Ring Finger No Pinky, 'Annoyance Displeasure Hostility'
We last heard from young punk upstarts Ring Finger No Pinky with this summer’s "Girl Tsunami" single. Since then, the band have returned to playing shows and assembling a suite of new material for future release. In November, we heard their latest dispatch via "Annoyance Displeasure Hostility." As if the title weren't cool enough, this latest single finds a more balanced RFNP, curtailing some of their initial viscera and angst with a distinctly '90s alt-rock quality. This song will still piss off your neighbors, but everyone will also enjoy the new layers of wit and lyrical depth. Oh, and be sure to watch the full music video — this kooky mini-movie will both entertain and frighten.
Andrew Cameron Cline is a very busy man. Formerly of Weird Radicals, he's got two other great musical projects. We introduced you to Ceramics? back in March, and in early November, Cline's group Astrologer released a new EP, Legerdemain (L). (An accompanying EP, Legerdemain (R), is due out sometime in early 2022, per Cline.) The standout of the six-track effort is the opener, "Tomorrow." Here, we get the purest sense of Astrologer, a distinctly throwback blend of garage rock and psych-pop. But unlike the rest of the EP, the group's greatest feature — heady emotionality that bends hard toward nihilism — is done in such a way as to overpower the listener without bringing them down. It's rock 'n' roll with as much cynicism as sunshine, and more proof why Cline is clearly a big deal in these here parts.
Teek Hall, 'Bleak'
The Phoenix New Times named Detroit native Teek Hall best local rapper two consecutive times (in 2018 and 2019). And in the time since that last award, he’s continued to offer up reasons why he’s an elite talent, including 2020's "Guns & War" single and this past January's Thirty Six EP. In November, he made even more moves for the crown by releasing the 11-track Fall From Grace, which features contributions from rappers and producers like Touré Masters, Widowmaker, Mega Ran, and Reckonize Real. The album's best offering is "Bleak," in which Hall's verbose wordplay is expertly married with strings that are both angelic and foreboding. The resulting combo packs a real punch, with Hall proving that he’s a true pro at crowd control on all levels. Do we smell a potential candidate for Best Local Rapper of 2022?
Pijama Piyama, 'Fuego Se Va' b/w 'El Nieve en Abril'
It doesn't take much to be truly cool, and Phoenix's own Pijama Piyama are proof positive. As if the name (and band members like Corchalato) weren't already deeply cool, the band describes themselves as "Sonoran desert degenerate scums that have dreamt up an auditory backdrop for their cacti deity." But they're so much more than any gimmickry (or dope album art), and their new split single "Fuego Se Va" b/w "El Nieve en Abril" is as kooky as it is catchy. This otherworldly, electronically-tinged Cumbia is as draped in heavy irony and a dash of humor as much as it is earnest, organic, and 1,000 percent authentic. Plus, that friction zone of ideas and intents feels true of our little desert in more ways than one. But don't focus on all that too much, and just let these songs bore their way into the deepest part of your brain.