Wednesday 19 September 2012

Pop In Some Strange Way

I had the pleasure of seeing Transistors play the Kiwi bash party pre-BigSound Live last night, and despite the short running time (15min or so) they killed it. If you managed to get tickets for tonight, they are playing at Ric's Cafe alongside Super Wild Horses and The Gooch Palms, and promise to be incredible. But this post isn't about Transistors, but another ace NZ band called Popstrangers, whose Happy Accidents EP back in 2010 I quite enjoyed (see here). It's been close to two years since I have heard anything new from these Auckland lads, but that doesn't mean they have been sitting idle. They have an album on its way that should smash up the beginnings of 2013 (as long as the Mayans don't blow up the world before then). Expect to hear a lot more in the lead up to this.

Popstrangers - In Some Ways

Tuesday 18 September 2012

Art Is Hard...And Free

It's been quiet here again, and there are many reasons but I wont go into it. Suffice to say I have shit tonnes of excellent gear coming your way very very soon. Like this!

Art Is Hard Records is turning 2, and to celebrate - they're giving away their entire back catalogue (12 releases and close to 100 songs) for free download! They have gone rug warehouse crazy! They aren't eccentric left wing billionaires however so it only lasts til midnight tonight (Tuesday 18th September). Head to their Bandcamp to grab it all! I have posted about most of it, and I've lost track of all the Bi-Weekly Singles they have put out but know they are ace, so get in there!

They also have a reworked logo (see above) and a new shirt out (see below).

And here is one of my favourite AIH-discovered bands with one of my favourite songs of theirs...

Throwing Up - Wasting Time


Wednesday 12 September 2012

Big Sound stuff

And so it begins...The 2012 Brisbane Big Sound conference and live showcase promises to be the biggest yet, and already is touted as the Southern Hemisphere's fledgling answer to SXSW. Big shoes to emulate, but there is credence in such claims. With the likes of Steve Earle and the like taking part in Q&As, panel discussions and masterclasses, it has the potential to be an industry icon - as far as that goes, I suppose. I for one can see why some people consider these kinds of things a bit of a wank, but it gets people interested in all facets of music, which can't be a bad thing.

But the most exciting thing about Big Sound is...the sound! Big Sound Live showcases 120 bands within a two block radius all playing over the next two nights. There are some amazing bands that are playing, some of which I have spoken about at length in previous posts (Violent Soho, Transistors, Kirin J Callinan, Velociraptor), but there is a huge list of great acts doing the rounds. Below is a "hitlist" of artists to try and check out. Have a listen, then if you are on the ground check out where/when they are playing here. Ill be around and about reviewing, taking snaps, and other things I won't dare to mention here. See you on the beach!

Straight Arrows

Super Wild Horses


King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard

Courtney Barnett


Drunk Mums

Go Violets

Geoffrey O'Connor

Jeremy Neale

Shady Lane

The DC3

The Gooch Palms

Tuesday 11 September 2012

Running For The Sea And Cake

The 20th anniversary gifts from Thrill Jockey keep on rolling out, with the news that Sam Prekop-led, John McEntire-drumming jazz-pop tour de force The Sea & Cake are bringing out a new album, their ninth, called Runner. I came to these guys through 2000's Oui, and I think they have stronger albums than this - yet Runner rivals them all. It's breezy, energetic, and adds resonance to the adage "a new lease on life", a band ever-willing to play with form.

Pre-order Runner here. Pre-order copies come in green vinyl - yes! I'm not sure if there are any left, so get in now!

UPDATE: Have at two tracks below before heading over to Drowned In Sound to hear a stream of the entire album!

Sea & Cake - Harps

Vale Hydra Head

Sometimes it's incredibly hard to wake up in the morning. At others you wish you hadn't. Today is the latter, because although I have so much work on, plus covering Big Sound Live tonight (more on that later), I felt pretty good about getting up early to have a long shower - until I cranked on the computer and found the following message from Aaron Turner, founder of Hydra Head Records.

