AVENUE

The Year in Local Albums – 2015 (Star News)

One year, fifty two albums, new singles from local bands and performers.

By Brian Tucker 

Heading into 2015 I thought there would be a lot of local album releases but not close to matching 2014’s 55 albums.  The number was very close indeed, 52 full length albums, EP’s, a live album plus a Mixgrotto mixtape, and numerous singles from groups and singers. In addition to releases there were bands that debuted without an album completed yet – Foxbait, Holy Rivers, and Secret Keeper (now called The Male Men).

Museum Mouth were signed to Rory Records (Say Anything’s Max Bemis’ imprint) to record a new album (plus they released a limited run handmade lathe cut record called Most Likely to be Conflicted using 1940’s era machines), Randy McQuay won Best Duo/Solo category at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, and singer-songwriter Jim Ashley won second place in American Songwriter Magazine’s lyric writing contest.

Local acts and performers have been recording new material so you can probably expect to see new albums or songs from Andy Bilinski, Youth League, Toke, Onward, Soldiers (they have a release show in February), James Ethan Clark, and more.

There were a lot of singles released, some in conjunction with a holiday – Chris Bellamy released a Christmas song (“Christmas Morning Memories”) and during Valentine’s Day Free Clinic covered The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” and rock and reggae act Bag of Toys released “Love.” Glow in the Dark Scars released a sweet holiday related song in October called “My Vampire. MindsOne released a single (with accompanying instrumental version) of “A Day in the Life” as a 7-inch vinyl.

Evan Baker (Deep Ecology) and Emma Nelson (solo artist and band leader for The Umphs) teamed up as Death by Fireworxxx for the song “Everywhere/Nowhere.” Baker would also work with multi-instrumentalist Austin Glover for an upcoming album, first releasing the song “Get a Job.” Classic heavy metal band Salvación got a little nostalgic, re-recording some older songs off their Way More Unstoppable album and went back to 1983 to cover “Push it to the Limit” from the movie Scarface.

Roots/bluegrass/rock and country band L Shape Lot released the soulful, acoustic song “Beautiful Day.” Tigger Clarkson’s “The Cut” served as an appetizer for the Testarossa EP. When Free Clinic went on hiatus, singer Ben Rose briefly created music with The Vice Rips and they released a couple of lo-fi but distinctly different songs, “Billy” and “Evil Downstairs Area.” Below is a list of album releases in 2015.

1-01 Groove Fetish – Between Earth and Outer Space

Technically, this local jam band released the album December 31st of 2014, but it may as well be a 2015 release. Home Grown Music Network thinks so; they recently selected it as part of their Best Of 2015.  The album was the Fan’s Pick Studio Album of the Year. If that doesn’t entice, check out the band’s set.

1-10  Thunderlip – Sunday Driving

Thunderlip kicked off 2015 with a rousing, hard rock return to albums after ten years as a band. Sunday Driving maintained fun while allowing for new ideas all without losing steam. The music is more refined, sometimes faster, and singer Chuck Krueger’s singing sounded better than ever. Sunday Driving surprised as much as impressed, delivering rollicking numbers “Bad Things in Threes” and boogie-laced “Dare of the Hog” and two acoustic numbers that shine. 

1.16  Youth League – First EP

Youth League is born in part from two (mostly) instrumental bands ending (Virgin Lung, Coup de Grace). The trio (Mike and Zack Large of Virgin Lung, Jaffar Omar Obi Castillon-Martinez of Coup de Grace) brings over that wall-of-sound aesthetic found in both bands and adds a melodic, emotionally epic personality. The handful of songs is at once affecting – tribal, frenzied, ecstatic, hopeful, and complicated. As a live act, the material comes to fuller life and more powerful. Youth Legaue saw First EP released by Cardigan Records and the band has recently been recording new material.

2-13  Jerry Powell – One Song at a Time

Jerry Powell (late 90s duo Duology) released an album whose material is wonderfully unfocused. Across twelve songs Powell shows his musical interests – 60s folk, 70s rock, and a heft of blues based material done acoustic, electric or country flavored. Powell’s writing highlights good things in life – freedom, the old days, a good woman, and our coastal environment.

3-07  down in it – 32.3.1

Lyrically and musically, the hardcore/straight edge band’s 32.3.1 EP hits hard but hits invisibly – leaving thoughts, not bruises. Lead singer Shane Michael Harris, through all the frustration, anger, and scorching testimonial in his lyrics, is believable. You may not like the sound of down in it, but you won’t feel cheated or fooled by it. The music is hard hitting, at times thunderous, and done as a means to spotlight social ills, all devastating. The band would release a split release in November with Florida vegan punk rock band No Restraint via Bitter Melody Records.

