20 Best Albums of 2017-Indie Network of Sound

Indie Network of Sound understands that music plays a big role in our daily lives. Our mood and state of mind dictates the music we listen to. The top albums of the year, are in our opinion the best work from a genre. With so many hot releases this year, it was not an easy task limiting the list to only 20 albums. Enjoy and keep on listening.

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20. Night Drive-Night Drive - Synth-pop with deep dark vibes. Fans of the 80's will love the fresh sound of the band's self titled debut release. The band pays homage through their fuzzy sounds to some of INoS's favourites - Interpol, New Order, and Joy Division. We've been grooving all year to this one.

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19. Jlin-Black Origami - A Slick atmospheric sound with obscure vocal samples. INoS would hate to just label Black Origami as an electronic album, it's so much more. Tribal beats and exquisite sounds creating an opus of "dark energy."

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18. King Krule-The OOZ - The OOZ seemingly came out of nowhere and everywhere at once. It quickly became an INoS favorite when we learned about it. Out of thin air we were surprised by this gauzy and aggressive lounge music, and couldn't get enough of the interstellar journey it took us on. This release of Incoherent British Proto Punk is everything that we love and live for.

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17. Wolf Alice-Visions of Life - The four piece alternative band from London truly delivered on their sophomore release. INoS enjoys the dreamy melodies topped with a scrupulous amount of rock that takes the listener on a journey through the 90's and beyond. Visions of Life is a beautiful seduction from beginning to end. 

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16. Body Count-Bloodlust - This is one down and gritty release. After 30 years, Ice-T and Ernice C are at it again bringing raw lessons from the streets. Musically, Bloodlust is Body Count's best work to date and features guest appearances from some of metals heaviest hitters - Dave Mustaine (Megadeth) on Civil War, Max Cavalera (Sepultura) on All Love is Lost, and Randy Blythe (Lamb of God) on Walk with Me. From beginning to end the lessons never stop-police brutality, racism, and revenge. One thing you can take away from Bloodlust is #NoLivesMatter,

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15. The Black Angels-Death Song - "One day it will all be over." Until then, embrace The Black Angels fifth release - Death Song. A dark and eerie record that truly shines. Garage Psych done right. The Black Angels went back to the basics and mastered their sound on Death Song. Edgy blues riffs with trippy reverb from guitarist Christian Bland weigh heavy on this LP, and we love it. Death Song builds on each track - never slowing down and never looking back. INoS says - hold on and enjoy the ride.

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14. Lana Del Rey-Lust for Life - Something about the sentimental sound of Lana keeps bringing us back for more. This time around on Lust for Life, INoS feels a shift in Lana's sound from her usual beautiful tales of pain and misery to a blissful, hazy and dreamy sound. The album cover says it all - It looks great on Lana and sounds so divine. The "flower child" power is strong on this one.  

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13. Electric Wizard-Wizard Bloody Wizard - INoS have been Electric Wizard fans for many years. One of our favorite albums of all time is the Dopethrone. The Wizard has created the next big thing with Wizard Bloody Wizard. We love everything about this album from the album cover to the deep Sabbath cult classic sound. Stoner induced riffs that flow like a 1980's horror film. On Necromania (Track 2), "So Sweet So Dead." that's right - The Wizard brings you Tales from the Crypt. 

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12-Austra-Future Politics - Austra Stepped up their game on their third release Future Politics. Packed with Synth-techno beats, intense operatic vocals, and deep lyrics. Austra tackles some serious political issues on this LP, hence the title "Future Politics. The message is loud and clear - "Stand up for what you believe in." I love you more than you love yourself - take that to heart.

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11. Daddy Issues-Deep Dream - The power trio from Nashville, Tennessee, kicked INoS in the face with the release of their debut album Deep Dream. This LP is so very charming and reminiscent of the 1990's pop/grunge sound. Daddy Issues are on point. The stories being told are raw, dirty, and eye opening. In Boring Girls, Daddy Issues breaks it down - "Pretty thing don't hurt yourself, You should know he stays with me when he's in town." The lyrics are simple and down to earth, so true - that we all can relate to.

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10. Power Trip-Nightmare Logic - Bang your head to this one. Nightmare Logic is the deep, dark, and sinister presence haunting your dreams. Full on - Power Trip delivers a metal masterpiece. Released in February of 2017, INoS has been spinning this one all year. We love it more and more, each and every day. A "throwdown" of rabid thrash metal that cuts deep into your soul. If this LP doesn't rattle your cage-nothing ever will. POWER TRIP

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9. Sorority Noise-You're Not As__As You Think - SN is fronted by Cameron Boucher, who also fronts Old Gray. Yet Cameron wrote a bunch of new songs and decided Sorority Noise was the outlet. Their third release is a charm. Dark, moody, and soothing. You're Not As__As You think finds that empty space in your heart and immediately fills the void. This album in a sense is therapeutic, and addresses our darkest fears - death, religion, and the little things that make us smile. 

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8. Trivium-The Sin and the Sentence - This past year, the metal veterans Trivium hailing from Central Florida, released their eighth studio album on Roadrunner Records. The Sin and The Sentence is a beautifully produced metal album. INoS will tell you that we've been fortunate enough to be part of the evolution of Trivium. The Sin and the Sentence may be Trivium's best work yet-their opus. It's pure metal with some seriously catchy tunes. The vocals are at an all time best for Trivium. The album is packed with power and roaring vocals, but feels so mature. Some of the best work on the album- Beyond Oblivion, The Sin and the Sentence, The Heart from Your Hate, Betrayer, and The Wretchedness Inside - our favorite track on the album. The Sin and The Sentence will keep the die hard metal head happy. Strapping vocals, blistering guitar work, throbbing drums-all equates to one amazing Heavy Metal release. 

