Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Hits From The Box #107 - Sciatic Celebrations

Back from holiday for a day - and I stir up my Sciatic nerve. So I am stuck in this chair, at this laptop. Makes sense that I get on with more Hits From The Box, then!

Still floating high on the Spanish seaside break, I thought I would start off with Beach Beach (so good they named it twice), a Barcelona guitar pop band who brought out an album earlier this year called The Sea - the theme threads are endless... There is a nice segue between the warped sensibilities of Jonathan Richman and Mac DeMarco with Real Estate doing David Byrne as a foundation in these tracks, which makes them shimmering slivers of pop genius, embedded eternally into your headspace. It may be overcast in London (what's new?), but it's always summer in my ears when Beach Beach strike up.

To something louder but just as great is Atlantis, the new album from Israeli shoegazers Soda Fabric. The four-piece manage to make the wall of distorted squall anthemic and euphoric, especially as 'Bitter Moon' attests - and fun, as 'Teenage Illusion' squeals out into the freakzone towards the end. Alongside Vaadat Charigim, Soda Fabric shows that there is some truly tectonic noises coming out of Tel Aviv (even if they are now based in Berlin). Really awesome stuff.

London trio Abjects are three rocking, bruising girls who know how to have a good time. I managed to catch the last two songs of their Flashback gig for Record Store Day this year and they blew me away. A hell of a lot of fun, straight up. Their EP Gone, out through Stolen Body Records, is good - it is pretty great punk rock in leathers and grime, pounding in and out of time - but it doesn't do their live show justice. They are about to record new things, and in the meantime are likely to be playing a London gig near you soon, so keep your eyes/ears peeled.

Heading to Sydney now we have three-piece Sleepy who are just on the cusp of launching their self-titled EP. It's four tracks of gauzy, punchy indie rock, scuzzed out and poppy as all get out - the opposites holding a nice equilibrium. While Cooky from Yes I'm Leaving gets behind the drums here, this is not in the same guttural terrain - there is a lot more fuzzed-out hope here. Sure, this won't get played heaps on the radio - but it would have ten, fifteen years ago. And that's how I know that Sleepy works for me (plus the band self-reference Teenage Fanclub in a self-deprecating way, so I'm all in). If you are in Sydney Saturday August 22, head along to their launch at Brighton Up Bar - it promises to be special.

Now for something to tear the membrane from your brain. The apocryphal drone inherent in Atlanta psych mavens Warm Deltas' latest track 'All U Need' is miles away from the hallucinogenic beats and oscillating high of 'Slow Rays Pt 1'. The amazing/terrifying thing? These two tracks are back-to-back on the band's upcoming release, Burning Paisley - a title that gives a fair indication of what to expect from these psych rock dismantlists. It comes out at the end of the month through Grabbing Clouds Records - very interested in hearing the rest of this for sure.

And finally (in more ways than one) we have Wildhoney. I actually started writing about these guys last year due to a 7" they put out, but it somehow fell by the wayside. Come to 2015 and the Baltimore band have a full length release in the shape of Sleep Through It, and it's some stunning shoegaze pop. What makes Wildhoney such an enamouring proposition is that the pop is more important than the shoegaze - its the sonorous noise that complements the melodies and Lauren's vocals, not the other way around. And they also know their way around a might fine hook too. Sorry it's taken a year guys, but goodness shines through in the end...

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

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