Tag Archive: “Exploding In Sound”

The One With the Clickies

Welcome back to Ghettoblaster Magazine’s Best Song Ever podcast!  Every week Ghettoblaster feature writers (and dear cousins!) Brian LaBenne and Luke LaBenne will be bringing you fresh new songs with the hopes of introducing you to some that you may consider to be the best song ever.  Both Brian and Luke have no idea what songs the other has picked, so what you are hearing is their genuine reaction to listening to the songs together.  Also, if you enjoy this episode, head to ITunes to subscribe and rate our podcast with the highest rating available to you.  Thanks for checking this out, we hope you enjoy the show!

Songs Played on “The One With the Clickies”

Washer- “Figure Me Out” from Here Comes Washer out now on Exploding in Sound

Leapling– “I Decide When it Begins” from Suspended Animation out now on Exploding in Sound

The Goon Sax – “Up to Anything” from Up to Anything out now on Chapter Music

El Perro Del Mar – “Ging Ging” from Kokoro out now on Ging Ging Recordings

Muncie Girls– “Gas Mark 4” from From Caplan to Belsize out now on Animal Style Records

Jordan Clausen – “Glory B” from Javelin out now on Nevado Music

Moonface and Siinai– “Ugly Flower Pretty Vase” from My Best Human Face out now on Jagjaguwar

Ugly Heroes – “Today Right Now” from Everything in Between out now on Mello Music Group

Special thanks to the band Congress for allowing us to use their song “Pond Fight” from their debut album Ugly Eye for our opening song!


Every Monday, Ghettoblaster is looking back to new albums released the previous week.  Below you’ll find several albums released on Friday June 10th that we believe are definitely worth a listen.

Leapling – Suspended Animation (Exploding In Sound)


The sophomore album of Brooklyn-based quartet, Leapling, is a dynamic blend of rock genres forming a fresh yet familiar sound. While the record is primarily guitar-driven power pop, the band works in orchestral elements, post-punk experimentation, and components of 90’s indie rock reminiscent of Pavement and Belle & Sebastian. This is an album about learning to “accept your limitations,” while staying true to yourself and your ambitions. Lead by Dan Arnes’ gentle yet powerful vocals, the record is technically intricate, yet appears effortlessly catchy. Great music transports it’s listener to a different time and place, and Suspended Animation accomplishes that flawlessly.


Band Of Horses – Why Are You Ok (Interscope)


The indie rock veterans’ fifth record is their best work since 2008’s Infinite Arms and one of the best guitar records of the year. Sometimes this band is stereotyped as being boring or depressing, but that claim cannot be made about this record. Why Are You Ok is full of new life and energy, with poppy guitar licks, and it’s fair share of intimate and engaging ballads. This record has an air of rebirth to it, with lyrics about moving forward while trying to accept, “the dark times of the past.” Whether you want a driving summer anthem or a pensive retrospective, this album has got you covered.


The Gotobeds – Blood//Sugar//Secs//Traffic (Sub Pop)


You can tell this band is a little quirky with an album title that parodies The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Blood Sugar Sex Magic. The second release of the Pittsburgh punk band is a bright, melodic rock record, with the perfect blend of goofiness and intelligence. With clever lyrics that don’t take themselves too seriously, songs go unexpected places and keep the listener constantly captivated. This is an album that is hard to turn off as each song sparks new interest.


Garbage – Strange Little Birds (Stunvolume)


The sixth album from Garbage is a departure from the sound they’re known for. While there are some energetic rock tunes, the album is intentionally the bands darkest and deepest work to date. With melancholy tracks about love and desire, with the occasional sliver of light and optimism spilling in. Distorted electronic elements blend seamlessly with their industrial rock style, adding to the eerie environment of the record. The band stays true to their 90’s heritage without coming across as dated. We are in the age of reboots and reunions, and this album is a perfect example of artists from the past finding new ways to remain fresh and relevant.

