Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Chick Quest - Vs. Galore (2015)

Here's a band from Vienna who's already begun to garner some attention from far more popular outlets than our tiny blog, however I felt the deserve all the mentions that can muster because it's very much the song of music I wouldn't mind hearing circulation more widely. Beginning as a two-piece called Van Lee Cliff, you know after the actor that played opposite Clint Eastwood in those legendary spaghetti westerns, and since then they've added more players while keeping the western's iconic soundtrack as an inspiration. However, western soundtracks is not the only, nor arguably the main influence on Chick Quest's full-length debut. More accurately the sound is that of a post-modern combination of a variety of revival styles from garage rock, surf, western and bass rhythms of dance-punk a la Gang of Four. It all makes for fine listening.

I feel I'd be remiss without mention by way of a footnote the Michigan musicians that release music as Lasso who has some of the same western influences and impulse to combine genres yet came out with a very difficult but complimentary sound to Chick Quest. So Check them out as well.

To be had here:
Chick Quest - Vs. Galore

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Oscar Key Sung - Tape Voice EP (2012)

Still unsure about seeing the new Star Wars. I just get immediately suspicious of anything cultural that I feel is being shoved in my face. Like Adele, I don't know her music but I know I don't like it. Just think about this for a second: Hollywood will be flogging the jedi cash cow for the rest of your life on this planet. We will never be free from the question, "Have you seen the new Star Wars?" Never free from storm troopers advancing into department store television advertisements.

Not necessarily wanting to be left out of a cultural phenomenon, while not having the inclination to participate, I've decided to carry a standardized response to the "Have you seen the new Star Wars movie" question... which is "YEAH I SAW IT AND IT WAS COMPLETE GARBAGE"... just so it appears that I'm at least trying to keep up with things of cultural relevance, while encouraging those who ask to never repeat the question. Bah humbug.

I'm much more inclined to champion and gush over the great music of obscure folks who I think should be less obscure. For example, I was pleasantly surprised by this EP from Melbourne-based Oscar Key Sung. He seems to really have a knack using his voice as an instrument and not just a vehicle for delivering lyrics. Medulla-era Björk immediately comes to mind. The glitch-synth-drum loop elements suggest a Prefuse 73 influence. It's like Max Tundra - but instead of making you feel weird it makes you feel the mood for sexy times.

Free download, 4 songs.

Oscar Key Sung - Tape Voice EP

Sunday, December 20, 2015

C. M. Slenko - Royal Blue Days (2015)

The newest album from the folk/anti-folk musician C.M. Slenko, also called Charlie Slenko. Last year Slenko had a double release in September, issuing both a full length Rented Rooms and an EP Moonlight Veneration. The former being a wonderful example of melancholy contemporary folk music and the latter being a far noisier and psychedelic experimentation. These two modes he was simultaneously exploring then have now found a near equal expression in Royal Blue Days. Tracks such as "Pale Moon," "Short Circuit, Long Night...," and "Kings" are charming, emotional folk songs while others like "Somnambulant | Still" and "Clarion, Carillon / Carrion" are examples of droning anti-folk. Perhaps even more compelling are the songs that blend these two forms, having beautiful lyric and folksy guitar with noise erupting or droning seamlessly along side. Check "Not Just Angels" or "Shallow" to hear what I mean by this. A entertaining and lovely display of the power musical juxtaposition. Absolutely the sort of album that is most rewarding to hear from beginning to end with devoted attention. 

Royal Blue Days has been released by Slenko's own Sioux Trails label, which has issued some really notable music including previously featured albums by Galápagos Finches and Glass Men. There is a bunch more on there I've been meaning to get to as well that look super promising and I believe they're all free to download.

To be had here:
C. M. Slenko - Royal Blue Days

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Last Words - S/T (2013)

There's something truly wonderful about female-fronted hardcore music. Or is this powerviolence? I have no idea, as I'm clearly not a scholar on the subject. But something we might all agree on is that many rock music scenes tend to be fairly homogenized in the gender and race department. And let's face it... there's no shortage of machismo in the world. So excuse me if my ears perk to the sound of Marina's amazing scream... a voice takes this Raleigh, North Carolina's band to a whole new level of ferociousness... which would be entirely lost with a male vocalist. Her voice is that of a large hawk or like tires screeching to a halt. The band is also super tight, packing a wallop in a short bursts of mechanized synchronicity(most of the songs being under 2 minutes).

Last Words, I've read, take their influence from the Boston hardcore scene. I'm not sure what that means... something to explore in future posts.

10 songs, name your price. Available on vinyl! For the utilitarian music listener, a great record for the workplace (granted you have the luxury of listening to music while working)... especially if you daydream about smacking them. Also good for exercising.

Last Words - S/T

Sunday, December 13, 2015

EX UAJ ZED - 4 (2015)

The last post was of a Hungarian band and in said post I took the time to wax on a bit on my fixation on Eastern European culture. After looking around a bit more thoroughly in the submissions I have noticed bit of an increase in bands from this region and so I suppose I will take this opportunity to share some of the highlights I’ve founds amongst them. So today is EX UAJ ZED of Poland.

I don’t know if anyone is calling their music garage metal, but if that’s not a traded term I should like to suggest it as an ample descriptor of EX UAJ ZED. Undoubtedly lo-fi with all its fuzz and striped down instrumentation it seems like a garage rock album, which is indeed what they billed themselves as. Yet there is no confusion in the use of overly powerful cords and intensity that this album largely expresses the angst and rage of the very best post-metal albums. Mainly an instrumental affair, with lyrics ever so scarcely entering the picture and even then they’re in what I assume to be Polish, so I can’t elaborate on their content. The real emotion of this album comes via the guitar playing, it takes center stage in every track, to such a degree that the drumming in delaying in introducing itself in several tracks. The drumming does serve as a wonderful guideline throughout, making what would otherwise be a guitar drone into a fleshed out composition, albeit of a minimalistic nature. Now, this might or mightn’t seem like your thing, but if you trust me insofar as lo-fi music goes I will say it is pretty good and I think they’re capable of producing a phenomenal album, and I need to spend time hearing the prior releases still. In the meantime I will really be heavily digging this one.