"Hydra Head Records has never been a smooth-running operation. We've spent the majority of our existence excitedly scrambling from one thing to the next, taking on more than we could ever possibly hope to achieve, and never quite finding solid footing in the midst of our self-induced whirlwind of chaos. Though not every second of doing this label has been enjoyable, it has been a very rewarding and meaningful project for me, and I hope for many of the other lives to which it has been directly connected. The fact that it has lasted close to two decades at this point is astonishing, and much has changed during that time - the lives of those directly involved with running the label, the bands and artists we've worked with, and the nature of the music industry itself. Though many of these changes have been positive, or at least illuminating, the impact of our history and current industry circumstances are culminating into a slow and somewhat painful death for the label. It certainly isn't an entirely unforeseen event, but we didn't think it would come quite so abruptly, or (perhaps naively) ever.

The decision to pull the plug has not been an easy one, and in some ways is a not a choice at all. The simple fact of the matter is we've been running on empty for a while now and cannot afford to keep our doors open for much longer. Years of imbalance between creative ideals and financial realities, personal problems amongst the label operators, an unwillingness to compromise our aesthetic standards, a tendency towards releasing challenging (i.e. unmarketable) artists, and the steady decline of the music industry in general, are amongst the chief reasons for our inability to continue. It is a harsh but undeniable reality, and one which we are attempting to confront with as much integrity and grace as is afforded by the circumstances.

For the short term we will continue to operate as we have been, effecting our first step into shutdown this December, at which point we are cutting off new releases from the label. Thereafter, we will be remain operational only in the interest of maintaining our back catalog, with the ultimate aim of repaying our rather sizable debts. Grim though this prospect is, in the midst of it all I still feel an extreme gratitude for everything that has happened and for all the wonderful people with which we've been involved over the years. We've been lucky enough to work with some of the most unique and provocative artists of the last two decades, many of which have made indelible impressions in the underground, and by extension the larger world of music in general. We've also been fortunate to have had the support of a small but loyal following, who've constituted the very essence of our life force. We would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude and love to each and every person who contributed to making this label what it is - all the artists who entrusted us as the custodians of their work, all the people that bought or listened to our releases, and all the people who performed the various label duties at various offices (and houses) across the continent.

...and this brings us to the present moment, where in all honesty we are in need of financial assistance from anyone and everyone who's willing to throw us a rope. Though it is highly unlikely we'll be able to resuscitate the label, we do wish to follow through on the final round of releases to which we're committed and pay off our debts to our artists and manufacturers. In order to do this we are initiating a massive sell-off of everything we can dig up and produce for the next 6-12 months. This will include discounted bundles of CDs/LPs/posters/etc, represses of certain titles for which we still have parts, test pressings, and whatever worthwhile items we can pull together. For anyone that is able and willing to fund our funereal arrangements please visit our direct mailorder or webstore and pick up whatever you can. Any and all support is greatly appreciated by our remaining team, and will be put to the best use possible.

There is no way to sum up nearly 20 years of incredibly important music, experiences, and evolution other than to say a big heart felt "thank you", and that we hope this closing will provide an opening into other even more positive and rewarding experiences for all of us and all of you who have been a part of our shared experience. For now we bid you all a very fond farewell...."

The LA-based Hydra Head label have been a brilliant and influential label for many noise and metal acts, finding and/or housing and/or supporting the likes of Jesu, Boris, Melvins, Big Business, Harvey Milk, Envy, Isis, Pelican, Oxbow, Torche, Prurient, The Austerity Program, Helms Alee and Old Man Gloom, just to name a few. This is mighty sad news indeed. Over the next 6 to 12 months, as stated above, they will be selling off all their wares, so make sure you get in there, buy some of the best shit out there and support Aaron and co. They will be sorely missed.

Large Lepers Make Shit Music Colourful

Italian label Lepers released two albums from one of their founding artists, Alexander de Large, and they are a collective showcase of his eclectic, almost nihilistic take on the acoustic singer/songwriter tag. You will see elements of GG Allin, Dan Melchior and (closer to home) Amateur Childbirth and Peter Black in the tracks on Shit Music, which is anything but, an album chock full of pop tunes that are skewed in every way imaginable. Then there is Colours, another acoustic sojourn into the strange, acerbic recesses of his soul.

