Oh yeah, and here are the films. 

Haven’t seen all that many so far this year. Need to change that.


06/23/14 at 12:49pm



Still working on a redesign/re-imagining. Shouldn’t be too much longer. I hope.

In the meantime here are my favorite albums of 2014.5. So far, soooo good.


06/20/14 at 06:26pm



redesigning… brb X

redesigning… brb

04/10/14 at 10:48pm



Pill Wonder // Shy Dogs 

Mark this one down as the most unlikely and unexpected comeback of 2014 (for me at least). Back when I started Cactus-Mouth and was snatching up everything in sight and throwing it on the blog, Pill Wonder was one project that really stuck out for me. His 2010 album Jungle/Surf seemed to hit that perfect sweet spot of weird, beachy, tropical lo-fi pop music before waves of other bands latched onto the sound and drove it into the ground. Listening to that album even now dredges up a lot of odd but really good feelings. Ahh, the past.

Anyways, Pill Wonder popped up out of nowhere to release his followup to Jungle/Surf in the form of Shy Dogs. While it drops a lot of the lo-fi garage pop angle, it maintains that otherworldly, idealized version of tropical vacation music. It’s more sparse and a bit kookier, but the tracks on Shy Dogs still have that outsider pop element that made Jungle/Surf so enjoyable in the first place. Pay whatever you want for it on his Bandcamp and do your part in beckoning summer closer with each listen.



03/24/14 at 03:21pm via Bandcamp



Cliffjumper // Wolf Valley

So SXSW was pretty crazy. I came back with the mindset of wanting to avoid music for a few days, but of course I did just the opposite by jumping right back into everything headfirst. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em and so I’ve been blaring this Cliffjumper album Wolf Valley for the past few days in a bid to force everything else out. And luckily for me, they’re loud enough to do just that.

Hailing from Vancouver, these three guys take all of the most brutal forms of hardcore, throw them in a blender with some rocks and shrapnel, and then dump the dangerous concoction on your doorstep. At times they’re sheer power and force recalls the chaotic hardcore of the godfathers Converge or Botch but other times they throw a straightup powerviolence track in between the cracks to keep things stepping (or two-stepping). Then as if things weren’t already varied enough, they switch things up again by ending the album on a seven-minute sludge metal outro. Like the bird’s eye view of suburbia on the cover, these guys have set their sights on civilization before taking aim and setting phasers to kill.



03/21/14 at 05:24pm via Bandcamp



Vulture Shit // The Joys of Employment

I was going to post this a while ago (like two weeks), but things in my life have been weird and I’m mostly just been spending my time sitting on my bed watching Netflix. Oh, and True Detective. But now I’m out of my funk enough to tell you why you should be listening to Vulture Shit and their latest EP The Joys of Employment.

There are a lot of high(er) profile/less interesting punk bands making waves now and enjoying the sort of exposure that hard-working bands like Vulture Shit probably never will. And not to call bullshit, but, you know. Anyways, the band’s latest is the sort of electrifying punk rock that feels a bit grimy, a bit sleazy, with probably giant globs of snot and spit coming out of its unwashed face. My friend called the Jello Biafra comparison before I could, and while it’s not an exact likeness it’s enough for me to mention it now. Also the riffs give me the tinglies. Oh and the humor, there a giant, steaming mound of it found here too. So if that’s not enough of a glowing, in-depth look into why you should check these guys out then, well I don’t know what else to say.

The Joys of Employment is available now on 7” vinyl from Money Fire Records.



03/05/14 at 04:37pm via SoundCloud / Money Fire Records



Donovan Wolfington // “Keef Ripper”

Big things are happening for Donovan Wolfington! Not only did the band sign with Topshelf Records, but their new single premiered over on the AV Club today and now I’m grinning like such an idiot. I’ve been singin’ these kids’ praises for a good while now (thanks to Chris Cappello) and I’m really happy for them that people in higher places than mine are taking notice. I’ve always maintained that they deserved so much more attention than they were getting and it’s cool that that wrong is being rectified. 

On “Keef Ripper,” one of two singles from the band’s upcoming EP, they take their fun-loving yet mature song-writing, crank the knobs a little bit, and serve the track up in a big way. The driving punk chords go down nicely bolstered by a catchy melody and a spunky tempo. Then everything it topped off nicely by some throaty screams to ensure that you know that Donovan Wolfington means business. 

Keep an eye out for the band’s EP Scary Stories You Tell In the Dark, out on 4/29 via Topshelf Records. Should be a good time.



