Monday, December 31, 2012

Coastal Sightings (2012)

I just completed a trip up to the North, stopping in Portland, Seattle, and then Vancouver along the way to check out some of America’s great record shops on the Pacific. I love the cold, mysterious nature of the Pacific Northwest, with its dense wooded areas covered in a thick layer of clouds and rain. That environment has surely helped breed the interesting music scene that the PNW has garnered over the last 30 years.

Across the street from the famous Bop Street in Seattle is a little shop called Sonic Boom Records which has a decent selection of new cassette tapes. I picked up a couple of things, but what stood out was a release from Cairo Records which is a collection of jams from the PNW. Better yet, it is a cassette collection made up of two separate compilations throwing together psychedelic experimentation from musicians I had not heard until this point. M.Women and Stickers were two of the best acts on the comp, and well worth the time if you dig dissonant jam music that would piss off Phish fans everywhere.

Get it here:
Coastal Sightings (2012)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Lullatone - Melody Design Library (2006)

I am big on film scores, and have a soft spot in my heart for folks who make their own lo-fi symphonies for films that don’t exist. Most film scores and soundtracks have to be minimal in nature as not to take away the audience’s attention from the action on the screen, but still help set the tone and mood of the moment. Lullatone from Japan fits this mold perfectly.

This release, made up of small snippets of music made with creaky toy instruments and a fondness for sublime melodies, is just what any inspiring director would look for in their piece of film. Even if not attached to a film, Lullatone’s music is great music to score your personal life as you go about your daily business during this holiday season.

Get it here:
Lullatone - Melody Design Library (2006)

Monday, December 17, 2012

EP Grab Bag vol. 27

Here's what I'm pulled out of the inbox. Though selected somewhat less than randomly, I encourage those that sent stuff in that I missed you are free to try emailing me again or hold your horses. Hopefully I'll get to post up more of the EPs and singles in there soon enough.

To be had here:

Fuck Mountain - The Mountain Strikes Back (2012)

Another EP from loud lo-fi Irish punk rockers, Fuck Mountain. Hard to imagine it was way back at vol. 8 of the Grab Bag that I last posted them, but time flys. And it goes all the quicker with the righteous guitars and drums of Fuck Mountain pounding into your ears.

San Kazakgascar - Drought Times EP (2012)

Something rather different, a Californian band that mixes psychedelic with Mid-Eastern music to make a hybrid droning, melodic set of songs that could very easily be imagined in an Indian film made for American audiences. Interesting stuff and undoubtedly done with considerable musicianship. Not a free download, but at very least stream it to get a feel, totally worth it.

Albino Father - For (2012)

Another returning band, Albino Father's awesome album AGE was posted up a while ago along with the seasonally appropriate Chrimbus release. For continues there upbeat, lo-fi rock with the remarkable talent they've shown us before. Sadly not a freebie either, but I guess musicians are into eating too these days.

The Miami - Ring Shouts (2012)

A new cassette from Prison Art, but downloadable for free if you chose. The Miami claims to have reworked American folk songs into some sorta post-rock/experimental/avant-garde with all sorts of other things sprinkled in. I'm honestly not familiar with the songs they've changed, so I'll take their word for it. I do know that it is a mighty strange listen and something I can get down with.

Monster Rally & RUMTUM - Coasting EP (2012)

I love Monster Rally. All of that seem lo-fi electronic is golden. Not sure who this RUMTUM is but doesn't seem to have done anything to diminish the quality of the music on this release, and I'd wager it's where much of the freshness originates. Feels much more like instrumental hip-hop, sorta reminds be of Madlib's chiller stuff.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Different Skeletons - Without Country (2012)

Toronto's Different Skeletons are back with a follow-up to last year's Secret Jeers. There is a stylistic change that is evident to any of you that might've enjoyed Secret Jeers. The new album is still lo-fi rock and roll but they've made it more psychedelic, the singing far more effected to seem fuller, like a wonderful time beckons you to join in. All this while being neither faster nor heavier in their playing. I'd place it more as a mature of their songwriting style that shows the time they've put in thus far. The results are pretty stellar and don't be surprised if you wanna replay the six tracks of this release immediately because if you could name any fault it was that there was too little to listen to.