Other notable albums:

Throws – Throws

Diarrhea Planet – Turn To Gold

Leapling’s power-pop vision is an eclectic one and on new single “You Lemme Know,” the band sounds as you’ve never heard them before, buzzing with “solid gold punk” energy. Taking a page from the classic days of post-punk with a quick and chaotic surge, Leapling keep it simple, tight, and raw as they barrel through jangly splendor. Suspended Animation is due out June 10, 2016 via Exploding In Sound Records, and the band are excited to share their new single.

Leapling’s Dan Arnes elaborated about the song:

“This one came out of a lot of frustration with myself & listening to tons of Wire. It’s taking a lot of internal anger & personifying it. I like the device of personifying something you’re upset with about yourself as an external thing/force. Sometimes it feels a little more interesting to me to approach yourself in that way, especially when discussing frustration with your faults; a lot of my favorite songwriters are so great at doing just that (Lennon & Nilsson come to mind). This song originally had a long hypnotic, outro that had a Stereolab’s “Blue Milk” thing to it but decided it was way better to shorten it, as it felt nice to have a short, punky kind of burst of energy kind of song for the first time. I like the idea of that; Just 3 chords and under 2 minutes. Get in and get out. Solid gold punk.”

Arnes and co. are back with a new sound and energy, channeling the power-pop of the past while pushing modern pop’s boundaries with a raw simplicity. Suspended Animation is a new direction for the trio, an exploration of ideas without limits. This is power-pop for a new generation, an evolution as time keeps on tickin’.


06/18 – Brooklyn, NY @ Palisades (ALBUM RELEASE SHOW) w/ Two Inch Astronaut, Long Beard & Joy Again

06/30 – New York, NY @ The Studio at Webster Hall w/ Lithuania & Alexander F

Every Monday, Ghettoblaster is looking back to new albums released the previous week.  Below you’ll find several albums released on Friday March 4th that we believe are definitely worth a listen.

Nada Surf – You Know Who You Are (Barsuk)
Power pop veterans Nada Surf have returned with one of their finest albums to date.  Back in 2012, former Guided by Voices guitarist Doug Gillard joined Nada Surf, which seems to have resulted in a continued re-energizing of the band.  This batch of songs ranges from sweet ballads to 70s inspired folk rock and beyond, all sung to perfection by Matthew Caws.  If you’re in the mood for incredibly enjoyable pop songs with a nice edge then look no further.

Kendrick Lamar – untitled unmastered (Aftermath)
Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar released arguably one of the best hip hop albums of all time last year with To Pimp a Butterfly.  He continues on in 2016 with his new release untitled unmastered, eight tracks not used for To Pimp a Butterfly.  Kendrick has already performed several of these untitled tracks live, including on the final episode of the Colbert Report and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.  These are dense, complicated, jazz heavy songs with unpredictable, master class rapping by Lamar.  This may end up being the best hip hop release of 2016, which is impressive for something that could’ve easily just been a throwaway.

Muncie Girls – From Caplan to Belsize (Animal Style Records)
English trio Muncie Girls make incredibly catchy and lyrically challenging feminist pop-punk music.  Over the course of just 30 minutes they take on misogyny, praise suffragette heroes, and give a searing indictment of a culture that seems content to forget about it all.  Musically speaking this is a tight and technical set of songs with intricate verses and soaring choruses, which reminds us just how enjoyable really well executed pop-punk can be.  From Caplan to Belsize is a truly special debut album from a talent that will be fun to watch in the future.

Big Ups – Before a Million Universes (Exploding in Sound)
Big Ups thrive on creating a dichotomous relationship between verse and chorus.  Early on in Before a Million Universes their trend of stumbling through half-sung / half-mumbled verses to get to exploding choruses is well established, yet never becomes tiresome.  Over the course of the album the comparisons pile up from Fugazi to Pavement, Melvins to the Pixies, and many others in between.  Press play, turn it up to 11, and get ready to reminisce about the good old days when you were still young enough to throw down in a mosh pit.

