Essential Tracks This Week: Boris & Uniform, Shady Bug and more

Avatar photo
Uniform and Boris

It’s always nice when an Essential Tracks roundup happens to line up in perfect symmetry with a Bandcamp Friday. Because all these tracks are available for the downloading, pre-ordering, whatever you need to do to get that library updated. And this week we’ve got some good ones: An all-star underground metal collab, the return of some noise icons, an MVP emcee and more. Enjoy this week’s best new songs.

Uniform & Boris – “You Are the Beginning”

Boris and Uniform have each released their share of outstanding collaborative albums in addition to having strong catalogs on their own, so it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that the two bands sound even stronger when they come together. As it turns out, the former’s soaring, psychedelic stoner metal and the latter’s industrial-hardcore chug are a perfect pairing, “You Are the Beginning” fitting seamlessly into either band’s catalog while showcasing the best of what both have to offer. They also complement each other well, Uniform bringing a directness to Boris’ freakout sensibility while Boris pushes Uniform toward weirder, wilder, more brazenly rock ‘n’ roll sounds. I love everything about this.

From Bright New Disease, out June 16 via Sacred Bones

Shady Bug – “Lizard”

The epic closer from Shady Bug’s upcoming EP, What’s the Use?, is a song about letting go of the past—of shedding your skin, as vocalist/songwriter Hannah Rainey said in a statement about it. Musically, however, it’s about adding on more and more until there’s little negative space left in the frame. “Lizard” gradually builds up from jangly guitars and a breezy rhythm into a richer, progressive indie rock song that seems to extend its reach with each passing minute, hitting a powerful climax in its final two minutes, as a series of guitar-riff repetitions gives way to a cathartic explosion of fuzz. Perhaps it’s an old trick, but Shady Bug still know how to pull it off with as much impact as possible.

From What’s the Use?, out June 30 via Exploding in Sound

billy woods & Kenny Segal – “Soft Landing”

It’s not that often that either billy woods or Armand Hammer release a single in advance of an album. Yet before the arrival of Maps, woods and collaborator/producer Kenny Segal have offered not one but two, the latest being the hazy air-travel daydream “Soft Landing.” Kenny Segal’s production is deceptively dreamy and pleasant as woods is left alone with his thoughts, some of them heavy (“free political dissidents from they cages/But leave ’em open/We got lists of names, pages and pages“), some of them surreal and playful (“My daily routine narrated by an Attenborough“). It hits that unique billy woods sweet spot between cutting truths and out-of-body experience—with a window seat.

From Maps, out now via Backwoodz

Mammatus – “Expanding Majesty”

Well, 15 minutes of riffs is certainly one way to open your new album. California-based psych band Mammatus seem to always be reaching a little bit higher, pushing a little bit farther in pursuit of grand and epic sounds, and on that front, “Expanding Majesty” more than lives up to its name. Kicking off their new album of the same name, the epic psych rocker channels similarly soaring sounds as those of bands like Elder, all the while tapping into the exploratory synth-based sounds of early krautrock and kosmische. If you’re looking for a badass rocker, you’ll definitely find it here, but beyond that, there’s a whole spectrum of hypnotic atmosphere to be lost in. Let the sound guide you.

From Expanding Majesty, out June 23 via Silver Current

Wolf Eyes – “My Whole Life”

The scope of sounds that Michigan noise legends Wolf Eyes have released over the years comprises everything from haunting and minimal ambient pieces to speaker-destroying harsh noise walls. “My Whole Life,” one of three track released this week ahead of their new album Dreams in Splattered Lines, coinciding with their 25th anniversary, is a bit closer to the former than the latter. More accurately, it’s a minimalist industrial-synth dirge, ominous and pulsing with eerie sci-fi effects and a distorted narration, drawing on early industrial from the likes of Cabaret Voltaire and Throbbing Gristle’s 20 Jazz Funk Greats. It’s a musical creep-out of the highest order, complete with some strange squeaks that could be coming from rats or a faulty plumbing system or, god only knows what. Exquisitely unsettling.

From Dreams in Splattered Lines, out May 26 via Disciples

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll To Top