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7. Noga Erez-Off the Radar - Straight outta of the Motherland-Tel Aviv, Israel, Noga brings us some rich seductive beats with some controversial lyrics. Hitting on heavy issues, sexual assault, Middle East tensions, and even an attack on her own government-this is one complex release. INoS loves the way the album is wrapped up and delivered. The message-not so simple, it requires one to think and attempt to understand. The heavy beats get you up and moving, you'll find yourself dancing-even if you don't dance. The big question you must answer - "Can You Dance While You Shoot."

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6. Mastodon-Emperor of Sand - The Georgia Metal masters released a gem in their seventh studio album-Emperor of Sand. INoS compares this LP to a well planned road trip on a beautiful Harley Davidson. Feeling free as the journey continues. Starting of with Sultan's Curse, the album builds up speed on Show Yourself, and never lets up until Jaguar God is complete. Our highlight on Emperor of Sand is Roots Remain. It's at this moment you realize this is a metal morsel that's not to be taken lightly. There is not a bad tune on this release. Mastodon-A modern day Motorhead.

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5. Ruby The Hatchet-Planetary Space Child - All aboard for a one way ticket into the 1970's with no return - that's how righteous Planetary Space Child is. A Spacey, Classic Rock sound infused with the doom of Black Sabbath. INoS cherishes the sound on this release. A shout out to the slick organ heard throughout Planetary Space Child - bad ass. An honorable mention for our favorite track-Pagan Ritual, is a must listen. Ruby The Hatchet hit it perfectly with this jam. The guitars are on point, the vocals stunning, and the drums-smoking. Climb aboard for an intergalactic adventure-you won't be sorry.

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4. Cherry Glazerr-Apocalipstick - On their sophomore release Cherry Glazerr's sound has evolved into a slick retro rock/pop sound. This is such a fun album. It's best summed up on the tune-Trash People. "Trash People, we wear our underpants three days in a row." Who wears their underwear three days in a row? Clementine Creevy is definitely on top of her vocal game, sounding fierce up and down Apocalipstick, both vocally and on her guitar. INoS says-Nurse Ratched-our favorite 2 minutes of 2017.

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3. Alvvays-Anti-Socialites - Pronounced "Always," the band formed in Toronto, Ontario, in 2011. INoS has been fans since day one. Anti-Socialites has escalated the band to where they need to be. From beginning to end, Anti-Socialites shines. Dreamy, hazy tales of life and relationships with a definite 60's psych vibe. INoS' favorite track is "Not my baby." A sad song of reality that all should listen closely, and learn. "I'm really not there." Molly Rankin's vocals have recognizably matured and are sounding so beautiful. Alvvays-Indie Pop at its finest.

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2. Arch Enemy-Will to Power - By far the best Heavy Metal album of 2017. INoS applauds when a metal band creates a masterpiece. Will to Power marks the rise of Swedish Metal - AE is newly fronted by lead vocalist, Alisa White-Gluz. She is your master. Deep, bellowing scowls that make you cringe-but in the best way humanly possible. This LP has all the necessary ingredients of metal-power chords, intense guitar solos, and lyrics of pain and deceit, best told by Gluz. Darkness shines on the track-"First day in Hell. "Gluz tells a sad but true tale of the Holocaust. Talk about heavy. If you call yourself a heavy metal fan and are not familiar with Will to Power-you screwed up.

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1. Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit-The Nashville Sound - This piece of work is gorgeous. The song writing and vocals are phenomenal. Isbell continues his evolution as a song-writer and definitely hits it high on The Nashville Sound. Isbell's wife and fiddler-Amanda Shires adds to the mystique of this release. Each song tackles deep issues of life and its struggle. INoS' favorite track - If we Were Vampires. Together Isbell and Shires tell tales of love and how precious it is, all along knowing that one day death will separate them. The message is - "Love is a gift." Truly, The Nashville Sound is a gift and we are so truly fortunate to have enjoyed it. 

ARCH ENEMY - Metal Symphony of Destruction

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Indie Network of Sound cherishes the first date with a band. It’s that moment of introduction, the biotic connection created the first time you experience a band live. You’ll know it when it happens. It’s a heavy moment and we thrive on that sensation at #INoS.

The venue darkened, and the shadows of power reared their beautiful head. Large figures with Flying V guitars dominated the stage. Hell Yeah, INoS  knew that this was for going to be for real. Power chords flooded the venue, devil horns displayed-wall to wall. Lead singer Alissa White-Gluz emerged with a deep bellowing howl and leaped into the air landing perfectly in a striking stance. Let the metal begin. The hair was standing up on the back of our necks from the adrenaline drop we got from the perfectly orchestrated entrance.

Arch Enemy blistered through a commanding 75-minute set leaving all in attendance drenched. During the powerhouse performance INoS observed a few things; In a scene dominated by men with Type A personalities, Gluz held her own and answered back with a vengeance. Women are more and more a dominating presence in the metal scene. Kickin’ out the howls that hurt even our throats. Gluz owned the stage with engaging dominance, “kicking the microphone stand in the air, spinning like she just didn’t care.” Fists were flying, feet were kicking, and there was some good ol’ shit talking with the crowd. Gluz questioned the crowd, and warned us not to lie - “I can see your faces.” 

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This is what live music is all about. The connection between artists and their fans. It was all happening. It must be said that Gluz is fortunate to have the backing of some of the best shredders in metal - including that of Jeff Loomis. Ripping out riffs with a unique, metal melodic sound. A flawless platform handed to Gluz on a silver platter, she added her finishing touch-impeccable vocals and an alluring stage presence. Stomping back to front, spitting out lessons of deceit. You best listen.

