Random Roundup: May, 2024

Almanac Man

Yet another ace release of high-level noise rock from The Ghost is Clear, this time by way of Denver, CO trio Almanac Man. This one was actually recommended to me by a member of Sunwise (more on them below), to which my immediate thought was, "How the hell do I keep missing these gems from The Ghost is Clear!?" I've been a fan and follower of the label for some time now, but apparently I need to pay closer attention! Anyway, Almanac Man is somewhat reminiscent of one-time labelmates Knub, though mostly in terms of the vocal approach and the excellently warm and natural production. Musically, however, things are more spacious and winding—not without some well-skronked riffs, but the compositions are often driven by the heft of the rhythm section hammering away while guitars encircle with abstracted melodies or abrasive textures. Some quirky time signatures, too, and in a manner that can be fairly subtle. Very cool.

Terrain is available on silver vinyl (250 copies) or a limited run of CDs. Pick up either from The Ghost is Clear or the band. (I myself bought their entire damn discography!) If you're the type to stream, head to Spotify, Apple Music, etc.

I Adapt

Icelandic unit I Adapt (fronted by my old pal Birkir) hasn't released any truly new music in nearly 20 years, but ahead of a reunion performance next month at the Sátan Festival, has been issuing freshly remixed tracks from one of their final recording sessions way back in 2006, the latest being "Familiar Ghosts." Having originally appeared on a relatively obscure split 7", I'd honestly probably never heard this song, so when the opening riff kicked in and I felt it in my chest, all I could think was, "Yes, please!" Surging, emotional, metallic post-hardcore that's arguably not very 'core at all (and that's a neutral statement with no judgment intended). When that main riff kicks back in around 1:39 after the verse build: prepare for total destruction. Incredible. Lyrically, the composition is inspired by Birkir's childhood experiences in a small village on the far-east coast of Iceland, and all of the background imagery in the video actually consists of photographs of the area taken from archived family albums and the collection of a photographer who's been documenting the area for longer than I've been alive (read: a long time). This has all made me realize—quite shamefully, I'll add—how badly I need to complete my I Adapt collection. Sometimes even having some form of connection to a band and their early work, things can still slip through the cracks and get lost to time. Life, man...

Hear the revamped "Familiar Ghosts" (as well as "Ape City") through YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, etc.

No Plan

I had initially overlooked No Plan, but then saw a passing mention that there was a lineup connection to Power Alone and went back to revisit. I'm glad I did, 'cause this is some killer pop-punk that sort of brings to mind The Distillers. It's not that zippy, riff-centric Fat Wreck style. The approach is streamlined and straightforward, and you can tell the songwriting's coming from a hardcore type of background. Short, memorable tracks (including a cover of "Big Mouth," originally by The Muffs) with just the right amount of melody, while the vocals are a perfect blend of gruffly shouted singing. Great production, too, with a balanced and forceful mix that rightfully highlights the hard-hitting bass presence. Lotsa Potential is billed as their debut full-length, but with 13 songs flying by in about 16 minutes, I'd struggle to define that as "long-playing." No matter, though: this is totally great! I'll look forward to hearing more.

Pick up Lotsa Potential as a digipak pro CD-R (limited to 100), or on aesthetically appropriate blue or orange vinyl/cassettes via Indecision Records on Bandcamp or through their webstore. Spotify and Apple Music and such sources are out there for everyone else.

Schedule 1

Several people on Instagram recently recommended Crucible from Vancouver, B.C., Canada's Schedule 1 to me as one of the best albums of 2024 thus far, and I'd have to say that I agree. This is some dark but very catchy (and unique) post-punk that leans a little harder on the punk than the post-. It definitely has that vibe texturally in terms of the watery bass tone, shimmery guitar melodies, and occasional washes of keyboard accents; but the vocals have more life than many such acts, as do a number of the tempos. The songwriting is simply phenomenal in terms of carrying an atmospheric edge into truly hook-filled territory that's still completely authentic. Absolutely awesome. I'm really glad people pointed me in the right direction here, as there's a damn good chance this will end up on my year-end list, and I likely would have completely missed it otherwise!

Crucible is out now on pink-ish coral or black vinyl through Council Records (who also released one of the excellent Amusement 7"s I wrote about earlier this year) in the U.S. (I personally recommend the bundle that also includes the band's debut 12" on Dirt Cult Records), or turquoise or black vinyl through Mendeku Diskak in Europe. If you hate holding records in your hands, you can still experience the greatness of these tunes using some stupid app like Spotify or Apple Music or whatever.


Illinois quartet Sunwise has been releasing singles and an EP as far back as 2017, but Crime Gardens is the group's debut full-length, which impresses with a hard-hitting form of 'gazey post-hardcore/metal that at times comes across more like alt-rock. The material certainly builds toward a level of heaviness that's simply too crushing to deem "alternative," though; but—while there are some longer/darker compositions—I wouldn't go so far as to throw out terms like "doomgaze" or anything. The vocals are somewhat "relaxed" without falling victim to the dull monotony so common of this style these days, and occasionally start to venture into a more open and melodic delivery that feels increasedly confident and powerful. The songs are well-recorded with tangible dynamics and a nice sense of breathing room, and musically a bit more layered and diverse than most, too. I dig the dense churn of the rhythms, with just the right amount of shimmer—occasionally accented by acoustic guitar, synths, or samples. Nicely done.

Crime Gardens is out now on pro CD-R or LP (just 50 copies each!?) via Half Empty Records. Head to Bandcamp for digital, or stream using Spotify or Apple Music or something.


London's Tethered released this five-song demo last summer, but just hit me up about it early last month, referencing "D.C. and San Diego sounds of the '90s" while the label throws out comparisons to "Ebullition and Revolution Summer." All of which is, in fact, accurate: so... you know it's good! Indeed, the tunes struck me as possessing an angular, Dischord-esque sound with the frantic energy of the opposite coast; while the vocals almost lend a darker, post-punk type of undercurrent to things, which just makes the work all the more interesting. This feels like the kind of band that 30 years ago would have amassed a nice little discography of compilation appearances and uniquely packaged 7"s and splits—you know, the ones with hand-screened paper bag covers or tied closed with twine, that sort of thing. Quite promising, I really hope to hear more from this group soon...

The demo is out now on limited edition cassette through strictly no capital letters. Hit Bandcamp for a name your price download. Everyone else, head to Spotify, Apple Music, etc.—just know that streaming is the wrong way to be listening to this form of music!