Saturday 31 March 2012

OK Smartie, Go To An Earthquake Party!

These kids are just crazy enough to make this Young MC reference legit. Those fine folks who brought us Young Mammals, Sippy Cup Everything, also pushed this Boston collective my way. Earthquake Party's brand of garage silliness has snagged them opening slots for Times New Viking, Surfer Blood, and Handsome Furs thus far, but just got a van and will be touring Stateside in 2012. Their first ever release is called vs. Pizza. Earthquake Party vs Pizza, geddit? OOOOOOOOO yeah!

This little blurb sums them up pretty nicely (plus I have a hangover from the Undead Apes show last night...)

“Since forming over an affinity for the Vaselines’ quick sonic attack, the Allston trio has evolved into pure donotgiveafuck-ness, armed with noisy indie-pop songs that clock in around two minutes, coating explosive pop hookage with fuzzed-out post-grunge sonic riffage and releasing unbridled punk energy on stage.”

Earthquake Party - Pretty Little Hand

Friday 30 March 2012

Prefab Messiahs Of Then Or Now?

I have focused on bands with iconic sounds (Lee Ranaldo, OFF!) or who ape them (Zulu). Im not sure what these guys The Prefab Messiahs fall into. They were a Massachusetts band that were kicking about in the early 1980s, hopped up on crazy juice and infusing post-punk, left-field garage/psych/pop, and general art damage with heady bumps of WTF. They have released an archival record of sorts this month called Peace, Love & Alienation (out on Gary War's Fixed Identity label - Kris from PM has been one of War's live band members), which coincides with an interview the band did on WFMU's Beware Of The Blog - check it out here.

How to describe Peace, Love & Alienation? Well it isn't too far from the twisted and frenetic mind of John Dwyer (Thee Oh Sees) actually. Tinny atmospherics add credence to the psychobohemia present in tracks such as 'Beyond All That' and 'The 16th Song', whilst their is some slacker humour in 'Cousin Artie' and 'Don't Go To The Party'. It's pretty much what we are hearing now then, yet 30 years in the past.

Grab Peace Love & Alienation here.

Prefab Messiahs - Desperately Happy
Prefab Messiahs - The 16th Song

Zulus Will Break Your Face - That Is Their Way

The playing field for discordant, disaffected post-punk raconteurs has certainly got crowded of late. We have been advocates of Copenhagen teens Iceage in the past, and others such as Total Control and Rank/Xerox have brought out stellar albums recently. Now add Londoners Zulu to the mix, whose fifteen minute annihilation of a cassette Way Of The Zulu raced out the Stroll On Records doors. That's what you get for tapping the vein of a zeitgeist and only making 100 tapes, I guess. It isn't as immediate or revolutionary as its contemporaries' offerings, yet hopefully there is enough going round to get some re-release thing up and running, because there are some killer tunes amongst these 9 songs. The Clash references thrown in their direction are not just because of the quintet's looks either, especially on 'We're Watching You'. it has been lambasted by some as losing some impetus due to its lack of variety - but this is fucking punk, people! Plus at under twenty minutes, its a heady non-stop session of eating glass. When your opening track is called 'Annoying Song' and begins with a lament that the band members themselves are "a bunch of pricks", and it sounds like he actually means it, you know that this is true DIY punk. Circa 79 too - this is more nostalgic than the other cream of the crop, and it works in Zulu's favour.

You can stream Way Of The Zulu below - we'll wait with bated breath to see if Stroll On push more of these onto the salivating public, or someone else picks up the slack. Either way, this is an exciting introduction.

Zulu - Sistine Chapel
Zulu - Annoying Song
Zulu - Bloody & Rare

Don't Worry, The Future Is In Safe Hands

Lee Ranaldo has copped it a bit. A lot of people either spit questions about Sonic Youth bandmates and indie icons Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon and their heart-wrenching breakup, or slag off his latest, Between The Times And The Tides (out on Matador), dismissing it as a faux pas that wallows in past glories rather than shirking his band's blueprint for something more of the individual. Seriously, Ranaldo is probably the most prolific of all the SY clan, having put out or collaborated on almost one hundred releases in his studied career (which includes Glenn Branca, of which there would BE no Sonic Youth). Yes, Demolished Thoughts for Moore was a true departure, but in my opinion it isn't as brilliant as people tend to espouse. Personally I think Between The Times And The Tides is the perfect antidote for those mourning the imminent demise of one of the world's greatest ever bands, showing that in Ranaldo they have a true evergreen. 'Off The Wall' and 'Angles' may offer some quirky yet centred MOR rock that seems a little over-mellow, but in tracks like 'Waiting For A Dream' and 'Xtina As I Knew Her', Ranaldo showcases his roots, his influences and his future, all in one fell swoop. Plus, I guarantee this has more legs than most people can admit. Give it a shot - it's better than all right - it makes everything all right.