02/26/14 at 04:21pm via SoundCloud / Topshelf Records




Tears On My Pillow: Part I
1 Mutual Benefit - “Cupid” (Sam Cooke)
2 Chains of Love - “Stay” (Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs)
3 Sore Eros - “Palisades Park” (Freddy Cannon)
4 Adelyn Rose - “Broken Hearted Melody” (Sarah Vaughn)
5 Die Jungen - “I’m Sorry” (Bo Diddley & the Carnations)
6 Tashaki Miyaki - “Nothing Can Change This Love” (Sam Cooke)
7 M o r o - “Sound of Silence” (Simon & Garfunkel)
8 Heavy Hawaii - “All I Have to Do Is Dream” (The Everly Brothers)
9 Blue Jungle - “Who’s Sorry Now” (Connie Francis)
10 His Clancyness - “Love Hurts” (The Everly Brothers)
11 Wisdom Tooth - “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” (Tiny Tim)
12 Piresian Beach - “Where You Gonna Go” (Art Guy)
13 Le Chevalier - “Non, je ne regrette rien” (Edith Piaf)
14 Grandpa Was a Lion - “Moon River” (Johnny Mercer & Henry Mancini)

Re-upped the download link, as requested. X


Tears On My Pillow: Part I

Mutual Benefit - “Cupid” (Sam Cooke)

Chains of Love - “Stay” (Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs)

Sore Eros - “Palisades Park” (Freddy Cannon)

Adelyn Rose - “Broken Hearted Melody” (Sarah Vaughn)

Die Jungen - “I’m Sorry” (Bo Diddley & the Carnations)

Tashaki Miyaki - “Nothing Can Change This Love” (Sam Cooke)

M o r o - “Sound of Silence” (Simon & Garfunkel)

Heavy Hawaii - “All I Have to Do Is Dream” (The Everly Brothers)

Blue Jungle - “Who’s Sorry Now” (Connie Francis)

10 His Clancyness - “Love Hurts” (The Everly Brothers)

11 Wisdom Tooth - “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” (Tiny Tim)

12 Piresian Beach - “Where You Gonna Go” (Art Guy)

13 Le Chevalier - “Non, je ne regrette rien” (Edith Piaf)

14 Grandpa Was a Lion - “Moon River” (Johnny Mercer & Henry Mancini)


Re-upped the download link, as requested.

02/23/14 at 06:11pm via cactus-mouth



Michael Parallax // Wilderness Years

Choosing just one track to highlight from this album was almost impossible. Michael Parallax runs the gamut on pooling all sorts of various genres and then picking and choosing generously over the course of his latest album Wilderness Years. Sure he opens the album with some Sufjan-indebted spiritual folk pop, but that doesn’t mean he won’t transition into some experimental cyber dream pop or synth-heavy Caribbean funk with autotuned vox just a couple of tracks later. But ultimately it came down to one track for me. 

On “Heart, Kid” Michael toys with notion of blog pop by blending what sounds like a R&B-inflected MGMT with maybe a little bit of M83 on a sugar high (that saxophone). But don’t let that trite description dissuade you from pressing play though, because what Michael deals in most heavily is heart and melody. Both of which have a strong showing on “Heart, Kid” and the rest of the album as a whole. Now some people might find this sort of ADD-riddled genre-hopping to be a headache, but Michael’s indomitable spirit is the thread that can be found running through all of these seemingly disparate tracks. Well, that and his insane talent for doing pretty much whatever he wants and making it sound absolutely gorgeous. 



02/20/14 at 02:40pm via Bandcamp



Band Practice // “Freddy”

Band Practice is the recently adopted moniker of super pal and all-around badass Jeanette Wall. And in her Brooklyn apartment with a beat-up guitar she spins beautiful little pearls in the form of pop songs and then sprinkles them down onto her Bandcamp page. Stripped-down and simplistically sweet, her songs find melody in the mundanity of everyday life, similar to the way that other ladies like Frankie Cosmos or Infinity Crush do.

On “Freddy,” one of several horror-themed ditties she’s been kicking around inside her head, she looks to everyone’s favorite dream killer Freddy Krueger for a metaphor befitting the up’s and down’s of a complicated relationship. She claims that it’s just a silly song, and I don’t know about you, but I’m in the mood for a little bit of silly right now.



02/18/14 at 03:07pm via Bandcamp



Wander // Mourning

Post-rock is a tricky one. It’s a pretty easy genre to mimic. Just go through the motions of a few key elements and boom, you’ve got it. It’s for that reason that I don’t find myself listening to much of it these days. A lot of it just sounds too homogenized. That being said, I’m not opposed to listening to it, should the artist find a way to make it their own. Recently there have been a couple acts who have managed to put their own spin on it to varying successful degrees, often times mixing it with other genres. See bands like Russian Circles, Deafheaven, and The Ocean who have particularly caught my attention. 