To be had here:

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Lìo Dominguez - Cine Bar Club (2014)

I'm convinced that time of day, temperature, and precipitation all play a role in what we want to listen to. Take today, for example: in Portland it is a typically cold and sopping wet December day, just like weeks worth of days before and days worth of weeks to follow...  and this release by Lìo Dominguez, a singer-songwriter from Haedo, a city about 40 minutes driving distance outside of Buenos Aires proper, is providing the perfect soundtrack to an unabashedly lazy afternoon.

The band has got a severely cool melancholia going on, like a Spanish Velvet Underground. Simple two chord progressions drift effortlessly back and forth, like a pendulum made of feathers and cotton. The vocals give off a similar affectation, but it's simultaneously a honest and natural delivery.  This isn't a sleepy-time listen by any means, but sort of a laze around on the couch drinking coffee because it's shitty outside kind of listen. If Olympia, Washington's K Records had existed in Argentina, Lìo Dominguez would have fit nicely into that seen... somewhere between Beat Happening and Some Velvet Sidewalk.

10 songs, name your price.

Lìo Dominguez - Cine Bar Club

Friday, December 11, 2015

Guruzsmás - Fordítsd ki a szűrödet! (2015)

I spend a lot of time reading foreign literature in translation, I bring it up here often enough for that to not shock anyone. I really like to find it from Eastern Europe, I got stacks of writers from those nations I've yet to get a chance to read, but I always feel a strong urge to know more about it, to experience more of their culture. Therefore, I get a thrill when I see an Eastern European band has submitted an album. Some of them that I've posted over the years are still in my regular rotation and are among my favorites to share with friends. I can see this easily being what'll happen with this new full-length from Guruzsmás.

Earlier this year Guruzsmás released an EP, Az Élő Csizmaszár​\​The Living Bootleg, that I recall with great fondness. It serves as a wonderful prelude to this longer effort. Both showing the mutli-faceted nature of their compositions. They've pulled from a great many influences ranging from the traditional folk music of the Balkans, Ottoman territories and Eastern Europe in general to the more experimental expressions of rock and roll such as psychedelic and progressive rock, which let's not forget where hugely popular throughout Europe in the 60s and 70s. A notion visually reinforced by the album's cover art, an artistic perversion of the Byzantine imperial eagle. The songs are fast, polyrhythmic affairs, with familiar scales combined with loud, fuzzy guitars that would be equally at home in a heavy metal song. Even without a curiosity of their nearest of Easts like I've got, anyone that appreciates a superbly crafted progressive album will find Fordítsd ki a szűrödet! to their liking.

To be had here:
Guruzsmás - Fordítsd ki a szűrödet!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Daddy Rocks - Ah re que (2015)

Daddy Rocks was a group featured on the Scenes of a City post on Rosario. Argentina. I found them of my own accord kicking around bandcamp and really liked what I heard. They've gotten hip to this the time since and thought it good practice to update me on their new album. So here it is,  Ah re que <3 i=""> the latest effort of the Argentine electronic outfit called Daddy Rocks.

Now, I do recall Daddy Rocks being a heavily electronic operation, but I gotta say they really leaned into it for this new album. It is more purely a selection of electronic dance tunes than I have been exposed to in recent months. Nonetheless, I found it incredibly delightful. The songs are fast, compact and exciting. I could not ask for a better soundtrack to play during a house party or hear at a bar that's compelled to have lights flashing. I do not mean any of this in a snarky way, as I engage in both this vices as regularly as my social life allows. This sort of music holds a prominent place in my heart as I elate at hearing anything half as good as Daddy Rocks in these context and feel a million times better for not hearing awful R&B garbage. Moreover, I am pretty certain hearing electronic music in any language you don't know is much better than understanding the lyrics. Hopefully I am not insulting the band with my off-color endorsements, for I truly love their songs, and I recommend you all take the time to hear it.

Te be had here:
Daddy Rocks  - Ah re que <3 a="">

Saturday, December 5, 2015

EP Grab Bag vol. 106

This post has been a long time coming, I had it 65% written then things went all pear-shaped. Turns out my computer shit the bed. Blasted motherboard was fried, and there were many deliberations on how and when to acquire a new computer. Today I finally bit the bullet. I'm feeling profoundly uncomfortable with having spent so much money, as I am fundamentally a miserly man. Yet this is better than sitting around watching Quantum Leap on my smartphone and drinking cheap micheladas. Well, maybe not better as much as it's different.

Also, this means I am even more far behind on submissions that I would have been otherwise, so please bear with me.

To be had here:
Fuzz Ghost - Fuzz Ghost EP (2015)

If you've been digging on the full-length albums I've posted lately then I'm glad to say that there's plenty more garage rock piled up in the submissions, not least of which is this debut EP from Nashville's Fuzz Ghost. Surfy, psych-tinged garage rock with a light-hearted tone. The singing is a real highlight of these tracks, howling, echoey and dreamy at once.  I think it's an utterly fantastic EP, yet I had little doubt that it would be impressive. After all, it is being issued by our friend over at Ongakubaka Records.

Buzz Driver - Buzz Driver (2015)

On the other side of the equator comes more garage rock, specifically from Volta Redonda, Brazil. Heavily reverbed and stylized surf riffs can be heard in the intro, then it fades into a jumpy, fast and very distorted garage rock. Like an even more blown out version of Tokyo Sex Destruction. They've full embraced the thunderous quality of an untuned bass guitar through a wildly lo-fi set up. Whole EP is maybe 7 minutes, but some of the loudest and craziest minutes I've heard in a while.

Pulco - Found Sound (2015)

Though this EP was just released it is a recording from 2009 for a radio show called 'Garden of Earthly Delights' (a name taken from the same Hieronymus Bosch painting that is the background imagery of this very blog). If you've heard any of the other work from Pulco you'll know to expect some experimental music riddled with spoken word. This EP is neat because it sounds more raw and kinda creepy compared to the music the Welshman made later.

