Thursday, March 29, 2012

Coyotes in the Room - Undress (2012)

Third time I'm posting up these guys, and already the second time this year. Rather prolific bunch, I'd say. Hardly a fault if the music doesn't suffer as Undress can exemplify. They're doing their thing again on this release, namely the switching between loud, noisy tracks and lo-fi, folksy numbers. Whoever arranges the songs has got a real ability to pace an album, haven't been disappointed yet. In addition, two covers appear bookending the album. One is "Baby I'm Burnin'" and the other's "Cryin' Smoke" by Ganglians, with both being excellent choices. I guess I'll the more I've to say is sorry for the hold up on posting it. Blame Nolan Strong, he's absorbed much of my transit time lately.

To be had here:
Coyotes in the Room - Undress

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

High In One Eye - Memory Hoarders (2012)

A freshly released album from the New Orleans rockers High In One Eye. Like the EP of theirs I've put on a grab bag back whenever, this is some heavily effected rock. Borrowing from math rock, punk and shoegaze styles Memory Hoarders sounds like a busy bunch of noisy rock. It's got the sorta of intensity that just fills the ears right up. For reasons unknown this is exactly the sort of thing I enjoy while I am shaking off last night's outings, and I'm happy to have gotten this before other day at my brother's place. Regardless of my odd habits, it is a solid album and good for fans of math, noise, or strange punk. Finally, I know I've been getting a ton of submitted albums, but I'm adjusting to a new routine as I've got a job at a used bookstore recently so it'll take a minute to get back to regular posting. Can't listen to music all day like the old job or while I was unemployed.

To be had here:
High In One Eye - Memory Hoarders

Monday, March 26, 2012

Dive Signals - 10,000 Tropics (2012)

From Orange County, California comes some of the mellowest of music I've had the pleasure to hear in months. I mean real relaxed experimental ambient sort of humming drone with subtle effects spread about. The kind of sounds that'll form a background to your thoughts, or if you really let go they might even replace the thoughts temporarily. I've always found this sort of music a wonderful accompaniment to a morning with coffee and history books, but I may very well be a small minority in that sense. However, if you like real chill music give 10,000 Tropics a go.

To be had here:
Dive Signals - 10,000 Tropics

Friday, March 23, 2012

Daddy Rockin' Strong: A Tribute to Nolan Strong & The Diablos (2010)

Almost embarrassingly I've only recently discovered the Detroit doo-wop titians, Nolan Strong and the Diablos. Never been one to hunt down much in the way of doo-wop, Nolan Strong's voice has ensured a change in my ways. However, the how experience was exponentially enhanced when I found out I was far from alone in this reverence and that in fact many of my favorite musicians had contributed to a compilations of covers in tribute to the singer. Detroit acts I just saw during the Blowout in Hamtramck: the Dirtbombs, Outrageous Cherry, and the Hentchmen are just part of the amazing assemblage the got for Daddy Rockin' Strong. There's also the phenomenal Mark Sultan, Demon's Claw, the A-Bones, Reigning Sound, Cub Koda... even ex-Gorie Danny Kroha's new outfit. I can't think of a better line up of musicians nor a better subject for a tribute compilation. Do indulge yourself in any Nolan Strong you can hunt down and share any good recordings you might find, I've yet to get anything comprehensive.

To be had here:
Daddy Rockin' Strong: A Tribute to Nolan Strong & The Diablos [256 VBR kbps]

Monday, March 19, 2012

EP Grab Bag vol. 15

Well, it feels like a just went through an ordeal but I re-listened to these six EPs and now you're gonna hear what I thought. I guess that's what it is always like though.

To be had here:

Hooking Up - Groin Pains (2012)

All the way from bustling Harrisonburg, Virgina comes Hooking Up. Rock and roll with some real 90s vibe, but not that grunge bullshit. There's shouts, chants, and guitar riffs. Amazingly catchy, I probably gave Groin Pains three listens before I realized it. This release can also be gotten through Evil Weevil Records, the same label that's got Spook Houses and LVL Up.

