Every Local Release

Tangerine, Radical Blossoms EP (out now, Swoon Records, swoonrecords.com/tangerine): In the same vein as Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino, Tangerine’s Marika Justad delivers dreamy breeze-pop perfect for a sunny day. That’s why the timing of this release—the second EP from the newly formed Seattle act—may be its biggest hurdle (or a much needed weather pick-me-up/big autumn success). Led by Justad’s soulful, wispy vocals, Blossoms is a tightly arranged (and too short) collection of surfer-friendly pop that both pays homage to classic groups such as the Breeders and Fleetwood Mac and introduces a warmer, more fully realized sound for an act that got its start on the Sound Off! stage. (Marika and her drummer sister Miro originally competed, as the Neons, in the Experience Music Project’s competition in 2004.) In the years since, the Justads’ sound has definitely matured, as they’ve traded their angsty alt-rock and aggressive riffs for something a bit mellower. The stripped and slowed-down version, made more poignant by guitarist Toby Kuhn’s gentle plucking and bassist Ryan Baker’s deep undertones, has us wondering just two things: How can something so youthful and refreshing feel so nostalgic? And when can we have more? (Fri., Sept. 6, Comet)

Witchburn, Bathed in Blood (Sept. 10, self-released, witchburnrocks.com): They say “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” I’m amending that to “Don’t judge an album by its tracklist.” After reading the titles on Witchburn’s latest release (“Warning to the Weak,” “Resurrection of Rebellion,” and “Hymn for the Damned,” for example), I formed an idea of how I thought the album would sound: lots of chunky guitar riffs and bass lines, headbang-inducing percussion, vocal snarling. While there are plenty of those throughout this release, the band does have a few other tricks up its sleeves. On “Hymn,” for example, vocalist Jamie Nova—who used to front an AC/DC tribute band—adjusts some powerful yell-singing to a softer, Janis Joplin-like warble at the drop of a hat, segueing perfectly into a sweet instrumental interlude. It’s a welcome change from the near-constant moody Southern rock heard up to that point. “Sweet Rock ’n’ Roll,” too, is a bit unexpected; the tune kicks off with an extra-bluesy riff and Nova singing in a lighter tone about how rock ’n’ roll is the only thing that sets her free. The band—Nova, Mischa Kianne on guitar and violin, Dana Sims on drums, and Jacy Peckham on bass—clearly have a strong grasp of down-tuned metal. Overall, Blood ’s rough-and-tumble quality gets a little old by the end, but thanks to those unexpected moments, it’s perfect listening anytime you need to, as the band says, throw your metal horns high. (Tues., Sept. 10, El Corazon)

 
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