Bandcamping #7: Weatherbox, Mutual Benefit

We’re all big fans of the more established acts out there, but some of the most exciting music being made today is produced by DIY artists and offered up for free listening on distant corners of the internet. In Bandcamping, we dig up a couple of gems, old or new, released and streaming for free on the online platform.

Weatherbox – Follow the Rattle of the Afghan Guitar

Artist: Weatherbox
Album: Follow the Rattle of the Afghan Guitar
Released: October 2011
Free To Download?: No
Style: Emo, Indie Rock
For Fans Of: Sunny Day Real Estate, Jawbreaker

Brian Warren, the guitarist and singer at the center of San Diego’s Weatherbox, jokingly describes his band as “5th wave emo with 2nd wave emo tendencies.” But you might be hard pressed to grab onto that wry sense of humor in Weatherbox’s often dour and druggy facade. After being dropped from their former pop-punk home on Doghouse Records following the spacey melodrama of their sophomore release, Bran Warren drove back to basic for last year’s Follow The Rattle of The Afghan Guitar EP. He married his incisive lyrics to crumbling guitar lines–equal parts Cap’n Jazz and Jawbreaker — hot coils of unfurling noise underneath the ragged whine of a man too wise for his years. It’s a bit, well, weightier than your average 2011 emo record and it’s a wonder that it slipped under the radar as much as it did.

Choice Cuts: “Broken Glowsticks”, “My Head”

–Colin Joyce

Mutual Benefit – The Cowboy’s Prayer

Artist: Mutual Benefit
Album: The Cowboy’s Prayer
Released: December 2011
Free To Download?: Yes
Style: Bedroom Pop
For Fans Of: Atlas Sound, Foxes In Fiction

The bedroom folk purveyed by Massachusetts Jordan Lee certainly knows its peers. Taking a sample based approach to Atlas Sound-inflected underwater melodies, Lee deals less in nostalgia and more in heartwarming earnestness. Piano samples may be drenched in reverb, but its just as easy to imagine Lee delivering “Auburn Epitaph” from the floor of his living room surrounded by friends as it is to picture him behind the bank of electronics likely required to produce it. His heart is on his sleeves, and that’’s this EPs greatest asset. No matter the construction, he manages to make The Cowboy’s Prayer personable and homely–no small feat for a man trading in the same sonic palette of many a bedroom musician. Mutual Benefit is your friend – even from a cursory listen, that much is clear.

Choice Cuts: “Auburn Epitaphs”

–Colin Joyce

Previous installments of Bandcamping:
Bandcamping #6: Carbon Records
Bandcamping #5: The Tuts, Soda Bomb
Bandcamping #4: Niechec, Infinity Crush

Bandcamping #3: XXYYXX, Quiet Evenings
Bandcamping #2: Big Wave, Pill Friends
Bandcamping #1: Attic Abasement, Michael Parallax