Video premiere: Hip To Death’s ‘Burning Heart’

HIP TO DEATH: Photo by Daniel Vasquez


To herald the arrival of the autumn equinox, Hip To Death has unleashed a new video for “Burning Heart,” the first single and video from the group’s second proper album, TMI America. “Burning Heart” is a fiery and noirish affair, steeped in texture. The triple threat guitar assault from John, Kasey, and James Breedlove is thick with time-stretching distortion, billowing around a searing lyrical mantra: “This burning heart’s for you. Our love will always be this true. Cut my leather skin. Waste my weathered skin.”

Drummer Mike Pazdzinski and bass player Todd Caras drive the song forward with tight, constrictive rhythms.

The album was recorded on a 4-Track in husband and wife John and Kasey’s home in Roswell, GA. Later, the tracks were mixed and mastered by the Athens-based Leeds U.K. transplant Tom Ashton of gothic post-punk luminaries the March Violets. Ashton runs SubVon Studio in Athens, GA, and his touch rings loud and clear with “Burning Heart.” Each grinding moment unfolds with a stylishly murky traipse that evokes the sounds and vision of mid-’80s U.K. goth, while embracing the dark and aggressive immediacy of the here and now.

“We were definitely going for a different kind of sound on this record,” John says. “It all seemed to come naturally, though. I’d been a fan of the March Violets for a while, and I really loved the work he did with them. His guitar work on “Snake Dance” is rad, along with everything else they did. I learned from our good friend Trey Ehart from the band Entertainment that Tom was in Athens. I talked to Tom over the phone for an hour or so, and I instantly took a liking to his attitude. We vibed right from the get go—he’s a super positive dude. I hired him just to master the album, but he dug the songs so damn much that he ended up putting his touch on it and mixing and mastering the whole album. We all love what he did. He really listened to what we were going for, and he killed it!”

The video was directed by Kasey Breedlove, and features a cameo from Atlanta-based photographer, art teacher, and model Rose Riot. Press play and zone out.

TMI America is available now on Die Indy Records.

Faye Webster: ‘Better Distractions’

Faye Webster is back with a new single, titled “Better Distractions.” The song was recorded at Chase Park Transduction in Athens, and produced by long-time cohort and engineer Drew Vandenberg. It’s also Webster’s first offering since her 2019 album, Atlanta Millionaires Club (Secretly Canadian), and the single, titled “In A Good Way.”

The “Better Distractions” video is courtesy of Matt Swinsky and Eat Humans.

Drifting through lyrics such as: “Got two friends that I could see, but they got two jobs and a baby. I just want to see you,” the song builds on Webster’s signature lush and melancholy indie rock delivery.

“I wrote this song kinda without knowing I was writing it,” Webster said in a press release. “It’s a kind of free association, just thoughts running straight from my head onto paper untouched. I also think it’s [the] best my band has ever sounded on record.”

On Tuesday, October 6, Webster and her band , featuring pedal steel player Matt ‘Pistol’ Stoessel, drummer Harold Brown, bass player Bryan Howard, and keyboard player Nick Rosen are playing together for the first time in 2020 at Chase Park Transduction. The show is streaming live via Noonchorus, and will be rebroadcast for the following 48 hours.. $12 (+fees). 9 p.m.  Buy tickets.

The Pinx: ‘Electric!’ EP


Press play on “Victimless Crime,” the opening number from the Pinx’s Electric! EP, and guitarists Adam McIntyre and Chance McColl invoke the light, sweet atmosphere of Big Star’s #1 Record—a jangling alternative to the Southern rock clichés that typically lord over riffs of such magnitude.

“Hammer of the Dogs” is the standout cut here. The song’s boogie melodies, backed by bass player Charles Wiles and drummer Cayce Buttrey’s sturdy rhythms, push McIntyre’s voice to psychedelic heights. Amid such strutting blasts of heavy rock ‘n’ roll, “Hammer of the Dogs” brings anthemic hooks to the mix, propelling the energy of the rest of the EP’s songs: “Bad Behavior,” “It’s Electric,” and “See You Later.”

The ghosts of early Van Halen riffs haunt Electric!’s latter half, laying the foundation for the pure elation in lyrics such as “I trace the power line from your spine down to your heel. Lightning to ground is what I feel! All my life I’ve always wondered what’s in store. It is your touch that makes me heal” in “It’s Electric.” It’s a fitting thesis for a hard rock EP in 2020, and a soundtrack for going walkabout in the wilds of rural Georgia, where having a fist-raising good time and attaining spiritual enlightenment are one in the same.

