Friday, November 30, 2012
Well this completely came out of left field. Self-described "industrial grungegaze" DSTVV appear to be a lot of things: a mockery and continuation of current lo-fi music, mixed with a parody and embrace of '90s tumblr culture with their ascetic. It being released in cassette format no less seems all the more appropriate. However, above all that, DSTVV have written some really great, dark, noisy tunes. Built around a deeply fucked up drum machine and hyper distorted guitar lines, DSTVV manage to craft some strange beauty from all the distortion, especially with the scrapyard synths that from the rest of the backbone of the band's song music. The title track that opens the EP displays all this in force, especially when KEEL HER's vocals come in during the second half of the song. The EP get's moodier and darker from there with "Ariel's a Punk" and "Do Skateboards Take Wavves" diving deeper into off-key notes and aggressive computer manipulation to color the songs more. This all collides with the final track "Post-Tracy Chapman Pop Jangle" a wonderful & evil concoction of shimmering, almost shoegaze-like guitar lines and intensely painful synth lines.
The whole Molly Soda EP is just spectacularly crazy like this, blending so many different lo-fi and noise elements together, but manages to stop right before becoming a parody of itself. Some of the best, and creative, lo-fi tunes I have heard this year.
Buy the Molly Soda EP here, from Teen Witch
Thursday, November 29, 2012
I was late to the (über-noisy) METZ party, but I am catching up now. And what better way than with a brand new single that will cap off the year? "Dirty Shirt" is the B-side, but is utterly glorious in it's own way. Not as blown out as their debut, instead METZ channel more clearly than ever their early Nirvana influence, along with The Men as well, especially in the minor, melodic flourish that lays within the versus. That, of course, disappears in the utterly explosive choruses filled with anguished cries and crushing bass. "Dirty Shirt" is less than two and half minutes of pure, volatile, noisy post-punk, AKA making it a damn fine song.
Pre-order the "“Leave Me Out” b/w “Dirty Shirt” 7" here, from Sub Pop
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
While 2012 have been great for music, I think 2013 is gearing up to be even better.The fact that we are getting a Bleeding Rainbow album within the first month is one of the strongest facts on my side. Slowly as the cuts from Yeah Right have surfaced, it has become clear how Bleeding Rainbow also personify their name with a stronger, more aggressive sound, filled with sludgy shoegaze& psychedelia riffs. However, they have not completely bisected themselves from their past, as in "Waking Dream". The harmonies shine as brightly as the guitar work, while distorted as hell, still emits a lovely glow to itself. "Waking Dream" is built on this wonderful quite-to-loud dynamic that fuses their past with their present, into a glorious ball of melodic noise rock. The sonic equivalent of fog meeting a bright, sunny day, in the best possible sense.
Bleeding Rainbow's Tumblr
Pre-order Yeah Right here, from Kanine Records
Monday, November 26, 2012
WU LYF created some of my favorite music of 2011. Their debut Go Tell Fire to the Mountain perfectly captured their self-dubbed "heavy pop": soaring and anthemic songs that never never collapsed under their grandness, instead being a near perfect cross-sections of gospel like energy over indie and pop. So it seems more than appropriate that WU LYF would go out on a song like "T R I U M P H". Allegedly the band's last song (or not, they have always operated on a cloak of misinformation and mystery), "T R I U M P H" is ever so different than everything WU LYF had created before. It's airier and brighter, the guitars chiming and popping, and the organ creating similar pop bursts rather than producing the atmosphere it had on their previous tracks. The lyrics were also posted along with the song. A small thing, but for a band that had always encouraged a sense of shouting along despite not know what was always being shouted, being presented the message from the start sets a different tone for the song. For "T R I U M P H" though, that's one of discarding apathy, running head long into the sunrise and not looking back. It's as glorious as it sounds.