3-20  Ekiim Ariara – Dead Man’s Song

Temple5 and Justin Lacy & The Swimming Machine guitar player Michael Buckley recorded this side project/concept album under the moniker Ekiim Ariara. The culmination of several years work, Dead Man’s Song and its subject matter discusses issues of mental health through songs and instrumentals. Temple5’s Aaron Lane, AJ Reynolds and Keith Butler, Jr. contributed to the album. Diverse and in part experimental sounding, it wanders from dark to light material.

4-01  Villain’s – No Place to Behave

Pop-punk band Villain! released music perfect for spring and summer. No Place to Behave is a fun and boisterous, spilling over with infectious energy led by Carlos Perez’ vocals and frenzied musicianship. So many bands playing this style of music tend to over work the material. Not here. Villain! takes playing seriously but songs feel carefree, enjoying the best of both worlds – hard rock and pop rock. This youthful sounding album shows a band with confidence and having a blast. 

4-03 Vanessa Lynch – Walking Blind

Soulful music from this smooth singer whose voice is a mix of folk, pop aesthetics, and traditional/classical singer-songwriters. Walking Blind is a varied mix – jazz, a little country, soft rock and even hip hop (on “Courage”) with guest vocalist Louis. Choice track – the inspirational “Butterfly” with Michael Buckley on guitar. 

4.06  Venters – Strike at the Wind

Bluesy, alternative rock on this three song EP. Moody with smart vocal interplay, “Sunrise” is a song with intimate personality. It represents the experimentation the band appears to be good at – the EP’s groove heavy vibe, smooth soulful singing, and restrained but colorful electric guitar playing. The title track shows them going for more and finding it in solid singing on a track that’s radio-ready.

4-10 Free Clinic – Wait it Out

A little over a month after local garage indie pop band Free Clinic released Wait it Out they decided to stop playing shows. The band played this year’s Phuzz Fest Music Festival and Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh last year. The same month the band released a split cassette with Greensboro’s Ameriglow for Swan City Sounds of early material. Later in the year the band reconvened and singer Benjamin Rose said they’ve been working on new material. Wait it Out advanced the band’s sound, continuing to craft catchy, memorable songs with a elegantly ragged palette. Rose’s aching, crooning voice is a solid match for the band’s jangly, ragged guitar and drum interplay. Check out choice tracks “Hide Around” and “Off My Rocker.”

4-20 Elephant Convoy – Foundation

This reggae band released its debut album last spring after adding new members and melding a light roots rock and reggae sound while recording at Hourglass Studios. The album is playful on songs (“Dancing Shoes,” “Girl”) and laid back on others (“Ya Path,” “When I Rise”).

4-17  Brothers Egg – Bleeding Slow

Americana and folk rock are combined on this debut album from the trio of brothers Jamie and Hunter Eggleston and Suzanna Crist. It’s eclectic and rhythmic, a loving mix of country and Americana. Hunter’s vocals are passionate and whispered, an interesting pairing with Crist. A little old and a little new, Bleeding Slow is around-the-campfire material done with class. Choice tracks – “Dreamer” and “Dance with Me.”

5-06  Randy McQauy – Solo

This year will go down as a big one for Randy McQauy, or the start of bigger and better things. He won first place at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis for the Best Solo/Duo category in January and a few months later released Solo, a collection of songs from the last few years (some dating to his days locally in RootSoul Project). The ten songs on Solo will have a long shelf life, spanning colorful reggae and blues drenched numbers that feel like Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. Check out album highlights “Feelin’ Happy,” “Back on My Feet Again” and the stark but hopeful “Will You Be Ready.”

5-10  Weedeater – Goliathan 

Sludge and stoner metal band returns with a long-awaited album replete with signature witchy vocals, swagger filled doom metal and fuzzed out persona. The band switches gears with an acoustic number blows some gaskets with the full-tilt “Bully.”

5-20   Jude Eden – In the Key of J

One of a few instrumental local albums, Jude Eden’s In the Key of J is an introspective charmer. The cello player (and former Marine) makes engaging, elegant music with a bright and somber side. Eden previously performed with Jeff Sanchez (The Clams) in Upstarts & Rogues and the band low.victor.echo. Along with two covers and a spoken word track at album’s close, (Nirvana’s “Something in the Way” and the soothing “Canon” by Johann Pachelbel) what resonates most are the instrumentals. The music can feel haunted at times, other times strong on ambiance both melodic and textured, perhaps influenced by time spent abroad in Spain or Fallujah.