To be had here:
Different Skeletons - Without Country

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Walrus - Soft Hands (2012)

About time I got to some more dreamy indie pop. Why I ever neglect such a sweet thing is beyond me, but then again I'll forget about foods like cheese for months just because no one offered me any. Good news for all of us, I got some mighty fine psychedelic pop, which I believe originates in Halifax. This wouldn't be a review written by yours truly if I listened to psychedelic pop and didn't make some reference to Elephant 6. However, I've realized as I listened to Walrus they're so damned chill and dreamy that this comparison isn't good work this time. I don't mean to say they're slow or whatever, they're damned enjoyable and especially so with certain tracks, my favorite is "Tender Buttons" for reasons that'll be clear to any that listen. Electronic, for sure. Psychedelic, as far as I can tell. Melodic, more often than not. Charming, throughout.

To be had here:
Walrus - Soft Hands

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bul-Bul Tarang Gang - Kali (2012)

When Bul-Bul Tarang Gong arrived from Europe, I didn’t know what to expect from the cassette. The cover was awesome, psychedelic yet primitive, and the tape featured percussionist Ravi Padmanabha who is well known for his ethno/rock/jazz improvisations. So we were off to a good start right from the go, but once I popped the tape into the deck, I knew I was in for a treat. What oozed out of my speakers was some of the best Raga meditations I have heard in some time. This is truly eternal music, insofar as it would be difficult to place its conception on a physical timeline. Listening to this set is engrossing and peaceful without turning to background music, and even gets into heavier harmonics on tracks like “Kali.”

There is clearly a Sun City Girl vibe here, as the band dances between Arabic and Asian inspired rhythms, complementing them with a wall of drums and chimes that mixes well with the harmonium and bass patterns. This is psychedelic “world music” at its finest, and deserving of repeated listens.

Buy it here:
Bul-Bul Tarang Gang - Kali (2012)


Sunday, December 9, 2012

As Mountains - Monolight (2012)

My father is from Belgium. You know, that tiny little country in Europe that is known for waffles and chocolate. His parents came to the U.S. after the Second World War and eventually settled in the Bay Area in California. My father was around for the entire punk and psychedelic music scene Northern Cali was known for in the 60s and 70s, but I am pretty sure he didn’t take part in any of it. What a shame.

 So I was pleased to receive a submission from As Mountains, a post-rock band from Hasselt, Belgium. They have a very hygienic, trained sound that clearly owes a great deal to the experienced members of the genre that reached success in the 2000s. As I blasted these tracks through the stereo, my ears were engulfed by walls of guitar sound, all while the drums got louder and more aggressive as the band built to their climax. Well executed, but typical post-rock stuff. What separates this act from the rest in the field is the playful, nearly joyful, guitar plucking that accompanies many of the tracks. Listening to Matching Clouds in Lucerne actually brought a Sarah Records vibe, which was a pleasant surprise.

Get it here:
As Mountains - Monolight (2012)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

EP Grab Bag vol. 26

My head is pounding harder than I can remember for a long time this morning and I'm in a shitty funk from too many mishaps and stresses to detail on here, but I'm still beating myself up over not getting this EPs posted up. Especially because they're so damned fine, so my apologies if the reviews are short or muddled, I can't muster the words together for any better. However, before my life devolves into a bitter mess of misanthropic phrases like a novel written by Céline, I'd better shill these tunes.

To be had here:

Car Seat Headrest - Starving While Living (2012)

Back with an EP after the two wildly fantastic albums I posted on here, Monomania and Twin Fantasy (and there's more out there if I recall). Psychedelia loaded with distorted vocals delivering a style of melancholy poetry. There's some good organ-like droning "Devil's Moon" but I think he saved the best track for last with "Oh! Starving."

Summer Schatzies - Take me to Bohemia (2012) 

The fine lady from Pirasian Beach sent me word of this band from Budapest. I can see how she'd be into them and why she'd hope we would be too, as Summer Schatzies sounds pretty similar to her own album. The thing that does make this group stand out is their more indentifiable influence of surf rock. It makes for a wonderful lo-fi surf pop that doesn't shy away from the fuzzy guitars.

Moray - Into the Departing Lights EP (2012)

A healthy dose of post-rock, exceedingly welcome in light of my painful headache this morning. Sadly despite investing in various kinds of headphones they've all been broken or stolen, so I'm restricted to listening to Moray over the inadequate built in speakers of the MacBook Air. Even with this handicap, I'm willing to say this is perhaps one of the best post-rock release I've heard all year long. The percussion is solidly winning and guitar is most skillful exacting it fills me with delight that someone has talent of this sort.