The ship hasn't sunk - it's merely evolved.

Lee Ranaldo - Off The Wall
Lee Ranaldo - Xtina As I Knew Her


OFF! certainly killed when they came to Aussie shores December last year, even if their entire setlist had to be played twice so that they could play a decent running time. Their songs are pretty killer though - coming from the ashes of Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Redd Kross, Hot Snakes, Rocket From The Crypt and Burning Brides, it's not really a surprise. Their self-titled album comes out in May on Vice Records, and the song below is the first taste. So far, so awesome. Also, it is meant to be 16 songs in 16 minutes. Breakneck then. Looks like they'll still need a few covers to break that half hour playing time then...

Pre-order the album (and get it in white) here. (NOTE: since publishing this the vinyl has sold out - 1500 out the door like that! More will be on call soon, in black though, but stay tuned).

OFF! - King Kong Brigade

Thursday 29 March 2012

Managing To Dredge Up Old Ghosts At Night

Night Manager are great. No denying that fact. But it pains me to think I missed this boat! Big Love Records put out this juicy 7" before the turn of the year, so it's "OLD", but as always these guys smash it out of the park. No need to reinvent the wheel when your wheel is better than everyone else's. Now, where is this LP, hmmm?

Buy Ghost here and fall in scuzzy love. God knows we need it this seedy Thursday eve...

The Best Place Is Only The Coast...

I need this, alright? I need to get outta the funk of a prick of a day. Coolrunnings started the trend, now the new Best Coast will get me over the line. Guilty pleasures are often the best. So...there.

Best Coast - The Only Place

Coolrunnings Is Only The Beginning

Knoxville Tennessee aren't likely to be enamoured with some of their progeny - let's face it, who is? - but I'm sure they have given Coolrunnings the keys to the city. If they haven't, I call shenanigans! The 4 piece have put out a glut of recordings, such as self releasing two EPs Babes Forever and Buffalo on their own label Dracula Horse and a 7", Fool Moon, on Too Pure. The latest purge from these dudes is Dracula Is Only The Beginning (Type Records), an LP that seriously slides all over the FM dial. It may not surprise you that one of the members is an ex-member of Royal Bangs; it may surprise you that this album, with an emphasis on new wave, psychedelia, afro beat and synth pop, actually makes perfect sense. There are moments that I thought this may have been a mixtape. In fact, when put into Windows Media Player (yes, I still use that thing, leave me alone OK?) a bunch of different band names and album covers spring out at me. There is a little Animal Collective and Akron/Family in opener 'Chorus', then the Elvis aping, doo wop debauchery of 'Behold The Cunt' (yes, that is the title) throws everything on its arse. And so it goes. Such a mess should be exactly that, but instead Dracula Is Only The Beginning doesn't lie - Coolrunnings are only getting started on getting your collective lards up and dancing. Rock the casbah, you bloodsucking fiends!

Dracula Is Only The Beginning can be got at here - please do. This review, in retrospect, doesn't do this quirky gem justice. Buy the vinyl, there are only 100. Go on, DO IT! Or not - Ill beat you to it...