Adult Books – Running from the Blows (Lolipop Records)
Running from the Blows is the sort of debut album that could only have been made by a band with a true and established point of view.  Adult Books have come out of the gate steeped in 80s post-punk and have brought forth an album that sounds like the product of a one night stand between New Order and the Ramones.  The highlights are many and sprinkled throughout, which make this album a truly wonderful discovery.

Thao and the Get Down Stay Down – A Man Alive (Ribbon Music)
Over the last several years Thao Nguyen has proven to be adept at writing off-kilter pop songs.  For A Man Alive Thao handed over the producing reins to Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, and the result is an even more fractured and muscular sound throughout.  Several styles are taken on, including an incredibly successful attempt at quasi-rapping by Thao on “Meticulous Bird”.  From start to finish, this is what expertly crafted quirky pop music can be at its highest form.

Wussy – Forever Sounds (Damnably)
Forever Sounds, the perfectly titled sixth studio album from Cincinnati band Wussy, presents an endlessly interesting collection of sounds.  These songs operate as mosaic pieces of sonic layers, combining country rock with heavy shoegaze, all while sounding like a transmission from outer space.  All that said, what really shines here is the often shimmering, always fascinating guitar work.  This could all combine for an overly dense listen, but Wussy ground their songs with expert songwriting that tell engaging stories.

Welcome, one and all, to the very first volume of Future Sounds.  Every few weeks we will bring you a playlist of singles from upcoming albums to excite and entice your ears.  Below you’ll find the entire playlist via Spotify, as well as Playlist Highlights, which are songs that really stand out as essential listening.  So please, sit back, relax and treat yourself to some seriously great music.

Playlist Highlights

PJ Harvey – The Wheel
Let it be known that I’m a sucker for hand claps, and there is some mighty fine hand clapping in this song.  PJ Harvey is back with her first new music since 2011, and if this is a sign of things to come then it was well worth the wait.  The guitars on this song really stick out as well as the sort of primitive, yet not at all simple feel.
from the album The Hope Six Demolition Project out 4/15/16 on Vagrant Records

Eric Bachmann – Mercy
Archers of Loaf and Crooked Fingers frontman is back once again as himself.  This song has such a HUGE sound with lovely doo-wop influenced backing vocals.  Lyrically it seems to be about unfollowing friends and family on Facebook, but still loving them despite huge differences.  Seriously in love with this song.
from the album Eric Bachmann out 3/23/16 on Merge

Parquet Courts – Dust
Just a straight up great rockin’ song complete with chaotic freak out. Also, one of the simplest and strangest choruses, which I’m absolutely in love with.  Dust is everywhere … Sweep!
from the album Human Performance out 4/8/16 on Rough Trade

Big Ups – Capitalized
It all begins with an ominous bass line and doesn’t let up over the course of two bone crunching minutes.  Big Ups is a band that I had not heard of before this month, yet their upcoming album grows more and more promising with each single they release ( see also: National Parks).
from the album Before a Million Universes out 3/4/16 on Exploding in Sound

Flume – Smoke and Retribution (feat. Vince Staples and Kucka)
Icy cold synths mixed with dripping hot verses from Vince Staples, one of the most promising young rappers today, makes for an incredible listen.  Vince Staples is what brought me to this song initially, but Flume’s production is what has me excited to hear the rest of his album when it comes out.  Turn this one up as loud as possible, trust me.
from the forthcoming album Skin via Mom + Pop

Whitney – No Woman
A lovely folk song with a bit of a country feel and great horns from members of the band Smith Westerns.  This is about as smooth a song as you’ll find.  I just want to throw this on and drive around in northern Michigan for forever.
from an upcoming release later in 2016 from Secretly Canadian

Full Playlist

Two Inch Astronaut are sharing “Personal Life,” the second single from their upcoming album of the same name, Personal Life. The J. Robbins produced record is the band’s follow up to the highly praised Foulbrood.