The five songs on Electric! power forward with anthemic pop hooks like thoughtful kin to ‘80s hair metal, but without the raunch, existing out of time and completely in their own context. This translates into earnest depth, as each song could be a stand-alone single. There isn’t a whole lot of variety going on from song to song, but that’s kind of the point. These songs find the Pinx reveling in the blue-eyed instincts of accomplished musicians embracing rock ’n’ roll bravado without a hint of pretension or self-consciousness. The songs are primal, reeling with distortion and spiraling energy, giving each player room to run wild. And run wild they do.

Need more of the Pinx in your life? The group’s entire discography is now available via www.thepinxrock.com/music.

Nicol Eltzroth Rosendorf: ‘Big Other’


RadATL has big things in the works with Nicol Eltzroth Rosendorf‘s latest LP, Big Other. The album features four pieces that are bursting at the seams with droning beauty, anxiety, texture, and ambiance. Like author James Joyce’s 1939 modern fiction classic Fennigans Wake, every note and every nuance heard throughout the record contains the gravity of the entirety of the work.

Big Other features contributions from Jarboe (SWANS), Atlanta’s James Joyce (Cheifs, Noot ‘d Noot, Car Vs. Driver), Shannon Mulvaney (Maganpop, Anna Kramer, Clobber), Brian Halloran (Smoke, W8ing4UFOs), Billy Fields (Follow For Now, Dionne Farris, W8ing4UFOs), and Xander Cook, with liner notes by author Blake Butler.

Keep an eye out here for more coming soon!

Mastodon: ‘Fallen Torches’

Mastodon‘s latest single, “Fallen Torches,” is a longtime staple of the group’s repertoire, but has remained unreleased until now. The song—one of the first recordings made in the Mastodon-run Ember City Rehearsal Studios in Atlanta’s Capitol View neighborhood—is the opening number on Medium Rarities, a 16-song compilation gathering odds and ends from the past 20 years of the group’s history—7-inch singles, “White Walker” from the Game of Thrones soundtrack, instrumental outtakes, and various live recordings including a scorching rendition of Metallica’s “Orion.”

“Fallen Torches” also features a guest vocal growl courtesy of Scott Kelly of Neurosis. True to Mastodon form, the song could embody the perfect metaphor for American politics, the global climate crisis, human interaction eroding in the face of the internet … Or not. When taken at face value “Fallen Torches” is a white-hot neckbreaker driven by mammoth riffs and rhythms that rival the almighty white whale behind Mastodon’s classic 2004 LP Leviathan. Meaning lies in the ears of the beholder, albeit quite ferocious.

Medium Rarities is out September 11 via Reprise Records. In the meantime, check out another brand new Mastodon scorcher, “Rufus Lives,” which appears on the Bill & Ted Face The Music soundtrack.

Medium Rarities photo courtesy Reprise Records

West End Motel: ‘New Wave Kid’


West End Motel is back with a new single, titled “New Wave Kid,” a wistful song that frontman Tom Cheshire calls the group’s “positive jam for dark times.”

In the interest of full disclosure, I should say that I released West End Motel’s first 7-inch via Ponce de Leon Records back in 2008; a four-song EP featuring “Oh I’m On My Way” and “There’s Gotta Be More To This Life” b/w “Under My Skin” and “Women Come and Go.”

Really, though, West End Motel is a much different band these days from what it was back then, and it has been for a good long while. In the beginning, Tom Cheshire and Brent Hinds played and recorded as a wooly and red-eyed pair of poets, songwriters, and troubadours suspended in the aspic of Atlanta when the sun goes down—a derelict version of the city that no longer exists.

Will Raines (left), Brent Hinds, and Tom Cheshire. Photo by Josh Groom.


Hinds brought to the project a lifetime of experience playing parties, house shows, and stages large and small in bands such as hardcore outfit Four Hour Fogger, spectral surf rockers Fiend Without A Face, and the almighty Mastodon. Cheshire was the Atlanta by-way-of-Queens, New York statesman of punk rock singing the Rent Boys and All Night Drug Prowling Wolves’ songs about love and brotherhood, penned on whiskey-soaked napkins.

West End Motel, however, was something different. Their weird and tender acoustic songs—as though they were discovering their sound during loose, late-night recording sessions—found both Hinds and Cheshire bearing their hearts and souls in disarmingly unguarded sentiments. The vocal and guitar melodies teemed with beauty, depression, elation, and wisdom gained from hitting rock bottom and pulling yourself back up to face the sun one more time.

