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Local Album Reviews - Bury Yourself, Good Game, Fence + Acqui, Paper Towels
by Jordan Adragna & Abby Allegro

Bury Yourself - Off Season

NJ hardcore just received the gracious gift that is Bury Yourself. Off Season is their debut album and it’s short, it’s sweet, it’s simple, and boy does it go hard. The first seven tracks are all under two minutes, so there is truly no time to do anything else but rip. Standouts to me are “MVP” and “Leveler,” but they’re all heavy and high-energy. The first (and only) break from this energy is "Cycles", the 8th track and the first song longer than two minutes. They bring the energy WAY down to dreamy basement rock in the first half of the song, then come right back and shred for the rest of the album. Overall this was a great first release and I can’t wait to see them progress! ~aa

Good Game - Good Luck Have Fun

This is PA-based math rock band Good Game’s second full-band release. Good Game started off as a solo project from guitarist/vocalist Brock Benzel (who also plays in Invalids!), and the rest of the band joined on their 2017 album Don’t Blow It. If you’ve ever heard Don’t Blow It then you know what to expect with this record; they figured out their sound in 2017 and ironed it out on Good Luck Have Fun. Benzel & vocalist Addy Harris work incredibly well together over songs that hold their own instrumentally. The last three tracks on the EP are instrumental versions of the first three - if you’re looking for the full Good Game sound I would recommend 1-3 but if you’re not attached to the vocals and are looking for some solid math I definitely still recommend 4-6. This release slaps with or without the lyrics. ~aa

Fence & Acqui - Baby, I Was An Abiotic Pollinator

Where do I even start with this split? It’s just everything that is good with aggressive indie music! There’s punk, catchy hooks, low fi recording, and the best part, kooky synth sounds! The first track "Quidditch" is your standard punk song with a driving beat and catchy melody that burrows its way into your brain (but in a good way). It continues to build then blows your face off at the chorus when it devolves into a cathartic screaming fit that makes it a standout opener.  "Pollen" takes a step away from the punk sound and trades it in for a more fuzzed out and trippy sound. It’s almost like having warm liquid guitar poured over your head. It’s just really good. The second half is when Acqui steps up to bat. Their track "Jade" starts off almost like the needle falling off of a record; but then it starts to spin again and groove. The drums weave you through a soulful verse with trippy guitar sounds and “head-bobbing” bass lines until the needle falls again at the chorus but comes back with a punch in the face. The final track takes things someplace even more strange and is mostly made of piano, drum machine, and vocals. "Waterbug" is more of a light head bobber as a calming conclusion to an otherwise adrenaline fueled ride! I loved this split and you should too! ~ja

Paper Towels - Year of The Dog

Ever wanted to hear what it would sound like if you took blink-182 and Nine Inch Nails and put them together? It was a combination I did not know that I needed. Paper Towels' EP Year of The Dog, is packed front to back with with anthemic tracks that make you wanna mosh. I can not tell you how many times I’ve listened to this EP in the past month. It's got the aggression, speed, and melody common to pop punk but then is accompanied by a loud sometimes glitchy synth melody that is reminiscent of Nintendo Core, but like... dark. My personal favorite track is "Fear of $ucce$$". It sounds like what playing Tony Hawk games feels like with some glitchy 8-bit goodness thrown in. The whole record has this feeling of nostalgia and energy that makes you wanna jump around and throw yourselves into things. I HEAVILY RECOMMEND CHECKING THIS OUT IF YOU LIKE PUNK. ~ja