diy basement

Inspector 34 - Don't Worry This Is Ok Review

Music you’ve heard for the very first time, but takes you to a place where everyone knows your name? That’s precisely where you’re going from the very first strum, the opening note of Lowell Massachusetts powerhouse Inspector 34.

This isn’t your typical EP either, Don’t Worry This Is OK, dropped with a transformative music video for their lead track “Fed Up.” Talk about hearing your guitar and seeing it in action, too! A band, who aren’t strangers to tremendous talent, are showcased front and center as the collective vision of Jim Warren, Pat Auclair, Silas Price, Ben Kaplowitz, and Alexandra Derderian! At just under 15 minutes (but you’ll wish for 5x that length in the end) this quartet of songs will leave you hungry for more! It’s all highs and no lows from here on out!

Your guide for the ride, check out the tracklist below!

a3330673579_16.jpg

Don’t Worry This Is Ok:
1. Fed up
2. Hurts
3. Try So Hard
4. That Charming Man

If you gave this a listen before continuing, then welcome back! If not, then buckle in because you’re headed to transcendent places.

Have you ever wanted a soundtrack for your life? Needed something better than words to describe a feeling? Well look no further my friends. The opening track encapsulates you with a magnetic ambience, you are transfixed by the swelling of passion around you. Every track feels like the crest and fall of a wave, blending perfectly together. Sometimes we need more than words and other times we need outstanding voices! If I could sing, I would sing the praises of the vocals throughout this EP. What are a completely spellbinding incantation that takes you to the epicenter that is raw emotion.

In the mood for sexy baselines? Prepare to be seduced. Need a little bit of folk twang to start your day? Then look no further! Inspector 34 delivers on every front you’ve thought of and probably some you haven’t and that’s just four songs. Imagine what they have in store for you next!

Picking a favorite song here is difficult but we’re going with Track 3, ‘Try So Hard,’ and it does. I wish this track was longer, it’s the first song I played over again, and again, the attitude is infectious, the perfect illustration of what this band is capable of. This is the song you want headlining your life and playing in the background every time you do something “Cool guys don’t look at explosions” type worthy.

I have been in and around the music scene a very long time, and I struggle to imagine a more consistent, powerful band for my first formal review here for The Hook. You heard it hear first before you no doubt here it everywhere, you are going to want more, if you ever need a formula on how to do it right, this is it.

Let’s listen together, soon, and take a deeper inspection into Inspector 34 using their social media links down below!

Inspector 34: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram //Spotify

Witch H(c)unt - Self Titled Review

Weird, emotional,  and quirky as all hell, Witch H(c)unt by an artist of the same name tackles some very strong, intimate themes via the new wave of DIY punk that lives in the Philadelphia Underground.

Let’s get this out of the way early, musically this album doesn't follow a straightforward path. It interchanges between indie-ish folk and dirty, brash alternative rock. Personally, I’ve never been a fan of folksy vocals, but at times they give off a tone I can only describe as a monotonous mesh between Amanda Palmer and Jessicka Addams. It’s very punk, but maybe outside of havens of punk basements and art spaces, it may be something difficult to get into. 

a3578507620_16.jpg

Self-Titled Tracklist:
1. i don't like u
2. garrett's song
3. sack of shit
4. Nayo Jones - Black and Queer
5. lil fishies
6. vomit queen
7. Rehan Ahmed - Phone Call and Faith
8. ghost bro
9. transmasc
10. trash
11. Consent †∆† short essay
12. Content Warning
13. fuck boyz never change
14. failed me 2
15. sunshine world
16. Karla Maria - Brown Girl in the Mix-Tuesday Hauntings

Instrumentally, there’s a heavy usage of banjo, and occasionally a very light bit of synthesizer sounds, but otherwise there’s nothing that really grabs you instrumentally. "Vomit Queen" does feature a very driving guitar/bass/drum combo, and it’s possibly the song I enjoyed the most, but most of the album is blurred. 
 