You can download both albums (plus a lot lot more) here.

Alexander de Large - Staring At The Washing Machine
Alexander de Large - Sonny Lived In A Bungalow

Alexander de Large - Blue

Mining Boom In Your Dining Room

Mining Boom is a Perth based trio that liken themselves to Royal Headache, Boomgates, Twerps and the like. Great reference points. And I'm happy to say that their debut release Dining Room fits in rather nicely with these sounds. 'PDA' is laconic, sunny, with a lazy-sounding guitar hook that surreptitiously sinks its barbs in and has you humming along. There is something lackadaisical yet focused about these acts, and Mining Boom, whilst a little more hushed than their contemporaries, offer a lithe kitchen sink glimpse into inner suburban malaise. Furthermore on 'Craigie', we have the humorous titular tale of Craig that definitely isn't going to be charging the charts, but is an incredible sub-two minute scraggy pop tune. This is definitely one band to watch.

Mining Boom - PDA
Mining Boom - Craigie

Brainwashing The Masses

I was a massive fan of Sons of Stone, the debut longplayer from Lansing, Michigan psychers The Peoples Temple (check out that post here), and I'm glad to say that they are prepping for something equally as mind bending. back in July they released a 7" on HoZaC called Looter's Game (you can listen to the title track below), yet it was just to get the masses salivating for their sophomore LP - wait for it - More For The Masses. See what I did there? Hmmmm... Riffing off their cultish namesake, this record intends to brainwash more acolytes to the cause. They are touring the West Coast of the US right now, would definitely be worth catching.

Peoples Temple - Looter's Game

Monday 10 September 2012

Little Dreamers - Release The Kraken

It's the beginning of Spring, and it's getting ridiculous. I am writing more and more articles for various publications on top of putting on gigs, doing live reviews and my "day job" - and Sonic Masala is suffering a little as a consequence. My listening pile is overflowing - there is stuff here from May! So it's time for a bit of a cull. But before I do that, here are a bunch of tracks and releases from bands I've "discovered" over the past two and a half years that I think really deserve attention.

King Dude blew me away with his Gothic country-folk dirge on My Beloved Guest and Tonight's Special Death (out through the great Bathetic label). Since then the Seattle native has kept the ball rolling with another great LP entitled Love and a 7" release. He is showing no signs of slowing down either, with the imminent release of his next LP Burning Daylight on Dias in October. Really looking forward to this one, he is an underground cult figure of his own invention, and Im waiting for the exact moment when the penny drops and everyone realises how much of a genius he is.

King Dude - Jesus In The Courtyard

Sheffield nutbars Best Friends had a rad EP earlier this year called Throwing Up, and they have kept vomiting breakneck hits since. They put out a track with a grafittied (I think...) photo of Edward Furlong called 'If you think too much your brain will fall out', a single ('Surf Bitches') is coming out under the Too Pure Singles Club (an intiative that's seeing Aussie brats Step-Panther put out a 7" on too), and have a cassette split with Grazes in tow. You can listen to all and sundry below. A great little band, I think you'd agree. They are touring around the UK as we speak, popping into London's Old Blue Last this Friday. GET THERE!

Best Friends - If You Think Too Much Your Brain Will Fall Out

Brooklyn/San Fran collective Bad Bibles had a deliciously dark EP out in January, and have returned armed with 'Nearsighted'. Continuing with the tarot card imagery and post-punk skewered roiling and toiling, these guys sound like they are only just now finding their feet. This track is a big leap forward.

Bad Bibles - Nearsighted

Honey were throwing their shoegaze sounds around last year, and I quite liked it. Emphasis on the were, because they have just changed their name to The Early Morning Satellites. But they released an EP Fantasist before the changeover, and it's a doozie. Sonorous shoegaze, you had me at noisy and sexy as all hell.

