Monday, 28 February 2011

Hits From The Box #9 - In The Name Of The Eco

Shyza! Another late entry into our Hits From The Box. I guess it was due to the battering my body took after seeing Brisbane's finest Nova Scotia absolutely score with their debut LP launch, coupled with the re-emergence of another Queensland rock staple, Arbuckle (more on that this week). Plus, Im reading Umberto Eco at the moment - the guy is an absolute genius, and writes surprisingly accessible popular fiction - but really? Im basically reading the dictionary and an encyclopaedia at the same time. In fact, Im writing this now because I couldnt get through ten pages without my brain pressing against my skull, threatening to dribble out my left ear. Maybe Im a dim bulb. Hmmm...

First up is Salamander, out of Perth, Australia, which is a nice segue really. His brand of industrial noise is about to find its first long player release in the form of Jaws Of The Vise, a journey into the subterranean otherness - and my current reading soundtrack. It is best listened to on headphones, to allow the music to seep into the marrow of your being. Its sinewy, synthetic stuff, and well worth your time (as is the Overslugs EP, which you can download for free here).

Salamander - The Vise

Evacuee carve out two minute distorted pop songs with a lovely degree of fun and consistency. The Californians have just produced Property Type: Horse Ranch, eleven songs that mirror the boys' love of the Pixies more than anything else (or for Aussies, a lo-fi cousin to Ratcat?), despite proclaiming their love for Boz Scaggs... They adhere to the double standard of being sonically abrasive and yet endearing at the same time. The album is currently available for free download on the band's website, whilst a 12" vinyl release (through Murray Records and the excellent 20 Sided Records) will happen later this year.

Evacuee - Real Winners

Its not often we feature bands out of Austria here - actually I think this is a first. Our Ceasing Voice is a four piece post-rock act whose debut LP When The Headline Hits Home (Revolvermann Records) landed last week. Like Evacuee, Our Ceasing Voice is also putting up their album for free download here. Unlike Evacuee, they etch winding instrumental pieces that are as orchestral as they are brutal - they have been honing their craft for some time now, and it really shows - this is a damned fine release! Please, if you like what you hear, purchase When The Headline Hits Home here and here, amongst other OCV merch. The band are prowling around Europe in April - check for dates - this will prove to be an impressive show.

Our Ceasing Voice - Without Even Breathing

Kytes, based in the Midlands of England, are preparing to unleash their second EP Ursa Major - The Great Bear in a couple of weeks, and it promises to offer a colourful brand of angular math rock that is as jocular as it is raucous. They have eked out a musical living somewhere between the cracks left by Maps & Atlases and early-era Minus The Bear, yet namechecking Primus as a touchstone shows that there is a lot of tongue overtly ensconced in thy cheek. Im a fan of their early, demo-ish stuff - even a song that samples the now globally infamous World of Warcraft gamer Leeroy - and with the time they have had to gel since then, their songwriting is only going to improve. Definitely an EP to be excited about.

Kytes - God Damnit Leeroy

Hold Your Horse Is have been plying their trade around the UK for a little while now, playing just about every tiny sinkhole in this dreary land. Whilst they may have pilfered their name from the stellar Hella, dont come expecting the same frenetic cyclonic sonics. Nevertheless, HYHI deliver a tight post-hardcore that gets the smallest venues heaving with tsunami levels of sweat and fevered writhing, whilst fitting very well on early afternoon festival stages. Their debut album will be coming out some time this year, and they are touring this March on the back of their single 'Forgive And Forget', landing in London in March 18 (@ The Purple Heart in Camden), then venturing back early in April to rock the Old Blue Last. You have been warned.

Hold Your Horse Is - Forgive And Forget

That Ghost are a late addition to the Box, but are much appreciated (especially as the other stuff I had was fair to middling at best). That Ghost is the project of 21-year-old Ryan Thomas Schmale. Songs Out Here, his fifth album (out on Tuesday through Two Syllable Records), was written partially on the grounds of author Jack London's Bay Area estate and all the instruments on the recording were played by Schmale himself (That Ghost is a full band live). Its beautiful, introspective fare somewhat removed from the more shuffling bluster of his previous releases, but the rustic ambience reflects Schmale's evocative troubadour spirit - I really hope this pushes him into the spotlight in 2011.

That Ghost - To Like You
That Ghost - Calls

Hope you had a happy Sunday. This week promises more of the same - enjoy!


  1. Foucault's Pendulum? It felt like an obstacle course that's the length of a marathon.

  2. What did you think though?

  3. I really loved it; then towards the end I really hated it. I think I just started to resent its opaqueness after a while; I couldn't help thinking Eco was just winding everyone up. I mean, it could have easily been shorter. Also, it was badly translated and needed a proofreader, which is distracting for losers like me.


  4. Yeah, well, Im beginning to see your point. There are points where it purrs along, and others where it becomes quite, almost obnoxious? And other parts are quite cumbersome. He could do with more snips I reckon, but try to convince Eco that there is an editor smarter than him. Still have 1 hundred pages to go though...