5-26  Family Bike – Everything You Own is Anagrammed 

Not a side project but really another band for singer/guitarist/drummer Karl Kuehn from Museum Mouth to release music. The duo of Kuehn and Taylor Haag (Astro Cowboy’s Travis Harrington played guitar on the band’s tour), the album is heavy handed alt-rock candy. Rife with hooks and slamming guitars, Everything You Own is Anagrammed is infectious fun, mostly quick-burner songs that warrant being played very loud. Check out choice tracks “Idiot Boy” and synthy “How I Survived November.”

5.27  Open Wire – Zero Crossing

Hard rock with a little old school metal underneath the surface. With vocals that are like a mix of Vince Neil and Danzig, Matt Thies growls and howls above crunchy guitar riffs on their Zero Crossing EP.

5-31   Poorly Knit – Getting Help

Broad on personality, experience and emotional weight, Getting Help is heavy material, mostly lyrically. Dark indie pop and punk collide with catchy, harsh sentimentality. The refined playing paired with brutal honesty makes for songs about relationships with nasty jagged teeth. “Getting Help” is an album for late fall, when things change and go wasted all around you. It’s a solid example of great writing and indifferent, smart music, and songs like the excellent “Takes One” and “Sleep Together” illustrate it. Life deals harsh blows and sometimes great art results. If this is all we ever hear from them, it’s got plenty of mileage

6-05  Avast – Mahalo 

Avast delivered a near perfect album this year that from the beginning lifts you off the ground with gang vocals and all-systems-go music that never fails to go the distance. The band, one likely you haven’t heard of, ended not long after Mahalo came out and the album isn’t the easiest to explain to a stranger. Its hard rock, it’s melodic, it’s a sing-along, it’s soaring, it’s reaching and experimental in some ways, and it injects little flavors from 70s mainstream (like those colorful guitar runs) rock into their modern indie/alt/post rock sound. The lyrics are part poetry and part conversation. Musically, it’s playful and wonderfully erratic – thunderous, rapturous, crowded, manic, cheering, and simply put, fun.

6-06 Life of Saturdays – So How We Seem 2005-2015 

Indie rock and pop tunes from this act that’s been making music locally for years but not playing out much.  

6-09  Nicolay – City Lights Vol. 3 Soweto

Musician and producer Nicolay (and one half of The Foreign Exchange) returned to his City Lights album series with the memorable Vol. 3: Soweto. The album was born from the experience of playing in the city (with FE) last year. The music is a go-to collection for feeling better, and most certainly, dancing. Very different from 2009’s sultry Vol. 2: Shibuya, Soweto (a close cousin to FE’s 2013 album Love in Flying Colors) captures after-hours atmosphere while echoing the energetic vibe of the city, sunrise to sundown.

6-14  Lonely Teardrops – Deadly Lo-Fi – Dex Romweber – 7-incher

Detroit’s Jett Plastic Recordings released a two song 7-inch vinyl featuring music by The Lonely Teardrops, Dexter Romweber, and Wilmington’s Deadly Lo-Fi. The two tracks – “Muchacho” and “Crash the Party,” are a shotgun blast doled out with feverish abandon. These songs are done with combustible energy that never waivers, it’s the kind of music that feels like musicians are coming out their skin playing. “Muchacho” (written by the Teardrops) and weaves surf guitar and barreling percussion with Seth Moody’s (Deadly Lo-Fi and buffet of ILM bands) smoky, sexy saxophone playing. Katie and Dex trade vocals on a cover of Benny Joy’s “Crash the Party.”

7-09 Dead Man’s Mail – EP

Alternative and hard rock band that splits time between Wilmington, Raleigh and a lot of touring. The band was formed by drummer Zack Johnson who played in 90s band Squeezeboy. Guitarist Michael Roberts is a graduate of UNCW and singer Brad Benson sounds like a seasoned veteran of rock bands with his grizzled, soaring vocals.

7-8  Dubtown Cosmonauts – Happy2UsDay

The electro-funk-experimental-rock-jam group of local players released Happy2UsDay, studio and live material across five tracks. Songs range from five to nine minutes and one is an epic nineteen minute medley. “Shoes” is fun, a number that steadily builds into a colorful, blistering finish. “Conundrum” is a highlight, a slinky and warm number guided by lively piano playing. That fiery nineteen minute medley/jam centering the EP is rounded out by Phish and Ween covers.

