Wednesday 23 May 2012

Hits From The Box #50 - Half Century Blues

And they said it wouldn't last...but here we are, two and a third years into the bizniz and fifty Hits From The Box later. Lots have gone down since we thunk up this bloody thing over booze, drugs and a broiling broth of curry, but one thing is certain - music is everything. So before we start getting all misty-eyed, let's have at it, shall we? And let's get as eclectic as ever...

Remember that night that Hawkwind and Can made out and mutated babies and their progeny formed a band too? No? That's because it never happened. But if it had happened, said band would be Eyes. A Candle In The Crown Of The Dawn is a frenetic release, relentless with its rhythmic assault (seriously, the drummer doesn't quit!), 'Far & Away', the opening track, is a parallel ancient Greek soundtrack - with V shaped guitars and bongs! It rocks and is a hell of a lot of fun. The groove slows down, but the intent to snuggle inside the 70s stoner prog afterbirth remains. It's out now through excellent Portland label Field Hymns, grab it here. NB - this is actually TWO YEARS OLD! They have two other releases out, Ill aim to do a follow up shortly!)

EYES - Far & Away
EYES - Grey Moss

Coming from the same label stable, Susurrus is a Portland electronic noise outfit that offer some serious nose-exploding industrial drone. Starting off with two minutes of dead air, 'Mvt. 1' winds up the tension. It ebbs and flows, offering orchestral flourishes amongst the artificial squalls and screeches. 'Mvt.2' is just as synthetic, yet is creepier in a fashion, utilising the silences between musical stages and incorporating sounds like mobile phones and frog croaks. It's techno horror, yet somehow beautifully rendered, an incredibly interesting listen. Great headphone music - but not whilst walking alone at night...perfect 21st century horror soundtrack right here, something like The Signal or Pulse... Susurrus is out here.

Susurrus - Mvt.2

Offering a change of pace, the alluring Ariel Starling is a 20 year old Austinite (IE lives in Austin Texas). Starling claims to spend most of her time in the closet recording weirdly thoughtful pop songs about vultures and dead babies on cassette. Sounds fair to me. Her debut EP Black Dust is sparse, mostly Starling and her electric guitar, and is equal parts melancholic, introspective, yet on 'Armadillo' we see her rock side. Overall, a lovely introduction. Time to get out of the closet and onto the street.

Ariel Starling - Celeritas
Ariel Starling - Armadillo

Who wants some backwards music? Lucky that we have Edward Korft in the back pocket, then. The Brooklyn musician has created some excellent sinuous ambient grooves here. You can grab it, and his new track 'I've Got The Shit To Pull This Off', here.

Edward Korft - modnaromem
Edward Korft - enola

Funny/Not Funny Records have helped to put out No Jams, the second record for North Carolina band Naked Gods (and 1st on the label). It's jam-packed full of short guitar pop numbers that love their guitars and whimsical lyricism (listen to the excellent 'Shaq & Diane' for evidence - oh, the pun there, zing!). There is an element of White Denim in the schizophrenic nature of these tracks, which is a great thing. Grab No Jams here.

Naked Gods - Shaq & DianeNaked Gods - Soft Drugs

And because we can never have enough raucous punk rock from New Zealand, we will finish off this 50th HFTB with Raplh. The duo played in band FATANGRYMAN that I spoke about last year here, whilst Jessica went on to Kitsunegari and Ary was in Onesie. Both bands have unfortunately broken up, so they started Ralph together. It's similar discordant snotty grungey punk to their initial times shackled together in the dustbins of rock, a bit like current faves Fever Fever and Bitches, but with more rabies, which is more than fine with me. Hopefully we can hear more from them in the near future.

Ralph - Broley Westenra
Ralph - Reek

Happy Wednesday!

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