What’s an “Alcoholocaust,” you ask?
Find out in the latest roundup of recommended Vegas music releases:
■ Mercy Music, “Until the End of Your World”
For fans of: Guitar-hero punk with radiant melodies and decidedly less-sunny subject matter.
The lowdown: It’s almost as if Brendan Scholz comes tethered to storm clouds. “I’ve lost the joy in everything,” the Mercy Music frontman confesses on album opener “Song For,” setting an emotionally overcast tone. But Scholz is a pro at channeling his inner Eyeore to transform low spirits into something capable of soundtracking high times. “I’m so delighted to be so messed up,” Scholz contends on “Mark Your Wrists,” and he kind of sounds like it, giving strong, stirring voice to one guitar-driven anthem after the next.
Song you need to hear: “With Love.” No, “Wasted Heartless.” Hmm, let’s go with “Good Faith.” Seriously, it’s hard to pick. This one is that good.
■ Trade Voorhees, “Saturday 6”
For fans of: Rappers who love their wives, if not always their jobs, so much.
The lowdown: On “Brad Pitt,” Trade Voorhees catalogs his insecurities over a squirrely synth line: He’s out of shape. He’s getting old. He drives a Ford, not a Tesla. Then comes the chorus: “I think I look like (expletive) / But my wife think I look like Brad Pitt.” So it goes with the blue-collar rapper, who finds modest ways to inflate and deflate his ego on this most human of records, his flow laid-back and laconic at times, assertive and booming at others. Whether he’s recalling the time he and a friend got robbed as teenagers or chronicling the challenges of being a supervisor to button-pushing charges who’d rather be anywhere but on the job, Voorhees keeps it real — even when reality is a tardy employee.
Song you need to hear: “My Life’s a TV Show.” “This is great summer cruise music,” Voorhees contends on the song’s hook. Yup.
■ Casket Raider, “On a Pale Horse”
For fans of: Severe sounds that begat sore throats
The lowdown: Pass that bottle of Chloraseptic to the dude on the mic. Better yet, make it a gallon drum. Jordan Kloepfer’s pain is your gain, as the Casket Raider singer straight up lacerates his vocal chords here, going for larynx-bloodying broke. His bandmates follow suit. Casket Raider incorporates more black metal influences into its hook-heavy — and just plain ol’ heavy — death-thrash on “Horse,” ranging from the bleak atmospherics of “Dancing With Dead Moths” to the caustic blast of “Remember.” “I’m not afraid to die,” Kloepfer howls on an album-closing “Ultraviolet,” a sentiment you’d better share before hitting play on this bad boy.
Song you need to hear: “Traitor.” Get pancaked by swarming, Morbid Angel-worthy riffs.
■ Anti-Vision, “Anti-Vision”
For fans of: Speed-of-light punk equally soused and socially aware.
The lowdown: You could dose up on caffeine intravenously, or maybe spare yourself the track marks and give the latest from these DIY punks a spin. Tearing through 11 cuts in less than 20 minutes, Anti-Vision seldom pauses to catch its breath or allow you to do the same. To the band’s credit, though, these songs don’t blend together into a scabrous blur, which can be the case with a bunch of rippers delivered this fast and furiously, thanks to ska and metallic flourishes on tunes such as “American Scheme” and “Threat to Sobriety,” respectively. Despite the velocity, though, Anti-Vision never loses sight of crafting songs that you can sing along to — if you can keep up.
Song you need to hear: “Alcoholocaust.” “Drink more, think less.” Got it.
Contact Jason Bracelin at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @JasonBracelin on Twitter.