Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Hits From The Box #102 - Taking It To The Bank

Another long weekend, another indifferent show of weather from London. I can't complain - a break is a break - spent Sunday in Blackheath cruising around, which was still nice despite the ominousness (see above). So here are six bands that blasted out the cobwebs these few days...

Let’s start utterly unhinged, then, shall we? Belgian act The Experimental Tropic Blues Band is off the wall frenetic punk that swings between gutter noise ('Weird'), rockabilly on a knife edge ('Belgian State of Frustration') and garage pop ('Belgian Shake' - which reminds me of The Mint Chicks if they covered Supergrass). These tracks are all off latest album The Belgians with its Soviet artwork - excellently gnarled and skewed fun.

Hailing from Canada (Hamilton to be exact), Pet Sun have just brought down this great track, ‘Never Quit’ and the resulting film clip brings together slacker ennui, pastels and zombies in a decidedly grungy amalgam. It’s a great song – I like to head back to simple riffs that evoke that dirge, the sense of angst shed, that rock music is wont to do. I have listened to this track about fifteen times, and the headbanging and half-smile is still in place.

Sticking to Canada, we head to Toronto and slacker psych dreamer Galkin, who has just released Thawed Out, a four song EP that woozily floats along an alternate-reality yacht rock slipstream, a soft-light psych stroll, feet scraping the sidewalk, head in the clouds. 'Out To Lunch''s vocals are warped yet slacker-centric - who does care when you are out to lunch? Elevator music for narcolepts - love it.

Que Pasa is a trio from Austin Texas. I knew I would be interested in their Big Mistake cassette as soon as I found out that it features Liz Burrito, who used to be in cool-as-fuck Austin band Dikes of Holland. This outfit is more stripped back and pop savvy, with doo-wop and borderline country elements creeping around the edges but no less punked out (especially as opener ‘Blow Yr Heart Out’ attests). To add more gravity to the situation is the presence of Ryan Sambol (of the Strange boys) on ‘Fadeaway’, whipping out the harmonica, and you have an exciting new offering on your hands. Favourite tracks of the moment – the aforementioned ‘Fadeaway’ and the galloping insanity of ‘Infeliz.’

We don’t tend to hear much about bands hailing from Winsford in Cheshire, but that has changed with Yellow Streak, the second EP from Simmer (out through Dog Knights Productions). Their comparisons to Nothing are warranted, especially as the 4-piece bonded over a shared love of Sunny Day Real Estate and Fugazi, two seemingly disparate bands whose sonic proclivities nestle easily in the warm fuzz that Simmer creates. The pendulum between distorting feedback and sonorous wash continues to swing.

Let’s finish off in Melbourne with Love Migrate, a woozy dream pop act that is incongruous with the majority of their Flightless Records stablemates (which includes King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard and The Murlocs). They have just released new EP Shimmer Through The Night and it is an apt title, as the lush percolating tones and undulating melodies cocoons you, submerged in melancholy, reflection and emancipated renewal. It’s great. They launch the EP next Thursday May 28 at the Gasometer in Melbourne with Crepes and Sunbeam Sound Machine in support – not a bad one to head to I reckon.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

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