Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Space Rock Mountain Podcast 34 - You're Gonna Miss Me

The gang gets together to talk about the 13th Floor Elevators documentary, You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone.

You can watch the whole film on Youtube here.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

EP Grab Bag vol. 85

Finally a day off and no family obligations. Perfect time to spend an afternoon checking out all manner of musics sent in from all over. Not even two of these six EPs hail from the same country, nor to many of them really fit into the same genres, though I guess they often get close to it. Hope you enjoy them.

To be had here:
The Spectres - What Will It Be (2014)

A two-piece garage rock outfit from Pittsburgh. They're lo-fi, jangley and got more than a touch of the surf rock in their sound. The EP is eleven songs, but still only makes it to twenty minutes playtime, so you can just imagine that these are some short, sweet rock ditties. They get a pretty full sound by the drummer pulling double duty with a partial kit he plays with his feet as his wields a guitar, a real Mark Sultan move. Impressive for a new band, only been around from half a year from what they tell me. So hopefully there'll be more to come.

Swinging Balls - EP (2014)

Loud, howling, low-fidelity metal/punk from Coventry, UK. The noise they make is nearly as crass as balls on the album art are large. There's not so much as singing in the songs as something between a moan and a shout. In addition to this chaos they've thrown very sludgy guitar playing that provides a firm doom metal overtone to the whole effort. The influence Black Sabbath is obvious, so clearly that they labeled the second track "Sabbath," and it seems to be more akin to the early career of the heavy metal icons. You know, the real sweet stuff, and Swinging Balls does do a good job at making a homage without seeming redundant.

BlackboxRed - Beak to Beak (2014)

A duo from the city of Leeuwarden in the Netherlands who openly affiliates with a grunge sound. As I am still not sure what made a band "grunge," the post-grunge concept has eluded me as a genre I can recognize, let alone the "ghost grunge" they tagged this with. This isn't to say I don't like anything labeled as such, for quite the opposite as I think BackboxRed makes some compelling tunes. Beak to Beak in a powerhouse of an EP. Intense, fast and full of sounds that are simultaneously bleak and exciting. The songs are rocking and the singing is epic, she can really belt out some lyrics.

VidaGuerrilla - El Kreepo (2014)

Spain's VidaGuerrlia has been prolific lately, putting out four releases, all of EP length, since October. El Kreepo is the second one they've got out in December alone. What they play it is extremely fuzzy, to the point of nearly popping. The washed out songs lay between hardcore punk and garage rock in an way that's hard to describe be immediately recognizable when heard. Finally, I know they sent me a link to their album from July, but somehow I must've failed to post it because I can't find any evidence I did so.... Strange as I do recall hearing it and thinking it was mighty swell.

Glaze of Cathexis - Imaginary Beings EP

It is very rare for SRM to get submissions from Asia. I believe many can imagine why that might be the case, and in the exceptions to this it is mostly Westerners dwelling in Japan or Korea. This is the case for Glaze of Cathexis, a band headed by American ex-pat Matt Comegys and Australian native Scot Atkinson in Ueda, Japan. Imaginary Beings is a psychedelic EP with folk and electronic elements mingled within and is only one of a butt load of releases the outfit has put out and have available on bandcamp. Quite retro and at times far out, and very much worth checking out.

SARAJEVO - The double tailed devil (2014)

Named for the capital of Bosnia, residing in the capital of France. SARAJEVO appears to be a new affair, at least as far as their bandcamp presence is concerned. This two song release is just a mere sample of what I am sure they're capable of as it a well produced and excellent sounding as these couple of tracks are. Each are psychedelic songs with nicely washed out vocals and a well practiced retro style that manages to not be tired. Despite the vocals being blown out, it is clear they're in English, but I guess that is what often happens when you wanna make rock and roll. Wish these guys the best of luck and hope to get to hear more.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Elvis Dracula's Winter Turntable - Part 1

Having a few days off has allocated ample time to really dig into some recent purchases that have been sitting next to my stereo. Here are my thoughts with links to the tunes.

Floating Flower - 1st and 2nd (1998/2014)
One of the many records that fits into the Acid Mothers Temple orbit. First released in the late 90s on a few cdrs, the band's releases are getting a proper reissue this year. Unlike many of the other AMT projects, Kawabata Makoto takes the back seat to these psychedelic folksters that have spent more than their fair share of time in India. Those "eastern" influences due give this release a different feel form some of the heavier psychedelic rock AMT is known for. I am surprised I never heard this stuff, but now that it is being made available again, it is worth a listen for any fan of trippy folk or psychedelia.

Iron Maiden - Piece of Mind (1983)
A truly indispensable metal act, but one I didn't really grasp until recently. When I was a younger lad, I had many friends into this band. They would adorn their denim jackets with images of the band's mascot and talk endlessly about how no band could touch Maiden's 80s output. Although they were often dogged by conservative groups for promoting all kinds of satanic nonsense, I found the band's songs to be on the silly side. Punk rock with its political defiance and the overt Satanism of some metal acts in the 90s seemed more "real" to my youthful soul. Years later, I got into Prog rock in a big/bad way, and went back to Maiden with refined ears. What I found was a highly competent, theatrical hard-rock act that put together great songs, even if their sound appeared dated by current metal-heads. In many ways, this helped the band reach epic status by the late 2000s, as they continued to refine their original sound without pandering to tastes of the time. Iron Maiden is still rocking hard today, and have released a number of fine records in the last few years. This specific record is probably the best introduction to the band, but any of their 80s records are well worth your time.

