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Party Muscles - Does It Even Matter? Review

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Party Muscles are a culmination of Philadelphia’s strongest music minds - a kinship between two friends working in a record store, bonding over their love for garage rock, melody, and good freakin’ tunes. Celebrating and riding the high from their August 2nd, 2019 release - Does It Even Matter?, Party Muscles are ready to play shows, make feel good tunes, and keep kickin’ ass.

Thanks to the efforts of current band lineup Colin McCarry, Beau Everett Gordon, Tyler Pursel and Joshua Strange for making up the indie rock infused sound of Party Muscles. A sound one could describe as fun, wildly talented, and always a damn good time. Does It Even Matter? is the bands debut effort - one that is an impressive, well written collection of bops sure to turn your summer around.

Check out the track list below to follow along!

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Does It Even Matter? Tracklist:
1. She Goes To Juuliard
2. Nascent
3. Peruvian Sunshine
4. Photography Raptor
5. I’m The Jaguar
6. Foliage
7. Lorraine
8. Capgun
9. Secret Language
10. Pocari Sweat
11. Inside Out

With inspiration coming from early 2000’s bands like The Strokes, The Libertines, Parquet Courts and The Hives, it’s easy to pick up on what Party Muscles wants their sound to be. Does It Even Matter? is an incredible example of a successful, impactful debut album that sets the standard for everything else to follow. It is well constructed, written with purpose, and performed meticulously. The 11-track album floats between itself, never skipping a beat, but never keeping it the same. The record was truly such a good time to listen to and enjoy, it made writing a review about it difficult.

Enough said.

All songs on the album were written by band creators, Tyler Pursel and Colin Mccarry. It was produced by Tyler Pursel and Josh Strange, and finally recorded at Strange Audio Electronics and Creep Records. A true Philadelphia project, through and through. What I enjoyed most about this album was that it created it’s own space to exist within. It is a breath of fresh air in a space that cultivates a hugely DIY core, and while Party Muscles and Does It Even Matter? are well crafted, and poignant, they never take themselves too seriously. Melodic, and groovy - their sound resonates with a multitude of listeners by culminating a variety of genre-esque sounds. Their draw on early 2000’s indie rock doesn’t over power their message, and my biggest criticism is I wish I could’ve read the lyrics for the tracks while listening.

Either way - this is a good album, and it makes me excited for the future of Party Muscles. Give it a listen, check out a show, buy some merch! The good people in Party Muscles have an August residency at Ortliebs - August 15th, 22nd and 29th, which means you have zero reason to miss out on these talented up & comers.

For more information, follow their social media links down below!

Party Muscles: Bandcamp // Facebook

Matt Wheeler & Vintage Heart - Self-Titled Review

Matt Wheeler & Vintage Heart have been dubbed a “Lancaster treasure” by PennLive, and their new self-titled album release carries on the band’s tradition of bringing poetic lyrics and a unique orchestral folk sound to music.

Matt Wheeler & Vintage Heart is a group made up of front-man Matt Wheeler on guitar and vocals, Shawn Vago on percussion, Caleb Brown on violin and backing vocals, Andrew Berg on cello (if your band’s got a cellist, I’m instantly down to listen) and Ben Young on bass. Their new self-titled album was released on March 10th, 2017, and it’s a good one.

Check out the tracklist below!

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Matt Wheeler & Vintage Heart Tracklist:
1. Safer
2. Santiago
3. Cedars
4. Lexington
5. First Dance
6. The Weather
7. Swimming In the Sea
8. Paperthin
9. Hallelujah
10. Wings
11. Manhattan
12. Prayer of Saint Francis


The first track, “Safer,” got me into it right away. The combination guitar/cello melody that started it off was beautiful, and I focused more on the instrumentals than the vocals, but the lyrics brought the song together and really made it cohesive.  

The cello in this album was fantastic. Like I said, I love a band with a good cellist, and Andrew Berg has got some serious string skills. He adds a special something to all of the songs, but the one that really got me was the band’s cover of “Hallelujah,” the famous track originated by Leonard Cohen that has been covered countless times by countless artists since its first release in 1975. If you don’t know the song, you might’ve heard it before in the first Shrek movie. Yeah. That song. It’s an absolutely beautiful track, and one of my favorites. I’ve heard a bunch of different renditions of it, and Matt Wheeler & Vintage Heart’s version is one of the better ones. (Though Jeff Buckley’s cover will always have the top spot on my list. Sorry, Matt Wheeler. It’s nothing personal.)

Another of my favorite songs off this album was “Manhattan.” The guitar melody reminded me of one of my old-time favorites, “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None The Richer. Like “Kiss Me,” “Manhattan” is a romantic song good for slow-dancing and daydreaming. The whole album has kind of a romantic, dreamy vibe to it (probably because of the cello – I’m telling you guys, it’s one of the best instruments out there). 

Overall, this album is definitely worth a listen. Check out the track list below, and you can stream it on the band’s official website. You can also listen to some of Matt Wheeler & Vintage Heart’s earlier music, which I highly recommend you do if you’ve got a taste for more. Enjoy listening! 

Matt Wheeler & Vintage Heart: Website // Facebook // Soundcloud
 

Same - Weird As Hell Review

Photo: Heredwelling

Photo: Heredwelling

Pittsburgh, PA offers up a band you should be on the lookout for - especially if you've been missing the good old days of indie/alt-rock (like from the '90's).

That's right, I said it, Same are just like that band you probably miss from the '90's and guess what, after listening to them, I don't miss it so much anymore. Out with the old, in with the new. Same gives listeners Weird As Hell - an EP that plays on all of the reasons why I got into indie/alt-rock in the goddamn first place.

The 4-track EP is the result of the hard work of band members Jesse Caggiano (vocals, bass), Jamie Gruzinski (drums), Tom Higgins (guitar), & Jake Stern (guitar, vocals). The four piece comes together to create that melodramatic, monotone sound that Weird As Hell is rich in. Which isn't a bad thing - in fact, Same is using techniques on this EP that I haven't heard in a good while, which makes the EP not only refreshing, but full of really great techniques that the collision of indie and alternative music make happen!

Check out the track list below!

Weird As Hell Tracklist:
1. Camp Vacation
2. Weird as Hell
3. Blurry Legs
4. Badventure

 

 

 

 


Opening track "Camp Vacation" is another one of those tracks where I am extremely impressed by a band's ability to choose the perfect entrance to their EP. Between Caggliano & Stern's voice, which embodies that monotone, whiney kind of vocalist who drags out their vowels - and the slow, consistency of the drums, guitar and bass thanks to Higgins & Gruzinski, "Camp Vacation" is a melodic, slowcore blast from the past - which opens up the EP for the rest of the unique experience to follow.

My personal favorite off of this micro EP is last track "Badventure," and for reasons that are selfish, if i'm quite honest. The track is smooth, slow moving and makes me feel so good - also there is this kickass instrumental section that takes up a good portion of the song and it makes me sleepy and happy because this music is just so damn comforting.

Listen to it for yourself!

In summation, Same is a band I'm holding onto for the future (and maybe I've already shown some friends), but you should definitely check out Weird as Hell and Same, we've got their social media below for you!

Same: Facebook // Bandcamp