Pressing Concerns: Green/Blue, Interior Geometry, Hazy Sour Cherry, Wowza in Kalamazoo

Welcome to a special Monday edition of Pressing Concerns! Today, we’re looking at new albums from Green/Blue, Hazy Sour Cherry, and Wowza in Kalamazoo, and a new EP from Interior Geometry. Last week I was too busy putting together Rosy Overdrive’s Top 40 Albums of 2022 So Far to get one of these up, but I’m planning on getting two shorter Pressing Concerns up this week to catch up on new music.

If you’re still looking for more new music, you can browse previous editions of Pressing Concerns or visit the site directory.

Green/Blue – Paper Thin

Release date: June 10th
Record label: Feel It
Genre: Post-punk, garage rock
Formats: Vinyl, digital
Pull track: Moving On

Minneapolis post-punk group Green/Blue is comprised of four veterans of the Twin Cities music scene. Led by the founding/songwriting duo of Jim Blaha and Annie Sparrows and rounded out by Daniel Henry and Dustin James, Paper Thin is Green/Blue’s second record of 2022 (following January’s Offerings) and finds the band absolutely nailing a particular subset of modern post-punk music. It’s unabashedly guitar-forward in a garage rock way that puts them squarely in line with the record labels that have put out their two most recent records (Hozac and Feel It), but it also embraces a dark, reverb-heavy sound that gives it an unexpected but welcome weight.

Opening track “In Lies” features urgent-sounding but quite melodic guitar leads and harmonies between Blaha and Sparrows—it is, beneath its buttoned-up surface, an incredibly catchy pop song that doesn’t suffer for not appearing obviously as one. Although the first aspect of Paper Thin I noticed is just how sharp and distinct it sounds, the record is full of music moments that make these songs pop and become quite memorable. Blaha’s surprisingly soaring falsetto in “Away”, the pulverizing bass in “In Time”, the stomping energy of “Moving On”, and the stunning minimalism of “Floating Eye” all give Paper Thin color without shaking up the singular, sleek vibe of the record. It’s a record that only gains esteem in my eyes the more I hear it. (Bandcamp link)

Interior Geometry – Tore Through the Sky

Release date: June 10th
Record label: Self-released
Genre: Lo-fi indie rock, garage rock, fuzz pop
Formats: Cassette, digital
Pull track: What Have You Done?

Jared Sparkes may be more known to some as a member of Michigan fuzz rock group don’t, but they recently stepped out on their own as Interior Geometry with last year’s How to Be Invisible EP, and the just-released five-song Tore Through the Sky continues Sparkes’ solo career. I say solo career because this is clearly Sparkes’ project, but contributions from collaborators prominently mark Tore Through the Sky, from Mitten State great Fred Thomas providing bass guitar on multiple songs to the excellent lead vocal turn from Mary Fraser on “Tender Terrible”. Sparkes’ distinct version of poppy lo-fi, 90s-style indie rock comes through on this relatively brief EP, most clearly in the fuzzy twang of opening track “What Have You Done?” and the barreling “Wet Swans On & On”, but the brief (45 second) LVL UP-esque blast that is “Holy Water” suggests that Sparkes is also interesting in the fraying that frequently comes with this kind of music. (Bandcamp link)

Hazy Sour Cherry – Strange World

Release date: June 15th
Record label: Damnably
Genre: Pop punk, power pop, indie pop
Formats: Vinyl, digital
Pull track: Strange World

The Tokyo four-piece group Hazy Sour Cherry have returned with Strange World, a sophomore record that comes off as an enthusiastic mix of power pop, 70s punk, and indie pop. The opening and title track sets up a format at which Hazy Sour Cherry excel throughout Strange World: pure pop music vocally and musically accented with revved-up punk-inspired guitar riffs and leads by guitarist Jun. I imagine Hazy Sour Cherry could’ve turned in a dozen songs like “Strange World”, but the rest of the record features just the right amount of adventurousness—the light, danceable guitar pop of “The City”, the found sounds in “Tsuzumi Q”, and the Mekons-esque violin rock of “Vampire”, to name a few of the more prominent examples. “Hot Dub Summer Night” is a dub remix of an existing Hazy Sour Cherry that doesn’t strip away the energy of the band but rather twists it a bit in a new direction—right in line with the rest of Strange World. (Bandcamp link)

Wowza in Kalamazoo – Why You Don’t Come Around

Release date: June 3rd
Record label: Self-released
Genre: Psychedelic rock, krautrock
Formats: Digital
Pull track: Nightly Commute Overhead

Michigan’s Wowza in Kalamazoo (or just Wowza) is a five-piece group comprised of some adventurous musicians who’ve played in bands like Minutes, OUT, and The Revelators. Why You Don’t Come Around is the band’s second full-length album together, and it drops in on a group comfortable swinging from extremes. The accordion-tinged, Yo La Tengo-esque restraint of opening track “Oh Hell” is a delicate mix of musical improvisation and Franki Hand’s melodic vocals, something they explore again late in the record with “Pedigo”. Energetic wall-of-noise psych freakouts like the ten-minute “Welcome In” and “Stella Rondo” grab one’s attention, as does the beautifully lilting mid-tempo indie rock of “Nightly Commute Overhead” and—oh, there’s also a straight-up hardcore punk track in the sixty-second “Overtime”. (Bandcamp link)

Also notable:

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