WU LYF's Website
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Butter the Children is the byproduct of four members from four distinctly but differently noisy bands (Night Manager, Sweet Bulbs, Le Rug, and Red Dwarf) coming together and it shows. The guitar equally roars like a buzz saw and produces spacy, shoegaze riffs, while the bass rumbles in the background along with the drums clatter and bang together. And all this connected together by the sickly sweet vocals of front women Inna Mkrtycheva, which arrive with a near pop-punk delivery, but manage to pack a subtle emotional punch to them as well. There was more than a chance that they four distinct styles would not be able to gel at all, but all Butter the Children show on their debut EP, not only can they work together, they can make something sort of magical. All the tracks are quick, less than 3 minute long burst of punk energy and indie rock mixed with a healthy chunk of post-shoegaze hooks. Opener “Robyn Byrd” pretty much encapsulates the band’s sound jumping from memorizing and bent guitar chords and emotional lyrics to (semi)quieter, cleaner sections that balance out the song. The EP also makes clear the darker and twisted elements of the band (just look at the cover art), like on the moody “Flesh Wound in Ithaca” or damaged-pop of “Rochelle Rochelle”. Then there is likes of closer “Lupus”, which feels like a more explosive take on the dreamy-pop Reading Rainbow use to make, and happens to be two minutes of pure noise-pop bliss. Butter the Children’s debut is a short but sucker-punch of an EP, a breath of fresh-air that reminds how great guitar pop, indie rock, and noise can be blended together just right.
Butter the Children's Facebook
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
On the surface the surface it doesn't appear like much has changed with Heidi Klum's Bangs. Zach and Dylan Beck are still crafting lovely post-Elephant 6 tunes filled with tinkering bells, simple acoustic guitar, and soaring trumpet. "The Tress Unveil the Stars", the EP's lead off track, also easily captures the band's lyrical love of communicating love and tendency towards sprawl. However, something shifts with the rest of the EP after that track. The second track "April (7:43)" has a leisurely vibe to it, just jogging along as it all spills out. It's the most relaxed and casual the band has ever sounded, with the trumpets serving as a complement to the verses rather than the usual core instrument Heidi Klum's Bangs usually utilizes it for. The Fireworks Fall Like Flowers then progress into the title track, its longest track and obvious centerpiece. Split into two distinct parts, it shifts from their most full bodied song as the drums, trumpet, and guitar fill up everything to a second section that is incredibly moving as Zack Beck's vocals become strained as he tries to express his love for someone over the crashing drums and ringing bells. It's the most powerful the band has ever been, and that's saying a lot for a band that has always put such emotion into all their songs.
It also crystallizes the main quality of the EP, which is it gives Heidi Klum's Bangs the ability to stretch and expand their sound. No song is under four minutes here, and the album closer almost reaches the seven minute mark as well. "(11:11)" opens with vocal drone before unfolding into a lovely instrumental (completely with Casio synth lines) that folds perfectly into the rest of the EP. "All in All", the aforementioned album closer, might be the band’s moodiest piece to date. With a quivering drum beat and sporadic fellow instrumentation, the track creates this wonderful melancholy sense to it, a purely winter-esque of admiring the world while the world is bleak as well. It captures the collective essence of The Fireworks Fall Like Flowers, while at the same time showing how Heidi Klum’s Bangs have evolved from their debut album Placer Pier. It’s lovely indie pop that is slowly becoming at little more moody, a little more lush, and a little more beautiful.
Heidi Klum's Bangs' Facebook
Buy The Fireworks Fall Like Flowers EP here, from the band themselves
Thursday, November 15, 2012
The UK has been producing quality '90s indie rock for ages now. One listen to the likes of Yuck or PAWS and it's like entering a time of fray vocals and distortion filled guitars. So it should be no surprise that this infatuation should lead to a return of other indie genres. Enter the strangely named The History of Apple Pie and their classic sounding shoegaze. "Glitch" of their upcoming debut Out of View is sounds as if somehow transported itself from 1991. A perfect My Bloody Valentine jangle opens the song with pogo-inducing drums as another guitar cuts in and out with perfectly feedback notes and discordant effect elements. All the while Stephanie Min's lovely & airy vocals envelope "Glitch" to add the perfect touch of beauty to the song's intensity. The History of Apple Pie have crafted excellent, shoegaze bliss, as loud and glowing as anyone could want from the genre.