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An #INoS shout out goes to the shredders that knocked out a good ol’ vintage 1980’s heavy metal solo halfway through the set-you know what I’m taking about. Their opus-so beautiful and classy, telling a story of pain and struggle. A struggle that was well worth it all. #INoS flipped their Bic and waved it through the air-we understood. Gluz came forth and the mayhem began once again. We appreciated the intermission, a much-needed moment to gather our thoughts.

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One thing is for sure-Arch Enemy are class act-metal virtuosos mastering their art. Gluz fronting a metal opera she truly feels. It was obvious in the performance. Gluz’s power and energy came from the soul. On this night Arch Enemy owned their fans. Pulled them into the belly of the beast, helpless, yet jovial. Frightening stories were told of revenge and betrayal. Descriptive moments of pain and retribution. “I don’t believe in heaven - I don’t believe in hell.” A little voice whispered into our ear that “everything will be ok.” #INoS believes in one thing and it went down right in front of our eyes. The magic of the first date. The feeling that will never be duplicated. INoS is happy we took a road trip for this one and thank the metal gods that we did. Arch Enemy brought INoS and San Antonio one of the best metal shows of the year. A metal symphony of destruction, and for this we thank you.

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So Sorry Charlie-Ween

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When #INoS thinks of Ween, we think of great times and great songs. Every show is different and is certain to be shared with friends from all over the US and A. Like when we saw them play at Liberty Lunch and we heard our favorites Dr. Rock, Captain Fantasy, and You Fucked Up You Bitch. But we also remember seeing them for the first time at a tiny bar in Ann Arbor, Michigan, called the Blind Pig, and listening to them play their songs from The Pod. At that time it was just Aaron and Mickey and a drum machine. Yeah!

But we also recall all of the great Stubb's shows that we've seen over the years. There was the year of the great shows with Queens of the Stoneage opening, when Live at Stubbs was recorded. Yet its been our past three shows that may have been the best ever, albeit separated by seven years. For instance in 2010 we were blown away to hear Touch My Tooter, and Lets Dance, yet got lost in Woman and Man. At that time we realized that these guys were sounding better than ever. The guitar shreds were unprecedented, the musicianship and setlist curation - on another level. These guys had accomplished something, and created a following that few are able to ever achieve. 

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But then there was the long break. There were rumours of discontent, and later a possible reunion. A few shows here and there worked well, and then suddenly the guys were back. All of them. Claude Coleman, Jr., Dave Dreiwitz, and Glenn. Gener was even happy. As I was told on night one, right before the show, if Gener is happy - then the shows would be good. He was happy to be back in Austin. The shows were very good.

Man did they deliver. The best I can describe in Ween parlance is that these shows were very Brown. I dub these shows as the "Sketches of Winkle," and realized that on night one that it is good to be Johnny on the Spot. These guys were able to pick up where they had left off and delivered to Austin two nights of both deep cuts and favorites. Frank, and Squelch the Little Weasel, alone were worth the price of admission. It was also memorable that we enjoyed these shows, and made friends with Ween fans - who were from Montana to Maine. 

Having experienced night one, there was no question that we would not miss night two. So we strapped on our Jammy Pacs and got ready to dive back in. Night two got even weirder in that they played their legend "The Stallion" in its entirety. Not just 1, 2, 3,4 or 5, but all of them in consecutive order. It was grand, and it is said that this may be the first time they ever did this?

We heard many songs we hoped we would hear again one day, and many we hoped we would hear again. Rarities from our favorite records The Pod, Quebec, Shinola, and The Homo Rainbow. Man could it get any better? We thought not, but then they played the vaunted PoopShip LolliPop. Boom! The two-night stand ended with Gener saying "we'll see you in the Spring."

Mang, we cannot wait.

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Let's go for a ride-Afghan Whigs in Austin, Texas

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     It was a lovely Rocktober evening, the Fall Classic had just begun, and Indie Network of Sound was amongst their friends at The Mohawk in Austin, getting ready to take in the Rock n' Soul Revue of The Afghan Whigs. As INoS stood front and center, we reminisced about a night long ago where we rocked our brains out at the long lamented, but never replaced Liberty Lunch. So many great ones graced that stage, including The Afghan Whigs.

     That night was a wild one for all, especially for lead singer Greg Dulli. As the show was coming to an end, we recalled Greg leaping ferociously into the crowd, briefly disappearing, and then reemerging with a bloodied forehead. At the time Greg was known to have had a bit of a temper, and word was he went after some asshole in the crowd. We didn’t care. We loved every minute of it. We knew this night would be remembered by all in attendance.

     Sadly, Liberty Lunch is gone, but The Afghan Whigs are not. They were back for #INoS to get another dose, and for this we were grateful. As we awaited their grand entrance, we made friends with some righteous fans. We all spoke of our past Afghan Whigs experiences, The Twilight Singers, Greg, and how much we have all matured throughout the years. This was one of those special moments where you realize you’re not just seeing a show, but celebrating a milestone in your life. This was for the brothers and sisters who have hung in there. The music of The Afghan Whigs has grown with us, helped us through tough times, and years later still plays a huge role in our lives. “It’s in our blood, it’s in our bed.” Thus, we didn’t take this show lightly. We felt that something special was about to happen. A moment of silence hit, and then the roar of the crowd alerted INoS that shit was about to go down.  

     That the band knocked out some of our favorites from Gentleman, Black Love, and 1965, was not lost on us. The Afghan Whigs had grown with us and were now, after all of these years, finally on top of their game. The pure sound was real, their power genuine. Just like we remembered. True Rock n' Roll.

     It has been a tough year for The Afghan Whigs. The tragic passing of longtime friend and guitarist, Dave Rosser, hit hard. We could only imagine the toll it took on Greg and the band. INoS felt the pain when Greg honored Dave, and spoke sincere words of his friendship and admiration. 

