Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Brilliant Colors-How Much Younger

I think Brilliant Colors are in a really bad position. They either got lumped as a "noise-pop" band, or as some bad out growth of the post-Vivian Girls world. As such, a large swath of their releases of been ignored or not given their dues by the music population. Which is an utter, utter shame because Brilliant Colors make some of the best, effort-less C86 pop around. Proof right here with "How Much Younger", the first tune off their brand new LP Again and Again. "How Much Younger" are what would happen if Grass Widows listened more to The Pastels than to The Urinals. Yes, it is as awesome as that comparison made it out to be.



Brilliant Colors' Blog
Pre-order Again and Again here, from Insound

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Album Review: iceage-New Brigade

The sudden blog heavy love for iceage will probably go down as one of the most surprising pushes for a band this year. Not that it is unwarranted; far from it. As anyone who has managed to a copy of New Brigade in the US (not an easy feat, by the way) can attest to how good the album/band are (more on that in a second). But the fact is this is a band has been around for almost two years, and released a seven inch that served as a precursor to most of what's on New Brigade to not so much as a squeak from the blogosphere (though it did do great in the punk circle that iceage original come from). The sudden yelp of blogs, who rarely care for punk bands unless they are covered in lo-fi (not that there is anything wrong with that genre either), seems to have come out of nowhere, along with the equal strange desire to lump iceage with with the emerging "darkwave" scene.

So the best to approach New Brigade is to strip all that precedent that presides it and simply view it as an album that serves as the first impression for a band truly not known in the US. That means New Brigade is possibly one the best first impressions to ever be made. In a sense, its the same feeling I got when I listened to Cloud Nothings the first time, even if it triggered completely different emotions. The same immediate, yet strange catchy-ness that is attached to it that caught me off guard because it was their first release. "How is it possible for a band that just started to be this good already?"

Iceage are cynical, nihilistic kids from Denmark, making equally dark, nihilistic punk as an out growth of their life and surroundings. There is a clear cut hardcore back bone to it, but stops itself from being that. Nor is it post-hardcore; lacking any of the guitar work or direct sounds that make up the genre. Instead it's as if Pink Flag era Wire had decided to try to make a hardcore album, and succeeded. Much like Pink Flag, New Brigade jumps from one style to another with grace, from direct catchy punk tunes ("Broken Bones, Remember", "You're Blessed"), more experimental numbers ("White Rune", "Collapse"), to the most frenzied of songs ("Total Drench", "Count Me In"). All the while, the same trebled-to-the-max guitar lines, near blurred drum beats, and apathetic vocals make up the core of every song, yet always come out new or different on each song as well. It's potent without being overwhelming. Loud and cathartic, but excellent melodies buried within as well. New Brigade is as excellent a punk record as any blog piece has said it is. When both Altered Zones and Maximum Rocknroll are agreeing on the merits of an album, it is for good reason.

(mp3) iceage-White Rune
(mp3) iceage-Broken Bone
(mp3) iceage-Collapse


iceage on myspace
Pre-order New Brigade here, from What's Your Rupture? out June 21

You Gotta Make Your Feelings Known

Comet Gain might possibly be one of the greatest, and equally under appreciated, indie pop band to ever be. Don't believe me? This is a band that has been playing for 15+ years, and helped inform the sound of Love is All, Los Campesinos!, and even Belle and Sebastien. Now quick, name a single one of their songs, or even one of their albums. Couldn't? That's what I thought.

Thankfully, ever since they released their absolutely stunning singles/odds-and-ends compilation Broken Record Prayers back in 2008, they have gotten a slight boost in people caring about them. Now after nearly six years (depending on how you view Cinema Red and Blue), Comet Gain is back and finally releasing a brand new album Howl of the Lonely Crowd. It is already out in the UK, but we will have to wait in the US 'till June 21 before What's Your Rupture? puts it out here. Until then, go to Fortuna POP! to here the already classic sounding indie pop gem "Weekend Dream".