Honey - Fantasist
Honey - Cape Canaveral

Mrs Magician brought out the There Is No God 7" (the titular track is SOOOOOO awesome!), which I really enjoyed - but their debut record and I didn't know about it??? The shame! Furthermore its out on the excellent Swami Records. Strange Heaven sees the San Diego band in fantastic form, so much better in less than 12 months, and the album has had to be repressed so people must be lapping it up, which is excellent news. Listen to it below, then pick it up here.

Mrs Magician - There Is No God

Minneapolis outfit Phantom Vibration had a great warbled pop EP in Kids back in 2011, followed it up with the great Growing Up and are now here with third extended player Aged. Ah, continuity, hey? You need to get it all and play it in chronological order. Love the last track in particular. Grab all three here.

Phantom Vibration - River Rock

Yeesh really blew me away with their Little Stabs At Happiness cassette, and here is the first taste of new material, verbose silly title and all. It's big emotive rawk with the requisite twist in the tail. I can't wait to hear what comes next.

Yeesh - Because Johnny Depp Always Wanted To Be A Rockstar, And Because I Always Wanted To Be Johnny Depp

I hammered on about the eclectic, electric brutality of LA's Wreck & Reference, and a little while back they upped the ante with No Youth. At times obtuse, at others bludgeoning, and with some spaciousness in between, the ten tracks on offer really are wrestling with demons the likes you nor I have ever witnessed, nor would want to. I'm not sure this is a record I could put on all the time, but when it clicks - prepare yourself for a industrial flaying.

Wreck & Reference - Nausea
Wreck & Reference - The Solstitial

Dogson, LA enigma Plant Magic Man's collection of recordings from 2008-2010, was an interesting exercise in tape-warped hypnagogic malaise. A plethora of releases later, and nothing much has changed on new EP Groo. Whoever this is, they keep as low a profile as possible, which adds to the mystique but also frustration. I want more damn you! Have at all of Plant Magic Man's releases here.

Plant Magic Man - I'm At War

Ann Arbor duo Dreampeter haven't had much new on the move (other than the Boneglow/Delusions split, which is basically Dreampeter in their solo guises) since they released 'Mason Jar' last year, but there is this deliciously warped track 'Bluebeard'. Makes me remember why I was enamoured with these dudes in the first place - hell, it's dedicated to Kurt Vonnegut! Good stuff indeed.

Dreampeter - Bluebeard

Now for some haunting folk from the UK, jah? The Skeleton Dead are a duo who I really connected with, especially after my hasty departure from the UK. At the end of my stay I was staying at my girlfriend's house, and her housemate was in love with cooking, hash and Mark Kozalek. Three great things to be in love with. I got to see Kozalek earlier this year, which was lovely, but back to the story. The Skeleton Dead's self titled LP came into my inbox at this time and slipped seamlessly into the fold. Recently they released Two Days In February, two tracks written and recorded in the winter just fled (well it was the beginning of the year for these guys), and hearing these tracks reminds me of those times. Cold, warm inside, drinking ale and smoking cigarettes in the snow, roast chicken and puppy dogs at the Coach & Horses, Bloody Mary's and cracked ice. Strange, eclectic memories, but they warm the cockles.

The Skeleton Dead - True To Our Name
The Skeleton Dead - Life Goes On

After writing about Glenn Branca I received an email from a man from the Republic of Macedonia. His self-recorded pieces were guitar explorations that examined sinuous form and abrasive noise under the moniker fydhws were exciting. Now as Sferi, he has released a concept sound collage based on the 8 planets of the solar system, and it is - sorry - otherworldly. Ranging from space ambient/rock to psychedelia and drone music, Sound Of The Spheres is actually very impressive - see Sferi's explanation of it all here - and is an album you should definitely delve into, preferably with expensive headphones on...

