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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.





Raia Was's "Reprise" is a powerful exercise in restraint, plays Berlin 3.6

The atmospheric, often ethereal soundscapes of Brooklyn’s Raia Was are perfectly executed exercises in restraint, where a powerful vocal performance sharply navigates the dimly lit labyrinth of downtempo art pop. Her most recent release “Reprise” is a focused, minimalist effort - a song that reads as a lonely internal monologue on a cold, winter night. Was’s vox never explodes or relies on any melodramatic twists and turns, but rather plays counterpoint to the track’s synthy elements, finding strength in its hushed, sometimes breathy qualities; it serves as a preview of more carefully crafted tunes on Raia’s forthcoming debut record, Angel I’m Frightened (Side A/ Side B), which drops this spring.

Raia Was will perform tracks from her upcoming LP at Berlin on March 6th, supported by fellow Brooklynite Harb. Stream “Reprise” below. -Connor Beckett McInerney (@b_ck_tt), Photo by Lissy Laricchia





Debut Fruut LP Available for Streaming & Purchase

Lyrical vulnerability meshes with silky beats in the recordings of Fruut, the latest moniker of Dani Mullen. There’s a graceful, anti-gravity quality to these electropop sounds. With the new album All About You, Mullen explores emotive-laced circumstances in songs whose experiences feel as though they’re being processed/lived through in real time. Intimately hypnotic, these tracks capture an endearing closeness.





Industrial psych-rockers GHXST share digital album "Gloom," play SXSW on 3/13

Brooklyn electronic psych rock duo GHXST dropped their latest digital album “Gloom” at the end of 2018. After playing a select number of hand picked shows around the release date, they are now preparing to showcase the new material at this years SXSW music festival. Lead track “Hunger” immediately establishes a dark, slow-burn foreboding that places emphasis on deep-end howling guitars, many of them sampled. Dreamy female vocals come adorned with a level of unsettling doom that would surely please David Lynch and his fans. Additional tracks like “Ocean is a Desert” and “Vaquero” continue that vibe while adding eery electronic elements reminiscent of Swiss industrial guitar-rock pioneers The Young Gods. “Bad Blood II” introduces a pulsating electronic synth progression, while “Ride” digs down into a bass-tone heavy groove that A Place To Bury Strangers frequently resides. Final track “Heatwaves” incorporates bended slide-guitar along with its apprehensive vocal delivery, dark ambience and snaking progression. GHXST will be performin at an official SXSW showcase on 3/13 at BD Riley's. - Dave Cromwell





New Michul Kuun LP Available for Streaming & Purchase

GREAT ( then after awhile, it didn't mean anything to them), the new LP from Michul Kuun, a.k.a. NAH, is out now via Ranch Jams. There’s a brutal beauty in these recordings, as a chaotic concoction of sonic segments is blended. Unpredictable yet timely transitions create an intriguing, hyper-kinetic atmosphere. Weaving an array of textures into a unique, noise-threaded, sonic quilt, one is frequently surprised, and always intrigued.

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