09.29.17 · Counter Intuitive Records · CIR021
"Lead single “Bad Spanish” is a hooky breath of fresh air about feeling closed-off. Rachel Lightner’s powerful voice and wordy lyrics are the most immediate draw, and here she’s navigating through a cycle of unhealthy habits based around feeling like an imposter. “It’s hard to ask for help when you don’t really want it/ Passed out on the train in your own vomit/ It’s fine, I said, I’ll bash my fucking head through the wall so I don’t have to call you before I go to bed,” she sings, that last line doled out in increased exasperation." - Stereogum
"For “Bad Spanish” slays. From the gnarly intro of crashing drums and guitar to the more structurally refined glow of the verses, all leading to frenetic moments of release that pertinently shape their beast of a song. “It’s fine, I said, I’ll bash my fucking head through the wall so I don’t have to call you before I go to bed,” Rachel Lightner bellows with all the gutsy and glorious weight of someone who needs such words dispelled from said head and out in to the world as soon, as loud, as clear as possible." - Gold Flake Paint
09.23.16 · Counter Intuitive Records · CIR020
"It’s hard not to make comparisons when Prince Daddy & The Hyena’s contribution to a split EP is a cover of Pinkerton B-side “Devotion.” It’s harder still when “Clever Girl” blatantly cribs and tunes down the first verse of “No One Else”, and somehow blends it with a condensed wannabe “Only In Dreams” to lead the song to its cathartic, distorted conclusion. The combination of pop sensibilities with a more ragged punk aesthetic is not necessarily a new concept in the realm of music, and that’s okay, because Prince Daddy & The Hyena indulge in its potential complexities so well that familiarity goes out the window. Every dynamic build-up to the final chorus; every introduction of a new distorted riff; every tinnitus-inducing bout of feedback and cymbal crash before diving headfirst into a spiteful attack against strings and snares – it’s all there. It’s all fantastic. Hell, sometimes they just take two songs and combine them into one, all for the fun of it. To top it all off, it's coated in a fitting, almost garage-like production, emphasising the low fidelity and the intimacy of Prince Daddy's information overload. Angry punks and musical competency do not have to be mutually exclusive. It makes for better listening when they merge.
World-building is not a concept naturally associated with the power pop, punk or emo scene. Prince Daddy & The Hyena routinely build a world filled with the infuriating and the mundane, and then proceed to bash it down at every possible opportunity with a sledgehammer, without caring whether they hurt themselves in the process. They lie as an antithesis to '90s-era Rivers Cuomo, aiming outward where he would aim inward. Entire sing-along choruses are dedicated to forgetting to take medication. There’s a ton of detail in seemingly throwaway lines, sung in an almost out-of-tune weed-induced rasp; whether they argue that “not-that-rapey” isn’t a convincing argument for a party, or “When the doctor said ‘No smoking, kid,’ I hope he just meant cigarettes.” There’s an obvious sense of youth to the record; even when the rare pop culture reference breaks out, it relates to Jurassic Park 3. Nobody’s ever decided Jurassic Park 3 was good enough to be referenced in a song, let alone relating their life to the final scenes of it. Everything’s a target in Prince Daddy & The Hyena’s small world, no matter how much loose fun they have with it." - Sputnik Music
07.21.17 · Counter Intuitive Records / Open Door Records / Hidden Home Records / Celebrity Punk House · CIR019
"Alongside the powerful tones, Casual Friday also have a sunnier, surfer punk infusion to a few tracks (reminiscent of fellow West Coasters’ FIDLAR). ‘Heavy Blinders’ and my album highlight ‘California’ both leave behind the pent-up frustration to make way for a slightly softer sound. ‘California’ layers more complicated irregular melodies and vocals comfortably over each other with ease, using a trail of smart and original lyrical metaphors.
The album’s title track ‘Weekend Forever’, combines an array of typical pop-punk clichés and dusts them with DIY delivery (not dissimilar to Tiny Moving Parts). The consequence is that instead of becoming a rushed high octane middle-finger-to-the-world anthem, it formulates into a genuine party in a basement.