Snow Ghost - Mini Album #1 (2012)

This is the Chicago act that used to go by Forestcousin. Back with four fine electronically-tinged rock songs. They're upbeat, exciting numbers (especially liked "Poor Sport") that show how the band has only gotten better since they last sent me music. Too bad I gave up my car and can't afford a ticket to Chicago.

Jayson Munro - Meteor Tears (2012)

Another New Haven musician, guess the word is out about the blog over there. Regardless of geography, this character seems to be a prolific musician that's involved in several bands and here's his solo post-rock project. I'll be the first to admit it, he fucking knows what he's up to. Epic shit right here.

Mild Horses - From the Woods (2012)

Some ambient, space rock-like instrumental music. What really caught my eye was in the press release the artist is quoted that he "wanted to do Ennio Morricone in space." As a fan of the spagetti western and a huge admirer of Morricone I went in with high hopes. Wasn't upset with what I heard, some solid atmospheric, soundtrackesque compositions.

Psychic Feline - Blood Dolphin, Headache b/w Vampires 7" EP (2011)

Sent in among other recommendation by a devoted fan of the Portland, OR scene, Psychic Feline is a three-piece garage rock band. Definitely influenced heavily by 60s psychedelic rock, these cats (puns!) put together a neat package of tunes. Not free but worth checking out anyhow.

The Stammer - The Stammer EP (2012)

Based in Philadelphia, the Stammer is an indie rock band with post-punk influences. They easy to enjoy and the singing in particular I found charming. Not a free release, but a small sum of $3 for this one, or just stream it.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Future Primitives - This Here's The Future Primitives EP (2012)

A new South African garage rock release from The Future Primitives, which features membership overlaps with defunct garage rock band The Revelators. Most obviously Heino Retief that sent both of them to me. Recorded to cassette in a Cape Town garage, this is some real lo-fi rock and roll. Loud, fast-paced, surf-tinged guitar and pounding drums drive the EP. Eight tracks, two of them covers, that feel all too brief. The cleverly monikered Johnny Tex appears to be a deft songwriter and guitarist. Very much sounds like something I might hear at a tiny bar show in Hamtramck or Detroit, which is exactly what makes it so appealing to me. Stands up to all the other garage rock I've posted lately without a doubt.

To be had here:

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Astronomical - Little Women (2012)

An ambient electronic project out of New Orleans. At first the use of sci-fi sound bites in the sampling made me think this album would be like Wookieback. Turns out there are a variety of sources for the sampling, and it's not played up too much, serving as a mild accent on what otherwise seems to be seriously considered electronic compositions. That being said Little Women is a lighthearted affair done in a middling tempo. A good background album, I lost myself reading old issues of Silver Surfer comics for a good hour in this music. Definitely recommended for those that liked Gem Trails, Light Leak or Universal Studios Florida.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Sonny Boy Williamson II - Down and Out Blues (1959)

More blues, pilgrims. I've been dreaming the blues lately. Sonny Boy Williamson, real name Alex Miller, was actually the second of two blues musicians to go by the name. Hence he's often billed as Sonny Boy Williamson II. However he's called, he was a brilliant harmonica blues player that was a contemporary and colleague to many greats, including the recently shared Big Joe Williams and Robert Nighthawk (note: the Sonny Boy mentioned in the interview on Nighthawk's album was the first one). Similarly he was part of the blues revival of the 50s and 60s. Although he'd be recording since 1951, Down and Out Blues was his first full-length album, though really a compilation of earlier singles. While the harmonica playing is absolutely fantastic, I think his lyrics and soulful singing may even outshine his mastery of the blues harp. Notable musicians contributed such as Muddy Waters, Otis Spann, Willie Dixon and Robert Lockwood Jr. among others. Truly a blissful way to spend a touch over a half and hour.

