Jo Passed Contemplate an (Affordable) Hopeful Home on 'Their Prime'

Jo Passed Contemplate an (Affordable) Hopeful Home on 'Their Prime'

“We’re almost like a cyber, sci-fi version our grandparent’s generation,” Joseph Hirabayashi tells Exclaim! It’s a bright spring day in Vancouver — home for musician, songwriter and Jo Passed frontman — and Hirabayashi is sitting outside at a downtown café reflecting on his surroundings.   Indeed, it is a weird and transformative time, when media and how we engage with it […]

Light This City Come Back Wiser and Harder on 'Terminal Bloom'

Light This City Come Back Wiser and Harder on 'Terminal Bloom'

In 2008, San Francisco melodic death metal trailblazers Light This City called it a day immediately after releasing their phenomenal fourth album, Stormchaser. The band disappeared for most a decade, but after opening for Darkest Hour’s 20th anniversary show in their hometown, they’ve returned with their strongest effort yet, Terminal Bloom.   “Laura Nichol, vocalist] has a half-sleeve Darkest Hour’s] […]

MC Paul Barman Discusses Writing in the Dark, Making His Kids Proud and His Return to Music on '(((Echo Chamber)))'

MC Paul Barman Discusses Writing in the Dark, Making His Kids Proud and His Return to Music on '(((Echo Chamber)))'

While some MCs take pride in freestyling fresh from their subconscious, and others carefully etch out each and every syllable, MC Paul Barman combines both. Stranger still, he does so in a room so dark, he can’t see a single word he’s writing down.   It’s a monk-like ritual that the New York rapper by no means always employs, but […]

Witch Prophet Challenges Genre, Reveals Past Lives and Finds Creative Safe Space on 'The Golden Octave'

Witch Prophet Challenges Genre, Reveals Past Lives and Finds Creative Safe Space on 'The Golden Octave'

The music Ayo Leilani makes as Witch Prophet hovers above R&B and hip-hop descriptors, but doesn’t land on either. On The Golden Octave, the debut album from the self-described witch, prophet and healer, Leilani plays with funk, house, pop and folk sounds. Her layered vocals are always moving, challenging your assumptions where she will go next.   “I’m definitely always […]

An Essential Guide to Slayer

An Essential Guide to Slayer

It’s undeniable that Slayer are the founding fathers thrash metal, and play an integral part in the history heavy metal as a whole. Over the course more than three decades, the band created some the most influential songs and laid the groundwork for countless bands to come. Since their 1981 formation, the band have created a dozen records, sold millions […]

"Fuck Tom Brady!" Parquet Courts Explain 'Wide Awake!'

"Fuck Tom Brady!" Parquet Courts Explain 'Wide Awake!'

At the very end “Total Football,” the rollicking first song on Parquet Courts’ wondrous, outspoken new album, Wide Awake!, there’s a lyrical barrage worth further contemplation: “Swapping parts and roles is not acting but rather emancipation from expectation / Collectivism and autonomy are not mutually exclusive / Those who find discomfort in your goals liberation will be issued no apology […]

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks Drop 'Sparkle Hard,' and Nix a Pavement Reunion: "No, That's Not Happening"

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks Drop 'Sparkle Hard,' and Nix a Pavement Reunion: "No, That's Not Happening"

During a radio interview last year, Pavement’s Spiral Stairs suggested that the band, which reunited for a tour in 2010 after breaking up in 1999, might be back to celebrate their 30th anniversary in 2019.   During a chat with Exclaim! about his new album with the Jicks, Sparkle Hard, their seventh overall, Stephen Malkmus has definitively quashed the idea. […]