As an album ‘Weekend Forever’ is like viewing modern pop-punk through nostalgia tinted spectacles. The tracks evoke images of bouncing mosh pits, long summer drives and messy party montages. Unlike many recent power punk efforts, despite the pretence of the genre, there’s a distinctively mature sound to Casual Friday – though this release may be their first full length it’s no infantile feat. There’s a feeling that this band has a goal, and their effort on ‘Weekend Forever’ clearly shines through. The intent and delivery across the album is assured and confident, forging tracks that could resonate with plenty of audiences." - Annabel Platt
07.07.17 · Counter Intuitive Records · CIR017
"An Introduction To Rock & Roll" by Graduating Life is an anthemic rock experience, an absolute masterpiece of an album that chronicles Bart Starr's life after he made the decision of quitting his job to become a full time musician. This product comes after a year of touring, managing a relationship with his long term partner & now fiance while on the road, needing government benefits to eat, & dealing with the lingering doubt that music usually isn't forever & that he will likely one day have to give up on his dreams. How can you give up on the only dream you truly care about? He gives us an honest, desperate, heartfelt look into his life, the life of a "millennial" who strives to live rather than slave away behind a desk or at a minimum wage job.
Through the highs and lows, Bart isn't afraid to be honest about the many institutions, ways of thinking, & people that he believes have fucked up himself & this country. Whether it's the church for their failed indoctrination of him, a country that has issues with killing by race, a type of person that cares more about showing off their life online rather than pursuing their nonexistent passions, or the fact that life is truly, inherently, pointless.
With the acceptance that the search for meaning in life is ultimately futile, death is a heavy, frequent topic that can be concluded to be the final experience of our lives. With that realization Bart concludes that we need to be focusing on what can give our lives any value, and that can only be measured by feeling. The feelings we have living with our loved ones, pursuing our passions, creating & holding on to the memories we will keep in our hearts. A lot of the best parts of our short lives will fade with time. "Being happy seems like a lie, that we believe but don't know why." So, if being happy truly isn't a long term obtainable state of being, what are we missing out on while chasing the future promise of happiness?
03.22.17 · Counter Intuitive Records · CIR018
Peterborough based Math-Pop cool kids
06.09.17 · Counter Intuitive Records / Honest Face Records · CIR016
5 piece melodic, emotional rock & roll from Mass bringing the hot fire on their debut LP recorded, mixed, and mastered by Jake Checkoway. Some of the best drumming in the genre, great dual vocals, a lot of dope stuff on this album front to back.
10.21.15 · Counter Intuitive Records · CIR015
Re-issue on vinyl.
"The positive nihilism throughout this record is something that at least for me seems to be new and refreshing. It is refreshing to see a DGAF attitude that is warm and fuzzy while still being really serious and introspective. It is almost like PDaddy is putting up a front to their listener that they don’t care and just wanna smoke, drink and fuck up the police, but actually there is more depth to them if you care to look." - Celebrity Punk House
"Their music is fast, loud, and weird… In a good way. A very good way. Amidst the aggression, there’s a cavalcade (yes, a cavalcade) of really impressive and beautiful guitar work, not to mention the myriad of other creative noises peppered into the mix. At any rate, Prince Daddy & co. are pushing the limits of whatever genre they’re defying. In order to truly describe this band, you’ll probably just need to use the word “party.”" - Buffablog
03.10.17 · Counter Intuitive Records · CIR014
"Straight from Redlands, California, No Better comes out with a very catchy, elegant and mind-blowing emo EP, …Forget Me Not. The four-piece band put their all into the first track, not holding anything back. The guitar tone and melodies really set the mood instantly, not to mention the heart wrenching lyrics that follow shortly after. “Linger” not only immediately fills you with emotion, but it has one of the catchiest choruses that I have heard in this genre of music and was stuck in my head for days after my first listen to the EP. " - Prelude Press
05.05.17 · Counter Intuitive Records · CIR013
"Indie rock in 2017 either attempts to surmount unease, or at least make sense of it. For Pictures of Vernon, the two years between The Days are Just Packed – an elastic, snarling set of tracks toeing the line dividing garage demo from well-intentioned debut – and their self-titled follow-up were full of shifting moments. The North Carolina trio, headed by primary songwriter Anderson Ragan, balanced evolving their higher education and songwriting craft, only to channel that tug-of-war – and their eventual departures from college – into tense, concise lyricism. "Krelboyne Picnic" chronicles Ragan's dropout year with frantic bursts of throbbing guitar, while "This is Water" experiments with glittering pedal play and an ominous rhythm section to close out the action with a muted coda. Rather than explode their statements past their breaking points, the sentiments here are unleashed in measured time, even with "Public School" and its shrieking vocals finding their blown fuse too soon. As five songs that meld together emo, post-hardcore, and of course indie rock's nebulous platform, Pictures of Vernon has painted a new portrait, and it's one that allows them to move past their own problems." - James Cassar
12.06.16 · Counter Intuitive Records · CIR012
This one was a long time coming. We are teaming up with Honest Face Records to release Shiver.'s debut full length titled "Evergreen." This album is one for anyone that loves the amazing genre known as indie rock & roll, baby. Carefully crafted from the quietest bridges to the epic endings. We got to work with some of the most friendly, genuine people we've met through music on this one and we couldn't be more excited to share it with you.
