Monday, May 31, 2010

Single Review: Manatee-Indecision

As if Slumberland needed another reason for you to love them, they've gone and dropped this almost wasn't slice of high strung pop brilliance on us to enjoy. Manatee was an apparently short lived San Francisco ban fronted by an ex-member of the Black Tambourines who existed for such a tiny amount of time they never even put out a release of any sort. Until now. thanks to Slumberland, some of the few recordings of Manatee have been released as this wonderful little single.

The first thing that will strike you about this single is the production. Despite the band having an ex Tambourine in it and this being a Slumberland release, it has an unbelievably clean sound to it, more akin to those Pants Yell! albums Slumberland has been putting out. But it works perfectly with how the band is trying to sound, with the pristine vocals front and center and all the little extra things they add can be be heard. The guitar comes off as Feelies-ish and the bass could have come straight from a (newer) Shonen Knife song. It mushes together perfectly though, forming the excellent on-kilter tart pop song that is "Indecision". "Fifteen Minute Drive" is an equally great, if minutely better, track. It comes off as derivative of the A-side at first until the fuzz bass kicks in and it all falls apart at the end, all the while sounding like a great lost Pains of Being Pure of Heart tune with more sheen. Why Manatee did not stick around I won't know, but I can hope Slumberland can find and put out more music from them.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

New EP: Shark?-School Nights

Shark? are back at it again, and have self-released their third EP School Night. If you haven't checked out the awesome throw back/garage rock of Shark?, I don't know what's stopping you. This EP is once again completely free, and 10 tracks worth of stellar lo-fi garage, with an added mix of catchiness and some more melodic parts this time around. The following are the ones that jumped out at me first, but it's just all around great, and something you have no excuse not to give a try.

(mp3) Shark?-Monterry
(mp3) Shark?-Shark?

Download the entire School Night EP right here, from their bandcamp page.


In other Shark? news, the band is planning to release their first offical, professional CD/LP on to the world, but they need your help. The band has set up a Kickstarter account to help people donate this worthy cause. They're halfway there, have only 44 days to go, and only ten dollars will get a free copy of their finsihed album on either CD or LP. Seeing as I want another Shark? album in the world, especially in a physical format, I say help the band make this come true.


Shark? on Myspace
Donate to Shark?'s Full Length Album Project here

Monday, May 24, 2010

Cassette Review: BYODeath-Snowy Eyes

This is the music that was destined for a cassette release. BYODeath is a brand solo project by a 34 year old florist from Long Island Beach who is making music on par with stuff kids half his age are making. Not much is know about him except for the above and that he has released one of the better debuts of the year in the form of this stellar 6 song, 10 minute tape.

For some, this tape will be written off as just more shit-fi and nothing more. This would be understandable if you only listened to the scuzzy and great "Snowy Eyes" with its blatant in a good way love of Times New Viking. But diving deeper into the tape, BYODeath is more debt to Guided By Voices then anything else. It can be heard on the ecohy vocal style of "Half Shaved Head, Half Long Hair" or the oohs and ahhs on "Sleeping Mutie". It's as if BYODeath took the more melodic parts of Bee Thousand and Alien Lanes and coated them in extra layer of fuzz for the effect. Punk influences also carve out the sounds of the tracks, like the drums on "Scared to Mosh" or the energy and theme of "I Wanna Bully You". Both come together perfectly in the closer "Black Jelly Bracelets", the longest track and a wonderfully blown out, loud as hell pop tune as well. And it's this that makes BYODeath's debut stand out among the mountain of other lo-fi releases that are coming out right now. He manages to take a genre that's been pushed for so long and add a nice new flare to it.


Friday, May 21, 2010

The Zoltars-Run Off Key

I think I have found Austin's own answer to the Jacuzzi Boys, and they are named The Zoltars. Like their Florida brethren, The Zoltars play jangly guitar infused with super fuzzy garage no-fi that has the wonderful ability to buzz and buzz in your ears for weeks. They've been playing Beerland in Austin for a few weeks now and just finished recording their debut album which I am now super excited for. Definitely, in the sea of Fresh and Onlys and Ty Segall, it's nice to add some Austin edge to the mix. Keep an eye out for that LP.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

New Rare Benjamin Shaw Songs

Last year, I was lucky enough to get Benjamin Shaw’s debut EP, I’ve Got the Pox, the Pox Is What I Got, something I would wind up playing over again on very late nights since I got it. I was not expecting anything in the vain of a release from Shaw for quite awhile, but his always great label Audio Anti-Hero had different plans. Over the course of last week, the label’s blog has uploaded 7 tracks from Benjamin Shaw, all of which were not on the EP. They are all in the demo/rarities range, but don’t let that stop you from checking them out because they are just as great as anything that was on Pox. The following are the ones that I have liked the best, but all the other songs can be checked out here.

