Buffalo, NY, trio Newish Star crams a whole lot of disparate influences into each of the ten super short tracks on their second self-released cassette. While the music itself recalls everything from ‘90s radio alternative to emo to pop punk, guitarist Jordan’s talky, staccato vocals evoke arty indie lo-fi. Tracks such as “Crooked Road” and “Great Scott” venture into more easily digestible melodic territory. As if by some dark magic, this complex album ultimately feels cohesive and conceptual. Let’s just call it “pinballcore,” as the band’s love for the sport—is pinball a sport?—is expressed both on their social media and How Soon We Forget’s cover art. High Score awarded for the sly Addam’s Familyreference in the packaging and the aesthetic of the tape itself, which is the same pink and grey as the horse stable Lego set I had as a kid. Points deducted for getting my hopes up that “Girl, You Know It’s True” would be a legit Milli Vanilli cover.
–Kelley O’Death (Self-released)