The AGP Top 25 of 2018

A trying year politically delivered an incredibly strong year in music. With  excellent albums by some of established favorites like Guided By Voices and Superchunk as well  formidable releases from rising acts such as Twin Foxes, Darklands, Ovlov, and Kal Marks we had plenty of sonic splendeur to keep us chugging along. In our first installment of 2018 in review we take time share some our favorites of the year. Most of these are available on Bandcamp, so if there something here that lands in your wheelhouse please consider supporting these artists in any way you can.

*Photo above taken at AS220 in Providence by Eleanor Dean

A Users Guide: Rhode Island Freak-Out

fof_3This Sunday we proudly present Rhode Island Freak-Out, a full day of music, vendors, food, and refreshment at Pawtucket’s News Cafe & Parking Lot. At first our intent was to attempt a full day show that would incorporate some of our favorite acts from Providence, Boston, and beyond. We weren’t sure how or if it would actually come together. However, once we started to reach out to these acts, we were taken back by how accepting and enthusiastic they all were of the concept of the little pipe dream we’ve coined, Rhode Island Freak-Out. Motivated by some of our favorite Live music experiences and the desire to bring together as many musicians, artist and music obsessives in one place at the close of summer. With all proceeds from this event going to our performers this event and the ones that follow (we hope) will be a way to celebrate and support the local music community. Below you will find a brief guide to this years event, performers, and a playlist to get you prepped for what is sure to be a special day. We look forward to seeing friends, old, new, and yet to be made. Respect the space and most importantly each other.
pines1 - Brian Daly1:30 Rye Pines
Bursting out the Allston basements earlier this decade, Rye Pines have evolved into a sinister and howling garage punk trio. The bands Live sets are something to behold, consisting of equal parts sweat, grime, and surf punk furry. Arrive early and bear witness.

2:15 Beverly Tender
The Providence by way of North Carolina duo of Molly Hastings and Tristian Brooks occupy a space filled with delicate atmospherics, jagged distortion, coupled with earnest and wistful vocals. I’ve been eager to book a show with Beverly Tender since discovering their debut EP and last years release of their remarkable full length, What Have You Done To My Water? only heightened my appreciation.
NHNH

3:00 No Hope/No Harm
Boston’s 90’s emo leaning supergroup that features members of The Good North, The Shelia Divine, Field Effect, and Sebio. No Hope/No Harm appeared seemingly out of nowhere and quickly released two impressive singles and earlier this year the band issued, the Swimming In The Charles EP frontman which finds fronter, Luke O’Neil leading the charge on 6 infectious guitar pop anthems.

3:45 Hellrazor
You may know Micheal Falcone as the drummer of Speedy Ortiz, but over the past decade he has been writing and recording under the moniker of Hellrazor. This is no side project, Hellrazor are a lo-fi fuzz punk trio delivering concise, varied, and catchy as fuck pop songs.

4:30 Halfsour
I originally discovered Halfsour a handful of years ago via debut cassette and followed along through bands evolution. The one constant has always been Halfsour write and record terrific and energetic guitar pop with nods to 90’s indie touchstones while delivering something wholly unique.
Lookers
5:15 Lookers
Providence’s dark pop super-outfit fronted by writer, performer, and 2017 FEMS Poetry Slam winner, Muggs Fogerty. With limited music on-line at this point when Lookers play out it’s an event to behold.

6:00 14 Foot 1
Providence’s venerable spastic math outfit were on a the short list for this event from day one. Sonic spender via dual guitar wailing and propulsive percussion awaits.
14 Foot 1 on Bandcamp

6:45 Twin Foxes
Sunday will mark our third show this year with Providence’s heavy indie set, Twin Foxes. So yeah you could say we like them. The band arrived on our radar back in 2014 and have managed to deliver terrific string of releases, most notably this years tremendous, Sleeping On The Attic Floor. Not to be missed.
BH new7:30 Black Helicopter
Boston rock veterans and purveyors post-punk sludge, featuring members of Green Magnet School and Krudgel. After a stint on Thurston Mooore’s Ecstatic Peace! imprint the band has amassed an impressive discography most recently with Everything Forever (EP). Anthems for the downtrodden with big riffs and even bigger hooks.

8:15 Saccharine
The recording vehicle of Boston’s Kevin King, formally of Maura who offered his debut LP We Both Become The Sky, a collection earnest and captivating folk tinged introspection in 2016. Next month Kevin will team once again with Disposable America imprint for Saccherine’s sophomore release, Hollow Space. Perhaps he will treat us to some new tracks? Come and find out.

9:00 Major Stars
Boston’s venerable psych rock stalwarts made their Live debut at Terrastock in Providence way back in 1997, so it was a total no brainier to approach Wayne Rogers, Kate Village and co. to join us for our first installment of Rhode Island Freak-Out. For over two decades and multiple line-up changes Major Stars have consistently delivered their raucous, exceptionally adept, and singular sonic achievements.

