New albums from Optic Sink + The Cowboys

Folks! Back with two more album announcements. Some of the best stuff we've got up on the schedule this year, dig on in!
Optic Sink - Glass Blocks
(cover: Natalie Hoffmann / photo: Shawn Brackbill)

Preorder LP/CS/CD direct from Feel It

"Modelesque" single/video premiere + interview at Paperface Zine

release date: September 8, 2023
Expanding on the magnetic, minimalist post-punk frontier first chartered on their 2020 Goner debut, Optic Sink return with their second album, 'Glass Blocks'. Hot on the heels of their recent EP on Spacecase Records, the Memphis trio of Natalie Hoffmann, Ben Bauermeister, and Keith Cooper ventured out to Lawrence, Kansas to record at the home studio of Caufield Schnug (Sweeping Promises).

The resulting seven originals and a rendition of LiLiPUT's "A Silver Key Can Open An Iron Lock, Somewhere" define Optic Sink and their remarkable style with a clarity and power seldom realized in a studio setting. Hoffmann and Bauermeister command the high end of the mix with a gamut of perfectly dialed synth and percussive tones while Cooper's bass serves as rhythmic anchor. There's far more to dive into, whether it's the cold, driving beat of "Modelesque" or the minimal, percussive brilliance heard on "Glass Blocks". Perhaps the best part of the formula is the sheer amount of natural energy that gleams through the mix. Like a warm refraction of musical chemistry and originality, Optic Sink have struck gold with 'Glass Blocks'.
Optic Sink - Modelesque video (directed/edited by Noah Thomas Miller)
The Cowboys - Sultan of Squat
(cover Zack Worcel / back photo: Alice Knipstine)
Everybody’s here, so let’s play ball! Tried and true rock n' roll stalwarts The Cowboys return after a brief hiatus with their delightful sixth LP, “Sultan of Squat”. This grounded yet adventurous new album marks the reunion of the original lineup, featuring Keith Harman (vocals/keys), Mark McWhirter (Guitar), Zackery Worcel (Bass), and Jordan Tarantino (drums). It is nothing short of a glorious return to form, a long player hoping to bring a smile to the ears of listeners.

“Sultan of Squat” furthers the band's trajectory into themselves, polishing off thirteen songs filled with dubious characters, whimsical retreats, and even the odd love song. As with previous releases, The Cowboys refuse to make their bed in any single genre. Lead track, “The Sultan of Squat'' opens the album with an earworm salute to America’s pastime while lofting a lyrical curveball of dark, defeated humor. The boys kick it into high gear, playing with the finesse and dexterity ten years as a band instills. It's automatic - whether they're launching into classic Midwestern garage punk (“Raining Sour Grapes”), dialing things back to piano-driven power pop (“Token Drifter”), or western slide guitar pop-rock ballads ("She's Not Your Baby Anymore"), The Cowboys are simply incredible across “Sultan of Squat”.

This could well be The Cowboys' finest hour as a group, and six albums in - that's no easy feat. The best of the Midwest is back under the bright lights, pouring collective blood, sweat, and tears into a sound equal parts then and now.
The Cowboys - The Sultan of Squat (video directed/edited by Mark McWhirter)
new EXEK album - North American preorder
US/Canada folks, look no further than Feel It for a preorder of the newest LP from Australia's EXEK. Released on the band's own Foreign Record Co. Shipping around the release date of October 6!

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