7-21  Mazlow – Palm Reader EP

This experimental rock band released this brief but compelling EP several months before calling it quits. The band’s emotionally driven hard rock songs often combined elements of restraint, melody and fiery intensity. Singer Josh Ausband goes from hushed urgency to caustic betrayal, making for surprising and intense moments. What always impressed was the band let things speak for themselves, never giving in to showing off musically. Band members have ventured to new projects but this band (and a few other local acts), while short-lived, made indelible music worth knowing about.

7-31  Bootleg Dynasty – Common Laws/Mountain Justice

The outlaw country and Americana band released a new album (recorded by Trent Harrison at Hourglass Studios) that brought forward the strengths of their debut and added new elements like an additional singer on songs (Kenna Rock) and songs that reflected fairness, love, and a what-goes-around sentimentality. Things get in the groove on “Momma’s Goodbye Son,” cute on the crowd friendly “Shorthand Luv Song” and down home on “She’s Bad.”

8-10   Sean Thomas Gerard – Great Unknown

Singer-songwriter (and Onward, Soldiers front man) Gerard recorded this diverse, elegant EP on his own. Intimate and dreamy, the five songs are like one half of a greatest hits collection. Textured and lively, the poetic material addresses the folly and wonder of love, relationships and taking risks. Album highlight (and catchy) “I’ll Be a Shadow” encapsulates the singer’s presence and style while “Gold Mine” showcases his skill for writing and crafting layers of sound.

8-10  Fuzz Jaxx – Jaxx to the Future

Fuzz Jaxx released this 21-track hip hop album late in the summer, having fun with Back to the Future samples, old school superhero references, and working with a host of friends – Onassis, Bibis Ellison, Tab-One, Poppa, Mandy B. and DJ Suspence. Long on songs but never overstaying its welcome, the textured but laid back sounding production on “Jaxx to the Future” is more old school than one might expect. Choice tracks include the hypnotic, slow dancy “Warning,” the brief but virulent “Hello” and the introspection of “Life.”

8-11  Stray Local – Lonesome Road

Americana band Stray Local hit a home run with this recorded-in-one-day album. Their third, all recorded live at their house by Hourglass Studios’ Trent Harrison, is old time music that’s wildly energetic and at times somber or stark (“Say Darling” or “As Time Draws Near”). The band really shines on Lonesome Road, using immediacy and intimacy that lends material a personality likely to sound very different on a studio recorded album. 

8-20  Wildlights – Wildlights

The Wildlights album was a long time coming. The band, the duo of Jason Shi (ASG) and Johnny Collins (Thunderlip), recorded a six-song EP under another name (Crusades), changed it to Wildights when after being picked up by Season of Mist Records to make a full length with producer Matt Hyde (Slayer, Fu Manchu). The result (they re-recorded the original material) is a burning, melodic album that easily allows for endless repeat plays. It’s cool, heavy handed hard rock – Collins’ drums are an assault and Shi’s soaring, great vocals make for pure dynamite. Songs are atypical, maintaining a mysterious quality and often devoid of purposeful choruses.

8-21  The Foreign Exchange – Tales from the Land of Milk and Honey

The group earned a lot of praise for its new album of sophisticated R&B, electronic dance and adult minded soul music. The album is a worthy follow up to 2013’s Love in Flying Colors, whose material reflects the pleasure in a longstanding romance after “Colors” illustrated the niceties of a new one.

8-27  Toke – Toke cassette

First release for this bluesy metal band whose music is like the soundtrack of hard physical labor. Or invading a country. Formed two years ago, they put together a scorching, heavy stoner metal sound with doom metal. The sound that is methodical and ominous on songs with a thunderous, slow burn, with a witchy lead singer and a sound that any fan of Black Sabbath will connect with.

8-30  Annandale Heights – Something Blue

Alternative pop punk band released their second album and its title was fitting. The band called it quits as the album was released, playing their final show at Ziggy’s. The band didn’t want to find a new bass player who was moving out west. The band smartly married pop punk with hook filed songs and strong vocals. They previously released an EP, played this year’s Port City Ribfest and the video for their song “Blind Date” was nominated for Best Video at the Carolina Music Awards.

