Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Hits From The Box #41 - Long Time Between Drinks

It's been a tumultuous week behind the scenes on Planet Masala. The sharehouse has lost two members, as they venture out into the home-owning market (suckas). Yet two new people take their place - a natural medicine expert...and Ali all the way from the UK. Its been almost a year since I fled those sorry Isles, and thus it is that long since Ive seen her. So let's just say I'm happy - well, happier than usual, and I'm a pretty happy guy generally speaking. PLUS there are some really exciting tidbits of music info that will end the year with a bang! So let's get into out latest brace of Hits From The Box artistes, shall we?

From the same breeding ground of Portland shoegazers Anne, A389 Records (in essence anyway), comes Pale Creation, a band out of Cleveland that juggle the heady realms of hardcore and metal with steely, doom-laden precision. A389 are releasing the band's 2000 album Twilight Haunt, a much-lauded cult album that has been out of print for a while now, on vinyl for the first time. It is perfect timing too - although Pale Creation have put out various EPs in the decade since, are only now preparing to release their follow-up LP. Going back to where it all began, you can't help but feel energised and itchy for the new material...

Pale Creation - Nightburned

We were pretty enamoured with Deathdream, an artist on cool little New Zealand label Papaiti Records, only a fortnight ago. Here's anotheree. Mammal Airlines are much less concerned with soundscapes and nightmares than their brethren - in fact, their only concern is how loud they should be so that they make your ears rupture without damaging their own. Their album Wounded Lions Crying Iron contains five fuzzy noise pop gems that are reminiscent of Japandroids at their most lo-fi and dissonant. It's great stuff, but hard to track down, seeing as it's their only official release and there were only 25 copies of the CD-R. Still, bug the fuck out of them to put it out in some other format, there is gold in them thar hills...

Mammal Airlines - Swim Team
Mammal Airlines - Grass Cannons

Don't judge a band by it's name, or the title of its album. I'm not saying that this act and release have bad names per se, just that they are somewhat misleading. I have to say that I was very impressed the first time I threw on French band Trunks' album On The Roof - yet I thought it may have been solely due to my expectations being suitably low... On subsequent listens, though, the admiration only grew. I should have known the calibre would have been high due to the mastering prowess of Bob Weston who was behind the wheel - Weston is a heavy genius. There is a certain element of Grails in the jazz-inflected psych groove, that instrumental sinuous grind that drags you into unexpected dark corners where dangerous mores lie in wait. They are pretty special, and you should hunt down this album - it could be the precursor to something very incredible.

Trunks - Hardfiscurry

Expect some glacial trips when hoppin on board with New Brunswick soundmaster Eric Sarmiento. The tracks that garnish his latest album The Friend Is This Animal (out on Alchemist Records) are littered with movements that play with conventions of pace, space and time, and are swirling expressionistic pieces due to this fact. This ambient trickster has done wonders here.

Eric Sarmiento - Bilumsman

And just when we thought that inimitable children's Goliath The Wiggles getting into Australian music's Hall Of Fame was good news enough, along comes a band with a similar moniker and catchy, sugar sweet pop hooks to rival any band worth their infectious salt (I'm not sure I know what I mean either...) The Wiggle Room is a band from New Jersey that sings about small dogs and cotton candy with barbarous intent - possibly the architect is the now MIA original Yellow Wiggle? The album is called The Wiggle Room, I Presume, and has a heavy hitter pitching in the recording studio - Kevin McMahon (Titus Andronicus, The Walkmen, Swans, Real Estate). It's a lot of fun.

The Wiggle Room - Been So Long
The Wiggle Room - Song In My Head

And finally we have Vermont rockers The Concrete Rivals. The band formed back in '08 when they learned a set of classic instrumental surf rock and movie theme songs for a one-time gig. One gig led to another, and guitarist Jay Ekis began introducing some of his original instrumental songs. Eat Their Weight in Snakes is a collection of their high-energy rock music that showcases the constant evolution of the trio. When you read their list of influences - from John Williams to Fugazi, from Dick Dale to The Who - it's clear that you will get a set of songs with a certain classical aesthetic that will bend around an unseen corner at the drop of a D. It's surf rock, but not as we know it.

Happy Top O' The Week To Ya!

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