Monday, September 30, 2013

Space Wolves - Space Wolves IV (2013)

Here's another group I have posted multiple times that is back with a new full-length. Taking that prolonged break is like coming back to a treasure trove of music, and not least among them is this fourth album the Space Wolves. It is cheerfully done retro-pop that does a wonderful job at delivering wittily written lyrics in an energetic style. It is a short but addictive to listen to. It is easily put on looping repeat and before you know it you'll have heard the son of bitch a half dozen times. Consistently excellent like the previous albums. My roommate suggests it is similar Guided by Voices, and I am inclined to agree with him so that's your bag you best snatch it for the undeniably fine price of nothing.

To be had here:
Space Wolves - Space Wolves IV

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Thee Dang Dangs - For the People (2013)

It rained like hell yesterday and I have not been to the beach in weeks, so you could say I have not been in a surfing mood lately. That doesn't matter however, as this band is from Denver and they are as far from the beach as you can get. That may explain this band's excellent and tripped-out take on Surf Rock. I bet these ladies and lads have more Thee Oh Sees records in their collection than they do Beach Boy discs, and the cold Colorado winters are prone to produce meditative freak sessions caused by long bouts of seclusion. Throw those elements in a pot, and you get the Thee Dang Dangs.

The minute I heard "Lips Around Your Spine, " I knew the track would be on heavy rotation here at the Bat Pitt. Igor described this record as "someone being raised in Hell on acid trying to imitate a poorly transmitted 60s AM radio station." That just about captures it. It's not a free download, but worth a few bucks for the physical media. The spinning disc may be all that keeps the wolves at bay during this coming winter.

Get it here:
Thee Dang Dangs - For the People (2013)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

EP Grab Bag vol. 43

I play in some bands with some of these kidos (and I should mention that I am playing a role in putting out this cassette), but this EP really is a standout garage rock set that perfectly captures the mid-2000s out in the deserts of the Imperial Valley. This is a band well studied in the Nuggets box sets, and is unashamed to wear those influences out front. Wacky, ridiculous lyrics that don’t feel out of place for a moment. You were probably drunk when you first heard them anyway. 

Recorded right to cassette using an old boombox, this EP is surprisingly well polished considering the tools used. While they have long been deceased, I dare you to not listen to “Oh My God! The Whips!” and not pump your fist along with the infectious, fuzzy riff of goodness. The cassette has dozens of other tracks from the band’s lifespan, so get them before they are all gone. 

I don’t know what the rock scene is like in Puerto Rica, but if this band is any meaningful measurement, British shoegaze music has found inroads far from London. This excellent free EP comes from a group that has been at it for some time and has polished this sound over the last decade. This record comes just as the shoegaze esthetic has gained popularity yet again and will likely find its way onto some websites “best of” list. 

This Australian band was on a recent grab bag, but their new EP is just as awesome as the last and deserves the free download you will surely provide. You know the drill: snarling, pissed, and fun psychedelic garage rock that builds on the groups already well crafted sound.

Made up of one long, epic ambient experiment, this is my favorite Mehr record to date. Not music for everybody, but the soundscape created here through loops is pretty impressive stuff. A lot of people make something like this these days, but this is truly exceptional stuff. Thankfully, Hidden Shoal Records has put out a physical release so you may even find it at your local non-existent record store.

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Future Primitives - Into The Primitive (2013)

Hello pilgrims, been a minute since I've posted. Life got busy as it does, and I was in the process of relocating to Connecticut from Detroit as I've grown weary of the Motor City and I have an deep existential dread of dying in the same area I was born and raised in. So my buddy had a spot at a house in the suburbs of Hartford, CT and there I sit now, just need to find some steady work (yes, this is a cry for help). More importantly I wanna thank Elvis for keeping this blog going while I was experiencing my burnt out and fed up phase in Detroit as my ceiling buckled in from flooding, my boss refused to give me a decent raise and I dropped totality of my saving on an old ass Caprice to escape the city. Without Elvis's contributions this blog would have gone silent and that would have been a shame for all the wonderful musicians getting some much needed promotion here, so I thank him again for keeping it going so admirably.

Now for the music, a returning favorite of mine and my favorite band from South Africa (admittedly not the longest list), The Future Primitives. They have released a new full-length and it is every bit as righteous and rocking as there previous work. There skill and musicians and songwriters is developing nicely as the songs, while a raw, distorted and so very sweetly lo-fi sound to be composed with more care and attention. It really allows the guitar playing to absorb a keen listener with the drums hypnotically seducing simultaneously. As with there previous releases this is a great mixture of psychedelic and Dick Dale-esque surf. These guys are truly something else and if you haven't gotten a chance to hear there earlier work I recommend it all. Freely streamable on bandcamp, and a paltry $7 to download for keeps.

To be had here:
The Future Primitives - Into The Primitive

Sunday, September 15, 2013

EP Grab Bag vol. 42

Dirty, to-the-point punk never goes out of style. There are kids playing a Dead Kennedys and Crass record for their first time today, and thankfully they can find groups out there keeping those timeless sounds vibrant and live. This group comes from the Bronx, and since OFF! Is celebrated on NPR, there is no reason smaller acts shouldn’t get some of that love and attention. The songs are fast, furious, and have the energy to kick even the most jaded middle-aged music critic into teenage riot mode.


