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Ten Underrated Albums From Iodine Recordings That Will Not Work As A Home Remedy For COVID

Record labels in the scene can be quite polarizing, to say the least, but we’ve yet to hear about anyone besmirching the entity known as Iodine Recordings, and we are going to keep it that way. Founded in Boston, Massachusetts by Casey Horrigan as a record distribution company in 1996, Iodine morphed into its own label in 2000, but it sadly stopped in 2004. Happily, the label announced its return in 2020, and started putting out new material in 2021. Iodine Recordings is still going quite strong with many LPs scheduled well into the year and even some planning into the next. For this piece wherein we spout beauty about ten underrated albums from the label in alphabetical order, we list zero EPs, compilations, split releases, or reissues, so stop yelling before you start.

The Darling Fire “Distortions” (2022)

Apple Music describes The Darling Fire as “hard rock,” and while that is an apt description, the band is also so, so much more than that. Featuring band members from Shai Hulud not named Chad Gilbert and from Further Seems Forever not named Chris Carrabba, TDF’s female spin on a typically male-dominated arena provides a new and fantastic lens on a non-foreign populus. If we can up the ante from 459 monthly Spotify listeners to something in the 460 category moving forward, then our hands will forever remain clean, and life will be the antonym of a freaking downer. On another note, if you need/want/crave/yearn for a home in South Florida, well frontwoman/realtor Jolie Lindholm is for you, and you can reach her directly by ringing 867-5309. Please leave a message at the beep or our collective hearts will stop beating.

Her Head’s On Fire “College Rock and Clove Cigarettes” (2022)

You may not expect to hear modern kindred spirits of The Replacements, Elvis Costello, R.E.M., and other 80s college indie rock acts prior to spinning the most bloodthirsty and violent band named band ever as of press time, Her Head’s On Fire, but the four-piece act composed of members from Saves the Day, The Bomb, Small Brown Bike, and Large White Plane loves to keep you guessing and keep all of the goons complaining. Since “College Rock and Clove Cigarettes” is the band’s only full-length LP as of now, we hope that they’re all hunkering down and creating more ear candy for us all. It’s a common shame that this act fell through the cracks of the most indie of indies, but we’re obviously here to remedy that, as our pristine hearts will beat for you forever and ever amen. Are THEY enough? YES they ARE!

Hey Thanks! “Start/Living” (2022)

New Orleans, Louisiana is normally known for beignets, voodoo, Neutral Snap, and non-neutral by any stretch of the imagination drinks, but Hey Thanks! deserve your time too, and plenty of public and private accolades from the peanut gallery known as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness! Blending nearly every genre of rock from Warped Tour that doesn’t involve yelling antiquated Christian ideals at unsuspecting teens with vulgar neon v-necks, Hey Thanks! is so, so much more than a The Wonder Years song, and all twelve tracks that comprise their slasher LP known as “Start/Living” are quality jams that even your bitter and boring cousin Mortimer will bop to. Also, if you like your gallons and gallons of falsetto more than you like Adam Levine’s miles and miles of tattoos inspired by M. Shadows, the vocals here are uber pristine and candylike.

Horsewhip “Consume and Burn” (2023)

“Consume and Burn” is the most concise and short listen here with just eight songs and a runtime under twenty minutes, but it is still technically a full-length studio effort! Florida men come in many shapes and sizes, and these four Florida men from the full of fury location known as Tampa Bay, for lack of a better word, whip your horses known as humans into oblivion from the first seconds of “Cutting Through” to the final ones in “Circadian Rhythm,” and we’re all better/lighter jockeys for it. There’s a song called “Pain” here at track number five, and that may as well be the genre of the tunes on this LP, as no other word would do them justice. If you want campfire acoustic classics, steer clear, but if you want to firebomb the warehouse party a la Ass Life, these eight songs will certainly do. HORSEWHIP!

The Iron Roses “Self-Titled” (2023)

Blending elements of pop, punk, pop-punk and a genre that doesn’t exist, unless it does, known as punk-pop, Elkton, Maryland’s The Iron Roses’ self-titled studio album is a unique male and female dual vocal masterpiece with a healthy amount of power chords and upstrokes. You may not expect to hear such saccharine from Nathan Gray, who also is the lead vocalist for your favorite act and ours known as BoySetsFire, but Gray likes to keep ya guessing with a hearty amount of Becky, and not the aunt with the same first name. Some roses aren’t made of stone and deserve some metal, though not in musical style form. Also, this album’s actual cover could work as cool art for your studio apartment or your friend Albie’s garage. In closing, inferior publications dug this band but here it is for you!