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     The bluntness and confidence is what INoS has always loved about Greg. The man will tell you how it is. At one point, he encouraged the crowd to take photos, but was clear, “No flash.” Greg pulled us into his world during the career spanning set. The connection was made. The set list stellar. 90 minutes of perfectly curated jams. The night ended in perfect rock star fashion. Greg said his goodbyes, “Let the boys take you home.” Then the band grooved us with the fuel that took us to another dimension. This is what music is all about, organic energy. We watched Greg drop the mic and exit stage left, never to be seen again. The Afghan Whigs are a class act and we have the utmost respect for them. So we ask, do you want to go for a ride? And the answer all night was - yes.

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The INSANE CLOWN POSSE - Performs "THE GREAT MILENKO"

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Indie Network of Sound (INoS) is calling on all the Austin Juggalos. The Insane Clown Posse (ICP) are bringing their traveling and frightful freakshow of madness and mayhem on October 14th, 2017 to The Empire Control Room and Garage in Austin. ICP - Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope - will be celebrating the 20th Anniversary of their seminal release "The Great Milenko" with their Juggalos. This is a rarity, you don't want to miss. Since INoS proudly reigns from Detroit, as does ICP - we can proudly say, "This ain't no joke." This is more than a concert event, this will prove to be a rough and tumble, sizzurp fueled circus of darkness and good times.

Fun loving freaks, geeks, rarities, oddities, and just straight up music lovers-this experience is for you. Over the years, you've heard all of the hype. This is your chance to take it all in, because ICP is the real deal. The show, the fans, and the experience you won't find anywhere outside of an ICP show. INoS thanks the Empire Control Room & Garage and Come and Take It Productions for bringing this show to all of us.  Get your tickets now-this will sell out.

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The Dillinger Escape Plan - Far Beyond the Wheel in Austin

May 27th, 2017, will go down in Indie Network of Sound history. We will remember that the Mohawk Austin was under siege on this night. That we were warned things would get violent. Prior to entering the sold out show, INoS could have never imagined the devastation that was about to occur. It was like nothing we have experienced before, and because these shows have been billed as the Dillinger Escape Plan's farewell, we may never experience such madness and mayhem ever again. Trust us, we’ve been around the block. So when we say it was wild, it was really that wild.

INoS had always heard the stories about The Dillinger Escape Plan's live performance. It’s been said that they are one of the wildest and heaviest bands around. This is truly an underestimation of the raw power that was bestowed upon us. It was a combat zone. Bodies were flying everywhere; falling from the rafters, and launching from the stage. One could not turn their back due to the madness and mayhem that smashed into anyone and anything that got in its way. We geared up with legendary, top notch Photog Warrior, Cayo. A dedicated patriot to the live music photography game. Cayo, though not in his comfort zone, hit the frontline armed with the love of music and photography. Without full knowledge of what he was about to encounter, he dove deep into battle to capture the moments you deserve. Sustaining hits to the head, face, and camera.  He stood toe to toe, knee deep in bodies, all in the name of Rock n’ Roll.

As Greg and Ben, the front man and lead guitarist of Dillinger hit the stage, they commanded the crowd to split the pit. They then jumped in and got things started. One could compare this scene to the biblical moment when Moses split the Red Sea for his people, The Chosen Ones. In this case, the chosen people were their hungry fans yearning for total destruction. Moments into the show bodies were being tossed with abandon. The pit adrenalized by pure power conquered the stage, all in the name of nose diving back, deep into the blissful sea of humanity. The band welcomed this anarchy by antagonizing the crowd for more.

Throughout the show, Greg himself took many plunges into the crowd while never missing a beat. Per Cayo, this spectacle "was a non-stop, bang your head, get the fuck out of my way show." Devoted metal maniacs stormed the stage as Ben could be seen applying headlocks upon the warriors. It was beautiful, and a sight to be seen. A music love affair between a band and their adoring fans. That’s what it’s all about. On the surface, it appeared to be a violent evening of music, when in retrospect it was truly a night of love and emotion. Maybe sadness because this was very possibly the last time.

Big thank you to collaborator, contributor, and friend of INoS #Cayo, @olivaphotography for leading the attack on this night and reporting from the field. The pictures and coverage that captured the moment are top notch. We think you'll agree.

The Orwells at "Emos" Austin - These Brothers Groove

Let's just say that INoS has been owned by the Orwells. Having provided two of the all time, great live television performances on the late, lamented Letterman Show - http://bit.ly/2m8gIMw and http://bit.ly/2p282Ke - we knew early on that this was a band to reckon with, a band that is not to be missed. Then we caught them live for the first time during SXSW 2014, and we knew that these guys were doing something different and that they were just that much better than most any other young band out there. They were wild, garagey, and punk. All of the things that INoS lives for. Not surprisingly this band has brothers in it, and as we always say, the best bands have brothers.

But it is not just the Brinner brothers, it is the whole package. Fronted by Super Mario Cuomo, The Orwells are like the best band at the high school battle of the bands, except that they blow everyone else off the stage. They have a groove that pulls you in and makes you want to dance. It is truly the music to dance too. The excellent musicianship on this night was evident. As the night went on the boys kept saying over and over that "we have one more," and one more they played. They just kept on going, because on this night they had something to prove. Rock and roll is alive and well. The night ended in true Chicago Blues form. Mario walked off stage and the band played on. The show was short and sweet. But oh - it was one heavy hour.

Photos by Friend of INoS and collaborator - Cayo Oliva (@olivaphotography)

A GRIZZLY NIGHT OF METAL-Devil Driver & Death Angel

The Indie Network of Sound is here to say that we are serious fans of Heavy Metal, and have always been. In many ways we were raised by it. Our passion goes way back to the mean streets of Detroit, always searching for our next metal fix. As the years went on, our passion only grew stronger as it took us on many adventures. We have seen it all, from New York to Los Angeles, Seattle to New Orleans. So when INoS got word of the Metal Circus coming to Austin, we were stoked and ready to enter the belly of the beast.

