On Our Radar: Solo Sam — “Happily Alone”

October 13, 2016 · Posted by Jessi Roti

When done the right way, musical fusions and genre-bending make for much more interesting, fresh tunes. Case in point, West Loop rapper Solo Sam and his standout track “Happily Alone.” With rhymes that glide along a simple guitar riff elevated only by Sam’s Busta Rhymes-esque control of his delivery, “Happily Alone” is both blues and […]

First Listen: The Avantist — ‘AVANTIST’ LP

September 28, 2016 · Posted by Jessi Roti

The Avantist’s self-titled LP is a wonderfully furious journey through one hell of a relationship (either with another person or with oneself). The 12 tracks, from “classics” like the surf-rocker “Tidalwave” and glossy, indie-tinged “Truth in Light” to stunning, soaring choruses on new compositions “Deep Red Love” and “Medi-Demi” show how the Arias brothers bit down […]

Beat Drun Juel – ‘Suppressor’

July 22, 2016 · Posted by Jessi Roti

Beat Drun Juel is one of Chicago’s best hard rock bands, if not the best.  The trio’s debut EP, Off Your Face was a haunting collection of meandering riffs and rumbling bass before singer Pasty Face’s knockout growl crashed against the busiest of drum cymbals. Suppressor picks up where Off Your Face left off and takes it to the dark […]

Video Premiere: Courtney – “Girl”

May 18, 2016 · Posted by Jessi Roti

Chicago’s own grunge-pop trio, Courtney is releasing their debut album. Not just any kind of album, but a “valbum” (or visual album) as the band so lovingly referred to their work via Facebook. Slowly rolling out their debut LP through performance videos, Courtney showcases sticky, ’90s-tinged melodies without any frills or gimmicks. On the band’s latest “Girl,” […]

First Listen: Twin Peaks – ‘Down In Heaven’

May 12, 2016 · Posted by Jessi Roti

Twin Peaks have come a long way (in a very short time) from the “Stand in the Sand.”  The dude’s third LP, Down in Heaven (Grand Jury) is all but completely scrubbed of that fuzzy, relentless head-banging that stole everyone’s hearts on 2013’s Sunken. Lyrically, they’re already leaps and bounds beyond 2014’s Wild Onion and […]

First Listen: Flesh Panthers – ‘Willows Weep’

May 9, 2016 · Posted by Jessi Roti

Ryan, vocalist/guitarist of Flesh Panthers was kind enough to share the band’s new album with us ahead of its release on Maximum Pelt to celebrate the band’s new single, “Last I Heard.”  Don’t let the name fool you, Willows Weep (Maximum Pelt) is not a sad, introspective, singer/songwriter album. Flesh Panthers haven’t gotten to that […]

Glyders – ‘DIM’

March 20, 2016 · Posted by Jessi Roti

Has Dumpster Tapes ever steered us wrong? The local label’s latest release comes from Glyders, whose blend of ’60s pop and garage blues makes you feel like you’re peeking in on a Kinks jam session you’re not supposed to. DIM marks the band’s third release and a clearer, more concise take on their sound. If 2015’s […]

The Rapper Chicks – ‘Shitty Punk Album’

March 20, 2016 · Posted by Jessi Roti

The Rapper Chicks need to be on your radar, stat. The chicks, Psalm One a.k.a. Hologram Kizzie, Angelenah fka Angel Davanport, Ill-Esha, and WhoIsFluffy? are bringing women -particularly strong, black women in the male-dominated, rap game to the forefront, claiming their space, and finally taking what’s theirs. As it’s rhymed effortlessly on “Karma,” “I’ma sit […]

Ganser – ‘Audrey’

March 19, 2016 · Posted by Jessi Roti

Since Ganser released Less, the band’s debut EP in 2015, the now-quartet have been keeping busy and inspired. First with the noisy, Cramps-like searing “Smelling Salts,” and now with their latest offering, Audrey. The three-track, EP/cassette keeps all the promises made and fulfills the potential Less and “Smelling Salts” showed, but hones in on the band’s identity and direction. Audrey showcases a […]

First Listen: Olivia Grace – ‘Heart Shaped Bruises’ EP

January 24, 2016 · Posted by Jessi Roti

Indie-pop, singer-songwriter Olivia Grace was kind enough to send us an advanced stream of her new EP, Heart Shaped Bruises for this installment of “First Listen.” Check out the previously released “Let it Fall” (not included on the new EP) Chicago-by way of-Baltimore, MD-based singer/songwriter Olivia Grace hints at something much bigger on her upcoming-EP, Heart […]