(mp3) Benjamin Shaw-Twisting Turning Killing Learning
(mp3) Benjamin Shaw-Sparrows Over Tottenham
(mp3) Benjamin Shaw-OOPS, Your Face Upon the Windscreen


Benjamin Shaw Website

Friday, May 14, 2010

New Songs-Invisible Hand-Top of the Pops, The Future of Music

Funny/Not Funny Records have done it again; they have yet another band that no one knows about that everyone will be talking about in a few months. In this case it's Invisible Hands, and Funny/Not Funny was kind enough to send over two tracks from their upcoming Sinister Hand cassette, due out June 1 on the label. As you may have drawn from the song names, there is a post-Britpop feel to the songs, with added helpings of British style '80s post-punk and a Funny/Not Funny standard of fuzz as well. Good, different stuff.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Nobunny Announces Live Album, Massive Tour With The Spits

After remaining in hibernation for so long, Nobunny has finally sprung to live with a few tidbits of what's to come from his bizarre, warped, and garage obsessed brain. First off was the news that Nobunny will be playing a set at the Third Man Records store on May 21. The reason this is big news is because not only will it be "semi-acoustic" (and anyone who was able to get a copy of Raw Romantic knows this isn't a bad thing), but it will be recorded and released on vinyl by Third Man Records too. His second full length LP Ono is rumored to becoming out later this year on Goner Records as well.

This will be on the heels of another gigantic two and half month long Nobunny tour across the US and Canada, sharing most of the tour dates with fellow lo-fi garage-punks The Spits. Nobunny's shows have become legendary in their own right, so you have absolutely no excuse to not see catch him.

(mp3) Nobunny-I Am A Girlfriend
(mp3) The Spits-Tonight

Tour Dates:

5.8 Calgary, AB @ Broken City Social Club
5.9 Edmonton, AB @ Pawn Shop
5.11 Saskatoon, SK @ Amigo's
5.12 Winnipeg, MB @ The Royal Albert
5.13 Fargo, ND @ The Aquarium
5.14 St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club
5.15 Milwaukee, WI @ Club Garibaldi
5.18 Bloomington, IN @ The Bishop
5.19 Detroit, MI @ Magic Stick w/The Spits
5.20 Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle w/The Spits
5.21 Nashville, TN @ Third Man Records *Early show to be recorded for live record
5.21 Nashville, TN @ Springwater Supper Club w/The Spits
5.22 Memphis, TN @Hi-Tone w/The Spits
5.23 Tulsa, OK @ The Eclipse w/ The Spits
5.25 Oklahoma City, OK @ The Conservatory w/ The Spits
5.26 Dallas, TX @The Lounge on Elm Street w/The Spits
5.27 Austin, TX @ Beerland
5.28 Houston, TX @ TBA w/The Spits
5.29 New Orleans, LA @ Saturn Bar w/The Spits
5.30 Mobile, AL @ Alabama Music Box w/ The Spits, Hibachi Stranglers
5.31 Huntsville, AL @ Voodoo Lounge w/ The Spits
6.1 Chatanooga, TN @ Discoteca w/ The Spits
6.2 Atlanta, GA @ The EARL w/The Spits
6.3 Tallahassee, FL @ The Moon w/The Spits
6.4 Tampa, FL @ TBA w/The Spits
6.5 Miami Beach, FL @ Churchill's w/The Spits
6.6 Orlando, FL @ Will's Pub w/The Spits
6.8 Asheville, NC @ Broadways w/ The Spits
6.9 Charlotte, NC @ Mileston w/ The Spits
6.10 Baltimore, MD @ Sonar Club w/ The Spits
6.11 Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory w/ The Spits
6.12 Pittsburgh, PA @ 31st St. Pub w/The Spits
6.13 Cleveland, OH @ Now That's Class w/The Spits
6.14 Dayton, OH @ Club Vex
6.16 Kalamazoo, MI @ Louies Trophy Room
6.17 Columbus, OH @ Cafe Bobo
6.18 Athens, OH @ The Union
6.20 Rochester, NY @ Bug Jar
6.22 Hamilton, ON @ Casbah
6.23 Toronto, ON @ Silver Dollar
6.24 Ottowa, ON @ IX
6.25 Montreal, QC @ Divian Orange
6.26 Quebec City, QC @ Le Cercle
6.27 Burlington, VT @ Monkey House
6.29 Cambridge @ MAPA's Lounge
6.30 New Haven, CT @ Cafe Nine
7.1 Southapmton, PA @ Bordz Skate Park
7.2 Philadelphia, PA @ TBA
7.3 Washington, DC @ Black Cat
7.4 Durham, NC, @ TBA
7.5 Knoxville, TN @ TBA
7.6 Lawrence, KS @ TBA
7.7 Denver, CO @ TBA
7.9 Salt Lake City, UT @ The Woodshed
7.10 Reno, NV @ TBA


