Named after Built to Spill song of the same name, CtZ is a Boston blog run by Justin Cole
This band might only be a three piece, but their sound is thick. Nearly everything about 2015’s Dying exists in the low end: the murky bass lines, the rumbling crawl of the toms, the baritone moan of vocalist Sean Gilston. Their songs are covered in scuzzy pop sensibilities and then submerged in a swamp of dense riffs.
Favorite Track- Wet
Horse Jumper Of Love
These guys were a recent discovery; they immediately won me over with their sullen, downtempo jams. Picture a dimly lit basement show in the dead of winter, every head in the room nodding in transfixed unison and singing along to these melancholic but irresistibly catchy tunes.
Favorite Track- Spaceman
This Western Massachusetts crew combine disorienting shoegaze fuzz with a crushing punk rhythm section. On the Galaxies EP, Gretchen Wilson’s mesmerizing vocals are dripping in reverb, floating high above the mix. Their debut full-length, Everywhere Else, comes out on 8/11 via No Idea records, with a release show happening that night at Great Scott in Allston.
Favorite Track- Coastal
Ghosts of Sailors at Sea
Math-rock voyagers Ghosts of Sailors at Sea have been crafting their intricate storm of winding riffs and shifting time signatures for just over three years now. In that time they’ve released two nautically themed LP’s, a split EP, and a 7”, while honing their ferocious and engaging live show. A must listen for fans of instrumental music.
Favorite Track- Mary Celeste
Infinity Girl had one of my all time favorite local releases with 2012’s Just Like Lovers, five tracks drenched in feedback, reverb, and swirling guitar distortion. For last year’s Harm, the band made a conscious effort to dial back some of their shoegazer tendencies; unearthing dirtier sounding guitars and the delicate whisper of vocalist Nolan Eley. The driving rhythm section of Mitchell Stewart and Sebastian Modak is more direct than ever in the reduced atmosphere. Overall, Harm boasts a mature and refined dynamic, a welcome change of pace for Infinity Girl.
Favorite track on Harm- Not Man
Favorite track on Just Like Lovers – Taking Nothing
This is stripped down bedroom pop at its finest. On Four, the minimal approach to the arrangements leave just the right amounts of space. Lira Mondal’s airy vocals linger around the drums, while Caufield Schnugg’s sparse guitars induce a meandering trance.
Favorite track- Me and Mine
The Ghost of Electricity
Songwriter Ray McNamara’s Bones EP is a cerebral exploration of the sounds of bones and car parts, realized through ramshackle percussion and subtle polyrhythms. Eerie noise textures and fractured guitars fill out the rest of the space. At the forefront is Ray McNamara’s own subdued voice, calmly musing over the jarring cacophony. Every sound on Bones has been meticulously constructed and experimented on; it’s an otherworldly look into what we know as “pop” music.
Favorite track- The Great Tower
An immensely hazy take on black-metal that glows in dream-pop sunshine. Their debut, Air, is a pummeling cloud of sound that bolsters a bright and optimistic feeling from front to back. The style of this band might be firmly rooted in metal, but there is no denying the originality and progressiveness present here.
Favorite track- Resin
On a Different Note:
- Post-Independence Marathon – New Music from Mass, Philly, New York, Virginia
- Best New Music From Boston and New England of 2016 – Songs 81-100
- Recap: Best New Music From Boston and New England of 2017 – Songs 1-50
- Listomania – Boston/Mass Record Labels
- Upcoming Boston Shows – July 2018: Pt 2