Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Slackers - не буду этого помнить (2016)

I am gonna make a stab at posting again. Had the worst insomnia as of late, for over a month really. Making my mind feel like swiss cheese and all I have been able to keep up on is work, and not without feeling like a forgetful dope even then. Almost seems like a different era that I sat down so often to hear knew music. Something I'd like to do again.

So here is a treat, a Russian garage rock band. Assuming from the tags on the bandcamp page these are some young dudes in Moscow making lo-fi songs, perhaps partially out of necessity but also I'd wager they are fans of many awesome garage rockers we all enjoy. In fact this is made explicit when they cover Mr. Airplane Man's "Don't Know Why," something they share with the Brazilian band Hierofante Púrpura (it is very neat to hear the two versions back-to-back, and the Slackers translated it to Russian to boot). The songs are not too heavy, being a bit more garage pop or even college rock sort of fuzzy, weird tunes. Yet most fundamentally they are really great to hear, well composed and the Russian lyrics are smoother and more pleasant that I can say for most any other albums I've posted in that language or collect for myself. Perhaps I imagined this, but the second half of songs seemed more psychedelic as well.
не буду этого помнить, meaning "won't remember it" has been released by Dopefish Family. This is not the first album by the Slackers and is only of dozens the label as put out. I urge you to look more into them each.

To be had here:
Slackers - не буду этого помнить 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

EP Grab Bag vol. 110

I actually wrote this about months ago and left it 90% finished and forgot to post it. So here are some belated EPs.

To be had here:
Shortbus 1999 - Motorcycle Boy Reigns EP (2016)

A new EP from the Russia lo-fi dream/garage pop band Shortbus 1999, who've had a couple of previous EPs featured on Spacerockmountain. Being acquainted with their earlier songs, I was excited to hear this fresh batch. These five high-energy tracks did not disappoint and brought all the fuzzy, fast rock that I recall fondly from the earlier work. The thing I noticed that changed the most are the more prominent vocals, with two different singers appearing and both singing loudly in Russian, which is pretty dope.

Lloyd Braun - New Age Hooey (2016)

A band from the westside of my home state, more exactly they reside in our second largest city, Grand Rapids. They play grungy garage rock that clearly betrays their roots as growing up in the Midwest in the 90s. Nothing wrong with that whatsoever, just that especially in the vocals you may notice the emotional delivery that has been so popular here for ever so long. Reminds me of many of the better concerts I've attended around the state, though notably better musicianship than much of them. I can easily get behind what these guys are up to.

Unholy Sights - Esoteric Domine (2016)

Fuzzy, lo-fi garage rock with a healthy touch of horror punk vibes thrown in. The Unholy Sights are from Annapolis, Maryland and are a new band, not even a year into it yet. They seems very much like some dudes I would get along with a chat about Gories and Mummies tunes with. Their songs dip a bit more heavy than those artists though, but never for very long, as the fuzzy guitars and bashing cymbals are still the nice garagey core of this EP.

Pulco - Solid Geometry EP (2016)

A new EP from a colorful home recording artist from Bangor, Wales. This must be the fourth time I've written up a release from Pulco, and they never strike me as being terribly similar except in being unusual creations of experimentation exacted upon pop music. However, this EP might be the eeriest of them to date, as it has a dark, futuristic and surreal mood. They lyrics get creepy, but in a fascinating way opposed to unsettling. He keeps surprising me, but I guess I should expect that by now.

Moon Loves Honey - Apart (2016)

So long as we're considering dreamy music, let's look at a Danish band who has made so beautifully fleshed out dream pop songs. The songs are very well structured and incorporate a range of instrumentation and stylized vocals to create softy emotional songs. Spacey, dreamy but still shocking quick and upbeat. A very interesting and engaging EP of pop tunes.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Marcus Eads - Saint Francis River Basin (2016)

This is not the first time I have taken a break from frequently posting on this blog (much thanks to Larry for keeps things from going completely dark). In fact I've found it a requirement that I step back and focus elsewhere, especially at transitionary periods of my life. I could go on by my job changes all that shit but really I am looking forward to not sweating that at all and just sitting around with some new music again. We'll begin with the basics this time, the very condensed and beautiful basics of American Primitive music.

I hope you've all remembered to regularly listen to the illustrious music of John Fahey, for it is central to getting the most out of this album. Like all players of American Primitive music, Marcus Eads owes much to Fahey's synthesis of the folk traditions of the United States. Though as we all know time has kept going and Eads has the influences of other finger-picking guitarists and popular music of the last decades. Still I believe you'll hear much of the simple folk traditions in these songs. These tracks are just guitar, played with open tuning and picked by his skillful fingers. If uninitiated to the style it may seem old-fashioned, but keen listeners will notice the degree of progressiveness that innate to the semi-improvised and every evolving sounds a well-handled acoustic guitar can offer. I haven't much more to say than I enjoying this album immensely.