The History of Apple Pie's Website
Pre-order Out of View here, from Rough Trade Records
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Grabbel and the Final Cut put out one of my favorite releases this year with a reissue of their Get Your Feet Back On The Ground EP cassingle back from 1991 in the form of an exquisite 7" for Captured Track imprint Shoegaze Archive. The three tracks were just shoegaze in a hyper condensed, springy, and purest from and I love it. Now while waiting for a rumored compilation of the more of their discography for release later this year, Grabbel and the Final Cut have released an excellent stop-gap with Feedback Part II.
Though calling Feedback Part II is really selling it short. Recorded over two different nights one of their reunion tour dates, the disk captures a band that really feels like they never quit. The guitars blaze and crackle, and the drums smash with ferocity. Front man Stefan Zachau cries out the lyrics with passion (and sometimes anger) as if there was no disconnect from the kid who wrote them practically 20 years ago. Grabbel and the Final Cut were on fire when they performed and it shows. While it's nice to hear the familiar songs booming ("Psycho Popsong" in particular shines) it's the unreleased cuts that are the real treasure here. The likes of "Never Always Mine (But I'll Be Fine)" and & "Teardrops" are not only as great as their previous material, but show a much darker and sadder side to the band that was only hinted at with their EP. "Dark Side" in particular that the band is not one shade of one genre, jumping with eerily quite to screeching, being powerful the whole time.
While live albums usually aren't usually a proper way to showcase a band, Feedback Part II more than rightly gives Grabbel and the Final Cut their dues and brings back a band for their second chance. And the band is more than making due on their return.
Grabbel and The Final Cut's Website
Buy Feedback Part II here, from the band themselves
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Peach Kelli Pop's debut LP (from the distant time of 2010) was one of the best slices of pure pop AND garage around, no doubt due to Peach Kelli Pop (AKA Allie Hanlon) picking up an incredible knack for hooks with her day job drumming with White Wires. Now after too long a wait, her second album will squeak out just in time for the end of the year, thanks to always awesome Burger Records. "Dreamphone" is a classic sample of Peach Kelli Pop's style, deeply simple but utterly catchy instrumentation (here just drums and guitar) over lo-fi vocals that here actually sound like they were recorded over the phone. The lovely glockenspiel that sounds through out gives the song an even stronger cuddlecore sound. "Dreamphone" might be sickly sweet, but it's that sweetness that makes it such wonderful ear candy in the first place.
Peach Kelli Pop's Facebook
Burger Records' Website
Friday, November 9, 2012
Note: This is my first attempt ever at talking about a rap song on The Creative Intersection. Please keep that while reading this blog post.
Lushlife's "Magnolia" is very beautiful. Not just because of the flower evoked by warped sample that plays through out the song, but aspects like the harp sample that is layered over the dry, sunny beat as well. It's not a one-dimensional beauty, with the song's lyrics painting a more complex portrait of the world, but even those nuances Lushlife paints add to essence of "Magnolia". All this comes to life with the song's music video. Big, pop art influenced, cardboard reproductions of every lyric in the song are planted over people's faces as the lyrics are acted out. What could have been an all too simple lyric video is truly brought to life with this video. Very simple while at the same being insanely stylish, much like "Magnolia" itself.
Buy Plateau Vision here, from Western Vinyl
Thursday, November 8, 2012
In 2012, Fake Flamingo Recordings had a genius idea. Every week since the beginning of the year, they would release a two song EP from a completely anonymous band, through a pay what you want format via Bandcamp. If an artist/band is able to make 1,000 dollars through the Bandcamp page, Fake Flamingo Recordings presses the songs onto a 12" and gives away 100 copies of said 12" randomly to anyone who donated money. This way music is supported purely based on its own merit, and a 12" could possibly be produced as an end result.
