Hollow Sunshine - "Lose Your World"June 27th, 2018 · Iron Pier · IRP027
Lose Your World is the sprawling, psychedelic new album by California/New York duo Hollow Sunshine. Featuring a dramatic about-face by the band into noisy, fuzzy rock and roll, it marks yet another shift in the wildly unpredictable collaboration between instrumentalist Reuben Sawyer and vocalist Morgan Enos.
While Enos and Sawyer’s long-running collaboration has idiosyncratically tried on musical styles in the past – electronic music, pop and sludgy rock among them – the MO of Lose Your World is to trade out beauty for noise. The four songs on Lose Your World are more disorienting, overwhelming and inhospitably heavy than any of the band’s past work. While most guitar groups would try and paint a fuller emotional picture – hey, let’s bring the energy up, then calm down! – Lose Your World is different. It is not calm. It does not let up. Three ill-tempered chords will do.
It’s psychedelic music in the harshest sense, like being run over with a Mack truck. But there’s a method to this racket: Enos’ vocal is as calm as ever, ensuring Sawyer’s medicine goes down. And that speaks to the power of this pair of musicians. After several more accessible releases, it may seem like a reactionary move from Hollow Sunshine to release music this unrelenting, but on Lose Your World, they offer the listener an agitated mental state. This is music about being on the planet uncomfortably, wasps stinging the brain, but oddly purified.
Chomper - "Medicine Mountain"November 10th, 2017 · Iron Pier · IRP026
Medicine Mountain is the debut album by Brooklyn, NY, noise-rock band Chomper, to be released November 10th, 2017 on the Iron Pier record label (Brooklyn). The band features members of rock greats – Mark Shue in Guided by Voices and Beech Creeps, Nick Chiericozzi and Mark Perro in The Men, and Russell Hymowitz in Dream Police and Junk Boys, to name a few – resulting in a pile-driving, psychedelic collaboration that will lay you flat.
Chomper was originally the brainchild of Shue, and brought into form by a fateful collision with old friends in Brooklyn. It’s the kind of collaboration that arises moreso from the classic “we should jam together” conversation – “We were persistent!” recalls Hymowitz – than from philosophical calculation, but worse things can materialize from bump-ins. The band immediately came together, cutting their teeth at cheap rehearsal spots with a simple MO: play loud, loose, and stress-free. “We just wanted to push a simple, powerful energy forward.” says Shue. “No over-thinking or hesitation.”
The band initially began gigging around New York with Hartwick Hanson on guitar, who soon relocated to the West Coast and was replaced by Nick Chiericozzi of The Men. “I was the final piece of the puzzle, but maybe not by design,” says Chiericozzi. “Maybe I was the final screw you found rolling around in the box.” Thus, the final lineup was born, built on total trust and without baggage or expectations. And it comes through on this debut – Chomper kicks up a racket that displays an uncommon joy and brotherhood between the members and a mutual enthusiasm for rock ‘n roll.
Medicine Mountain was recorded to two-inch tape in one day, with Travis Harrison (Guided by Voices, ESP Ohio, Beech Creeps) behind the boards. The sheer velocity of this process seems to have brought out Chomper at its wildest, though shot through with a crucial dose of great songs and pop smarts. Whether you’re familiar or not with the members’ sizable resumes, Chomper prefers to let its noise do the talking. Just listen.
Other Houses - "Fortune Selector"July 14th, 2017 · Iron Pier · IRP025
Fortune Selector is the new MLP from Other Houses (Brooklyn, NY) and their debut on the Iron Pier record label. Previously the solo project of Morgan Enos (Hollow Sunshine, Medium Mystic, Hheaven), this is Other Houses’ confident debut as a full-fledged band, recorded with Californian players Adam Nash (guitar), Alex Nash (drums), and Ross Major (bass).
Fortune Selector is well-represented by its front cover, featuring a palm tree – the universal symbol of California – inverted. In fact, Enos formed the new Other Houses band and recorded Fortune Selector directly before relocating from California to New York. As he remembers, "I quickly and immediately dove into those sessions – mostly in living rooms and an after-hours art supply store – more committed to capturing an impulsive energy than worrying about technically perfect takes." Most of Fortune Selector was recorded live in a single night, when Enos turned twenty-four, and these wonderfully hooky pop songs explore dichotomies – fame and insignificance, purity and impurity, New York and California.
After Fortune Selector was completed, Enos relocated to Brooklyn, reforming the backing band. "Looking back, I feel like many of the songs came from a charged, hot sense of anticipation of moving to the city," says Enos, and that comes through in the tunes. The garage-rocking "Me as Periodicals" has a panic attack about leaving your legacy in Internet links, "Meaning of the Band" is a highly melodic put-down of what Enos calls "haircuts and vibes… the most excruciating music types you tend to run into," and "Cats Know Me" is a '70s-style duet about longing to hang with the pack that Enos calls "the best song I’ve ever written."