Kate Wakefield - Water Lungs (2015)

A rather unique EP as far as what you'll usually find on this blog. The songs are filled with operatic and classical influences from Wakefield's cello playing and her robust vocals. However, it is done in the way that is weirdly appropriate for what we do here. Her sining is phenomenal, poetic and versatile. Same goes for her cello playing, and they're both wrapped into a highly textured and layered avant-pop context. I could see her either as an indie darling or a full-blown popstar, I wouldn't mind hearing her as either really.

HIATO - HIATO (2015)

An lo-fi electronic musician from Guayaquil, Ecuador, the city that the first Scenes of a City was about. Ambient, chillwave sort of electronic music. The songs are well-fleshed out and engaging, something can sometimes be a challenge with these genres. HIATO has avoided many common pitfalls, yet still has identifiably characteristic of a bedroom electronic musician such as vocal samples and looping artificial drum beats. There's some catchy stuff on this EP, especially the final track, "Úrsula."

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Rakta - S/T (2013)

I always thought it was interesting how birds are often named after their own songs. Killdeer, Godwits, Curlews, Bobwhites... the list is extensive. If bands were named after their own songs, I think G'n'R would be renamed "Eye-Eye-Eye" and Metallica would be called simply "AH!", because singer James Hetfield ends nearly every line of lyrics with a sharp blast of "-ah!" (ex. "Everywhere I roam-Ah!", "Harvester of Sorrow-AH!", etc.)

Rakta, a Brazilian band, wouldn't have to change their name at all. They have an initial sounds that encapsulates surf drum neats, the buzzing 2-chord dirge of grunge, and vocals sung from within a psychedelic cave. But as these songs progress, I would hesitate to categorize them into any new school of mishmash garage-punk-psych-surf. Their sound is just as much, if not more, an echo of early 80s UK goth rock. Siouxsie And The Banshees, Bauhaus, and New Order all come to mind.

Actually very similar to the modern UK band Savages, but without the edge-y post punk feel.

Rakta's dark streak slices down the middle of this self-titled, 6 song EP, while never dampening the energy of the music.

Rakta - S/T

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Immortal Bird - Akrasia (2013)

Thanksgiving, it's a day... that's for sure. While I usually get the cuddly cozies on such days, the past 4 weeks has given a shit-ton of ugliness in my personal life and in the world at large. So, instead of posting some cozy lo-fi folk or yet another garage band, and in the spirit of honoring the bird corpse sitting in front of our drooling maws, I bring you the blistering sounds of Immortal Bird.

Black metal melodics with grindcore blast beats -- sounds that resonate with me at the moment. For better or worse, devoted readers, expect more of the heavy stuff to come. I haven't listened to much heavy metal in the past 20 years or so, so I'm in the weeds here as far as what other bands they sound like. Their drummer/vocalist Rae Amitay is just a fantastic musician, as are the others in the group. Music like this is best enjoyed live... but until I scour the Portland scene for the best hardcore/punk/metal bands... I will have to fantasize being at one of this Chicago bands shows.

I've been converted... maybe these 4 songs will convert you as well. Check out "Spitting Teeth", a particularly excellent track.

All their merch and music is 25% off until this Saturday, November 28th, with the code: THANKSFORNOTHING

Immortal Bird - Akrasia

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Robby Fischer - Dogtown (2015)

I've still have more fuzzy garage rock that's been stuck in the inbox for far too long. Here is an album that came out in September but I was privy to for some time prior, enough to be embarrassed by the tardiness of this post. However, the moment I stop feeling ashamed I guess I'd better worry about being psychotic, massively drunk or dead. The music helps though, especially when so exquisitely lo-fi as Grand Rapid's Robby Fischer.

This is the second full-length from Robby Fischer after You've Changed came out earlier this year, though there's an earlier EP worth checking out as well. Dogtown keeps the pace of very outrageously fuzzy weirdness of his prior output, perhaps being even a bit more bombastically so. I welcome this completely, it is the sort of album that a fan of garage rock having actually take the time to play won't consider letting it end before it's done. The songs are rapid, washed out and full of very pleasing guitar and thunderous drums. What's more in the true tradition of garage rock he's made a selection of songs to make covers of, and even more on point they aren't songs you'd guess. Soft Cell's "Tainted Love" which reminds me of Mark Sultan's cover of Ultravox's "Just for a Moment" in sentiment and Tayler Swift's "Trouble," a song I'm only vaguely familiar with. I imagine I'm not a fan of the original nonetheless I really dug Fischer's version. All this isn't to say his own composition aren't stellar, for that are certainly relentlessly intense and enthralling throughout. If you've like any or all of the garage I've been post over the last couple of months you can't miss this.

To be had here:
Robby Fischer - Dogtown

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Wild Raccoon - Mount Break (2015)

There's also a lot going on in France, not always for the better, but I am not gonna use my irreverent music blog to dwell on all-too-serious of matters. Rather I would like to focus on something the French have been constantly proving the world with and we'd be sorely lacking without. I am talking about arts and culture. The French are classy, we all wish would be as sophisticated as they appear in our public imaginations. This is even true when a Frenchman makes a fuzzy, sung in English, one-man band in the northern city of Lillie and names it Wild Raccoon.

Mount Break is a mesmerizing collection of lo-fi songs. Wild Raccoon's done an astounding job at showing a masterful talent at composing warm, fuzzy tunes that draw on garage rock, psychedelic, and surf is continuously recalibrated proportions. There's a remarkable juxtaposition at play in his songs. He cleared labored to make these cacophonous, loud and distorted sounds as compelling as possible. Making beauty out of an absolute mess is not unique to garage rockers, but I adore how they do it and I particularly like how Wild Raccoon managed to do so. Definitely the equal of perennial favorites Dusty Mush, Lady Flint, King Cayman or those dudes down in Capetown. Yet more particularly he reminds me of Ty Segall or his fellow Frenchman, Pain Dimension, though perhaps a bit less distorted and more psychedelic.

