Another year in the books and you’ve probably already forgotten about it, but we still have a couple of more additions to our comprehensive End Of The Year multi-artist guide to favorite releases of the year. DIY communities remain as radiant as ever, giving us a chance to see the world in different perspectives and get inspired by a plethora of artists and their engaging works. “Bad Vibes” from Madison, Wisconsin based post-punk/noise-rock act SINKING SUNS (Reptilian Records) was definitely one of them, so we’re pleased to have the band on board to provide their recap of the year. Check it out below.
As we all glance into the rear view mirror and watch as 2018 zips past us and disappears into the recesses of our brains, I wanted to take a look back and reflect on a few things the year has given us. Specifically, what it has given Sinking Suns and a few things it has given me personally as a music fan. For Sinking Suns, it gave us quite a bit. Our latest full length album Bad Vibes was released on Reptilian Records in July. Reptilian has always been a great label full of many bands we consider influential and/or noteworthy contemporaries and we couldn’t be happier to be a part of the roster. We were also fortunate to have played with many great bands in support of the album over the past year. In addition to the bands we’ve been able to see and share the stage with, a lot of other great music was also going on locally, nationally and worldwide. Here are a few releases that stood out to me.
One band who stood out and we shared the stage with in 2018 is a band called Them Teeth from Muskegon Michigan. Them Teeth are a traditional guitar/bass/drums three-piece noise rock band who play the modern heavy version of the noise rock genre. Like a Midwestern amalgamation of TAD and Unsane, their music is driven into your skull with the power of an industrial drill press. The band put out an eight song digital/cassette release entitled Succumb To Life on the Triple Eye Industries label out of Milwaukee Wisconsin back in August and it doesn’t disappoint.
A band who I have been a long-time fan of and that Sinking Suns hopes to share the stage with in 2019 is the one and only Big’n. 90’s hard-hitting Midwestern noise rock stalwarts, the band went into semi-hibernation at the turn of the century after several great releases. With one EP release in 2011 and a handful of live shows scattered throughout the years they finally bring us another EP in 2018 with Knife Of Sin. It was worth the wait. It’s a six song no holds barred barn burner of a release. It was recorded in Chicago at Electrical Audio by Steve Albini and the vinyl comes packaged in a heat sealed aluminum foil bag akin to a giant condom package. And believe me, they take it to you pretty good. It is aesthetically pleasing and aurally powerful. While still playing their own recognizable brand of pounding rhythm driven bass heavy guitar stinging howling and hissing noise rock they deliver a fresh jab to the jaw with a set of songs that sound as current as they are classic. This is the real deal.
Another 2018 release that I have been listening to recently is the album Mercy by Austin Texas outfit The Cocky Bitches. The Cocky Bitches are the latest project by Paul Leary of the Butthole Surfers. It’s a fresh experimental collection of music that immediately caught my attention upon first listen. Front-woman the Baroness exudes a dark alluring sexual dread over a mix of genres and instrumentation. Heavy, bluesy, beautiful, plodding, groovy, repetitive, psychedelic and ugly…they have produced an interesting and fresh take on what is punk and what is rock in the year 2018.
One of the most important releases of the year is the Third Man Records vinyl reissues of the legendary Michigan band Laughing Hyenas. The band has been a huge influence on myself over the years including the other members of Sinking Suns. These reissues have been remastered by Bob Weston at Chicago Mastering, and after a long wait, are finally here in their loud raw punk blues drenched glory. From the infamous shredded vocal bellows of John Brannon, the intense drumming of Jim Kimball to the cyclic heavy rhythms of Kevin Strickland’s bass and the piercing angular notes of the late Larissa Strickland’s guitar, it all hits you exactly like it did when you first heard it. Lightning does strike twice. Pick up a copy on vinyl if you already haven’t.
As far as what 2019 and the future holds for Sinking Suns…we’re currently taking some time off of playing live to write and work on some new material. Looking out on to the horizon, we plan on hitting the road this spring and getting back on the horse we’ve been riding for the last decade. 2019 will officially be our 10th year as a band with this three piece line-up and we hope to have many more to follow. Thanks for the support and we hope to see you in 2019.
– Dennis Ponozzo/Sinking Suns (12/30/18)