01.01.17 · Counter Intuitive Records / Riff Castle Records · CIR011
"sports. add a bunch of frantic energy to the split, with their two songs spiraling with vigor and vitality. “Livin’ On A prayer Pt. 2” is urgent, lead by winding drum patterns and raw vocals. “Slick Jonas” keeps the momentum charging forward with the same strengths pulsing through the song. Meet Me In Montauk open their half of Highway 2 Shell with bombastic vocals, piercing through the soundscape with a monologue structure, setting the stage before the giant crash. MMIM are great with dynamics, showcasing that with “If Young Ringo Don’t Trust Ya.” - The Alternative
07.03.16 · Counter Intuitive Records · CIR010
Hot dang, the hits keep coming.
11.07.16 · Counter Intuitive Records · CIR009
This compilation was built with tracks from current CIR bands, some future CIR bands, friends of the label, and some bands I've looked up to for a long time. The comp is made up of demo's, acoustic versions, live sessions, covers, and a few full band tracks. Every track on here was selected because I truly love these bands and hope you all can find the same merit in them as I do. You may know some, you may not know others, so please give them a chance! CDs were made by the amazing Pavonine Packaging and artwork by my friend Sarah
09.30.16 · Counter Intuitive Records · CIR008
Graduating Life is here baby. This release features two EP's "Fuck You, I Can Do Cool Stuff Too" and "Freakin' Weekin'" combined on one compact disc. Dropping out of college to pursue music, undying love for his partner, and feelings of inadequacy and naitivity are all main components of what makes these heart-on-sleeve songs resonate over ridiculously good drumming and dynamic songwriting.
"You know you should have gone to college when ya had the chance / instead of playing in a band like a fucking kid / they all were right there's no way to make a living off this / you grew up in a world where you can't make a difference"
11.25.16 · Counter Intuitive Records · CIR007
"I can’t help but fall more and more in love with this sweet little EP the more I play it as I continue to be in awe of the heaps of talent Nick Stoup displays on his first release." - Under Bright Lights
"Chump lands just shy of 15 minutes, and somehow it feels even shorter. And while brief, its almost impossible not to love this thing. At first glance, Chump can feel like a big hearty stew of Stoup’s influences; for instance, you’ll taste Weezer, Elliot Smith, even hints of Death Cab For Cutie and Modest Mouse. However, upon spending time with the EP, it’s clear that while these touch-points are present, there’s something much more endearing and singular at the core of Equipment songs. A large part of this quality comes from the inherent youth in Stoup’s approach to songwriting. Like many young artists, he stumbles upon the emotional clarity and wisdom many spend their whole lives looking for." - The Alternative
12.27.16 · Counter Intuitive Records · CIR006
" Adam’s lyrics surprisingly contain some value thematically. When I say thematically, I don’t mean reoccurring songs about general sadness and breakups as that wouldn’t be very noteworthy for this type of music. Although those baseline themes are present, DaSilva uniquely takes it a step further by utilizing the strategy of describing his feelings with colors, an unusual idea but one that works to the album’s advantage. “Shades” are the name of the game for Adam, and it’s quite fascinating how often he talks about seeing things in these “shades” of green, gray, and blue. Throughout the album, he hints at what these colors mean to him, but it isn’t until the aptly titled second to last track, ‘Green Over Blue (Dog Daze)’ where their true meanings are revealed. “everything's fine and gray/the dullest greens/and the hopeless blues” he mutters over a math rock inspired riff contrasted with a deep, brooding bassline that swarms the song with utter darkness and despair. For Adam, he’s accepted his life of dullness (grays) and because of his depressive mindset, colors that are supposed to be bright and beautiful to others (greens and blues) are merely “dull” and “hopeless” to him.
