Listening Party: The Can’t Tells

photo courtesy of the artist

This week’s Listening Party highlights Bushwick based trio The Can’t Tells. If you managed to catch the band’s wild set at our very own Holy Smokes! Festival two weekends ago, then you already get why we’ve been digging their jams (big time) as of late. For the rest of you, well – time to listen up! Listening Party is a curated weekly column that promotes music discovery and encourages concert-going. For more on The Can’t Tells’ debut album, No Television, and info on their upcoming local show at Shea Stadium, get pluggin’ with those earbuds and read on!


WHO: Michael DiSanto, Blaze McKenzie, Jonathan Smith

THEY SAY: “The alternate reality where Elvis Costello was in Mission of Burma and they all played Spoon songs at twice the speed.”

WE SAY: Fast, furious, Emo-inspired Power-Punk

FROM: Brooklyn, NY


LABEL: Medical Records

RECENT WORK: Debut LP No Television, out October 22

UPCOMING SHOW: September 25 at Shea Stadium with Ex-Wife & Vomit Face

With a delicate riff that’s quickly pounded to a bloody pulp, No Television commences via explosive album opener “Lying to Myself.” It doesn’t take long for the brash, but sensitive power of The Can’t Tells to sink in; their music is fueled by infectious rhythms, monster-sized hooks, and alternating soft-loud-soft melodies. Tracks like “The Basement” and “Give Me Something To Like” are groovy head-bangers, while title track “No Television” preaches against the perils of TV – in a totally tongue-in-cheek manner, of course – and cradles a thoroughly nostalgic alt-rock vibe. On their debut, this local power-trio have perfected a formula that’s all their own; think ’80s/90s shoegaze indie meets pop-inflected emo (minus the arm cuffs, Robert Smith-inspired eyeliner, and strategic hallway sulking).

Co-frontmen Blaze and Mike trade vocal duties, so with The Can’t Tells things are always cohesive, but never static. “Insincere” is gorgeous and angsty, but we’re also partial to “Drugstore,” an obscenely catchy tale of storefront regret that you’ll keep humming in your head for days. The Can’t Tells’ shows are loud, fun, sweaty messes that we endorse wholeheartedly; don’t miss them when they hit Shea Stadium on 9/25.

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