I'm not gonna pull attention to individual songs, as this is without a doubt the sort of album best heard from beginning to end, more than likely twice or thrice in a row. If you're interested in obtaining on a cassette the awesome folks over at Paris's Howlin' Banana Records have you covered. 

To be had here:
Wild Raccoon - Mount Break

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Dictaphone - Hazmat (2015)

A new album by the French heavy psychedelic garage project known as the Dictaphone. Released by the Viennese label, Totally Wired Records, who you might recall as the folks that put out the Drunken Draculas' songs in Austria. I haven't posted about the Dictaphone since the release of 2012's Let's Not. However, it took mere seconds of listening to Hazmat for me to recall why I would have taken the trouble to write them up years ago.

I called the Dictaphone 'heavy' psychedelic garage for a reason, though a looser term like lo-fi is likely more applicable. The songs are incredibly dense and rich and only at times fast and messy, perhaps best exemplified by the amazing song "Wrist Job." Yet in the second half of Hazmat the tone shifts in tracks like "Ex-Cop" and "Remove The Need" to a slower and a more droning style overtakes the brash garage rock. Then in the end it changes back into very lo-fi garage rock, with the fuzzy guitar, pounding percussion and belting, echoey vocals one should expect. Throughout all of them is an innate connection to electronic music, especially in the building introductions and layering of rhythms. Check out the track "Stalker" to really see what I mean and just how excellently the differing dynamics are integrated into a cohesive song. It is a stellar album all around, one I won't soon be moving on from.

To be had here:
The Dictaphone - Hazmat

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Raw Nerves - S/T (2012)

I got lazy with this record - for almost a year. Not sure why - the punk contained herein is of the lo-fi, fun, and garage-y ilk... quite possibly the lone punk record I've listened to multiple times over the past year (save for The Wipers impeccable Youth of America). It wasn't until I saw a Pitchfork recommendation for it that I was reminded that Spacerockers need to hear this thing. Unfortunately, since Pitchfork is like the Whole Foods of music journalism, as soon as they graced the record with it's attention, it went from being a "pay what you want" record to $5.

But, much like fresh caught fish is worth the extra money over the farmed variety, The Raw Nerves are worth your shekels.

Imagine Billy Childish meets Australian punk rockers X (different from the other band called X). There's no sophistication, which The Wipers had in spades and I champion them for, but that's a fine thing for The Raw Nerves. Punk doesn't need sophistication and most of the genre actively shuns it, which is why this record is special I suppose. It doesn't really stand out in any discernible way, it's just a straightforward take on a classic, and it's great.

Catchy without being poppy, snarky without being bratty.... if all punk rock sounded this good I might actually give a crap about it most of the time.

The Raw Nerves - S/T 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Häxxan - Häxxan (2014)

At times there is nothing better one can do than wake up, drink a pot of very black coffee and listen to garage rock. Really sets a tone of excited invulnerability for the day to follow. Honestly, this is as close as I get to eating breakfast. Of course, not all garage rock is equally suited for this task. In particular the fuzzier, faster and more psychedelically hazy the better it is when I'm in this state of mind. Found just the thing in the submissions, a group called Häxxan, billed as a "mega-huge garage band" by their label. Gotta hear that, right?

Though they hail from the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, Häxxan could have fooled me into believing their where among the Capetown garage rockers or one of the numerous awesome Spanish or French lo-fi outfits. The reason I bring all these other places up is to make a sloppy reference to how I think Häxxan is as good as any of the garage rock I've recently posted like the Fizz Pops, Baston or Bicycle Day. Their sound could be described as between the Stooges and the Ganglians, sharing heavy, distorted rock elements of the former and the charmingly surreal vocals and composition of the latter. Songs that really display the psych-garage fusing best are "Never See Me Again," "Ben Zona" and the utterly brilliant "Hail C-La-C." The whole damn album is awesome really.

The vinyl was issued Munich, Germany based label, Heroic Leisure, although there are very few left at the time of this post being published. Good news though, a Dutch label called Geertruida is issuing it as a cassette and those only came out earlier this month. Hopefully there's plenty still be available.

To be had here:
Häxxan - Häxxan

Friday, November 6, 2015

EP Grab Bag vol. 105

Been meaning to get this one up for a while. Got lazy or forgetful or whatever, who cares really? It's here now. Anyhow, I am late in the sense that all the album art seems very well geared for Halloween, which I missed by a week. Oh well, better luck next year.

To be had here:
Peixefante - Lorde Pacal EP (2015)

Another EP I was sent from my Brazilian friend Barbara. Her impeccable is apparent in this awesome psychedelic indie/electronic pop outfit from Goiânia, Brazil. The songs possess a wonderful ethereal quality, just a touch spacey, but at their core they are wonderful modern psych tunes. They remind me of my favorite modern Brazilian psych-rockers, Supercordas, yet bent more toward pop music. An incredibly alluring EP, not to be missed.

Seamus O'Muineachain - Blood Apple (2015)

The songs of an Irish songwriter. Minimal in composition, ambient in tone, and folksy in style they are lovely instrumental songs. Done largely on guitar and piano they songs are a finely interwoven tapestry of those instruments, though a healthy level of percussion is used as necessary. It's as if that sort of acoustic music you've doubtlessly heard played in a coffeehouse could carry many times it's weight by utilizing more musical avenues than the bare guitar playing. So much so it is more sedimental than many lyrically based compositions.

This Floridian outfit has routinely sent me music over the years, though I have failed to always post it. I am sloppy like that. However, I did take the time to hear this seven-track release and found myself enjoying even more than I already imagined I might. The songs are short garage rock jaunts. And I mean short, not any of them top the two minute mark. All upbeat lo-fi with howling singing reverb in the vocals and great distorted guitars. Check them out and look into their admirable catalog while you're at it.