Classic Comet Gain to catch you up:


Fortuna POP!'s Website
What's Your Rupture's Website

Friday, May 20, 2011


The Cats Purring Collective, is a group of diverse musicians (Dead Gaze, Dent May, Flight, ) centered Oxford, Mississippi who work together, help make music, and set up and promote shows in their scene. This means that not only the cool main acts, but their friends and fellow bandmates side projects get attention as well. Case in point BOBBY CHIZ, an apparent member of Dead Gaze's and Dent May's live band, and his song "Vibe Tech". An awesome swirling pop song, it's what a more country version of Ty Segall would sound like filtered through both Elephant 6 and Guided By Voices. The song has so many bits and pieces, it's like Girl Talk made a indie-psych song, with all the different influences you can count within it. It's stunning the magnitude of directions the song goes in, yet still comes together in this kaleidoscope of a song.



BOBBY CHIZ on Tumblr

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hi Shadow Records

It has come to my attention that Brent Mitzner, mastermind behind the the highly under appreciated Trudgers, has been running a small tape label himself and releasing small pressings of some of his and his friend's bands. Anyone familiar with Bridgetown Records discography will have a good idea of what's being brought to you by Hi Shadow, but that does not remove the fact that another wonderful cassette label as been brought into the world, and great bands are getting their music released.

One of the latest cassettes is in fact a cassingle from the ever prolific, ever great, and head of Bridgetown Records himself, Kevin Greenspon. To call this release just a "cassingle" though is just a bit wrong, especially when the opening track "Coincide" is a 9 minute sprawler. Stepping away slightly from concise, slightly noisy songs that were heard on his split cassingle for Bathetic, here a more clear singular sound comes out, with a sharper drone influence in the guitar work. Though the way Greenspun makes music, by the next release, the sound will have completely shifted to some other great, genre-less style.

Kevin Greenspon - Coincide by Hi Shadow Records

The other release is a split cassette between Vehicle Blues and Trudgers. Vehicle Blues sound their most focused here, fully fleshing out their post-shoegaze pop, especially on "Your Pile", with a limping static-fuzz serving as the the bone for this beautifully lonesome song. It's what Tempertwig would have sounded like it if they had slowed down their songs and replaced melancholy for their angst. The degree by which Trudgers is growing as a band is even more impressive. Look no further than their stunning "Softly, Gracefully", a eight minute plus epic of post-punk, with shift from complete Joy Division/Smashing Pumpkins worship to some that is all their own. One of the best tracks and cassettes I have heard all year.

Vehicle Blues - Your Pile by Hi Shadow Records

Trudgers - Softly, Gracefully by Hi Shadow Records


Hi Shadow Records' Website
Kevin Greenspon's Website
Vehicle Blues on Myspace
Trudgers on Myspace

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Big Troubles-Phantom

Big Troubles said in a interview once that their follow to Worry would sound very different, with a desire to record the album in an actual studio ,and step away from the lo-fi sound that made Worry so personal and wonderful. And as such, as both a fan of lo-fi music and seeing so many bands step away from their initial lo-fi sound to loss some of their initial greatness as well, I was skeptical they could pull it off.

That of course was before I heard "Phantom". The first time hearing the band in an actual studio with engineers, with the result being just as good as anything on Worry. The same shoegaze-esque backbone that punctuated all their previous work is still ever present, but a new power-pop sheen has been added to the music, or at the very least been brought closer to forefront. Yes, this makes the band sound have a sort of '90s sound to them, much like several over rising indie bands these days, but that does not remove the fact that Bi Troubles have produced another gem to add to their treasure trove of music.

The song was recorded for Weathervane Music series Shaking Through, a cool music site out of Philadelphia that records audio and visual of bands in a Daytrotter-esque way. For more info and music on Weathervane, check it out here.