Coolrunnings - Chorus
Coolrunnings - Behold The Cunt

Happyfest Playlist

I haven't spoken much about Brisbane community radio station 4ZZZ other than in passing, but suffice to say it is the only way to hear decent music on this side of the world on the radio (of course you could stream WFMU, but I like my wireless). Anyway, they have a mega old transmitter of death, it's on its last legs, and the station has been raising funds (aiming for around $30 000) to replace it. Good news is they have almost done it. Better news, you can help get em over the line by going to a cool boutique festival they are putting on this Saturday, at the last show at the sadly defunct(ing) Woodland. The festival's called Happyfest, and the lineup is pretty radtacular. As far as outside bands go we have Lost Animal (Melb), Kirin J Callinan (Syd) and Ghastly Spats (Syd), with the local contingent led by Blank Realm, Feathers, Dreamtime, Martyr Privates, Nite Fields, Per Purpose, Cannon, Outerwaves, The M-Humm...Jesus tittyfucking! For a palty $20 you can be there, have the time of your life, see off Woodland in style, and help save your local musical taskmasters. Win-win, kids. And if THAT doesn't win you over, check out this lil playlist. See you there punks.

Blank Realm - Full Moon Door
Feathers - Wild Horse Mountain
Dreamtime - Robe
Nite Fields - Come Down

Sigur Ros Drop Another Gem Of Brilliance

I don't often post what everyone else is probably posting, but I had to put this up. One of my all-time favourite bands is Icelandic moodsters Sigur Ros, and their music has so many indelible notches along my historical spine (many of them quite emotional) that to say they shaped a heft sum of my musical parts would be an understatement. So amazing news then that they have a new album, Valtari, coming out in May. I'm pretty sure it isn't named after Alias "alumni" Michael Vartan - they have different names after all - but imagine if it was, right? is their typically evocative single from it, 'Ekki Mukk'. I'm a big fan. Even bigger when sitting on the balcony at night, headphones strapped on, a red wine in one hand and a spliff in the other. Just try not to get all epiphanous then...

Wednesday 28 March 2012

As If PS I Love You Wasn't Sentimental Enough - How About The Dishes?

If you missed how much I dug Ontario's favourite dishevelled noise popsters PS I Love You's debut LP Meet Me At The Muster Station last year, A) you were under a rock of Ayers Rock/Uluru stature, and (B) I dug it massively (don't believe me? Check it here and here). It had all the things I love to listen to when I want to part-A. I really wish these guys had existed in 1999...

Good news punters, as the duo have wasted no time in getting a sophomore releases up and ready. Death Dreams is its name (also out through Paper Bag Records),and below are the first two cuts from it. It's still wall-of-noise crazy in a small, compact parcel - like a deep-fried barbiturate - but somewhat darker in tone. Apparently one of the due Paul Saulnier started having recurring dreams about his mortality whilst touring. Talk about a bummer, dude! Well, Ill be honest - these two tracks aren't as immediate as some were on Muster..., but then again they aren't meant to be. Im actually still as excited to hear how this album turns out as I was before hearing these tracks - and that is always a good thing.

Cheer up dudes!

PS I Love You - Sentimental Dishes
PS I Love You - Princess Towers

Footloose Bitches Be Rabid

Exciting times. Sick puppies Bitches have released an EP called Buster, about a dog called Buster. For realz. Through Gravy Records, Buster plugs five songs up the Kyber Pass with enough sleazy backhanded zeal that you feel offended, endeared and filled with lust, all at once. Arrogance only get you so far though. This duo are as fun as they are sleazy, which is the best combination in anyone's language. They even get batshit crazy band Foot Village involved in one of their breakneck rants - nice work. Plus, its about dogs instead of cats for once. Dogs are so much radder than cats.

Buy Buster here.

Bitches - Kill Birds, Eat Shit
Bitches - #Pray4Buster (ft. Foot Village)

Mailing Bombs, Paying Dues, Checking Eyes, Sipping Cups

This is the first of two posts about bands connected to the Sippy Cup Everything stable this week. Now, I don't know much about Young Mammals - I haven't even heard a single track off their 2010 debut LP Carrots - but this Landlady b/w Optometrist 7" they have out (through Bombs By Mail) is pretty sweet. The balance between intricate melody and noisy breakdowns is an incredibly difficult thing to master, yet this Houston four-piece are having an admirable shot at it. I love the amount of bands that are holding onto the mantra that pop aesthetics and convention can be shoehorned into a loud dynamic - let's hope that these kids stay more on the noise side...

Grab the 7" here.

Young Mammals - Landlady

Undead Apes' Mega Launch Of Death, This Friday!