Recently I posted the Fizz Pops, a garage pop band from Capetown, South Africa. Well, two members, Johnny Tex and Warren Fisher, of that band also have another project called the Dyna Jets. So here is the EP they put out this summer and I somehow missed until a couple of weeks ago. Two-piece garage rock as it should be, markedly fuzzy and playful, has a very surfy tone in the guitar playing. Four brief songs that left me eager for more. I Hope there will be more, under whatever name the choose to use next time.

Back to Brazil, this time to the capital city of Brasilia. Lo-fi rock for sure, though of a more intense sort than the prior two EPs of this Grab Bag. Post-hardcore, which is a genre that is hit or miss for me overall, but there's not a doubt in my mind that Enema Noise is anything other than a hit. This release is absolutely exciting. The speed, intensity and excellent musicianship engaged me from the very start. I would love to hear them play in a dirty basement for sure.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Invisible Things - Time AS One Axis (2015)

I'm so damn stressed about being back in school. I remember, years ago, when I first went to college ... there was almost always that one much older person in the class. Well, that's me now. And I can't fuck around like I did 15 years ago when I was first a student. People look at me like I know something they don't ... like if they look closely enough at the grey in my hair they'll see fucking algebraic equations etched in the cuticles. The Beliebers in my psychology class can try to sniff answers out of my wrinkles all they want, but they'll be disappointed to find they're only smelling the black licorice deodorant I drunkenly purchased off Etsy last week.

Age rarely means wisdom, as we are only as wise as we fool people into "beliebing" we are.

Mark Shippy must be an exception to this rule. Once a guitarist for the famed deconstructionist rock pioneers, U.S. Maple, he's just released this explosive record along with drummer Jim Sykes from noise rock band, Parts & Labor. Shippy's guitar work brings to mind his atonal mindfuck style from the 90s, where your preeettttyyy sure whatever he's doing to that guitar is highly illegal. But the chaos is reigned in, somewhat. These songs do feel like songs... nothing one could dance to, but there is structure in here, somehow. The end result is a really engaging experimental rock record. For fans of the above mentioned bands, and for anyone who remembers the heyday of Touch And Go and Skin Graft. Maybe Marnie Stern and Deerhoof, also.

8 songs. Also available on vinyl.

Invisible Things - Time AS One Axis

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Paradise Brut - Violet Violence (2015)

So people are compelled to make music, well, many people are compelled. Not all of them are terribly good at it, not that that's a reason not to keep making it (unless there's gonna be the new Billy Joel or something equally ultra-horrific). However, it is even less common for someone to be awesome at two genres of music, and then to be a bedroom recording artist at that. Nonetheless, our friend Dani in Madrid has managed this feat.

A couple of times I've posted on a very noisy, messy garage rocker that uses the moniker King Cayman. You might recall how those albums are best heard loudly and with a beer in your system. Well, he has translated that notion into electronic rock with this release. It holds much of the same spirit as his garage punk music, but grinds it down to a sparser core that is only thereafter elaborated with electronic affectations. Few vocals are heard, though when they rarely do show up they are with his customarily spooky effects. Yet this is not where your focus should be. It is in the fundamental breakdown of lo-fi rock that he's offering up. I mean this in the same since that when you crush an orange it yield delicious juice, he's managed to mush up garage rock into core elements and giving them a wholly new texture. He's taken the components of most good lo-fi rock; angst, excitement, confusion and irreverence, and made them into bare sounds. It is like imagining your own irregular heartbeat and somehow knowing it has universal currency. I adore it.

To be had here:

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Jorge Bernstein & The Pioupioufuckers - Meet The Real Bernstein (2007)

Often times when sifting through the mountainous amounts of music on bandcamp, there comes a release that really clicks for me. It takes a lot of time and a lot of sifting.... it makes me wonder: is this all because I've been adrift in an ocean of shit that I find this small dinky island, with one lousy jackfruit tree, that I think this is the most amazing piece of land to ever exist?

Maybe. But that feeling of discovery is invigorating enough to keep returning to the shitty sea, in hopes of finding more land, and to claim it for the nation of Spacerockmountain. However, with Jorge Bernstein and the PiouPioufuckers, I can't help but believe this music is truly fucking good, and that any reader with an ounce of the grey stuff between their ears is going to enjoy this.

"Let me introduce to you the best drummer in the world. First member of the Bernstein Corporation. President of the United States of rock'n'roll. Look at his yellow shirt!" So the band is a corporation headed by a mysterious Jorge Bernstein, who I guess is their drummer... whether or not that is his real name or a fictional character that he plays, we'll never know. Originally released in 2007, "Meet The Real Bernstein" may have been a smidgen ahead of the most recent garage revival. But this record could easily be released on Burger records tomorrow... because it's full of awesome, high energy garage punk with a bit of an old rock'n'roll feel to it... dare I say rockabilly? This may be more to do with the singers Elvis-meets-Jello Biafra sound.

Well worth a listen, and well worth checking out their other releases.

14 songs, pay what you want.

Jorge Bernstein & The Pioupioufuckers - Meet The Real Bernstein

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


A couple of years back I posted an EP from a Pittsburgh outfit making a droning psychedelic rock. I thought it was pretty great and I still do, so I am happy to say SHAKY SHRINES still at it, in fact they've never let up, I just missed all the releases since then until now. My bad, folks, but one can't hear it all no matter what one wishes. Nevertheless, I'm glad to have hear this new album, SHAKY AT BEST. The surprise for me was how different the band sounded to me. I recall a lo-fi garagey psych band, and this album has an immediately identifiable polish indie rock style. But hey hey hey, don't turn it off, just keep listening. It might be more pop and shine than what I came in expecting, but it is done well. A good tune is a good tune, and why should a band stick to one genre anyhow? I missed what might have been evolutionary steps towards this in the last two years, but I like what I got anyhow.

All this isn't to say they shed all of the garage rock elements of the songwriting. Several are still quite catchy, lo-fi fuzz-fests. The vocals are clearer and more forward however, and the structure of the songs are more cohesive overall. A good album, totally worth checking out by eager indie rock fans. Highlight tracks for me were "Yr House Isn't Haunted" and "Tomato Tomato."