9:45 Honey Radar
Honey Radar is the uber prolific and euphoric hook laden project of Jason Henn and the first band we asked to take part in this event so,we’re beyond thrilled that the PA lo-fi pop dynamos are taking the long drive down interstate 95. With elements of 60’s British invasion, psych pop and 90’s indie these songs feel oddly familiar and brand new all at once.
kal_marks_press10:30 Kal Marks
We first Boston noise rock titans, Kal Marks earlier this decade at one their explosive Live shows and that’s all it took, we were all in. Led by vocalist/guitarist Carl Shane, Kal Marks explore darkness and personal hardship and offer a little bit of light through a unified concoction of crushing distortion, pummeling rhythms, and Shane cathartic howl.

Thank You To Our Participating Vendors:
Midnight Warewolf Records
Tor Johnson Records
Moonstone Message & Bodywork
Frayed Knot Electronics
Nick Jacobs
Lenny M Art
Justin Foster

///Sunday August 26th: Rhode Island Freak-Out at The News Cafe & Parking Lot///
12 PM ~ Doors 18+ $12 Event Details

Twin Foxes – Sleeping On The Attic Floor | Review

AtticIt was in the spring of 2014 when I had the good fortune of being introduced to Providence’s Twin Foxes through the bands 3-song demo release, but that’s all it took, really. The 3 tracks on that EP were played relentlessly and for good reason. Twin Foxes were able to give nods to seminal 90’s guitar bands like Built To Spill, Jawbreaker, and with the pop sensibilities of Superdrag, all while  managing to deliver something wholly original, beyond those heavy weight influences.  Over the next few years Providence’s self-described heavy indie rock outfit delivered a couple of notable releases 2015’s self-titled EP and last year’s split with fellow Providence noise rock concern , Darklands. Both those EP’s found the band pushing their sound into more dynamic directions while fronter, Jared Mann delivered impressive songwriting rife with wit, introspection and alluring melodies.

Today marks the release of Twin Foxes debut full length LP, Sleeping On The Attic Floor which finds the band displaying an even heavier dose of fuzz, shoegaze, and 90’s guitar crunch than it’s predecessors, paired with the bands strongest song cycle to date. Back in December we had the chance to speak with Jared Mann in an AGP interview and gain some insight on the concept of the new material.

It’s probably the heaviest thing we’ve done music and lyric wise. I took on some themes of self-discovery, mental illness, and family history in my own life and I believe used the record as a stepping stone to grow as a person. Music’s super therapeutic for me, and spilling my guts this time around just felt right.”

On the album’s opener, Mountain Twin Foxes kicks things off with a slow building track brimming with chiming guitar and complex rhythms before giving way to exhilarating squalls of feedback. On Drownd, the new sets sure fire hit, (if there was any justice or a radio station worth a damn these days) the band delivers a raucous post-punk anthem compete with a catchy as hell chorus before transitioning into a slowcore dirge. The song is reminiscent of Modest Mouse’s, The Stars Are Projectors, but here Twin Foxes put their own stamp on things with vibrant melodies and pristine instrumentation. Throughout this 10 song LP, Twin Foxes manage to surpass expectations set by their early output and intoxicating Live shows by unveiling a thoroughly engaging and expertly written and produced LP. Speaking of which, the new album was tracked and produced by Mann, an audio engineer by trade at his home studio, Distorted Forest and mastered at Machines With Magnets in Pawtucket, making SOTF a true product of the vibrant Providence scene.

Over the past couple of months I have spent a considerable amount of time listening to these songs and as much as I was smitten early on these tracks seem to reveal their subtle charms and considerable hooks during each revisitation. One of the characteristics that I have found in some of my favorite records is those albums that you can put on and find a new favorite track each and every time, Sleeping On The Attic Floor is that type of album. For instance, last month while driving down an desolate highway between Omaha and Lincoln, NE trying to follow GPS directions when seemingly out of nowhere this album’s title track came blaring out of my rental car speakers to bowl me over. The track succinctly encompasses everything that drew me to this band in the first place, angular guitar lines, intricate rhythms, and gigantic pop hooks. With Sleeping On The Attic Floor, Twin Foxes have issued an exceptional record filled with intelligent song craft buoyed upon a  sea of distortion and an LP that begs to be played repeatedly.

Sleeping On The Attic Floor get its official release today via the fine folks at R.I.’s Tor Johnson Records and Boston based Midnight Werewolf Records. Twin Foxes will be out on the road to celebrate the album release with upcoming shows in Western, MA, New Hampshire, Worcester, and Cambridge. Check the bands tour page for details.

[Stream/Buy] Twin Foxes – Sleeping On The Attic Floor

2017: The Year In Review | Top 25 Tracks

AGP tracks 2With the end of our calendar year upon us, many of us blogging types turn to cast a gaze over the past 12 months and deliver a year end recap. It’s been a few years since we  completed this exercise, but with a year as strong as  2017 was, the opportunity to spotlight the releases and artists that one could’ve found clamoring from the AGP offices in  the past year was too good to pass up. We have compiled the 25 songs below that ended up in heavy rotation on our turntables as well as on the various streaming platforms we frequented this year. You’ll probable notice the  bulk of favorite tracks have origins in the American Northeast which speaks volumes about those artists, labels like Disposable America and Exploding in Sound Records, not to mention the thriving scenes in Allston, Northampton,  Brooklyn, and Providence.