Brisbane's finest purveyors snotty punk Undead Apes have had their second LP Killed By Deaf out for what seems like forever (it's only been a few months), but due to many reasons (chief amongst them, laziness) there has been no official launch. Sure, they killed January with four consecutive Thursdays at the Waiting Room, but that was for shits and giggles. The real deal comes on Friday night as they flood Fat Louie's (yes, they are still doing gigs! And dirty chicken wings!) with simian zombies. Also important are the supports, this time filled by SM faves Tiny Migrants, as well as Last Chaos and Shelby Cobra. And enough with the lame excuses (or flat out refusals, like the douches from last Friday's Sonic Masala show), cos this sucka be free, yo! Don't know why I'm speaking like this. Must be that this will be KILLER! So get there, for the love of your children (real, potential, illegitimate - just think of the children!)

Oh, and by Killed By Deaf here - it is loud and killer, so it speaks the truth. And all very quickly, so it's pretty painless death - quick and easy.

Undead Apes - Brain Drain
Undead Apes - Death Can Wait
Undead Apes - Stamp Out Thatcher

Monday 26 March 2012

Haunts And Circumstance

Despite the Tenzenmen Chinese rock three-way earlier today, Monday the 26th day of March 2012 will go down as a day that I wished I was in the hallucinogenic era of 1970s rustic America. And tonight I'm going to leave you with a band that straddles the then with the now. TS & the Past Haunts is an LA outfit whose raucous sprawler of a debut album Gone & Goner(out through No Sleep Records) is more in sync with the White Denims and Thee Oh Sees of the world, yet with the right amount of chunky riffage that evokes the Black Sabbaths of the world. It isn't an exemplary release, but is a bloody good one, with plenty of promise. And based on this album alone, if I resided in LA I'd be fucking off most plastic prostitutes posing as musical artists and getting down and sleazy with these guys.

TS & the Past Haunts - Circumstance
TS & the Past Haunts - East Jesus

Massuchusetts Dreaming

"All the leaves are brown (the leaves are brown)/And the Quilt is grey (and the Quilt is greeeeeeeEEEEEEEY!)"

I know that this came out last year, and my friend Si sent it over back then, but I have only gotten it now. The pastoral, shimmering psych that is steeped in boy/girl acid harmonies, Mamas/Papas regions that Massachusetts band Quilt proffers is something I didn't like at first (I think I was heavily intoxicated on The Men and Total Control at that stage), but this self titled LP on Mexican Summer is killing me today. It also has some of that Woodsman style of warped, languid psych, like a bubbling brook of crystal-clear LSD. These are actual songs, with actual singing too, so to take me into the astral tundra with my buffalo totem pole there is only one album I would take on my spiritual awakening...

Combining with Mount Carmel, it would appear that I would love to be in the late 60s/early 70s of America right about now. And incredibly fucking high. I really need to get out of the office...

This isn't a 2012 album, but who cares? Get Quilts right now. RIGHT. NOW. It's amazing.

Quilt - Penobska Oakwalk
Quilt - Cowboys In The Void
Quilt - Milo

A Chinese Tenzenmen Triptych

After the amazing news that Auckland noise magnets God Bows To Math are coming to Australia, courtesy of Tenzenmen Records, and seeing that Sonic Masala is putting the last show in Brisbane in April, it's fitting to start bringing into the SM fold some of the great artists that Shaun at Tenzenmen has under his belt. Ill ease you in with three of the best...

It should be stated that Tenzenmen really got started after an initiative with China, which has led to Shaun bringing to light a bunch of Chinese bands that outside that nation we were quite likely never going to hear. The following bands all fall under that umbrella, starting with Dear Eloise. The trio are a lo-fi bedroom dream pop band that delve in shoegaze noise on the side. What blows my mind is that they are exactly that - a bedroom band. They have never played alive performance. In some ways that's a shame, in others - right on. The two tracks below are from their concurrent 7"'s Castle and Song For Her that came out last year. Normally you have to hunt far and wide for this - because of Tenzenmen, I bought Castle last fortnight because it was sitting at one of my favourite local record stores. They also have an album out there that deserves to be hunted down - STAT.

Dear Eloise - Castle
Dear Eloise - Song For Her

A newer Tenzenmen release is this crazy good 7" from Fanzui Xiangfa, a hardcore punk band based in Beijing. The name translates into the more traditional hardcore name of Criminal Minds, hence me not tagging them as such. With three tracks on either side and it all clocking in at just over a sixth of an hour (that's ten minutes for those not mathematically inclined), this record is a hell of a lot of breakneck fun. Have at three of the tracks below - all in a five minute long single track, like a mega mix, yeah!