Zany Zongas and Yosa Buson - jahannam جهنم

The habitually featured Old Monster Records has given us more music to fill our greedy ear holes with. This is a collaborative effort that results a display of psychedelic prowess that ranges from mild ambient paired with chimes to extended lo-fi guitar droning. It is a combination of sounds played from a reel-to-reel player and new instrumentation. It's out there and takes you with it should you give a listen.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Triptides - Couch Surfer (2012)

It’s raining like a mother here in Northern California over the last two weeks, and I am already missing the warm sun of San Diego’s beaches. I love the gloomy weather, don’t get me wrong, but having grown up in Southern Cali, I generally expect a few days of wet weather to be buttressed by a few weeks of sun. Spoiled, I know.

Triptides is helping me get over these rainy day blues with their beautiful and lush surf-rock. These guys are from Indiana, so I figure they don’t hit the waves all that often, but they have definitely created the soundtrack for anyone who does. Or for that matter, anyone dreaming of warmer weather and hazy summer days. These guys put out an excellent cassette a few months ago on Beachtapes, and this new single is free and worthy of repeated plays.

Get it here:
Triptides - Couch Surfer (2012)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Aaron & the Burrs - Aaron & the Burrs (2012)

I'm not done with my binge on selecting lo-fi rock to write up. This time it is some surf rock. Aaron & the Burrs play instrumental surf rock that can obviously be likened to many precursors such as Man or Astro-man?, Laika & The Cosmonauts, and Tijuana Panthers. However, none of these really capture what these cats are up to. The guitar, like having a most undeniably surf-sound, isn't fuzzed out nearly as much as you may expect. In fact it's a more precise style, and it's played awfully quick as well (check the fantastic "Sunny Sky, Choppy Surf" to hear for yourself). If you'll allow me to indulge in my obscure references, I'd say they remind me more of a cleaned-up version of The Apemen or The Phantom Surfers. By this I mean the musicianship overwhelms the flourishes of the style to be the driving factor. So fine it makes me forget that it's a bitter cold autumn outside, but not to diminish the album I am blisteringly hot in my basement apartment this time of year (boilers often aren't efficient at spreading the heat around). Be it my artificially induced fever-like state of mind or the exciting music itself, I highly recommend giving a listen to Aaron & the Burrs.

To be had here:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Chris Weisman - Bentonia (2012)

Chris Weisman has been consistently putting out records, tapes, and CDs for some time now, and has developed a small cult following from his home in Brattleboro, Vermont. Mixing lush melodies with fits of spastic chaos and sonic experimentation, Weisman’s output has veered between accessibility and the fringe, making him one of my favorite bedroom pop-stars in action today. He has played in groups like Happy Birthday (with King Tuff), and his brother is also a prolific songwriter, earning these brothers the “Wilson Family of Brattleboro” tag.

Weisman’s recent cassette, Bentonia, was released by the always stellar Spooky Town Records out of Vermont. It is packed full of caustic, lo-fi symphonies (18 to be exact), that demonstrate just what can be done with a 4-track and a hefty dose of creativity. Tracks like Os Tonokos Token and Sunshine Blue II have been lodged in my head for days, bubbling up as I stand in the shower and grade papers. Chris clearly learned from the psychedelic pop pioneers of the 1960s, effortlessly crafting songs that are approachable and yet complex and intricate. This is highly recommended stuff for anyone who likes well crafted pop music.

Get it here:
Chris Weisman - Bentonia (2012)  

(Sunshine Blue II)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Moondawg Jones - The Ascension Of (2012)

A new album by Moondawg Jones is something I'm genuinely cheerful for. I loved the loud, noisey and extremely fuzzed sound on Particles '10, and this favored characteristics are wonderfully maintained in this latest album. I know I sound like a broken record on his blog sometimes, but when I poach the inbox for bands I know I like and want to support there's little surprise many of them will belong to beloved lo-fi genres. Therefore, is it unreasonable or shocking I want to tell you I can't get enough of this dude's nearly incomprehensibly washed out vocals? Moreover, that I'd like to stress how my ears yearn for thudding percussion and fuzzy guitars just of the kind that are demonstrated by Moondawg Jones? Hopefully not, otherwise this blog's gonna be a rough go for you. However, what I can add about this the album is that it has an even stronger blues-like feeling. Bemoaning and whatnot, you know, that makes me feel a bit tender in my jaded heart. Then after that you can hear a song called "Dick Trickle."

