What a week. Apart from spending most of my waking hours shoved in front of a computer applying for jobs that I dont even want, Ive been yelling at incompetent public sector plebs, mourning the death of The Luminaire, struggling to put Umberto Eco to bed (still), and (due to the combination of unemployment, no money and cabin fever) Ive been walking around, rockin the suburbs, just like Iron Maiden did. But to be honest, it hasnt been too bad, as the week's posts thus far have shown. And Ive just gotten back from visiting my grandmother - she's more sprightly than Ill ever be, and that helps to put things into perspective. Also, she kicked my arse in a family tradition - the annual no holds barred Muay Thai match. Nan may be ailing, but her step up knee strike move is unsurpassed. So, I lick my wounds and give you this week's Hits From The Box...
Breathe Out are the recipients of Art Is Hard Records' fourth release. The London four-piece may laconic slacker pop, not really in a hurry to get anywhere even when the distortion is dialed up into the red, content to make your Dad cry and go parachuting rather than get to the crux of the matter...and why should they? Their lackadaisical tracks on their debut EP are delectable. And as is AIH's way, this release is special - making the EP available as a miniature photozine of photos from the band! (They are also supporting Nodzz in Nottingham March 14th - one not to be missed!!)
Breathe Out - Ride The Waves
Alex Profera is many things - graphic designer, visual artist, breakdancer - and he can add musician to this list, as he releases Antarctican Apathy, his debut EP as Speaking In Tongues. It bears resemblances to Breathe Out in its adherence to indie rock conventions, and like Breathe Out offers a solid set of songs. Have a sample of the opening track below.
Speaking In Tongues - Our Departure
Our next artist takes us into a slightly different direction. Négar Mohktassi was born in Tehran, although has spent most of her childhood in either Abu Dhabi or Canada - and the spectre of war and revolution, as well as the obvious divide created by constant shifts in cultural tradions and geography, have loomed large over her life. This personal tumult has resulted in the release of her first musical endeavour, NeGar, a sultry exploration of her own existence, and the role that a person has in the shifting sands of a repressive human condition. Its beautiful, haunting, and very exciting.
Negar - A Woman
Here's the video for another track from the EP too...
High Wolf are releasing a new 7" through Bathetic Records, A Guide To Healing. Now I dont know much about High Wolf, although the amount of excitement on the web for this release should indicate that I need to rectify this. What Ive gleaned in a very short time is that the artist is French-born, but Jakarta (or as he states, Djarkarta), Indonesia based, and India influenced. He is also the purveyor of astral telepathy-defying psychic aural dervishes, constructions comfort and confound in the same liminal space, simultaneously. Or as the man himself puts it, "This record is like a mental postcard from Varanasi (India). It's probably my favorite place in the whole world, being there is like being on LSD. And if you dive in Ganga water (the purest water on earth according to the hindus, the most polluted and unhealthy according to science), hold your breath and open your ears, this music is what you'll hear." Personally, you dont have to be high to enjoy this, althoughthis is certainly an off-kilter psych release - check out the A-Side and tell us what you think... (I think the Sun Araw-meets Ravi Shankar depictions are apr, but he is striving for much more than this! You can trip out on his other works here.) You'll be able to check him out at SXSW too...)
High Wolf - Free Your Energy Field
Today marks the release of Standard Fare's heavily infectious new single, 'Suitcase' (out on Melodic Records). They are incredibly tight, as always, and here offer up the most disparate juxtaposition yet of their sunny sonics married to much edgier lyricism. 500 copies of this white vinyl 7" exists, with the artwork done by the band, so its a lovely purchase.
Standard Fare - Suitcase by Melodic Records
The Dirty Lungs are from Birmingham, Alabama. They make much use of their name as a tie in to smoking (including their moniker in a Lucky Strike logo). They create psychedelic rock that aims to marry the swampy swagger of southern US rawk with the flailing eargasms of Comets On Fire. Their aspirations are admirable. Their success, imminent. June will see The Dirty Lungs release a single and video, then do a spot of touring. In the meantime, pick up their EP, Deregulate Your Heart. Play it impossibly loud (I cant stress that part enough), get a fever of 103, then go to the doctor - he will promptly tell you to lose your shit, which you will, and an epiphany will be reached - and you will never be the same.
The Dirty Lungs - DD Reg Reg