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Music Blog

Local Releases: Going Under The Radar!

by Gavin Sheehan
- Posted // 2012-10-19 - I've got a lot of under-the-radar releases to talk about today that didn't get the attention they deserved over the past month. First up is the brand-new album (of sorts) from Broken Spells, the three-piece garage-punk band who used to shack up in Provo and then relocated to Salt Lake City. The group have been going strong the past three years; they've had random tracks and recordings bubble up online, but nothing solid until a couple of weeks ago when they put out a collection of tracks on Bandcamp. They're not calling it an album, just a “batch of recordings,” but it's as close to a formal release they've made since forming. You can download the self-titled venture for $7.
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Next up is the debut release from the noise-punk duo Jawwzz. The band (seen above, courtesy of the Facebook) formed earlier this year, playing underground gigs and house shows and earning a quick following around the city, They've still only got about eight months under their belts as a band, but that hasn't stopped them from putting out their first full-length album titled Chumzz. You can download it off Bandcamp for just $5 -- do so quickly, so you can rock out to them before they go on a short Western U.S. tour in November.
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Moving along to a little more acoustic pop/rock, last month also saw the release of the debut album from Red & Yellow. There's not a lot online about these guys, not even a Facebook page for them that we could find; my best guess is that we're looking at two high school kids who decided to put something together on their own with Garage Band. In any case, the duo put together this full-length album, Classroom Kings, and quietly released it onto Bandcamp for just $5. It's very pop and upbeat, which isn't a bad thing, but very fitting for a younger group coming up. It's worth at least listening to.
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Moving to harder rock, last month also saw the debut album from Irun Toh. The band is essentially the one-man project by SLC musician/producer TJ Smith, who recorded most of the album by himself along with help from guest musicians Jake McQueen and Mike Schmidt. There isn't a lot to say about this project beyond that Smith clearly hasn't been playing any live shows and the entire band is studio-only. He put together this debut full-length radio-rock-sounding album called Where Reality Sleeps, which you can purchase for $5 off his Bandcamp. Some may like it, but at the moment, I'd rather see results with a full band.
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Next up is a brand-new release from hip-hop producer extraordinaire Linus Stubbs. In fact, as I write this and think about the releases out this year, very few have been put out without some kind of track being graced on some level with Stubbs's brand of beats and compositions. He has definitely become the go-to guy in Utah for unique and head-nodding beats, which is what makes this all-instrumental album titled Incandescent so special -- 20 beats for you to listen to in the background as a music lover, and, of course, create your own songs to. The only catch about that is the performance aspect: You need to ask Stubbs' permission before using the work yourself. But if you're just into hearing to instrumental tracks, this is a must-listen. You can download it for a “name your price” tag off his Bandcamp page.
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And finally, getting into October releases, I've got one from a relatively new act called Chalk. This is one of those bands where people have mentioned a few things here and there, but you've never seen them yourself so you can't believe the hype yet. As far as I can tell, there have been no live shows from the band in formal venues, so I really don't know how they stack up. The band have only been together a few months and already just released their debut EP, Hex Key, on their Bandcamp page. It's worth at least a listen.
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As one last little addition, I've already talked about Gaza's latest album, No Absolutes In Human Suffering, when it came out a few months ago. But tonight will mark the vinyl release at the brand-new Shred Shed location on Exchange Place. You might wanna go check this show out and pick up some vinyl!
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Love music, head out, buy local!
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