Portland, ME

Monday, June 6, 2011

Captain Hollow - Debut EP

"We originally wrote and recorded these 6 songs in the attic of my mother's house in February 2010. At this time we were seventeen years old and we had just started Captain Hollow. After the original lineup fall apart a bit, our wonderful friend Anthony Bitetti stepped in to record bass and guitar parts and backup vocals. So, now about a year later we're finally putting this out and starting to play again. Enjoy. 
-ryan "
From the Capitan Hollow Bandcamp Site

When I was 17 I was not making music like this. The infrequent coordination and desperate attempts to remember basic structure changes were what marked my first full band experience. Not so with Capitan Hollow, these guys have just released an EP of six tightly written and preformed songs onto their bandcamp site for pay-what-you-want. They describe these recordings as "older material', which for me immediately begs the question; is their new material? and if so I need to hear it, it's that good.

Some other prominent members of Portland's scene seem to have been in on this band before most of us knew they were out there, the album artwork is credited to Jakob Battick and Antony Bitetti (from Good Kids Sprouting Horns fame) also appears on the EP to step in for a missing bassist while also writing and recording guitar work as well.  

Age aside this EP is just plain awesome, personally I discovered it towards the end of winter, a time at which I am notoriously on the internet way too often. What I heard got stuck in my head immediately and that was that, I can remember sitting on my balcony welcoming in the sparse rays of early spring sunlight, drinking a beer and listening to Chewelah and reading Dandelion Wine, needless to say it was beautiful. The band has announced that they are ready and willing to play shows around anywhere town and personally I'd love to get out see them, their music is reminiscent of old school screamo but with a much more well defined pop sensibility, which leaves the listener with a nearly flawless combination of serious and reverent song writing, angular and sometimes chaotic instrumentation with enough catchyness to keep the tune in your head until you can finally listen to it again.

Check this band out. It's definitely worth it.

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Booking Contact:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Red Medicine -- Ancient Cartography

          Having known about Red Medicine since their very first recordings is a blessing and a curse. On one hand I am glad to have seen their remarkable progression, but on the other hand because of this I think it's safe to say that I've been looking forward to this release for a very, very, very long time. The band includes...

Matt Houston - Guitar/Vocals 

Dan Smith - Guitar 

Andrew Wright - Bass 
Ed Hamaty - Drums 

          Red Medicine is also one of the best bands in the state, with a live show to match. Their debut album is entitled Ancient Cartography, it is both a chaotic and euphoric blend of post-punk, jazz, screamo and spoken word style vocals. Above everything else though, an active listener will be immediately struck by the overwhelming sense urgency which lies just below the surface of this record, something which is missing amongst the many formulaic "punk" bands out there. Dan Smith and Houston compliment each other perfectly, working in unison against the soft backdrop of bass and subtly off tempo drumming created by Wright and Hamaty.

              Ancient Cartography is expertly mixed and produced by the band's own Matt Houston, setting a high standard  of DIY excellence which proves that local bands need not rely on traditional studio recording practices which are far too exclusive and expensive. Like many true punk bands, Red Medicine is committed to the Do-It-Your-Self way of doing things, down to the minute details like CD packaging and label design. .This DIY philosophy even extends as far as releasing such a monumental effort for free online via the bands bandcamp page, and no I don't mean pay-what-you-want....I mean free.


             Red Medicine's live shows are legendary and every time I attend one it's always better than the last, these guys know how to drive a crowd up the walls, in the best possible way. Whether it's The Castle in Mexico, Maine or at Poland St. in Portland these guys always steal the show, if you have a chance to get out and see them then do. Seriously, I mean it.

Red Medicine belongs to Rough Draft Records, a Portland, ME based DIY label who's mission statement is as unrestricted as the music it represents:

"The main idea is to have something to write on the backs of demos for the various bands we’re in, and more importantly to establish some sort of central hub for the various friends of ours making music in our home, Maine."

Other bands on Rough Draft Records include:

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Glass Fingers -- Stranger (New Song)

Normally I wouldn't post on just one song but I really like this one.

Portland is pretty short on serious electronica talent, and I don't mean whoever DJ's at the Asylum on Saturday nights or whatever. I'm talking about legitimate, creative, innovative and most importantly expressive electronic music.

Glassfingers is that, and Jesse Gertz (the mind behind the music) has a new song and it's one of one of his best yet. Take a listen.

Glassfingers -- Stranger

Monday, March 21, 2011

Corrupt Government -- Demo 2011

I definitely needed to hear these tracks. Recently I've found myself sinking into new records from the likes of Radiohead or Explosions in the Sky, and while great in their own right I knew I was missing something from my musical diet. 

That thing was some serious, balls to the wall DIY hardcore and I thank Corrupt Government for giving me what I need. The band was formed in Saco, Maine in 2009 and although they are still recording music, a live appearance is doubtful as the band is now spread over New England. Out of nowhere  though they seem to have gotten together to record and master some tracks at Chump Change Recording in Portland, ME. 
The result is best described as energetic and satisfying; the band's deep riffy sound is accompanied by frantic percussion and delightfully jagged vocals which when blended together is guaranteed to make you want to punch someone in the face, I know I do. I wish this band was still around and playing shows, because this demo makes me long for a classic hardcore show. This new demo is available for free on bandcamp, take a listen and enjoy!

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Kuato -- Winter EP

This is some serious shit right here.

Kuato is an underground post-rock band from Halifax, Nova Scotia (where I temporarily reside), they have released two phenomenal EPs in the past couple years building towards what is sure to be a glorious full length release. Their latest release is called Winter EP, and indeed it is aptly named. The atmosphere created by this record evokes the bleak and dissonance of winter in Canada, but at the same time is the furthest thing from scattered or barren, actually the opposite. Kuato build tension masterfully and when they do release it, the sound lacks nothing. These guys know exactly what they're doing and they do it well.

The band sits atop the contemporary post-rock throne of Atlantic Canada, which is no easy thing. Merely existing in the shadow of famed post-punkers North of America necessitates some seriously original song crafting. The band is about to have a short but busy series of shows in Halifax in the next few days so if you can see them around, do. 
Winter EP is available for pay-what-you-want on bandcamp.

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