Marcus Eads is from Seattle originally but now lives in Minnesota, something he shares with another of my favorite contemporary American Primitivists, Steve PalmerSaint Francis River Basin has been released by the Manchester, UK based North Country Primitive and as of writing this still for sale as a compact disc or digitally.

To be had here:
Marcus Eads - Saint Francis River Basin

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Downtown Boys - S/T (2012)

Downtown Boys are a bilingual political punk band from Providence, Rhode Island. If you're like me, you don't readily associate this New England city with an amazing music scene, but a little digging uncovers a full blown rash of rather crazy noise rock bands such as Lightning Bolt, Arab On Radar, and Six Finger Satellite. Does RISD have Noise Rock as a major?

Anyway, Downtown Boys bring a similar spastic energy to this, their self titled record. Punk rock this good is closely akin to late 70s UK band X-ray Spex(the saxophones help), and some from the Southern Californian scene of the same period and later.

I'm not personally super into mixing politics with my music. I'm kind of a "don't fucking let the maple syrup touch my hash browns" kind of guy. But I respect the passion it can bring to the delivery. Vocalist Victoria Ruiz is an astoundingly gifted screamer, always at a 10 but still able to give a dynamic performance. This is a raw, caged animal of a recording...  lo-fi while still very in your face.

Downtown Boys have a highly reputed live show, all dates of their current tour listed on their bandcamp. Looks like they'll be playing my old alma mater. What a treat it would be to see this band erupt in the tiny Downstairs Cafe, or wherever it is bands are now playing on that strangely secluded campus in the woods. I know that all of the heroin addicted anarchists, the circle drumming biology majors, and interpretive-dancing-to-express-their-own-psychosis students will be blown away.

$4 for 10 songs.
Sample song:
Bandcamp link:
Downtown Boys - S/T

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Wrong Numbers - More Cuddles With the Wrong Numbers (2016)

Soul music, to me, is the quintessential American music. I know that the blues, jazz, and hip hop are more important from a music history standpoint: those genres were catalysts for so much more. Soul is just my absolute favorite. It's danceable, it's about good times and bad times. It's also kind of a natural antidepressant for me. Just throw on some Irma Thomas or Syl Johnson and the world becomes a little brighter.

Seeing a resurgence with stuff like Sharon Jones and Leon Bridges is great. Hard to believe that soul music ever went out of style, quite honestly. But perhaps in Detroit, where The Wrong Numbers come from, soul never lost it's footing.

The Wrong Numbers play garage soul so well that Jack White would devolve into the primordial jelly from which he came just to sniff it. These peeps must all come from other bands, I'd guess... this shit is just too seasoned. "Bowel Sounds" is just 2 songs so far, but it's well worth your immediate attention if you're in the market for something frucking fantastic (edit: deciding to keep "frucking as is). Bummer that there's a $7 charge for just 2 songs(*), but I'm honestly considering it.

Look at the release date on this also: posted just 5 days ago. Hot off the frucking press... eh? EH? Ehhhhhhh... sorry. But for real, The Wrong Numbers have got it DIALED IN.

*Edit: Another song has been added! It's great! This is some 1960's Memphis soul, ala Wendy Rene. Amazing.

Bandcamp page:
The Wrong Numbers - Bowel Sounds

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Good Throb - Fuck Off (2014)

One of the most annoying things a person can do is belabor the definition of "punk", or really throw the word around in any nonmusical context. "That hummus is fuckin punk rock" or "You've been punked you stupid idiot" or "it's so punk rock outside today" whatever people say these days. Just stop it. It's music... played by people who don't care about being virtuosic with their instruments and they're indignantly ok with that. Probably the least punk rock thing a person can do is talk about what "punk" is and isn't. Just like what I'm doing now. Fuck.

Whatever "punk" is, Good Throb is great at it. Fuck off is their lone full length, available for free on their bandcamp, and it's full of simple, unpretentious attitude. They've almost got more of a posy-punk thing here, with their use of dissonant melody, prominent bass lines, and mid-up tempo beats. This isn't mosh music, but the kind of dancing that teenagers smoking cigarettes in moldy UK basements know how to do. Vocalist KY Ellie has got as great, sneering voice perfect for this kind of music... raspy, spitting viciousness.

Great lo-fi recording. Great song titles such as "Mummy I'm Ugly" and "You're Shit".  Fuck Off  is the most inviting listen I've heard in months.

11 songs.

Good Throb - Fuck Off

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Sun Dagger - Invisible World (2016)

Another instrumental album, this time from a place a bit more familiar to me. That is to say I have been there several times at least; New Haven, Connecticut. However, if you allow the songs to do their work you'll end up somewhere else completely. Quite psychedelic and pull influence from stoner and space rock Sun Dagger has managed to make remarkably engaging as well as surprisingly unique soundscapes. I've heard a good deal of epic instrumental tracks over the years of writing this blog and having many friends inclined to much such music, but I can't really summon a memory of one that sounds very close to Sun Dagger. There's so many strains of music interwoven it is boggling. At times I feel like I was hearing a funk tune, then it'll be spacey post-rock then to something new, yet all of this done with seamlessly transitioning sounds. Invisible World appears to be a collection of songs recorded at different times over that past few years and are improvised. Making cohesion of this album all the more impressive.

