When I first got to State College, Casino Smoker was a myth, a legend, a band from a time past when everybody swore the scene was better (hey it isn’t bad now either). They were also a band everyone assured me was never coming back, ever, under any circumstances. I think that facade lasted for all of about two months before they asked me if they could hop on last minute to a show I booked. I was kinda hesitant, but mostly not really because I had 2 bands drop and needed some pull. Turned out it was the best decision I ever made as their particular brand of slacker-esque, self-deprecating punk was a perfect fit for the show.
Now I think they’re technically broken up again, but they are also supposed to play another show in June, so who really knows what’s going on anymore. The important thing, however, is that their music still shreds and that a State College local graced us with this video of one of their performances, which we highly recommend checking out. Below you can find their bandcamp too, just cause we want you to dig on the tunes even after the video is over.
There must be something in the water in New Brunswick because it never fails to churn out some truly incredible bands. With Fluoride, of course, being no exception to this rule but rather just about the best example we could ever possibly think of. They came out of (seemingly) nowhere this March, self-releasing their demo, a blistering attack of grindviolence that rarely, if ever, takes its foot off of your throat. Blast beats, shrieks, and manic guitar riffs abound, taking what is best from both of extreme music’s most music extreme subgenres and putting them together in a nice little package. Add to that an affinity for dense, deep walls of noise and that nice little package turns into a pretty wild creation.
And that’s not even mentioning their volatile, impassioned live performance which, as seen above, is a rather intense experience. Hopefully they decide to come back one day but until then their single S/T release and our fond memories of them will have to suffice.
When it comes to touring acts we here in State College have a few that we can’t help but continuing to bring back. Dollys just so happens to be one of those touring acts, having won our hearts during their first go-round up here. Blending an infectiously style of power pop with psych tinges the New Brunswick trio provides a music that is as unique as it is danceable. It never seeps into the general, often trite power pop trope of overly-repititve power chord patterns but instead plays with the boundaries of the music ever so slightly. Melodies are twisted and reorganized with a careful eye for dynamics, causing them to draw the listener in beyond simple ear-worms. Not to say that Dollys doesn’t create some memorable ear-worms, as those exist in abundance and are half of what makes Dollys music so highly addictive.