One thing I did enjoy about this album was some of the themes it presented. This is an album that attempts to tackle mental illness, sexual assault, emotional abuse, and trans-masculinity.  The most powerful moments of the album are separate from the music; contained within the spoken word poetry segments. Stories from marginalized members of society strike a personal chord within the listeners and the performers themselves. Even in the musical tracks, the topics portrayed here are deeply personal and the artists themselves are speaking from a very vulnerable place. 
 
Something I realized after finishing this album was that this album isn’t for me. This wasn’t something written to please me. This album is an artistic representation of a scene I don’t participate in and for an audience I will not find myself among. However, there is a correlation I can draw to this. Hell, all musicians can.

This album is purely music as an art form instead of as a form of entertainment. Every musician has created at least one thing that deviates from a need for an audience. An absolute form of self expression meant to make a statement about yourself and the world you live in. As someone who enjoys more well produced, structured and formulaic releases, this really isn’t my cup of tea. But there is an inherent importance to this release. The value in this lies less in the sound, and more in the statement.
 
Witch H(c)unt is a West Philly performance artist, and their self-titled album is available to stream currently on bandcamp, otherwise check out their social media below to stay up to date!

Witch H(c)unt: Facebook // Bandcamp
 

steve. - Boo-Shemi Review

New Brunswick, NJ back at it again with the music talent - and we've always just been along for the ride. Peep trio, steve. - bringing us right back to our basement roots, and let's be real, we're happy to be there.

steve. is comprised of members Eric (ex. Bird Hotel and Semiotics)on bass & vox, Zach (also in The Great Depression) on drums & vox, and Kyle (Wisteria, Semiotics) on guitar & vox. The band's been around for a little over a year, and back in November they released their debut EP, Boo-shemi. The 6-track EP was produced by Kyle O'Connor and Nicholas Rapon, engineered by John Naeder and Ben Luckman, and mastered by Rachel Lightner. All songs written and performed by steve., and ddditional vocals included Nicholas Rapon, Seth Blissenbach, and Ally Rose!

And, if you're asking us (which, you are, right?) that's a bunch of names that sound like they're going to make a really stellar EP. Spoiler alert: they did. Check out the tracklist below so you can follow along!

Artwork: Vanessa Lasky

Artwork: Vanessa Lasky

Boo-Shemi Tracklist:
1. TF Happened to that Miguel Song?
2. SEGA Memecast
3. Soft Serve
4. Heart Attack on Titan
5. Purp Durp
6. Foney Hawk








Boo-Shemi's tracks are on the shorter side - but they fit with their up-beat, whimsical stylized lyricism and vocal upkeep. 

The EP begins with "TF Happened to that Miguel Song," which sets the tone for the rest of the EP in certain ways. One of which being that upbeat instrumental sound we were talking about, and the other about stylizing the vocals - reminiscent of our favorite DIY groups - the opening voice, "Sitting in my room alone / while you're out with all my friends / telling them how much you hate me / and how much you'll never miss me."  A theme that follows through the rest of the album with tracks like "Soft Serve," and "Foney Hawk."

Our favorite track, though, is definitely "Purp Durp," because of a few things. One of which being it's differentiation in sound then the previous or following tracks, and also the lyricism on this one is absolute perfection poetically. You should check out the bandcamp stream of it below, so you can hear what we're talking about too!

Overall, we're really digging this EP. It's quirky, fun, and fast paced - a nice teaser for maybe what can be expected from steve. in the new year! Either way, we're down for it - and we're down for all the great music coming out of NJ as of late, so thanks steve.

Definitely do check out Boo-Shemi, all six tracks are unique, personal and fun little compilations to croon over that girl you used to be into, or the self-depricating moments of early adulthood. Either way, check out steve.'s bandcamp and links down below for more!

steve.: Facebook // Bandcamp // Instagram // Twitter