Sferi - Merkur

Back to Brooklyn to see what Life Size Maps are up to. The trio have just launched Excavate, a five track EP that also marks a new lineup for the poppy noiseniks. They play around with Gary Numan-esque structure and 8-bit shenanigans, whilst still holding precariously onto the shoegaze shtick they first burst out with. Its a growing bliss bomb of a release, and promises much more on the horizon.

Now this one is only a stop-gap, as Im sure Ill be mentioning more about this release as it comes to hand. Yet Cambridge, Massachusetts trio Night Fruit, who brought the graceful Dark Horse 7" last year, have a new release that is preceding an album, it's called 'Human Touch', and it's bloody great. The music speaks for itself. Stay tuned!!

Night Fruit - Human Touch

Here is another artist you will hear more of soon. Guilty Ghosts AKA Tristan O'Donnell brought a great release in his self-titled debut in 2010, excellently followed up by last year's VEILS, but if 'All Flesh Is Grass' is anything to go by, his next EP Tresspasser will easily surpass them. I love this track, and Im pretty sure you will too. You can pre-order the EP here.

Guilty Ghosts - All Flesh Is Grass

And finally we have Thor AKA Just Another Snake Cult from Iceland, whose freak pop tapestries often defy expectation and categorisation. He has just finished a new EP of minimal electronic / dream pop material called Birds Carried your Song Through The Night. It actually took me a bit to warm to, but when these tracks sink in, its impressive. You can grab the release in cassette form here. Worth every penny, especially when the title track kicks in.

Just Another Snake Cult - Birds Carried Your Song Through The Night

Phew! Fly my pretties, fly! Well, they grow up so fast don't they?

Saturday 8 September 2012

Hits From The Box #56 - Pearly Greens

What a week! It's time I got outta here, forgot about music and writing and teaching and all of that for a day or two. Last year I talked about this thing I'm involved in called the Gallapogator Classic. It's golf. Really, really bad golf. Basically it's an excuse for me to get drunk with mates of mine, some of which I only see once a year. And if I have to lure them into it through the promise of a few hours' swinging fruitlessly at tiny white balls, then so be it. There will be another MASSIVE post tomorrow that I've written in advance, yet this is the final piece of the puzzle before I down tools and "cleanse". So enjoy these six slices of excellence from all over the globe.

MORRICONEZ is yet another alter ego for one Jeffery Wentworth Stevens (George & Caplin, Wentworth Kersey), but in my opinion this is the best thing he's ever done. Essentially an instrumental album straddling post-rock and hip-hop beats, the album Cloud Of Dust, Cry Of Death (a title I absolutely love) is steeped in the titular composer's sepia-etched wild world, yet imbued with a noir element that might fast-forwards The Man With No Name (and to a lesser extent the psychedelics of Alejandro Joodorowsky) into the 21st century. I have been blown away by this record, and really should have posted about it sooner. Reminds me a lot of Mark McGuire's work. You can grab it through Wil-Ru Records here.

MORRICONEZ - Saguaro Mescal Moustache

Ive actually had Redwood, the EP by Seattle band The Creakies, for months now, and since they sent it my way they have floated in and out of my playlist and therefore consciousness. They believe in shoegaze and dream-pop, but underneath this is quaint pop whimsy locked up in a iron maiden of cuddly fuzz (if you can imagine that?). But of course I'm late to the party - after a year of doing the do, the band is going on a medium sized hiatus as they travel to the opposite sides of the States. I personally think they aim to sweep across the land, meeting in the middle of the Bible Belt and impregnating religion with a plague of twee proportions. Get to their last shows for a while, and also get Redwood here along with a split they have done with Webs here.

The Creakies - Arnold's Song
The Creakies - Harvest

Now the next band is from the beautiful Italian surrounds of Verona - let me introduce to you Antenna Trash, a band that see themselves in percussive mantras and psychedelic space travel. 'Pyramids' is a bold statement of intent before the release of their album hopefully before the sun sets on 2012, and you can see why the likes of Crocodiles and The Horrors have drawn on them as support. Soon they will return the favour - it's an excellent tune.

