By Bryan Menegus, Columnist
I Kill Giants- "Let it Out"
An extraordinarily promising four piece from Berklee, I Kill Giants (named after the Joe Kelly comic) stand somewhere between math- and indie-rock, employing the technique but not the stifling braininess of the former, and the gleeful roughness of the latter. This 6-track EP displays songwriting abilities not possessed by most college kids, let alone most musicians. The headlong dash of "I Believe in Technology" is countered with equal finesse by slow burning and polyrhythmic closer "Balance". The last two overwhelmingly cathartic minutes of "Balance" are reason enough to attach high expectations to these Bostonites.
RIYL: Small Leaks Sink Ships, This Town Needs Guns
Star F**king Hipsters- "From the Dumpster to the Grave"
A supergroup of sorts, Star Fucking Hipsters are the byproduct of several bands, not the least of which are The Ergs and Leftover Crack. They're anarchists. They're crust punks. What that means for the listener: if you've ever felt oppressed by "the system", eaten garbage, or feel that showering twice a year smacks of "authenticity", SFH are your boys through and through. Sure a lot of this is terribly juvenile—some of it borders on unintentional self-parody—but enjoyable nonetheless, in much the same way that sometimes you just want Dunkaroos for breakfast. And there's a They Might Be Giants cover!
RIYL: Choking Vitctim, Colt 45
I Am the Avalanche- "Avalanche United"
I Am the Avalanche has their devout fans. I am not one of them. Another band falling under the incestuous banner of post-2000 ‘melodic hardcore', IATA sound as same-y as damn near every other group to bear that label. Sure, their musicianship is a bit tighter than most, and they pick up a few extra fans from vocalist Vinnie Caruana's previous project, The Movielife. Avalanche United also has slicker production than similar records, but they strike a deal with the devil by trading grit for clarity. Something about this record feels disingenuous—I'll be the first to call the Better Business Bureau when I figure out what it is.
RIYL: Polar Bear Club, Spraynard