Futurebirds

Futurebirds

Covered in kudzu and swathed in a blanket of humidity, spanish moss, feedback and reverb exists Futurebirds. Here, at this intersection, we find a synthesis of the two extremes of Neil Young's yin and yang. It's at this crossroads, on this plane that Futurebirds meld the sweet, lilting, pedal steel and harmonies of the Stray Gators with the raucous, buzzing, distortion of Crazy Horse.

Diarrhea Planet

The gravitational pull of Diarrhea Planet is strong; once you get caught in the orbit of its stadium-sized riffs and blistering solos, it’s hard to escape. The Nashville six-piece has been melting faces since its debut 7” Aloha first started making waves outside the leafy campus of Belmont University, where its members first met. What started as a dorm room dick joke between two friends bored by the music-business ladder-climbing of their classmates has grown into one of the biggest—and loudest—rock acts to come out of Nashville since their big bros and labelmates in JEFF The Brotherhood. As they toured the country behind their critically acclaimed 2013 LP I’m Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams, the likes of Billboard, Rolling Stone, SPIN, and even BuzzFeed have taken notice. Ignore them at your own peril.

On their latest LP for Infinity Cat Recordings, Turn to Gold, the Planet boys worked with Vance Powell, the Grammy-winning engineer and Jack White confidant. Powell used his expertise in recording live sound to capture some of the energy of the Diarrhea Planet live experience—they tracked the main guitar and drum tracks live, in the same room, for a record that’s both massive and frenetic. It’s easily the most sophisticated and complex music they’ve ever made, but still carries the joyous irreverence that minted thousands of RAWK fans across the country.

The band’s rhythm section, which features drummer Ian Bush (a.k.a. Tuff Gus) and bassist Mike Boyle, is the bedrock on which the foundation is built, but what makes Diarrhea Planet explode is the raw power of its four guitars. Not one note is wasted, and each ax slinger plays a role; Jordan Smith writes soaring power pop singalong hooks; Brent Toler brings a classic rock sensibility and chunky, fuzzy riffs; Emmett Miller’s wields classical training and a wizard-like five-finger pick-less technique for mind-bending, finger-tapping solos; and Evan Bird is the glue that holds them all together, capable of playing any part (or instrument) as needed.

Diarrhea Planet is a nationally touring band, playing a punishing schedule of more than 200 shows a year. But they cut their teeth in the clubs and house shows of the Nashville DIY scene, built by the likes of JEFF, Heavy Cream, Natural Child, Pujol, and shaped in legendary spaces like the old police precinct that would come to be known as Glenn Danzig’s House. As they’ve graduated from living rooms to clubs to festivals, the energy has remained constant—just ask the ladies in the mosh pit or the crowdsurfing dads you’re sure to find at any Diarrhea Planet show. They’re carrying the torch for the past, present and future of rock, and you’d be wise to take notice—everyone else sure has.

T. Hardy Morris

Venerable luminary of psychedelic grunge, T. Hardy Morris is set to release his debut solo album, Audition Tapes this summer on Dangerbird Records.

Morris is best known for his work with Dead Confederate, a band that he co-founded and has recorded and toured with since 2006. More recently, Morris formed Diamond Rugs, the raggedly righteous gang of rockers that also includes members of Deer Tick, The Black Lips and Los Lobos. Morris took some time over the past year to write a collection of songs that reflect the best qualities of his group projects while also exploring entirely new sonic territories. Audition Tapes exposes Morris' considerable depth as a songwriter and taps into his vast experiences as a performer, having toured extensively over the past 6 years with the likes of the Meat Puppets, Dinosaur Jr., Deer Tick, Manchester Orchestra, Drive By Truckers and many more.

Audition Tapes was helmed by Cosmic Thug (Adam Landry and Justin Collins), the Nashville-based production duo behind the aforementioned Deer Tick, Diamond Rugs and Middle Brother projects. Hardy says of the making of the album, "For obvious reasons, I knew I wanted to record Audition Tapes onto tape, and preferably in a small studio, recorded as live as possible, late at night. So that's pretty much what we did over in Nashville."

Audition Tapes finds Morris abundantly inspired, oftentimes invoking the grand spirits of Elliot Smtih, Alex Chilton or fellow Georgian Vic Chesnutt. On songs such as "Quit Diggin", "Hard Stuff" and especially the gorgeous title track, listeners are treated to intimate, fragile performances, so informal that we are invited to hear creaks and count-offs, finger taps on guitar strings and other warm and extraneous studio noise.

The whole affair is so perfectly imperfect that you feel as if you've stumbled upon it all on your own – a hushed secret. Dangerbird Records founder Peter Walker said, "This is the kind of songwriting and performance that you can really lean into – the record cuts through any sort of pretense and nails you straight in the heart from its first breath."

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