To be had here:
Moondawg Jones -  The Ascension Of

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Drunken Draculas - Dead Sounds (2012)

As always these days I'll begin with my apologies that I'm not anywhere on top of posting the shit that's been submitted, and as perfect evidence this is a band that should've been able to jump the huge queue that swells in my inbox each day for a few reasons. This is Elvis Dracula's band (obviously right?) who, along with Larry, has prevented this place from going silent as I been too tired out from a variety of distractions and time constraints (illness, extra holiday hours, family gatherings, etc.). You'd think I'd get around to shilling his sweet noise sooner, but I'm a dumbass sometimes. Anyway, the main reason they'd be able to jump ahead in that line is because they're good. Good at garage rock which makes me wildly happy. You'd think I'd get around to shilling this sweet noise sooner, but I'm a dumbass sometimes.
If I'd gotten this up timely it would've been fine listening for Halloween, but luckily for children and vampire-themed rockers across America this is a yearly event that one can never been too prepared for. Moreover, just as I'd never limit my candy intake to the autumn, I'd heavily recommend you give this more stripped down and often jangling new tunes from the Drunken Draculas. There's still those deep, lo-fi vocals that could sing me to sleep even in a coffin (listen to "Father Death") and displays of loud, boisterous rocking, yet it's got a healthy amount of more subtle, eerie rock to make a fully formed blood-sucking album. Forgive my tardiness and don't follow my example in waiting, get this shit.

To be had here:

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Bawdy Electric - A Modern Frontier (2012)

These lovely lads hail from the frozen, frigid north known as Montreal. I don't think they have any songs in French, which I can only assume means they get excluded from all respectable cultural events in Francophone Canada. Come to think of it, is there some kind of rivalry in the city's music scene between that perform in one language or the other? I'm imagining some pretty stellar street dance-offs between members of the rock community.

The Bawdy Electric put together pleasing pop-rock with big guitars and sing along melodies. This track instantly reminds me of power pop acts like Rick Springfield and Teenage Fanclub, with its impassioned vocals mixed with a pulsing snare hits that can't help but get my head bobbing along in cadence. This is the kind of stuff that I could see getting more than one rotation on mainstream radio, and hopefully these guys will get a taste of a larger audience sometime in their future.

It's big, it's fun, and you can pump your fists in the air like its 1986 while playing it. What more could you want?

Get it here:
The Bawdy Electric - A Modern Frontier (2012)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

1926 - I don't want to be with U (2012)

As we approach Thanksgiving here in America, many of us are taking long drives to reach our family and/or hometowns. I have a rather scenic drive ahead, but in some parts of the country, the drive can be bleak and seemingly endless. Before the advent of portable music, you would simply switch to whatever local radio station you could pick up, and hope for some interesting tunes to keep you company and your mind from turning to mush from boredom.

Thankfully, we live in an era when just about any sound is at our fingertips at the drop of a hat, and Poland's 1926 has produced a fine soundtrack to at least part of your journey. The group has created a long, expansive track that melds the shoegaze fuzz of Slowdive to the post-rock leanings of bands like A Silver Mt. Zion. This is well recorded stuff, with nice builds and crescendos that will have you head banging as you cross your own desolate landscape.

Get it here:
1926 - I don't want to be with u (2012)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Each Other - Heavily Spaced (2012)

I'll probably show my age by saying it, but it really doesn't seem like bands in the "indie" realm are pulling their weight as much as they did when I was a teenager. In the 90's, the term was more of an umbrella that covered many styles of rock... you had the "college rock" of Superchunk or the "bedroom pop" of Tullycraft; the differing punk sounds of the Pacific Northwest and of Washington DC. It was all encapsulated by this overarching DIY aesthetic that was proving musical careers possible independent of the mainstream music industry.

But now "indie" describes a particular sound... and it all sounds like Arcade Fire. Friendly, consonant, and just plain accessible. Yuck! Even those innovative gods of 15 years ago like Blonde Redhead and Sonic Youth have both recently produced some of the tamest, radio-friendly music of their careers. 

Where then, is the ground still being, if not broken, at least poked and prodded? Just a little?

