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portland

Introducing: Year of the Coyote

In a city shrouded by indie rock cred, having been home to artists such as the late Elliott Smith, Decemberists, The Shins, Modest Mouse, and Portugal. The Man to name a few in just the last couple decades, musical genres that fall outside of that category can easily go un-noticed. Not to say that hip hop, funk/soul, country, hardcore, or various other genres don’t exist in Portland. They most definitely do, and in fact they’re thriving, but only in their own niche underground scenes and rarely catching the ear of press. To help fight that trend, today we celebrate Portland hardcore. In particular, Year of the Coyote.

Representing the local hardcore music scene with a vengeance, YOTC boasts a stacked lineup of well-seasoned musicians that have been active in the scene for well over a decade. Featuring Matt Hagen (previously of Brutal Fight, Rapid Fire Process, Two Hands) on guitar/vocals, Travis Wisner (Born Losers, Burning Room, Two Hands) on drums, and Matt Thornton on bass/vocals (Inked in Blood, Rapid Fire Process, Burning Room, TADA, Two Hands), these guys play a brutally sludgy blend of death and doom metal.

Back in December, YOTC released their first demo recordings, and it’s the perfect soundtrack to all my mass-apocalyptic-war dreams. From start to finish the demo showcases impeccable instrumentation. Explosive percussion, heavily fuzzed-out low-register and dissonant chord progressions juxtaposed by frenetic high-register fretwork, all bear the weight of guttural and morbid vocal growls. Blast this in your headphones and the next thing you know you’ll be the only one left in the room standing. But at barely eleven minutes in length, the three tracks leave you needing more fuel for your fire of hatred.

Word on the street is that Year of the Coyote recently lost Matt Thornton who just moved up to Alaska, and while AK is perhaps the most metal place in all of the US of A, here’s to hoping that YOTC will be able to carry on and grace us with a longer follow-up recording before too long. Because Satan knows, Portland needs more bands like this one to help fight the overwhelming current of mainstream indie pop that is constantly being spoon fed to us. 

- Travis Leipzig

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Mr. Bones Relese Self-titled Debut Cassette

PDX garage pop outfit, Mr. Bones, release their self-titled cassette via Good Cheer Records. 

The debut full-length opens up with “Lurch,” a track that runs just under a minute. The minimalistic intro starts with just vocals and guitar, then adds a lo-fi sample pad beat. It almost sounds like it could be a track from fellow PDX songsters The Morals.

As the album moves forward, things get louder and gnarlier, sonically and lyrically. Tracks like “Glaring at U” and the single, “You Don’t Have a Skull of Your Own” blast through your speakers, and straight into your heart. Straight until the end, Mr. Bones pair noise with catchy melodies, straddling the line between destruction and summer-pop.

Many of the lyrics, like the songs themselves, are stream-of-thought, and span subject matter such as looking at strangers on the internet (“Another Fucking Summer”), generic people, love, and loneliness.

The album feels like they recorded everything live in someone’s basement, which suits the rawness and excitement of the band. This grungy, DIY vibe gives each song an added sense of urgency and earnesty -- a rare change of pace from the often-overproduced pop (etc) album. Seems like a perfect touch to release it on a cassette tape. They even have hand-written lyrics on the inside of the liner!

Guitarist and singer Leland Brehl comes from the punk side of the Portland music scene, which might help explain the emphasis on energy, over clarity. Expect driving guitars and crashing drums, with vocals JUST outside of the focal point throughout the album.  

Overall it’s a pretty smash-and-grab album, with short, hard-hitting songs (and a few mellow ones interspersed) -- the longest track on the album is just over three minutes, so things move quickly throughout, often ending abruptly and moving immediately to the next song/feeling. So if grunge-pop via punk is your jam, Mr Bones’ self-titled tape is definitely worth checking out. Also, an entire listen only takes about twenty five minutes -- I bet you have that kind of time if you’re reading this.

Good Cheer Records is a new label from Blake Hickman (of KPSU) and Morgan Troper, and so far hosts only Mr. Bones and Teenspot in their lineup.  

