Thursday, 13 August 2015

Hits From The Box #108 - Grimoire Weather

Another London day, another dose of grim overcast weather. I was going to go to the Ben Rivers installations over at the old BBC building - and I know the majority of it is inside - but I can't be bothered to leave the house. It's only 8:49am, but fuck it, I'm fixing myself a wine and getting stuck into another Hits From The Box...sounds like the only spell that'll do the trick today.

Media Jeweler have just signed to Fire Talk (Woodsman, Tjutjana) and are about to release their album $99 R/T Hawaii through them next month (pre-order pink vinyl here). Their frenetic Don Caballero caterwauling is bloody infectious and a hell of a lot of fun. Such kinetic twitching can be infuriating, but here the clean-as-cut-glass guitar picking is bursting with wanton enthusiasm and mischief; the trumpet on 'Autopilot' could easily fit on more austere efforts here, but both lends an added degree of gravitas and gratuity to the proceedings. Sure, it holds a lot of the math rock trappings, but such is the strength of the musicianship and ingenuity of these guys that such bonds are immediately broken, fusing into their DNA rather than the other way around. Get on this ASAP.

Boston three-piece Glass Rifle are prepping to launch their self-titled debut next month on 100m Records (Soccer Mom, Relations), and first taste 'Paint The Walls' shows a frenetic maelstrom that is underpinned with a basic chorus that wouldn't be out of place being belted out by a pub crowd. It might have something to do with the vocals reminding me of Steve Kilbey (The Church) for some reason. Then there is a decided post-punk undercurrent here's all very interesting. Looking forward to hearing the album.

Let's head over to Japan now and The Piqnic, who are about to release ZyouK (through So I Buried Records) which could be one of the best shoegaze-related albums of 2015. Hailing from Shizuoka, the band have a distinctly darker take on the wall of guitar noise, offering velvety vocals as Gothic incantations and riffs like thunderous ritualistic chants, enveloping, hypnotising, corrupting. You can see elements of Japanese contemporaries in the mix - Boris-esque brutality, Mono-esque monolithic song construction - but the sensibilities here are some way removed from either of these touchstones. Cannot wait to hear this in October.

Let's keep the night-time with us, but go into the rockabilly rabbithole with Holy Motors, who are releasing their Heavy Flow EP (out now through Soft Power Records). Swinging from scabrous Jon Spencer to a cadaverous Roy Orbison to a witching hour Holly Golightly, the Glasgow trio are stalking the shrouded backroads of country in all its bastardised variants. Then when 'Valley of Decision' hits, it feels like a desert blues behemoth like Pontiak playing a Ween song. Devilishly fun.

Now this is an older addition, in that London duo The Moon Apes haven't really put anything out in a year, but as I'm doing the clean-out of the inbox I stumbled across their Plastic Preacher EP and haven't stopped listening to the title track since. It is bluesy, broken, brackish, brazen. When it speeds up, it energises; when it distorts, it explodes. An exciting song from a band I know next to nothing else about - watch this space.

Let's finish off today with Thud, a Hong Kong 5-piece whose ebullient shoegaze offers gossamer lilts and gargantuan tilts. They have taken a bit of notice from the fact that Yuck's Max Bloom mixed their Floret EP, but there aren't many correlations after that connection. The floating dreamscapes that Thud constructs are incongruous to their name - songs like 'She's A Loner' are gentle caresses, both melancholic and cathartic in their execution. This kind of dream pop will always be beautiful, and when it fills up a room it will stop the heart. Impressive.

Happy Thursday, everyone!

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