Tuesday 31 January 2012

Have A Lot Of Faith In Errors

We have a frontrunner for album of the year, folks.

I'm not going to say much about this, but Glaswegians Errors have managing to combine pop with synth ice, epic noise and soaring ideals to create an album that is eloquent, garish, flamboyant and subversive, all at once. Have Some Faith In Magic (out on Rock Action Records today!) is so different to last album Come Down With Me - which was pretty ace in itself - and so, so much better. I was apprehensive about the possible inclusion of vocals, but it works. Not traditional vocals of course (nothing here is ever conventional!!), but as another sonic instrument. This is a crazy awesome record. I implore you - buy it now!

Have Some Faith In Magic by Rock Action Records

Hinder The Shot That Curses Us All

I shared a little love for Denver band Hindershot's 'I Won't Change' video last year - check it out here. Im pretty excited about their upcoming release, second EP Curse Us All. Out through Hot Congress Records, the 4-track EP offers some dark indie guitar rock with a devilish twist, the incessant synth with a slightly cheeky swagger and twist in the tail that was indicative of last year's excellent single. Im hoping that this record will mean that a longer release is in the waters soon - these guys mean business.

Hindershot - Curse Us All

Curse Us All is out now. Check out the vid too - I would like to be on either end of that treatment...

VIDEO PREMIERE: "Curse Us All" by Hindershot from Hinder Shot on Vimeo.

Baldi Loses Sentiment, Cloudy Disposition

Many of the detractors of Dylan Baldi's latest output under his moniker Cloud Nothings, Attack On Memory, attest that he has flagrantly thrown out the old without any clear reference as to why, or at least without paying respect to the fans who had been enamoured with his glowing version of sugary pop rock. But the title itself heralds Cloud Nothings' album as a complete wiping of the slate - and how.

I loved much of Cloud Nothings' oeuvre, the insane ADHD infectiousness of it all, yet Attack On Memory is much more my cup of tea, and the fact it's a polar opposite to everything that has come before isn't the astonishing part - it's that it is so fucking good. Produced by Steve Albini you would expect it to be loud, bottom heavy and abrasive, yet it is the insidious way that Baldi and his cronies eschew their pop machinations for a far more sinister, stalking rhythm that surprises.

Attack On Memory is out on Carpark Records.

Cloud Nothings - No Sentiment

Friday 27 January 2012

Friday Cover Up - You'll Find Secret Kinky Colours On A Sunny Afternoon

Closing out this loooooooong week with a Kinks cover. I love the Kinks. My Kinks Greatest Hits CD got the shit played out of it back in the mid-2000s. Ray Davies, man...fuck! SM favourites Secret Colours have done a cover of 'Sunny Afternoon' which rounds out their EP3...er, EP (it came out on New Year's Day). They acquit themselves well, and have left me a very happy man this evening.

Secret Colours - Sunny Afternoon (The Kinks cover)

Here is another track from the Chicago psychedelics' latest EP for good measure. Go buy it (or any of their releases) here. Bonjour!

Secret Colours - Faust

Gross, But Not The Final Scene

This is the first of two Gross Relations-based posts that we will give you over the weekend. It wasn't long ago that the Brooklyn outfit brought out their Come Clean 12" (on Raven Sings The Blues Records), so its exciting to hear that their debut LP isn't fair away. In the meantime, quit biting your fingernails and lose your mind to the below single, it's a good 'un. You can also buy it in vinyl format here.

Gross Relations - Cut The Final Scene

Backwards Looking Forwards 2011 - Hired Muscle, Charalambides, OBNIIIs

I'm almost done with the albums that I should have posted about last year but didn't. These three releases are deserved of more attention, so I'm gonna give it to them.

Hired Muscle are yet another band outta Leeds whose discordant nihilism elicits migraines and orgasms simultaneously. These crazy cats splurge on some balls-out mania on the tracks on their The Last Minute LP. Paul extolled these guys' virtues to me a couple months ago, and the proof is in the pudding. Pavement meets Action Beat. Delish bom bish.