Fanzui Xiangfa - Garbage/Rip Off/Target Me

Thirdly and nowhere near finally we have Hedgehog a truly kick ass band. A killer guitar pop band with more than enough lashings of pop hooks (listen to 'Elf' and tell me this isn't the Shanghai Ratcat!), Hedgehog are starting to make a name for themselves. Four albums in six years means they certainly don't sit on their hands, and the best part is their consistency. My current fave of the four albums is Noise Hits World, hence the two tracks below, but listen to em all. DO IT! Hedgehog are amazeballs.

Hedgehog - Pumpkin
Hedgehog - Elf

Tenzenmen is an incredible label bringing the unlikeliest of bands to our attention, and he stocks records at at least one record store in your capital city, little Vegemites! Brisbane's port of call is Rockinghorse. There is a lot more to come from these guys...

Perms And No Trimming On Mount Carmel

Holy shit. I'm not sure I can pin down exactly why I love Ohio band Mount Carmel's new offering, Real Women, because in some weird way I should probably hate it. It is so deliberately steeped in 70s raucous blues rock nostalgia that will either be seen as brilliant homage or flagrant stealing. I really can't find a reason to budge from the former though. They nail it so well, yet the production is warm and fuzzy, there is enough of the modern (production that sounds like a cross between The Black Keys and Pontiak the most likely arbiter to this feeling) to anchor it in the here and now...yet, seriously, this is who should have played Stillwater in Almost Famous. And probably been The Black Crowes. At least if Mount Carmel frontman Chris Rickerhauser had married Kate Hudson, she would probably be making movies that don't produce an involuntary gag reflex. Or if they were War, they would have beaten the fuck out of Korn before they went anywhere near 'Low Rider'. Just sayin'.

Fuck I have a hard-on for Dazed & Confused right about now...

Grab Real Women here (weirdly put out by Siltbreeze. It doesn't fit. AT ALL. But then again, that's why I love those guys - they put out what they like). Seriously, who has a J? I'm ready to get baked.

Mount Carmel - Swaggs
Mount Carmel - Hear Me Now

Sunday 25 March 2012

Stuck In N4 In The Magic Towers

Just a quick nighttime zone-out post to end the weekend on. The lovely people over at NO=FI Recordings sent me this cassette of Magic Towers called N4. The blurb states that the Vittorio Veneto (Italy)duo "use synths, delays, tape echoes and space sounds in order to compose or improvise ambient and delayed atmospheres and trips. The project is based on the inner observation and the visual contemplation of the sound. The image of the Tower – connected on one hand with the journey, the passage and the transit, on the other with the static position – reflects the attitude of Magic Towers: an observer looking for the right observation point. Space ambients, rhythms from the deep, melodic inserts and an evil beat out: in contemplation of the immense Void." Fair dues - hell, it's some blissfully pneumatic ambient drone as far as I'm concerned. Listen to it below. You can order the cassette here - c'mon, you know you want to...

Get Lost In The Zoo On These Shjips

The great shows continue tonight, with SF psych legends Wooden Shjips sailing into The Zoo to deliver what will most likely be an incendiary tripped out performance. Ably supported by Secret Birds and Nite Fields, this is going to be one of the best shows of 2012, HANDS DOWN.

Wooden Shjips - Lazy Bones

Saturday 24 March 2012

Wedding's Over. Slowcoaches Are In.

OK, so the wedding is over, it's time to shirk expectations and inhibitions. And whilst we wait around for the bridal party to have their pretty piccies, and for the free liquor to flow, we hunker down beside the venue which looks like a fucking Jehovahs Witness kingdom hall, the bottle shop run is complete, and I offer up this gem from Leeds upstarts Slowcoaches. We're So Heavy backs up the promise this trio has shown these past 12 or so months, offering six tracks of scuzzy garage punk that shakes off any misgivings to be exactly what a scuzzy garage punk band should be - a shit tonne of fun. Suits and high heels be damned - it's time kick and flail in the mud people!