This Connecticut shoegaze act was active some 15 years ago, but has recently gotten back together and decided to release some of their past catalog on cassette. I found the guitar parts limiting, but their minimalist approach and well-spaced vocals played well to the band’s strengths. I would like a copy of the cassette to really get the analog vibe in full effect, and if they happened to be in California, I would drop by to say hello.


This Brooklyn based composer puts together some nice, building, thematic pieces that fans of film scores would enjoy. Peaceful enough that my cats stopped fighting and went to sleep. Great success!


Time to get my synth pop on. I happen to get a lot of this type of music which must be the result of cheap and easy programs are now available for the general public, and thus more folks are putting together bedroom pop records that don’t sound like the 4 track records I made in the 80s. Compared to many of their peers, this Washington based group is rather strong. Great lyrics and a stout vocal delivery really set them apart. And it is freeeeeeeeeee.


I will end this morning’s listening session with some tunes that are right up my ally musically. Dirty, sloppy, and loud rock’n’roll made to piss off your neighbors as you throw back cheap beer and blast it from the back of your junky timeworn pickup. This would surely spin on any SapceRockMountain fan’s turntable if they had physical copies. So go download a copy, dub it to a tape, and tell your neighbors to go fuck themselves.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

lightsystem - Lost Language (2013)

Los Angeles has seen a sizable, consistent, progressive music scene develop over the last two decades. When you have  a city with so many cultures and ideas forced to mix together, it is hard not to follow your music down the fusion proverbial hole. Some have borrowed from the 60s and 70s British scene, others embracing the metal and dark drone sounds. lightsystem seem to take from both while still charting the road Tool has well worn.

When the first track Glossolalia came through, other than the moody atmospherics one comes to expect from prog, I got a distinct whiff of Sting's Soul Cages, which was a pleasant surprise. I don't think I have ever recieved a press release from a band claiming to sound like Sting, so I hope they add that to their bio. Once the band worked its magic on their opening jam, it was time for the larger-than-life guitars and existential lyric embellishments. Well crafted epic tracks that did not drag or feel monotonous.

If this wasn't conceived as a soundtrack to some film, it should have been. Overall a very enjoyable release, I just wish I had a physical copy and was not limited to mp3 files.

Get it here:
lightsystem - Lost Language (2013)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Glitter Wizard - Hunting Gatherers (2012)

Rock'n'roll without a little devil worshiping isn't worth having. Nothing says fun like Satan! Trust me, I know the guy. He can throw back beers with the best of them (Hemingway does drink him under the table, mind you). He has Skip James and Billie Holiday as his lounge acts on nights where people want to relax, and he said he would send every member of Creed right up to heaven if they were sent his way. He is that kind of considerate guy.

Glitter Wizard are on a mission: to teach kids the awesome fun that is Satan. This San Francisco glam group has put out a few releases, but their newest is by far my favorite. Lots of flute solos mixed right to the front of the track, and infectious riffs that make worshiping the dark lord all that much better. "Worship the Devil" and "Blood of the Serpent" are two tracks you need to listen to as you order a copy of the vinyl. Paying homage to Satan just got more fun (than it already was).

Get it here:
Glitter Wizard - Hunting Gatherers (2012)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

EP Grab Bag vol. 41

I have been in a twinkly guitar kick lately. Might be that my band is finishing up a few new releases, and we definitely leave the twinkly guitar licks out. Doesn’t mean I don’t dig that type of thing, and Marc does it well. This surprisingly polished work does evoke some of the prettier Sonic Youth and Pavement tracks from the 90s,  this is bedroom pop from someone who knows their way around an 8-track. Very enjoyable stuff, and free to download to boot.

Producing pop-rock in Liverpool must be tough. A lot to live up to and all. Does the city permeate with Beatles nostalgia, or are young musicians free to create without the burden of excellence crushing their creative energy? The Swapsies may not live up to that aforementioned band’s skill, but they make some great clap-along pop jams. They even throw in a healthy dose of clapping with the recording to accompany the male/female vocal back and forth. It is fun, to the point, and need not be tethered to the past.

I love Fugazi. Not only is the band great musically, they continued to champion and articulate what a DIY ethics could be in music to the betterment of the world at large. Springtime come from Virginia, and there is little doubt they have also borrowed a great deal from the Dischord sound. Heck, they have a Fugazi cover on this 7 inch, which is great as far as I am concerned. Phat chords powered by Marshall amps and throaty vocals that don’t sound like high-schoolers trying to sound tough.

We don’t get many releases from North Dokota, and we rarely get someone name dropping Gorgias the Greek and Albert Camus the absurdist either. That can’t help but perk my interest, and thankfully the band’s sound is just as grand. Seamlessly crafted post-rock, these kids don’t let their literary repertoire get in the way of infectious music. “Banister” is my favorite track off this record, and while it is free to download, these folks are Kickstarting a vinyl release if you are inspired to pitch in.

