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"MAPLE is an indie rock/electronic project created by Kris Watts from Denton, TX. Kris Watts: Guitar/Vox Nathan Fenner: Bass/Guitar/Vox Matt Farmer: Drums/Vox We all play keys sometimes. "
Rubber Gloves
March 26, 2022 7:20 PM
Virtual 4
March 26, 2022 7:20 PM
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Dark Thoughts
"""Dark Thoughts, one of the few pop-punk bands it’s OK for hardcore folks to like."" Dark Thoughts: Must Be Nice 12” (Stupid Bag) Dark Thoughts’ 3rd LP is out, and I think it’s their best one yet. If you heard the first two, this one is a little different, with less of a stylized, Ramones-influenced sound. There are very few bells and whistles (except for the literal bells on the climactic closing track), and an apparently simple formula: take some smart and heartfelt lyrics, find a 3 or 4-chord progression that goes along with their tone, and bash it out as power chords with Ramones-style drums playing at an appropriate tempo (mid-paced to super fast, depending on the tone). For most bands, that would be a fast track to a bunch of generic and boring songs, but for Dark Thoughts the minimal ornamentation highlights how great these songs are. The lyrics give me all the feels (as the kids were saying in the not-too-distant past), and every track has the fist-pumping, energetic and anthemic sound that makes Dark Thoughts one of the few pop-punk bands it’s OK for hardcore folks to like. The overall tone and vibe is similar to what I consider the peak period of Screeching Weasel, i.e. their run of LPs from My Brain Hurts through How to Make Enemies and Irritate People, but if you whittled those records down to the faster, darker tracks like “Hanging Around,” “The Science of Myth,” “Every Night,” etc. Like most of the individual tracks, the LP is short, but it's such a thrilling listen that I often play it a few times in a row, something I rarely do with other records. I’ve been playing Must Be Nice since the digital version first went online back in December, and it shows no signs of leaving the “current listening” pile any time soon. - Daniel Lupton, Sorry State Records"
Grupo Fantasma
"The nine-piece collective formed in 2000 in Austin, Texas consists of Jose Galeano (timbales, vocals), Kino Esparza (vocals, hand percussion), Beto Martinez (guitar), Greg Gonzalez (bass), John Speice (drums), Matthew “Sweet Lou” Holmes (congas), Gilbert Elorreaga (trumpet), Josh Levy (baritone saxophone) and Mark “Speedy” Gonzales (trombone). Grupo Fantasma has been praised as one of the most important independent acts in the Latin genre and has continually defied expectations to create one of the most unique musical voices to come out of the United States in the 21st century. In 2011, they garnered further acclaim by winning a Grammy (their second such nomination) for their self–produced release El Existential on Nat Geo Music which the Wall Street Journal called “Latin music both new and traditional…vibrant fusions that transcend easy classification.” The band’s incendiary live show, declared by NPR as “seamless whenever and wherever they’re on stage” has brought the band to major festivals and venues internationally including Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, North Sea Jazz Festival (Curacao and Rotterdam) and Lowlands in the Netherlands, Kennedy Center, London’s O2 Arena, Montreal Jazz Festival, WOMEX, WOMAD, Tempo Latino (France) as well as two tours to Kuwait and Iraq to entertain US troops and a recent tour in Pakistan and Qatar. Their diverse spectrum of devoted fans speaks to the ensemble’s universal appeal beyond just Latin or world music."