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Hot Garbage - "Max Blonda" EP, Playin Smiling Buddha 01.20

Psychadelic garage rock group Hot Garbage just released a brand new EP at the end of the last year called “Max Blonda”. They have some unique characteristics that set them apart from some of the other top notch garage groups in Toronto right now. The main is the jazz influenced drums. That along with the menacing keyboards and atmospheric vocals their tunes take you for a serious ride. All can be heard on the track “Kimono Dragon” from their latest release. Hot Garbage plans on heading to the States for a tour this summer but first they will be playing The Smiling Buddha on January 20th as part of Exclaim’s Class of 2018 Series. – Kris Gies





Zeus Springsteen are the 90s College rock band of today

Burlington, VT, mostly known for its University which spawned Phish, is a bustling college town full of heady young people and a burgeoning music scene. Enter Zeus Springsteen, a Burlington based power trio rooted in the endearing jangliness and lyrically clever sensibilities of a so called “college rock” band- though their sound begs to question when they’re from. Their eponymous debut album sounds more akin to R.E.M than OCS, exploring the popular sound of yesteryear college rock; steadfast grooves and fuzzy guitar riffs are littered all over the album, woven within tightly knit and smart arrangements. Perhaps the most identifying quirk of Zeus Springsteen are the melodic, yet abstract stories they tell (not unlike Robert Pollard’s), most notably on the cheeky “Joey Is a Robot”. Stream their new album below. -Charley Ruddell





Tenderfoot to release new LP on 02.02; listen to single "Semiprecious Life"

Brooklyn via Seattle Tenderfoot's newest single "Semiprecious Life" (streaming) has a low hum which lends a calming touch to a song about an existential crisis. The track, which is included in the upcoming LP Break Apart (out February 2nd), features frontman Adam Kendall Woods's breathy voice waxing about his old and changing home of Seattle, as construction noises pulse behind the rhythm. The other songs on Break Apart will deal with different kinds of change: relationships fading, health deteriorating, hopes dying and growing. To celebrate the release, Tenderfoot will play a show in Seattle in February and then one in Brooklyn on March 16th at C'mon Everybody. Listen to "Semiprecious Life" below. - Will Sisskind

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New Track: "Inna Funk" - Trash Knife

Later this year, hardcore quintet Trash Knife will be dropping a split 7” with Dumb Vision, via Wisconsin label Kitschy Manitou Records. Building from a rockin', unified base, “Inna Funk” hits into next gear when the song's defiant vocals kick in. That impending, unfiltered urgency shifts the tone with a swift shot of adrenaline. The switch is flipped, and there’s no looking back.

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Birch’s politically aware pop takes the stage at Baby’s All Right on 1.27

“You bought yourself a gun, you think it makes you safer / And stop telling me what to do with my body, it’s my fucking body” Michelle Birsky sings on Birch’s synth-pop slow dancer “Pick Sides.” It can be difficult to confront large societal issues while maintaining the accessibility of pop music, but Birch pulls it off with tact, tucking the personal effects of political and social divisions into buoyant pop filled with sweeping synths and hip-hop inspired beats. Perhaps the duo’s music is all the more reletable because it acknowledges how these issues seep into our ordinary lives. Birch’s next performance will be at Baby’s All Right on January 27th opening for Cape Francis. – Cameron Carr

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