I will be the first to say I don’t know much about the electro-pop scene, especially the vibrant scene in Europe. I generally like the music sonically, but the vocals leave me feeling wanting. This group from the Netherlands is about the same. If they worked on the vocal delivery, this could be some very enjoyable stuff, but as it is, most of our readers will probably skip over this single.  

I have been a fan of the Oakland label Constellation Tatsu for nearly a year, and they put out some great collage centered electronic experimentation. These people take this stuff seriously. This is not throw away music or attempts at pop music that turned out too messy to release. These are full-fledged ideas and rhythms that have captured my attention and appreciation even on my third listen this evening. Highly recommended stuff.

The Sufis - Inventions (2013)

Burger Records popped this time-traveling portal into my mail box last week. As I grasped the outer sleeve, I was brought back to 1969. Best of all, I did not have crabs (something often left out of biographies of yours truly). As I walk down Haight Ashbury, I recognize the distinct smell of weed in the air, but the piss poor stuff hippies smoked in those days. “Get a job!” I yell to a drum circle, but recall that I too am lacking in employment. A group of asshole cops assume I must be some insane person for dressing as I do, and beat the shit out of me. The 1960s isn’t as fun as I remember. I realized I had best find a record player and play this new Sufis record to see if there is a way to return to the present.

Robert Crumb is out complaining about beatniks or something, so he lets me hang out and use his turntable. As soon as I drop the needle, I know that the Sufis have come into their own, just not in the right time period. The best of the Animals/Kinks psychedelic periods are displayed in full competency. If these kids had happened to been born into this time period, they would be one of those groups Baby Boomers always bring up when reminding younger generations of their age delimited inadequacies.

As I reach the last track on the album, a purple haze engulfs me, and returns me to my dingy apartment circa 2013. All that time travel, and I didn’t even get a shot at Audrey Hepburn. Damn.

A great, highly competent record on all counts. They should be big, but they won’t be. I would like to see them break out of their self-imposed stylistic parameters on future releases, but this will be my tool to return to 1969 whenever I feel the need.
Buy it here:

Sunday, September 1, 2013

EP Grab Bag vol. 40

Labor Day weekend is upon us here in the States, and I am having a BBQ with some of my favorite ghouls. Here are some of the records spun at our little get-together.

The sun sits at high-noon out at our desert palisade in SlabCity, California. When that suns starts to beat down on you, you need some cool beer and some good tunes to keep your mind from melting. Walrus out of Canada provide just that. These kids throw down well polished psychedelic pop music that is enjoyed by Mummy and Frankenstein alike (a difficult task, I assure you). Just one track (Walrus), and the other side of the tape being another group called Pale Blue Light. Walrus is the best of the two, with its ethereal vocals and splendid guitar work. 

Chupacabra is requesting we put on something English and upbeat, so Liverpool’s Balcony Stars is put on the turntable. Big guitar riffs and just enough drums to keep you on task, and it gets everyone onto the dance floor. Then the guitar lead kicks in and pulls everyone’s hands into the air. She may be going down as the vocalist reiterates, but we are all pulled up by this 7 inch. 

Witchy Rhonda is hoping to get closer to Kid Dracula and requests a sweeter tune in which to push his heart towards hers. Seattle’s Heatwarmer is just the act to do so. “Keep pushing me, and I’ll keep pushing you” says the front man as a keyboard solo trails in to compliment the Genesis-inspired synth pulses. Very polished pop music, and best of all, it got Witchy Rhonda a kiss. 

When this band submitted their new record, they said they played “lo-fi cat songs about death, anxiety, and death.” How could I not spin that at our desert shindig? This is experimental stuff that happened to clear the dancefloor, but Igor enjoyed the change of pace and willingness to distort the pop and rock rules while we worked the BBQ pit. “They Know” is the best track on the record in my opinion. Igor liked “Pea Soup Rapture Blues.”

Ok, time to pick things up a bit. Everyone has had more than a few beers and is looking for a way to shake out a few calories. I put on this Indiana groups well constructed collage pop and like a group of Sufi spiritualists, the group begins spinning in unison.  Tracks like “3 August 1888, Linz” demonstrate the group’s ability to create danceable tracks while staying true to their cult like admiration for the peculiar. 

The turntable is put aside for a bit as we bring in some of our fellow monsters to play live. My comrade Wolfman Dracula grabs his guitar to rock out with his psychedelic riff-rawkers and starts to peel the paint off the wall with his vibrato laced, full throated chords of rock prowess.  Apeman says he thought he saw the devil on stage with the band, but that guy has a real drinking problem. 

As expected, Wolfman Dracula smashes his guitar into a thousand pieces (the reason I put him behind the drums in my band) and the set is cut short. In desperation, I grab the next record in the stack which just so happens to save our desert party from premature destruction. This Wisconsin act slams together some larger-than-life sing alongs that Bruce Springsteen could make if he wasn’t trying to be the next Pete Seeger. I don’t know if this is about the financial bailout, but that shit pisses me off, and this song gets me all hot in bothered in just the right places.