Despite the fact that this blog pays SOOOOOOO well, it is important for me to give a little back to the local community (IE pay the bills). So over the summer months I coached a under 14s cricket squad. We were one of the most consistent teams in the competition - we lost every match, convincingly. And to celebrate, we had a break-up - at Sizzlers. Yep, I'm a high flyer. But I'm also stupid. Because wherever there are all you can eat sugar mountains - there are crazy-arse kids tripping off their balls. And I had to put up with these boys snorting pepper and drinking ice-cream and crayon sundaes for two and a half hours. Still...the cheesy bread was great.
I can barely function due to the headache last night wrought, but I have enough energy left to do this week's Hits From The Box.
Bonfire Nights hail from my hometown of Brisbane, are now based in London, and are making some tremors around the world thanks to their self-made EP. Their J&MC-meets-Morning After Girls esque psych pop doesn't always click with me, but I think this is more a work in progress than the problems of the band. Why? Because they can get it incredibly right, as on 'Own Worst Enemy'. The more given over to these guys, the better they sound. A promising beginning.
Bonfire Nights - Own Worst Enemy
Now I feel bad about this double-whammy, because I received the digital copy of this eons ago, but received the lathe-cut clear 7" yesterday. Thanks Cory! His band Lizard Kisses released this split with atypical tropical pop from British Columbian band My Friend Wallis, coming together even down to the cover art. Both bands made collages for their respective sides of the 7", making each one unique and one of a kind. You can view all 35 individual record sleeves here. The clear lathe cut records were hand-pressed to a numbered edition of 35 and include typed inserts on vellum. So sweet - I love this! Buy it here. 'Water Tap' is Lizard Kisses' effort, featuring extended family members Jordan Lee (of Mutual Benefit) and Andrew Morehart (of Share-a-tories). 'The Colour Of Water' . It's all really sweet, the perfect soundtrack to lazing about in a sunny park, cheese platters and cold beers at hand, carefree. We need more tracks like these as the winter heads over the dividing range... There is something honest and authentic about these tracks which I really connect with. Lizard Kisses also found one of their tracks on the Beko 100, a playlist of 100 songs that are all pretty ace. Check that one out here. Ill be keeping a close eye on this Brooklyn duo - they're something special.
Lizard Kisses - Water Tap
Another grimy group from the Phatry Records label, Wisconsin's Disguised As Birds double-EP (the brand new Black Circles added to 2009's New Demons) pendulums between a dreamlike meander and an explosive regurgitation of hard-boiled rock. Fans of Jawbox might find a lot to like here, although Young Widows acolytes might find a lot to love also.
Disguised As Birds - Black Circles
Disguised As Birds - Let The Boy Watch
The watery electronic drips that open up San Francisco's Kapowski's single Section 8 segues into lead Jesse Rimler's Akron/Family-esque vocals, a languid sonic experiment that glories in its left-of-centre pop stylings. Listen to that organ! Those soaring choral voices! I am yet to hear anything else from this collective, but I have to say I like them so far. This track is deceptively infectious. Debut record Boy Detective (recorded by Eli Crews, whose previous works include Tune-Yards and Deerhoof) is well worth hunting down (Here is a good review of it if you doubt me) (And a name inspired by Tiffany-Amber Thiessen's Saved By The Bell character is well worth supporting, in my opinion...)
Kapowski - Section Eight
The American Dollar may sound familiar. That's because their elegiac ambient/post-rock soundscapes have recently fallen in favour with the television trailer crowd (excerpts of their songs have soundtracked cuts from Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close and Up In The Air). Now it may be a surprise to most of you, but this Brooklyn-based duo have been plying their trade for seven years, with five albums several EPs and remix releases under their belt. Awake In The City is their latest sojourn into sonorous states, and it's a good un.
The American Dollar - Heavy Eyes Ignite
Finally we have Folks, a simple moniker for a rollicking throwback sextet from NW England. Their album I See Cathedrals has gotten a bit of buzz, and listening to single 'Skull & Bones' I can see why. This isn't the best thing I've ever heard, but that bouncy piano and grooving chorus, chirpy guitar, and throws me into a 70s tailspin. White Denim do this so much better - so do Band Of Skulls, to be honest - but this is a good effort, with warm room for improvement, and has me keen to hear the album in full. Mission accomplished, then!
Folks - Skull & Bones