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D.C.’s Cricket Cemetery label hawks emerging hardcore and indie punk with defiant swagger. Its lack of a prevailing studio ideology is served well when the imprint rolls the dice on, say, a meticulous, structured EP that aims for harmonies. Make no mistake, the label’s showcase at Black Cat Saturday will be loud, but also fair and balanced. Let’s cite specific examples:
D.C. experimentalists Janel and Anthony bring the transfixing ambience rooted in scholarly virtuosity. This is that get-lost-in-a-maze-at-the-hands-of-a-sneaky-half-man-half-goat-demon music.
Baltimore’s Sterling Sisters make spooky, opry-filling neo-folk. They’re on the bill riding the June release of a two-song 7-inch. This is that rusty-nail-nightcap-gone-bad-because-you-got-on-the-wrong-train music.
LTW drops fuzzy, oven-fresh heat that oscillates between cathartic sludge and driving thrash. The driving thrash is my favorite part. This is that frontman-jumping-into-his-drummer’s-kit-after-the-second-song-of-the-set music.
Arlington/Baltimore three-piece Tender Thrill welds American rock’s signature decades and filters through romantic, midnight indie rock. Their latest came out in February. This is that bummed-out-because-your-fantasy-football-draft-just-bombed-and-someone-else-beat-you-to-breakout-rookie-Doug Martin music.
HOST brings the screams. Their new album comes this fall. This is that difficult-to-Google-but-that-makes-it-more-mysterious music.
Passing Phases is a D.C. quartet that nails midtempo everyman indie rock and has no reservations about donning ball caps on stage. Cricket Cemetery will drop their debut LP this fall. This is that architectural, verbal-street-opera music.