Monthly Listening: October 2021
By Albuquerque Green Room
Sometimes autumn asks for something softer; the whimsy of Norah Jones, the gentle embrace of jazz quartets. I wish I could find peace with that. Alternately, October makes me feel the urgency of an ending year—a glaring reminder what I haven’t yet accomplished! Today’s music compilation reflects that: urgency, punk, deliberate rhythmic slack. Ah, refreshing like the the fall breeze.
Today, we have two singles and three EPs for your casual listening: four ABQ-based and one Israel-based band. We love hearing from all of you—let us know if you heard anything new that blew your mind, or didn’t blow your mind!
1) All Thicc – Ugly Girl
Ugly Girl is this punk rock outfit’s first EP release and it’s one elbow-throwing, fire-fueling collection. “FYU," or, fuck you up, comes in fast and grating, a rowdy opener. “Frames” digs in its heels, a little nastier, with a blazing bassline to pull it along. “Untested rape kits hanging in frames,” and later, “taking advantage of the liquor I consume…No means no even spoken with booze.” With these first two tracks, along with the anthem “Ugly Girl,” All Thicc is fulfilling their role and duty of providing people beautiful, angry music with morals and ideals that are not centered on societal patriarchy in any way. “Flaunt whatcha got ‘cause your flaws make you hot / You’re an ugly girl,” is a winning lyric in the title track. “The Dead Song” is reminiscent, to me, of The Dead Milkmen—it’s a fun party-punk-story song. “Everyone I date and everyone I fuck is dead.”
2) Itami – Infernum
If you overhear a regular hardcore showgoer in conversation, you might notice their overwhelming thirst for killer riffs. After their second EP release in less than a year and transforming from a scrappy-as-hell three-piece to a monstrous four-piece band, Itami is proving that they have much more than killer riffs that audience so desires. In “I Can Tell You About Pain,” Noah Secatero’s voice is all brute strength and passion; the admiration he has for the power of hardcore music is palpable. Under it all, drummer Tom Overholt is an engine, encouraging the band towards a practiced tightness; their talents collide, resulting in a tidal wave of sound. The undeniable talent and resourcefulness of this prolific band will continue to carry them towards success.
3) Fugitive Moods – “These Walls”
“These Walls” is the single off of Fugitive Moods's album coming up in early 2022. The track is textured, achieving resonant lows and shimmering high points. There’s a twinge of electronic, folk, and indie rock—all leaning towards a gospel-like tone. The single alone achieves a sort of performance because it puts pressure on itself to create an impactful journey for the listener. In relation to Collin Troy de Larrew’s personal life, which he shares as part of his artistic identity, it could be memorializing fighting for his two children during a recent difficult period of time. “We built all these walls little bit by bit / Our blood in the mortar / Brick by brick," is the sentiment the song opens with, indicating the soul ties people have to their home.
4) Borito – “Bad Dream” live for Audiotree.
Israel-based, indie rock Borito’s latest single “Bad Dream” is daydreamy, orchestrated looseness—“Should I stay in bed / ‘cause that’s what my bad dream said.” It's willowy, vibrant, and contains a welcome hint of lofi in the vein of Diet Cig. There’s something enchanting and warm about “Bad Dream,” like waking up from a bad dream and being soothed by something or someone you love until you feel better. The singer’s light and lithe voice compliments the loose and lower instruments behind her. The airy quality and round guitar tones whip up some nostalgia—the chorus has a ‘60s-like style, an all-around enticement to put it on repeat and add it to a playlist.
5) Miserable Things – 2021
This three-piece band that “writes songs about feeling bad” might be best described as shoegaze punk, and they're also a treasure trove of genre influence. “Werewolves” comes out like the Cramps with lazy, mocking vocals; the repetitive, driving guitar riff you're meant to rage out with, without too much thought. “We Don’t Care Who You Am,” a song title that's indicative of the band's personality, is where goth meets the Clash: a nearly-disco beat and jangly guitars. Some of the droning and repetition in this song is a good example to me of the difference between people who make music and people who have to make music; Miserable Things have to make music. “Don’t you know who I am?” vocalist Dave Jordan implores. “Sunflowers, Pt. I” is the doom I want! I definitely got lost in the closing few minutes because it was easy to let it wash over me and drown out the world. Perfect EP, there's a little something for everyone.