Antenna Trash - Pyramids

No Monster Club started out as the non de plume of Irish bedroom philosopher Bobby Aherne, and has since expanded to become a fully fledged band with their roots tickling at the underground reservoirs of slacker pop. They have even had an EP on Aussie label Masses//Masses (check out 2010's great Young Guts Champion EP here). It's thrashy, silly and goddamned attractive. CF Records put out Dublin a little while ago, and it is so much fun - just like bands like Harlem or the plethora of garage surf punk hybrids that are out there, yet this is steeped in pop hooks so plentiful you will be plucking them out of your gullet for days afterward. Funniest thing is these Irish guys understand sun surf fun times better than a lot of their Californian contemporaries. Go figure. Get Dublin here, and it won't be long before you are an avid fan. UPDATE - No Monster Club have a new album out called Posthumous Hits, with a disclaimer stating that Bobby Aherne has died tragically. Yet the reasons floating around Twitter (Bad Shrimp; Doing Something Heroic) means that there could be something else afoot. Here is that release, and stay tuned on this front...crazy kids.

No Monster Club - Be My Bone

Craig Elliott used to live in Wellington and play guitar in NZ noise band Fanucman; he now calls London home. He released this record Fire For The Red Corner, and it is bloody great. A mixture of Elliot Smith vocals and hedonistic aggression, all piled together in a lo-fi haze that revels in the gaps in between as much as the bursts of distortion, Fire... makes for an involving listen. You can grab the album here - you really should, because this one is a ticking bomb of a surprise package.

Craig Elliott - Murmurs & Rings
Craig Elliott - The Man With No Name

And finally here is a late inclusion, as I forgot about this record until earlier this week when I saw a band called Tiger Beams and it tenuously reminded me of these guys, Memphis Tennessee's own Tiger High. The band comes from pedigree, including integral members of Jack Oblivian, Reigning Sound and The Trashed Romeos, so it shouldn't be a surprise that their debut record Myth Is This is so awesome. This is a band that are intent on infusing garage swingers with a charge of old-fashioned soul, and it's about time. They have promised another record by the end of the year, which seems like too much as this album is so solid in its own right, but as if we're complaining? Grab Myth Is This here - I know, that's a lot of albums that I've recommended today, but what can I say? This week's HFTB is top notch.

Tiger High - Boys At The Bottom
Tiger High - Myth Is This

Happy Saturday!

Friday 7 September 2012

Dreaming Of A Dirty Lantern

I have to say that the dirtiness that permeates Philly band Lantern's Bathetic release Dream Mine feels like the real deal. This isn't performance art - you believe in it. This isn't a band that wants to delve into Funhouse territory - they were born there, and will most likely die there too. Check out the lurching seven-minute version of 'I Wanna Be Your Dog' - it's already a great track, but here the trio fully inhabit it like a sweat-drenched second skin. The constant collaborators with Dirty Beaches revel in the grimy nether regions, and whilst it can be disturbing, it is so enthralling. This is how hedonistic rock music should be.

Dream Mine is sold out, but you really need this, so grab the digital copy here.

Friday Cover Up - No Replacement For Fucking Up School

Its been a while since we have had a good cover song, and this one is a doozy, especially as I teach English as my "day job"... Those crazy hellraisers The Dirty Nil have released a typically ballsy rendition of The Replacements' call to arms 'Fuck School'. Every one needs an education, despite what Pink Floyd stated, otherwise we would have even more shows like The Shire in our midst (there's too fucking many as it is...). Yet schools can be staid, oppressive beasts, even to their employees, so a bit of retaliation now and then is good for the soul.

The Dirty Nil - Fuck School

The band also has a summer mixtape out. Its free until September 24. It's great. It's in time for the sunny radness of Aussie living. Get amongst it here, and have a new single coming out September 25. Stay tuned...