Jeromes Dream “The Gray In Between” (2023)

Screw apostrophes, amirite? San Francisco, California’s Jeromes Dream doo-wop harmonious hooligans open their recent LP “The Gray In Between” with a somber and short instrumental known as “Conversations: In Time, On Mute,” which is quite a misnomer by a stretch AND that’s where the mellowness ends. If you dig the aforementioned MA icons Converge that will allude to again later, but think that they should write heavier and more dissonant music for your eardrums, well Jeromes Dream is for you. We must admit, it sounds more like Jeromes nightmare than a happy and peaceful slumber, but that’s the way, uh huh, uh huh, we like it, uh huh, uh huh. “The Gray In Between” has another thing going for it in that it is ten tracks clocking in at just under twenty-five short minutes, so your commute to your in-laws will be THAT much more meaningful.

Onelinedrawing “Tenderwild” (2022)

“Don’t give up” is not only a song on Onelinedrawing’s recent LP “Tenderwild,” but it seems to be a daily affirmation mantra of sorts for vocalist/svengali Jonah Matranga, who also moonlit in influential acts Far, Gratitude, New End Original, and Old Corner Cover. If you like folk music with an emotional/sweet twist, “Tenderwild” is a good one for your record collection, and if you don’t, don’t. Special credence is particularly in order for Matranga, who has been a scene mainstay for longer than many of you have been alive, and we’d bet a large sum that fact won’t change till he’s on his deathbed, or even you on yours. If you only have three minutes and two seconds today to halt doom scrolling and actually listen to quality music, check out this album’s solid title track; hell of a year.

Orange Island “Everything You Thought You Knew” (2002)

If you like Braid and Jawbreaker, but dislike impropriety and dentists, then Orange Island’s “Everything You Thought You Knew” is most certainly for you, despite its album title potentially or kinetically, intentionally or unintentionally, ripping Glassjaw’s breakout LP’s title off! Oh well, consider them unlucky. Anyway, it is still shocking that the mega post-hardcore/emo boom of the early-aughts left Orange Island on their own, err, island, and it wasn’t a long one at that. Clinton, Massachusetts is usually more known for Sliding Billy Hamilton than OI, but we are here to change that grassroots guerilla style via this studio album shoutout. We can’t entirely blame Iodine Recordings for this band not blowing up as they eventually signed to Triple Crown Records and even Rise Records, and called it a day in 2005, the year that acts like Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, Avenged Sevenfold, and The Turtles exploded.

Ritual Earth “MMXX” (2022)

At just six songs over the course of nearly forty-five minutes of epic music and musicianship, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s Ritual Earth’s full-length is a trippy and heavy masterpiece appealing to fans of psychedelic rock and doom metal, and we’re all for it! As you know, “MMXX” in roman numeral form means “2020,” which may reference the year that Covid-19 quarantined the planet or it might just be a cool combo of letters, fam. Regardless, fans of Meshuggah, Between the Buried and Me, Moon Tooth, and the substance ayahuasca NEED Ritual Earth in their meal plans. Also, if you look at a photo of the band, they certainly look the part, whatever the part is. In closing, this entry may look like a gaffe as it is six songs long but since the tunes are long as hell, it’s technically an LP, suckas!

There Were Wires “Somnambulists” (2003)

There were wires and there must have been something in the water in Massachusetts in the late-’90s/early-’00s, as many acts from this region around that revered time period were stinking mad whilst being wicked pissa, kid! There Were Wires should have climbed to the heights of MA peers Converge, but sadly the band called it a day just one year after “Somnambulists” came out. If you have a BA in English Language and Literature or even climbed the academic mountain higher to a master’s degree or doctorate, you know that “Somnambulism” is a pretentious way to say “sleepwalking” and we blame external factors, dumb luck in a dumb way, and this literal heady album title for the band not being on the metalcore or whatever the hell you want to call it pantheon.