OnlineRock Blog

10 February 2012

Free Music Friday - February 10, 2012

Three hell-raisingly stupendous artists for you on this beautiful Friday:

1. Diehard - Old Habits EP
(free download from Bandcamp)




This week, I've found Old Habits, an EP full of covers by Diehard. Taking a cue from Yo La Tengo's perennial covers-for-pledges marathons on WFMU, Diehard recorded covers requested by those fans of theirs who donated at a high enough level on their Kickstarter campaign (for their album The Times We Didn't Have Fun, available on a pay-what-you'd-like basis here). The covers are home-recorded fun, and Diehard tackle Fugazi, The Promise Ring and The New Pornographers with ease. The highlight, though -- what really grabbed my attention -- was a hybrid of The Beatles and Pavement: Penny/Shady Lane. The promise of that combination alone should be enough to get you to click the link above.

-Andrew McNair

2. Butterknife - Do The Needful EP
(free download from Bandcamp)


This week, I've also found a new EP by Boston band Butterknife. This is simply five tracks of straightforward powerpop that does everything that powerpop should: snappy songs with catchy guitar riffs, punchy drums and good vocal harmonies. Highlights are the final two tracks: "Restless" and the epic "This Was a Romance."

-Andrew McNair

3.  East of Underground - "Hell Below (cover)"
(click to stream or right click to save as)

The always reliable Now-Again Records brings us this awesome, skittering Curtis Mayfield cover from a group of Vietnam vets in the early 1970s known as East of Underground. Apparently, some of their songs were used in U.S. Military recruitment centers as an example of the diversity and "coolness" of the soldiers overseas. "Hell Below" was probably left out of such demonstrations, considering its challenging lyrical content, which addresses racial and political issues. Filled to the brim with nervous energy, it's driven by a funky bassline, an infectiously propulsive drumbeat and soulful falsetto vocal stylings. A compilation of East of Underground and two other Vietnam soldier bands is available here. Check out the original Curtis Mayfield version below! 

-Tomi Mendel

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