Posted on July 2nd, 2019

[as seen on Brooklyn Vegan]

As mentioned, former Speedy Ortiz/Grass Is Green guitarist Devin McKnight is releasing his debut album as Maneka, Devin, on July 26 via Exploding In Sound (pre-order), and one of the songs features guest vocals from Speedy Ortiz singer Sadie Dupuis. We’re premiering that one, which is called “My Queen,” in this post. Previous single “Never Nowhere” was the kind of mathy indie rock that both Speedy and Grass Is Green were known for making, but “My Queen” is a ripping dose of mutant hardcore, and it’s cool to hear Devin (and Sadie) make music like this. The song is also inspired by aliens, ancient Egypt, and dedicated to Tom Delonge. Devin tells us:

"I was really into that show Ancient Aliens on the History Channel for awhile. It actually sucks but it’s really good to have on in the background while I write and practice music. Anyway, this one story they had was from Ancient Egypt. It was about King Tut and Queen Nefertiti. They ruled the Empire together and brought Monotheism to the people. Ancient Alien theorists contend that they were both Aliens sent down to teach the Egyptians all kinds of things and partially to worship a god that was actually just an alien instructing King Tut. The lyrics of the song are about God instructing Tut to consummate with Nefertiti because she’s special and also of alien descent. So he’s like telling him how to treat her right and like a Queen. It’s all about putting the woman on top. Nefertiti translates literally to mean “the beauty has come.” And so goes the tale of the worlds greatest black Power couple before the Obamas. Also this song is dedicated to Tom Delonge. We’re with you man."

Maneka has tour dates coming up, including a Brooklyn show the day the album comes out at Alphaville (7/26) with Bethlehem Steel, Pet Fox, and Oceanator. All dates are listed below.


Posted on June 24th, 2019

[as seen on AllMusic]

Pile and Stove bassist Alex Molini blasts through 11 heavy and tuneful songs in just 18 minutes on his debut solo LP, I Complain. Cuts like "The Littlest Mole," "Old Leg," and "Lost Time" (at not even three minutes, the album's longest song) bring to mind the propulsive, gut-shaking momentum of Torche, while similarly refusing to compromise on big, prominent melodies. I Complain is due out June 28 on Exploding in Sound, with tour dates to follow.


Posted on June 12th, 2019

[as seen on Kerrang]

The genre title ‘sludgegaze’ might sound far-fetched, but Philary have made it an awesome reality. The project of Alex Molini (also known for his work in indie and hardcore acts like Pile and Jackal Onasis), Philary sound like a place where Weezer and Celtic Frost collide, creating music that grinds and oozes as much as it leaps and shimmers. Over menacing basslines and panicked tremolo picking, Alex sings pop-flavored hooks about being anxious, overwhelmed, and different in a world that’s already stupid weird. The band’s new album, I Complain, channels this off putting quality in its art and title alone.

The band’s new single, Old Leg, overflows with this unique flavor. The track opens with a lead-shoed pace and a bass that sounds like strep throat, only to suddenly erupt in sunny, melancholic vocals, building into a bright and poppy chorus that channels adolescent hope and mature sadness. It’s the type of song that listeners will immediately love, but will have an extremely hard time describing. Necro-pop? Worrycore? Whatever this is, it’s incredibly fun to listen to, and makes you feel both malevolent and innocent at the same time.

According to Alex, the experience behind the song connects with that strange dichotomy: “I went to my grandmas funeral in 2017 and the whole experience was both sad and inspiring. I’ve always looked up to her my whole life even though we didn’t see eye to eye with religion and politics. But regardless of my large extended family’s differing political views, she was the main force with creating a family culture of being a critical thinkers and deeply caring about one another.”

Check out Old Leg below:


Posted on June 11th, 2019

[as seen on FLOOD Magazine]

If you have any familiarity with the Exploding in Sound extended universe, you probably know Devin McKnight, who is an alum of Speedy Ortiz and Grass Is Green, among others, and currently the mastermind behind Maneka. With little more than a star-studded EP and a Mannequin Pussy cover under his belt, McKnight is finally unveiling his debut full-length, Devin, which he describes as “a guitar album about black pride and addressing [his] confusion as a minority in white indie rock scenes.” Once again, McKnight calls upon former peers and bandmates (including Speedy Ortiz’s Sadie Dupuis) for backup, also citing his friendship with (Sandy) Alex G as a major songwriting influence.

The first single Maneka is sharing is the dark early-album ripper “Never Nowhere,” a four-and-a-half minute shredfest remarkably at home within the full EIS discography. “This one is tricky because it’s a criticism of myself,” McKnight notes of the track. “I feel like as a man, and especially as a black man, I was always encouraged to push my feelings and emotions down into my gut and to just barrel ahead.” Such barreling can be heard around the two minute mark, when McKnight’s distorted vocals make way for a no-wavey Mascisian riff.

“Men a lot of times are running around town as these half emotionally developed people laying all their baggage on the women in their lives with zero accountability,” he concludes. “Meanwhile women have to carry their own shit and coddle our untended emotions. This is something I am guilty of in many situations in my life. I’ve done a lot of therapy on and off over the years and am medicated for major depressive disorder, but I still slip up.”

Devin is out July 26 on Exploding in Sound. You can pre-order it here.


Posted on May 31st, 2019

[as seen on FLOOD]

Turns out when he’s not touring or recording with Pile, Stove, or Jackal Onassis on any number of instruments, Alex Molini is churning out equally aggressive tunes under the solo moniker Philary. In fact even now, as he is touring with Pile, the multi-instrumentalist is gearing up to release his first full-length.

After announcing the impending release of I Complain on—who else—Exploding in Sound Records, Molini is sharing the first cut from the LP, a ninety-second nod to Nirvana. Entirely more punishing than the ultimate anthem for a decade of apathy, the caustically heavy “Smells Like Mean Spirit” instead addresses a specific form of damaging antisocial behavior under a bass riff ripped from the depths of sludge metal’s finest

“It’s about trying to interject your own needs into a conversation,” Molini explains, “and rather than achieving any sort of relatability, the person you’re talking to feels isolated and pushed aside. Which leads to feeling like a big dummy for justifying acting like a selfish fool in the name of asking for emotional support. I chose the specific title to aggressively convey the level of stupidity felt from a situation like this.”

I Complain drops June 28 on Exploding in Sound.