For their sixth album, garbage-pop veterans AJJ chose to reinforce their strengths and leave any limp frivolities behind. They reconvened with producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Xiu Xiu, Chelsea Wolfe), who oversaw 2014’s sonically expansive "Christmas Island", but recorded and mixed the album in a mere nine days, having arranged most of the songs during tour sound checks and down-time in the van. This made for a confident stride into more elaborate arrangements and wider dynamics while staying just as dour. They also opted, amid some sensation, for the simplified band acronym (previously Andrew Jackson Jihad). Singer Sean Bonnette told The A.V. Club that, among many reasons, the change cleared a space for new imagery and allowed their music to define them, not their band name.

As a result, their new album, "The Bible 2", is their most ambitious and assured collection of scuzzy punk screeds, employing even more production heft while sparing none of the vulnerability. The album’s mantra is placed right at the center: “No More Shame, No More Fear, No More Dread”. The Bible 2 finds the band choosing intimacy over isolation, gravity over the vacuum, the stage instead of the scene. The album is also an examination of boyhood from an adult distance, putting some of its tumult and pain to rest.

It’s also the most impressive work of Bonnette’s, who has honed his confessional lyrical prowess into a punk inflected mire of Trent Reznor’s unrestrained turmoil, Jamie Stewart’s profane gallows humor and a touch of David Berman’s surreal quotidian imagery.

Kimya Dawson

Born November 17, 1972. American singer-songwriter.

Rozwell Kid

Rozwell Kid is the rock'n'roll brainchild of Demon Beat drummer, Jordan Hudkins, who, with the help of his bandmates, creates music that honors the insouciant attitude of his LA post-grunge influences, without the sun-tanned decadence of some of his noise pop counterparts. Born and raised in West Virginia, Hudkins' landlocked upbringing is reflected perfectly on his soon-to-be-released, "Unmacho," which pairs music that bursts at the seams with restless energy and lyrics that grapple with the dark side of fun.

While playing drums and touring with The Demon Beat, Hudkins began writing his own songs, and in 2011, he recorded and self-released "Rozwell Kid LP". Drawing from a variety of musical influences, including 90's punk, Weezer, and the Broadway musicals he listened to as a kid, Hudkins' debut effort revels in its nostalgia, while showcasing Hudkins silly-in-all-seriousness writing style. In October of 2011, Hudkins hit the road with his newly assembled band, which includes Adam L. Meisterhans (also of Demon Beat) on lead guitar, Andrew LaCara on guitar and vox, Devin Donnelly on bass and vox, and Sean Hallock on drums.

In July of 2012, the band began phase two of the Rozwell Kid saga, recording "Unmacho" with David Klug in Pittsburgh. The new record has a familiar sound with a new story, told over the course of ten songs that don't let up for an instant. "Unmacho" is available February 19th, 2013

There's only two people in Shellshag. Shell and Shag. Shell plays guitar and sings while Shag plays drums standing up and also sings. She has bells sewn on her belt and ankles, so there's lots of frantic wiggling to coax the noise out of them. They both sing into a mic stand they built themselves that's shaped like a Y, so they face each other while they play. They're known for putting on shows that bring the house down, sometimes literally. You can always expect some crowd surfing, things being thrown across the room, and the singing along that sometimes threatens to drown them out. The end of their show usually results in the two of them either building a sculpture out of their instruments, amps, and themselves, or completely smashing Shag's drums. -Johnny No Pants Maximum Rock and Roll

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