To be had here:

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Swet Jafari Meck Mett - Error de continuidad (2015)

Gonna really make an effort to knock out some submitted albums. Finding I am in the mood for the tunes and holy fuck do I ever have a backlog of them. Sorta gonna randomly cherry-pick the submissions as there is more than I have time to handle. I suppose it is time to find some help again....

Here is what I stumbled on for tonight, a Chilean musician now residing in Palma De Mallorca, Spain. Living the dream of moving to a Mediterranean island and making noisy bedroom post-punk, like that is totally something I could only imagine. The music is damn fine as well. Very experimental, taking cues from all sorts of post-punk influences like Half Japanese, Sonic Youth and many others this guy likely knows that I haven't even heard of, it has a 80s vibe with a repetitive beats, guitars freaking out and highly distorted singing. Yet at times he steers more Nico & the Velvet Underground-esque with droney sounds and those elongated vocals Nico excelled at delivering. The album is broken up with gentle instrumental interludes, or "instancia" as he calls them. These make the cacophonous sounds of the rest of Error de continuidad really burst forth more powerfully. Finally, I'd be lying if I didn't say that was some of my favorite album art I've seen in months. Good packaging is always a plus.

To be had here:

Monday, October 26, 2015

Robot Speaker - Error Pop (2015)

An experimental album from a Japanese electronic music called Takuma Ebisaw, a.k.a. Robot Speaker. It isn't easy to describe what he's made in this large collection of songs he's titled Error Pop. The tracks are all over the place, but that is completely the purpose of them. It is like running through a menagerie of audio landscapes at an increasingly rapid pace. It incorporates elements of j-pop and psychedelia with electronic genres like glitch and breakcore. Leads to a schizophrenic level of dissonance of the surface, but if you give it time to sink it there is a method to the madness that comes out the unlikely and short outbursts of sounds.

Also interesting to note is that this album is being issued by the Detroit label, Placenta Recordings. Looks like have a good deal of releases, as this is the #316, but it is the first I have heard of them. I should really like to find out what else they've been up to.

To be had here:
Robot Speaker - Error Pop

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Fancy Man - Fancy Man (2015)

A new project involving that Korea-bound American singer-songwriter, Tim Cushing. You might recall his solo album from a couple years ago or perhaps the collaborative effort known as the Red Rogue. If you do then you might have an idea of what to expect from Cushing's particular approach to folk music which indeed carries over into this new band, Fancy Man.

A trans-Pacific undertaking, recorded in both South Korea and Los Angles, Fancy Man shows off what can be done by pulling in more instrumentalists to work with Cushing's quirky, whimsical lyrics and unique vocal delivery. As far as musical genre the tracks fall into an experimental ground between folk, lo-fi indie pop and even honky tonk country. It all feels intensely familiar from the very first listen. Perhaps it is just in the space created in the competency of musicianship and the lighthearted approach to the songwriting throughout the album. Whatever is the case it is hard to not desire hearing it again and again.

To be had here:
Fancy Man - Fancy Man

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

EP Grab Bag vol. 104

I have been working on this post for a long, long minute. Sorry it took so long but I can't keep up with this shit very well anymore. It is like have bills to pay or some shit. Anyhow, this were some cool fucking EPs. I hope you like.

To be had here:
Hierofante Púrpura - Boas Bestas EP (2015)

Pilgrims, I love this band. I get they're strange, at bit hard to dig straightaway because they're conforming to much popular music conventions. It is a bit like they're scaring us away at first but if you listen further its like something of a Jad Fair and Lou Reed fusion in Portuguese. Experimental psychedelia at it's goddamned best. Also, this isn't the first time I'm posting this outfit from Mogi Das Cruzes, Brazil. Their album from last year, Sutil Arte de Esculhambar Música Alheia, is great and did not get nearly enough attention.

Exploding Clouds - Exploding Clouds EP (2015)

An incredibly well-made electronic project from a fellow based in Greenville, South Carolina. It doesn't fit a genre cleanly, like many of my favorite electronic releases. Rather is combines snyth-pop, ambient and shoegaze together in various combinations to form something unique and markedly engaging. Manages to be both retro and futuristic, like watching a sci-fi film from the 80s. Truly worth checking out by everyone, even those disinclined to listen to snyth-heavy songs, this could be the one to sway you otherwise.

Baswoon - Baswoon EP (2015)

A rather stripped down post-rock release from an Portuguese musician. Baswoon's songs are surprisingly cinematic and evocative without requiring constant shimmering guitars and methodical drums. Get me straight, I don't feel post-rock is mostly these things, but they can be over done, and yet Baswoon has an incredibly understated approach. The final track, "Embrace me, float with me" is perhaps my favorite and the most outstanding example of this understated style.

Copneconic - Never Knows Best (2014)

A new EP from the Copneconic, who hail from the "Fenton area" of Michigan. I like how they called it that, I always have to say the "Port Huron area" when I refer to where I raised (as few know where Marysville is). Anyhow, I posted a prior EP called Bein Sweet, and it sounds like they have advanced markedly in their composition and technique since. All this will having recorded the EP for a mere $100 is very impressive. Fuzzy Midwestern garage pop that's charming as fuck.

A bit of a rare thing on this site, a split single. Two British bands, one I one for a goddamned fact I post and the other I feel like I recall listening to but I can't find evidence of posted. The first track is from the latter, an electronic rock outfit called Azzurro Peaks that is very catchy. The song bears repeated enjoyable listenings. The former made the second track, a band that specializes in being especially low-fidelity, Unqualified Nurse. Naturally I am a fan though the songs hasn't too much to it, but who said a song need much? Also hear his other stuff while your at it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Fizz Pops - The Fizz Pops (2015)

While I always look forward to hearing more music from bands I post on Spacerockmountain and wish I had vast amounts of time free to listen to it all, there are some artists I will go outta my way to hear. I just know they're gonna be a real treat, something worth pausing all the busy, dumb shit I gotta do. These lads from Capetown, South Africa are a perfect example.

The Fizz Pops is the latest in a series of bands to emerge from Capetown features several of the same members. Singer/guitarist Johnny Tex and drummer Warren Fisher were in the Future Primitives, a band those split also lead to another South African Favorite of mine, the Gumbo Ya-Ya's. I feel like I re-explain this each time any of these guys puts something out, but guys it is important. This shit is all golden and should be sought after with vigor.

The name of the band could not be more straightforward. They're making fizzy sounding garage pop that as catchy and lovable as sugary soda. And here's the thing, they've got a cover of Thee Milkshakes' "Can't Seem To Love That Girl" on this album, a song that is a personal favorite. This isn't where the connection to Billy Childish ends as far as I am concerned, as the sound of their songs bear a heavily influence from the British garage rocker. Johnny Tex has a noticeably more British affectation to vocals than in the Future Primitives albums and the guitar playing shares Thee Milkshakes' mixture of quick, flashy pop and touches of surfy reverb. I get it, that music was fucking amazing and making anything akin to it is laudable. That said, these songs sound incredibly fresh and current, like it is exactly what I was looking forward to. Not a single dud in the tracklist, yet certain highlights include "Alright," "Tell You Something," and "Feel It In Time." Furthermore, I really gotta give huge kudos to the drumming and bass playing on this album, they carried me through each song like a tidal wave. Really neat stuff, folks.

To be had here:
The Fizz Pops - The Fizz Pops

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Lê Almeida - Paraleloplasmos (2015)

More Brazilian music, just can't get enough it if lately. This is another one I was turned onto by my Brazilian friend, Barbara. She knows all the good tunes and in many cases the musicians themselves. So here we are all lucky enough to benefit by getting hear this most amazing guitar rock from Rio de Janeiro.

The album is relatively minimalistic, though there's use of effects especially in the vocals and the introductory seconds of tracks that'll make it appear otherwise. Mainly, it is guitar and drums though, focusing heavily of the talented experimentations in the guitar playing. Lo-fi and fuzzy these songs very quickly won me over. They're hazy, quick, fairly simple without being dull (in fact they're rather riveting overall). The guitar playing is a combination of psychedelic, prog and surf. Flashy and impressive while not being rushed, able build a movement up, and very full of reverb. There are some absolutely outstanding tracks to be heard on Paraleloplasmos such as epic "Câncer dos Trópicos" and catchy "Ester" that it would be a shame for any pilgrim to miss.

Lê Almeida is both a music and the operator of a music label, as he runs Transfusão Records. If you've been following the blog you'll certainly recognize that name as I've posted Chapa Mamba who are on this label. Moreover, I plan to sprinkle more in, especially into upcoming Grab Bags.

To be had here:
Lê Almeida - Paraleloplasmos

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Supercordas - Terceira Terra (2015)

As always the posts are infrequent and sporadic, I am accepting that this isn't gonna change despite my best intentions. However, there's nothing like the release of an album from one of my favorite bands to spur me into action. Terceira Terra is the first full-length album since 2012's A Mágica Deriva Dos Elefantes from Supercordas, the Brazil's paramount wonders of psychedelic rock.

There's no possible way I would not enjoy another new from Supercordas, so take that as the absolute preface to everything that follows. I've listening to them for the better part of a decade and I jump on each new release, and for that matter anything from the lead singer, Bonifrate. They've never failed to be uniquely mesmerizing and memorable. Terceira Terra is a mild shift in tone from their prior albums, being a bit darker and denser.

As I don't know Portuguese myself I've relied on my friend in Brazil to explain a bit more about the album. It's something of a concept album, being about a parallel world that's a utopia free of corruption, which as you can imagine isn't all that perfect after all. I'm sure there's great many meaningful references in the lyrics that I'll never known until I learn the language, and I was only able to pick on a single reference in the title of the track "Espectralismo ou Barbárie?" to the spectral technique of composition and the French socialist journal Socialisme ou Barbarie. However, I've never understood the singing before, and it won't stop me from loving this album either. By the third listen through it felt like something I'd been intimately familiar with for a long time, that it was only natural to find myself anticipating each moment of the album. Not to be missed out on by any music lover.

To be had here:
Supercordas - Terceira Terra

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

EP Grab Bag vol. 103

Clearing the inbox once again, this time with a very appealing selection of European EPs (save for one from a re-occurring Californian). Tends towards the lo-fi side of music yet it reaches many permutations within that vast field.

To be had here:
Baston - Gesture (2015)

A fresh release from the amazing Parisian label, Howlin Banana Records. Baston is a French band, though they do sing in English as per the usual in the world of rock and roll. Whatever they'd choose to sing in I am confident I'd enjoy it equally, because they're playing is awesome. There is really outstanding garage pop on this EP that's sure to impress most any fan of lo-fi rock. Shimmery and slightly psychedelic, I highly recommend giving it a listen, most especially the Beach Boys-esque song, "Honda."

How Scandinavian - The Kinch Service EP (2015)

The first release from How Scandinavian since the "Drowning In Myself" single. Five new mid-fi songs of wandering slowcore art-rock yet they've gone at added an unusual amount of uptempo indie rock for this outfit into some of the songs. This is most apparent in the tracks "Monday" and "The Flensed." The Kinch Service might be a turn for the louder and quicker but it is still grounded in solid songwriting. A fine listen for anyone wanted some angsty tunes in there life, which I find to be a understandable impulse.

Dustbombers - Public Beta (2015)

From the city of Arnhem in the Netherlands comes a darkly noisy rock EP. Sorta a mix between new wave and Sabbath-esque metal, these four songs are bear full-sounding guitar and vocals that at times reach into the elaborately strange. Very good for getting that heavy post-metal fix and really does show off some amazing guitar work. I should like to see what happens if this is expanded in scope, to make longer and more epic songs.

The fella behind bm97 is from the Moofs, a Greek psychedelic band that I continue to get projects related to on a routine basis (keep them coming). A couple of songs this time from a lo-fi psych-garage outfit. When you begin listen you might notice how familiar the songs seems, and that is purposefully done as the track "Who Loves Control" is a take-off on VU's "Who Loves the Sun." The other is a noisy, psych exploration. A neat introduction, be sure to look at the other tracks on bandcamp as well.

