Saturday, 12 April 2014

Hits From The Box #83 - Still Kickin'

It was my Dad's 60th on Thursday. I'm currently at Hervey Bay in an apartment overlooking the ocean, drinking a beer. Seems weird that I'm benefiting from Dad's birthday - but then again I guess I am every day (awwww...) He's having a lie down now, so I'm here with a cool brew and an hour to kill. Sounds like it's time to trawl through the ever expanding inbox...

Canada's Geyser have a tasty 12" EP out which starts out with a killer angular garage rock track ('Feel It All Day'), pare it back with a slightly darker meander through the paint cans and charlatans ('Copper Wish') before launch into a lecherous lurch through the B-side ('Jocko', 'Junkie'). The bottom end bass is the true centrifugal force here, propelling everything forward with a cocky jaunt that feels almost comical in the quieter moments, yet is totally vindicated when everything explodes/implodes. And the vocals go from crooning, to maniacal screaming, to carnivalesque chanting of "junkies" like they are a sideshow attraction -which they pretty much are. Good stuff.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I threw on Two, the new album from Chicago band Owls. The cover art is all kinds of ridiculous (a battered, blood smeared Noel Gallagher is kinda funny though). But as soon as the chugging guitar and hypnotic trance combine on killer opening track 'Four Weeks Of Art...' (all songs end with ellipses...), I knew I was a winner. I had no idea that Owls were a band some ten years or more ago, let alone that it included Tim Kinsella of Joan Of Arc. Makes sense though - Two is an album of constant contradiction - its an angular rock album that refuses to rock out; its an amiable pop record that refuses to be anything by cryptic; it's an accessible guitar band that continues to confound with hiccupping breaks and half-turns; Kinsella's lyrics are at once personable and impenetrable. Basically, it's Two. And I'm happy with that.

Pittsburgh lurkers Shaky Shrines have this five track EP Hocus Bogus coming out very soon, and it's a slick piece o work, wavering between organ-fuelled garage punk, Rocket From The Crypt style ('Shower Curtain'), to more windows-down-driving-through-the-night-with-a-sultry-mistress-and-blazed-on-high-quality-stimulants grooves ('Hypnotic Eyes', 'Beyond The Door') and something that brings them together in the rocking, psych tinged 'Black SUV' and 'White Work Van'. Nice.

Shaky Shrines - Hypnotic Eyes Visualizer from Justin A Nixon on Vimeo.

Back to Canada now (Toronto to be exact) to dirty everything right up with Soupcans. These degenerates wail about in crude oil and caviar, spit firewater into baby's eyes, tear the habits of nuns and choke strippers with them - its real bottom of the barrel kind of misanthropism. And as Parasite Brain attests, it's also fucking amazing. This is too hardcore to be hardcore - it's the theme tune of a disintegrating serial sodomizer. And again, I'm totally fine with that. Ill even pick up the cheque. Great, evil stuff.

Here's a nice swatch of dream pop from Melbourne courtesy of Vulpix. His Swarms Ep is a sonorous sweep of reverb stasis, ebbing and flowing from one languid memory to another in an opaque fog. It's like a lot of other dreampop bedroom wanderers then? No - the sound is crystalline, there is personality climbing out from behind the subconscious curtain of warbled guitar, there is even a little bit of humour. A confident tip of the hat to his forebears - now let's see what Vulpix brings us next.

Let's finish back in Chicago tonight with the swirling squall of The Thons. This band kinda remind me of The Thermals, if they were actually The Intelligence. Which means they are so so rad. I only have Real Raw Rock, but their newer record Thirty Foot Snake is also out - and I can't imagine it straying far from the path of this killer record. This has been a stellar Hits From The Box, but I think I'm ending with the high here. Slightly unhinged, slightly relentless, totally addictive. Get it here. Listen to BOTH ALBUMS below!

Happy Saturday everyone!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Brendan, great read and we appreciate the shout out - you can snag both albums for free / pay-what-you-want here:

    Thanks for listening,
    The Thons