9-05  Jason Thompson – Now that’s a Big Pile of Sin and Out of Pocket

Roots and blues singer Jason Thompson released the EP Now that’s a Big Pile of Sin and in December followed it with the refurbished version called Out of Pocket. Thompson has an unforgettable voice, one guttural and graveled and delivers on sincerity. Fiery and weighted like a sledgehammer, Thompson integrates the heft of blues with the back porch and barstool storytelling of country music. While Sin was like a sampler, Out of Pocket is the result of Thompson forming his own label (Hollerin’ Records) and recording in a studio.

9-05  Thom Kunz – Paper Brain

Thom Kunz worked with a group of solo performers and crafted a thematic rock album called Paper Brain. A concept album that “explores the dark complexities of human vulnerability, Paper Brain is awash in styles, disparate singers and musical atmosphere. The singers, dubbed The Paper Choir (Sam Carradori, Jennifer Reid, Addie Wuensch, Joan Childress Wilkerson, and Whitney Pearsall) created songs ranging from ballads to caustic synth numbers like “Criminal” and the thunderous “Cuts like a Song.” The album features musicians Mike Ruew, Mike Phillips and author and UNCW Creative Writing Professor Clyde Edgerton who plays banjo on the song “Far Away.”

9-05    Usually Yandere  – wdwdncc EP 

It’s a short but sweet two song EP from this trio that grew out of another local band, Dearest We. Recorded and mixed by Holt Evans II, songs bottle up chaos and have fun, something hinted at in the band name and its roots in Japanese anime. More implosive than explosive, the catchy songs are atypical, going from hectic indie rock to caustic personality and manic energy.

10-1  Pet NamesWhite Noise Machine

The pop punk and rock band recorded a great album in two days. Catchy, powerful, and flush with blazing guitars and emotionally driven vocals, White Noise Machine is perfection with a lot of heart and just the right amount of confection. It’s sincerely one wrinkled, battered love letter of a third album full of gems. The band called it quits but they have three great albums to digest again and again.

10.06  The Calm Lands – S/T EP 

Hardcore and metal collide for this guttural powder keg of an EP. Across five songs the band scorches and kicks the senses using intricate guitar work, quick sucker punch drumming, and coarse, raging vocals. It’s chaotic, especially on “A Truth//Sincerity,” a song that centers the album and goes off in numerous directions while also having the temerity to jam a little. Its heavy handed stuff, but fans of Tool will enjoy the ferocity.

10-15   Mixgrotto 19

In October Mixgrotto released its 19th edition of mixtape music, songs collected from around our state and performers in Wilmington. These mixtapes never disappoint. They not only shine a light on our area but do well in introducing NC based acts one might not stumble upon unless a friend recommended them. Mixgrotto is that kind of friend, and with number 19 overseen by Free Clinic’s Morgan Roberts, it offers perhaps the widest variety so far. There’s a solid slice of Wilmington represented here – Pet Names, Free Clinic, Sean Thomas Gerard, Usually Yandere, songs taken from their respective 2015 releases.

10.06  Street Clones – Cloned for Your Pleasure

Combining a sense of humor and pounding garage and punk rock and roll, Street Clones delivered a grand, brief, eight song debut with a memorable lead singer. Frankly covering subjects like mass extinction, overt fixation, annoying people, whiskey, and nothing new under the sun, Cloned for Your Pleasure (Bitter Melody Records) is both familiar and new and endlessly fun.

10.11   Waul – Esmerelda 

Instrumental post-rock, post metal trio Waul debuts with Esmerelda, an album rich in thunderous, ragged atmosphere. Its nine tracks built on prowling, crunchy guitars, throbbing bass and pulsing drumming. These are heavyweight mini-epics, especially the nine minute and heady “Unofficial Ghost.” Between large blocks of scorching clarity and brief, delicate moments, Esmerelda opens and ends with immediacy and never wavers in its delivery.

10.15   The Del Zorros – Wilmington

This folk pop duo’s new album is a love letter to the city. Simply titled Wilmington, you’ll recognize much on the songs. More than just name dropping, brothers Stede and Monty Del Zorro call them “audio postcards” and the description is perfect as they pay respect to the Henrietta, Dawson’s Creek, surfing, eating spots, downtown characters and certain streets, all done with fanfare and love. Whether it’s the Beach Boys flavored “Surfin’ Wrightsville Beach” or the slinky “The Duke of Castle Street,” the duo have crafted takes-you-back music with nods to home.

10.23   Zodiac Panthers – Zodiac Panthers

Fast and unabashed, the punk rock meets hard rock duo Zodiac Panthers hit the ground running on their debut and mostly don’t look back. Much of the album is simply a shotgun blast of fun, sarcastic two minute anti-love songs built on buzz-sawing guitars, sneering vocals, and driving percussion. This EP is ten minutes of adrenaline and five minutes of coming down nicely.

10.29   Halifax Resolve (now Fatesealer) – Far and Near Wars

Former BLACKS musicians (Steven Vineis, Keith Kopka) and drummer Charlie Smith (A Bottle Volcanic, MonkeyKnifeFight) practiced and crafted this album’s material in different cities and got together in ILM to record it last summer. Far and Near Wars is a partially experimental and heavy handed hard rock album built around prickly melodies, crushing guitars and yes, Smith’s plundering drums. The band recently changed its name to Fatesealer.

11-12  Folkstar – Treelines and Skylines

Folkstar, the folk and rock duo of Sue Cag and Kim Dicso, looked inward and at the world around them for this intimate and personal album about the crossroads of nature and encroachment. They found inspiration in the forests out west for the twelve tracks on Treelines and Skylines. Much of the album’s material illustrates the balance and inequities of city life and the natural environment, of humanity and nature’s impact. The album was produced locally by Folkstar and Karen Kane and Cag painted the album cover’s artwork.

11.17  John Fonvielle – Rodeo

Rodeo is Fonvielle’s first solo album and warrants a listen for fans of Americana or music rich in storytelling. Its here in spades. It carefully tugs at the heartstrings while encouraging the mind to wander, Fonvielle’s voice a patient mix of wear and tear and gentle optimism. There are themes of love, loss and hard-earned wisdom expressed on Rodeo, an album whose title in one word sums up the chance and calamity of life itself.

11.09  Dylan Drake – Struggling Still

Dylan Drake, once a bass player in the Marine Corps. Band, released an EP called Struggling Still, a combination of dreamy textures, folk, and personal storytelling. Recorded solo and at Hourglass Studios, is engaging material immersed in ambiance and singing laced with strain and ache that’s a little country, a little rock and roll, but all coming together as tender ferocity.

11-16  The Valedictorians – Hor D’oeurves

New local duo delivers electronic music and more to hip hop sound on debut EP. It’s Danny Thomas, a UNCW Creative Writing student from Jacksonville (rapping under the moniker Louis.) and Cameron Tinklenberg, a jazz keyboardist and UNCW music major. The two met when Louis joined local hip hop band Temple5 (Tinklenberg plays in local acts The Coastal Collective, Keith Butler Trio and Temple5). Choice tracks – “Be a Man” and “Cursive.”

11-22  The Midatlantic – Sound Over Water

Bluegrass and Americana band had an amazing 2014 – playing FloydFest, winning the Hourglass Studios EP Recording Contest, and winning Best Americana act at the Carolina Music Awards. The six-member band worked much of this year making a second album – Sound Over Water, the follow-up to their debut EP. The album advances their soulful, rollicking folk rock sound, re-recording the EP’s material for the album and eight new tracks. It has a rich, textured sound and a lot of energy (play it loud) throughout. Choice tracks – “Hurry Up and Wait” and the stomping “Water’s Edge.”

12-02  The Clams – Greatest Hits Vol. 1

This local band has been around for over a decade, initially making and playing music on a farm in Castle Hayne during Wisteria Fest. Many years ago the band, which has an open door for band members, began to play out more. The rag tag rock and roll feel to the music has a loose, rollicking feel. The band’s first release is a collection of songs from the last decade, coyly titled a greatest hits release.

12-02  Vanessa Lynch – Waiting for Santa

The local singer released her five-song Waiting for Santa holiday album that comes at you from different angles, all done with class. Working with UNCW Jazz professor Jerald Shynett and recorded by Karen Kane, It brings together her pop music style with jazz, rock guitar, violin, and a pleasant sense of fun.

12.12  The You’re Gonna Die and Go to Hells – Outta the Basement 

Blazing punk rock band released a five song 7-incher called Outta the Basement, recorded with punk rock icon Joe Queer from The Queers and local producer and engineer Ian Millard. Influenced by a love of hard driving music and the Ramones, the band delivers on fun, youthful music that never lets up.

12-15 Beta Radio – The Songs the Season Brings, Vols. 1-4

For a few years local folk-Americana duo Beta Radio recorded EP’s of Christmas music and posting them on Bandcamp at Thanksgiving. This year marks their fourth collection, and they’ve added to all previous installments for a new album.

 

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