With the nights get colder and darker, October brings a barrage of worthy releases to keep you company in the coming weeks. To put it bluntly, October is stacked with releases.
From hotly tipped acts such as Beach Slang, Microwave, Head North and Seaway to exciting returns from the likes of Coheed and Cambria, Fightstar and Arcane Roots to charming albums from Sam Russo and Allison Weiss, this months edition of “Incoming” is a fine array of musical goodness.
Read on to find out why these are 6 essential releases you have to hear this month.
Think we’ve missed something out? Let us know in the comments.
Lyrically Claudio Sanchez is his most open and frank (see the stripped acoustic number ‘Ghost’). However they’re still as powerful as ever and when combined with storming instrumentation (‘Atlas’) that is consistently rich in texture and delivery.
The quality of the songs on ‘The Colour Before the Sun’ is some of C&C’s finest to date. Recent single ‘You Got Spirit, Kid’ is without a doubt one of the finest rock songs of 2015. Whilst ‘Here to Mars’ are relatable and engaging and opening track ‘Island’ allows the quartet to thrive on perfect pop melodies. In addition ‘Colors’ and ‘Atlas’ are smooth and glorious in their delivery. (SR)
‘The Colour Before the Sun’ by Coheed and Cambria is released on October 16th on 300 Entertainment.
Seaway – Colour Blind
Lets admit it. No matter how many bands crop up in the scene, the pop punk genre can be a tricky one to perfect. However having delivered three stellar songs from the album already, we’ve got high hopes for ‘Colour Blind’. The Canadian quintet clearly have the formula down to a tee as ‘Freak’ and ‘Airhead’ are infectious with choruses that demand to be sung out loud. Add to that instrumentation that is boisterous and simply jumps out of you, it’s clear Seaway are on to a winner.
Like most genres, pop punk is going through a cycle where we’re seeing more bands sound like the “heyday” of the early 2000s, and it sees ‘Colour Blind’ plays into that theory. And we’re not complaining it. We’ve got a good feeling that Seaway may just be about to break away from the pack and ‘Colour Blind’ will be the key to do just that. (SR)
‘Colour Blind’ by Seaway is released on October 23rd on Pure Noise Records.
Microwave / Head North – Split EP
Microwave are one of our new favourite bands, and after having listened to this split non-stop since receiving it, we can honestly claim Head North are up there too. Both bands offer the emotionally driven new wave of “emo” that takes us back to our youth when bands like Jimmy Eat World and Taking Back Sunday were prevalent in our lives.
We can imagine young kids everywhere being taken in by this music, much like we were, and experiencing that spark for the first time. And that’s pretty damn special. This split, albeit only 3 tracks from each artist, has the power and passion of a full length from an established artist. It holds heavy in the weight of it’s sway and it’s really not often we feel this way about music anymore. Both bands excite us, and that means a hell of a lot these days. (RK)
‘Split’ EP by Head North/Microwave is released on October 9th on Bad Timing Records/SideOneDummy.
Sam Russo – Greyhound Dreams
We got to witness first-hand how damned good Sam Russo and his rustic acoustic balladry is when we caught him at 2000 Trees Festival in July. Now we get to bask in the warm glow of his latest batch of bluesy folk gems when his second full length ’Greyhound Dreams’ drops this month. Russo’s eye for wanderlust drenched narrative and plaintive bluegrass charm oozes through everything he does, and this album will surely prove to be as earnest and genuine an effort as we’ll get in the plethora of Revival Tour aping folk-punk releases we’ve had this year.
We suspect that spinning this will make you want to tramp across America and sink moonshine in the fading light of a mid-west sunset. Although that’s a long way to go, so we’ll have to settle for own brand scotch and the glare of a computer screen. Still, it won’t detract from the cracking nature of Russo’s writing and delivery. Don’t believe us? See for yourselves and catch him on tour with Dan Andriano and The Emergency room next month.
‘Greyhound Dreams’ by Sam Russo is released on October 9th on Specialist Subject Records/Red Scare Industries.