Hired Muscle - Evil Genius

Exile is the new record from Charalambides. It is the only thing I've heard from the prolific spiritual conquistadors, and that is saying something, as they have releases a plethora of aural excursions since forming in Houston back in 1991. Their sound wavers in and out of sonic parameters, but their chakras are always aligned, ensuring that you never stray far from the ethereal pathway that the band has crafted for you. Its still ambitious, being a double LP and all, but when Kranky Records agrees to put it out, you know that the wealth within is worth mining.

Charalambides - Before You Go

This final album is related to one from two days ago, Bad Sports' Kings Of The Weekend, as Orville Neeley also plays in OBN IIIs (named after himself), whose The One And Only LP is razor sharp and energetic with gritty swagger and lecherous intent slathered all over it. Its verve and tenacity electrifies every song, never repelling the listener with overt aggression or obnoxiousness. These tracks are made for delighted repeat listens. One can only imagine how stellar these guys could be in the live arena... Grab their record here.

OBNIIIs - No Enemies

Dropping Out From Radiation

This one has been played incessantly for months, and sitting around for me to post about it so long that another release has already come and gone also! So it is with Apache Dropout, whose self-titled LP made my top albums list for last year. The Indiana three-piece hit on angular garage punk with some mainlined psych fuzz and some Jagerbombs to boot - these guys are the gas. It really is a rip-roaring release, and 'Teenager' just plainly kills...

Apache Dropout - Teenager

Then along comes Radiation a three song taster that is just as good albeit much shorter in length. Put out through Mexican Summer, it heightens the psych motorik preamble, yet somehow remains coherent and concise. A lovely surprise of the smokiest order.

Apache Dropout - Radiation
Apache Dropout - School Girl

But they aren't slacking off. Trouble In Mind are releasing a 4-way split 7" that the band did with the excellent Mikal Cronin (another I missed out on posting about last year - his album is just as rad), The Paperhead and Liminanas for the upcoming Record Store Day. Keep up the mind-melting work, lads.

Thursday 26 January 2012

Some Aussie Day Flavour That Isn't Bloody Goyte

Happy Australia Day! I'm incredibly hungover after another successful Sonic Masala show, bur raring to do it all again! Before I do, though, here are some Aussie bands doing good that you wont find on the Australian yoof channel's top 100 shitfest.

Blank Realm are a band that are incessant in their breakneck rise into the centre of the sun. Unlike Icarus, this Brisbane quartet want to feel the molecule-rending heat, to feel themselves morph with a might much greater than their own. Such a brazen exploratory outlook is evident in their ever-evolving live shows, which can swing from skronky pop to languid psych to rampant rock to slacker malaise, at times within the one instrumental interlude. Negative Guestlist is hoping to extend such an exciting reputation by releasing the band's latest 7", which you can buy in physical form here. Listen to the track below and tell me how these guys aren't huge already. They are bringing out their next album, the follow-up to the great Deja What, later this year through Siltbreeze, so you never know, their time may come before the Mayans bring it all to an end...

Falling Down the Stairs by Blank Realm

Gold Coast duo Bleeding Knees Club are more likely to get a run on Triple J, seeing as their MO consists of thrashy-yet-addictive straight-cap surf rock. The boys (BOYS! Just look at 'em!) have stuck as close to the Wavves musical aesthetic as they possibly can, and it really clicks. Next month sees the arrival of their debut LP Nothing To Do, which should see them explode into some sepia-tinged hipster frenzy, but when the music is as addictive as this, fair dues.

Bleeding Knees Club - Teenage Girls

Chinese Burns may be flung across the state of Queensland, but when this trio get together the results are sweaty, salty and magic. They have just released their Calculator 7", and it is all kinds of awesome. Seeing them play live is a once in a blue moon event, and life-changing (maybe). Buy this record now, support these fuckers so that they give up their day jobs and treat us to more music - seriously good stuff.

Finally there is this album from Woollen Kits. The Melbourne act's debut is the first great Australian album of 2012. GET IT.

