Tag Archive: “Hardly Art Records”

Sometimes I think I’m always in a “Dafuq (WTF)” mode where I don’t know what’s going on. It happens that way occasionally, either in my personal life or working and attempting to spew out a few words now and again. maybe it would be easier if people simply kept their own opinions to themselves, but if that happened you probably wouldn’t be here reading what I have spewing out here here. I’ve tend to binge on films that I hadn’t had the chance to see while in the theater and get distracted.  Four movies that will be addressed at a different time because today, we have other things to focus on. There are some new albums that were released today. I didn’t have time to gift wrap them all for you but I grabbed onto a few.

I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone (Hardly Art) is Chastity Belt‘s third album. The Evergreen State band seems to have floated under the radar for some time. Yeah sure they’ll receive interview requests and you’ll find the four members that make up the band in countless articles online and in print. But the world is a fickle bitch when it comes to giving bands what they deserve, and Chastity Belt deserves so much once you listen to and dissect the new album. The group, made up of front woman, Julia Shapiro, on lead vocalist and guitarist,  lead guitarist Lydia Lund, bassist Annie Truscott, and drummer Gretchen Grimm. They’re competing on an un-leveled playing field where the boys tend to receive all the accolades and glory. But I digress. My point is to focus on I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone, a defining moment in the band’s career. These four ladies create songs that are both appealing and edgy. Musically they don’t spend unnecessary time trying to be something they’re not. Instead they capitalize on their strengths: utilizing guitars formidably against one another, never overshadowing one another, and adding rhythms that are addictive and never let up. The music always keeps your attention and that’s not always an easy task. The 10 tracks on the album range anywhere from over the 3 1/2 minute mark to hitting close to 6. But it’s the songwriting that hooks listeners in. Taking a look at the opening track alone you can get an idea of what makes Chastity Belt so fucking good. The band doesn’t force the song into a general direction, instead they let it glide along the current. It’s the same with Julia Shapiro’s vocals. She may not be the greatest vocalist on the planet but within the confines of Chastity Belt here, it’s majestic. Everything simply falls into place. After just one listen I fell in love with I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone.  Chastity Belt hits hard that hard in the songwriting department.


Chastity Belt: I Used To Spend So
Chastity Belt: I Used To Spend So

Where was I? Oh, in the thrall of some pop music before I threw on Gold Dime‘s new album Nerves (Fire Talk Records) the new album by Talk Normal’s Andrya Ambro. Knowing nothing of Ambro’s new project here, as soon as the first note hit I knew what I was in store for: some NYC art-rock that mingles noise throughout. The opening “Easy” draws from the art-rock / spoken word scene that came before Gold Dime. It draws around circular repetitive drum patterns where Ambro will howl now and again. At over 8-minutes long, I’m not certain where to leave off on it. All I know is I’m left confused. So I listen again. And again. Still confused. But I move on. “All We Have to be Thankful For” seems to offer a lot more and is a bit of a respite from the previous track. The repetitive four or five chords slowly drawled out are challenging enough if only for the simplicity of it all. Ambro builds around that with more spoken-word play, filtering in other backing vocals, found sounds, noise, etc. Gold Dime has its shining moments though as “Shut Up,” a noisy track with a semblance of unfettered direction is quite hypnotic. There’s enough noise surrounding it to keep hipsters in check and pop sensibility to grab my attention. There’s no doubt that Andrya Ambro is talented but Gold Dime’s Nerves sometimes come off as a self-gratuitous release of random noise with hints of greatness. If Gold Dime takes the time to edit some of that noise the results could possibly be fantastic.


A Week Late And A Dollar Short:

Sometimes things just…get lost. You could say that’s what happened to Pet Symmetry‘s latest album Visions (Polyvinyl). I’m not sure what happened to it but yeah, it vanished and then reappeared. The release came out last Friday but no matter, I already feel redeemed for taking a listen to it now. The Chicago 3-piece is made up of Evan Weiss (Into It. Over It.), Erik Czaja (Dowsing) and Marcus Nuccio (What Gives). Working together was a way for them to “goof off” but I’m not sure how much actual goofing off they were doing when they created the songs that compile the band’s debut long-player. The city and its surrounding area has been long known for being a hotbed of creative and talented musicians and listening to this release? You’d probably be as floored as I was with this spectacle-clad trio. Pop-Punk, Pop Rock, Pop-potpourri…whatever genre or sub-genre you’d want to classify them under, it just doesn’t matter. If this album doesn’t have you humming along almost immediately you’d probably need to check your pulse to see if you’re still alive or you may need to find a physician because you lack the brain power to understand how good Visions truly is. We’ll just leave it at that then. I think this is my favorite new band. If you disagree, then you’re probably an asshole. But don’t take my opinion, just listen to the album for yourself down below and judge for yourself.

Pet Symmetry: Visions

pet symmetry2


Chastity Belt:      Facebook // Twitter // Instagram
Pet Symmetry:   Facebook // Twitter // Instagram
Gold Dime:           Facebook // Twitter // Instagram


The One About How Womyn Rock

On this episode of Best Song Ever, recorded on the day of the worldwide Women’s Marches in protest to Donald Trump’s inauguration, Luke and Brian protest in the form of podcasting (protcast? protestcast?) and dedicate the episode to songs from women/women fronted bands.  They discuss how they’ve hunkered down in the bunker of the Doom Tomb and are stocking provisions to get through the next four years and Luke goes on a bit of a rant, ultimately pointing out how ridiculous Reince Priebus’ name is.  Other topics of conversation include Dr. Robotnik, Band and Boujee and how we really how women don’t spontaneously combust.

Every week Ghettoblaster feature writers (and dear cousins!) Brian LaBenne and Luke LaBenne bring 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.


Songs Played on The One About How Womyn Rock

The Courtneys – “Tour” from The Courtneys II out February 17th on Flying Nun Records

The Regrettes – “A Living Human Girl” from their debut album Feel Your Feeling Fool! out now on Warner Bros. Recrods

UV-TV – “Only Matters When” from their debut full length album Glass out March 10th on Deranged Records

Mai Lan – “Vampire” from her upcoming album due in 2017

Allison Crutchfield – “Dean’s Room” from Tourist in This Town out January 27th on Merge Records

Rebel Kind – “Just for Fools” from Just for Fools out now on Urinal Cake Records

Diet Cig – “Tummy Ache” from Swear I’m Good At This out April 7th on Frenchkiss Records

Dude York – “Tonight” from Sincerely out February 24th on Hardly Art Records

Since the year 2000, Ghettoblaster has been putting out a quarterly print magazine.  For Ghettoblast from the Past, we look back at the bands and artists that were showcased within these pages.

From Issue 34, Sensory Projects/Hardly Art Records Lost Animal by Travis Altman.

Also from Issue 34, Magic Bullet Records Ancient VVisdom by Jonathan Dick.  Photo by Devaki Knowles

Lost Animal-VVisdom

To subscribe to Ghettoblaster Magazine or to pick up this issue, head over to our In Print page.