Sunday 9 January 2011

Sunday Hits From The Box #2

Ive rediscovered my love of coffee. Being broke and in a house of tea lovers has meant Ive shunned the caffeine to a great extent in the second half of the year gone by. But due to my trip into the Midlands with my girlfriend over Christmas, I have become reacquainted with coffee, and we've slipped straight into the old habit like it was only yesterday.

And so I found myself in a rather gregarious mood today as I sat down at the laptop to sift through the messages and such in out now cluttered inbox. Im not sure there is any real connection, but Im using it, as I have found myself toe-tapping to these bands as I slurp my brown stuff, fiddle with my written musings and contemplate my lint filled navel. Coffee soothed the savage beast, you might say...

First up are a couple of offerings from Bad Panda Records. Johnny Hawaii is a purveyor of woozy dreamy psych beach pop - from Marseille. Yep. His EP Smurf's Up (on Microphone Records) is a nice 4 tracks of being stranded on a tropical island, having eaten the shiny berries and having the trip of a lifetime. Enough to make you warm inside - its a top little release, get it here.

The T27 is the number of the train that travels from Beijing to Lhasa. Its a long trip, some 48 hours, and artist Nic Bommarito where he had no place to sleep so by the end he would drift in and out. His track, also named 'T27', is a bit like that train ride: a bit too long, sometimes noisy, sometimes boring, but a pleasant experience overall. And listing influences such as Godspeed, Do Make Say Think and The Album Leaf, you get a fair idea of what is in store with this 18 minute epic.

I would have liked to thrown this up around Christmas time (or even for the Friday Cover Up)! Bad For Lazarus, the five mad fuckers who make up the band, are UK bred and raised, having honed their skills in bands such as The 80s Matchbox B-Line Disaster, UNKLE and Nine Inch Nails, have shared the stage with Liars, Kong and Chickenhawk, and now are launching into a heady heavy mess of garage pop devillery. Their 2 track Christmas launch Good For Jesus...Bad For Lazarus features a Beavis and Butthead style headbanger of a 'Time Of My Life' rendition, but its their polished shambolic waltz through 'Minnie The Moocher' that impresses...

Now we have some indie rock, the likes of which havent graced our pages much in the past year. Maybe the caffeine is having a mellowing effect, rather than giving me the speed-like edge others crave. Still, Phoenix, Arizona's The Whisperlights offer up an interesting mishmash of styles, at times evoking Mumford and Son doing The Walkmen, at others coming across as an amplified Andrew Bird. Their self released EP Wake Up Dead isnt the usual kind thing that grabs me, but there is a lot to admire here, such as the two tracks below (one is instrumental, surprise surprise!). You can get the EP here.

On the other hand we have Florida's Walking Catfish, who wear their influences firmly on their sleeve. And when one of your influences is Jeff Mangum AKA Neutral Milk Hotel, there's no complaining from this end - even naming a track in his honour on upcoming LP Optimist Club, available here. There is a touch of a more esoteric, lackadaisical Yo La Tengo too on tracks such as 'He Looked Up', whilst Jonathan Richman is all over 'Day In The Fog'. Its a nice album, and if you are into any of their music sakes, you'll enjoy Optimist Club.

Happy Sunday!


  1. Anonymous9/1/11 19:52

    Johnny Hawaii // Walking Catfish ... You just made my day! maybe 2011 won't be so bad. I'm Blippin' these - hope u don't mind.

  2. You can download Optimist Club for free here! - Shayne (from Walking Catfish)