Woollen Kits - For You

Enjoy the festivities kids!

Wednesday 25 January 2012

Backwards Looking Forwards 2011 - Bad Sports, AIDS Wolf, Acid Baby Jesus

OK, so here are three more releases that I "discovered" over my two-month sabbatical that, whilst not anything overly groundbreaking, were a hell of a lot of fun.

Bad Sports, on their 2nd LP Kings Of The Weekend, have chiseled out some major disaffected pop rock that'll tear holes in the seat of your jeans. The Denton, Texas trio are made for summer benders with a sleazy bent. Dirtnap Records put out this fun-loving, fuzzy gem, and it reverently does what it says on the tin. I guess there are elements of Bare Wires about Bad Sports, albeit with more protopunk snarl, which makes me like these guys all the more.

Bad Sports - Can't Just Be Friends

Richie Follin's sister Madeline of Cults' fame will be here on Saturday as a part of the Laneway festival, so it would be remiss of me to mention Guards' Do It Again 7" that came out in December that I found quite delectable. Put out by White Iris, these tracks cement two facts - that Richie Follin knows how to pen a heck of a hook, and that they need to bring out their debut album STAT.

Guards - Do It Again

There was a stage when I seemed to be listening to a lot of Athens, Georgia acts back in 2010 - kickstarted probably by my love of Tunabunny - and it's more than possible that Acid Baby Jesus is going to bring that love full circle. Yet these clowns are from the "other" Athens - the one that proclaims to be the capital of Greece, the starting point (and possibly the endpoint - oh, political controversy!!) of civilisation as we know it. Their self-titled debut came out in October last year on Slovenly Recordings, and it sounds like another 2011 fave of mine, Human Eye, in its insistence of sounding like psych punk played by Ming The Merciless off Flash Gordon. Such space jams are morbid and strange, and oh so goddamn rad. This is a pretty killer album, and may have made the top 40 of 2011 if I'd heard it sooner. 2012 also has them firing up to join the biggest and best lineup yet for the Austin Psych Fest. Live long and prosper, you awesome weirdos.

Acid Baby Jesus - Tooth To Toe

Do Away With The Rain With Sonic Masala Tonight!

I may have laid dormant in terms of posts, but Sonic Masala has been movin and shakin in other realms, predominantly in the live arena. December's showcase featured a blistering set by high-concept grungers Sleepwalks, an intimate sojourn with Do The Robot, some cathartic meanderings courtesy of Nite Fields and some balls to the wall blues bust-ups from El Motel.

Matt & Sarah loved that show so much that Do The Robot will kick off proceedings once more at West End's The Waiting Room tonight in a pre-Australia Day knees-up. It's a holiday tomorrow, so why not start the celebrations early? Joining DoT are the glass-eating Bottlecock, the ambient tantrics of Anonymeye and the noir gleam of Keep On Dancin's. Once again it's all for a tenner, all for giving bands a chance to get paid for their efforts for once, and all really just an excuse to see bands I like whilst getting drunk for really cheap (it's BYO, doncha know?)

Fuck the rain. This party is where the shit goes DOWN.

Tuesday 24 January 2012

Pyramids Split The Throne On Horseback

This comes out today in physical form, a good harbinger of what's to come from the excellent Hydra Head Records stable. Whilst I'm familiar with the dark experimentalists Pyramids (whose self-titled debut release is also physically available here in clear, slate blue and black vinyl - yum!), Horseback are new to me. However the two bands are kindred spirits, with A Throne Without A King Pt. 2 being an hours of atmospheric dankness the likes of which strangely lights up my life. I love listening to this kind of music when the rains beat down on a sinister summer afternoon, when the sun is an eerie instagram-esque hue, and today is one of those days, so guess what I'm off to do? Check out the first two individual tracks below, but the true joy is the collaborative suite, which you need to purchase this release for. Worth every dirty penny.

