Threats & Promises

Handholder’s Older Brother, And More Music News and Gossip


LISTEN WITHOUT PREJUDICE: I’ve written a lot about the experimental noise vehicle partydead in these pages. At least it feels like a lot. Anyway, word came down this week that the project has just now completed its first version—titled home to love—of a planned three-version release of its planned second-to-last album. Now, if you have to say something three different times in three different ways, then it must be super important. Its architect, Eric The Hat, has a well-honed sense of both bliss and aggression, and each plays a significant role in nearly all his releases. Sometimes within the same track even, such as “mutant” on this new one. The analog drums on “pfft” and “numbskull” were a nice surprise, too, even though I can’t really tell if they’re sampled or not. Among all the aforementioned aggression happening here is “73 years old” which plays like a deconstructed “Tubular Bells” and smooths things out in the process. Find this at

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE: The folks behind JOKERJOKERtv pulled out all the stops for their AthFest coverage. After suffering massive amounts of connectivity issues, YouTube strikes and more, the venerable Athens channel still made great use of its time and conducted interviews with or featured nearly 50 artists. This would have been an incredible achievement even if things ran smoothly. It is such an incredibly cool thing these folks are doing, and it reminds me very much of the music scene public access shows that used to be broadcast via Observer TV here in Athens. All interviews and performances are cataloged under the playlist “AthFest 2024” at 

LOCK DOWN: While the final four songs on Handholder’s new album Older Brother deliver the sound made familiar with the group’s recent Memos collection and even its debut EP Clearing, the first two are barn burning shoegaze tracks that blast out completely unexpectedly. Opening song “N2L” adopts the accepted loud-quiet-loud structure and maintains it around a relatively simple riff, but adds a sublime middle section. There’s loads of really subtle production stuff happening here in the background, too, so pay close attention. The second song, “Found,” has a similar but less effective midsection. The rest of the song, though, has a looser structure that rolls more than rocks in a most effective way. Enjoy this at, and follow along at

NO LAUGHING: With exceptionally rare exceptions, I’m not a fan of humor in music. And that comes in quite handy when not finding the new EP Neutral Violet by Violent Violet funny at all. I say that as a precursor because at first glance it seems like a joke, and someone somewhere will likely find it funny. But it’s five Neutral Milk Hotel covers done with varying degrees of reverence. Some of the constructs used here really shine out, like the guitar toward the end of “Someone Is Waiting.” Other songs covered here are “King of the Carrot Flowers (pt 1)” (performed straightforward), “Gardenhead / Leave Me Alone,” “Everything Is” and ‘Engine.” The fact is, no one could have covered these with as much detail unless already a pretty big fan of these records, and as weird as this record sounds and is, by its end it also feels somewhat sincere. Fly your aeroplane over to 

LOADED UP AND TRUCKIN’: The Georgia Theatre and Zero Mile will host An Evening With Patterson Hood Thursday, July 25. I’m pretty certain a good amount of folks that always show up for the annual HeAthens Drive-By Truckers shows will come back to town for this. Advance tickets are $25–45, and they’ll run you the same at the door, if there are any left at the door. To purchase, please see

NEW TUNE: Hip-hop/industrial act Something Haunted releases its first single Friday, July 12. It’s named “Path,” and it’s pretty slick. It definitely falls more on the pop industrial (Nine Inch Nails, et al) side of things, but even these touch points are minimally explored. Mostly, this is a mid-heavy alt-rock track with a decent hook and memorable vocals. Find it on all major streaming services. 

PICKIN’ UP CHANGE: Released on the cusp of a short tour that will see them back home, probably, by the time you see this, the new album from hardcore merchants Snuki came out on July 4. The six-song shredder is named Means to an End. This is the most circle-pit-ready punk release outta Athens for the past several months, especially “Diehard Townie” and the group’s namesake “Snuki.” Nothing too terribly mind blowing here—ust a really solid hardcore record that deserves repeated plays. Find it at