To be had here:
Sun Dagger - Invisible World

Monday, March 14, 2016

Go Run Donkey Hot! - Summerth (2016)

Despite my best intentions it is still taking me forever to get posts written up. Here is a submission I got a couple months ago, and should have been on top of far more promptly. There's just so many distractions lately, but maybe we'll get lucky and I'll write a few of these.

A lovely and calming album from Našice, Croatia. Not sure where they got such a creative name for this band, but its eccentric nature doesn't suggest the restrained post-rock/ambient style of music they make. The songs are long, building affairs that feature a fine variety of instrumentation, including the work of a most excellent horn player. In fact, while there isn't a instrument in these compositions that lacks charm, the horn really steals the show. The songs rise to a high point full of post-rock guitar and  clashes of cymbals, then pops in this alluring brass to guide it all around and back into the ambient bed of that underpins the tracks. Beautiful stuff, really nice.

To be had here:
Go Run Donkey Hot! - Summerth

Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Pathetic and Elegant - Slow Motives (2016)

Been checked out for a minute. Was in New York City drinking wines and came back to a broken down caprice classic that poisoned me with a serious exhaust leak. Left me feeling really fucking awful for the better part of a week. However, nothing like coming back to a slew of submissions from artists I've written up before and I am excited to hear new music from. Not least among these is The Pathetic and Elegant who've released a new album just last month.

The Pathetic and Elegant is a moniker for Baltimore bedroom pop artist, Luke Fisher. Hopefully you've gotten a chance to hear 2014's I Am In Love, as it still holds up as an outstanding feat of lo-fi pop music. This new release, Slow Motives, has not strayed very far from the basic sound that made the earlier album so delightful. Warmly effected vocals and computer-generated beats make up the core of the songs. Of course the charming lyrics add much to the songs, being about love and losing oneself in the city. The songs are lovely and incredibly pleasant to hear,  and in fact as it is a short album it lends itself well to repeated plays. Excellent stuff, and like the first album this has been released by those Maryland-based label and podcasting concern Spellabee Space.

To be had here:
The Pathetic and Elegant - Slow Motives

Sunday, February 21, 2016

EP Grab Bag vol. 109

For like the hundredth time I am way overdue at posting these EPs. I can't really keep a regular schedule at all and I won't make any promises are to how often I'll post anything. Keeping it consistent for months on end was a more tolling experience than I care to continue, and I have already slacked heavily as you might've noticed. So here on out, you get what you get when I feel like getting to it. More than likely it'll be bursts of posts that'll try to hype on the twitter feed as I get time.

To be had here:
Domiciles - Domiciles EP (2015)

A Scottish band from the town of Fife. They play well-polished psychedelic garage rock, by which I mean it all sounds remarkably clean with any lo-fi elements be intentionally preserved. Nothing at all wrong with good production, and the songwriting is stellar. I could imagine this band become very popular if they got the right breaks. Hits a happy middle ground between retro and modern psych-rock, not ignoring the Eastern influence from the earlier decades of the genre. Excellent stuff.

The Raw Nerves - Serious Beef (2016)

A new EP from New Zealanders, the Raw Nerves. This is a band that Amazing Larry wrote up, specifically their self-titled album from 2012. I unfortunately didn't spend much time listening to, yet I am glad to have been reminded to by way of these new songs. Short, loud and fast these tracks will be enjoyed by most any garage punk fan. Making me feel like I have been spending too much time listen to obscure 70s albums and not nearly enough brash, noisy rock from the inbox.

nemanja - nemanja (2015)

From Croatia comes dreamy, psychedelic pop sounds. Listening to this EP reminded me of a bunch of great bands from the former Yugoslavia I've posted and enjoyed for the years, however it in particular reminds me of Pridjevi, who're one of my personal favorites. While not identical, it shares the same Eastern-Western combination with ethereal singing and stunning instrumentation. An amazing example of contemporary dream pop that I most dearly cherish.

Chen Firsel - Sugarush EP (2015)

An Israeli musician who makes home recordings of psychedelic folk-pop. The songs are light and spacey overall, but have an sweet impact. I found the very easy to drift off into a pleasant headspace during, all the while enjoying his melodic guitar playing and nicely atmospheric backgrounds. Additionally, his vocals both in the highly effected and less altered states heard are remarkable. Still somewhat lo-fi throughout but really engaging.


Heavy grunge rock from Sydney, Australia. The album has a lot in the way of howling vocals and power cords, and it is on the edge of metal, yet I would say they do an amazing job at skirting that line without truly crossing it. Rather these are what the radio would call 'hard rock' songs, but I think grunge is just as a fine term for them (it's what they've tagged themselves as after all). Regardless of what genre you'd put them in, the songs are unpolished and quick, possessing many finer qualities of a good lo-fi show.