Circuit Sweet Interview, Feature, Reviews

Rad Releases ’15- Bearcubbin

December 31, 2015

Skye Portman Rad Releases

It’s that time once again, as the countdown to the end of 2015 quickly approaches we take a personal look back on familiar names, features and musicians’ best releases of the past 12 months. Circuit Sweet will be hosting takeovers from the featured artists of the site with their personal top 5 releases of the year.

Continuing our annual end of year tradition we let our favourites take over the site to tell us the records that have made their end of year lists, their favourite events/gigs and what we can look forward to from them next year.


The next band to take over the site is the powerful trio Bearcubbin’ who are simply one of our favourite bands of all time. Last year they topped our own Rad Releases list with what we believe was the best record 2014, and still a timeless record.  The band are compelling, illustrious and addictive. Providing the right amount of sensual looping, alluring samples, stop-start hardhitting beats from one of the best drummers of our time, the trio are the kings of earpelting experimental mathrock fuzz. We hand over to Chris to find out more about his year in music..

Wild Throne – Harvest of Darkness (Road Runner Records)


It’s pretty clear I am a huge supporter of the band Wild Throne.  I put their first EP, Blood Maker, on my favorite year end list last year and now I have put their debut full length, including all the songs from the Blood Maker EP, on my year end list this year.  From the proggy beginnings of Dog Shredder, to the more song crafted, distilled, and vocal focused rippers on this album, this band of awesome dudes has never taken a misstep in my eyes and this album is truly their first step onto the big stage that they have always been destined for.

KEY NOTE:  These guys will be making their way over to the UK and Europe in 2016 and a force that is not to be missed.

Key Tracks:  “Harvest of Darkness”, “Death of a Star”, and “I of the Prism”.
 And so I watched you From Afar – Heirs (Sargent House)


I still don’t know how this band puts out albums so quickly. Their creations are incredibly dense, well thought out, and they seem to be a never ending wellspring of riffs.  My jealousy aside, this album picked up where All Hail Bright Futures had left off.  They tackle more vocal lines here and push more into the electronics and riffs than post rock and atmosphere.0  I enjoy the more straight ahead movement and enjoyed the immediately crushing rockers that it birthed.

Key Tracks: “Wasps” and “Redesigned A Million Times”.

Battles – La Di Da Di


This inclusion is more me hedging my bets.  I remember when Gloss Drop came out and I immediately was turned off by that record and clung to “inchworm” as the last shred of Mirrored-era Battles.  Then I listened to that album more, a lot more, and found it to be my favorite amongst their catalog.  It took a minute to grow on me and that’s what I am expecting with this one.  This album is gonna take some shared life experience and life soundtracking to get under my skin, but I expect nothing less from one of my favorite bands.  I expect by this time next year I will surely change my tune.


Key Tracks:  “FF Bada” and “Megatouch”

Alaska – Shrine (Soft Speak Records)


These guys are true soldiers of the DIY scene.  After they put out this record, they embarked on a 6 week tour which saw them getting robbed and having a huge trailer crash, but they still soldiered on and kept going.  They spread their tight brand of progressive screamo across the US and I am really thankful for it.  This album is full of jammers for every type of mood, but the main mood it fits for me is sentimental nostalgia.  There is something about these progressions and vocal melodies that hits me right in the feeler box.  I am excited we got to play with them in Portland.

Key Tracks: “Hashish Christo”, “Momming”, and “Beach Houser”

The Velvet Teen – All is Illusory (Topshelf Records)


It’s still crazy to me how this band is able to change styles so drastically in between albums. From the synthy-rock and power-pop of Great Beast February and Out of the Fierce Parade on to the orchestra heavy Elysium on to the glitchy electro-punk prog of Cum Laude to the heavy rippers on No Star, this band changes drastically between albums, without feeling alien. This album is no different, it takes the electro sensibilities of Cum Laude and softens the glitching and mixes it with a softened version of the rockers on No Star to create a cohesive power pop sound that is more rockin’ than their earlier work and more palatable than their most recent efforts. It seems as though they have distilled their earlier experiments down to their base elements and recombined them to form something new, yet again.


Key Tracks:  “Sonreo” and “Eclipses”

Best Show we played this year:

The best show we played this year was our homecoming show from tour.  We got to play with our good friends Rags & Ribbons and Gaytheist to an amazing crowd.  Plus, I was sick and tired from sleeping maybe 4 hours and driving straight for 12 that I didn’t have the capacity to be nervous, I just played one of the best shows we’ve played in a long time.

Best Gig I attended this year:

Seeing Wild Throne open up for Mutoid Man in Seattle.

 Highlights of the year:

A fall tour through the SW, playing with Moon Honey in their hometown of Baton Rogue, LA and playing with the New Trust at a House show in Santa Rosa.

Artist/Band to Watch 2016:

For sure Wild Throne and Alaska.  Wild Throne will be making their way to the UK in early 2016 and they are not to be missed.  Hikes from Austin are a group of super shredders and I’m excited to see what they do next.  Finally, excited to see what the new Boyfrndz record sounds like.

Plans for the new Year:

Just hanging out and writing more music.

As always a huge thank you to all in Bearcubbin, and a thank you for your continued support on the site, lets hope 2016 brings a UK tour or EU tour our way, you’ve got a house to crash anytime!

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