Been a minute since I've gotten around to writing up a Grab Bag. I know I am passing over some EPs I failed to dig out of the pile, but that is life and I'll see what I can do to write them up in the future still. Yet what we got here are a fine mix of lo-fi, electronic, punk and pop. Not a dud among them.
To be had here:
The Gumbo Ya-Ya's - Bad Juju EP (2015)
Heino Retief and his pals are back with new EP of garage rock tunes out of Capetown. The songs bear the fuzzy, jangling sort of lo-fi rocking I've come to expect and cherish from these rather productive South African musicians. Perhaps this EP is a bit more laid back than last year's LP, Superstitious Kisses, as they've taken a more laid back psychedelic and surfy sound. The title track of the EP exemplifies this most wonderfully. Not sure if or when there's to be physical release, but to enjoy soundcloud link for now (unless I wasn't supposed to share it, he didn't give any stipulations though).
Grenades in the Archives - Dressed Up Like Armageddon (2015)
The Boston-based punk rock outfit Grenades in the Archive are back with the second EP to make it into a Grab Bag. In fact, it was just four of these ago I posted Toyko. Nothing wrong with a quick turnaround and certainly not if you'd like a fix on fast, trashy punk rock. The songs are short, loud and intense with a bunch of sounding and very cool guitar playing. My original sentiment from the prior EP is only reinforced upon hearing this latest effort, the perfect thing for a dirty, small venue in which I often have my very best of times at shows. Though it doesn't hurt to hear it alone in my apartment right now either.
Lolita - Doll House EP (2014)
This EP is something I stumbled on when I was doing the Scene of a City: Zagreb post. As they're not from Zagreb but rather the town of Koprivnica in the northeast of Croatia, I decided to save it for a Grab Bag. A short set of songs all in English and display a profoundly excellent understanding of indie and power pop. These are some lovely tunes. The sort of songs that I heard as a teenager and was immediately drawn to without really understanding what they were singing about at all. I'm thinking particularly about Beulah and generally of many others. Of course these songs only got better once I understood them better.
The Penguin Conspiracy - Gazing at the Sky (2015)
A pretty EP by a band from Newton, Massachusetts. Like the prior EP of this Grab Bag it is a fine show of indie/power pop sound, though more washed out and loose sound (whatever the fuck that means, but I think you'll hear it). The singer sorta mumbles through the songs but it is rather endearing and the instrumentation is more complex than a being of the tracks would indicate if you give them the chance to develop. I haven't got any more details on this outfit, but I can say I'm really open to hearing more from them.
Misled Navigator - Cycles of Then (2015)
An EP by the epic electronic and drone musician from Brooklyn, Misled Navigator. Now if I am getting what's happening here correctly (huge chance that I'm not), this dude runs Outward Records, which just released Cold Clouds. But the guy from Cold Clouds runs Revolving Door Records, which this album from Misled Navigator is on. This incestuous loop aside, what we've got here are some phenomenal spacey electronic tunes. They've been tagged as "snythscapes" and "snythwave," which by itself should merit a listen. I know I'm not giving much info on what it sounds like, so you're really gonna have to trust me that this guy's music is always worth hearing.