(mp3) Big Troubles-Phantom


Big Troubles on Myspace

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bon Iver-Calgary

Bon Iver makes incredible music. I do not care if you think he is all hype, he's over blown, that there is no quality to his music, that everything he has been before, that he is too wimpy. Those are all blanket excuses used to not appreciate an artist who made something as beautiful and heart aching as For Emma, Forever Ago. That is an album, like for so many other people, helped get them threw some black nights to say the least.

So after too long (and several side projects), Bon Iver is finally releasing new music under the moniker that meant so much to so many. "Calgary" doesn't seem like it changes much to the Bon Iver formula, at least initially with Justin Vernon's falsetto layered over simply, airy/elegant instrumentation. Then it starts to shift ever so slightly, with the electronic beeps and whirls coming in, the drum beats building, the guitar lines creeping in. What is here is a less dynamic Antlers song, but is not all meant as an insult. It is every expectation any had for the new Bon Iver album, and it meets them all.


Bon Iver's Website
Pre-order Bon Iver, Bon Iver here, from Jagjaguwuar

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Martin Newell-Sun Comes to the Wood

Here is the second mp3 from Martin Newell's Songs for a Fallow Land, his recently just re-released solo LP that I have raved about previously. "Sun Comes to the Wood" has the same reverb drenched, '80s style production of "Gamma Ray Blue", with the song itself built around a strong mix of vibrating, reverb infused guitar chords and pulsating synth, blending the two together into a vortex of inseprable sound, with detached, Devo-esque vocals layered on top. The end result is a dark and detached song, a crystalization of the decade that shaped it, both from a musical stand point and the culture of the time.

(mp3) Martin Newell-Sun Comes to the Wood


Martin Newell's Website
Buy Songs for a Fallow Land here, from Fixed Identity

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Bottomless Black Hole of Zond

This is Zond. They are a band. They are from Australia. They have been playing for a little while now. They released an album. It was released on RIP Society. They did it last year. Now they released the album in the US. They did it last month. It was released on Kemado. Zond make music. Very good music. Very loud music. Some people call it shoegaze. It is, but isn't. Some people call it noise rock. It is, but isn't. It is both at the same time. Layered on one another, over and over again. Dense, thick, heavy. It hurts the brain, it scares the soul. It stands on the brink of sludge, of metal, of evil. It is, but isn't. Zond is gloriously dark, mind melting music. Dive into the dark.

(mp3) Zond-Chrome
(mp3) Zond-Stupid Gods


Zond on Myspace
R.I.P Society's Website

Monday, May 9, 2011

Cold Showers-I Don't Mind

Great news everybody, Gun Outfit have released a brand new song! OK, very few people will understand that reference, but it is completely apt. The same Meat Puppets style influence, tense and tart guitar play, and excellent monotonic trade off singing between Cold Showers' male and female band members that make Gun Outfit such a wonderful (and equally underapperciated) band. Not to mention the way Cold Showers uses of sound to apply to a song that deals with apathy. This is Cold Showers first mp3, off a soon to be released 7" from Mexican Summer. I suspect good things to come from them.

(mp3) Cold Showers-I Don't Mind


Cold Showers on Facebook
Pre-order the 7" here, from Mexican Summer

Friday, May 6, 2011

Zeadron del Gomez-Hold My Hand? No

Hold My Hand? No is the debut cassette and release from Zeadron del Gomez, the alias of a 17 year old whiz kid from Orange County named Jack Hefferon. It's strange because despite the fact that Zeadron has been releasing music on his bandcamp page since early 2009, much the blog fair for him hadn't picked up until online magazine Rebel decide to release Hold My Hand? No digitally to the world back in January. Now both Rebel and the excellent Get Off The Coast run Crash Symbols have partnered together to release Hold My Hand? No on cassette as well.

