lofi

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

Young Pilgrims - Anhedonia Review

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An emotional lofi pop punk look at what it's like to make lots of mistakes a lot of the time, and tons of other not fun emotions are what Young Pilgrims are aiming for in their latest release, Anhedonia. The 7-track EP is a staggering, impressive and sentimental album that creeps in and out.

The result of a merger between two high-school bands, Young Pilgrims are Sean Brown (Singer, guitarist), Zack Abel (Bassist, soft tenor backing vocalist), and Jesse Appel (Drummer/Percussionist). Their first album, Kyoko and a Rocket to the Moon, was released July 2013. It was recorded in Rhawn Street Studios in Philadelphia, with mixing and mastering done by Zach Brown. Anhedonia, was released January 2018 after an extended hiatus, but we're excited for their return!

Check out Anhedonia's tracklist below!

Album Art: Thomsen Cummings

Album Art: Thomsen Cummings

Anhedonia Tracklist:
1. The Death Ray
2. Get Lucid!
3. Attempt No. 3
4. FCT
5. Witch Toucher
6. Be Good
7. My Friend Frida Kahlo

 

 

 

The groovy, tempermental 7-track compilation is an exciting welcome back for the threesome. The level of growth is enthralling and means the hiatus, while long, was not for naught.

Opening track "The Death Ray" introduces you to the sound that Young Pilgrims have cultivated, a return into mind melting emotions and sound. Instrumentally, each track does a really fantastic job of tying into one another, but also remaining stand alone. The cohesive nature of this album is surprising and makes it an easy listen through.

With hints of pop punk, you get just enough meaning to make Anhedonia a gooey melting pot. We've got the album streaming down below for you via Bandcamp, so check it out and formulate your own opinions!

You can check out this psychedelic feels piece on their social media links down below so you don't miss anything!

Young Pilgrims: Facebook

Haunted Homes - Seance At The Shore Review

Some of The Hook's favorites are making their way back around with their newest releases and we couldn't be more stoked on it! Today we're talking about Haunted Homes, the spooky rock band that integrates entities of cosmic, country and spook all into one beautiful little EP. 

Seance At The Shore is Haunted Homes most recent EP and comes after their February release of "CoastGhost2Coast" and "Spooksville, USA." The 4-track EP follows suit, and addition to the sound that Haunted Homes is working with and perfecting. With this genre blending and nearly conceptual quintet, there's sure to be a song to jam out to on Seance At The Shore.

Check out the tracklist below to follow along.

Seance At The Shore Tracklist:
1. The Rattlesnake King
2. Vacation On The Dead Sea
3. Mischief Night
4. An Evening Of Magic

 

 

 

 

 

What I really dug about this album was the added surf rock elements that Haunted Homes incorporated to flesh out their already solid sound. This EP opens with "The Rattlesnake King" which is most reminiscent of the February 2-track EP. The dreamy, far away vocals fall against the mixed instrumental that fluctuates between spooky and desert. 

There wasn't much I didn't enjoy about this, it seems like a productive growth for Haunted Homes in carving out their own unique sound for listeners to latch onto. We're ready to follow them to the end! Check out a stream of our favorite track thanks to Bandcamp down below!

You can catch Haunted Homes in Philly on August 23rd at Ortliebs with The Whips/Petunia. In the meantime, check out this EP, and check out what Haunted Homes is up to via their social media. We really dug this one, so don't miss it!

Haunted Homes: Facebook // Instagram

Val Jester - Sorry Review

What beats the summer heat? Val Jester has been cooling us off for weeks now with their mix of indie, pop, and lofi sounds. We just can't get enough of it honestly.

On May 26th, Val Jester released their debut album, Sorry. A 12-track album that focuses primarily on smooth sounds and even smoother vocals. The mastermind behind the project (with plenty of help of course) is Max Schoenwetter. A New Jersey native, Max Schoenwetter played bass for his friend’s band, before deciding to try and write on his own. Started in September of 2017 after moving to Philadelphia, Val Jester was created from the catalog of songs he had curated over the previous three years. Recorded over a cup of tea, Sorry, is Val’s introduction to the world. Apologizing to those who will listen, Sorry, is Val’s way of clearing his conscious and making music that chills you out. 

Check out the tracklist below!

Sorry Tracklist:
1. America
2. Mediocre?
3. Home Alone, Alone
4. Is This Real? 
5. i was all over her -. 
6. an
7. Sanguineness
8. sorry
9. Chaos
10. Make It Work?
11. I Don't Wana
12. Goodbye

I have yet to have recorded an album so smooth, so mind-numbingly good in quite a long time. Consider Sorry the perfect mixture of indie sad boy and lofi distortion. Max's voice rasps as the perfect compliment to a thwang-ing guitar, a steady beat. While 12 tracks is a size-able amount, Sorry moves effortlessly in quick bursts of air. Steady, unnerving, easy to get lost into.

Opening track "America" is a testament to what the album is about. While not at all about America, the track is disturbingly self-aware with lyrics like "God Bless Me, / I am flawed, and / Prickly, and /Spiky." Overlaid on a distorted "God Bless America" the track is the open door to what the album Sorry is unapologetically about. Being flawed.

I just can't get enough of this album, honestly. From beginning to end it moves seamlessly, I have no favorite because I can't decide. I want there to be more. I want Max to give us more half-loved thoughts, all in the dark, just like secrets. This album feels good to listen to, which is hard to say about a lot of albums.

You definitely want to buy this one, listen to it. Listen to it again, show it to your best friend, keep it a secret and only play it in the car with people you don't care about. Whatever you need to do, you should do with this album in tow. Keep up with Val Jester, take our word for it.

Keep up with Val Jester via the social media links below, and thank us later.

Val Jester: Facebook // Bandcamp