While Bay Area band Wander don’t really do anything new with the genre like those previously mentioned, they do manage to inject some life and emotion into its old bones. Thanks in small part to their high levels of intensity and some genuinely fist-pumping guitar lines (which remind me of bands like Fang Island or Pan) that help its spirit soar, Wander accomplishes more than enough to merit elated, repeat listenings. “Inspiring” might be a cheesy cliche to lean towards (especially when talking about post-rock), but some of the songs on the band’s recent album Calamity really do reach those heights. So if you, like me, have sort of yawned the post-rock genre off in recent years, I’d suggest giving Wander a spin. Maybe they’ll spark something in your eye (or ear, rather) like they did mine.

PS - The album was produced by Jack Shirley who has worked with Deafheaven, Loma Prieta, and Whirr. Take that for what it’s worth.



Wander  post-rock  

02/17/14 at 04:09pm via Bandcamp



Inferi // The Path of Apotheosis

I’m sorry to drop some more death metal on you, but I can’t help it. I’m pretty much obsessed with this release and I need to throw some words at it for my own peace of mind. You know what? I’m not sorry. So, deal with it!

Now I realize that extreme forms of metal like this are not for everyone. And even if you are one of those people who typically avoid it for whatever reason, I’d suggest giving Inferi at least one track to work their magic on you. Their dark, dark magic. On “Those Who from the Heavens Came,” the opening track from the Nashville band’s latest album The Path of Apotheosis, the band unleashes the full force of their power to start things off with an epic bang and it truly feels like you are caught in the crossfire of the battle raging on the album’s cover. Inferi makes sure to parade their technical prowess in front of you right off the bat before a crash of thunder signals the track’s true beginning. From their it’s a runaway train of soaring, melodic guitar solos, blinding percussion, and raspy screams straight from the pit of hell. For a six-minute song it sails by on a bolt of lightning leading you right into the rest of this absolutely incredible album. 

The Path of Apotheosis is out now on The Artisan Era.



02/15/14 at 02:52pm via Bandcamp



car10 // “I Don’t Meet You”

I love getting emails from Shota Kaneko AKA Teen Runnings. This last one was a bit unusual though. Instead of pitching some new music that he’d been working on, Shota told me about the new label he had recently started. Called Sauna Cool, the label will focus on releasing underground Japanese music, much like that of Teen Runnings.

Outside of a compilation release, the first real album being put out by the label is car10’s Everything Starts from This Town. The first single from said album is “I Don’t Meet You” and on first listen it’s very obvious why Shota chose this band to be on his label. They’ve got a similar vibe with warbling guitar distortion, a sunny beach pop melody, and plenty of “awoo”s to go around. But where Teen Runnings was laid back, car10 is rambunctious. The energy bleeds from the track, getting all over you, making you a believer all 65 seconds.

Everything Stars from This Town is out on 4/4. 

Oh, and happy Valentine’s Day, I guess.



02/14/14 at 12:08pm via SoundCloud / Sauna Cool



Artificial Brain // “Absorbing Black Ignition”

Profound Lore continues to be the best label around for quality metal releases. Following a string of stellar 2013 albums, the Canadian label is gearing up to make sure that this year is just as brutal with releases from artists like Avichi, Coffinworm, and Artifical Brain. The latter’s Labyrinth Constellation is one, in particular, that I am really looking forward to hearing. The forward-thinking, Long Island band has only released two tracks from the album, but both have packed enough punch to make sure that this album will be one to look out for.

One of those tracks is “Absorbing Black Ignition” and it’s a dizzying display of technical ability and pure, animalistic ferocity. Now I’m usually not a big fan of pig squealing, but the vocals on this track feel primal and organic where others feel corny and forced. The self-proclaimed “space death metal” band run the gamut on tempos and levels of rage on the track, leaving a wake of twisted metal and gnarled bodies behind them. Which, I suppose, is the vibe they were going for considering the theme of the album and its unbelievably awesome Paolo Girardi artwork. Space! Robots! WAR! Great, now all I can think about is getting my hands on this album. And I had every intention of cleaning my room today!



02/05/14 at 05:05pm via SoundCloud / profoundlorerecords



Wasted Colours // Wasted Colours

Jimmy Spice has been quiet but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been busy. Somehow while in the midst of working on his next album as Liquid Skulls he found the time to start another new side project with his friend B. Harris called Wasted Colours. 

Turning their noses up to conventional song structure (as Jimmy is wont to do) Wasted Colours focus on vibe and feeling more than anything else. This is deeply impressionistic music with guitar tones serving as deep brush strokes while the obfuscated vocals crack and whither like drying paint. It’s tagged as “devotional” music on Bandcamp and I’d have to say that that’s pretty apt. Color and warmth emanate from these four rough recordings causing the release to come alive with a personality all its own. So just put it on and meditate… or nap… or do whatever it is you do to relax. This’ll help.



01/31/14 at 04:39pm via Bandcamp