Fortune Selector also holds the distinction of being Enos’s first truly hi-fi recording after the four-tracked LPs Bad Reputation (2015) and Fabulous Dates (2016). Acidic, wry, and absolutely packed with hooks, these are Other Houses’ strongest songs to date, and the debut of a formidable rock & roll band. The band plans to perform throughout the East Coast in support of Fortune Selector throughout 2017.
Fortune Selector is the third entry in Iron Pier’s Mini-LP series, a home for releases with album-length concepts but shorter run times. Fortune Selector follows Hollow Sunshine’s Bible Sea and Self Defense Family’s Colicky. The first edition of Fortune Selector is available as a limited edition white-label 12”, a cassette, and digitally.
Neaux - "Fell Off The Deep End"February 17th, 2017 · Iron Pier · IRP023
Fell Off The Deep End is the debut full-length by Neaux, the new band featuring members of Trash Talk, Versa Emerge, and Have Heart. Rich in atmosphere and songcraft, Fell Off The Deep End gives a nod to shoegaze, Sonic Youth, and Bl’ast in equal measure.
Originally released on cassette in late 2016, Fell Off The Deep End was remastered in 2017 with new artwork and is now available on vinyl, cassette, and digital.
The members of Neaux – Sierra Kay, Nick Fit, Ryan Briggs and Chris Peters – may have cut their teeth in projects ranging from synth-pop to hardcore punk, but Fell Off The Deep End's rewarding collision of worlds yields a captivating new sound. There’s a weighty crunch to the sound that recalls 90’s grunge and alt-rock, yet clear and expressive lead vocal ensures fans of Slowdive and PJ Harvey can find space in this music. It’s the sound of restless emotional territory, of punk looking inward. This engaging 8-song album establishes Neaux as a band to look out for in 2017.
Hollow Sunshine - "Coward + Leader + Omega"October 8th, 2016 · Iron Pier · IRP024
Coward + Leader + Omega is the new EP trilogy by Hollow Sunshine, released for cassette store day in a limited run.
The three EPs compiled on this release betray inspirations ranging from the spiritual-minded prog of Popol Vuh to Joni Mitchell's late-in-the-game experiments in rhythm and atmosphere. The pensive Coward casts a long, paranoid shadow, Leader's buoyant pop almost seems to defy gravity, and Omega burns the whole script in a psychedelic fever. Whether heard together or separately, they demonstrate incredible range from the duo of Reuben Sawyer and Morgan Enos and serve as a new chapter for Hollow Sunshine's increasingly bold and intriguing body of work.
This was the first and only time Coward + Leader + Omega will exist in a physical format. It is available for streaming on Youtube but the band has no immediate plans to release it any other streaming or physical format.
Self Defense Family - "Colicky"September 9th, 2016 · Iron Pier · IRP021
Colicky is the new Mini-LP by acclaimed cult independent band Self Defense Family. A dark, roiling post-punk gem written during a time of personal turmoil, Colicky is the group's jagged, unflinching look at the disintegration of love and intimacy. The result is a tight and eclectic mini-LP that ranges from cerebrality and coolness to measured chaos.
Colicky is the second in the Iron Pier record label's mini-LP series. It will be released on digital formats and black and colored vinyl. The vinyl edition is pressed on two-sided 45rpm 12" vinyl, with all vinyl colorways inserted into beautiful packaging that includes spot-UV designs on the outer sleeve, a series-specific OBI strip, and a printed inner sleeve.
Hollow Sunshine - "Bible Sea"July 29th, 2016 · Iron Pier · IRP020
Hollow Sunshine is as the creative union between songwriter/instrumentalist Reuben Sawyer and vocalist/lyricist Morgan Enos. In contrast to the duo’s previous LPs Held Above and Bring Gold, Bible Sea ditches a traditional rock band dynamic in favor of disfigured samples, 808 sequences and driving industrial percussion, and a dark mixture of influences In My Rosary, Salem, Lycia, Have a Nice Life, and Yo La Tengo. The harsh, otherworldly atmosphere created by the music is soothed by Morgan Enos’s melodic vocal approach. "We wanted something very modern," Enos says. "Bible Sea is a curveball. Reuben and I work best headed into uncharted territory." Enos sees the lyrical theme of this lush darkwave masterpiece as "spiritual weaponry." Sawyer describes Bible Sea as the tension between animal and machine– a record that feels cold and alienating with "vocals that remain sensitive while the music is buried in digital muck."
Hollow Sunshine formed in 2010 along the sleepy Central Coast of California. On paper, the two musicians seem stylistically at odds. Sawyer– a renowned visual artist and illustrator– is also known for his solo projects Blood Bright Star, Dry Insides, and Florida Man, which range from ambient music to harrowing punk. Enos, a songwriting traditionalist, leans toward power-pop and psychedelia in his own work as Other Houses and Hheaven. Yet, the dynamic created between these young musicians yields a near-perfect mix of disparate styles.
Bible Sea demonstrates the depth and ingenuity Sawyer and Enos are capable of on any release. Sawyer says that the goal was to create new and refreshing sounds and take as many risks as possible, putting the philosophy of the band succinctly: “music has no place in the hands of safety.”
