to a deeper meaning. Consequently, ‘Full Flower’ promises to be an album you can get lost in as you pore over the lyrics, but swept away by its musical majesty. (RM)
‘Full Flower’ by Us and Us Only is released on 14th July on Topshelf Records.
Words by Sêan Reid (SR), Edward Layland (EL), Andy Davidson (AD), Rob Mair (RM) and Peter Stewart (PS).
Trapped Under Ice photo credit: Anne Kohler. Us and Us Only photo credit: Photo Credit: Noorann Matties