Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ali Helnwein - Strange Creations (2012)

Ali Helnwein’s music is great Halloween fodder when you have exhausted your trashy garage-rock collection, and are looking for your own private backing track as you drift through your neighborhood half drunk and hopped up on candy. Released on cassette by Spring Break Tapes, this is probably the only tape I own from an artist that can boast that they have earned an Emmy. All that respectability permeates from this release!

Strange Creations calls to mind Danny Elfman’s Tim Burton soundtracks, as Ali weaves minimal string arrangements to perfectly fill an empty space. Tracks like “Greed” are whimsical yet sinister, reminding the listener that once the sun goes down, familiar places take on a baleful quality. As much as I enjoy Black Metal and Drone cassettes, this is the first tape I have played that my girlfriend also enjoyed, and I can sincerely say that this release should be in as many hands as possible.

Buy it here:
Ali Helnwein - Strange Creations (2012)

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Sea Life - In Basements (2012)

The full-length follow-up to the EP by the Sea Life that was part of the 17th Grab Bag. There's only one track carried over from the EP (the most wonderful song "Sleep"), with the remainder being material that was at very least all new to me. The Sea Life has found a most charming blending of styles like shoegaze, indie pop and general lo-fi fuzz. They're capable of being awesomely dreamy for a track and then shift into a flawlessly guitar-driven number just after. I do try to give most everything that I put up on the blog 3 or more listens before writing anything up, but I must have listened to this album 3 times daily for over a week. What more is there to know, they done did it right.

To be had here:
The Sea Life - In Basements

Sunday, October 28, 2012

HenrySpenncer - Saturn (2012)

Parisian psychedelic space-cowboy HenrySpenncer is back at it, and about to drop a new record on French label Bookmaker Records. At the heart of Spenncer’s work is morose drones, but what separates him from an overly large field of musicians is his staple guitar compositions. His tracks are deeply grounded by this playing that takes equal parts from Pink Floyd and reverb soaked country hooks, which takes his music out of the “drones as atmosphere” into full fledged arrangements. He has put out a number of releases in the past, but this upcoming release is the first to be professionally recorded (at Holy Mountain Studio in London to boot), and worth looking out for when it drops this coming winter.

Get it here:

Friday, October 26, 2012

Irureta - 100% Pure Sport (2012)

Everything about Irureta points to them being a French band, but I can’t for the life of me pin down if that’s true or not. The good folks at Teflon Beast Records released this prog-heavy pop record just a few months back, and I have enjoyed the cassette tape since receiving it. With the exception of the French sound clips tastefully placed during intros, the record is made up of psychedelic jamming that is sure to impress anyone who happens to read this blog consistently. L'Arret Gite Ethnique/Patinage Mental is still my favorite track off this full length, with its winding synthesizer and pulsing bass line preserving my interest for the duration of the 6 minute jam. Well worth a listen, even if you can't buy the cassette.

Get it here: Irureta - 100% Pure Sport (2012)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

EP Grab Bag vol. 25

So here's some of all those EPs that I've been sent which surely the musicians must've thought had disappeared into a black hole within my gmail account. All wonderful naturally and thanks very much for sending them in even if it takes me forever to get to them. Also even more thanks to Elvis Dracula for taking it upon himself to keep this blog more lively than I could manage alone. Do check out his awesome band the Drunken Draculas. Perfect for your desire to hear horror-themed garage rock on Halloween.

To be had here:

Unmade Beds - Unmade Beds EP (2012)

A group from Boston that makes some post-punk with elements of noise and goth. Don't be fooled by the trippy introduction on the first track, which is good but unrepresentative, as these guys do get pretty fast and loud. "Caipiras U.S.A." is an especially solid lo-fi song that immediately won me over.

Trashy - Power Shower EP (2012)

Even more noisy yet, Trashy is a New Orleans punk band that has some real fucking lo-fi production. I mean the lyrics are basically incomprehensible  but ain't nothing wrong with that. As rough and raw as you'd like from something with a heavily bound, half-naked person on the cover. The EP is quite short, but the gem is "Slut Song" if you want my opinion.

Autism - Falling Motion (2012)

An instrumental Lithuanian post-rock/post-metal band, so now you know that's a thing. A good thing at that, for these songs are hypnotic. Definitely a talented display that I recommend to all the post-metal-heads out there (is that what they're called?). Link goes to the bandcamp page but there's a link from there that'll let you get it for free on mediafire.

