Thursday, 16 August 2012

Hits From The Box #56 - something about Ekka

It's the Ekka, time to get a public holiday, some nostalgic spirit and a disease. It's great that such a traditional process such as The Show still rolls around annually, whether it be for the dagwood dogs, the show dogs, the checked shirts, the hay bales, the giant pumpkins, or the vomit. I've never gone, but it sounds like a rootin, tootin time.

So yeah, clearly have nothing to write about. So on with the Hits From The Box...

Let's start with a Brisbane band too. Blonde On Blonde delve into heady rock that flirts with the glossy, off-kilter psych pop that the Dandy Warhols and Morning After Girls did so well (not so much anymore), with an edge of grunge angst. They have just released the single 'Act 1' in preparation for slamming the East Coast in the toilets, a sleazy hook-up like only they know how. Check yourself afterwards though.

Blonde On Blonde - Act 1

Next up we have Maryland producer Jay AKA Terracotta Blue, whose double dose of EP aurality, Solace and Skylines, scans the gamut of hip-hop electronics for the spaces in between, whether it be an ice-cold break or a blisteringly hot summer beat. It's an experiment in form and tone, and could easily slot onto any arthouse hipster flick, or maybe a montage on the next Nicholas Winding Refn gig. You can grab both EPs plus an earlier endeavour called Mistique here.

Terracotta Blue - The Monastery (from Solace)
Terracotta Blue - Nature (from Skylines)

Over to the UK we go with London blueshounds Black Manila. They are heating up with their Fiasco/England single, showing the sharp and the ragged sides. They are glued fiercely together though on third track 'Hazy Daze', a blues garage roar that actually sounds ripped off a transistor radio, and as much as I love the Rolling Stones as fronted by Jason Pierce style swagger of 'England', this track is the one that slays me.

Black Manila - Hazy Daze
Black Manila - England

We jet over to Portland to visit 20 year old artist Christian Patterson AKA Art Deco Cathedrals (really like the name, man!). His eponymous debut LP is all breathy synths that take us to a parallel 1970s frigid housing estate, a time travel experiment that is both cold yet transfixing. The opening track "I am too unhappy to deserve your kindness" is eerie, its plaintive and haunting sonic mantra not far removed from Air's soundtrack for The Virgin Suicides. He has a new releasing coming up called Trial of Superman - Ill be checking back in with Christian. Meanwhile, grab Art Deco Cathedrals here.

Art Deco Cathedrals - "I am just too unhappy to deserve your kindness"

Hailing from the "cultural mecca" of Bury St. Edmunds, Ten City Nation have that feverish punk rock style that other UK acts like Blacklisters employ, albeit with less bludgeoning and more finesse. I'm not going to say I like it more than that aggressive realm, but the trio show some angular chops with a penchant for melody that has even had Ian Mackaye (Fugazi, Minor Threat) giving them quiet kudos. These guys are yet to hit their straps - I for one cannot wait for that moment.

Ten City Nation - His Just Reward

And finally, let's end off in Scotland - Glasgow to be exact, and with "reformed" band Haight Ashbury. I say reformed because their second album is miles away from the folk tangent that many thought this trio was destined to get stuck on, instead offering slabs of psych guitar pop with Eastern inflection, heavily indebted to the summer of love and barbiturates (presumably). Haight Ashbury II: The Ashburys is one heavy, fuzzed out pop album, filled with blissful yet hardened vocals, walls of noise and soul. The most important cog in this machine is that they always have their eye on the melodic prize, and they hit it on the vast majority of cases. you can grab this (through Lime Music) here. Very good stuff.

Haight Ashbury - Sophomore
Haight Ashbury - Dum Dee Dum



  1. Christian (Art Deco Cathedrals) here

    I have your blog bookmarked so imagine my surprise when I visited your site and saw my music being covered! It was a very pleasant surprise ^_^

    Thank you so much!

  2. Haha! I thought I sent you an email? No worries man, glad you enjoy what I do!

  3. Hmm, doesn't look like it, but either way, it's fine with me! :)