Although the lyrics are an obvious highlight, it’s the music itself that really adds to the attractiveness of this band. These guys aren’t afraid to play into the clichés of the genre, as seen in the shout-alongy “BA BA BA BA BADADUH” in album highlight ‘Primer’ and the feedback-ridden buildup at the end of ‘Nosebleed’. Luckily, most of these songs are under 3 minutes long as the band members themselves realize in a way that if they were any longer the potency of these emo tropes would be diminished. These songs jam hard, and their ability to create swift climaxes within a matter of seconds deceives the listener into thinking these songs are longer than they actually are. Yet, before you know it, the album blows by you in a color-fueled haze of greens and blues that, altogether, mixes into grays. As dull as the final product may appear, knowing the colorful elements that constructed it makes it feel a lot less lackluster and inherently more appealing. So embrace the color gray, it just may surprise you." - Sputnik Music
09.16.16 · Counter Intuitive Records / Sniffling Indie Kids · CIR005
"New Jersey’s Toy Cars is a band that seems to fit into the state’s rock ‘n’ roll lineage. The band writes songs about cruising freeways like Bruce Springsteen did back in the day, but with the slight punk stomp that made The Gaslight Anthem famous." - The A.V. Club
"Sure, their songs are short, but in that there are clever rhythm changes that don’t have to be over the top. Opener “Bjork” has such a simple turnaround in the chorus that is makes the song’s upbeat nature take hold of your body. The volleying tambourine and snare drum are catchy by themselves, then add Matt DeBenedetti’s on edge sing/screams and it’s a whirlpool of whimsical beauty. Compare the two choruses and the vocal changes — shit, it’s everything you want in a song. It — whether aware or unaware — becomes the very allure found in the lyrics, “you are the fever that won’t break, the chill that I can’t shake.”
But that is just the first song. In five songs, Toy Cars manage to shoot through the sky like fireworks just to dazzle listeners with their introspective songs that bleed part americana part emotional roller coaster punk. Closing number “Albatross” starts off as a writhing, ballad of a song but detonates into an anthemic gut puncher shining on the vocal cadences. It’s just damned fun songwriting. But again, it’s not like Toy Cars are pitching the next biggest brand spanking new message, they’re just fucking honest about what they have to say." - Sean Gonzalez, New Noise Magazine
07.22.16 · Counter Intuitive Records · CIR004
"They’re absolutely electrifying, and I frankly couldn’t get enough. Sturino’s got a siren-like voice and whales on her guitar with aplomb. Hoffman’s backing vocals are fantastic, as is her bass, and Jones is a masterful rock drummer.
So as you can imagine, I was pleased as punch to get wind of their new EP, “Crushed.” The six songs clock in just under 19 minutes and every song completely rocks. This is actually their second EP; the first one, “Gloomy Tunes,” dropped last year, and the four songs on it are also spectacular.
When I listen to Weakened Friends, I’m gripped by a desire to, I don’t know, race around the streets of Portland on roller skates equipped with jet packs, waving to everyone with the band blasting in my ears." - Maine Today
08.05.16 · Counter Intuitive Records · CIR003
"For the lack of a better word, Motel TV’s 2016 summer release, My Ice Cream is Melting, is overwhelmingly nostalgic. Nostalgia can manifest itself in a lot of things: the scent of the spring air, a song favored by a past lover or the sight of a regularly walked avenue. But no matter what, there is an element of sadness and longing that exists in an otherwise fond memory, and this is exactly what My Ice Cream is Melting captures. My Ice Cream is Melting is decidedly homey and familiar. It’s a soundtrack for the imperfect life, making the EP accessible, relatable and despite it all, rather pleasant." - Boston Hassle
09.01.15 · Counter Intuitive Records · CIR002
"Plainclothes play a brief, fast paced brand of emo/punk that’s reminiscent of emo staples American Football and modern punk contemporaries Joyce Manor. The three-piece employs the use of intricate math inspired guitar parts on their debut album Dog Logic, which was released last year on Counter Intuitive Records. Its lyrics are a mature and honest look into their young lives, while analyzing the moments that helped shape them during their formative years. Plainclothes waste no time on the 18 minute record, packing songs less than two minutes long with intelligent reflections and references to philosophers such as Immanuel Kant." - The Deli Magazine
09.29.15 · Counter Intuitive Records · CIR001
"I couldn’t identify one song where each instrument wasn’t contributing something wonderfully dark and reflective. Of the dark parts of life represented in these songs, to me it’s more of a mirror. The way we see the low points, the desperation in the singing comes across so passionately. This is band that knows how to express itself, and has come together to make an intense album." - Glory In Sound
"These cleanly delivered lamentations and blues based instrumentals weave together perfectly to create something distinct in today’s music scene. There’s no twinkle on here, no grand explosion of sorrow, just a dull and constant ache covered by a blues crafted haze." - Sputnik Music