Nobunny On Myspace
Buy Nobunny's debut LP Love Visions from 1-2-3-4 Go Records

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

New Video: Gauntlet Hair-I Was Thinking

I was late coming to the Gauntlet Hair party, mainly because of all the glo-fi tag lines which were used whenever anyone would start talking about the band. However, after seeing their new video for "I Was Thinking", I think this might be a band I want to keep listening to. I can understand the why people would think this is glo-fi, but to my ears it's really more of some dance influneced lo-fi pop, with a ton of echo. Plus it has one key quality most glo-fi bands don't have: it doesn't completely suck. Either way, here is the new video for the Gauntlet Hair tune, a simple film of the band in the woods with their dog that completely manages to capture the song.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Singles Review: Brilliant Colors-Never Mine/Walk Into The World

In the indie world, with a million guy fronted garage rock bands and post C-86 girl bands, Brilliant Colors are the band that walk the thin line between the two styles. An all girl three piece that plays sugar coated garage-punk, with a mix of the Raincoats' sound thrown in as well. After releasing two singles in 2008 and their debut LP Introducing last year, the band is back again with 2 more singles both released simultaneously. Never Mine, the one out on Slumberland Records, has their garage side shinning more. The single was produced by garage mastermind Ty Segall and it shows. Both tracks have a bare bones feel to them, the arrangements kept very simple, and singer Jess Scott's monotone yet high pitched voice shinning through. They also happen to be two delicious slices of indie garage in case you were wondering.

The Walk Into the World, out on Make a Mess, were also produced by Ty Segall and probably came from the same exact session. However, that being said, the tracks definitely have a different feel to them. They're more layered than the previous single, and a bit slower as well. It sounds more akin to the slightly gummy and shoegaze sound the band was making on Introducing. The title track in particular is a favorite, with all the mini things contained within it, like the 10 second chores or the tiny guitar solo at the end. They're two more perfect little DIY gems which should sit nicely next to your Vivian Girls and Vaselines LPs. Their last singles sold out in a flash, so don't waste any time to pick these up.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Album Review: Eddy Current Suppression Ring-Rush To Relax

After waiting an extra month to get my hands on the vinyl version of this album and an extra two weeks dealing with my postal service, I finally got my hands on the new Eddy Current Suppression Ring album. I was a little worried over this one, after hearing that it didn't live up the greatness that was their first two albums. True, how any artist could match Primary Colours in quality is beyond me, but I still had high hopes for this one. So do Eddy Current Suppression Ring succeed? Yes and no.

Rush to Relax will go down as the album were ECSR decided to change things up. Supposedly, the band had been listening to more of The Clean and Flying Nun style post-punk/indie rock in the lead up to this album and it shows. Opener "Anxiety" despite its speed, direct catchiness, and being an ECSR classic in the making, doesn't really showcase the album properly. Everything is slowed down, stretched out, and the guitar is less prominent than usual. Which isn't to say ECSR aren't' the garage-punk maestros you know and love. They're just tyring new things, and nine times out of ten they work. The romantic edges"Gentleman" and "I Can Be A Jerk" both have. The epic guitar solo in the middle of "Turning Out", stand outs "I've Got a Feeling", which is classic ECSR, and "Burn" which shifts into darker territory with paranoid lyrics and pencil wire riffs that will vibrate in your brain for days. All these things scream why people fell in love with ECSR in the first place and it's nice to see the band wants and can stretch its musical legs.

What doesn't work? Oddly enough, the punkiest tracks. Both "Walked Into a Corner" and "Isn't It Nice" clock in at under 2 minutes, and their herky-jerky and bluntness feel out of place and slightly forced on a controlled album like this. Also the long field recording at the end of the album feels very unnecessary. However, those are minor complaints for what is really a great album. It might be the first release the Eddy Current Suppression Ring have put that's a grower, but it will still worm itself into every garage and punk loving kid soon enough.

