Heading full force into February, we're seeing the album release shows light up as people are getting encouraged to come out of their caves and into the warmth of local music. --- But to those who can't make it out in the middle of the terrible weather, there's still fine listening options online—or finding friends to dig you out.
Let's start online with the post-rock project Across The Snow, a solo effort from 17-year-old musician Jackson Harden. I gotta be honest, this sounds pretty damned good, the majority of it is instrumentals you might hear in the background of a film that's supposed to evoke feelings you normally suppress. The Valley was put together over the later half of 2013 with the help of engineer Aaron Nelson and musicians Tyler Christensen and Jessica Knight, and it's definitely worth your attention. You can download it for whatever you'd like to pay off Bandcamp.
While we're talking solo projects, next up is the debut album from John Lane, an acoustic performer out of Provo. Not much to write about this guy and his solo career at the moment, other than he gets around to shows in the U.C. His debut EP, Roads, is just three tracks and kinda gives you the jist of what his live shows will be like. You can purchase it for $5 off his Bandcamp page.
Moving along to alt-indie, this week we saw the release of an EP from SLC band The Wild War. The duo of Kevin Edwards and Dan Johnson have been pretty active with doing live shows, mostly at Kilby Court and The Shred Shed as opening acts, but they're damned fine musicians who have proven to hold their own. They released a single in November 2013 called “Love, Don't Say Goodnight” as a prelude to this EP release titled Valley Rain. For a four-track EP, it's quite good as it shows the quality you can get from Black Pyramid down in Provo, and it's just a great album to check out while The Wild War is on the rise. You can get it for $2 off their Bandcamp page.
Switching up to a slightly harder tone, we've got a brand-new album from a band called Scalps. Like most punk/metal bands, they have no social media, and we actually got wind of this one via the label Escape Goat Records. What we can tell you is that it's a five-piece barrage of sound that kicks all sorts of ass. The only things we could find from them was a self-titled 2012 split EP with Armpigs, which they repeated on a shorter EP in 2013. This debut full-length, titled Serenades of an Abomination, is fucking killer from start to finish, even with extended five minutes tracks like “Anti-Hero” and “It Reigns. It Pours.” You can download this interesting kick in the ass for whatever you feel like paying on the label's Bandcamp.
Moving into release shows, tonight we'll see not one, not two, not three, but four shows for you to choose from. The first one on the list is a split full-length from Vincent Draper (of The Dirty Thirty) and Charles Ellsworth, but I don't need to say much because it was written up in this week's issue of City Weekly by Music Editor Kolbie Stonehocker, which you can check out here. Just head over to The State Room to pick up a copy of their album Salt Lake City: A Love Story, and check out the show as they play with Crook & The Bluff. Tickets are just $10, the show starts at 9 p.m.
Down in Provo at Velour, you'll get to see the release show for rock band Regal Beast. A mix of Utah and Arizona bandmates, the band have been together for a couple years after the demise of other bands brought them together. These guys always combine high energy with a sense of professionalism: They come to a show to play and don't really dink around. If the samples of their debut album, Beastia Novus Rexus Trismegistus, is any indication, this is going to be a contender for best rock album of the year. You can get a copy at the Velour show as they play with Temples, Lydians and Eli Whitney. The show starts at 8 p.m. We don't have a ticket price, but just take $20 to be sure to have enough for entry and an album.
Going more to punk, tonight is also the release show for Jesus Christ & the Goddamns. If you don't care for the blasphemous name, that's all right: They probably don't care what you think. Unless you're thinking about buying their self-titled debut cassette on Chthonic Records. That's right, cassette! They'll be playing ... well, a private show, somewhere around 1000 East and 1000 South, along with The Pentagraham Crackers, Chris Bjornn and Jawwzz!! If you can't find that awesome show, you can always download the album off Bandcamp for free!
And finally, that brings us around to Bar Deluxe and the release show for Bombshell Academy! The six-piece ska/punk band have been around for a couple years now; little hints of No Doubt, Mighty Mighty Bosstones and The Urge can be heard throughout their sound. The group (seen above, courtesy of their Facebook, photo by Vladmir Chopine) have made themselves into a powerhouse live act that if you don't find yourself at least bouncing to, there's something dead in your spine. They've been hard at work the past few months cranking out their official debut album, Skaholics Anonymous, which they already unleashed online for a mere $5, but now you can get physical copies! They'll be playing tonight at Bar Deluxe along with Sturgeon General and The Sinisters. The show kicks off at 9 p.m., and it's just $5 to get in.
Love music, head out, buy local.