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Take a Step into the Underground

February and March music releases and reviews.

Cronies NY: Punk rock, heavy, noise rock, post-hardcore, New York.

Cronies released a single titled “Nothing” on February 14. Happy Valentine’s Day! This is Cronies’ first release since they put out their EP “Slow Wrist, Grave Shift” in May of 2022.

“Nothing” is a take on Black Flag’s “Nothing Left Inside,” the notable similarities being the drum intro and guitar/bass riff. This single brings an energetic, sludgy, Melvins-like element when comparing it to Black Flag’s “Nothing Left Inside.” 

Black Flag’s “Nothing Left Inside” is nearly seven minutes long, but Cronies’ single is just under four. 

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“Nothing Left Inside” is one of the very few Black Flag songs I like, the slow tempo reminds me of Flipper, and the unrelenting vocals and lyrics are really powerful. To hear Cronies’ song knowing they took inspiration from Blag Flag inspired me. Drawing inspiration in art and music can come from anything and anywhere, and can be transformed into really anything.

I love hearing bands put their spin on songs, and Cronies did so in a way that honored Black Flag, yet continued their own sound which is powerful, high energy, and rocks.

Gina Birch (The Raincoats, The Hangovers): Experimental, alternative, indie rock, punk, DIY, London.

Gina Birch, a founding member of the Raincoats, released her first solo album on February 24. 

I knew the climbing bass line as soon as the title track played. “I Play My Bass Loud” sounded nearly identical to The Raincoats’ song “No One’s Little Girl,” an all-time favorite Raincoats song of mine. 

This record featured Thurston Moore from the experimental band Sonic Youth, the renowned experimental, noise rock, punk rock band that experienced the 80s up into the 2010s. 

This record seemed to mix all elements of sound and music together, yet intentionally. It’s like you can feel Gina Birch’s every move in this record. Each squeak of feedback and echo is timed perfectly, and done in a way that you feel like you are listening to someone’s creative flow. 

As Kurt Cobain once described The Raincoats, “Rather than listening to them I feel like I’m listening in on them.” This record had the same effect on me. 

This record was powerful, however, in a different way than any Raincoats record I have listened to. The essence of Gina Birch’s solo energy is undoubtedly something worth listening to, experiencing, and taking something from.

waveform*: Alternative, indie rock, lo-fi, indie, Connecticut.

Released on February 28, Waveform* put out a new single titled “Lonely,” a track just under three minutes long.  

This is a low-fi, vulnerable, mesmerizing track. The lyrics, to me, seemed to be a profession of someone’s love for another person, repeating the lyric: “lonely lonely lonely lonely/lonely when you go / only only only only / happy when you’re home.”

I saw Waveform* last year at Quarry House Tavern in Silver Spring Maryland, and they were great. The dynamic between the two guitarists, Jarett Denner and Dan Poppa was captivating to watch and listen to, as well as their bassist at the time, Sarah Widmann, who had an ethereal look and a really cool vintage bass.

waveform* released an album in 2020 titled “Last Room,” and this is my all-time favorite collection of songs by them. If you are a fan of Alex G, Duster, Pinegrove, or The Jesus and Mary Chain, waveform* may be your next favorite band!

Other tracks I recommend by Waveform* are Hello Goodbye, Favorite Song, Makeup, Shooting Star, Book of Curse, and Mean.

Blunda at The Pocket in Washington D.C. on February 26th, 2023. Blunda is composed of Rachel Edgar, Emy Francisco, and Alex Woloszyn.

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Rachel Edgar, staff writer

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