(mp3) Eddy Current Suppression Ring-Anxiety


Eddy Current Suppression Ring's Website
Buy the Album Here, From Goner Records

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

New Song: Matt Leech-Empty House

Funny/Not Funny Records head honcho Matt Leech has sent over the title track of his upcoming "Empty House EP" 7 inch out on what else but Funny/Not Funny Records. It is nice distorted lo-fi pop tune with epic guitars and sweet unartificial synth lines and a voice that sounds like Dylan from Cloud Nothings on helium. Seriously very excited for this seven inch. Anyone who loves this track like I do can pick up Leech's messed up Silk cassette for free over at Funny/Not Funny Records right here.

(mp3) Matt Leech-Empty House


Matt Leech on Myspace
Funny/Not Funny Records

Teen Beat Anniversary Tour Announced with a Reunited Unrest!

Add this to the growing list of great band reunions. In honer of of Teen Beat Record's 26th anniversary, Mark Robinson has announced a six part series of concerts in honer of the event. Various and different Teen Beat bands will be playing each show, mostly ones that have been broken up for years, chief among them is Robinson's own Unrest who will be playing every show. For those who don't know (a truly need to catch up), Unrest were a premiere indie rock band from the '80s and early '90s, who released some of the best '90s style lo-fi pop albums ever like Imperial F.F.R.R. and Perfect Teeth. They broke up right before getting a big break from the rising lo-fi movement of the '90s and never gotten the attention they deserved. Thus the reason that even this reunion is still such low key. If you can at all, I would recommend to do what ever you can to make it to these shows, because the last time Unrest got back together was 5 years ago for a one off show.

(mp3) Unrest-Cherry Cherry

Unrest Anniversary Tour Dates:

July 6, at Johnny Brenda's
KEVIN BARKER (Currituck Co.)
MC: Jonny Cohen

July 7, at Maxwell's
BLOODY AMATEUR (Tel Aviv/Prosaics)

July 8, at T.T. the Bear's Place
YASMIN KUHN (Flying Saucer)

July 9, at The Bell House
THE RONDELLES (original trio),

July 10, at The Black Cat
UNREST ('83-'86, Tim Moran, short set),
UNREST ('88-'89, Dave Park, short set),
THE RONDELLES (original trio),
MCs: Jonny Cohen and Patrick Bryant

July 11, at Cat's Cradle

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

New Song: Best Coast-Far Away

Yes I know I posted about another Best Coast song just few days ago, but Best Coast has gone an done it again, releasing another 7". It's actually free this time around, but you have to buy a pair of Eskuche headphones along with it too. Thankfully, the A-side has been released for free and the with the B-side up for stream up as well.

(mp3) Best Coast-Far Away
Stream: Best Coast-Everybody's Gone


Best Coast on Myspace
Buy the 7 inch+headphones here, at Eskuche

Monday, May 3, 2010

Andrew Cedermark Announces Moon Deluxe

Someone must be reading this blog because Andrew Cedermark has announced his first true full length, a 12 inch on Underwater Peoples. The simple yet stark cover art is up top and the record is expected to come out in a few months. The title track "Moon Deluxe" was also released, and it is a scorcher in the vein of The Microphones at their nosiest or an acoustic shoegaze song (if that's possible), with the level of loneliness matched on this track as well.

(mp3) Andrew Cedermark-Moon Deluxe

In other Andrew Cedermark news, don't forget about his upcoming split tape with Drunk Tigers coming out soon on Funny/Not Funny Records, and an upcoming split 7" with Expensive Looks out on Infinte Best Recordings.


Andrew Cedermark on Myspace
Underwater Peoples Website

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Gun Outfit Announce New Album Possession Sound

Gun Outfit is a stellar bass less trio from Olympia that despite releasing a single and last year's incredible Dim Light on PPM, have gotten minimal press from generally everyone. They usually have a darkness to their post-punk meets SST Records jams, largely in part to the hauntingness of singers Caroline Keith's and Dylan Sharp's voices. They just announced their new album Possession Sound out on PPM on May 5th and released a song and video to go along with the news. New track "My Whole Life" is a bit of a departure, which sounds like the band has been getting their hands on a bunch of Feelies records, but is still great in its own right, especially those crashing cymbals. They also released a their first video as well for the album "Phaeda" and it looks like the band has been listening to a lot more My Bloody Valentine as well. Get excited folks, this looks to be a sleeper hit of the year.

(mp3) Gun Outfit-My Whole Life


Buy Dim Light here, at PPM Records