Hey! Listen to Vardagshat!

Sweden’s Vardagshat don’t fuck around. Sharing many members from the fantastic Totem Skin, Vardagshat take a sleeker and simpler approach – play loud and fast crust. They don’t spoil their sound by chucking it into the blender with five other totally unrelated genres, but instead follow the lead of fellow…

Against Me! – Shape Shift With Me

It strikes me as somehow appropriate in a year that’s killed off Prince and David Bowie, given us marriage equality, bathroom laws in North Carolina, and ultimately a Trump Presidency that we have someone to look to in the musical world as a relatively unfiltered voice of rage. Not at the machine. At everything. That voice belongs to Laura Jane Grace.

Hey! Listen to House of Lightning!

House of Lightning are back. Where were they? Who knows? Who cares? What’s really important is that they’re back with a new full-length since their 2014 debut, Lightworker. Consisting of members from Torche, Wrong, and Floor, these dudes don’t mess with Frankenstein-esque genre experiments or tomfoolery. Instead, they invest their talents into the piss-and-vinegar energy of an in-your-face blend of metal, rock, and punk.

Giving Back: Punks for PAWS

There is no question that music is a common thread between all of humanity, a common unifying factor that brings all of us together. It helps us to find and express empathy with complete and total strangers who can live millions of miles away from us in completely different worlds, as well as help connect us to those in our immediate proximity. It is beautiful what music can do for us all, but what is even more powerful is when we take this common, unifying tool and use it to give back to those around us, showing that our passion is not just simply self indulgent but charitable as well. This is exactly what Punks for PAWS – a fast approaching festival on June 4th at Second Empire in Philly – has set out to do as it uses the medium of music to raise money for the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society.

Kvelertak – Nattesferd

Norway’s Kvelertak experienced an explosive arrival to the metal scene in 2010 with the release of their universally acclaimed self-titled debut. Buzz spread almost overnight as their would-be niche black n’ roll experience found worldwide audiences and the attention of major label Roadrunner Records. The unabashedly catchy blend of black metal, hardcore punk, and cheesy classic rock riffs was a new experience to such a wide audience, and Kvelertak was quick to become a landmark album not just because of its novelty, but because of its genuinely exciting songs. So where are we now, six years and two albums later?

Mantar – Ode to the Flame

Most music fans have a section of their digital and/or physical library dedicated to boisterous background music; albums that digest quickly and provide instantaneous satisfaction. The inverse of spinning Tangerine Dream after popping melatonin, these albums provide the sonic stimulus of the body without necessitating the involvement of the mind. German sludge duo…