To be had here:

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Unknown Valley - Humming From the Grave (2012)

As a matter of happenstance, this is another Connecticut-based artist. Unknown Valley is from New Haven and make really lo-fi rock he bills as sludge pop. The songs are so thick with reverberation one could nearly swim through it. Also bears a shoegazey/punk mood throughout the seven brief tunes. Sounds like a dude that's listened to a bunch of things like Beat Happening and lo-fi one-man acts like Useless Eaters a got inspired to make his own stripped down rock. Although this is merely conjure on my part, I'm all for that kind of attitude. Hope this guy keeps at it makes some more lo-fi numbers for us all to enjoy.

To be had here:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Robert Nighthawk - Live on Maxwell Street (1964)

With very little in the way of money and very much in the way of time I've been listening to a considerable amount of blues music to keep myself from just sleeping days away. Robert Nighthawk is a bluesman I'd heard of but had neglected to hunt down any recordings of for too long. Born Robert McCollum, he assumed the nickname Nighthawk after he released an album called Prowling Night Hawk. He was trained in part by his cousin, Houston Stackhouse, and in turn helped teach younger blues players including Muddy Waters. Nighthawk was a figure that helped move Delta blues to the Chicago style that became increasing popular. So fittingly he recorded this live album on the Maxwell Street in Chicago, where as the artist himself explains during the interview found at the end was a street favored by blues musicians. The street concert setting defines the album in many ways with the crowd shouting, the sound washing together from the outdoor recording, and the energy of the music the artist selected to please the particular audience one would find on Maxwell Street. Don't take my word for it, you can watch the first track being played on youtube. From what I read this is commonly held to be among the best live blues albums, and I must say I've no reason to disagree.

To be had here:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Abschaum - Discomfort (2012)

Another album by the prolific French electronic and rock musician known as Abschuam. I've been wondering when he'd send me along a new release after he sent me the snyth-filled Teenage Apocalypse last year. Then it I dropped the ball about throwing it up in a timely manner, but better late than never I suppose. Should've been more on top of this shit because this album is pretty fucking sweet. However, unlike Teenage Apocalypse this isn't a snyth-pop album. Rather it's rock filled with a good deal of bass, pounding drumbeats and guitar riffs. The deep vocals remain though, giving the whole thing a mildly gothic tone. Moreover, there are still some keys showing up in a less pronounced way, but largely it is a successful shift of genre showing the versatility of the artist. Also, since I think it was through this character that I was contacted by a new French webzine/DIY organization called Amour & Discipline it makes it a good place to mention it. They've got a whole neat manifesto outlining the goals of the group which I'm very down with, basically to change the way we support musicians. Check out the webzine too, I might be writing on it sometime.

To be had here:
Abschaum - Discomfort

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Inclined Plane - The Backwards Frontier (2012)

Exciting news, pilgrims. New album out by those Connecticut dwellers, the Inclined Plane. My pal Johnny, who's a member of this outfit, kindly sent me this album a few days ago and I gave it several listens over the weekend. It is a wonderful collection of lo-fi indie pop songs. These guys have mastered the lightly hazy, psych-pop I so commonly associate with Elephant 6 bands but are much more than a reconstituted version of E6 themes. Tracks like "Marble Slab" and "New Wave Prison Break" are instantly enthralling with their distorted guitars and charming vocals. Compared to their previous album, I Am Pants, the songwriting feels more considered and elaborately paced. Well, I greatly enjoyed I Am Pants this is like more evolved version of that style. I am sure that the album being mastered by Todd Tobias of Guided by Voices aided in that. To sum it up, The Backwards Frontier is a great sign this band is just getting better and better.

To be had here:

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Big Joe Williams - Piney Wood Blues (1958)

I am watching my grandfather's house for a week and I'll say that being so used to not having the internet at home has made it so that now that I've got it unrestricted I hardly can figure what to do with it. So naturally I just started hunting down music day and night and while this started with erratic selections it's come to focus purely on the blues. Big Joe Williams has been my main fascination. An original Mississippi Delta bluesman this album was recorded in 1958, Williams in his mid-fifties by then, when labels were "rediscovering" the careers of blues musicians. Other than his remarkable voice, perfect for moaning out the blues, Big Joe was notable for his use of a nine string guitar. Really a six string guitar, with some of the cords doubled up, it does make a unique sound nonetheless. The tracks are largely Williams own, with some from Sleepy John Estes and one from each Sonny Boy Williamson and Charley Patton. Reminds me of the Honeyboy Edwards album I posted up, and it features a short interview in the middle just the same.