Well, look no further than to the great northern moose. Each Other is a band hailing from Montreal who bring a fresh interpretation to the jingle-jangly side of indie rock. It's fun and outgoing, but equally introspective and unsettling. Heavily Spaced, their second outstanding release, picks up where last year's Taking Trips left off. After hearing about them through this blog (thanks to Antarktikos and apologies if I snatched this review from under his feet), I was immediately smitten with the creative and spastic rock they produced. The band has a definite ear for melody, rhythm and song structures that are unique, disposing of standard verse-chorus-verse rotations for a more evolving, linear approach. At immediate face value, you'll feel like you're just listening to some songs by some band. But after playing this 20 minute EP a couple times, you might be left feeling more like you're hearing one long, intricately composed piece.

Heavily Spaced offers more accessible sounds than it's occasionally oddball predecessor, but both are equally worth your time. Name your price for both EPs and have yourself a great full length begging for repeated listens. 7" also available through their bandcamp.

Each Other - Heavily Spaced

Monday, November 12, 2012

Peter Kernel - White Death & Black Heart (2012)

Hailing from Lugano, Switzerland comes the huge sound that is Peter Kernel. This record, released on CD, vinyl, and digital, sounds big. Real big. Try as I might, I cannot get a sound like this out of a 4-track player, and I doubt anyone could. This is loud post-punk for anyone who likes the Dischord sound, with a healthy dose of danceable rhythms underpinning the disorderly guitar riffs. The vocals are political in nature and sing-along centered, with more than a few choruses stuck in my head from just a few listens, as the male and female vocalists mix melodies together seamlessly. I really enjoyed "I'll Die Rich at Your Funeral," which I think walks the line between aggressive post-punk and radio-able rock.

Get it here:
Peter Kernel - White Death & Black Heart (2012)

On se tape l'incruste aux Rockomotives #2 : PETER KERNEL from What comes around... Goes around on Vimeo.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Space Wolves - Space Wolves II (2012)

This is an exciting post as it's the first time I've been given the chance to announce an album's release and actually been able to take the offer up. Space Wolves, previously posted on the blog and rather recently at that, have a new cassette releasing today on November 8th. I've listened to this damned album like 4 times in a row and each time I find myself getting increasingly jazzed to hear each succeeding track. The jaunting and jangling lo-fi indie pop doesn't get old easily. As I did mention in the last post of Space Wolves, they've got a sound that strongly reminds me of the Lucksmiths and other Australian indie pop acts. This of course I mean as only high praise, as I still think that Australian indie pop is the fucking bee's knees. This sort of music is a highly functional salve for my bitterness that's built up from years of terrible customer service jobs and college courses. If I dare say a good reason to recall being sweet and lovely isn't always for naught.

To be had here:
Space Wolves - Space Wolves II

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fugazi - The Argument (2001)

As American voters go to the polls today, it is important to remember that the best thing to come out of any political regime is the music that challenges it. There are so many great records directed at the powers that be and changing society that I was literally at a loss last night figuring out which one I would share today. When it comes to the general malaise maintained throughout last decade, no one addressed the issues of the day better than Washington DC’s hometown heroes, Fugazi. On their last record “The Argument” they had this to say about the state of their city:

 “on the morning of the first eviction they carried out the wishes of the landlord and his son/ furniture's out on the sidewalk next to the family/ that little piggie went to market, so they're kicking out everyone/ talking about process and dismissal forced removal of the people on the corner”

 Ian MacKay even directs his furor at fellow punks and activists who have gotten too close to power and lost their moral compass.  

“it's all about strikes now so here's what's striking me that some punk could argue some moral abc's when people are catching what bombers release”

I surely want one side to win today’s election, but great records like the Argument remind us the power music has to focus our concentration on what matters.  
The Argument

Get it here:
Fugazi - The Argument (2001)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Walls are Blonde - Buying Time (2012)

This is 4-track, DIY at its most enjoyable. Anyone who loved a band on the Elephant 6 Collective will surely find something of interest in this band's lo-fi pop symphonies. Hailing from the cold north that is Toronto, the Walls are Blonde provides 14 songs of pure psychedelic pop on this self-released CDr. Thankfully for you cheap bastards out there that hate physical media, you can also download it for free. Sweet, emotional, and uplifting; this is bedtime music you have been waiting to take acid to.