We're So Heavy is out through Tie Dye Tapes - get it now. And seriously guys, if I get married in the UK in the next 12 months, can you be my band?

Slowcoaches - We're So Heavy
Slowcoaches - 54

(NB - this is the first of anything that I have done via iPhone. Now, I did vow that I would never update statuses and such from an iPhone and such, and most of this article was ready to go before now. I just had to fill in the small particulars. And it's taken me 50 fucking minutes. So this will most likely be my last mobile post too - seriously, I haven't tweeted since October 2010! Enjoy it, spunks.)

The Wedding Present As A Wedding Present

So it's Saturday. I'm shattered after a mega rad of death Sonic Masala shindig last night. I have to travel for a couple hours to go to a wedding, and I don't have a gift. I think I'll just give them this. I know that I would want it. I would laugh at how funny I was, then play it for the entire reception. Fuck that - it would soundtrack the ceremony too. Not only that, but they are graced with my presence, whilst I drink their booze and steal the single ladies like the floozy I am. They should consider themselves blessed.

(It's fitting that the single from the new album is called 'You're Dead'. I'm pretty sure that the bride and groom have never heard of The Wedding Present. I guess we'll roll the dice and see how we go...)

The Wedding Present - You're Dead

Friday 23 March 2012

Taming The Pond

I did not get the fascination with Perth band Tame Impala back in 2010. I'm a psych fanatic, and I get that the members were pretty good at their instruments and all, and their album Innerspeaker did sound pretty sweet production wise, and they had some pretty rad videos. It was just that, for a psych band, they were pretty bland. Even - dare I say it - boring.

So when I heard that the barefoot bandit from Tame Impala "Paisley Adams" was getting it down with some Tame Impalas and some other dudes in another band, I didn't pay any mind. Then I heard 'Mystery', one of the tracks of Pond's 4th LP (that's right, 4th!) Beards, Wives, Denim - and I was transfixed. HERE is the edgy, gritty hook that I needed! HERE is the psychedelics that actually transports me to another world, not just a sunny dust laden field in Western Australia circa 1969!

To be fair, it could have all been a ruse - one track to get you in before they slap you in the face with eleven slabs of shit. No. The opener is all you need to hear to know that Pond are serious. And the barefoot bandit makes for one whirling dervish of a frontman. It sucks how these guys have been slaving away in anonymity just for a lesser act to rise from their shadow, but at least it means this will finally get the attention it deserves (like me!) Scrap the paisley pastoral histrionics of TI dude, stick to getting dirty in the Pond.

Beards, Wives, Denim is out through Modular.

Pond - Mystery
Pond - Fantastic Explosion Of Time

Video Vacuum - BRISBANE EXPLODES!!! (plus the best video ever in Spiritualized...)

Whilst it is with dismay that I am yet to take part in either Meredith or Golden Plains festivals, I still benefit when that crew get a line-up going. Every December and March respectively, the bands that wing their way to Australia for the festivals and slot in Brisbane sideshows to boot (except Roky Erickson...sight...). The upside is that you don't miss out, AND you get more intimate concert gigs. The downsize is that you have to pay through the teeth to see them all, which isn't possible anyway because bands invariably clash (hello Ariel Pink and Endless Boogie (although that was an easy choice to make, Endless Boogie being one of the raddest bands on the planet and all).

Tonight sees some craziness involved, yet only one international band is taking the spotlight. The fact that it is the brilliant Japanese genre-defying trio Boris, supported by the excellent Laura and "local" legends Nikko, breaks my heart. So if you are getting along, it should be fucking amazeballs (I saw them at the Islington Garage in London back in 2010 - they killed...) If they play this (which I certainly hope they do), I will shit myself from pleasure. And I won't even be there. I just know this song from osmosis. If you can smell me, it can only be a good thing...

One of the most underrated Melbourne bands doing the do at the moment is Dead Farmers. They just released a killer 7", and are making a rare appearance in the Sunshine State supported by Per Purpose and Sewers (thanks Bedroom Suck!). I'm very bummed to be missing this show too - plus it'll be one of the last gigs to play the sadly closing Woodland venue (goodbye $5 Tooheys schooners!). So here is the video for their latest single, you lucky devils!