From the label: “The cassette is being released on February 10th, The band is playing an in store at Music Millenium at 6 PM that evening to celebrate the release. More info about our label can be found at www.goodcheerrecords.com”

Written by Chandler Strutz

Photo of Mr. Bones by Yousef Hatlani

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Ready or Not America, Here Come the Coma Serfs!

Ready Or Not America! Here Come The Coma Serfs! Props to Portland’s own Coma Serfs for providing this lazy hack of a writer with a perfect introductory sentence to his article announcing the release of their all new EP, Ready Or Not America! Here Come The Coma Serfs.

And the utility of this EP’s title doesn’t end there; it also serves as a warning for those who are unprepared to hit the deck lest they receive one of these hot, fresh psychedelic chart-busters to the eye. That’s not where you want a song like “Lords Of Paradise” to get you, trust me. The spiraling, manic build at the beginning of the song may as well be Donkey Kong winding up for one of his patented Giant Punches--and anyone who’s ever played Smash Bros knows you better be ready when that shit drops. The song transitions into a wash of dizzying effects and chaotic intensity like a strung out surfer’s fever dream. Recurring accented hits punctuate the song and assault your ears like the beating in your temples of a gnarly hangover.

Preparing yourself for the Coma Serfs, however, isn’t always about being ready to defend yourself physically. For example, the song “Set Me Straight” beseeches more of a cerebral preparation in order to appreciate it to its full potential. The song’s chipper, upbeat energy captures that same carefree, kicking-a-pebble-down-the-sidewalk vitality of The Warlocks on their album Phoenix.

Come see them show off these shiny new songs plus more at Bunk Bar (1028 Southeast Water Avenue) 1/31 with Still Caves and Jackson Boone.

- Bryce Woodcock

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Video Premiere: Kool Stuff Katie's "Cars"

Like most textbook romances, garage pop duo Kool Stuff Katie formed when Shane Blem and Saren Oliver met over Craigslist. The rest is history. Well, history in the making for now I suppose. The duo's debut self-titled album released this past October doesn't exactly reinvent the wheel per se, but they create an infectious blend of pop infused primitive rockers, reminiscent to the White Stripes. 

Today, we're proud to present the world with Kool Stuff Katie's brand new music video for the track "Cars." Get a load of the car they're noodling around in! It's a Ford / Lotus collaboration that was 1 of 200 ever sold in the US. The specific car in the video was was actually purchased and restored on the tv show Fast N Loud and then sold for $115,000 - how KSK lined up borrowing the rig for this shoot is completely beyond me, but totally awesome. At any rate, enjoy their tune and the cool footage of the duo driving around various landmarks of Portland and the surrounding areas. 

Written by Travis Leipzig

Photo by Jon Currier

 

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Portland Open Submission Results for The Deli's Year End Poll 2014 for emerging artists

Thanks to all the artists who submitted their music to be considered for The Deli's Best of Portland Year End Poll for Emerging Artists. We had a record number of submissions from Portland (70!) thanks so much for the overwhelming response!

After tallying our editors' ratings for the Open Submissions stage, it’s time to release the results. Please note that to avoid conflicts no local editor was allowed to vote for bands in her/his own scene.

Total submissions from Portland: 70.

Jurors: Jurors: Michelle Bacon (The Deli KC), Roxy Morrison (The Deli Toronto), Paolo De Gregorio (The Deli NYC).

Acts advancing to our Readers/Fans Poll:

1. The Lower 48 - 7.8 (out of 10)

2. Just Lions - 7.6

2. Jackson Boone - 7.6

4. Dirty Revival - 7.5

4. Jeffrey Martin - 7.5

4. The Binary Marketing Show - 7.5

4. Anna Tivel - 7.5

8. Kool Stuff Katie - 7.3

8. Mermaid in China - 7.3

9. Mothertapes - 7.16

Honorable Mentions (scores above 6.5) 

Future Historians, Dogheart, Souvenir Driver, Foxy Lemon, Talkative, LiquidLight, Ezza Rose, Neka & Kahlo, The Adaptive.

WHAT’S NEXT: These results end the first phase of the poll. We have already unveiled full list of nominees that also includes the artists nominated by our local jurors (see left column here). It's now time for our readers to influence this Year End Poll for Emerging Portland Artists with their vote - look out for th readers' poll on the right column of this same page!

The Deli Portland


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