Don't miss metal bands All that Remains and ATTILA with special guest Sleep Signals on March 20th at The Depot! Doors: 5:30pm. All Ages Event.
For Los Angeles’ The Black Queen, the depths of isolation and loss have always functioned as a gateway to being born anew. Much has transpired since the band released their cold, cutting debut album Fever Daydream (a record that Revolver described as “a haunting exploration of the darker side of pop music”). But throughout it all, the trio of Greg Puciato (former frontman of the now-defunct The Dillinger Escape Plan), Joshua Eustis (of Telefon Tel Aviv, Puscifer, and Nine Inch Nails), and Steven Alexander Ryan (technician for Nine Inch Nails, Kesha, and A Perfect Circle) have emerged as triumphant and intense as ever, documenting their journey via the synth-streaked industrial anthems of their sophomore release, Infinite Games.
Of all the breakups in Mike Krol’s songs, the most harrowing story is about his breakup with music.
In 2015, coming off of his best record yet and the ensuing world tour, Krol found himself in the midst of a full-blown existential crisis. He’d invested everything to create the rock-and-roll life he’d always wanted, but he wasn’t sure the life wanted him back.
Power Chords , Krol’s new Merge release, picks up where 2015’s Turkey left off. It traces Krol’s journey back to punk rock, harnessing both the guitar technique and the musical redemption referenced in its title. To rediscover the power in those chords, Krol recorded for two-plus years in three separate locations (Nashville, Los Angeles, and Krol’s native Wisconsin). The record opens in a howling maelstrom of feedback: welcome to Krol’s crucible. After a stage-setting spoken-word intro (“I used to never understand the blues, until the night I met you. And every day since, I’ve gotten better at guitar”), we find ourselves back in familiar Krol territory—aggressive and assertive, scratchy and raw, catchy as hell—but something has changed. The sounds have a new density—and so do the stories. Krol’s lyrics have always walked a fine line between self-acceptance and self-destruction, but throughout Power Chords , they reveal a new sense of self-awareness. “Without a little drama I grow bored and sick of all my days,” he sings on “Little Drama,” and it’s just one revelatory moment on a record full of them.
"These dreams are more than paper things," sings Matt Quinn on Mt. Joy's infectious folk-rocker "Astrovan," a warm, yearning bit of road-trip philosophy that posits the existence of a Deadhead Jesus cruising the dusty highways of the countryside, nursing a roach on his way to only He knows where. It's an auspicious line from a band predicated on the revival of teenage dreams.
Mt. Joy started off as a rekindling of shared musical ambitions between Philadelphia high school friends Matt Quinn (vocals, guitar) and Sam Cooper (guitar). Reunited in Los Angeles thanks to the ebbs and flows of adult life, the pair met multi-instrumentalist Michael Byrnes through a Craigslist ad. They named themselves Mt. Joy as an ode to a mountain in Valley Forge National Park near Sam's childhood home, and together, with Byrnes' roommate Caleb Nelson producing, they recorded three songs and sent them out into the world, hoping for the best. "I knew I still wanted to write songs, but the realities of life made that dream seem pretty impossible," Quinn says.