This awesome project has been going on since January, with most of the bands producing songs that circle around a similar vein of abstract beats, murky production, hazy dream-pop, and experimentalism. While several different releases could be mentioned here (Hoverboard's contribution is very excellent, as are Creative Intersection favorites Ender Belongs to Me's songs), Desert Crown have proceeded some of the best songs in the series. "Black Water Black Sky" is a hybrid of tropical beats and dream pop haze as the airy vocals and melted guitar lines layer over the production effortlessly. "The King" is even more ethereal, with Desert Crown channeling a bit of Sigur Rós' style of atmosphere, though filling it with twinkling and shifting synth lines that build within the song, expanding it without being noticed on first listen. It's two track of sublime, creative, dusty dream-pop that easily stretches outside of genre lines and is all the better for it.
Fake Flaming Recordings'Website
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
It was an Austin sort of Halloween. A batch of mostly twenty-somethings, dressed in various pop-culture referencing costumes for the night, were not spending Halloween inside someone’s house or at a party. They were standing on dusty gravel at Stubb’s to see some bands perform instead. To be fair, they might have been making the right call on how to spend the night. These were not the standard “dress up and play goof covers” Halloween bands, but the driving, noisy synth pop of Cold Cave, and calculated, cool indie rock of indie supergroup Divine Fits. Both bands were nothing short of great, playing off the night and atmosphere to produce two wildly different, but superb sets.
Cold Cave took the stage early at 8:00 p.m. to a relatively, and unfortunately, small crowd. However, that did not stop them from blasting out their material to any and everyone who would listen. With all five members clad head to toe in various articles of black clothes, and front man Wesley Eisold never removing his shades during the entire set, the band set the tone merely by their presence. The band then produced played 45 minutes of loud and distorted synth-pop, drawing from their return to noisy form that they showed off on Cherish the Light Years rather than the cleaner sound of Love Comes Close. Everything got a layer of intensity from the band, which is unsurprising due to Cold Cave now mostly consisting of underground punk and hardcore alumni to back Eisold. While this occasionally lead to a blurring of songs, the high points were many and constant, especially the finale, a blistering version of “The Great Pan is Dead” which someone managed to be more intense than the already powerful studio version.
As good as Cold Cave were though, the night belonged to Divine Fits. There was no flash or fluff to their set; it was just four, well-tuned, indie rock veterans blasting songs they liked to play with the precision of a well-oiled clock. Opening slowly with “Neopoliticans”, the set just built from there as the band notched up the intensity so slowly that it was almost unnoticeable until co-frontman Dan Boeckner was in the crowd while singing “My Love is Real”. The whole night was tradeoffs between Boeckner and fellow front man Britt Daniel, as the band jumped from tense, slinky indie rock to trance like synth jams, the seamlessnes of the band jumping from one style to the next a testament to their quality. Even their choice of covers emphasized this, with the band being able to throw in covers of both a Frank Ocean song and a Tom Petty song without either sounding out of place. The band closed the night with an exceptional cover of “Shivers” that the band poured so much energy into it felt like their amps would explode. Instead, the band pulled off a perfect rock star move of leaping into the air with the finale note and leaving the crowd with gaping mouths.
Monday, November 5, 2012
For whatever reason, and however temporary, there has been a small yet powerful resurgence of scuzzy, angular, dark, and loud post-punk/noise rock in the indie world. METZ have helped bring it to the forefront of everyone's conscious, but this sound has been brewing for a while. Just look at Hunters, four kids from Brooklyn making a mega ruckus since their debut EP Hands on Fire came out back in 2011 (though they formed way back in 2009). They have a new song called "Street Trash" which plays like a Sonic Youth track from their mid '80s heyday, filled with choppy, '50s beat poetry-ish vocal delivery and driving guitar lines. The über-fuzzed bass line and vocal trade off between Derek Watson's Thurston Moore like coo and Isabel Almeida's post Karen O yelp add an added layer of discordance to the song that cements the sense of wickedness laying within it. "Street Trash" is bleak and cruel, the sort of noise-rock that has been missing for far too long.