The Monty Lot - 'Waste It Away'

Charmingly lo-fi, '90s inspired garage pop.

Leeroy - 'Missed Connections'

I'm always fond of those bands who play emo like it was before it lost its nerve. Emo sounded great before it became a blubbering plastic mess of a genre. May we never forget its punk roots.

The Lusitania - 'Spoils of War'

You don't often see the folk, grunge, and punk tags all hanging out together on the same record, and if you do, you probably don't expect it to be good. But Bandcamp has surprises for me every single day. Here's one of them, a retrospective off a great album released on Leatherfist Records in 2007. It ends up being more guitar-centered alt-country than any of the above tags, but there you go.

Mattox - 'Eyes Behind You'

Mattox's moody slowcore discovers some fantastic beats and textures throughout all of Zero Days, but especially starts to shine when the female vox take center stage. 

Figurehead - 'Overman'

Zoned-out, buzzy, layered shoegaze. Tastes nice.

Emily Davis - 'Brand New Habit'

Emily Davis plays adorable folk music about space and astrophysics and Carl Sagan. Plus one for nerdy girls with guitars.

Franco the Bull - 'Grandma's House'

Ben Balusek's folk punk recording project hearkens back to the glory days of Plan-It-X; that raw, adolescent tooth-gnashing condensed into screamy acoustic music-making. Off Franco the Bull's brand new Boo-yah! Jam Time EP, here's "Grandma's House".

Cynical Gray Crayon - Thirtynothing

The newest LP from El Paso's Cynical Gray Crayon utilizes a variety of sonic textures in its melancholic construction. Androgynous vocals float atop soft, jittery guitars and polished synths. The lo-fi pathos reminds me a little of Her Space Holiday. Download the whole record for free over at Bandcamp or stream it in its entirety below.

The Royalty - s/t

Catchy, soulful surf-rock. Fresh off the digital presses. One dollar. Go get it!


The Mars Volta - "The Widow"

It's nice when prog rock is actually, you know, progressive. The El Paso band The Mars Volta have done things with the genre that bring it into the the current century, incorporating elements of hardcore punk, math rock, and Latin fusion into their long-form prog repertoire. Their debut album De-Loused in the Comatorium, released in 2003, remains a favorite of mine to this day. If you're getting Storm Thorgerson to do the cover art for your debut record, you're doing something right in the world. It didn't hurt that Mars Volta emerged from the newly disbanded At the Drive-In, which might have held the title of El Paso's most famous post-hardcore outfit. Vocalist Cedric Bixler-Zavala and guitarist Omar Rodríguez-López weren't going to stop making weird music with the death of AtDI, and so The Mars Volta was born. Here's the video for the single off of their second release, Frances the Mute (which also features neat cover artworkby Thorgerson). It's got a slick southern noir vibe and a rather enigmatic plot concerning an addictive black liquid that may or may not be a metaphor for drugs. I dig the highly stylized lighting; it's like they were filming in a darkroom. The song is "The Widow". Enjoy.