Tough Love Is Being Pulled Apart By Horses...For Free

Some big news for Pulled Apart By Horses fans. Sophomore effort Tough Love is out today via Transgressive Records. Quick turnaround, seeing as their debut LP was released only last year, but many of the tracks floating about on that were pretty old. So this is very exciting indeed! But as ever the Leeds quartet like to throw in a curveball, and to celebrate the release of the album they are lending fans their new album via a unique facebook app: www.facebook.com/pulledapartbyhorses. Anyone visiting the band's page can borrow a stream of the album, which they can listen to for an unlimited amount of plays over the course of seven days. As even more of a thank you for their fans' awesome support, they can also receive an exclusive free download of V.E.N.O.M's b-side 'PWR'. More exclusive treats will be added to the app over the upcoming months. Direct access to the app here.
We don't do fully fledged reviews or articles here often - I leave that to my 2nd day job - but expect both in the upcoming weeks also. Times, they are a-changin...

If you are in the UK or are UK bound next month, PABH are destroying the following venues.

FEBRUARY 2012 live dates//
13 // GLASGOW, King Tuts
14 // ABERDEEN, Tunnels
15 // NEWCASTLE, Digital Other Rooms
16 // SHEFFIELD, Leadmill
17 // MANCHESTER, Club Academy
18 // BRISTOL, Fleece
20 // BIRMINGHAM, Library
21 // NORWICH, Waterfront
22 // SOUTHAMPTON, Talking Heads
23 // LONDON, Electric Ballroom

Saturday 21 January 2012

Taming The Regal Mantis (A Most Tenuous Title...)

There will be posts over the upcoming weeks where Ill be tying up loose ends AKA posting the posts from 2011 I wanted to do IN 2011. SO Ill jam a few releases together each post so that I feel better, you have more music to listen to, and 2012 doesn't go by the wayside. Yeah? Yeah.

The first triptych of releases that I wanted to show you are a bit different. Kicking off with Tammar who are carving their own warped path out of Indiana. Visits is their first LP (via Suicide Squeeze), and the self-professed "wobbly popsters" have crafted an interesting aural journey that feels like more of a prologue. More please.

Tammar - The Last Line

Then there is this 7" by Chicago duo Redgrave. It's a two track taster of things to come, and with Tim Rutili (Califone) lending some guitar back-up and David Yow (that guy from the Jesus Lizard) on art design duties, Redgrave are likely to make some serious waves in 2012. You can grab this delicious record through Lovitt Records here.

Redgrave - Mantis

Actually the connections of this post aren't so transparent, as Lovitt Records also put out 4-Song, the self explanatory 7" from Regents. The 4-sometimes-5 piece all hail from 90s hardcore bands, and whilst they have inevitably steered into other territory here, that intensity bleeds through. Even more exciting is the fact that they are tying up the final recordings for a full length due later this year. 4-Song can be gleaned here.

Regents - Cinder Machine

Sonic Masala's Best 40 Albums of 2011...One Month On

December of every year is the month of lists, where you get to see what people thought about the music of the past twelve months and either rant at said person's shit taste, laud your similarities, facepalm over forgotten gems, or scramble for something hitherto unheard of. But a list in January for the year before is more redundant than use by dates on a nymphomaniac's condom (sorry). Still, at first I thought that 2011 was a little low on the good music front, but after a sift there was some pretty killer moments. I'm sure things slipped through to the keeper, but here is a list of music-related guff that floated my boat in 2011 (my number one album? The clue is in the picture above...). No discussion - I've missed the boat on that - but will enter INTO discussion with any and all of you who leave a comment below. Feel free to berate as much as you want...


