Best New Releases, Jan. 27: The Tubs, Meg Baird and more

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The Tubs

Just a little under a month into 2023 and the flood of great new music is starting to come rushing in. Today’s a pretty big day for new releases, including some albums we’d been looking forward to from the likes of Fucked Up and Deathprod, as well as some more under the radar gems, a stellar debut (and one from last week, technically—shhhhh), the return of a great contemporary singer/songwriter and more. Check out our picks for the best new albums of the week below.

best new releases the tubs
Trouble in Mind

The Tubs – Dead Meat

Welsh indie rock outfit Joanna Gruesome is the river from which a lot of great new bands have flowed in recent years, yielding a debut from Ex-Vöid last year featuring JG members Alanna McArdle and Owen Williams. And Williams has released a debut with his other band, The Tubs, which also features ex-JG guitarist George Nicholls. It’s also outstanding, a driving, ecstatic jangle-pop record brimming with catchy choruses, stunning vocal harmonies and pristine guitar tones throughout. At times the group leans slightly more toward post-punk on the jerky “Sniveller” or the buzzing “That’s Fine,” but their melodic sensibility never wavers, revealing Dead Meat as a consistently outstanding set of indie pop that establishes The Tubs as one of the best new bands of the year. – Jeff Terich

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp | Merchbar (vinyl)

Drag City

Meg Baird – Furling

Singer/songwriter Meg Baird has been a member of psychedelic folk outfit Espers and collaborated with members of Comets on Fire in Heron Oblivion, in addition to having released a handful of solo albums and a full-length collab with Mary Lattimore. The one constant is her gorgeous vocal talent, a mesmerizing anchor in her music whether in the context of a gothic permutation of English folk rock or swirled in hypnotic ambience. Furling, her fourth solo album, leans more toward the former, but with some mesmerizing, jazz-influenced arrangements awash in vibraphone, occasionally entering the space of cosmic Americana or even bolstered by a more ragged full-band arrangement in “Will You Follow Me Home?” But it’s all quite breathtaking from the first few notes of “Ashes, Ashes.” Just start there and be a passenger on a serene, otherworldly ride. (We’ll have more on this album next week.) – Jeff Terich

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp | Merchbar (vinyl)

Fucked Up One Day review

Fucked Up – One Day

Fucked Up are no strangers to a challenge, and their latest finds them taking on a project to make an album where each member completed their writing and recording in the span of just 24 hours. Which makes it a bit more concise and immediate than conceptual epics like Year of the Horse. In our review of the album, Ed Brown said “the record is a joyful exploration of adventure, renewal, and the importance of seizing the day—especially when you only have one.” In short, it rocks. -Jeff Terich

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp | Merchbar (vinyl)

best new releases primitive rage

Primitive Rage – Enemies Left to Crush

A scouring, smirking brutal mix of blackened hardcore that sounds like the soundtrack for being beaten bloody in a dark alley with a pipe. Not a single track overstays its welcome, including the album closer, clocking in at a spacious 11 minutes (more than half the length of the entire record). Precision cut to fit, Enemies is a sonic miasma, every harmony lingering behind spittle clenched teeth, and every guitar chord bled out by shredded fingers. For whatever reason however, as intense as it is, there’s a lingering pinpoint of gallows comedy behind it all, music so extreme that perhaps the only response is nervous laughter. – Brian Roesler

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp

best new releases Sightless Pit
Thrill Jockey

Sightless Pit – Lockstep Bloodwar

Sightless Pit, a collaboration between The Body’s Lee Buford and Full of Hell’s Dylan Walker (and formerly Kristin Hayter of Lingua Ignota), established themselves as something other than a metal band with the release of their 2020 debut album, Grave of a Dog. And with its follow-up, the duo delves further into the intersection of noise and beat-driven electronic music, incorporating techno, hip-hop and dark ambient elements into their dense array of static and distortion. It’s at times quite gorgeous, like on the duo’s collaboration with producer claire rousay on “False Epiphany,” but frequently explosive and overwhelming, as on a highlight such as “Morning of a Thousand Lights,” or tense and hypnotic on a moment like “Calcified Glass,” featuring the late Gangsta Boo. Lockstep Bloodwar is exciting in large part because it shows how heavy, extreme music can be translated to something other than more conventional metal sounds, but with artists like Buford and Walker, we should probably know better by now. – Jeff Terich

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp | Merchbar (vinyl)

The Drin Today My Friend
Future Shock

The Drin – Today My Friend You Drunk the Venom

If you haven’t heard any music in the last year from Dylan McCartney, you’re missing out on some of the best underground post-punk being made right now, whether as The Drin or with his bands Crime of Passing and The Serfs. But he’s also been prolific enough that there’s a lot to catch up on—like, for instance, his third The Drin album in a little over a year’s time. Today My Friend You Drunk the Venom increases both the urgency and fidelity just a little bit over last year’s Down River in the Distance and Engines Sing for the Pale Moon, still rooted in a kind of dubby permutation of vintage Factory Records post-punk, heavily rhythmic and coated in an eerie atmospheric gauze, but occasionally veering toward actual punk on the fuzzy, buzzy “Walk So Far.” Still, it’s in the strange layers and textures of slow burners like “Go Your Way Alone” and the skronky synthesizers of “Venom” that The Drin sets itself apart from rote revivalists, putting some necessary weirdness back into post-punk. – Jeff Terich

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp

Smalltown Supersound

Deathprod – Compositions

Deathprod’s Helge Sten specializes in abstract drones crafted from a series of homemade electronics, samplers and effects that he refers to as the “Audio Virus” (side note: how fucking cool is that?). His latest, Compositions, employs his electro pathogen in the service of more concise, intimate pieces. In our review of the album, we said, “There’s both intimacy and aggression on Compositions in equal measure, sometimes with just a hair’s breadth of difference between them.” Listen to this when you can give it the attention it warrants, and be soothed and unnerved all at once. – Jeff Terich

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp | Merchbar (vinyl)

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