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Indie Roundup (Long & Short Edition) | Nine Tracks To Finish Your Week

Refused, DragonForce, Monte Pittman and more crank it up for the weekend.

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Refused are out for blood, DragonForce hit the highway, Monte Pittman is on guard, Cult of Luna go silent and more in today’s surprisingly short Roundup. Enjoy your long weekend — looks like the publicists already are.


1 Truly groundbreaking bands are few and far between. But there’s no disputing the fact that Refused are one of them. The iconoclastic Swedes basically rewrote the post-hardcore handbook with their aptly titled 1998 disc The Shape of Punk to Come. So I was thrilled when they returned after 17 years with 2015’s Freedom — and you can bet I’m already psyched about their Oct. 18 album War Music. You should be too — and perhaps their firist single and video Blood Red can help in that respect. Couldn’t hurt. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “At a soundcheck somewhere on the road (Austin?), Kristofer started playing this riff and we all got into it (jamming, as it were). After a while, we noticed that our crew had stopped working and that the people working at the venue were standing around watching us play. The riff turned into Blood Red, the first song we finished for the new record and the first song we played live off of it.” See? It’s not just me:


2 Talk about hitting the nail on the head: British speed demons DragonForce have announced that their upcoming eighth album will be titled Extreme Power Metal. That’s basically the equivalent of a Black Sabbath disc called Stoner-Rock Sludge or a Rush album named Nerdy Prog-Rock Intricacy. Still, it shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying the results — or digging their futuristic, action-packed video for the single Highway to Oblivion. Buckle up. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Highway to Oblivion will also appear as a playable level in AUDICA, a virtual reality “rhythm shooter” from Harmonix. Armed with a pair of rhythm blasters, players will be able to step into a cosmic arena and smash targets to the beat of the song.” I am officially getting way too old for this crap:


3 Monte Pittman gets to have it both ways. The singer-guitarist gets to make a decent living playing behind superstars like Madonna and Adam Lambert. And when he’s not doing that, the former Prong guitarist gets to indulge his heavier side with his own work. Last year, that included the solo album Between The Space — which he’s now following up with a video for the track Changing of the Guard. Alert the air guitarist in your world. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Between The Space is a heavy album that gets straight to the point as soon as it starts. The theme is about connection, alignment, and what divides those things. As always when I write, my goal is coming up with the material that fits in my live show. I did everything on these albums. I wrote it all, I played every instrument, I recorded it, and I mixed it. The only thing I didn’t do was the artwork (by Aaron Lea) and mastering (by Alan Douches).” Lazy sod:


4 I had that dream again. You know the one: You’re slowly strolling through in a empty, imposingly huge country house, where you encounter all manner of weird characters — one of whom gives you a strange illustration that you burn in the fireplace before rescuing an amulet from the ashes and putting it around the neck of the old woman while ashes fall from the ceiling, causing her to morph into a younger woman who performs a modern dance while you stand there and watch like some sort of weirdo, and then when you walk up to her the whole house vanishes and you’re standing by a lake, so you fall to your knees screaming and then head out into the water. What? You haven’t had that dream? Well, just watch Cult of Luna’s video for The Silent Man, a preview of their Sept. 20 album A Dawn to Fear. You’ll get the idea. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Going into the process, we knew the album we wanted to make, an antithesis of what we’ve done before,” says vocalist/guitarist and lead songwriter Johannes Persson. “For pretty much every album there’s been a very concrete theme. We’ve known from the start the kind of story we wanted to tell, and I didn’t want that to be the case. I’ve seen a lot of subtle changes and patterns in my own behavior and my own thinking the last couple of years, and I wanted this to be a completely spontaneous process. I just wanted to see what came out of me, and A Dawn To Fear is the result of that.” That’s, um, concerning:


5 I wouldn’t want to be a young person today. I especially wouldn’t want to be a young person at the party depicted in the video for Orange County post-hardcore crew Dayseeker’s single Sleeptalk, the title cut from their Sept. 27 album. You just know that glitter ball is never gonna be the same. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Sleeptalk, as a single and album, is our proudest work to date,” said singer Rory Rodriguez. “We’ve never felt more confident in our music than this very moment. The music video explores a toxic relationship with a couple who have separated but continue seeing one another after the fact. The underlying message is how we sometimes would rather live in misery than separate from someone we love so dearly.” Somebody needs to wake up:


6 When you call your band Selfish Things, nobody really expects you to make shiny, happy music. And this Toronto quartet are only to happy to oblige — when they’re not setting fire to roses and antique dolls, that is. See for yourself in the video for their slamming new single Hole, from their Sept. 20 album Logos. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Hole came to life as a result of familial turmoil and the impact lifelong choices can make on the people who surround you. Certain people are willing to turn a blind eye to the wrongdoing and malicious intent of others for the sake of stability. Righteousness is toxic, and is a clear indicator of a self ignorant and foolish person. I refuse to bow to the will of those unable to see themselves for who they are.” Who’s selfish now?


7 They say the journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step. For New Found Glory, the journey of A Thousand Years — the latest single from their album From The Screen to Your Stereo 3 — begins with dressing up like like a wair, a werewolf lumberjack, a really geeky vampire and a priest so you can act out some weird fairy-tale story in the woods. To each his own, right? SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: Nothing — guess the video says everything you need to know. Grrr:


8 You think you’re a pessimist? You’ve got nothing on Blandlord. Exhibit A: Sun Explorers, the Hamilton space-rockers’ latest single. The track itself is a blast — an explosive supernova of white light and white heat with enough propulsion to reach orbit. But the story behind it will crush your soul faster than a black hole. Think I’m kidding? Read on. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Human beings are racing towards extinction and ecological collapse because of our greed and pollution. These sun explorers represent how when men have the abilities to do great things, they inherently fuck it up and, in this case, fly directly into the sun. To sum it up, people are fucking dummies. We’re doomed. Check out our anthem for the apocalypse!” Houston, we have a problem:


9 I used to work with a guy who talked to himself all the time. It used to drive me nuts. On the plus side, I didn’t have to make conversation with him. And at least he knew that somebody was listening to him. Toronto pop-rockers Dante Matas knows what I’m talking about — and even better, he knows how to turn a bad habit into the catchy single Talking to Yourself. Lend an ear. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE:Talking to Yourself is a blend of indie-pop and folk through an experimental approach conveying human emotion that resonates with a diverse audience.” Easy for you to say: