Title: Duane & The Eddies
Artist: The Fabulous St. Knicholas Cage
The Fabulous St. Knicholas Cage // Shit Surf
When the guys of The Fabulous St. Knicholas Cage asked me if I wanted a cassette of their latest EP Shit Surf I replied with an enthusiastic “yes.” You see, I love these guys and have for some time. Because it’s so easy to just go through the motions these days, a sort of unofficial criteria that I hold music of this sort to is: “Do these guys sound like they’re having fun?” Listening to this short and sweet little EP I can answer that question with an unequivocal “YES!”
I get the same vibes from Shit Surf that I got when I first listened to Ty Segall’s (under-appreciated) self-titled debut LP. There is a ton of manic energy crawling out of the fuzz’s every orifice, generous heaps of reverb (especially on the vocals) are slathered around gleefully, and bouncing, rubber band guitar licks feel like they’re literally pulling the sun closer to earth. It’s this sort of unapologetically kitschy rock’n’roll that apes surf and garage rock in equal measure and it does so with a big, sloppy grin on its face. This thing is super short, but it’s tons of fun and over before you know it so feel free to just start it all over again when that happens.
BANDCAMP | SOUNDCLOUD | FACEBOOK
Triathalon // Relationchips (Remastered)
It is an unfortunate fact of life that there will always be “the one that got away.” Well in the case of music blogging there are multiple instances of this. Sometimes I log music I want to post away in my mental filing cabinet only to have some of those potential posts fall through the cracks. Such as was the case with the Savannah, Georgia band Triathalon. I listened to their excellent EP Relationchips numerous times and fully intended on featuring them but then… I… just never did. Shame. So when I saw that the EP had been fully remastered and re-released I knew that I could not make the same mistake again.
Relationchips is first and foremost a guitar EP. It’s just brimming with robust, jangling, reverbed guitars. It creates this thick, warm environment for the catchy pop vocals to absolutely flourish. With a professional remastering now on their side, the excellent songwriting of these tracks reveals just how killer it is. In particular, some of these guitar riffs and surf solos are so crisp they have me air-jamming with reckless abandon. If you are a fan of driving power pop with tinges of surf rock, the Triathalon should be right up you alley.
BANDCAMP | TUMBLR | FACEBOOK
Title: Stay In Your Own Backyard
Artist: Sneak Peek
Sneak Peek // “Stay In Your Own Backyard”
Are you guys ready for a sneak peek at this new Sneak Peek track? You got it, right? Right? I had to do it… ok. Anyways, this Echo Park band was one that I threw on the radar earlier this summer as one to watch. Featuring members of The Willowz, the band cruised along on the strength of some really great demo tracks straight into my good graces. At that time they told me that they were working towards an EP, but their prolonged dormancy translated not into an EP, but rather a full-length album. After being graciously given a chance to listen to the whole thing, I can safely say that it. Is. Gnarly.
On this song, one of the albums darker tracks, titled “Stay In Your Own Backyard”, singer Dora Hiller’s surprising, reverbed snarl perfectly matches the sludge-drenched guitars. Buzzing feedback vibrates through the atmosphere ripping a tear in the fabric just big enough for us to catch a glimpse of this grungy underworld. Hopefully you guys dig on this track as much as I am and you can join me in being pumped for this album. It’s being mastered as we speak, so it shouldn’t be too much longer! Oh, and if you absolutely can’t wait then make sure you hit up their bandcamp page for those demos I was talking about.
Title: BIG RITUAL
Voyageurs // “Big Ritual”
Catch this brand new tack from Fayetteville psych rockers Voyageurs. Compared to the stuff they’ve put out in the past this thing is much more chilled out. Instead of grabbing onto garage and psych firmly with one in each hand like they’ve done in the past, these two dudes shift their grip almost solely over to psych. And there they dangle for the song’s 5+ minute runtime.
It’s a really vibed-out track with an almost cyclical feeling that is the perfect soundtrack for laying on your back and counting ceiling tiles. The song, dipped in the perfect amount of sticky reverb, is heavy on atmosphere and is perfectly suited to these dudes Southern surroundings. Dig on it for sure.
BANDCAMP | MYSPACE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER
Feathers // Hunter’s Moon
It’s true that the Phil Spector-lovin’ garage pop girl groups have definitely made their mark on the music scene in recent years. I could start spewing off the names of bands that have adopted this style, but what’s the point? We all know who they are. And with some of these bands moving on to greener pastures of high fidelity, there is space left behind for other bands to try their hand at the style. It would be wrong to say that Feathers are late to the party, because in reality the party went down in 1963. And the fact that this band is pulling the sound of excellently bodes well for all.
The tracks on their LP Hunter’s Moon are stripped down and vaguely somber numbers that hit all the right notes balancing the sour with the sweet. It’s jangly when it needs to be and flatter when it suits the music. Like I said, this style is probably nothing you haven’t heard before, but Feathers do it with a sense of aplomb that hints at more than just style emulation. The album is out now on the super duper Australian label Bon Voyage. You can sniff a couple tracks out on the label’s soundcloud and then hit the store to pick it up in the real world.
Title: Your Weakness
Artist: Poppy Red
Poppy Red // “Your Weakness”
My bro Jimmy Spice of Liquid Skulls sent me an email last week with some tracks by Poppy Red. The project is that of a friend of his named Molly Long and she creates some truly stunning music that feels simultaneously intimate and welcoming if that makes any sense. After she finishes the songs she then hands them over to Jimmy who adds some light production work, and together these two have struck gold.
Building her tracks around just a guitar and her beautiful voice, these songs have a lonesome, wandering quality to them. And where alot of the music I’ve been featuring lately has had an unabashedly sunny vibe about them, Poppy Red opts for a slightly darker atmosphere. Like taking walks with only the moonlight as your guide, let Poppy Red take you by the hand and show you some beautiful sights.
Over the last few days the number of tracks on her bandcamp has slowly gone up, so hopefully these two keep on motoring on this stuff, because it truly is something.
BANDCAMP | SOUNDCLOUD | FACEBOOK
Title: Easter Island
Artist: Tear Jerks
Tear Jerks // “Easter Island”
I was sent this track a few days ago. It’s by a youthful Scottish band called Tear Jerks. When I inquired for more info on the project the guys told me only two things really. Firstly their forthcoming EP Easter Island is set to drop on the world on September 15th (on which label, I have no clue) and secondly their aim is to “try their best to rip off The Jesus and Mary Chain in every way possible.” Now while I’ve heard bands rip off JAMC much more blatantly than what you’ll hear on this track, I can definitely see where the influence comes into play. When everything comes together with the robust guitars and the crashing cymbals it creates an atmosphere of noise not totally foreign to early JAMC.
On another note, after conducting a simple Google search I found no less than three different versions of this track. There is the one you are hearing above, a “2 Close 2 Chill” version on the band’s skimpy bandcamp page, and a noisier/messier take found on a random soundcloud page (uploaded no less than one year ago). So what exactly is going on here? What does it mean? I’m not sure. All I know is I dig the track and maybe you will too. So give it a listen and maybe in the near future you and I can find out what it all means together.
P.S. - Happy Earthquake Day!
BANDCAMP | SOUNDCLOUD | MYSPACE
Title: Bay Wash
Shisd // “Bay Wash”
So I’m back from vacation. It was a pretty rad week with my family, but now it’s “back to the real world” or so they say. The thought of going from lazy days on the beach to getting up at 5:45 am again is a bit depressing to say the least. So I’ve found myself at the point where I no longer wish to cling to the last fraying bits of summer and I’m all gung-ho for the colder weather.
It was at this point of mental transition where this track by Shisd fit in so nicely. Yeah, it’s called “Bay Wash”, but this time around it feels like we are getting the chillier side of the shoreline. It makes me feel like I’m hearing something emanating from a shady sea cave. The sounds of the water reverberating off the walls and ceiling are the only thing you hear in the beginning, but as you push further into the cold unknown the music grows and builds. And just when you think you’ve found its place of origin it all slips away into the black, frigid waters.
So put on some headphones and get lost.
SOUNDCLOUD | TUMBLR | MYSPACE | FACEBOOK | LAST.FM
Artist: DOG DAY
DOG DAY // Deformer
There is something to be said with sticking to the formula. In a day of overnight budding microgenres and style mashups, I find myself yearning to return instead to something with a classic, time-worn style. It’s a void that I’ve filled time and again with new bands that have managed that old-fashioned snarl. So when I stumbled upon DOG DAY I was pleased to find that these kids filled that void like a hand in a glove.
They follow a basic (and rather simple) pattern but something about their album Deformer feels fresh. Stripping the music down to the basics, Deformer is a dark, beguiling release that will leave your skull buzzing ever so slightly. More of a tickle than anything, really. The shared boy/girl vocals against the reverberating garage rock adds an extra layer of charm to the formula striking my fancy similar to the way that Yuck did earlier this year.
Front to back this thing plays exactly how I would have wanted it to. Simple, straightforward, and full of heart. You can pay what you want for it on their bandcamp or you can get physical with it via the band’s website.
BANDCAMP | BAND SITE
Friends // Let’s Get Together Again
It seems totally bizarre that I’ve been waiting for more music from this band for almost a year. An entire year. Last September I wrote up a blurb about their Demos EP and now here we are getting a proper full-length from Friends. Now I don’t really listen to much Japanese music but I can see that changing very quickly should there be more where this came from.
These ten songs will see a vinyl release from the Japanese label Second Royal Records. Until then you will just have to stream the tracks on the label’s soundcloud page; which is what I’ve been doing. Over and over (and over) again. Because what the band has here is something of unending worth in my eyes. It’s the kind of music I pine for. I spend hours sifting through internet pages hoping to get a mere taste of the kind of music that Friends has delivered in spades here. There is so much fuzz and reverb but it goes almost unnoticed because the true winner here is the vocal melodies. It’s unbelievable what they’ve managed to hide under those waves of noise, but it’s some of the sweetest music I’ve heard in a long time.
I could ramble on for hours about how much I love this band, but I’d rather let the music do most of the talking. So please don’t hesitate to stream this thing on soundcloud. It is so solid and so choice.
BANDCAMP | MYSPACE | TWITTER
Title: Light Pollution
Artist: Dizzy Dearest
Dizzy Dearest // All These Flowers
I received this in an email. With only a link to click I dove into this EP literally knowing nothing about this band Dizzy Dearest. Given the band’s name and the album artwork, I was convinced that it was going to be cutesy electro-pop. Thankfully I was wrong. While there are elements of electronic music here, there is a ton more to discover. The influence of shoegaze is apparent with much of the EP dripping reverb, but depending on where you are in it you might find some tropical, dream pop, or noise tinges too.
Even though I can list what the EP sounds like, it really should be experienced. With the layered-music and the vocal delivery, the whole thing has this sort of sluggish feel. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just seems like life inside All These Flowers is moving in slow motion.
Pay what you want for it on their bandcamp.
Title: monstros do chile
jccg // “monstros do chile”
Here is a new track by the same mysterious dude that is the mastermind behind the under-appreciated Spinning Beach Ball of Death and also the eerie sample manipulator mediafired. I’ve been digging his music for awhile and I’ve shared what I’ve heard here on my blog in hopes that you’d dig it too. Every once in a while he ‘ll email me with whatever he’s working on, but he always keep things sort of anonymous and distant. That’s just the way he does things.
I emailed him awhile back and asked him if he was working on any new material as mediafired. Turns out that he is, but it’s not ready yet. In the meantime he sent me a few tracks that he’s made under yet another moniker, jccg. Like his other projects, jccg has a completely different feel. Stripping things all the way down to almost strictly guitar, he layers reverbed strums and plucks to dreamy effect. The tracks create a just-woke-up-and-still-kinda-groggy sort of feel. So put them on and rub the sleep from your eyes, because there is some sort of genius going on here.
Check out the other stuff he’s recorded on his soundcloud.
also listen to: “poney”
Watts // Debut EP
So, I wasn’t able to go to SXSW. Boohoo. But I hear everyone down there is having a blast (even without my presence). And on top of that, I’m sick. Been sick for three weeks. How pathetic can one guy get?
Whatever, here’s something to cheer me up (and maybe you too). If you love Dream Band as much as I do, this should be welcome news for you. Their singer/guitarist Sean March recently put out an EP under his side project Watts. Now Watts is much less… straightforward than Dream Band is. Where Dream Band seem intent on crafting solid indie rock anthems, Watts is an opportunity for Sean to get a little more experimental. Incorporating electronics, some psych rock, and a helping of wobbling reverb; Watts’ Debut EP will take you places less traveled by Dream Band. I suppose a good way to listen to this album would be flat on your back, watching the ceiling fan spin around, while blowing bubbles. Yeah, that about sums it up.
And if news of a side project wasn’t good enough news on its own, Sean also let me know that Dream Band is getting ready to release their first full-length. Good glory. Sign me up.
Download Debut for free on the bandcamp.
a-choo: “New York You’re Killing Me”
Vocabulary // Faded Days
Vocabulary craft some interesting ambient garage rock. I bet those are two genres that you never really pictured together. Well me neither, but these guys manage to make it sound really good. Their album Faded Days debuted on bandcamp just yesterdayand you can pay anything you want for it.
The music evokes thoughts of distant, forgotten memories. It hearkens back to eras gone by, although it’s hard to pin down just where the influences come from. Sounding sometimes like surf rock (a la Beach Fossils) while other times leaning more in an experimental direction. The band’s use of reverb and sparse guitar wash over you like waves of fog giving the album a feeling of being in an eerie, dreamlike state. I recommend you give this album a whirl. Put it on and let it seep slowly but surely into your brain.
let’s try: “Rearrange Shelves”