The Bound By The Road Tour - brought us six bands, and featured hardcore veterans Death Angel and DevilDriver. The event was held at Grizzly Hall, a true metal venue that is strictly dedicated to the cause. We couldn’t have picked a better spot. A venue with a down and gritty street smart persona. The set-up is very slick and includes a multi-level viewing area that wraps around the stage giving the metal fan a front row view no matter where they are. Not a bad seat in the house.

This night was truly a treat for INoS. A perfectly curated line-up of ferocious bands. It was us attending Sunday Night Mass at the Metal Church. It was an extravaganza, where every band that stepped up to the stage absolutely killed it. Though, the show was signed, sealed, and delivered by the headlining veterans - Death Angel and DevilDriver. Death Angel are no rookies to the scene. They have been knocking it out since the 80’s, honing their game to perfection. INoS was front and center feeling the aggression delivered by Jackson Flying V guitars. Watching the entire main floor engulfed by a tornado like mosh pit that had a mind of its own was a sight to be seen. We had two choices, run to the hills or join the hungry pit and enter the Valley of the Damned. INoS knew exactly where they belonged - In the mouth of madness.

It didn’t end there. The power continued and the night took a turn with DevilDriver. These cats from Santa Barbara, California, meant business. These are the guys that you do not fuck with. Hungry fans were hanging from the rafters. Fists were flying. The pit was in full effect swarming the main floor, and spitting out the weak. Truly no one knew what was waiting for them in the darkness. Sometimes you have to take a few steps back and take it all in, and that’s just what we did. We hit the second level, dead center. What a beautiful spectacle it was.

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In a world that is currently split on many issues, we saw one thing on this night - Unity. Music fans gathered for the same cause, getting their Sunday night Metal fix. DevilDriver provided a pure shot of adrenaline that smacked the ATX straight across their face, and it felt so good. It was a much needed hit of Metal Sativa. When it was all said and done, INoS was cleansed, and ready to hit the streets once again searching for our next fix.

A Punk Throwdown With The Coathangers

This was big. We at INoS are huge fans of The Coathangers. We love the punk grittiness and raw filthy sounds of the power trio reigning from Atlanta, and we couldn’t wait for them to make it to Austin. They’ve been honing their sound for over a decade and in our opinion are the leaders of the pack. So strap yourself in and enjoy the ride. Nosebleed Weekend was INoS’ top pick for album of 2016, a sweet gem, and on this night we were geared up and ready to rock our socks off. As we entered the Barracuda, we immediately observed the band mingling in the crowd. INoS made it a point to speak with all three and let them know how excited we were for their performance. Great conversation was had. We spoke about music, their label Suicide Squeeze, and why we love their sound. Stephanie, Meredith, and Julie we salute you.

The lights dimmed, the crowd tightened up, and the ladies entered the stage with dominance. INoS, like a dog, marked their spot, stage left. No one could get in our way. We wanted this. Our bodies and our brains needed a jolt. The Coathangers smashed right into “Johnny.” It was the perfect way to energize the crowd and get things started. The ladies continued with many of our favorites from Nosebleed Weekend and Suck My Shirt. INoS was in fifth gear and all revved up. We found ourselves banging and smashing into whatever got in our way. We mean anything that got in our way. We have the bruises to prove it.

Austin, Texas rocked out like champions this evening. Was it Garage Rock? Punk Rock? Was it Metal? It was a mixture of all served up with muscle, and rammed down our throats. We loved it. Holy shit, watching Stephanie pound the drums was intense. Each strike could be felt shaking the walls of the Barracuda. What a powerhouse. A straight-up punk throwdown. Without hesitation throughout the show, the band members magically swapped instruments and played each with expertise. This was such an amazing evening of rock that will go down in Indie Network of Sound history as one of the best. We were amped up for The Coathangers and they delivered. They stood toe to toe with a packed house and knocked it out. Take the following advice as the gospel. Check your calendar music fans. If this band is coming through your town, make sure you check ‘em out. INoS felt rejuvenated and reborn after the set. The Coathangers are a solid machine kicking out the jams that you want to hear.

FOIS SAUVAGES - JULY TALK - The Sidewinder February 3, 2017

We’ve been huge fans of July Talk since the first time we met them during SXSW 2015. That year we caught two wild performances. One thing can be said about July Talk, they put on a phenomenal show. Solid rock jams amped up with passive/aggressive sexual tension. Unless you have experienced the euphoric endorphin dump during a July Talk show, you have no idea what we’re talking about. It’s natural, very organic.

As such INoS has been awaiting their return to Austin, Texas. The Canadian band doesn’t often come our way, so this was an opportunity not to be missed. As we entered The Sidewinder, the first thing we saw was “SOLD OUT.” Like always, Indie Network of Sound claimed their spot “front and center.” As the lights dimmed and the crowd began to howl, July Talk took the stage with electrifying energy. The band is fronted by Leah Fay and Peter Dreimanis, both extremely charming. Leah’s vocals are sweet and innocent, fronted with a beautiful smile. Don’t let that fool you, she carries a dark passenger. Is it sexual appeal? It may be the anticipation of the unknown as we watch Leah slither around the stage circling Peter, ready to strike her prey. One could only wish it was that simple. This is much more complex. She definitely has no problem commanding what she wants, what she needs, and Peter will oblige. Tonight, Leah was in full control.

