Sunday, 3 May 2015

Hits From The Box #101 - Banking On Shitty Weather

It's a long weekend here in London - and wouldn't you know it? It's been miserable weather. I can't complain too much - Im happy to be cooking, watching Teen Wolf and reading (currently rereading Chuck Palahniuk's Survivor and last month's Sight & Sound while eating Minstrels). So there isn't much excuse but to do a Hits From The Box...

I want to kick off with a band that isn't actually new to this website, or even a release that is that new. Coming from Belgrade is the shoegaze rock of Vvhile, a two-piece that swing between the rollicking garage blast of Japandroids and more languid fare. They released an album at the tail end of last year, More (on clear burst orange vinyl - very tasty) and I have only managed to grab one. A seriously great band/sound/album - Ill try to get them over to London to play a show sometime this year I think. Definitely deserved of your time - currently loving the songs that bookend the album, 'Nobody Knows' and 'New Gaze' (which even has a slight Women vibe to it - obviously a huge plus from my point of view). Seriously great, get More here.

Glasgow dudes Spinning Coin are heading around the UK this month, pushing their eponymous debut release, this four track cassette EP which is pretty rad. This kind of grubby yet wearily euphoric guitar pop has always been strong in this place, but it is the weird parallels that bewitch - I couldn't help but think of Blur covering The Bee Gees' 'To Love Somebody' after binge-listening to George Best when I heard 'Albany' for the first time. Elsewhere the scrappy scuzz that Rory Attwell (Warm Brains) dips his toes in came to the fore on 'Late Late Late' and the quirky Unicorns filtered into elements of 'Hanging Gown' before the shadows descended, and GVSB's Eli Janney stepped forward to sing on the mid-tempo bruisers from ...Trail Of Dead's Source Tags & Codes session, only to flicker back into whimsy... You can tell by these strange referential connections that I'm making that there is a heady melting point of touchstones, yet all are unintentional and ultimately mere signifiers on what is an extremely promising debut. They are playing at Power Lunches on Saturday May 16 alongside Warm Brains; elsewhere they have shows around the countryside with Twerps, Sex Hands, Joey Fourr, Slowcoaches and Joanna Gruesome - all stellar shows I think you'll agree.

Talking of reference points, Montreal's Notta Comet can't help but avoid the Parquet Courts comparisons on their Success With Houseplants album, but these guys are plenty more weird than those guys. The trio are intent on offering layers upon layers of dissonance and off-kilter rhythms, spouting literate yet skewed diatribes (with the occasional Count from Sesame Street vocalics), and showing off moments of shining harmony amidst the boarish chaos. There are elements of bands like Menomena in here too, where the frenetic, jittery ADHD shifts are more akin to jazz riffs and shattering of aesthetics, a deliberate meshing of sight, sound, membrane and madness, than something unplanned and rushed. And does 'Wino Threat' remind anyone else of a sandblasted Doors on speed (I'm guessing it'll be a resounding no, but what the hey?) On a side note, I am their 500th like on Facebook - what do I win???

I came across this split between Chicagoans Bike Cops and Roach Beach due to the former sending me their EP back in October last year - and I missed the boat. SO I was looking for it and found this newbie instead. It's a great taster for both bands - Roach Beach offer a blasted rock pacer with added Men campfire blues in 'Weekend Home' before finding their inner blazed cowboys with 'Ursula'. Then it's Bike Cops' turn, and they find a brooding lurker on 'Animal', echoing out of the shadows, before the 60s comes careening around Deadman's Curve for 'I Got Away'. A hell of a lot of fun.

Back before the term Modern Warfare became synonymous with first person shooter war Armageddon games, was a LA punk outfit back at the turn of the 80s. Ut Records has reissued their Delivered 7" and it more than stands up - it is hard to believe that this was coming out in 1980 at all, let alone out of Los Angeles at that time. The seeming mortar and pestle smearing of glam, goth and slamming rock means that you can at times feel The Cramps, at others Adam & the Ants, at others again The Urinals or even Dead Kennedys... I have no idea what became of these dudes but this 7" is enough to jump right on this bandwagon once again.

We head to France now and the errant lads Dividers. They have just released Fourwalls Farewell through Casbah Records and Beast Records a couple of weeks ago. Starting off with a countrified swagger in 'Fuck The World', the album blasts through the cerebral vortex with 'Empty Rooms' and 'Never Wanna See You Again', goes into a Soundtrack Of Our Lives amble on 'Hambourg', gets all pastoral psych pop on 'XXX'... Dividers are a fidgety band on paper, but the languid grooves that underpin either their Wild West saunter or their garage sneer keeps everything on an even keel.

And let's finish off with Brisbane band The Bear Hunt. Linda their drummer won the one-off pedal we raffled off at last year's Sonic Masala Fest, and I finally caught them play at the Pre-Pre SM Fest show at Trainspotters back in March. The four-piece aim to release their debut album TBH later this year, and 'Lost Reality' is the first cut from it. Raw grunge from the heaving tropics.

Happy Sunday everyone!

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