Spring is upon us, and that means more shows and tours coming to the Valley. It also means that more artists are putting out music, and March was a banner month for releases across the sonic spectrum. Whether you prefer a little classic rock, some riotous punk, genre-bending electronic, or straight-up pop, we've collected a little bit of everything for this month. Here's to the one true upside of this season — 'cause it sure isn't the 90-degree temps.
The Black Moods, 'Saturday Night'
The Black Moods continue to release new music ahead of their eagerly anticipated new album, May's Into the Night. Like its predecessor "She Gets Out," the newly-revealed "Saturday Night" distills the band's alt-meets-grunge-meets-hair-metal sound into a riotous celebration of parties remembered and parties best left in the haze. The whole album's bound to be the same kind of gin-soaked good-time.
Ring Finger No Pinky, 'Cacophony Pills'
Local punk upstarts Ring Finger No Pinky have spent the last several months releasing a string of one-off singles, likely in the lead up to a new album (and follow-up to 2020's excellent Chlorine Bomb EP). The latest is "Cacophony Pills," which true to its name, is a noise- and angst-ridden barnburner where the only thing louder than the guitars is the sheer sense of violence and overt nihilism.
The Venomous Pinks, 'No Rules'
If you caught the recent Punk in Drublic tour stop in Tempe, you may have recognized Mesa's own The Venomous Pinks among a lineup of legends like Lagwagon and NOFX. And based on singles like March's "No Rules," the trio have more than earned their place amid punk's most weird and riotous acts. This bare-bones punk jam blends heft, heart, and pop-punk vibes into a bona fide earworm.
Tart Vandelay, 'R U Mine'
Valentine's Day may be long since over, but don't you dare tell that to the duo of Tart Vandelay. This Phoenix-by-way-of-Boston pop band still have plenty to say about love and romance — and everything in between — with their new single, "R U Mine?" The slightly childish title aside, this catchy electro-pop anthem will get the heart (and other vital organs) racing in no time flat.
I Am Hologram, 'Khaleesi (Live)'
Musician Richard Nihil (a.k.a. I Am Hologram) has a busy 2022 in the works with two album releases. Before we hear the psych-folk of May's Working Class Weirdo, Nihil released the live improv album Nui Loa in mid-March. The eight-minute "Khaleesi" exemplifies what Nihil is capable of on stage, as he weaves a surreal, otherworldly jam that will play with hearts, minds, and your very sense of reality.
Citrus Clouds, 'Summer Everywhere'
Last March, Citrus Clouds released the excellent Collider. Now, in celebration of that gem of dream-pop goodness, the band have unveiled a live album, which they recorded in late January 2021 at Los Angeles' Lolipop Records. If you're looking for a standout track, "Summer Everywhere" does the trick — its methodical pace and crunchy instrumentation prove the band's true power as a rip-roaring live act.
Scary Kids Scaring Kids, 'Nightmare'
After a nine-year break, Gilbert's own Scary Kids Scaring Kids reunited in 2019. On May 27, they'll round out their return by releasing their first album in 15 years, Out of Light. In addition to songs like "Knock It All Down," the band recently unveiled "Nightmare," a disjointed track that mutates back-and-forth between hardcore snarling and something much more ethereal. It's a true full-body listening experience.
Daniel Schurgin, 'Let's Twist Againe'
Even if you don't recognize the artist's name, you know you're in good hands when it's released by Phoenix's own Total Peace tape label. That's certainly the case of local musician Daniel Schurgin, who unveils his brand of "industrial pop" with Immersive Bongo World. The whole LP flourishes, but be sure to spin "Let's Twist Againe," a genuine dance-floor jam underneath all that glitching and junk noise.
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Chris Coplan has been a professional writer since the 2010s, having started his professional career at Consequence of Sound. Since then, he's also been published with TIME, Complex, and other outlets. He lives in Central Phoenix with his fiancee, a dumb but lovable dog, and two bossy cats.