In the six years since the release of their demo 7″, Big Eyes has gone from being a scrappy pop-punk band to being an act whose music really reflects the Cheap Trick song from which they take their name. With the release of their third LP, Stake My Claim, the former trio — now quartet — returns to Don Giovanni Records, and owes just as much to classic rock as it does the punk scene from which the band first came. Hearing the opening dual guitars on the title track, one’s instantly hooked.
And while even the band’s first single had songs like “You Ain’t the Only One” aiming for the back of the clubs, Stake My Claim has cuts like “Cheerleader” that blast clear to the rafters of an arena. “Leave This Town” sees frontwoman Kait Eldridge’s voice the clearest and strongest it’s ever been, and if album closer “Alls I Know” doesn’t leave you wanting more, you’re probably dead inside.
Read the full interview at Modern Vinyl. Published 9/20/16
Black Wine‘s new album, Hollow Earth, doesn’t come out on Don Giovanni until next Tuesday, but you can stream it right now. Which you should do. They’re less abrasive than Hunchback was, but not as poppy as the Ergs, either. They’re this happy medium somewhere in the middle, and Black Wine just always seems to scratch an itch I never knew I had.
Listening to Black Wine usually results in me binging on Superchunk and Husker Du albums for a day or two afterward, because they’re part of this very specific style of music that has very few practitioners. Infectious and catchy, but just discordant enough to keep them interesting. It’s not boozy, stupid music, but neither is it pretentious or high-minded. It’s fucking fun, and I feel the more I talk about them, the more I need to just shut up and let you listen for yourself, so that you’ll go pre-order it from Don Giovanni.
I find it appropriate that Don Giovanni announced that they’ll be releasing the self-titled debut 7-inch from Nuclear Santa Claust. The band – described as “Ramones and Spits influenced punk that is paranoid as hell” – was name-checked in the thank you’s to the new Night Birds album, and I’d planned on searching them out later this week. Here they are, just dropping right in my lap.
The description’s pretty appropriate, but like a lot of the bands coming out of the New Jersey / New York area right now, Nuclear Santa Claust play their power-pop-punk with a definite hardcore edge. There’s some power and low end to everything. It’s rock ‘n’ roll, not modern rock radio friendly pablum. Stream and download it for free below. If you need more, there’s a live version of “Space Case 216” available on their Facebook page.
Byrds of Paradise
Byrds of Paradise have absolutely nothing in common with either the Roger McGuinn fronted ’60s country rock act the Byrds, nor the Timothy Busfield program the Byrds of Paradise that also featured a young Jennifer Love Hewitt and Seth Green. I know this because I just spent an hour and a half trying to find a witty way to tie either of those “birds with a ‘y'” into this whole review.
According to the press release that I got from their publicist, the Big Eyes Demo 7-inch we reviewed the other day is now sold out. It seems that it’s still in the Evil Weevil store, but you might want to hop on that with haste, because their new single, “Why Can’t I” b/w “Your Lies,” comes out January 18 via Don Giovanni.
We already mentioned all this in the review, so you might ask as to why we’re mentioning it again this week. Two reasons: first, because the full-length has been pushed back until May, rather than February, as we previously reported. Secondly, they’ve released the a-side to the new single, and you can download it below. It’s fun – there are background “woo”s. It’s kind of punk doo-wop. Share and enjoy.
MP3: Big Eyes, “Why Can’t I”
Earlier this year, I tried to book Black Wine to play a show at the Replay. It never happened, for various reasons all beyond my control, and that just sucks. I’ve never seen the Ergs!, For Science, or Hunchback, but I was hoping Black Wine, which features former members of all three, would be my way of making up for that.
As it is, I’m making do with listening to the band’s recording, which until this point has consisted solely of a self-titled LP on Don Giovanni and an Art of the Underground single. Thankfully, they just announced that the band’s next release will be the Dark Energy 7-inch on Don Giovanni in December. The label says that the EP “features one song by each band member.” Listen to one of those songs, “Pick At Pieces,” below.
MP3: Black Wine, “Pick At Pieces”