Since releasing that original 7-inch, the group has released three albums, toggling between major label offshoots with 2011’s Don’t Shiver, You’re A Winner (Rocket Science Ventures) and 2012’s Only Time Can Tell (Alternative Distribution Alliance) before taking matters into their own hands and self-releasing 2017’s Bad With Names, Good With Faces. The group’s personnel has expanded as well, incorporating Hinds’ Fiend Without A Face cohorts—bass player Stiff Penalty and drummer Troy King, along with a few other players.

As the story goes, “New Wave Kid” was born when Cheshire and Ben Thrower went into Audio Oasis in Bristol, Tennessee with producer Matt Smile. Cheshire sang and Thrower crafted the song’s rhythms and melodies on an acoustic guitar. They sent the song to Jeff Bakos in Atlanta where Stiff Penalty added bass and King added drums. Will Raines added majestic keys from his home in Brooklyn. Then they sent it to West End Sound where Tom Tapley recorded Hinds and Brian Kincheloe’s guitar parts, and Ben Davis’ saxophone and bells.

The result is a sterling trip down memory lane rising from layers of lush pub rock melodies and what is, perhaps, the most evocative vocal delivery of Cheshire’s career.

“New Wave Kid” is a catchy number that’s branded with intoxicating musical motions that crystallize all of West End Motel’s influences—Pogues-esque punk and rock ‘n’ roll, The Band’s roughly-hewn stride, power pop, and blue-eyed soul—into a stylish hybrid that’s tailored to Cheshire’s husky voice, which telegraphs so much of the band’s character.

The song is part of a larger work in progress. The plan is to drop a new single at the beginning of each month for the next six months. After that, they’ll turn around the fourth proper West End Motel full-length album. In the meantime, “New Wave Kid” feels like a watershed moment for the group’s ever-growing movement from ramshackle magic to a deliberate and stylish sound and vision.

Past Now Tomorrow unleashes new recordings by Whispers Of Night and Suarez + Araim + Shirley

WHISPERS OF NIGHT: Majid Araim (left) and Ben Shirley. Photo by Ryan Beddingfield.


Two new releases that bear the mark of Past Now Tomorrow were by no means created as companion pieces. But Whispers Of Night’s The Dead Blessing, and the Leo Suarez + Majid Araim + Ben Shirley trio’s voice resolve are forever bound by time, place, physical aesthetics, and a dedication to pushing improvised music into deeper and higher plains of the imagination.

At the core of both releases stands the duo of cello player and Past Now Tomorrow label owner Ben Shirley and mandolin player Majid Araim. Together, they’ve fleshed out a singular musical voice while employing an arsenal of instruments—cello, fiddle, mandolin, banjo, harmonica, recorder, piano, reed organ, Korg MS-20, percussion, walkie talkies, tapes, and radio—to explore a haunted and wildly shifting terrain of musical timbres and colors.

“We did a crazy experiment with a process of overdubbing,” Shirley says of the Whispers Of Night release. “We improvised the initial pieces, then we started overdubbing. But only one of us wore headphones: One of us was listening to and playing along with what was already in the can. The other was responding to what was happening in the room. We traded back and forth, and a submerged musical composition rose up out of the ether as we went along,” he adds.

They recorded the sessions for The Dead Blessing using both a 4-Track and a computer. When finished, they spent weeks mixing it all together before Ben Price at Studilaroche put the final mastering touches on the five cavernous pieces presented here.


For voice resolve [sic.], Araim and Shirley teamed up with Philadelphia-based percussionist Leo Suarez to record a stripped-down early morning improv session—Shirley stuck with his cello, and Majid with a mandolin, violin, and his voice. Press play on the opening number, “Morning Of A Georgia Faun,” and the session sputters to life. The opening number’s title alone calls to mind Shirley’s former band—Faun And A Pan Flute—and Georgia native and saxophonist Marion Brown’s pastoral 1970 album Afternoon Of A Georgia Faun (ECM). Both provide heady context, and the song serves as an excellent entrypoint for the album’s lush and quietly calamitous survey of Georgia’s avant-garde landscape. The music is beautiful, abstract, and reflexive as songs such as “Let The Fish Gossip,” and “Grass So Soft” draw out tension in a subtle cacophony of sounds summoned from the depths of the subconscious minds of three players who all have their antennae dialed into the same frequencies.

GEORGIA MORNING: Leo Suarez (left) and Majid Araim. Photo by Ben Shirley.


Prior to this session, Suarez, Araim, and Shirley had jammed together sporadically while Whispers Of Night was on the road playing shows around the country. In June of 2019, after Suarez played a show at the Magic Lantern, the three reconvened at 8 a.m. to roll tape. Ofir Klemperer recorded the session as they all locked in with their instruments. Aside from one small, imperceptible cut, the session went down as is.

