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Vow of Volition Make the Final Round of the Battle for Warped Tour

The Vans Warped Tour was the first festival for many of us back in the day. As young'ns, it's likely we didn't necessarily think about all that went into figuring out the bands to book and play the whole shebang. Part of that process, at least locally, seems to be through a series "battle of the bands" style competitions specifically for landing a spot on the fest. Quite a few Portland bands have been furiously playing against one another for said spot, and djent/prog metal act Vow of Volition are one of the acts that made it to the finals.

Warped Tour was always the type of festival that included much in the realm of pop punk, punk punk, emo and metal, so Vow of Volition's advancement to the final round is no surprise. Their incredibly technical, at times jazzy metal stands out in Portland's pretty linear popular music scene, and is much worthy of the attention its getting.

Those that want to support Vow of Volition in driving home the permanent spot can go to the Battle for Warped Tour finals Saturday at the Hawthorne Theatre.





NNAMDÏ "Gimmie Gimmie"

The latest album, Brat, from NNAMDÏ will be released via Sooper Records on April 3rd. This is the follow-up to his groundbreaking 2017 debut Drool.

The latest single from the album is called "Gimmie Gimmie" and it is a warped R&B classic. He also recently released the album's lead single, "Wasted", which is accompanied by the video directed by Sen Morimoto, Jess Myers, and Husni Ashiku below.

The record release event that was scheduled for April 18th at Lincoln Hall has officially been cancelled and there is no word yet of a virtual release event.





Austin Bullock discharges garage rock in new record "Wasted 8"

Rhode Island may be small, but it is big with talent, and that is evident in artists such as Austin Bullock, who detonates inside your speakers with sick bravado. The Providence resident recently released Wasted 8, an album that pays tribute to garage rock and all its gritty complexities and simplicities. Tracks like “Don’t Be Like That” are easy-going in the verses, featuring cheery acoustic guitar strums that slowly disappear into the distortion that permeates the choruses. “Halo” features a slow-slithering bassline underneath hot vocals and psych-tinged ambiances that anesthetize away worries. “Not for Sale” accelerates into a beautiful mix of ‘70s punk and early ‘00s revival: past meets present and it rocks. The record has fight in it and that we need right now indeed; stream “Not for Sale” below for a trip well worth the time. - Rene Cobar





Paul Michael reveals the escape door in new record "Pain & Love"

Connecticut never stops surprising with its immense pool of talent, musicians of all genres, ever-growing. Paul Michael is swimming in that pool, and boy does he set himself apart with a delicious brand of EDM that is mint-modern and scented with touches of the French invasion of DJs that included David Guetta and Bob Sinclar. In his record Pain & Love, Michael showcases tracks like “Real Fantasy,” which are sensuous, silky, and powered by heartbeat-like rhythms to close your eyes to and surrender. Tributes are alive and well in songs like “Keep” whose synths peacock the pseudo-futurism of the ‘80s. “Some Things You Cannot Hide” has hints of pop, sticky-good, and very 2020. The record is an escape route that beckons; stream “Let Go of Me” below for a taste of something uplifting. - Rene Cobar





Yavin showcases modern grit in new single "Bitter"

Strange times, folks. For those of us who are finding time at home a bit of a blur, there is always music to liven things up. Boston’s Yavin provides a refreshing hit of electro-pop to romp in earnest. “Bitter” has all the sheen of sweet modernism: richly-layered hooks, a thumping bassline, and a much-desired summer evening vibe that feels so not far away. The young artist’s entire aesthetic is fit for the chaos and beauty of these present-day junctures; one can expect Yavin to become a talking point of the year, his single is just an intoxicatingly melancholic announcement too upbeat not to let loose to. Stream Yavin’s latest single below and stay healthy, New England. - Rene Cobar, photo by Eric Magnussen

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