A Haunting Week(s)

Sorry, this is a bit of a lazy post, as it is predominantly press filler. Basically I'm really tired, it's been a hellishly long (yet ultimately excellently productive) week, and next week there is more to come. Thing is, I can barely keep my eyes open, yet I really want you to know everything about this first release from Nibbana Records, a new minimalist/drone/ambient label. The release is A Haunting Sun by Chris Weeks (AKA Kingbastard AKA Myheadisaballoon, both of which will get some post time in the upcoming weeks), and it is enthralling, engrossing, immersive material, really good stuff. So read, then listen to the entire album below. It truly is worth this preamble AND the presser, I promise!

After many years of releasing all manner of beat driven music here at Tigerbeat6 we have decided it necessary to start a new sublabel focusing purely on ambient, drone and minimalist music.

A Haunting Sun is a study of light; an enveloping opus of intricate, alternative, ambient soundscapes; inspired by sunlight and its interaction with picturesque landscapes.

Chris captures the beauty of this synergy via subtle organic textures, dense immersive drone-scapes, fragile lo-fi frequencies, and shape-shifting tonalities; tinged with the timbre of isolated melancholy.

A Haunting Sun flows chronologically, unfolding over the course of a day (Sunrise to Dusk); drinking in the light’s delicate interplay with the surrounding natural locales, mesmerizing minutiae and voluminous vistas; the audio equivalent of ‘light-thirsty Scenedows’.

‘Scenedows’ feature in works by science fiction author ‘Bob Shaw’, notably ‘Other Days, Other Eyes’, from which the tracks ‘Slow Light’ and ‘In Light Of Other Days’ draw their inspiration. Shaw introduced the concept of ‘slow glass’, through which the past can be seen...

‘Slow glass' delays the passage of light by years or decades, and is used to construct windows, called scenedows.’

“…having a scenedow was the exact emotional equivalent of owning land. A man who owns tailored gardens and estates doesn’t spend his time proving his ownership by crawling on his ground, feeling, smelling, tasting it. All he receives from the land are light patterns, and with scenedows those patterns could be taken into coal mines, submarines, prison cells…”

Chris plays on this concept. A Haunting Sun can be seen as series of scenedows; harnessing the aesthetics of light; evoking a captivating idyll of cinematic imagery. He transports the listener - from even the darkest of spaces - into sunlight-soaked scenes of exploration, which echo his physical and allegorical encounters, uniting to form a detailed picture and emotive narrative of escapism; all the while shadowed by A Haunting Sun

Thursday 6 September 2012

Vale Night Manager

It's with a heavy heart that I sign off tonight with Night Manager's first EP. That should be a reason for celebrations, right? No, because despite its innate awesomeness, the Brooklyn band have also announced their imminent demise, making it their final and farewell EP also. BOO!

Here is what the band have to say:

"It marks the end of our almost 2 year long tenure--a lot of great times were had and we wanna thank you and everyone else who's listened, written or cared enough to tell others about our music."

Short and sweet, that's them all right. You really should head over here and get this, it's so strong, the best thing they have done! (Put it out on vinyl damn you!). I really hope they come out in other forms, and soon. I miss you already!

Inversion Of The Occular Audio Experiment

This dude Alex Pollock and his cronies outta Boston have gotten a little bit of fever over the interwebs recently, but not enough in my opinion, so here is some more. The Ocular Audio Experiment have released a double album in the form of The Witch's Whispering Tomes, and its intrigue lies in the fact that it features the same twelve songs one both albums, but in two different styles. The first half is a hedonistic psych rock sojourn into the darker recesses of the brain, and seeing as it clocks in at almost ninety minutes it's its own beast. Yet the second album rears its wonky malformed head, and you are just as mesmerised by the seismic shift into the campfire singalong from Hell, something that might come out of a Western directed by David Lynch. I love the audacity and sheer insanity of it all, but it on the main works incredibly well.

Listen to the first track 'Mind Carver' from both records below, then go get these and play them, tell me which you prefer. It's mind bending stuff.

