Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
We featured a song by Melbourne's Crepes last year, but somehow managed to miss their release of the Cold Summers EP in the spring. I'm quite sure we have an excuse. In fact, we keep an entire file of excuses in the office. I just can't remember which one I'm supposed to use this time. Since the interns have all headed back to school, we'll just blame it on the interns.
But excuses aside, Cold Summers is a record you don't want to miss. In fact, the shimmering, jangling title track would be worth the price even if the following four songs were filled with tuneless humming which, of course, they aren't. Slacker guitar lines jangle away, but the rhythm section adds genuine muscle and the keys glue it together. The vocals are excellent and the songwriting is too adept to be termed slacker pop. This band has a bright future, so this is your chance to get in on the ground floor.
Cold Summers is out now via Deaf Ambitions.
Sorry, noiseniks, it is a rainy Tuesday morning and the day demands to be jump started with some indie pop. Fortunately, The School has things covered with their new album Wasting Away And Wondering. The sweet spot for this assembly of musicians from Cardiff, Wales is retro-tinged pop music that will recall your favorites from '60s artists such as Dusty Springfield, The Shirelles and The Ronettes as well as contemporary bands such as Scotland's Camera Obscura, England/Australian outfit Allo Darlin' and the US' Saturday Looks Good To Me. And that tells me that I will hear sweet female vocals, rich instrumentation, and classic but bouncy melodies. But knowing what I am getting does nothing to lessen the familiar and welcome rush I feel when this music hits my brain. The School is a savvy band, knowing when to punch things up with horns or smooth them out with strings. But nothing is done to be showy or announce 'aren't we clever'. It all is in the service of delivering the pop goods to your ears. Give yourself a treat; not everything good is spanking new.
The School are Liz, Steph, Harri, Ryan, Fran, Kay, Andy, and Kit. Wasting Away And Wondering is their third album, and it is out September 4 via Elefant Records.
Bandcamp for previous releases
Elefant Records page for album
Monday, August 31, 2015
Future Elevators are Michael Shackelford, Alex Mitchell, Ramy Noureddini, Matt Devine, and John-Mark Dorough. Their debut album will be release in 2016 by label Communicating Vessels.
The single is a digital release. See links below.
The Goon Sax
Bandcamp for "Sometimes Accidentally"
Chapter Music page for "Sometimes Accidentally"
Sunday, August 30, 2015
In 1976 Lizzy Mercier Descloux and her then boyfriend Michel Esteban left France for the big time scene in New York City. Working in punk rock journalism circles, as well as performance art and poetry, they made a lot of contacts, and ultimately broke up as couple while retaining an artistic relationship. Lizzy formed the band Rosa Yemen with Michel's brother Didier and began to perform and record. In 1979 Lizzy, Didier and two others recorded Press Color in ten days. While a group effort, it was decided to release the album under Lizzy's name. Her drive, and her adventurous and unconventional artistic expression made her the the natural frontwoman. Her work was intensely visceral and rhythmic. Words were chosen for their sounds rather than for the meaning or grammatical sense. The arrangements often had a jazz feel, featuring Lizzy's self-taught minimalist guitar lines and danceable Afrobeat grooves. The naive approach arguably pushes this music towards the punk rock category, but Lizzy's indomitable spirit and vivacity pull it back to no wave and experimental pop. Listening to it for the first time is like opening a window to let fresh air into the room.
Of course, you would expect that an album like Press Color could only be found in rare used vinyl bins. And until now, you would be correct. But Light In The Attic Records has released an extended version of the album. The release includes Press Color and other songs recorded by Descloux (including one with Patti Smith). It is available as a CD or two-LP vinyl plus mp3s.
Light In The Attic Records
Light In The Attic page for release
Friday, August 28, 2015
The EP comes out of the gate racing with the grand fuzz track "Billions". By the time I was part way through the following "Chemotherapy", I was crediting the band, producer and engineer for creating a set of songs that captured the energy of a live performance while still providing decent fidelity. The third song is the previously mentioned "Misophonia", which is my anthem for the summer, and thereafter until some other song manages to take it down. "Touchy Feely" is all fuzz, noise and energy and if you can't shout, you can't play along. "Two-Bit Loser" is a gritty blues jam that I expect is an absolute crowd-pleaser in live shows. The EP closes with an ode to cricket player "Glenn McGrath". And in case you are wondering, it is the kind of ode that produces smiles, not tears. You may, however, shed tears if you don't get this record and you find yourself a bit short of appropriate music for your next party -- or your next tailgater.
And as a bit of housekeeping, if my wife is reading this I've never been to a brothel party and I have no idea who Ashley Madison is.
West Thebarton Brothel Party is out now via Mirador Records in digital and 10" vinyl formats. Hit the Bandcamp link below for details.
Bandcamp for EP
Soundcloud for EP
Most of us probably woke up with at least four dollars that could be spent to make your day a bit brighter. And what could make your day brighter than a four-song EP from a new band with a great sound? (By the way, that was a rhetorical question, I really don't want to hear your perverted, sordid hopes and dreams that President Ted Cruz will probably make illegal just before the mass baptisms.) Today's gem is I Died Dreaming from Seattle's Acid Tongue. Leading off with your and my favorite song of the month, "Lately", the EP delivers soul-influenced retro '60s garage pop, country rock, blues rock with touches of glam and psychedelic rock. Four guys with a great vibe going and we hope to hear more from them.
There isn't a lot of information about Acid Tongue, although it includes members of other Seattle bands Motopony, Fox and the Law, the Mama Rags and Dark Hip Falls.
Thursday, August 27, 2015
Our dear friends at Andrew R. Burns & The Tropicanas have another tasty snack of dreamslop headed our way on October 17 via Glasgow's Flowers In The Dustbin. You can sample the goods below with lead track "Pop snuff-it". If you pre-order the three-track record you'll get an immediate download of the song.
Bandcamp for release
Flowers In The Dustbin
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
When faced with a decision about which elements to include in their new single, "Ui Yia Uia", NO ZU considered a menu of synths, deep funk beats, semi-human chanted vocals, horns, bass from ten fathoms deep, and various other bells and whistles. They then said "yes" to the entire menu. The resulting track is hard to describe, but it is easy to like. Mysterious, funky, energizing and yes, a bit weird, it is just what the doctor ordered if you thought things were all sounding a bit alike around your homestead. If fact, that may be your doctor grooving out in the corner over there.
The single is out via Chapter Music, which also will be releasing the bands next LP, Afterlife, early in 2016.
Facebook for NO ZU
Chapter Music page for single
Bandcamp page for single
The Wildness, Joey's next studio album, will be released by This Is American Music in late November, featuring Joey, Kelly and a full band.
This Is American Music page for release