40. Natural Child - 1971
39. Active Child - You Are All I See
38. Religious Knives - Smokescreen
37. Barn Owl - Shadowland
36. Civil Civic - Rules
35. Snowman - Absence
34. Tim Hecker - Ravedeath 1972
33. Mikal Cronin - Mikal Cronin
32. Witch Hats - Pleasure Syndrome
31. JEFF The Brotherhood - We Are The Champions
30. Fucked Up - David Comes To Life
29. Black Lips - Arabia Mountain
28. Bon Iver - Bon Iver
27. No Anchor - Real Pain Supernova
26. Liturgy - Anaesthetica
25. Mountains - Air Museum
24. Plankton Wat -
23. The Skull Defekts -
22. Black Eagle Child - Lobelia
21. Crystal Stilts - In And Out Of Oblivion
20. Apache Dropout - Apache Dropout
19. Pure X - Ecstacy
18. Oneohtrix Point Never - Replica
17. Tune-Yards - w h o k i l l
16. Young Widows - In And Out Of Youth And Lightness
15. Nova Scotia - Nova Scotia
14. Wooden Shjips - West
13. Harmony - Harmony
12. Twerps - Twerps
11. Explosions In The Sky - Take Care Take Care Take Care
10. Disappears - Guider
9. Ty Segall - Goodbye Bread
8. Cola Freaks - Cola Freaks
7. EMA - Post Life Martyred Saints
6. Sex Church - Growing Over
5. Rank/Xerox - Rank/Xerox
4. Royal Headache - Royal Headache
3. The Men - Leave Home
2. Total Control - Henge Beat
1. Iceage - New Brigade

Honourable Mentions:
- Veronica Falls
- Times New Viking
- Dick Diver
- The Vietnam War
- White Denim
- Cat Cat
- Mr Dream
- Illness
- Human Eye


"Brooklyn", Happy People
"I Can Feel It", Ty Segall
"Let Me Back In", Explosions In The Sky
"White Rune"/"Collapse", Iceage
"Grey Ship", EMA
"No Surf", Wet Years
"Gatton Bohemia", No Anchor
"Around The Twist", Nova Scotia
"Down The Lane", Royal Headache
"Down At The Farm (live)", White Denim
"You Are All I See", Active Child
"The Other Shoe", Fucked Up
"Montana", Youth Lagoon
"Turn Into", Batrider
"Bad Feeling", Veronica Falls
"Bones", Male Bonding
"Backseat", Tape/Off
"Psychic Mesa", Total Slacker
"Shootinhead", The Whines
"Heartache", Harmony
"Safety Surf", Kid Chocolate
"Fucking Despair", Fat History Month
"Wild Horse Mountain", Feathers
"Pitiful", Extra Happy Ghost
"Truth", Alexander
"Ice Cream", Battles
"Small Streets", Brief Candles
"Modern Love", City Center
"Graveyard's Full", The Growlers


Crystal Stilts - Radiant Door
Happy People, Happy People
Puffy Areolas & Purling Hiss, Puffy Areolas/Purling Hiss
Tape/Off - ...And Sometimes Gladness
The Growlers & Thee Ludds - The Growlers/Thee Ludds
Assassins 88 - Kaneda
Surfer Blood - Tarot Classics
Black Gum - Black Gum
Cousin - And Other Relations
King Dude - My Beloved Ghost
Otro Mundo - Jellied
Part Chimp & TorchePart Chimp/Torche
Pontiak - Comecrudos
Thee Oh Sees & Total Control- Thee Oh Sees/Total Control
Ty Segall - Ty Rex
Weekend - Red


...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - The Hi Fi
Explosions In The Sky/Harmony - The Hi Fi
Fucked Up/DZ Deathrays - Alhambra Lounge, 09.12.11
The Drones/Mike Noga - The Hi Fi
Ty Segall - Woodland
Times New Viking/Cobwebbs - Woodland
Mono/No Anchor/Secret Birds - The Hi Fi
Gareth Liddiard - Spegieltent
Besnard Lakes/Nova Scotia - The Zoo
Black Mountain/ - The Zoo
Swervedriver - The Zoo
Skul Hazzards/Turnpike/No Anchor - The Step Inn
Batrider - Woodland
Nova Scotia/Tape-Off/Arbuckle - The Lofly Hangar
Sonic Masala shows - The Waiting Room


Mogwai (Splendour)
Warpaint (Laneway/Splendour)
Les Savy Fav (Laneway)
Portishead (Harvest)
Flaming Lips (Harvest
Holy Fuck (Laneway)
Pulp (Splendour)
The National (Harvest)
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (Harvest)
Mars Volta (Splendour)

Welcome to 2012!!!!!!