Peter the ultimate Alpha Male. The James Dean of rock with a slick guitar slung down his back. His vocals like no other. INoS describes it as a deep growl bellowing from his soul. On this date, things were a bit different though. It was not like the past times we’ve seen July Talk, where Peter was a wild animal roaming and conquering his prey. This time he was tamed, and under the control of Leah. In an act of dominance Leah ordered Peter to his knees, thus building anticipation. The crowd screamed, “On your knees” and Peter got down. Leah taunted him holding the microphone while Peter sang into it. Peter was in full effect, full of wild facial expressions, self-strikes to his face, and microphone chords wound around Leah’s neck. Yes, that’s right. ‘Fois Sauvages’ [Wild Times] were had. It was an opus of sexual energy, crowd chemistry, and tension, building a beautiful relationship between music and stage performance. July Talk has a magnetic chemistry that leaves music fans wanting more. Perfect jams infused with blues, rock, and pop music. They’ve tapped into something special. In a day when people are in search for love, sex, and excitement, July Talk delivered it all in 90 minutes. What else could you ask for? INoS can’t stress it enough. July Talk is fresh, exciting, and a must for rock fans.

A Giant Dog Triumphs at Barracuda

The other night Indie Network of Sound witnessed the triumphant hometown return of A Giant Dog. The band had recently completed an extensive European tour, and they returned as what INoS can only describe as the HeavyWeight Champions of the Indie Rock world. This was characterized and made plain by the boxers robe worn by Sabrina as she entered stage right of the very packed Barracuda ready for a fight. This for the bands' exclusive FREEWEEK performance in Austin,Texas.

Free Week has become an Austin staple over the past handful of years and is best described as an extended week when local bands play venues throughout the city for Free. On this night a message was sent, A Giant Dog meant business and they did not disappoint. They came ready as a tightly tuned unit for a take no prisoners street fight. Mayhem and Madness is what ensued. Bodies were flying everywhere, rockin' and rollin,' smashing into anything that got in the way. All powered by many of INoS favorite jams from A Giant Dog's latest release, Pile. INoS recommends A Giant Dog to anyone who doesn't know.

Top Albums of 2016-Indie Network of Sound

It is safe to say that 2016 was not one of the kindest years to musicians. The music community lost way too many great ones. With that said, 2016 was indeed a great year for music - with the release of many musical gems.

Indie Network of Sound paid homage throughout the year to many artists and their worthy releases. It was difficult for us to narrow our favorites down to a list of twenty albums, and thus a challenge to bring you what is in our opinion the year’s best works. INoS says - “Keep on Rockin.”

20) Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Skeleton Tree

19) Frankie Cosmos - Next Thing

18) Neurosis - Fires within Fires

17) Danny Brown - Atrocity Exhibition

16) Beach Slang - A Large Bash of Teenage Feelings

15) Crystal Castles - Amnesty (I)

14) Angel Olsen - My Woman

13) Body War - Show Me The Body

12) Public Access T.V. - Never Enough

11) The Kills - Ash & Ice

10) Haelos - Full Circle

9) Hinds - Leave Me Alone

8) Car Seat Headrest - Teens Of Denial

7) David Bowie - Blackstar

6) Death Valley Girls - Glow In The Dark

5) A Giant Dog - Pile

4) Bleached - Welcome To The Worms

3) Warpaint - Heads Up

2) Slothrust - Everyone Else

1) The Coathangers - Nosebleed Weekend

 

 

RUBY THE HATCHET

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Indie Network of Sound (INoS) recently took a journey through the Valley of the Snake with Ruby the Hatchet. The adventure into darkness began at an INoS always favorite rock spot, The Barracuda in Austin, Texas, and what may be is best described as an evening of doom psychedelic rock, heavy bass, blistering guitar, and pouncing drums. We were on the Black Mountainside – near to the cliff and entering the abyss. INoS encountered solid musicianship mastering the art of the magic trick. The magic trick that occurs when a group of artists enter an empty room and make magic; a happening that wasn’t present - until the artists set up and turned on.

And this is what we witnessed. Let’s talk about the singer - Jillian. As she emerged onstage, we felt the presence of Janis Joplin. It was the look. It was the feel. The 70’s flowing hair, rad outfit, topped off with slick blue star boots. We immediately dug her style. And must pay homage to Jillian’s – David Bowie and Lemmy tats. Right on!

Jillian took off with perfect vocals to the soundtrack of doom. INoS felt the cold chill emerging from the valley. Jillian was telling a story of fear, evil, and debauchery.  The Conjuring of darkness was going down as Jillian fell to her knees, hands in the air, asking the crowd to hear her now. The lyrics still burnt into our brains, “Look to the sky my love, I see tomorrow.”  We were deep in and there was no turning back. Hypnotized by the heavy guitar riffs, the dark vocals emerged upon us. INoS took two steps closer. This was a beautiful journey led by heavy guitar and bass riffs, a mystical organ, and killer drums. Jillian was the Queen of Darkness taking Austin, Texas, by the hand, straight through the heart of “The Valley of the Snake.” 

As the journey continued and the mind warping 70’s acid rock took effect, the sound was off the hook. Heavy, pure, and loud. This is what we wanted. This is what we needed. This is what we deserved. Our souls were cleansed. 50 minutes of true rock. Paying Homage to Black Sabbath, Black Mountain, and INoS favorite - Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats.

After the show, Indie Network of Sound had the great opportunity to meet Ruby The Hatchet herself - Jillian Anderson. INoS let it be known how much they loved the set and the fact that Ruby the Hatchet rocked our socks off. Jillian was extremely humble. This type of moment is what INoS is all about. The discovery of fresh new music that moves us.  We look forward to crossing paths once again. This is one band you don’t want to miss. INoS says- Ruby the Hatchet is a must.