Get it here:
The Walls are Blonde - Buying Time (2012)

Direwolves - Me From Myself to Banish (2012)

Not sure why, but it seems like I have posted a great deal of music from France as of late. The music you are about to hear sounds little like the tunes posted with that tag however. Direwolves sound nothing like a French cafe serving espresso and croissants, unless it is one for the dead in hell. This is hardcore at its loudest and darkest. I am reluctant to call it Black Metal, but it does carry some of the darkness that genre is known for. "Reach This Hand" is my favorite track on this LP, as it rocks with its cock out. This is throaty and destructive music, well recorded and composed, and released on the always reliable Throat Ruiner label located in Saint Brieuc. If there was ever to be a band on a label called "Throat Ruiner," it would be Direwolves. It is a good thing they have socialized medicine in France, because the vocalist is going to need medical help following each performance.

Get it for free here:
Direwolves - Me From Myself to Banish (2012)

The Chaw - Selft-titled (2012)

San Francisco is a wonderful city to live near. I have sadly never called it home, but I have spent countless hours there at shows and digging for records. San Francisco may have gotten too expensive for your average guy to live in, but the greater Bay Area is still home to some of the best underground rock acts today. I know each region celebrates their local scene's quality, but if you have not visited the Bay Area, you really are missing out on some great psychedelic and experimental music.

A new act making waves in SF is a little group called The Chaw. They have some connection to The Sea Life, and have a show coming up at the quintessential indie venue in the city, Bottom of the Hill.

The group plays tight, slightly psychedelic garage rock, but what really stands out is the frontman's vocals. It's as if Jim Morrison rose from the grave, a bit more sober and on less acid, and decided to pick up where he left off. Morrison decided to then ditch the organ, and gave each member of the Doors a reverb and crunchy distortion pedal. The Chaw walk that perilous line between being out-there and challenging, while still maintaining the implacable enthusiasm and chops to bring an entire bar to attention.

Listen to it here:
The Chaw (2012)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ali Helnwein - Strange Creations (2012)

Ali Helnwein’s music is great Halloween fodder when you have exhausted your trashy garage-rock collection, and are looking for your own private backing track as you drift through your neighborhood half drunk and hopped up on candy. Released on cassette by Spring Break Tapes, this is probably the only tape I own from an artist that can boast that they have earned an Emmy. All that respectability permeates from this release!

Strange Creations calls to mind Danny Elfman’s Tim Burton soundtracks, as Ali weaves minimal string arrangements to perfectly fill an empty space. Tracks like “Greed” are whimsical yet sinister, reminding the listener that once the sun goes down, familiar places take on a baleful quality. As much as I enjoy Black Metal and Drone cassettes, this is the first tape I have played that my girlfriend also enjoyed, and I can sincerely say that this release should be in as many hands as possible.

Buy it here:
Ali Helnwein - Strange Creations (2012)

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Sea Life - In Basements (2012)

The full-length follow-up to the EP by the Sea Life that was part of the 17th Grab Bag. There's only one track carried over from the EP (the most wonderful song "Sleep"), with the remainder being material that was at very least all new to me. The Sea Life has found a most charming blending of styles like shoegaze, indie pop and general lo-fi fuzz. They're capable of being awesomely dreamy for a track and then shift into a flawlessly guitar-driven number just after. I do try to give most everything that I put up on the blog 3 or more listens before writing anything up, but I must have listened to this album 3 times daily for over a week. What more is there to know, they done did it right.

To be had here:
The Sea Life - In Basements

Sunday, October 28, 2012

HenrySpenncer - Saturn (2012)

Parisian psychedelic space-cowboy HenrySpenncer is back at it, and about to drop a new record on French label Bookmaker Records. At the heart of Spenncer’s work is morose drones, but what separates him from an overly large field of musicians is his staple guitar compositions. His tracks are deeply grounded by this playing that takes equal parts from Pink Floyd and reverb soaked country hooks, which takes his music out of the “drones as atmosphere” into full fledged arrangements. He has put out a number of releases in the past, but this upcoming release is the first to be professionally recorded (at Holy Mountain Studio in London to boot), and worth looking out for when it drops this coming winter.