The Ocular Audio Experiment - Mind Carver (from The Witch's Whispering Tomes Part I)
The Ocular Audio Experiment - Mind Carver (from The Witch's Whispering Tomes Part II)

Wagga Wagga's Dreamboats Of Velcro

Here is a little lo-fi act out of Melbourne that I am absolutely loving at the moment. Velcro are a three-piece that released Dreamboat, a 6 track EP, earlier in the year on London-based label Njord Kassetts. Similar to current bands like Cat Cat and Dick Diver, with a slacker ennui inherent in the likes of Old Mate, Scott & Charlene's Wedding or Kitchens Floor, yet there is also an affinity for McLennan/Forster and the Flying Nun clan, thus allowing Velcro to steep their short whimsical numbers in a plaintive melody and surreptitious hooks so that the crooked pop tunes remain embedded in your mind for days afterwards. They have been putting out a plethora of cassette releases over the past eight or so months, demos on the internet at an alarming rate, and one of these releases is entitled Wagga Wagga and is out on Why Don't You Believe Me - which just makes me want to grab them and make them etch out a singular vinyl with all the tracks on it just for me - hell, even a CD-r would suffice! Especially as the digital version of Dreamboat is pretty pristine. But don't think you will get to see them in Aus any time soon, as the driving force behind the band, Curtis Wakeling, has moved to Brooklyn to try his wares solo whilst also playing in ace band Love Connection. If you're in NY, hunt this guy down, he is special.

You can get Dreamboat on cassette here.

And here is a track off Wagga Wagga, which you can purchase here...

Velcro - G&T

Nine Black Alps

Manchester's Nine Black Alps have been a little quiet of late, but all that is about to change with their fourth studio album Sirens set for release in October through Brew with the single for 'My One and Only' preceding the album on 23rd September. Its the best thing that these guys have ever laid claim to, really letting fly whilst also keeping things simple, justifying the years hiding under the covers. Loving their grunge overtones, it's what I love about Violent Soho too. They will be touring the UK shortly after its release too, so heady times ahead. Here's a couple of tasters anyway, let's get dumb, loud, and awesome.

Nine Black Alps - Living In A Dream
Nine Black Alps - Don't Forget To Breathe

Atheist Doom In The Heart Of Louisiana...And Vietnam

I can't really confess to being an Eyehategod fan before this week. In fact I can't confess to even listening to them at all before this week. However I can cross both those worrying omissions out of my bucket list, because A389 Records sent me the Louisiana outlaws' new 7", brilliantly titled New Orleans Is The New Vietnam. I have been loving rock on the brutal side lately, and this metes out the justice with blunt, sludgy precision. The fact that these guys are heading to Australia to play the CherryFest festival alongside Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (At The Drive In/Mars Volta/a multitude of other weird shit) in Melbourne this November is now something I really want to be a part of.

You can grab the 7" (in green vinyl) here.

Tuesday 4 September 2012

Lonesome Golden Poltergeists

Let's close out the night with some unexpected bumps in the night courtesy of UK artist Poltergeists. In the past he has been likened to a mix of Portishead, Bon Iver and Aphex Twin, and whilst such influences can be found floating in the haunting mix, there is much more going on than mere decoupage. On second album Golden Stairs we have a plush exploration of atmospherics and isolation, effects that have come from writing a narrative before recording music to complement it, almost like scoring his own imagination. It's an ambient slowburn, and one that creeps into the subconscious surreptitiously, before it is scoring your own, most lonely thoughts.

Grab Golden Stairs here, it's a good little release.

Poltergeists - Q & A

Getting Your Kicks With The Local Girls

Sour Puss Records have another crazy band to ram down our throats. Local Girls are based in Brixton and call themselves a sexually inappropriate alt sleaze band, so they will more likely kick your teeth in if you don't buy them a pint quick smart, and forget the small talk. Their record Deluxe Kicks comes out next week and it's a narcissistic melange of noise and obnoxiousness. They are brats, wailing from licks they've stolen from Andy Falkous' spit-flecked playbook, abrasive talk-speak stories that acts coy for that split second so that your defences are rendered obsolete. Who would have thought that being relentlessly goaded would be so much fun?

Pre-order Deluxe Kicks here.

Local Girls - Racist Tune
Local Girls - Jesus Complex Man