To be had here:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

GS, I Love You (1996)

This is another one of those lovely compilations of garage rock songs that gives a glimpse into what the scene in a particular place was up to. Specifically, what those Japanese rockers were up to in the late 1960s. It does remind me of the 4-Wheels compilation of Michigan garage rock from the 60s, excepting the obvious linguistic differences, namely the Japanese lyrics and accented English. However, while the songs are commonly covers or reinterpretations of Western numbers, they didn't do much to rough of the style at all. Instead it seems they were okay with keeping the bubblegum pop sort of garage that came over in the British Invasion. There's naturally a good deal of difference just in the way these bands tried to imitate music they hear from the West, which totally makes it worth hearing. Anyhow, at least I hope you find it as interesting as I did.

To be had here:

Monday, March 5, 2012

EP Grab Bag vol. 14

Bubonic Babe - Demo (2012)

Four tracks of garage rock demos. I'm easy to please with garage rock and I haven't too many terms to differentiate among the many garage acts I post up here. To try to put it simply, Bubonic Babe leans to the pop-side of rock and roll. Catchy and charming songs for sure, and hopefully they'll put out an LP soon.

Elijah Holden - 33 Spokes (2012)

Experimental electronic music that mashes up all manner of chimes, loops, drums, and spoken word content into some wonderfully melodic tracks. More than atmospheric, the sound fills the head. Moreover, Holden is member of the previously posted Conductive Alliance. Rather impressive display and if you liked Mythomaniacs Are Right you should get this too.

Kailo - Kailo EP (2012)

A Finnish indie pop band that plays slow and pretty songs. Heavily centered on the lovely female vocalist's abilities, and she sings in English despite their geographic location. The third track. "Napoleon Complex," on the EP is really the most remarkable to hear.

PsychicEyeClix - Serious Idiots (2012)

Just like the last Ep I posted from Doubledgescissors, Cutthoart Convention, this is intense electronic madness. The songs are schizophrenic affairs with sampling, loud effects, and some deep bass. Perhaps it is the British accent heard on it, but this reminds me of a more wild version of Two Lone Swordsmen.

Bantam Foxes - Twin Tone (2012)

Hailing from New Orleans this group plays some garage-like post-punk. I dropped the ball on getting this out around when it came out back in January, but shit happens. Anyway, these guys have sorta heavy, full sound and are able to put together a well-constructed song. I believe they'll be worth keeping an eye on.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Spiral - The Traveler (2012) & The Capital in Ruins (2011)

An interesting project from Albuquerque, wherein these fellas are aiming to make a story in three parts via space rock/prog rock albums. So far the first two parts are completed and downloadable, both filled with epically long tracks that are as much a poetic story as psychedelic rock. Almost seems like the sort of thing one might stumble across as a rare recording by a 1970s German progressive rock collective, but even better as the lyrics can be read on their bandcamp page. They provide an overview of the story on the page for The Capital in Ruins. However, even if you're now down for story time, it is the music is worth hearing if you're a fan of haunting psych/prog rock or have a thing for long-ass tracks. Certainly gotta give them credit for being so ambitious.

To be had here:

The Traveler

The Capital in Ruins

Friday, March 2, 2012

Each Other - Taking Trips (2012)

Out of Montreal comes Prison Art's new release, Taking Trips by Each Other. I'm gonna be straightforward about this, I really liked this album as soon as I heard it. The jangley guitar, harmonic singing and psychedelic vibes are all done excellently. Sorta sounds like something between Ganglians, Le Loup and Spectrals. However, I can't help be think of them as sharing a mindset with Beat Happening or Half Japanese, even if their style is different. All six tracks are good, and some of them like "Freak Heat" and "Steam Scene" are particularly captivating. I must have listened to Taking Trips like four times the day I got it. So yeah, digital copies are free, cassettes for $5.

To be had here:
Each Other - Taking Trips