Now whilst they are further down the bill at the Alhambra Lounge tonight (supporting the effervescent Velociraptor, with the irascible Tiny Migrants also in support), I haven't played this ace vid of Tape/Off's 'Hell Comes To Frogtown.' Great name, great song, tripped out visuals. I'm there (in spirit...and in boozy reverence later!)

So where will I be tonight? At the 5th Sonic Masala showcase, of corks! Where you all should be too. We have Fred Savage Beasts (a side project for the aforementioned Tape/Off's frontman), Motherfucking Morgan Freeman and Crass Creatures ready to tear your ears off and feed them to you through sweaty desperation (true story - I've had them locked up in cages with nothing but a bowl of stagnant water and their instruments as sustenance). Franco Cozzo heads that bill, and the Melbourne duo (SM's first interstate guests) are intent to bludgeon your torso with brutal notes until you dance like a loon and holler like a banshee. Have listen of a track they played at the Workers' Club last year for verifiable proof that tonight will bring about world peace.

I should end here. But then I NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED y'all to watch and listen to Spiritualized's new song/video, 'Hey Jane'. i think it is possibly the best video EVER. For real. Comments welcome. In fact, this video may feature in another post next week, because outside the wedding I'm going to and the writing I'm required to pump out so that I can get the bread in order to live, that is all I'll be taking notice of. It's fucking incredible. My gift to you (only if you give up a tenner and come to my show).

Spiritualized 'Hey Jane' from Somesuch & Co. on Vimeo.


Thursday 22 March 2012

Small Fires Started By Juffage

A while back I wrote about Juffage the one man project of Leeds multi-instrumentalist Jeff T Smith (check it all out here. His album Semicircles was pretty ace. Well he released an EP recently that is just as worthy. Small Fires continues down the same path as last year's album, but with some sweet experimental remixes (including a viola reimagining!) Its worth checking out, plus he is a rad guy. If you are in Leeds, or see him floating about Europe, pop in - his sonic soundscapes defy belief. And while you're at it, get Semicircles here!

Night Fruit Ain't No Dark Horse

Boston band Night Fruit have just released their debut 7" Dark Horse, and frankly I'm a pretty damn big fan, especially of the title track and 'Paper Thin', which is available below. Lead singer Amanda Dellevigne has quite a distinctive voice, and the fluid musical dynamics that underpin these songs are deceptive in their electric hooks. As if having an ace lil release isn't enough, these kids have garnered starting guernseys for the likes of Marnie Stern, No Joy, Joan Of Arc and The Depreciation Guild. It's golden.

Grab Dark Horse here.

Night Fruit - Paper Thin

Hits From The Box #47 - Koala Maximus

Welcome children. Its been a fortnight or so since our last Hits From The Box. Ive had familial visits from over the seas, which involved travelling to Fraser Island, Rainbow Beach, and many drinking locales of Brisbane. My sister's husband had never been to Australia before either, so after showing him the night wildlife of West End (drunken smackies bitch slapping each other, crying and throwing their shirts off in the middle of Boundary Street), I thought we'd hit Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. Saw some cool shit there, something that makes you go, "Yeah, Australia has a lot of things that can kill you. But they are pretty rad little dudes." By the end of the day I wanted a pet Kelpie, platypus and koala. And a shower - animals stink.

The first band today actually isn't all that small, as their debut eponymous LP has been making a fair few waves. London trio Internet Forever were meant to release this in February but due to issues with the vinyl pressing plant (isn't this always the way?), their label Tape Alarm Records has had to stretch out the release date to April 2. That gives you a little more time to get excited about the band's scuzzy indie pop that is equal part sunshine and malaise, sugar rush and alcoholic buzz. There are ups, there are downs, and then there are the occasional hokey interludes. Don't let that dissuade you from check em out though, as Internet Forever is pretty tasty.

Internet Forever - Break Bones
Internet Forever - Pages Of Books

Keeping bands in the Mother Country, we head over to the new EP by Nitzam, a Brighton act that aim to create the woozy rock psychedelia of the 70s that doesn't walk down the dark road of the Black Angels crowd, something that at times is a little too languid, but on 'The War' in particular they fucking nail it. You can get the EP from here. Good stuff.