Shark Week - EP (2012)

This three song EP from Washington, D.C.-based Shark Week blew my goddamned man with it's finely done garage rock. Just enough surf and soul in there to really get me all kinds of worked up. Can't put my finger on it but the singer reminds me of someone else so incredibly intensely it is uncanny, but takes not a thing away from the brilliance of the tracks. Make sure you get this one, trust.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Kramers - Self-titled (2012)

Continuing with monster-themed garage rock, we have The Kramers from Brisbane, Australia. The group is made up of two young lads who put together lo-fi garage rock that sounds timeless and yet engaging. While not as loud and merciless as my previous post, The Kramers do pull off a full sound on their 13 song self-titled release, while clearly recording on a basic 4-track setup. They even cover J Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers “Last Kiss,” which shows where this group’s musical heart rests.

Get it here:
The Kramers - ST (2012)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Gory Details - Killer Waves (2012)

I have an incessant love for trashy garage rock that could theoretically be used as the soundtrack to a 1950s horror film. Record some upbeat, snarling jams to a 4-track, and I am almost surely going to enjoy it. Throw in a few ounces of monsters and grime and you have just assured my attention.  The Gory Details hail from Austin and released their first cassette (Killer Waves) last August. If you enjoy rancorous garage punk with a heavy dose of organ thrown in for good measure, these guys are likely up your alley. I am sure these guys were going for a Mummies vibe with this set, and they capture that quintessential act’s vigor flawlessly.  The download isn’t free, but for a measly 3 bucks, it is worth every cent. 

Get it here:

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Space Wolves - Space Wolves (2012)

This is a Buffalo-based band that makes jangle pop which they liken to Bleached or the Babies, but I have to say they sound like a speedier version of the Lucksmiths or the Mabels (I had a phase wherein I listened to much Australian indie pop) both in the musical content and the whimsical nature of the lyrics. The songs are sometimes wonderfully brief jingles that sing about something like Pizza or girls. In fact only a couple of tracks go over the two minute mark. All of them are damned cheerful sung and musically charming, even if the lyrics can have that Beulah-esque depressing content if you really pay attention to what he's saying. So while this did touch a soft spot for me as it summoned up memories of sitting alone in the afternoon listening to Australian music as a teenager, it is meritorious beyond that and I recommend anyone who's a jangle pop fan to give it a listen.

To be had here:

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Zany Zongas - Intercession (2012)

This is a tape I was sent like, well, prolly two months ago. My bad for sitting on it so long, as I really do appreciate anyone taking the time to mail me a physical copy of their work. Apologies aside, this is the second time I'm writing up the Zany Zongas (those guys at Old Monster Records must be fond of me). Like North Park, this release is an experimental drone/psychedelic experience to which one is easily absorbed. The tracks are all rather lengthy at about 5 to 8 minutes a piece. Thusly even at only four songs it is as long as a regular album. Moreover, because of the length they get to really take the listener on a sonic journey in a very progressive rock sorta way. As usual I was reading something during my first listen, namely Kafka's diaries, and it really made me bug out a bit. Anyhow, Intercession is a fine follow-up to North Park and it is still available on tape if you're nerdy about that like me.

To be had here:

Resuming Posting/Invitation for New Posters

As you've most likely noticed I took a hiatus from the blog from a month. It was beginning to feel for more like a chore than an enjoyable hobby after four years of writing essentially the same topic, especially now that it's so much harder for me to have the freedom to post most anything I fancied as the hosting sites have become cowed by federal legislation. Begin able to subject the readership to my esoteric and arbitrary tastes was a large part of the fun of writing Spacerockmountain. Now that the site is  de facto legit, as it everything for months has been submitted material or otherwise free by the artists' choice, I haven't the same content control any longer. However, I don't wish for the blog to disappear or lay dormant for long periods until I get an itch to write, so I've mulled over my options I have a possible plan.

I am gonna try a biweekly posting schedule. Basically I've got only Thursdays and Sundays off from work, and my schedule at work is a steady one with regular hours for the first time in my life so I should be able to plan around it accordingly. This is a blessing and a curse naturally, as it does mean I'll be able to allot time to listen to submitted albums, but not at the rate I did so when I was unemployed or working parttime while in college. Therefore I'll need to be more selective. So not everything will get posted up, but I am debating a way to throw up link on a list somewhere for those that want to consume everything or explore on their own.

Finally, I have had other people write on the blog in the past, to which I am thankful to each of them for taking time to add on to what's a no-pay passion project of mine. Naturally enough they haven't much reason to keep it up so they peter out sooner or later, yet the blog in infinitely superior with voices beyond my own. So a proposal, if you sitting on your ass trolling music blogs or if you're friends with a bunch of musicians you wanna shill, perhaps you might post here yourself? To put it simply, contact me if you want to write on the blog, if you got your own stuff you wanna write then just show me what you've jotted down and I'll most likely let you post it here. Otherwise, if you wanna try the crazy crapshoot method I use, I can sent you some submitted material you can try for reviewing. Doesn't pay shit but it can be exciting and you potentially get to promote something you really like, possibly that you'd never have heard of in any other route.