Friday 20 January 2012

These Tiny Spiders Have Bite

Tying off the first day back in the saddle we have Brisbane sludge pop duo Tiny Spiders. Consisting of Cam Smith (Ghost Notes, Mount/St Augustus, runs Incremental Records and West End venue The Waiting Room) and Innez Tulloch (Feathers, Pastel Blaze, co-runs Nowhere Records and West End venue The Waiting Room), Tiny Spiders are simple, yet complex. Simple, because they play scuzzy as fuck guitar and rickety drums. Complex, because they are inherently pop. Result? Some of the rustiest, dirtiest pop sounds you are ever likely to hear. Which is something I inherently love.

Tiny Spiders have just released new single 'Shoot The Rainbow Rays Out' which is their tastiest slice yet, and have put it on record with three live cuts in what then becomes the Shoot The Rainbow Rays Out EP. The three tracks were recorded when they supported other local behemoths No Anchor during their 7-day squat at The Waiting Room, and the recordings are as close you will get to being at that performance without a revamped Delorean. Its great stuff. Get the EP here.

The terrible twosome are also launching said EP at the Alhambra Lounge in the Valley tonight for a tenner, and have roped in some stellar names for support, including Happy New Year (also spreading the love for her recent split with Nite Fields, that you can read about and hear in the previous post!!), Go Violets and Tangle.

Tiny Spiders - Shoot The Rainbow Rays Out

Prince Rama & Sun Araw Touch Out In Woodland

US psych-pop bedfellows SUN ARAW and PRINCE RAMA head down under this Summer for Sugar Mountain Festival in January, but can't get enough of Aussie sultriness, so are hitting Woodland tonight! The bands join forces for a kaleidoscopic double whammy, bringing their dubby dance jams and transcendental melodies in their wake. Prince Rama's Trust Now and Sun Araw's Ancient Romans were two solid releases of 2011, so this promises to be one hell of a show. Supported by one of Brisbane's best bands of the moment, Blank Realm, along with Rites Wild from Adelaide, and all for $20-odd, get to this show - your life depends on it. Tix can be gleaned here.

Prince Rama - Summer Of Love
Sun Araw - Bump Up

Thursday 19 January 2012

Happy New Year With Some Happy New Year On The Nite Fields!!!


Sorry guys and gals, but Ive been hibernating for some time, no? I best get back on the horse and mainline some tunes into your psyche. Some new music fit for 2012 is warranted after such a long time away, right?

Here is the radtacular 7" split between Brisbane soulmates Happy New Year and Nite Fields (on Lost Race Records). Both groups share a moody avant-pop air, with Happy New Year leaning more towards pop territory, and Nite Fields having more of an ambient-punk vibe.

Brooklyn based and Brisbane born Eleanor Logan's music embodies the 'art of noise', with a pop base and focus on producing avant singles. Her songs blend DIY recordings of percussion, drones, and tech sounds with silky vocals to create pop music that's equally as explorative as it is addictive. Her contribution takes the bitter pain of love and loss and turns it sweet as sugar.

Happy New Year - High Sea

For Nite Fields, a SM fave who graced our Sonic Masala Presents showcase back in December, this split see the first release for this young moody group. Taking cues from electronic and shoegaze spheres, to post-punk, and weaving in some goth rock basslines, Nite Fields are forging a new explorative rock sound coming out of Brisbane sharehouses. Having been together for less than six months, Nite Fields are already establishing themselves as a force, not of nature nor of reason, but an innate neurological urge to enter a Lynchian coma en masse. Which actually sounds like a good thing, if the Mayans would have the apocalypse come our way this year...

Nite Fields - Come Down

Grab the 7" here - its sex on wax, and with only 150 copies available, they will fly out the door. Happy New Year kids!