Nitzam - Sympathy
Nitzam - The War

I can't keep out of the UK! Brother-sister duo Hysterical Injury hail from Wales yet base themselves in the Bristol/Bath region of England. They brought out their Dead Wolf Situation LP (on Crystal Fuzz Records) back in February. It gives me a flutter because it reminds me of when I used to totally dig Veruca Salt and other college rock slash riot grrl acts of the 90s back in high school. There are darker edges, and some slower minimal tracks here (such as the quite grand 'Into The Cabin'), yet they appear most comfortable when wallowing in sex, rebellion and claustrophobia. They have supported the likes of Action Beat, Lightning Bolt, Screaming Females and That Fucking Tank, all acts that are dear to my heart and sexual to my earholes... We are heading in the same direction it seems, Gardiner siblings...

Hysterical Injury - Cycle One
Hysterical Injury - Into The Cabin

Now we are fleeing the British Isles for Israel's Volcania Dread. I have to admit that I do not like the opening track 'Take Your Time' from their Blitz Mix EP. Yet the last two tracks, 'Scraping' and 'Give And GiveUp', are an interesting merge of The Strokes/Phoenix like sunny hysteria as done by John Dwyer of Thee Oh Sees if he was in a cutting shapes kinda mood. The trio (GAL - position: vocals/using: shure 59/substance: vodka; ITAY - position: drums/using: ludwig supraphonic/substance: ritalin; AMIT - position: guitars/using: 52 tele/substance: ganja) are a lot of fun indeed.

Volcania Dread - Scraping

Weirdly, we are straddling the US and the UK for this one. Newish London-based independent label Wee Pop have put out their first artist release, a band from Brooklyn called The Hairs, who ply eloquent yet quirky guitar pop as their trade. The Hairs make good hearted music, but with an edge - their PR says it all that it's like "dropping your ice cream cone and still eating it." Their 7" is limited to 300 copies, but it is red vinyl, and pretty tasty to boot.

The Hairs - I've Been Working Out

In the past I have loved everything that French label Bookmaker Records has put out (see here and here for some goddamn awesomeness), and their next release is no different. Good Morning, Africa is their first 12" release, and it features the multiple talents of Michael James Tapscott (lead singer of Odawas). It is 35 minutes of folk ballads, hazy drones and new age / ambient meditations, with Tapscott getting some help out in the field with ambient recorder Andrew Kenower. Worthy picking up this one...

Michael James Tapscott - Who'll Stop The Rain


I Found A Lightning Bolt In My Head

This has been floating around for the best part of a month now, but seeing as their show in London a couple years ago goes down as one of my all-time favourites, it'd be remiss of me not to let you know about the new Lightning Bolt tune. It's a 20+ minute madness mantra recorded directly to tape as is, and whilst Chippendale's amazing drum skills are as ever on display, it's the diseased swirling bass work from Brian Gibson that holds sway here. Seriously, how the fuck is that NOT a guitar? The man's a genius (yeah, fuck you Les Claypool). It is actually a nausea inducing piece, which is a success in every way. Just like waking up after a night out with a ring in your ear, I guess...

Apparently the first of a list of songs that the band come up with at practice, you can do the right thing and actually buy the thing here. Follow the Bandcamp religiously - when the next one comes, you can be the first in line to get you face melted onto your perineum.

Lightning Bolt - I Found A Ring In My Ear

Cheerleaders Just Do What They Want

I was in need for some light breezy guitar pop with some washes of guitar and some whistling this morning, and goddamn if this little gem from Cheerleader didn't fit the bill! it is from their eponymous 7" out through Turntable Kitchen (the A-side, 'New Daze', we featured ages ago here). That's all!

Wednesday 21 March 2012

Bloody Knives Get Bloodier

I was really impressed with Austin's industrial shoegaze trio Bloody Knives and their debut release back in 2010. A heady mixture of HEALTH and A Place To Bury Strangers, the tracks on Burn It All Down were relentless and loud - very loud. (check it out here if you missed out - silly.)

Well, I missed their Disappear EP from May last year (silly), but grabbed their Blood release recently. These punkish rogues have taken their aesthetic and twisted the dials to breaking point. It can be quite busy, and the noise can fight the actual melody of the song, but it's true that this trio are insistent on branding their music onto your soul. By the end of this listen, you'll be glad to oblige.

Bloody Knives - Blood
Bloody Knives - Death Blessing