Personal Life continues the evolution of Two Inch Astronaut, picking up where they left off, but expanding and refining their style in the process. Hailing from Wheaton, Maryland, the trio continue to mature with each successive release, and they have grown leaps and bounds on their third full length, diving further into pop territory while remaining as unpredictable as ever. Shifting between jagged post-hardcore outbursts and dynamic indie pop ballads without hesitation, Two Inch Astronaut continue to prove themselves as an important band to watch and with an improved production value, Personal Life is a can’t miss record. The record is due out on February 5 via Exploding In Sound Records.

Boston indie-sludge stalwarts Kal Marks will released their new album Life Is Alright, Everybody Dies on February 19 via Exploding In Sound and Midnight Werewolf Records. The long awaited follow up to Life Is Murder, the band have taken a sunnier disposition… but only slightly. “Mankind,” the band’s new single off the upcoming record, is a shredder of a song that’s essentially about peace and love.”

Kal Marks’ Carl Shane (guitar/vocals) expanded on the themes of “Mankind”:

“I would say that ‘Mankind’ is a angry song about being kind to the rest of humanity. I don’t know if this makes any sense but when I sing (yell) this song I imagine it from the perspective of a motherly figure, who is pleading to rest of the world to you know… not devour her young. I don’t know how much time we have left on this Earth, because it seems like there’s new shit hitting the fan everyday, and I just hope humanity could pull together somehow.”

Kal Marks will be hitting the road for a U.S. tour in support of Life Is Alright, Everybody Dies with dates throughout January, February, and March with Two Inch Astronaut and Left & Right, including a run of “unofficial” shows during SXSW. If you’re interested in having the band play your showcase, party, house show, etc., please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Their tour will conclude with a homecoming show on April Fool’s Day (April 1) a fitting return for a band that offer a light hearted look at heavy subject matter.

01/16 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Waiting Room w/ Palm, Psychic Teens & Girl Dogs
01/28 – Cambridge, MA @ The Middle East w/ Nice Guys, Creaturos & Gravel
01/29 – Brooklyn, NY @ Aviv w/ Dead Tenants, Multicult, Lily Konigsberg (Palberta) & more
02/20 – Philadelphia, PA @ Everybody Hits w/ Bruise Bath, Snowplows & Pet
02/24 – Allston, MA @ Great Scott w/ LVL UP & Florist
03/03 – Brooklyn, NY @ Shea Stadium w/ Lushes, Patio & Lady Bones
03/04 – New Brunswick, NJ @ In the West
03/05 – Washington, DC @ Above The Bayou w/ BRNDA & Nice Breeze *
03/06 – Richmond, VA
03/07 – Harrisonburg, VA
03/08 – Raleigh-Durham, NC *
03/09 – Asheville, NC @ Odditorium *
03/10 – Nashville, TN @ Freakin Weekend Fest *
03/11 – Atlanta, GA @ Wonderoot *
03/12 – Talahasse, FL @ Wolfs Den w/ Yikes & Lingua Franca *
03/13 – New Orleans, LA @ Sisters In Christ w/ Woozy & Melters *
03/14 – Lafayette, LA *
03/15 – Houston, TX *
03/16-19 – Austin, TX (SXSW)
03/20 – Denton, TX @ Gatsbys Mansion +
03/21 – Fayetteville, AR @ Backspace +
03/22 – Little Rock, AR +
03/23 – Murray, KY @ Terrapin Station +
03/24 – Louisville, KY @ Kaiju Bar +
03/25 – Chicago, IL @ Subterranean Downstairs w/ Yeesh & Longface +
03/26 – Cincinatti, OH @ Northside Yacht Club +
03/27 – Columbus, OH @ Tree Bar +
03/28 – Pittsburgh, PA +
03/29 – Allentown, PA +
03/30 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brendas w/ Blue Smiley +
03/31 – New Haven, CT @ Cafe 9 w/ Lea, Bilge Rat & more +
04/01 – Allston, MA @ O’Briens w/ Lady Bones & Sneeze +

* w/ Two Inch Astronaut
+ w/ Left & Right

Brooklyn’s Washer are sharing “Got Drunk And Ate The Sun,” the third single from the duo’s long awaited full length debut, Here Comes Washer. The record is due out on January 22 via Exploding In Sound Records.

