Upon first listen, it’s immediately obvious where BNLX’s obsessions and influences lie. From the overdriven feedback fuzz that scores the record, to the epic, post-punk spirit that courses throughout, Jesus and Mary Chain and Echo and the Bunnymen are an easy reference point. But while many modern DIY projects can plug in and produce squalling reverb and angst-y vocals, in most cases the results reek of posturing and shallow imitation. BNLX, dare I say, transcend time. They’ve created a debut LP that sounds late 1980s while remaining immediate, a record with the grit, chops and integrity to nod to their heroes while bravely blazing their own path.
The history of BNLX runs deep. After gaining notoriety on the national stage with his band Polara, as well as co-founding and running influential indie label Susstones, Ed Ackerson turned his focus to producing records. Based at his Flowers Studio recording facility in Minneapolis, he’s produced and engineered records for a huge and diverse range of artists including The Replacements, Motion City Soundtrack, and The Jayhawks. Ed has now picked up his guitar again and returned to live rock action with his new band BNLX, joined by his co-frontperson/wife Ashley Ackerson on bass and David Jarnstrom on drums.
Passion. Irony. Weirdness. Melody. These are some of the core elements of The Melismatics’ sound that has been developed over the past decade through intense recording, heavy touring, and an inhuman intake of caffeinated beverages. With six albums under their belt thus far, The Melismatics have been constantly evolving their own stylings of post-punk and indie-rock.
THE STRESS OF HER REGARD
After indie-rock band Idle Hands crumbled, Irish brothers Ciaran and Criostoir and their drummer Eric Wilson emerged from the rubble, having shed their thriller-movie-informed moniker in favor of a new name, this time inspired by a poem and shared with a 1980s horror novel. Backed by a barrage of celebrated local producers, these resilient rockers return with a clean slate, offering a fresh EP of fuzzy rock music, polished and buffed to excellence. The trio’s debut full length is expected later this year.
“Stereo Confession are a total blast live. The group are recording their debut with Ed Ackerson at Flowers Studio, and based on the punk pop strength of their first two singles, we are in store for something special from this blossoming young band.” -Erik Thompson, City Pages