Allison Weiss – New Love
In our eyes American singer-songwriter Allison Weiss can pretty much do no wrong. We loved her debut album ’Say What You Mean’, ditto for last year’s ’Remember When’, and she’s wowed us live quite a few times too. There’s just something about her sugary acoustic backed melodies and feels by the bucket load that proves impossible not to like or root for.
Now with the pending release of that always tricky to nail second album, ‘New Love’ you can take all that and times it tenfold. This is the album that see’s Weiss evolve from loveable peddler of quirky yet emotive acoustic ballads to fully formed pop songstress. With a bit of help from producer Jenny Owen Youngs and a fuller, new wave-esque synth pop sound, Wiess is set to deliver pure delight in audio form. Don’t worry though those pesky feels won’t be too far away either. Here’s the one album this month that’ll make you do a little cry as you grin and do an awkward shuffling dance. Ok maybe that last part’s just us… (DW)
‘New Love’ by Allison Weiss is released on October 2nd on SideOneDummy.
Arcane Roots – Heaven & Earth EP
With two superb albums already under their belt, Arcane Roots should have a sizeable following, however judging by the size of the venues on their last last UK headlining tour, they haven’t had the exposure that their immense talent deserves. To compensate, the band have spent the summer courting new listeners at UK festivals, including an outstanding set at Hevy Fest, and have recently signed to Sony Red/Easy Life for the release of new EP ‘Heaven and Earth’.
With the band’s previous records sounding like Biffy Clyro on steroids, an easy way to attract more listeners may have been to soften the sound and produce something more radio-friendly. However, judging by ‘Slow Dance’ and ‘If Nothing Breaks, Nothing Moves’, the heavier aspects have got even heavier and the melodic parts are even more angelic. Excitingly, this is their existing sound, just amped up another level. (MJ)
‘Heaven & Earth’ EP by Arcane Roots is released on October 16th on Sony Red/Easy Life.
Beach Slang – The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us
Philly punks Beach Slang delivered two of the finest EPs of 2014 with ‘Who Would Ever Want Anything So Broken?’ and ‘Cheap Thrills on a Dead End Street’. Now expanded to a full-time quartet, the life-affirming rockers are back with more tales of missed opportunities and redemption in the shape of their debut full-length, ‘The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us’.
Having hit on a sound that recalls everything from emo-punk heroes Jawbreaker and Samiam to 80’s alt legends The Replacements and Dinosaur Jr., Beach Slang reference some of the best in the business. The beauty with their sound is that it is resolutely timeless; no gimmicks or fads, just straight up bloody great songs. And ‘The Things We Do…’ is packed full of them. Lead single ‘Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas’ is probably the group’s finest song to date, while ‘Too Late To Die Young’ recalls ‘Skyway’, one of The Replacements’ finest moments.
Paul Westerberg said it best – in fact he said it so well, Beach Slang decided to pay homage to it on the brilliant ‘Hard Luck Kid’ – but there’s something hugely appealing about bands with one foot in the door, the other one in the gutter. That’s the embodiment of Beach Slang’s sound; courting breakout success with a sincerity that can’t be faked, but which comes hard-earned with bitter experience. With ‘The Things We Do…’ Beach Slang might just open that door a little wider… (RM)
‘The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us’ by Beach Slang is released on October 30th on Big Scary Monsters.
Fightstar – Behind The Devils Back
‘Behind the Devil’s Back’ will be Fightstar’s first release of new material since 2009’s ‘Be Human’. The band announced the new album back in February, before embarking on a summer of excellent festival performances, including Download and Hevy Fest.
The revitalised Fightstar certainly aren’t holding any punches; the two tracks released so far, ‘Animal’ and ‘Sharp Tongue’ are among the heaviest tracks the band have produced, with drop-tuned guitars and deep screams delivering raw aggression, before Charlie Simpson’s unique vocal tone brings the hooks in the choruses. It’s an impactful statement to make and announces the new material with a literal bang.
The band are touring the UK through October in support of the record, with support from Arcane Roots and Making Monsters. If these performances are anything like the festival shows over the summer, then ticketholders are in for a treat. (MJ)
‘Behind The Devils Back’ by Fightstar is released on October 16th.
Words by Sean Reid (SR), Mark Johnson (MJ), Rob Mair (RM), Rosie Kerr (RK) and Dane Wright (DW).