Dazed in the Desert - Desert Daze Recap

Following is a recap of the recent Desert Daze that took place at The Institute of MentalPhysics in Joshua Tree, CA, from contributing friend of INoS and photog extraordinaire, Travis Trautt (www.travistrautt.com , @travistrautt). The Institute of MentalPhysics was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and his son, Lloyd Wright. It is said to be an architectural landmark, that was harmoniously designed with the astounding beauty of the Joshua Tree desert. Sounds like an awesome spot for a “Festival of Music.” Here is Travis’ take on the festival that leaves INoS with with many new acts to seek out and much to explore. Desert Daze proved to be a beautiful experience that was chock full of some of our favorite bands.

I was overly excited for the entire trip. It was a bonus to come on as a Desert Daze guest and house photographer - Not to mention my return to Joshua Tree. The night before the event, I arrived at 230 AM, and was given a tour of the grounds by two friends who were also working the event.

On Day 1/Friday - I was up at 730 and ready to rock. I explored the town and then prepared for the shoot. Although the day bands were good, I was intently focused on getting my bearings straight, understanding the stage layouts, and meeting the security team. Befriending the security staff is a huge deal and to your advantage when working a festival - because they become your best friends when needing to navigate the madness. After meeting the festival staff I knew that shit would get crazy. Especially once night fell.

The day didn't really kick-off for me until INoS favorite Death Valley Girls hit the stage -  their energy really kicked the day into a very high gear. Yet the two bands that I was most excited for - King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard and The Sonics – were still to come. The Sonics came out and put on a great show – after all of these years this legendary Tacoma band can still rip. Yet it was King Gizzard that went insane with an extreme high energy that the crowd was completely into. Other highlights of Day 1 included Deerhunter, Toro Y Moi, and Temples.

Death Valley Girls

Saturday was still to come and set up to be the craziest day of all - the lineup was pure goodness. From 2PM til 2AM-  it's was non-stop rocking. Cherry Glazerr kicked festivities off right for me. Next up were Radio Moscow and WAND – and both bands absolutely killed it.

As evening fell and the full moon rose over the desert – all things began to feel out of control. The epic bands of note were:

Thee Oh Sees,

Black Angels – It was awesome to see and hear their excellent record Passover played in its entirety. On a side note- the posters that were made for Black Angels were a hot commodity and sold out within a few hours of the first day,

Primus was cool, but wish I had instead gone to see the Night Beats,

Jujjuu fit the venue nicely, and finally

Godspeed You! Black Emperor - They turned off most lights and played in the light haze. Killer show.

A few side notes I spotted Ty Segall hanging in the back watching most of the bands. I really loved seeing that. As well my camera went down on Saturday. Thankfully and luckily, I had rented a second camera body for this event, and it ultimately saved my ass. I had never rented a second body before - I got very lucky this time.  That said, I disappointingly lost all of my Godspeed photos.

Sunday was bit more mellow. I think the people were burnt.

I started out with Meatbodies, La Luz was great as always, Metz went off - very high energy, Pond put on a great show, Television is legendary, and finally BJM – closed it all out playing an awesome set as is standard for them.

The Ghost in our head told us so....Slothrust

It is no secret that Indie Network of Sound are huge fans of the Brooklyn/LA-based trio Slothrust. INoS has rocked out with Slothrust on three prior occasions, and each time has been an amazing and unique experience. Thus our admiration of the band has been well earned.  

On October 20, 2016, Indie Network of Sound had the pleasurable opportunity to sit down with Leah Wellbaum, Kyle Bann, and Will Gorin, collectively known as Slothrust. We nestled ourselves in a corner spot at Buffalo Billiards, on the second level patio overlooking 6th Street in Austin, Texas - Conveniently located across the street from The Parish, the venue where Slothrust would be playing a sold-out show in 2 hours time. We have the utmost respect for this band, so this was truly an honor. We had great conversation and good laughs. As we spoke, one thing came to mind, “these are some cool cats.” INoS looks forward to bringing this interview to you in the near future. Slothrust is truly the band you need to know now.

The evening began in true Rock fashion with fans lined up around the building. As we packed our way into the venue, INoS did as they always do, positioned ourselves front and center. The band emerged and the festivities began. Leah’s vocals were perfect as she shredded away on her guitar. Her hair draped across her face, the lights hitting just perfectly to portray an image that was pure rock ‘n roll. Leah was lit up beautifully kicking out her intense, offbeat vocals. The lyrics, unique and confusing, filled with plenty of metaphors. This is a huge part of the Slothrust appeal. Plus, as most, we love to people watch and Leah is wildly fun to watch. Her facial expressions awkward and stage antics mesmerizing. Arms extended, eyes closed, Leah recites, “she don’t finish dinner, her expression never changes, don’t shake hands with the lonely kids, cuz I hear that shit’s contagious.”

Just like she stated, her expression never changed. It was obvious to INoS that Leah was in her rock n roll happy place, this was way too cool. Kyle, slamming away on the bass creating a 90’s grunge Nirvana feel. A true rock ‘n roll bad ass claiming his spot on the stage, one thing came to our mind, “territorial pissing.” The unsung hero, Will, beating the hell out of the drums. He is one intense mofo behind the scenes, killing it on the skins. All three talented musicians together create the machine that INoS loves so much, The Power Trio, Slothrust. The band knocked out a sixty-minute set filled with numerous jams from their anticipated new release, Everyone Else. INoS picked up on the subtle darkness in many of the tunes. We “totally got it.” We couldn’t help but notice the evolution of this band. On this night, the sound was different, the band was tighter than ever. Leah’s vocals, sly lyrics, and wit were as sharp as ever. Her guitar was blistering with power. It was all happening right in front of our eyes. The transition into true Rock Stars. A chill went up our spines, as Slothrust closed things out with a crowd favorite, Crockpot. Our journey with Slothrust for the last 3 years has brought us here, to this moment where it hit home, Slothrust is a rising force in the Indie scene, “the real deal.” 