That's all back story though, what is the music of Zeadron del Gomez actually like? Um...I want to say "nothing you've ever heard", but chances are that thought only comes from lack of knowledge of most non-guitar based music. The music is very beat heavy, with various beeps and thumps of being the core of nearly every song, yet while there is a clear electronica influence (or electropop dance, whatever the correct genre name is), Hold My Hand? No is not that. It draws from the dark edges of witch house, and styling of chillwave. Hold My Hand? No is sort of what would happen if James Blake decided to listen to more witch house, and threw in more traces of Dream Cop, UK style producers (Zomby, Gold Panda), and dash Moby for spice. While something like Zeadron del Gomez is completely out of my normal musical range, and there is high chance that every descriptor I used for him is wrong, at least let it be conveyed that this album is stunningly excellent album that should be heard by all in some form or another. This is headphone music that will swell and rinse through your mind for weeks to come.

(mp3) Zeadron del Gomez-Down Face/Face Down
(mp3) Zeadron del Gomez-Trainer.SAW93 MB


Zeadron del Gomez on Bandcamp
Stream/download/buy Hold My Hand? No here, from Crash Symbols

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Fucked Up: Queen of Hearts

Fucked Up has just released the final mp3 in the lead up to their upcoming epic sounding (both literally and figuratively) new album David Comes to Life. "Queen of Hearts" is the frantic, thick, heavy, epic (have I used that word already?), and bombastic opening tune for the album. I don't want to use the phrase "classic sounding Fucked Up" for the two reasons that they have existed for far too short period of time to qualify for that phrase, and because their is no "classic sounding Fucked Up" sound. They are a band, whether it is liked or not, seem to jump from a different sound. However, it should be be said that "Queen of Hearts" has very similar qualities as "The Other Shoe", being Pink Eye's vocals serving as a contrast to the intense yet highly melodic instrumentation surrounding it. Oh, and you can really tell that it's a love song, something I never thought would wind up being written or associated with Fucked Up.

(mp3) Fucked Up-Queen of Hearts

Do to no good reason, The Creative Intersection glazed over Fucked Up's other two mp3 releases, something that should be corrected. Download below "A Little Death", a song that I feel is perfect antithesis of what Fucked Up wanted David Comes to Life to sound like, as well as Ship of Fools", where the song's dark lyricism is matched pound for pound with the equally volatile soaring guitar riffs.

(mp3) Fucked Up-A Little Death
(mp3) Fucked Up-Ship of Fools


David Comes to Life Website
Pre-order David Comes to Life (including the deluxe edition) here, from Matador

Monday, May 2, 2011

Single Review: Boomgates- "Layman's Terms" b/w "Nothing"

A constant problem with analyzing or even discussing any band's side project is the degree by which the main band's shadow is cast on the new band. Even if the sound of either band manages to escape focus, preconceived factors of quality come into play. This is what falls on Boomgates, where there is a small but unfortunate chance of them being remembered as nothing more than "the singer of Eddy Current Suppression Ring's indie rock band". Which is a pity because they really should go as "that fucking awesome Australian supergroup that formed that indie rock band!"

Due to how exceptional Boomgates debut single was, it's nice to know, though I guess not very surprising how easily they struck lightning twice. Two songs both dealing with communication problem's (on), both highly influenced from the entire spectrum of UK indie rock, and of course the Australian punk scene and sounds of each band member's respective band. "Layman's terms" is such a glorious song from the moment the song's duel guitar lines starts bouncing off on another in such a sublime fashion. The way Brendan Suppression's and Steph Hughes play off an intertwine with each other has to win some sort of award. "Nothing", the single's equally incredible counter part dives into the garage-punk spectrum, building tension with its verses before the explosion of noisy guitar riffs starts spewing out suddenly and violently. What could be the current front runner for this year's best 7 inch, Boomgates cause the same effect that I had ( and still do) when I put on a ECSR record; an endued giddy smile due to realizing how great the music I'm listen to actually is.

Boomgates - Nothing


Boomgates' Myspace
Buy the single here, from Smart Guy Records