25. Protomartyr – A Private Understanding

24. Soft Fangs – Honey Colony

23. Big Heet – On A Wire

22. Lost Film – I Forget

21. Kindling – Wait

20. The Bats – Rooftops

19. Milked – Goodbye Durango

18. Yankee Bluff – Like An Insect

17. Black Beach – Cluttered Head

16. The Spirit of The Beehive – Cops Come Looking

15. Tobin Sprout – Cowboy Curtains

14. Rick Rude – Bald & Fat In Houston, TX

13. Two Inch Astronaut – Can You Please Not Help

12. Twin Foxes – Own Eyes

11. Infinity Girl – Don’t Believe

10.  Tery Malts – Cheap Mimicry 

9. Out – Wound Up

8. Downtown Boys – A Wall

7. The Cherry Wave – Don’t Start

6.The Persian Leaps – Picture My Reaction

5. Slowdive – Star Roving

4. Meat Wave – Leopard Print Jet Ski

3. Pile – Texas

2. Guided By Voices – Low Flying Perfection

1. Bad History Month – The Nonexistent Distance

A Conversation With Jared Mann of Twin Foxes

tf_promo_6I first discovered Providence’s Twin Foxes in 2014 when I happened upon their their 3 song demo. I was immediately taken by the trio’s penchant for earnest lyricism, gigantic pop hooks, and their noise rock prowess. Since then the band has continued to impress with a self titled EP in 2015 and this years excellent split with Darklands . On February 9th Twin Foxes will issue their debut full length, Sleeping On The Attic Floor and tonight the band will play Noise For Toys |PVD. Earlier this week I caught up with Twin Foxes’ fronter Jared Mann to talk about the new album, the Providence scene, and his lack of a bad Christmas sweater.

The Ash Gray Proclamation: What can you tell us about the forthcoming LP?

Jared Mann: The new record is called Sleeping on the Attic Floor. It’s our first LP, but it’s probably the heaviest thing we’ve done music and lyric wise. I took on some themes of self-discovery, mental illness, and family history in my own life and I believe used the record as a stepping stone to grow as a person. Music’s super therapeutic for me, and spilling my guts this time around just felt right. The production aspect was something I had dreamt up a while ago. I can get pretty particular about that stuff, and since I’m an audio engineer for my job, I just took upon myself to engineer and produce it at my studio, Distorted Forest. We mixed and mastered at Machines with Magnets.

The Ash Gray Proclamation: What are the release plans for Sleeping On The Attic Floor?

Jared Mann: The record will be coming out on Midnight Werewolf Records out of Boston and Tor Johnson Records out of Providence on 2/9/17. Both labels have been super supportive of the record, and it just feels right doing it with them. They work super hard and are involved in the whole process. As true diy-ers we definitely connect at that level.

The Ash Gray Proclamation: How do you feel Twin Foxes have evolved since you began?

Jared Mann: Well I think when we originally started, I was kinda burnt out on music. I had done it for years, and this was just a way to play punk music again and have fun. But it kinda made me fall in love with it all over again. I think the other guys feel the same way too. A musical relationship grew from playing with each other, and I think something bigger blossomed. Now with this record coming out, I’m pretty confident in saying it’s the best thing I’ve done creatively so far.

The Ash Gray Proclamation: What can you tell us about the current landscape of the Providence scene?

Jared Mann: Providence has a great scene. It’s small but a lot of these people have been doing it for a long time. Whether you play in the same genre or not, I think people are generally stoked if you’re doing something creative. There’s a lot of great bands, venues, and people that ensure shows and spaces keep happening. We recently lost a few venues, which has been a bummer, but I know something good will come from it. It always does.

The AGP: Any favorite Providence acts we should be checking out?

Jared: Boring, Darklands, Snowplows, 14 Foot 1, Way Out, Fine, Double Dragon, Hurt Ensemble, Gap Year, Minibeast, Edgar Clinks, Whore Paint, Violet, Goon Planet, Weak Teeth, Hairspray Queen. I’m sure I’m forgetting others too!

The AGP: As we prepare for the inaugural Noise For Toys – Toys For Toys benefit tonight I’m compelled to ask, what’s the best Christmas gift you’ve ever received ?

Jared: Funny enough I grew up not celebrating Christmas haha! So I’m probably not the guy to ask, but I’ve gotten into it later in life. It’s mainly my close friends that exchange stuff, and those gifts are all pretty great. I never got any bad Christmas sweaters or anything, but I’d probably even like those too.

The AGP: Other than a new album what can we expect from Twin Foxes in 2018?

Jared: Well we’re going on tour in February for some dates with the band, then I’m doing a run of solo shows in March. I have the next record demoed out too, so I figure we’ll start production on that soon as well.

Tonight: Noise For Toys – A Toys For Tots Benefit| PVD AS220 @ 8PM
Hallelujah The Hills + Coaches + Kal Marks + Twin Foxes + Black Beach
$10/$7 with an unwrapped toy

Event Page

NFT PVD

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