Get it here:

Friday, October 26, 2012

Irureta - 100% Pure Sport (2012)

Everything about Irureta points to them being a French band, but I can’t for the life of me pin down if that’s true or not. The good folks at Teflon Beast Records released this prog-heavy pop record just a few months back, and I have enjoyed the cassette tape since receiving it. With the exception of the French sound clips tastefully placed during intros, the record is made up of psychedelic jamming that is sure to impress anyone who happens to read this blog consistently. L'Arret Gite Ethnique/Patinage Mental is still my favorite track off this full length, with its winding synthesizer and pulsing bass line preserving my interest for the duration of the 6 minute jam. Well worth a listen, even if you can't buy the cassette.

Get it here: Irureta - 100% Pure Sport (2012)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

EP Grab Bag vol. 25

So here's some of all those EPs that I've been sent which surely the musicians must've thought had disappeared into a black hole within my gmail account. All wonderful naturally and thanks very much for sending them in even if it takes me forever to get to them. Also even more thanks to Elvis Dracula for taking it upon himself to keep this blog more lively than I could manage alone. Do check out his awesome band the Drunken Draculas. Perfect for your desire to hear horror-themed garage rock on Halloween.

To be had here:

Unmade Beds - Unmade Beds EP (2012)

A group from Boston that makes some post-punk with elements of noise and goth. Don't be fooled by the trippy introduction on the first track, which is good but unrepresentative, as these guys do get pretty fast and loud. "Caipiras U.S.A." is an especially solid lo-fi song that immediately won me over.

Trashy - Power Shower EP (2012)

Even more noisy yet, Trashy is a New Orleans punk band that has some real fucking lo-fi production. I mean the lyrics are basically incomprehensible  but ain't nothing wrong with that. As rough and raw as you'd like from something with a heavily bound, half-naked person on the cover. The EP is quite short, but the gem is "Slut Song" if you want my opinion.

Autism - Falling Motion (2012)

An instrumental Lithuanian post-rock/post-metal band, so now you know that's a thing. A good thing at that, for these songs are hypnotic. Definitely a talented display that I recommend to all the post-metal-heads out there (is that what they're called?). Link goes to the bandcamp page but there's a link from there that'll let you get it for free on mediafire.

Shark Week - EP (2012)

This three song EP from Washington, D.C.-based Shark Week blew my goddamned man with it's finely done garage rock. Just enough surf and soul in there to really get me all kinds of worked up. Can't put my finger on it but the singer reminds me of someone else so incredibly intensely it is uncanny, but takes not a thing away from the brilliance of the tracks. Make sure you get this one, trust.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Kramers - Self-titled (2012)

Continuing with monster-themed garage rock, we have The Kramers from Brisbane, Australia. The group is made up of two young lads who put together lo-fi garage rock that sounds timeless and yet engaging. While not as loud and merciless as my previous post, The Kramers do pull off a full sound on their 13 song self-titled release, while clearly recording on a basic 4-track setup. They even cover J Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers “Last Kiss,” which shows where this group’s musical heart rests.

Get it here:
The Kramers - ST (2012)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Gory Details - Killer Waves (2012)

I have an incessant love for trashy garage rock that could theoretically be used as the soundtrack to a 1950s horror film. Record some upbeat, snarling jams to a 4-track, and I am almost surely going to enjoy it. Throw in a few ounces of monsters and grime and you have just assured my attention.  The Gory Details hail from Austin and released their first cassette (Killer Waves) last August. If you enjoy rancorous garage punk with a heavy dose of organ thrown in for good measure, these guys are likely up your alley. I am sure these guys were going for a Mummies vibe with this set, and they capture that quintessential act’s vigor flawlessly.  The download isn’t free, but for a measly 3 bucks, it is worth every cent. 

Get it here:

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Space Wolves - Space Wolves (2012)

This is a Buffalo-based band that makes jangle pop which they liken to Bleached or the Babies, but I have to say they sound like a speedier version of the Lucksmiths or the Mabels (I had a phase wherein I listened to much Australian indie pop) both in the musical content and the whimsical nature of the lyrics. The songs are sometimes wonderfully brief jingles that sing about something like Pizza or girls. In fact only a couple of tracks go over the two minute mark. All of them are damned cheerful sung and musically charming, even if the lyrics can have that Beulah-esque depressing content if you really pay attention to what he's saying. So while this did touch a soft spot for me as it summoned up memories of sitting alone in the afternoon listening to Australian music as a teenager, it is meritorious beyond that and I recommend anyone who's a jangle pop fan to give it a listen.

To be had here: