Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Bonifrate - Sapos alquímicos na Era Espacial (2002) [reissue]

Temperate climates are awful. Whenever it decides to get warm and then cold and warm again, which is every goddamn spring and autumn in Michigan, I get sick. On top of it even the slightest bit of my body getting out of whack results in a near constant state of mild feverishness. Not stressful as it is exhausting, so I fucked off about posted for a few days. However, I haven't been sleep all too well with this damn cold buzzing in my head, so I've been listening to my big catalog of mp3s. Realized I come back to Brazilian music all the time when I'm trying to relax. So imagine my delight when a friend from São Paulo told me that one of my favorites, Bonifrate, has reissued an older EP with additional tracks.

Sapos alquímicos na Era Espacial was originally released in 2002, and was actually something I was missing from my collection of Bonifrate's tunes. And boy howdy was I ever missing something amazing. This EP is fucking outrageously good. Soft, fuzzy psych-folk and indie pop sung in that dreamy Portuguese, only a monster wouldn't like it. Also, the very notion it is an EP at all this questionable (see the question mark in the album art?), for it's album length without the additional tracks. I'm all the more thankful for it, as I cannot get enough of this. Doing a hell of a lot better job at quelling these infernal headaches than any ibuprofen has.

To be had here:
Bonifrate - Sapos alquímicos na Era Espacial

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Space Rock Mountain Podcast 38 - Beautiful Noise

The gang got together to talk about the shoegaze documentary, Beautiful Noise. Enjoy!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Patient Barney Penrose - Kirilov (2014)

Not sure what it is but I've felt myself slowing down just a bit lately. That goes for most everything except what I'm forcing myself to keep up with for work. But I am getting out of bed later, drinking less beer and wine (you know, leaving some for another day), and enjoying slower, lyrical songs more than I had in the past. Knowing myself this is a brief stop on a cycle that'll keep spinning until I stop living, I've taken strides to take it all in. Thusly, Patient Barney Penrose's harmonious folk songs showed up at exactly the right time for me.

Kirilov has some genuinely beautiful folk songs. Rather stripped down sort of folk music, the type that seem like it was shyly thought up in a bedroom only later to be fleshed out into the melodic pieces presented here. The singer-songwriter is a Virginian living in Richmond and this is far from his first release but hardly the least notable. Indeed he appeared back in 2013 in a Grab Bag written by Elvis. There's no sugarcoating it, pilgrims, this is sentimental, one could even say sappy, folk. Yet, as I have always thought, anything but ska can be good if done well and this dude is real good. "Orchid's Song" has got to be my favorite, with the ambient sounds sprinkled in there that remind me of Mickey Newbury. Furthermore, the fiddle on "Wishbone" is capable of stealing the show. Check it out, it won't bum you out too much, rather to the just right bummed out mood.

To be had here:
Patient Barney Penrose - Kirilov

Thursday, March 26, 2015

EP Grab Bag vol. 93

I've got a glut of EPs incoming lately. This is good news but also much time to be spent listening. Being the compulsive music fiend as usual I plowed through a bliss couple of evenings getting to know these six EPs and I don't think there's a single one to be scoffed at in the slightest way. In fact some of them are rather exceptionally brilliant. Mostly American with just a bit of Germany and the Down Under thrown in.

To be had here:
Caterwaulrus - Songs That Go Nowhere (2015)

It's been the better part of the year since Caterwaulrus appeared on the SRM, and now Austin-based musician has got a new EP out. In full disclosure, Larry wrote up his previous release, which I gave an all too cursory listen to but judging by the stunning quality of this new batch of tunes. No joke, these are stellar bedroom pop songs, quirky, psychedelic and charming as all get out. I am confindent enough to say fans of Nate Henricks, Tim Cohen, Slight Birching, Pill Wonder and so on will adore what Caterwaulrus is playing on Songs That Go Nowhere. I've already been texting the link to this album to my coworkers, which I'm sure they're jazzed about. But seriously, motherfucking listen to this EP.

Paar - Pure/She Brings the Rain (2015)

Paar is a band started by a member of German post-punk band, The Amount of Light We Give Off, that was featured exactly 30 Grab Bags ago. I'd say he kept with the post-punk that was so well displayed in that EP for these two new songs, adding more new wave as well. However they sound quite unique from the prior work as these are full of pumping, hypnotic bass and a most seductive singer. "Pure" is a striped down tune, as far as wall-of-sound songs go, and I really, truly fell in love with this band upon hearing the bleak yet sultry "She Brings the Rain." I gotta hear more of that sort of thing.

Little Star - The Romantic World of Little Star (2015)

A new band from a frequently mentioned city, it's Little Star of Portland, Oregon. Now, this band is called Little Star (they don't capitalize it but that shit drives me crazy to see while typing this out) and they've got a tag on their bandcamp for "Big Star." Doesn't take a rocket scientist to see where they're inspiration came from. Nonetheless, I approached this EP openly and found myself incredibly endeared to the sweet, often acoustic, power pop tunes. Without a doubt these are well composed and delightful tunes that lack that annoyance factor much pop music creates for me. Like Big Star, who'd have guessed that?

Evasive Backflip - Pussy Up (2015)

Noisy, experimental, mathy jazz punk? Chicago? Naturally. Evasive Backflip put out this new EP on the superb indie label, Grandpa Bay Recordings, whose releases are regular occurrences on SRM at this point. Usually their releases are of an experimental sort, something that Pussy Up continues valiantly. The songs sound improvisational, a bit chaotic at moments but held together the excellent jazzy horn playing and angular guitar swirling around. "Disentanglement Puzzle" is an interesting, unique and very engaging introduction to this band's sound.

Feng Shui Police - Thank You (2015)

As I listened to this EP I very soon felt I was hearing a college kids, yet as I kept on it seems that might be an artful feint. So while I cannot be sure that Providence, RI's Feng Shui Police has anyone in college among its members, it was "Recorded in Dash's basement, powered by coffee and Thai food." Basically that sentence summarizes all I can remember about college anyway. What they've done here is make an acoustic garage rock album, if your mind can handle that concept. But it totally is, the drums are lower to make the guitars audible, the singing is lyric-centered like a young man liberated by use of language ought to embrace. Clever, in an cool, funny way.

White Lodge - Split 7" [w/ The Gorlons] (2015)

I'm not sure how this split came to be, but I know I have written up both these most excellent garage rock outfits, one from the Australian state of Queensland and other from American state of Missouri. These two songs are just from Brisbane's White Lodge made the fuzzy and fast psychedelic garage tune "Backwater Rumble" and another tune called "Ancient Tides," which is perhaps the more theatrically grungy of the two songs but they're very equally matched in overall lo-fi quality. The Gorlons have yet to release their half, but I look froward to it eagerly. God bless electronic communication allowing such far-flung artists to combine for a joint release, especially two I like so much.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Lascope - Red Rough Fur (2015)

A few years back, I dug deep into the psychedelic sounds of Germany in the 60s and 70s. While the country is not the first to come to mind when considering the acid soaked genre, a fair share of classic bands came out of the country and influenced future sounds on the continent. The Lascope sound more like a bunch of American gents sitting around Santa Cruz to my ear, but the sound they create is worth a listen to even a passing fan of psych music. Just check out the title track; what starts off as an ethereal country ditty goes full on prog in its second half. Drunk motorcycle gangs grinding up lines of coke come to mind when the rustic bluesy riff of Speech for the Owls drops, and the outlaw status is completed when the distortion is turned up to 11. I would mix the vocals deeper into the rack if I were recording this bad boy, but it earned more than a few listens this morning. 

Get it here:

Monday, March 23, 2015

Max Mayall Fine - Now (2015)

Max Mayall Fine has an intense sound. These are not meek songs by any means. In fact they're some of the more bombastic tunes sent our way in a while. The European songwriter (I believe to be Italian, but I'm not sure about that yet) has gathered an incredible amount of sounds and styles into a single album, even in single tracks on the briefly titled Now

The album possesses incredible swagger and bravado along with just a pinch of sleaziness. The first couple of tracks "Moka Lee" and "Floating" are showy, fast and full tunes that kick off everything off at a nice pace. Then it slows down for "First Evening Star" wherein a lounge vibe is mixed in. At this point I thought I got what was up, a flashy sort of club performance turned into cool indie rock album. Yet Max Mayall Fine had more up his sleeve. The next tune, "Maharaja'" throws in elements of Eastern music and what I believe to be reggae-ish tones. I could blabber on through the whole album track by track like this but it is all the better not to spoil it all for you before the first listen. You're gonna have to trust me when I say it one hundred percent worth investigating.

Now has been released by the most excellent Kraków-based label, Resonating Wood Recordings. If you haven't gotten hip to how sweet they're at selecting albums to issue you should check ourself immediately and get on it.

To be had here:
Max Mayall Fine - Now

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Leveret - Action At A Distance (2015)

As per usual I got this album, taking note of the email that submitted it and in all good intentions hoping to get to it soon enough. Well, in what I think of as an improvement on past performance, I'm only a month late on this one. Even so I feel I have denied people the excellence that is Leveret through my roundabout methods. Too little time and too much to consider with such an hobby as writing up all the free tunes on the internet, right?

Leveret are from Portland, Maine where they apparently make some of the best electronic rock I've heard in years. These songs combine many features of bands I've long enjoyed. Most significantly the sound is what I would imagine a slowed down version of the Unicorns to be like. Just imagine how that could be played around with if you elongated the texture of the songs. Action At A Distance contains this brilliant notion, if even unintentionally, and builds upon it to make fantastic electronic rock songs with lyrics that are witty and disconcerting all at once. Add in the use of ambient sounds and electronic effects and facets to the strange indie rock you've got some absolute gold. If you can hear Leveret playing the remarkable tracks "Oscillator," "Unclothing" and "Grandfather's Axe" without feeling they're utterly destine to leave a slew of pop hits you're likely a monster. Or perhaps a realist of the meanest sort, but I'd like to live in a world where this sort of music was understood to be a fantastic form of art and to be shared widely and readily. However, there is a weirder side to Leveret. In fact the majority of the song on this album are the sort that would never be popular in a million years but are fucking one hundred percent worthwhile psychedelic-electronic songs that held me captivated thoroughly.

To be had here:
Leveret - Action At A Distance

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Blue Diamond - It's A Puppy's World (2015)

Every now and again there's this strange sort of album that comes the Spacerockmountainway. A weird bedroom project that's hard to describe and is dissimilar to most other things on the blog but are at the unified in that aspect. Blue Diamond has fallen into this category nicely. It is most definitely the work of a dude with eccentric tastes made tinkering away alone only sharing it with us all now that he's completed the strange tunes. As usual, I'm eating this shit up.

Blue Diamond is a guy from La Quinta, California and he's taken some old, warped 80s new age/new wave sounds and mixed it up with some truly bizarre vocal stylings, including some answering machine message recordings. The whole album gives a sort of vaporwave vibe, striking similarities to SODA lite in the instrumental parts. For as strangely and purposefully awkward it seems at times, there are some songs on this album that transcend it all really shine as great pop gems, such as delight tune "Boatful Of Weed Crashes Onto Nude Beach."

To be had here:
Blue Diamond - It's A Puppy's World

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Gateless Gate - Landslag Norður Íslands (The Landscape of North Iceland) (2015)

So I don't all that too far north, but north enough that winter has always been part of my life. Something that is stark, cold and strips the landscape of color. It gets colder though, there are the barren, frozen landscapes of closer to the Arctic such as that of Iceland that this album involves. As uncomfortable as the cold can be, it can be a beautiful and serene experience to inhabit such places. I have vivid memories of trips to Michigan's upper peninsula as a child and standing over a mile out the frozen surface of Lake Superior curiously staring into the white ice and blue sky that spread before me. If only I could've had an mp3 player playing the songs of the Gateless Gate then.

The Gateless Gate are actually from closer to me, just a four hour drive to the Ontario capital of Toronto. No strangers to winter, but it seems these northern climes have been made a study of by this duo. Landslag Norður Íslands is their third album with the others sharing the influence of cold northern terrain, and there are EPs of which one I've written before. In all their output they make wonderful use of ambient sounds, harmonic keys and ethereal effects to create a vast soundscape out of the few elements present, much like the landscapes referenced. The results have a remarkably psychedelic quality, as all great ambient music does, a sort of removal of space and time. It isn't bleak nor lifeless, even the sounds of little waves and fate chirping of birds heard in the compositions remind one of how existence in endlessly altering even in the coolest of places or the most ambient of songs.

To be had here:
The Gateless Gate -  Landslag Norður Íslands (The Landscape of North Iceland) 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Sex Hands - Pleh (2014)

I still download music illegally. And so it was surprising when I looked into this band, Sex Hands, after previewing their music on Spotify to see if I wanted to download it from my special source, that they actually offer this excellent album, Pleh, as a "name your price" on their Bandcamp page.

Well then, time to funnel it on over to Spacerockmountain.

This album has it all. It's like Joey Santiago and John Dwyer trading licks over a Rob Pollard side project. Can I get anymore lame with my comparisons? Yes! Just you wait.

Anyway, without digging a grave for my credibility and/or this fantastic Manchester, UK band, just do yourself a favor and grab it.

Their music is a smear across the lofi-indie-punk-garage spectrum. There's little reason to get into it any further. It's better than most shit that does the same, that's about all you need to hear before you hop over and check them out for yourself. Also available on 180 gram vinyl.

13 songs.

Sex Hands - Pleh

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Red Rogue - Phoenicia (2015)

Some of you might recall when I wrote up the very talented Tim Cushing back in the summer. And boy howdy does his album hold up over time, still think it is a gem. However, what is even better than getting to hear a folk musician you think is wildly great? Perhaps it's getting to hear him playing with his college buddies as his backing band in a reunion in a wooden cottage in upstate New York. Luck for us all that is exactly what the Red Rogue happens to be.

Phoenicia is folk and like most folk isn't too complex. It shouldn't be, for overly complex folk ceases to be folk and becomes something else. Nevertheless, this doesn't mean there's not a lot going on. There's accordion, drums, mandolin, clarinet, and guitar of the bass, electric and acoustic varieties featured on this album yet they do a splendid job a blending their sounds into ultimately cohesive and charming songs. I recommend listening to the album in order, as it made it all the more beautiful for me. This way you're ears will have acquired the correct folksy palate and get the very most out of the final tracks, "Eveline" and "I Went Looking." They're excellent examples of the different and capability of noisy, loud folk compared to stripped down folk tunes. A pleasure to hear and hopefully not the last they put out.

To be had here:
The Red Rogue - Phoenicia

Saturday, March 14, 2015

EP Grab Bag vol. 92

So much coming in it is far to keep up with all these EPs and LPs. Yet I believe we've some real winners in this Grab Bag. Releases not to be missed and totally worth the delay in getting them up because my life is an utter mess.

To be had here:
Leggy - Nice Try (2015)

Cincinnati's Leggy has another EP out, something I am extremely excited about. In maybe a slightly more inspired fits of moping around the internet I stumbled on their first EP, Cavity Castle, and haven't been able to stop listening to ever since. And the follow-up, Nice Try, is more than the humble title would imply. The songs retain all the fuzzy, witty and completely endearing qualities that lead me to become such a devoted fan to the first EP. The track "Grrrls Like Us" is sure to be stuck in my head as nonstop as I've found "Chardonnay Summer" from Cavity Castle to be. I wish the very best for Leggy and I can only dream they play Detroit soon.

Grotto Girl - Besides, (2014)

Here's something special indeed. New Orlean's Grotto Girl makes lo-fi indie pop and rock tunes, the sort of things I have been helplessly addicted to since middle school. They tell me they're a new band, but songs on this EP such as "Liar Face" and "Teens" had me recalling many longstanding bands to which I feel they're already well on the way to equalling. "Friends" is a charming garage pop tune that packs more than the minute and half playtime would imply. The entire EP is a fuzzy bliss that I most highly recommend. A band to keep an eye on if there's ever been one.

Copneconic - Bein Sweet EP (2015)

This band is from Fenton, Michigan. Only a bit over an hour on the expressway from me, and it is a town of the same size and demographics as the one I grew up in. Just so happens Fenton has more musical history, as one can dig into with the amazing three LP set of reissued 60s Michigan garage rock called Scream Loud!!! The Fenton Story. Copneconic has kept the music making alive in Fenton with their EP here. While it has elements that're close to garage it is certainly more of a lo-fi punk band, influenced by the 90s period of post-hardcore and emo to be sure. The songs are intense and competent, bearing a perfect amount of nostalgia for a late twenty something like me.

Jardim infinito e a banda das águas - Primeiro Ato (2014)

As the quite wordy name of this band suggests, they're from Brazil. They play a sort of psychedelic folk-rock that's fully instrumental. The songs are surprisingly epic for being as short as they are. Don't even breach the four minute mark, but you'll easily find yourself lost in the complex and wandering sounds nonetheless. Almost cinematic if it wasn't for the attention they attract to themselves. Also, without a doubt the best EP of this bunch for me to play at work without upsetting anyone, which is exact what I did this morning. A true crowd pleaser, even for the old betties I have to sell shit to.

Azzuro Peaks - Skimming Surfaces, Orbiting Space (2015)

I don't feel like this is the first band I've gotten from Derby, England nor the second for that matter... gonna have to look into that place for the music seems significantly righteous. Azzuro Peaks, despite the Italian-esque name, another British band from this town. They play psychedelic folk with fast, trippy guitars and beautiful vocal work. Even with just the three tracks on the EP, a good sense of the raw talent is apparent. There are more releases on bandcamp and they should be worth checking out too.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Tropic of Coldness - Demography of Data (2014)

I've meant to get to this album for a while now, something I am painfully aware of saying too often. Tropic of Coldness is a Brussels-based duo that makes ambient music in which field recordings and drone techniques feature significantly. The songs are rather far into a passive experimental realm than most of what I've been writing up. It is very ambient is what I mean, with overt instrumentation being limited to some gentle and occasional strumming of a guitar. Otherwise it is looping, swirling sounds that've been altered and effected by the musicians. It is incredibly ethereal and disembodied, and I found it all profoundly relaxing.

Tropic of Coldness's Demography of Data is their third LP and it issued by the Hamburg label Organic Industries, who look like they've got a slew of other offering to consider listening to as well on bandcamp.

To be had here:
Tropic of Coldness - Demography of Data

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Remnose - For the Birds (2014)

So as I have alluded to already I am no longer a used bookseller, and again I have found work in a grocery store. Not as bad as it seems from a base reading of that statement. I get to research and buy product, learning a great deal about wine and picking my coworkers brains on dishes and produce on a routine basis. In addition to the culinary and vinicultural education I get to work with a slew of musicians who are all incredibly productive and talented despite also working their days selling food. Not least among these coworkers is a member of the lo-fi electric folk band Remnose.

The lo-fi recording makes for a washed out yet highly effective style for the songs that are driven by multiple guitars and singing that is beautifully done in a mildly unintelligible voice. The recording features no drummer, and the absence of which causes everything else to swell up in a warm, fuzzy manner. There not complicated tunes, but the sort that make you feel things without your intending to do so. Remnose makes quintessential examples of songs with heart. The guitars make serpentine sounds that charm as well as any snake charmer might aspire to and they're best hear loudly through long broken in speakers. I have seen Remnose live, only once so far admittedly, as I have been sick and otherwise shittly preoccupied and missed the other recently live shows. What I can tell you is that they've added a drummer, thereby making the sound more louder and fuller. Something to perhaps look forward to in any forthcoming releases.

For the Birds was recorded and released by Lo & Behold, which is both a record & used bookstore in my current hometown of Hamtramck as well as an indie label run by the fine gentleman named Richie. It's literally a three minute walk from me and a place to check out for fans of old vinyl if you ever find yourself in the Motor City. Hit us both up, why not?

To be had here:
Remnose - For the Birds

Monday, March 9, 2015

Happy Sadness - The Long Play LP (2015)

Happy Sadness is maybe my favorite name for a musical project that I've heard in a long time. Two words that are a whole philosophy, albeit one that many don't get and those they embrace it still have questions about.

The Long Play LP is not just a cutely redundant name, it is an accurate description of the length of the album. It is a lengthy listen with sixteen tracks, plenty that are over five minutes. This means there's a bunch of material through which to acquaint oneself with Happy Sadness. Far from the worst thing I can imagine, in fact seeing as I am writing it up I was fond of the experience. A very varied experience at that. The songs do not adhere to a style across the album, rather the songwriter tries his hand at many folky acoustic, warped psychedelic, and others shimmering pop songs. While I recommend the whole album, the songs that truly stood out for me were "We Fall As We Rise" and "The Night Has Woken" as wonderful examples of surreal folk dreamscapes. Finally, Happy Sadness reminds me of Pete Dello, which is great quality in anything, though more serious in some ways. Not too serious however, for who need that shit?

To be had here:
Happy Saddness - The Long Play LP

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Robby Fischer - You've Changed (2015)

Robby Fischer is the drummer in Black Fruit, a Grand Rapids garage rock band whose split with the British band Factotum I posted about a little bit ago. It seems he's doing more than beating some fine drums in Black Fruit however, as he's go a full-length solo album. I'm gonna hazard a guess that Mr. Fischer is a fan of Ty Segall, particularly his albums Lemons and Melted, as his influence seems to be rife throughout these songs and I mean that in the most positive way. Even if the inspiration seems obvious (though let me be clear I am conjecturing at all times) it is in the execution that Robby Fischer shines.

You've Changed is a very fuzzy garage rock album that has a brilliant amount of psychedelic swirled in. All of these songs are distorted, and not a wee bit, but quite considerably blown the fuck out in a very deliberate fashion. I believe when done correctly this purposefully diminished fidelity is one of the finest things a person can hear. Therefore, you might imagine how much I've been digging this album. The songs are more than fast and loud, they're rather immersive in scale should you have the volume high enough and free yourself of burdensome distractions. You've Changed is the sort of album that is best heard from beginning to end, then at least once over again. Perfect for cassette listening, which is how you can purchase it. A move I strongly recommend.

To be had here:
Robby Fischer - You've Changed

Friday, March 6, 2015

Witching Waves - Fear Of Falling Down (2014)

I've had this album in my library already for months, and it has embarrassingly taken me until today to get my shit together and write something about Fear of Falling Down despite having hear it a dozen times at least. It is almost as if Witching Waves are just elusive enough in their sound that I was intimidated to try to break it down. It's like this, you see, there are many elements poured into Fear of Falling Down that every song has multifaceted qualities. It certainly is a lo-fi fuzzy sound but pull subtly from 60s garage rock, DIY punk and perhaps most interestingly power pop and shoegaze at the same time. Pile on top of that they take turns singing it remarkable how unified the artistic vision this band has retain with everything going into it. It's sorta like hearing My Bloody Valentine cover the Breeders or some wild concept like that. However, I am sure there are many that'll hear just a noise pop outfit with some charming guitars and vocals. If that's all you get that should be plenty good enough, but I am pretty sure they're doing a lot more here if you give the album time to marinate in your ears. At very least be sure to hear "Better Run" as it must be among the best songs I've heard this year so far.

Also, a little while back I posted an EP from the British garage rock band H. Grimace who are on the British indie label Soft Power Records. Witiching Waves are also of this very same label and I am going to restate my admiration of what Soft Power is putting out and tell you all to check what else they've got going on.

To be had here:
Witching Waves - Fear Of Falling Down

Thursday, March 5, 2015

EP Grab Bag vol. 91

There's a neat thing I've noticed over my time writing this blog. If you write up a few bands from one city, other bands from that same city will send you in albums and EPs shortly thereafter. Well, Elvis has been on a San Diego jam lately and Larry wrote up some of Montreal scene recently. Little wonder that I found EPs from both these places in the submissions for this Grab Bag. However, I did find some other nice things in there as well.

To be had here:
Girl Arm - Trading Cities (2014)

From Montreal comes the noisy rock band, Girl Arm. Fans of math rock will certainly hear the ever appealing angular guitar playing in Trading Cities. Yet there's more going on than that, chaotically more, for this band is very much into making noise. The title track is a stunning example of the ordered chaos good noise and math share. Reminds me of something between The Mae Shi and Chavez. I hope these references make sense to someone, they're starting to make me feel outdated...

White Owl - To Me You All Looked The Same EP (2015)

The fourth EP by Bristol's White Owl to make its way into a Grab Bag. It maintains the washed out psychedelic force that made all prior efforts so admirable, as if they're slowly building their way an LP of their time-released tunes. Come as it may, EPs or full-lengths I will always be down for listening to anything these guys are up to. Not a second of these lo-fi songs isn't captivating. I hope you've gotten a chance to hear the prior EPs, if not loop back around for sure. Also, the photo that serves as album art looks like it is straight out of the Dig! documentary Elvis had as watch and White Owl does sound a bit like Brain Jonestown Massacre to boot.

The Bellends - Corndoggin' (2014)

A punk rock band from lovely Bloomington, Indiana. The Bellends have struck a very good position between making thrashing, fast and fuzzy punk songs and a healthy amount of irreverence. There is a cowboy riding a corndog on the cover after all. But what I mean is that they're not making dark hardcore tunes, rather throwing in some pop hooks, a few "na -na-nas" and lyrics that make jokes of life and death. Honestly reminds me of the Mummies as I continued to listen to them, but more informed by 90s punk. An accessible and catchy EP for sure.

The Conquerors - I'm Alright​/​Get Real! (2014)

Two tracks from a Kansas City, MO outfit that's aiming for a heavily retro vibe. With a name like the Conquerors I was surprised not to find an actual 60s band with that name in all the compilations of psych and garage rock in my library. I still imagine they has to be one out there. Anyhow, these guys have done an remarkable job at approximating the sound of late 60s psych-garage without just cribbing straight from any particular band. If you liked the recently posted Italian psychedelic band the Vickers I would highly recommend checking out the Conquerors as well.

Here we have the San Diegans of SHEEP OR SLAVE released two EPs this February. So while I haven't been able to spend a ton of time listening to these EPs they've tagged as 'doom pop,' however I have already figured out that they are best heard loudly blasting through speakers or headphones. This way you'll get the most out of the contrast between the surreal, lyrically-driven pop parts the abruptly jump into intense, churning guitar and hollering (a prime example is "Piggly Wiggly" on Wanting to be Someone Else). Not just the guitar manages to get intense, as the lyrics are a bit halting at times. There's something there about raping souls. Even metaphorically that's a weird thing to think about. The entirety of both of these EPs are weird in fact. Jaunting between rhythms at irregular oscillations, disturbing words, undeniably sweet guitars and drums playing throughout. In short, they're damned interesting to hear. Some of my favorite tracks were "Match.com," "Mr. Horse" and "Call Flake."

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Sonnyskyes - I kinda like living in the sky (2015)

Have to keep this one short and sweet as I've been ill as of late, not sure what is up but I know I am sore as hell. However, as this is an album I've been highly looking forward toward hearing I gotta say something without too much delay. 

Sonnysykes has finally released a second full-length that I'm very excited to write about. This is the follow up to 2013's The Imaginary Friend Ship, an album I still think is a wonderful example of the lo-fi brilliance emanating from California. The one man band that is Sonnyskyes has not changed the general formula from the prior release, rather doubled down on the lo-fi delight. If anything this album is more fuzzy and distorted than the first and in a way that is incredibly desirable to my ears. If you're a listener of our podcast you might have heard my advocacy of not understanding lyrics until repeatedly heard the song, and then only beginning to piece them together due to the low fidelity. This is an accomplishment Sonnyskyes has managed with the utterly fuzzy elegance. LEt's me focus on this most righteous guitars and thumping drums. You know, the garage rock parts.

To be had here:
Sonnyskyes - I kinda like living in the sky

Monday, March 2, 2015

Lizards Exist - Lizards Exist (2014)

I've mentioned before, though it was appropriately been a while since, that my musical listening goes through cyclical phases. I'll be real into garage rock for example, maybe for weeks, then suddenly it'll lose its appeal and I'll be all about folk or post-rock or whatever I stumble into next. All this to eventually find my way back to listening to a bunch of garage rock. This helps and hurts writing up albums, for if the submitted material aligns with my listening preferences at the moment it is a blissful experience for all. However, if it isn't what I'm jazzed about at the time I sometimes have to sit on the album until I know I can give a fair shake. So here's an well overdue but hopefully better for it write up on the Croatian outfit, Lizard's Exist.

Lizards Exist have an identifiable era they've associated themselves with, namely the period of psychedelia that began at the very end of the 60s and blossomed in the 70s that displayed the characteristics that would create progressive rock. To explain better, I mean they're long, instrumental songs that have either improvisation or what is to appear as such done within a psychedelic style. Therefore the sound of this album is purposefully vintage, and they've executed this fantastically, particularly with the keyboard and snyth playing. Also, despite my fears that this was going to be prog rock that I found distasteful such as Yes, my enjoyment of the spacey psychedelic theme won out. I genuinely found myself riveted to my computer chair, wanting to hear where they went with these elongated tracks next. Finally, the space music aspects of Lizards Exist make me want to compare it to Cosmique and Travancore, though all three of these bands have very different approaches.

To be had here:
Lizards Exist - Lizards Exist

P.S. They're looking for a label for a vinyl LP.