I happened upon Lujo Records a couple years ago by chance when I bought The Fall of Troy's S/T. That CD was raw and amazing , especially for only being a three-piece, buy they've since moved on to Equal Vision and their sound went downhill with the move. Lujo is run primarily by one man: Erik Auccoin. He has been continually signing a wide variety of bands with two things in common: innovative sound and a great deal of talent. I recently picked up a bunch of releases from the sale on the website and I wanted to post to highlight some of my favorie artists on the label. There are some odds and ends on the Myspace site, but all of the mp3s I'm posting are from the media section of the website which I will link...

[link] Lujo Records media section

Suffering and the Hideous Theives is the the project upon which Jeff Suffering has been dwelling for the past couple of years. Suffering has found a much more mature and distinct sound then he ever had in previous bands Raft of Dead Mokeys and 90 Lb. Wuss which is definitely a change for the better. The sound is vastly indie with a certain twinges of alt country and folk. Although I have not heard the new release, Ashamed, the previous Rats in Heaven was simultaneously beautiful, epic, and excruciating. Soundwise think of a rougher, more brutally honest Ryan Adams mixed with aspects of Sufjan Stevens and Starflyer 59. That's the best I can do at describing them. The octave paired vocals in this song "The Potters Field" are one of my favorite moments of the record as well as parts of a semi-traditional rendition of "Amazing Grace" clocking in at 11:40.

[mp3] Suffering & The Hideous Theives - The Potters Field

Aforementioned The Fall of Troy put together an amazing debut for Lujo. This is probably some of the best hardcore of any sub-genre that I've ever heard. Amazingly complex rhythms and guitar and bass lines completely fill this record and there is never a lapse in the brutal talent.

[mp3] The Fall of Troy - The Circus ...

Now defunct Ateriavia pulled me in with a song that was never released anywhere that I know of and I'm guessing it was on the Lujo site ages ago for download called "Why are You Allergic to Bees, Bees are so Awesome;" you can hear and download that song on their Myspace. I'm pretty sure all of these guys were under 20. They had a really awesome sound going somewhere between At the Drive-In and Q and not U that I'm sure could have taken off with a little more touring, blood, sweat, and tears. I'm sure they had other things they needed to do with their lives, but I'm glad they at least released their EP Regarding the Midwest: Sleeping.

[mp3] Ateriavia - This Sierra Classic is of a Prestigious Fleet

I picked up the LP of The Evaluation's We Built the Gun That Causes This Unending Fear for a mere $3 when MakeBreak Records called it quits and cleaned out the closet. Now they are going the way of the buffalo too with their last show next week. In the same vein as MeWithoutYou, The Evaluation crafts catchy, but edgy songs and retains a distinctive sound.

[mp3] The Evaluation - Texas, Texas; No Tennessee

"Heart Like Locamotive" is infectiously catchy. It's the kind of song you can hear on the radio and have no idea who it is but still know all the words and the main guitar riff. Verona delivers straight up rock with the soaring vocals of Kyle Logghe that pull you in and make their 50 minute debut, Rumored to Whisper Suspicions, seem like 30 and having you wishing for more.

[mp3] Verona - Heart Like Locamotive

The Kidcrash pulls off pop-punk like they've released at least 5 albums. New Ruins has super slick production and songs catchy enough to be mistaken for the likes of Jimmy Eat World, but still holds a great deal of appeal for those who don't usually listen to the genre.

[mp3] The Kidcrash - Your Valley Is Our Volcano

Check out the rest of the Lujo Artists at the media page or their myspaces in the sidebar of Lujo's. If oddity is your thing, give Baby Teeth and Gena Rowlands Band a listen. Lujo has also made a bunch of releases for bands with quieter and acoustic material that is all really good. I recommend In Praise of Folly, Dame, and Hidari Mae.

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