Kansas City’s Black Site Records — “a record label cooperative created by Kansas City musicians interested in supporting regional punk and rock bands releasing their recordings on a physical medium” — announced three new releases in the past few weeks, and they’re a diverse batch of punk-influenced rock ‘n’ roll gems.
Chess Club’s Hit the Ball is out now on compact disc and cassette, and the 10 songs might be described as “an emo-math rock maze of pop melodies and punk rock growl,” but more than anything, the Lawrence, Kansas band reminds me of early Saves the Day, before they got all indie-pop on us. It’s catchy as all heck, but has a nice bit of fury to it. Hit the Ball marks the second release in the Barker Gee Memorial Scholarship series, a project of the Black Site cooperative established in 2017 to assist young musicians in the pursuit of their craft and to further the DIY ethic.
Out July 21 is the first new batch of songs from former Truck Stop Love singer and guitarist, Rich Yarges. His new band, Rich Yarges & The Pop Mechanics, have been touring around for a few years now, but Are You Ready? marks the first LP from the Minneapolis quartet. If you ever wished that Husker Du and the Replacements had teamed up to record music, this is right up your alley. It’s genuine Midwestern powerfully poppy rock ‘n’ roll.
Out Aug. 24, on a 12-inch vinyl LP, is the debut full-length from Kansas City post-punks Emmaline Twist. The band put out a digital single back in the fall of 2016, but Dissumulation takes the band’s throbbing, danceably dark songs and really lets them find a certain amount of urgency. Opening track, “Desperate Measures,” is bound to be a favorite this fall for those who like their shoegaze with more than just noise.
All three albums are available for order or pre-order from Black Site Records.