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Vow of Volition Make the Final Round of the Battle for Warped Tour

The Vans Warped Tour was the first festival for many of us back in the day. As young'ns, it's likely we didn't necessarily think about all that went into figuring out the bands to book and play the whole shebang. Part of that process, at least locally, seems to be through a series "battle of the bands" style competitions specifically for landing a spot on the fest. Quite a few Portland bands have been furiously playing against one another for said spot, and djent/prog metal act Vow of Volition are one of the acts that made it to the finals.

Warped Tour was always the type of festival that included much in the realm of pop punk, punk punk, emo and metal, so Vow of Volition's advancement to the final round is no surprise. Their incredibly technical, at times jazzy metal stands out in Portland's pretty linear popular music scene, and is much worthy of the attention its getting.

Those that want to support Vow of Volition in driving home the permanent spot can go to the Battle for Warped Tour finals Saturday at the Hawthorne Theatre.

   

Pllush releases single "Big Train" in anticipation of debut LP 'Stranger to the Pain'

“Big Train” (streaming below) is the third and final single to be released off San Francisco-based quartet Pllush’s (formerly known as Plush) forthcoming debut LP Stranger to the Pain. The guitar-driven track showcases an intense collision between shoegaze, indie and pop. Self-described as “sob rock,” Pllush’s sound is unique; overlaying fuzzy guitars with emotional lyrics creates a gut-wrenching chorus (“Who’s gonna love me more / when I’m crying in the middle of the night? / Maybe I’m feeling torn / because nothing ever comes out right”) with a power that grows with each repetition, until it eventually explodes in a surprising mix of pop harmonies and grungey lead vocals. The full album will be released on June 8 and Pllush will be celebrating the record release that night at Bottom of the Hill. - Lilly Milman

   

New Dark Thoughts Live EP Available for Streaming & Download

Philly punk outfit Dark Thoughts is getting ready to release a new full-length album. The band recently stopped by Drexel University's WKDU on April 1, 2018 for a live performance/recording session. The trio surprised the station's listeners with a little preview of its forthcoming LP, Dark Thoughts At Work, pounding out four new songs - "Anything II," "Psycho Ward," "I Wish," and "Gimme Soda," which you can stream and download below. And if you still are thirsty for more, Dark Thoughts will be performing next in Philly at Common Beat on Sunday, June 3 with Cult Objects, as well as Boot & Saddle, on Sunday, July 29, opening for Iron Chic. 

   

The Happy Fits share new single "Grow Back"

Any fan of Vampire Weekend or The Black Keys will recognize and enjoy the dance-friendly, angular indie pop of The Happy Fits. The trio of Jersey-based youngsters have released their latest single "Grow Back" (streaming), a song that will appear on the band's upcoming debut record Concentrate, out this June. "Grow Back" is a hard-driving track about a character named Mrs. Mae who is trying to escape a lobotomy by using a pair of scissors she snuck into her pocket. Musically, it packs more of a punch dynamics-wise than previous singles "Best Tears" and "Achey Bones", also included in the upcoming LP. A music video for "Grow Back" is on its way, but in the mean time you can catch the band live at The Saint in Asbury Park on May 28th.. - Will Sisskind

   

New Black Zone Myth Chant EP Available for Streaming & Purchase

Exploring newly-discovered terrain with the comfort of a dance-enriching backdrop, Black Zone Myth Chant’s new release, Black Zion Mystic Chant, hints at the familiar, while delving into the unknown. Stacking instrumentation into unexpected, free-associating shapes, the innovative sound sculptor creates a trippy, futuristic headspace, as elements zip and zap by. Pausing in points of animation, one simultaneously notices the push and pull of airy intensity. The ability to dig deep into these sonic caverns is a mind-warping gift.