Up to this point, we’ve known and loved The National Rifle as the mischievous, loveable scamps of the Philadelphia rock scene. They’re goofy, irreverent, and a bit ribald. But they write hooky songs, release solid EPs and reliably slay in concert – Exhibit A: this video of “Bad News from the District”, performed live at Kung Fu Necktie in August of 2010. But on Almost Endless, the debut LP the band recorded last year and released last week, there’s a real sense of growth and maturity. Might be the glossy, New Wave-inspired sound that carries across the album. Could be the older-wiser thing, given that TNR has been at it for about seven years now. Or maybe they were just ready to make music on a bigger scale.
We’re exploring the album all week on Unlocked, The Key’s regular showcase of new and significant releases from Philadelphia-area artists. Tomorrow I’ll review the album; later in the week we’ll premier a new video, and chat with the band. Today, we’ve got a download of a personal favorite track on the album – “Street Burn.” They played this song in our studio two years ago, when they recorded their Key Studio Session – back then it didn’t have a name, but it had a distinctively synth-heavy sound, bridging the band’s worlds; riled-up rockers and synth-pop adventurers. Thanks to the band, we’re making it available as a free download this week, so grab it below. And check back all week for more from Almost Endless on Unlocked.
With an album release a mere two weeks away, The National Rifle headline Johnny Brenda’s tonight. Almost Endlesswill be the Philly band’s first full-length, following up four EPs that span a seven year career. With glam rock vocals, spacey synths and a pulsing bass line, The Nationals Rifle’s new recordings move the quartet away from the punk vibes of their previous releases and into the world of Bowie and M83 dipped in dream pop. Tickets and information for tonight’s 21+ show with The New Connection and Crills Wilson can be found here. Below, stream “Glass Line” from Almost Endless.
Gnarly Philly-area rock four-piece The National Rifle are releasing their full-length debut Almost Endless on January 22, 2013, and today they released another track from it called “Glass Line.” Like it’s predecessor, “Coke Beat,” this song is centered around synthesizer textures and melodic vocals; this time, however, keyboardist Lynna Stancato sings lead and the band doesn’t dwell in atmospheric synthesizers before letting the beat kick in, it simply gets down to business. It’s almost a 90s dreampop song (Saint Etienne, My Favorite), just as much as its almost a 00s pop song (Ke$sha? Maybe / maybe not?)…and it rocks hard to boot. Give it a listen below, keep tabs on the album’s progress at TNR’s Facebook page. The band is playing Goldilocks Gallery in Center City this Saturday, October 27.
Philly-bred singer-songwriter Jason Karaban returns home from L.A. tonight to celebrate the release of his new album, Shift, which came out on September 4th. Karaban joined WXPN’s Helen Leicht on her show Leicht Lunch on Wednesday to play a few songs from his new album and his song “Misplaced” was Wednesday’s My Morning Download. Now, WXPN is welcoming Karaban to the Tin Angel tonight for a 21+ CD release party. The show kicks off at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are available here for $10. Below, watch the video for “Misplaced” from Jason Karaban’s new album.
Haitian kompa musician Blayer PointduJour just released his first full-length album this week with his band, the Rockers Galore. To celebrate, PointduJour is playing a record release show at MilkBoy Philly. The 21+ show also features I Yahn I Arkestra, The National Rifle, and Philadelphia Slick. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. and the show starts at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are available here for $10. Blayer PointduJour was also this week’s Unlocked band on The Key. Check out The Key’s album review of his new record The Bullhere and listen to his song “One Hit” in the player below.
Finally, Philly bands Arctic Splash, Weird Hot are playing St. James & the Apostles‘s record release show tonight at Johnny Brenda’s. The doors for the 21+ show open at 8:00 p.m. and the show starts at 9:15 p.m. Tickets are available for $10 here. Vinyl copies of St. James & the Apostles’ new album, Baphomet, will be available at the show.
This just in from The National Rifle: the debut full-length they’ve been recording at Miner Street, Almost Endless, is wrapped up and ready for a late 2012 release. Below, you can hear the album’s first single, “Coke Beat.” In itself, it might just be the best thing these goofy rockers have ever done, a pensive number simmering in haunting synths until the beat slams in. The prospect of a full album of equal measure is kind of staggering. Well done, TNR!
After a half-dozen years raising eclectic hell on a monthly basis, the Rockers gang is having its last hurrah at Tritone tonight before the famed bar / venue stops hosting live music. On the bill are Key Studio Sessions alums The National Rifle, along with minimal cowboy punks Sunny Ali and the Kid, the rock-n-soul swagger of The Baptist Preachers, gritty grunge heads Sherman the Band and series hosts Mighty Paradocs. The 21+ show begins promptly at 9 p.m., and we expect it to go late as the crew burns the house down (not literally, of course) with it’s trademark boundary-blurring bravado that mixes up folks of different ages, cultures and scenes. When the dust settles (again, not literally), Rockers plans to relocate to The Legendary Dobbs at 15th and South – but this is one farewell party you won’t want to miss. Check out tracks from some of the bands and watch a series preview below.