“We consciously chose to make the trio not Leo + Whispers, as we conceived of it as each individual bringing their own independent voice to the group, rather than any sort of specific sound,” Shirley says.

Both the Whispers Of Night and Suarez + Araim + Shirley releases live on Past Now Tomorrow’s Bandcamp page. A limited edition of 50 copies of The Dead Blessing and voice resolve on CD can be found on the Bandcamp page as well—not for long, though. The sturdy, cardboard sleeves and hand-assembled cover art brings a tactile element to music that often eludes conventional terms.
“I wanted to have a unifying aesthetic for this set of releases,” Shirley says. “I’m trying to still produce physical things, even though not many people buy them. This way I can make them at a low cost and keep the charge down. I use the least amount of plastic possible, and still have sturdy packaging with a spine on the side—working at WREK, I know that your CD is way more likely to get pulled off the shelf if it has a spine that looks interesting. That’s at least part of the idea.”

Thousandaire: ‘Fine’ b/w ‘Old Sam’ recorded live at C.J. Ridings’ home studio


Thousandaire is sharing a pair of videos from a new digital 7-inch EP, featuring the songs “Fine” b/w “Old Sam.”

In July 2020, singer and guitar player Andrew Wiggins (Caesium Mine, ex-HAWKS, Wymyns Prysyn, Uniform, Blame Game), drummer Adam Weisberg (Rose Hotel, True Blossom), and bass player Chad LeBlanc (ex-Iron Jayne and Vegan Coke) convened to record these takes at C.J. Ridings‘ (BIG JESUS) home studio in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Each video was shot and edited by the SuperCanoe crew.

A physical 7-inch featuring these songs may or may not appear at some point in the distant future via Colonel Records. At their current length, they’re a bit too long for a proper vinyl pressing. But these guys are wizards; keep an eye and an ear out for more.

In the meantime, press play above and below!


Read more about “Fine,” and check out Thousandaire’s self-titled debut album LP, which arrived June 12 via the Colonel.

Amy Rigby & Wreckless Eric: ‘Vote That Fucker Out’

A (not so) subtle new number from Amy Rigby and Wreckless Eric sums up what’s on pretty much every thinking American’s mind at the moment: “Vote That Fucker Out.”

The song is more of an empowered motivational anthem than it is a protest song per se. Call it what you will; with the 2020 presidential election looming on the horizon we all know who and what this song is about. And really, it’s all about common decency at this point. Rigby, however, eschews the obvious in such a way that her words can remain relevant come election time circa 2024, 2048, 2100—if humanity still exists. The point is: evil is timeless, and evil will always find a way to sabotage the Executive Office.

Like when John Doe and Exene Cervenka sang X’s “The New World”—“It was better before / Before they voted for what’s-his-name / This was supposed to be the new world”—a timeless song is forever in order when it comes to rising above the recurring nightmares of American politics.

When morale is low, a song like this provides a good bit of cathartic musical therapy, and with it comes a much needed bit of relief on the old heart valves. Still, the message is urgent. The republic, the environment, humanity, and a whole lot more are on the line. 

Beyond the message, both Rigby and Wreckless Eric are in excellent form here, belting in unison as they wield their voices and guitars like combat-ready machines that kill fascism. The fuzz on Wreckless Eric’s guitar draws out the nuances in Rigby’s voice for a psychedelic yet powerful and direct treatment of lyrics such as “I never want to see his stupid face again / I never want to hear his name. Except for January 2021 / When I yell shame shame shame. Goodbye.”

For the visual accompaniment, Rigby and Wreckless Eric craft a potent distillation of their mutual aesthetics. The flashing illustrations recall the cover painting featured on Eric’s 2015 album amERICa, adding color to this gloriously ramped-up expansion on the sentiments that Rigby delivered with her 2017 single, “The President Can’t Read.” 

The incoming administration may not be perfect, but this is America. No politician is perfect. However, when applying the basic principles of logic to the situation the solution is simple. We’ll all be a lot better off if we just vote that fucker out!

Warm Red reveals ‘Super Bowl,’ first single from ‘Decades of Breakfast’

Warm Red is (clockwise from left) Stephen Lewis, Tony Gary, Bryan Sherer, and Jacob Armando. Photo by Eric Brooks.

Press Play on “Super Bowl,” the latest single from Atlanta post-punk and noise rock outfit Warm Red.

“Super Bowl” is the first single to be released from the group’s forthcoming debut album, titled Decades Of Breakfast. The LP is due out in October via Atlanta punk label State Laughter.

Until then, check out “Super Bowl” on Spotify.