Black Wine Summer of Indifference

Black Wine's sophomore album, Summer of Indifference, finds the Jersey trio blending pop punk with heavy rhythms that exceeds the quick tempo, three-chord structure of any pop punk ― ever. Jeff Schroek (the Ergs!) teams with Miranda Taylor on drums and J. Nixon on bass (both of Hunchback). Sharing vocal and songwriting duties, the album is a chameleon of sounds and influences, most notably the sludgier, bass-driven stigma of '90s alternative garage rock synchronized with their pop punk roots. Quite frankly, it works incredibly well. Taylor on vocals has an enchanting high range that's juxtaposed against the sludgy guitar riffs and Schroek's distinguishable singsong croon without being overwhelming or overwhelmed. There's an element of folk punk infused into "Ocean's Skin," while "Hand" contains fuzzy distortion and thrashy guitar riff elements of early Dinosaur Jr. and Mudhoney. Closing track "Maycrowning" has a garage rock sound (think Queens of the Stone Age), with a heavy focus on bass. Schroek's Ergs! influence shines through on "Through the Foam," with a melodic verse and chorus most closely associated with pop punk song structures. The consistent changing of styles in such a cohesive, solid album makes Summer of Indifference stand out without any standout tracks ― they all do. (Don Giovanni)