It wasn’t so long ago that releasing original music meant shelling out hard cash, landing a record label, or both (Nirvana had a $65,000 budget for Nevermind in ’91). But two decades later, the Internet has allowed independent artists to release music to the masses on their own terms—like this bunch of Vegas locals, which has already released, or is gearing up to release, new records in the coming weeks.
Alt-electronic duo Almost Normal released debut EP In Technicolor digitally on Tuesday. One week prior, Andrew Zakher and Ashley Lampman unveiled all seven songs to a small group at a listening party inside the Studio at the Palms, where they recorded most of the music.
In Technicolor is an ode to the band’s new vision and confidence after scaling back from a quartet to a two-piece, although Zakher says that didn’t come easy. “We were terrified at first,” he says of becoming a duo last year. “It worked out. We put our lives into it.”
Zakher contributed drums, keys and synth and Lampman played acoustic guitar on the music, built around feather-light electronics, pulsating drumbeats and siren-like vocals. The duo wrapped up the EP in January after four months of recording and will play an official EP release party March 22 at Artifice. almostnormalmusic.com
The punky, hard-rock four-piece Creep Magnet released its debut full-length, Atlantis Is Real, on Saturday, opening for the Dum Dum Girls at Backstage Bar & Billiards. The members, Bianca “Bananas” Hernandez (formerly of The Scoundrels), Jason Walker, Dusty “Bottoms” Fruend and Shaun Flannery, have played in cover bands for years, but Creep Magnet is a first stab at writing original material together as a group.
It’s actually not a giant leap—Creep Magnet blends album-oriented rock with the attitude and grit of early No Doubt. But one thing’s clear: From the live show to the album, Creep Magnet gives no f*cks. Like her twin sister, former Candy Warpop singer Beatrice Hernandez, Bianca has a saucy stage presence, casually peppering f-bombs and Ann Wilson-meets-Debbie Harry vocals (see: Creep Magnet’s cover of “Barracuda”). Her tattoos and bright-magenta hair only add to the fire.
On Saturday, Creep Magnet gave out albums and posters for free, plus complimentary edibles—yes, pot cookies—with the band’s press photo screened across them. That’s about as Vegas as they come. soundcloud.com/creepmagnet
One of the Valley’s noisier indie acts, Wax Pig Melting, will release a new EP, Jaded X1,193, via independent record label/collective Brain Jelly Music, on Saturday, March 15 at Wasteland Gallery. “We kinda made it a point to sound a little better [this time] and get more control,” singer/guitarist Brian Gibson says. The band, which melds heavy, fuzzed-out guitars à la Foo Fighters with the ’90s-leaning appeal of Yuck and Speedy Ortiz, started recording the music with engineer Ruston Chidester before finishing the EP at Naked City inside Wasteland, with engineer John Kiehlbauch.
For the release, Wax Pig will perform on the Hard Hat Lounge’s new outdoor mobile stage, which will move across the street to the gallery’s parking lot. waxpigmelting.bandcamp.com
One of Vegas’ most talented singer/songwriters, Wyatt McKenzie, released a full-length album that he self-recorded at home under his stage name, Mother McKenzie, in mid-February. Released online, most of the songs on Undulating Piss of Thee Angels or The Difficulty of Chasing a Dragon Forever were written and recorded in one night after “deciding it would be pretty easy” to make a full-length record. McKenzie overdubbed guitars, added samples (with friend Sean O’Callaghan) and otherworldly textures—a process that took about four days. “I didn’t have any plans,” McKenzie says, “I had no intention of putting out an album … but we finished it really quickly.” Since then, McKenzie has released another online album, Two Velvet Dogs Chasing Uranium, a compilation of songs he wrote between ages 12 and 16. mothermckenzie.bandcamp.com
Other updates include a stripped-down online-only release from Same Sex Mary guitarist Tyler Huddleston, who’s releasing his first solo LP, Relativity, under the name Things That Kill on March 18. Huddleston performs at Milo’s in Boulder City on Thursday. thingsthatkill.bandcamp.com
When the lead singer of local psych-rock band Restless Suns jumped ship last year, the rest of the guys soldiered on, forming the garage-punk outfit Leather Lungs. The group was set on releasing debut EP Gutter Race in mid-March but opted to postpone that and instead have released a three-song package titled Do the Wobbly H—and singer/bassist Lafayette Kartchner says the trio will continue releasing tracks online. Leather Lungs opens for Ty Segall on March 20 at Beauty Bar. leatherlungs.bandcamp.com
Also coming out this month, local punk supergroup New Cold War—guitarist Andy Harrison (Surrounded by Thieves), guitarist John Brown (Battle Born), bassist Cody Leavitt (The People’s Whiskey) and drummers Luis Mendez (The People’s Whiskey) and Micah Malcolm (The Quitters)—will release a self-titled, five-song EP. The new disc will be available at an all-ages show inside Artistic Armory on March 14 and will be given free to those under 21. newcoldwarlv.bandcamp.com