Mary and the Small Omission - "The Effects Are Cumulative"June 10th, 2016 · Iron Pier · IRP022
The Effects Are Cumulative is the Iron Pier debut by new artist Mary and the Small Omission. The group is comprised of Mary Brulatour and Steve Price. Working collaboratively, the two craft a compelling mix of intimate bedroom dreampop and ambient electronic drone music. Unfolding over ten songs and 45 minutes, the new album ranges from beautiful, slow pop to jarring electronic loops, merging hypnotic ambient sonic soundscapes, all akin to Boards of Canada, with the warmth of Mt. Eerie-esque bedroom compositions, resulting in a unique and fascinating musical statement.
Flood Magazine is currently premiering the new music video for “Rabbit Mask.”
Self Defense Family - "When The Barn Caves In"November 27, 2015 · Iron Pier · IRP19
Recorded with renowned engineer and producer J. Robbins (Jets to Brazil, The Dismemberment Plan, Promise Ring, etc.) "When The Barn Caves In" boasts two of the band’s most accomplished songs. Robbins’s production imbues the songs with warmth and size while the band lays down some of their most mature, personal, and emotionally wrought songwriting. A two-song single, "When The Barn Caves In" b/w "Alan" is due out November 27th as a 7" vinyl single, digital download, limited cassette, and with an accompanying limited photo book.
"We're not scared of our influences," says Self Defense Family singer and lyricist Patrick Kindlon, "and plenty of them come from Baltimore. We saw recording in that city as an opportunity to channel some of those influences. Then we ran the tracks through a filter of Mary's combusting relationship. The result is songs guaranteed to bring you the fuck down." Recorded during a time of personal turmoil for several of the members, the two songs on this release channel that disquiet. Guitarist Benjamin Tate says, "Almost everyone was in a bad mood and feeding off of each other. Writing was way more of a struggle than it usually is and I think everyone came away from the day unhappy with the songs" but upon hearing them "unlike…almost any other recording I have ever done, I had almost no feedback on them. The songs sound huge and warm and even the songwriting seems better than I remember it being. I left the session feeling defeated and now I would say this will be among my favorite recordings to come out this year."
Self Defense Family on this record is Patrick Kindlon, Chris Tenerowicz, Benjamin Tate, Alan Huck, Mary Brulatour, and Kai Stone. It was recorded, engineered, and mixed by J. Robbins at Magpie Cage recording studios and mastered for digital and vinyl by Carl Saff. Record art by Alan Huck and layout by Huck and David Vibert.
Wild Moth - "Inhibitor"August 28th, 2015 · Iron Pier · IRP16
Inhibitor is Wild Moth's sophomore full-length, recorded with Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Whirr) and Max Senna (Miserable). The LP sees the Bay Area post-punk band hit a new gear, layering darkly textured guitars and creating a shimmering river of pensive, jagged sound. Think modern shoegaze that mixes spikes of punk-infused energy, akin to "Isn’t Anything"-era My Bloody Valentine crossed with Drive Like Jehu.
Inhibitor is the follow-up to Wild Moth’s 2013 debut full-length on Asian Man Records, Over, Again, a split 7" with fellow Bay Area post-punks Creative Adult, and the Iron Pier-released digital/flexi single, Mirror.
Somerset Thrower - "Rain"June 9th, 2015 · Iron Pier · IRP17
Rain is a digital and cassette single from Long Island's Somerset Thrower. It was released June 9th, 2015 on cassette and as a digital download. "Rain" is backed with the track "China White."
Somerset Thrower are an indie/alt quartet from Long Island, NY with two primary members from The Agent They play catchy songs that pull as much from pop-punk as from the 1990s alt-rock playbook, echoing Smashing Pumpkins, Superchunk, Garden Variety, Title Fight, Basement.
"Rain" was released on a 100-run of yellow cassettes as well as digitally.
Wild Moth - "Mirror"April 15th, 2015 · Iron Pier · IRP18
Mirror is is a 7" flexi single and digital download featuring the songs "Mirror" and "Gallery of Walls" from the band's LP Inhibitor. The Mirror flexi features flexi-edit versions of the album songs and the digital version includes the same songs from the album.
On "Mirror," layers of sludgey, darkly textured guitars sit and slide on top of each other, jerking with energy and pulling the listener along a strong melodic underpinning. Think modern shoegaze that mixes spikes of punk-infused energy, like “Isn't Anything”-era My Bloody Valentine meets Drive Like Jehu. "Mirror" and "Inhibitor" were recorded with Oakland producer Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Whirr) at Atomic Garden Studios and at Secret Bathroom Studios with Max Senna (Miserable). SF Weekly called the band "one of the Bay Area's most promising young post-punk bands" and described their sound as departing
"from punk's insistent rhythms and concise fury: It's more nuanced, structurally intricate, and melodic." Wild Moth recently released a split with fellow Nor-Cal post-punks Creative Adult, which followed their well-received debut LP Over, Again on Asian Man Records.