September New Music Roundup Part 1 - Dentist, Cigar, Rocky Votolato, Armor For Sleep

September has been a particularly busy month for indie rock and punk bands to release new music. So, in order to even ATTEMPT to keep up, I am going to compile quite a few albums into one article so that you will have some great recommendations, and so we can highlight these deserving artists.

It’s just unfortunate that there are only so many hours in a week to write reviews, otherwise, I would give them all great attention. Sorry to the artists ahead of time for not being able to put in longer hours in a day or being able to write even faster than I already do. Ha ha

You can find all of these albums and many more on our Best of 2022 Rock Music Playlist on Spotify!

 

Dentist - Making a Scene - 4.4 out of 5 stars

I really liked this album which was released on Cleopatra Records on September 2nd, 2022. It’s a bit of surf punk sound mixed with a bit of grunge sound from the early 90’s. 

Vocalist/bassist Emily Borneman reminds me a LOT of Kim Deal from The Breeders and Pixies. A great vocal performance with ease and the ability to craft great songs that get you bopping your head and tapping your foot throughout.

The band is from Asbury Park, New Jersey which is a bit of a hotspot for live music, and I would say they bring out some of the brightness that most Jersey bands fail to add to their mix. That’s not to say the songs are positive in meaning or anything. It just seems that the go-to “Jersey sound” is more emo or harder than Dentist would put out.

Song Recommendations:Don’t Let Me Catch You” and “Let Me Go

 

Cigar - The Visitor - 4.5 out of 5 stars

Cigar is a punk rock staple for many fans of the West Coast punk of the 90’s and early 2000’s. They have been around for seemingly EVER, and they still pump out good music after many years of hiatuses and reunions. 

Originally formed in Eugene, OR back in 1996, the band has ONLY put out one other full-length album Speed Is Relative which was in 1999.

If you like speed punk like I do, then you are definitely going to like this album. It’s fast in all the right ways, and it will get you headbanging without even knowing it.

My favorite song is definitely “We Used To.” It’s probably the best Cigar song ever written, in my opinion.

Song Recommendations:These Chances” and “We Used To

 

Rocky Votolato - Wild Roots - 4.6 out of 5 stars

I will start this off by saying even though all the songs on this album were written before December of last year when Votolato and his wife April got the worst possible news imaginable - their son Kienan had died in a car accident - that doesn’t mean that the album doesn’t hit hard with emotional grief and sadness.

The album is an acoustic guitar (with some strings) concept album written about and to family members of Votolato, and the song “Becoming Human” was written about Kienan. 

As sad and reflective as it already is, it is unbearably hard to hear and not tear up while listening to it.

The whole album emits pain and sadness, but Votolato said himself in an interview with People magazine, “The point of this album to me is not to bring people down with the grief, which is there and very real and valid, but to help lift them up and give them strength in spite of it. I hope that's what these songs will do for people.”

He continues, “Someone told me that grief is just love with nowhere to go.” 

I highly encourage you to read his full interview on People’s website. Have a box of tissue handy.

If you just want to listen to the album, you definitely can do that as well, but the context is so much deeper with the backstory.

Every song has a bit of sadness and hope about it, but I don’t know how you can get through this album without a bit of grief coming through yourself. It’s a tearjerker.

Song Recommendations: “Becoming Human” and “Evergreen

 

 

Armor For Sleep - The Rain Museum - 4.5 out of 5 stars

I have been a big fan of Armor For Sleep for years. This was one of my most anticipated album releases of the year, and while I will say that I feel a bit disappointed overall in the album, I will say that I am happy as hell that the band has new music.

It is their first album in 15 years after all.

I say “disappointed” only in the sense that I just don’t think the songs have grown on me yet like their first 2 albums have. 

The same sound still exists, and the energy does as well. I also like the concept of the album as it is based on lead singer Ben Jorgensen’s short story about a post-apocalyptic world where weather is no longer a thing…hence, you can only see rain in a museum.

The song “In This Nightmare Together” is probably the most clear song explaining what is happening. 

To add a twist to the album, Jorgensen cites his recent divorce as a catalyst to take this album into more personal territory and not just make it about the sci-fi world he is building.

I have a feeling I will start to like this album more and more upon repeat listens.

Song Recommendations: “World Burn Down” and “A Teardrop (On the Surface of the Sun)