The Darkness Down Under: Death Valley Girls

We’d like to start off by saying this was not Indie Network of Sound’s first rodeo with Death Valley Girls. We were fortunate enough to catch them twice during South by SouthWest (SXSW) 2016. Once during the fabulous BurgerMania - which is worthy of a story in itself. The amazing introduction, though, occurred at this mind blowing event called a “Fluffer Pit Party” put on by Fluffer Records out of London. At Pit Parties all bands are set up in a completely unique configuration, on the floor, in the middle of the venue, surrounded by their amps. The crowd then forms a circle around the band, and the bands tear it up in the round. An amazing concept. Well, this is how INoS was first introduced to the Death Valley Girls. They rocked our socks off and brains out leaving us only wanting more.

On October 8th, 2016, Indie Network of Sound was geared up for Round 3 with the Death Valley Girls. The spot; Hotel Vegas, in Austin, Texas. The scene; a two day festival neatly titled, “Heaven or Hotel Vegas: Hot Burrito Dream Pop Weekend.” Hotel Vegas, a sweet little spot located on the east side of town, is an Indie Network of Sound favorite. A true rock venue if there ever was one. INoS positioned ourselves front and center ready for some action. Death Valley Girls struck right on-time - at the meaningful witching hour of midnight. The band emerged and immediately caught our attention. Dressed in tight leather with black capes draped upon their backs. We’re not talking about superhero capes. These were no superheroes fighting evil; these ladies were sent from down under.

Each member had the mark of the beast on their forehead. The tone was set with a large red demon hovering over the stage. It was obvious to us the Death Valley Girls were spreading the word, and summoning the DarkSide. It was like a horror movie set to a beautiful soundtrack. The stage was small but the band used every inch of it to taunt the fans. The music was killer. Best described as a dark heavy groove, with a 1970’s garage rock sound. Some refer to it as “DoomBoogie.” As we stood in awe we could hear an homage being paid to some of our old school favorites; KISS, Black Sabbath, and definitely the father of darkness, Alice Cooper. Yet, INoS also has to pay our respects to Larry, the axe behind the scenes laying down some serious evil riffs. All of this pulled the whole package together. INoS was mesmerized by the Death Valley Girls, watching every move they made. It was probably the fear that drew us in. The cohesiveness of the band was intense, similar to a 1960’s gang. These are the chicks you don’t fuck with. On their knees, back, and face to face – rockin’ out. There wasn’t a dull moment throughout. They plowed through their set hitting all of our favorites from their sophomore release, Glow in the Dark. Once the show concluded, we felt different. Something had changed in us. It was as if the music summoned our dark passenger. We feared what would happen next.

After the show the Indie Network of Sound had the good fortune to meet up with band. These are some very cool musicians. Down to earth, humble, and extremely enchanting. We had great a conversation about life and music. The Death Valley Girls are for real. The clock struck 2AM and as we were saying our final goodbyes, a fan walked up and yelled, “Lady Power.” For a moment we paused, thought to ourselves as simple as it was, that’s what this was all about, Lady Power and the power was definitely strong.

Dinosaur Jr. - September 16, 2016 at the ACL Moody Theater

 J Mascis, Lou Barlow, and Murph

J Mascis, Lou Barlow, and Murph

This is a story of finding out at the last possible minute that you were invited to have the unique chance to see one of the all-time great independent acts and live bands. The story of a night that was meant to be. This is about a band that had been broken up for the better part of ten years in the late nineties, but had been back together for the last ten years, and for one reason or another INoS hadn't caught them live in many years. More on that later. 

It is a story of our love and admiration for the power trio. This was Dinosaur Jr. It was all Amps and Mind Melt. It was Guitar Wizardry, and what Nirvana might have been in 2016, if they had lasted the test of time. There were great shredding guitars. Heavy as hell one minute and poppy the next. There was a Wall of Sound that was at times Heavy Metal and at other times "Wimpy, Jangly Stuff" as they once described themselves. Overall it was a heavy influence of all the bands we love. It was J Mascis the Legend, and it was the original, legendary lineup of Murph on Drums and Lou Barlow on Bass and Vocals.

When I told my friend of the experience, she asked "Aren't they from the 80s?" And when Lou Barlow sang, he brought us to memories of Uncle Tupelo. It was all so Wonderful.  Rock N' Roll. Soothes the Soul. We all agree. This night was all about Fluid Influences. At times there was Bob Dylan, then on to Blue Cheer or Nebula, to Black Sabbath, and back to REM. But it was all about the essence of D Jr. They played songs from throughout their catalog during a two hour set. It was like so many things that came before it. Yet. Like nothing else. So the night was pretty much perfection when it comes to a rock show. That said, INoS left saddened and confounded that we had missed the better part of the past 25 years of D Jr live shows. With us hanging from the rafters that night we were somewhat redeemed. So now we know. At least we ask. Is this is one of the heaviest bands of all time?

BUMBERSHOOT SEATTLE 2016

It's no secret that Indie Network of Sound likes to crowd source and collaborate with artists and like minded media groups. To that end we had the recent opportunity to partner with friends of INoS - the great Photographer Travis Trautt and Nadamucho Seattle.

Over the Labor Day weekend of 9/2-9/4, Travis shot photos of the Legendary Bumbershoot Seattle Festival. Here are some select photos that he shot for INoS.

Indie Network of Sound looks forward to a long and fruitful future of sharing resources and working together with our friends in Seattle. 

 

ZELLA DAY

 

HINDS

 

BILLY IDOL

 

EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY

 

NAKED GIANTS

 

FATHER JOHN MISTY

 

ANDREW BIRD

 

BLACK JOE LEWIS

 

ISKA DHAAF