In “Do You” and “Rainy Taxi,” the band addresses relationships, leaving, and moving on. Most of the songs are verse/chorus/verse and there are opportunities for head-bobbing and foot-tapping, especially in the album’s closing track “New York Kiss.” The song in particular stuck out to me as an old school attempt to capture a New York nightlife full of kisses on dirty side streets and all-night binges. However in the end, Daniel realizes the streetlamps fade and it just becomes a distant memory.
Merge is a roll this year. The latest release from the label is Spider Bags‘ Frozen Letter. As the band’s fourth release, it is a strong one. They are not just a punk band. Lyrically, the songs express familiar emotions like rebellion, angst, and discomfort and melodically speaking, they adapt a variety of genres. It also has one of the best opening tracks of the year.
While many of their songs are hard/fast/strong, they utilize ska melodies (in “Japanese Vacation”) and arena rock guitar solos (in “Chem Trails”). “Coffin Car” has a simple guitar and echoing voice of a 1960s blues song. “We Got Problems” seems influenced by Jack White. “Walking Bubble,” the second to last track, is an acoustic song influenced by country melodies (and religious motifs).
Overall, the album hits the mark on a variety of points while maintaining a bit of disorder. This band is poised to enter the field of throwback punk bands (like Japandroids, PUP and Joyce Manor) and come out on top.
Recommended Tracks: “Back With You Again in the World” (the opening track), “Japanese Vacation,” and “Summer of 79” (cowbell!)
The Rosebuds‘ Sand + Silence is the latest release from this North Carolina-based band. I was a big fan of their 2003 release Rosebuds Make Out and 2008 release Like Life. The Rosebuds started as a project of Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp, who were dating at the time. The two broke up years ago and the band ventured on.