01/22 – Brooklyn, NY @ Palisades w/ Stove, Lost Boy ? & Yazan (ALBUM RELEASE SHOW)

Brooklyn-via Boston singer/songwriter Soft Fangs will release his new album The Light on February 19 via Exploding In Sound and Disposable America Records. The full-length debut from John Lutkevich was recorded in the attic of his childhood home in the suburbs of Massachusetts. The band premiered “The Air,” the album’s first single.

Soft Fangs aka Lutkevich shared some insight into the song, “I wanted to write a song about someone jumping off a bridge, both in the metaphysical and literal sense.  The air represents the space between thoughts and actions, where everything is indeterminate. In my opinion, it’s the moment that occurs right before death and right before enormous creative discovery”

Tallahassee punk trio Ex-Breathers are getting ready to release their latest full length, Past Tense on October 23 via Exploding In Sound / Hex Records. The band are excited to share the album’s second single, the brutal and chaotic “Car,” together with their upcoming tour dates.

Past Tense finds Ex-Breathers shifting their punk influences into an entirely new direction moving further from the hardcore of Exbx and deeper into the post-harcore realm. Make no mistake though, Ex-Breathers haven’t abandoned their heaviness in the slightest. Their new record, produced by the in-demand Justin Pizzoferrato (Speedy Ortiz, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr, Krill), has found the band embracing experimentation and fleshing out their ever changing sound in all directions, combining influences from Fugazi, Minutemen, Unwound, and Nomeansno into a new era of nuanced and impossibly tight post-harcore ferociousness. It’s impossible to pigeonhole the band into one tidy description. Ex-Breathers have decimated all expectations and created one of the year’s most intelligent punk records.

Stereogum premiered “Car” saying, “this new incarnation of Ex-Breathers finds them plunging to new depths with longer songs that unlatch in movements. “Car” transpires a series of change-ups like the choppy tide, its longer run time pulling you under and keeping you there.”

10/29 – Tallahassee, FL @ Club Downunder (Album Release Show) w/ Woozy & Crocodiles

11/01 – Gainesville, FL @ The Fest

11/02 – Nashville, TN @ Stone Fox *

11/03 – Bloomington, IN @ Fuck What You Heard House *

11/04 – Chicago, IL @ Subterranean Downstairs *

11/05 – Milwaukee, WI * 11/06 – Minneapolis @ Pork Avenue *

11/07 – Iowa City, IA @ Trumpet Blossom Cafe *

11/08 – Omaha, NE @ O’leaver’s Pub *

11/09 – Denver, CO @ Bar Bar *

11/10 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Diabolical Records *

11/11 – Boise, ID @ Android House *

11/12 – Portland, OR @ High Water Mark *

11/13 – Seattle, WA @ Victory Lounge *

11/14 – Bellingham, WA @ Makeshift Project *

11/15 – Olympia, WA * 11/16 – Corvallis, OR @ Interzone *

11/17 – San Francisco, CA * 11/18 – Oakland, CA *

11/19 – Santa Barbara, CA @ FUNZONE *

11/20 – Indio, CA @ ¡Casa de Alvarez! *

11/21 – Tempe, AZ @ Yucca Tap Room *

11/22 – El Paso, TX @ Warzawa *

11/23 – Denton, TX @ Gatsby’s Mansion *

11/24 – New Orleans, LA @ Sisters In Christ *

11/25 – Birmingham, AL *

* with Gnarwhal