The return of the Hungarian experimental progressive folk band, Guruzsmás. Now I know that seems like a bunch of shit to wrap your mind around, but you'll really have to trust me that it isn't something to shake off. Dive in and be surprised by how utterly compelling these three tracks are. The title isn't just clever, the songs were recorded live, something the recording will show and well as the audience being audible in the final song. There's a punch to theses instrumental numbers you might not expect.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Joplin Rice - Hurricane Alaska (2015)

The new album by Lexington, Kentucky songwriter Joplin Rice. Some of you might remember his prior release, Low Hum, of which I've been especially fond (go back in listen to "Perfect Coils" if you haven't). Both releases share the Elliott Smith-esque indie singer-songwriter core, yet with Hurricane Alaska Rice has gotten more bold, moving from the rather folksy sound of Low Hum. Retaining the sweet lyrics and softly fuzzed out tone, there's more loud electric guitar and an overall quicker pace to be felt in these new songs. Tracks like "No New U (stop chasing)" and more psychedelic song "Rocket" demonstrate this louder style well. All of it still lies within the realm of bedroom pop, though some of the most finely recorded I've heard in a long time. The real genius behind what Joplin Rice has done with this new album is carry on his sound but continuing to progress simultaneously. It wasn't hard for a moment for me to imagine any of these tunes as his, but they are quite distinctive from Low Hum. Rice's ability to recreate a mood and carry it throughout an album, here is the lightly fuzzed out guitars and drums gently tapping along. I know there are several songs that'll become favorites  of mine for the coming months, and only many enjoyable repeated listenings will solidify them. I'm looking forward to it.

To be had here:
Joplin Rice - Hurricane Alaska

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Panthatone - Stay Easy (2015)

Jumping into these submissions seems daunting considering how long it's piled up. Nevertheless, one must make a stab it it somewhere. So why not the familiar territory provided by a lo-fi two-piece?

Panthatone are from Chicago and they make the loud, rhythmic style of rock and roll that's become synonymous with Midwestern garage rockers. While there's naturally a wide swath of variation even within this smaller definition, I believe the seasoned listen of lo-fi rock will understand what I'm angling at. The charm lies in the subtle reinvention of the form, just like eating the best plate of pasta you've had in months contains 90% the same ingredients as all other pastas you've had. In this paradigm Panthatone is a wildly successful. I can't summon a band they seems to sound exactly like but they are incredibly familiar and readily accessible for fans for garage or fuzzy rock. Guitar and drums, played quickly and with very flashy, catchy beats and riffs. I'll no sooner tire of hearing music of this sort than I will of drinking a good beer or sitting on a comfortable chair and I hope the keep the songs coming.

To be had here:
Panthatone - Stay Easy

Friday, September 18, 2015

Todd Tobias - Tristes Tropiques (2015)

Had this album laying on the hard drive for a stretch and would have the worse of luck trying to sit down and hear it. My life seems much busier and I feel like I spend much more it waiting in lines and behind bad drivers than ever before. But seeing as it is unbearably hot the night I'm writing this and I cannot even pretend to try to sleep in my un-air-conditioned apartment I finally found myself with little recourse than to slip into the ambient with Todd Tobias.

Todd Tobias isn't new to SRM, I have very fond memories of listening to his Calvino-inspired album, Impossible Cities. Therefore, I entered listening to this album with some rather high expectations, which I am glad to report were not dashed in the slightest. The long, winding songs are all sublimely amorphous soundscapes. It is astounding how much weight is packed into every one of them despite their relatively sparse composition. It causes a transformative affect to occur in the diligent listener, altering mundane happenings into something absolutely poetic. For my second listen I sat on my balcony on a cloudy morning, watching birds peck around for food. With the help of Tobias's music, it was pretty damn epic.

Tristes Tropiques was released by Tiny Room Records and Hidden Shoal. Each labels worth worrying about to say the least. 

To be had here:
Todd Tobias - Tristes Tropiques

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

EP Grab Bag vol. 102

So I actually wrote this post a while ago and in a series of events causing me to leave town and find myself incredibly drunk and immobilized while floating down a river in a small raft I forgot to publish it. Moral is I am an awful friend to bring on a trip involving alcohol but very good at not drowning after off a raft while fucked up. I recall liking these songs too...

To be had here:
Pulco - Rodeo EP (2015)

A new EP from the Welsh musician called Pulco. Maybe you've gotten a chance hear his Innovation In The Trade full-length which I still strongly recommend. Either way, this new release has continued the fuzzy bedroom recording spirit of the prior album, including a liberal use of spoken word samples, but added more upbeat and catchy pop elements.

Turning Torso - Baal EP (2015)

I was listening to music from older posts, spurred by hearing the lo-fi electronic songs of Novampb. This lead me back to Mexico's Turning Torso, who I last wrote up in 2011. Despite my lack of mentioning it, it seems the project has been active ever since, releasing singles and EPs. Here is the latest of those, a two song EP of experimental electronica. Heavy on percussive beats and eerie organ-like effects. Reminds me why I got into this band to begin with.

My Cruel Goro - My Cruel Goro EP (2015)

A fast, messy set of lo-fi rock songs from an outfit based in Iceland. Heavily bent toward a grungey version of post-punk the songs. They make good use of a snyth in the tracks and that plays off the very clearly sung lyrics, making it sound very much like the product of the 90s in a way that's hard to put words to exactly. Good stuff in any event, a good introduction to what these dudes are capable of.

Hallowed Bells - Violet Hands (2015)

This band from Philadelphia makes an unusual sort music. Broadly speaking they're electronic/ambient experimentations employing the many interesting effects of a synthesizer. The songs are eerie and serpentine sounding. While they're not chiptune or 8-bit, they evoked the same feeling as the videogame themes the play any time Mario enters a castle. They put it better themselves, "Songs-without-words and aural colorscapes." I can't pretend to have a better summation, and I highly recommend hearing it.