Ada Yakusheva - The Best Songs 1979-1985 (1995)
Thanks to the Last Record Store in Santa Rosa, I have acquired some odd/rare Russian cassette tapes on the cheap. I have been playing through them a bit each day, and this artist has been the standout find thus far. From what I can gather, she was a bit of hit in Russia in the 70s and 80s, singing sweat and soft folk-songs in her naive language with guitar in hand. I don't know much about Russian folk music, but I imagine her stylings were influenced by many artists crafting minimalist folk tunes in France during the 50s and 60s. Very beautiful music that even your grandmother may enjoy.

Unfortunately, she died a few years back. Since she is generally unknown here in the West, the chances of having her music reissued is quite low, but at least it can be heard digitally.

Space Rock Mountain Podcast 33 - High Fives for Boxer Briefs

The gang gets together to talk about the following tracks:

Hiya Dunes
Junya Nishimura
The Barbaras
William Devaughn

Bumper Music - Wil Bolton

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Pile - Magic Isn't Real (2010)

Nostalgia is a strange thing. It's as if people, places, and things carve their own unique notches in our brains, and as soon as we catch a wisp of something that fits those shapes, our whole mood changes and we find ourselves lost in some hungry memory.

Boston band, Pile, stir up those sentiments for me. They have a post-hardcore Pixies meet desert rock Foo Fighters kind of thing going on... and I mean that in the best possible way (big Pixies fan, less so "The Foos"). They have loud and chunky riffs, melodic and distorted bass lines, and vocals that both croon and scream. If 1990's revivalism bands were making the Billboard charts, you'd find Pile somewhere in the top 100 (ok, I realize The Pixies were more of an '80s band, but they were ahead of their time so that makes them a '90s band in my book).

But honestly, I've been enjoying Magic Isn't Real much more than output from other recent bands flying the plaid flag of the grunge decade, like Yuck and Speedy Ortiz. Solid songwriting, good production... and I feel like I'm driving around Allentown, PA in my parent's shitty Nissan when I listen to it.

A little nostalgia for your Xmas eve.

10 songs, name your price.

Pile - Magic Isn't Real

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Todd Tobias - Impossible Cities (2014)

Todd Tobias, who is one half of Brother Earth, has made an album inspired by Italo Calvino's book, Invisible Cities. Calvino is a writer I like tremendously, and I have been 80% done with Invisible Cities for about a year now, but after misplacing it I just haven't found my way back to polishing off the last few pages for whatever reason, though this album might be the kick in the ass I need. However, as the book has no linear plot, is filled with creative anachronisms and intensely poetic passages nominal based on an city that Marco Polo describes to Kublai Khan discussing death, memory and all sorts of existential issues it is a doozy to comprehend. And Todd Tobias thought it was good fodder for an album. Turns out he was totally right.

Borrowing the titles of the album and the tracks from the text of the book, Impossible Cities, is eccentric and unexpected as Calvino's writings in many ways. Purely instrumental the songs paint a picture, a sonic landscape akin to the prose poems of literature. They range from spooky and sparse ambient compositions to melodic and harmonized psychedelic experiments. While the book itself often as not provoke no small amount of dismay for me, Tobias's album had none of the negative dilemmas. It proves to be a delightful, unique experience. Impossible Cities has been released by the Australian label, Hidden Shoal, the guys that put out MakeeMarkus Mehr and Kramies just to name a few. Streaming on bandcamp naturally, downloadable for a $7 and CDs available.

To be had here:
Todd Tobias - Impossible Cities

Monday, December 22, 2014

Samuel Boat - Tasting Like A Broken Fence (2014)

This is the second album that Samuel Boat has released this year. Some of you might recall Soda Pop Rock that was put out back in May and written up my yours truly as well as covered on the podcast. Stylistically, this new album hasn't strayed too far from the prior, however it does seem to have a bit more melancholy mood. You know that sweet bedroom pop melancholy were sadness is mixed up with cheerful instruments and it makes for a contradictory feeling that hard to express in words alone yet music excels at. Tasting Like A Broken Fence has several fine examples of this capacity with tracks like "walkin'" and forlorn love song "rain day."

The album is short, with a playtime of only 20 minutes, hardly longer than many EPs we share. The brevity is an asset as soon as you get to listening the final track, "from the best," you'll find yourself wanting to right back to the beginning and hear it all over again. The songs are among the best earworms I've heard come from the submissions to the blog. Basically, I am gushing because I can't get these damn tunes out of my head, with the catchy keys and soft guitar and what-have-you. Also check out the two tracks that he put out back in November, Thanksgiving Sampler.

To be had here:
Samuel Boat - Tasting Like A Broken Fence 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Travancore - Travancore (2014)

Electronic music can get pretty wild, and while I am not the sort of person who'd ever like to be a club or even a bar that would blast electronic music in the midst of flashing lights and crowds of people, I do listen to it. Perhaps it's the wrong way, but I usually consume my crazy beats over a cup of coffee in the morning, sometimes reading the news or a short story from some long dead Italian motherfucker. The more experimental the better, I want it to make sounds that make me pause, lean back and think, "Now that was neat."

Tranvancore is an outfit that has been capable of provoking this desired effect. They've tagged the album "space music" and those two words might best get at the atmosphere of the tracks (if that isn't too oxymoronic to say). I felt like I was in one of those NASA capsules floating to God-only-knows while some friendly aliens thought to beam me a radio signal. The trio that makes up this band seems to know how to bend sound, or at least create the illusion of it through a stunning array of soundscapes, effects and utilizing stereophonic recording for all its worth. To be honest, it is only for several interludes that the album reaches a pitch that is like club music. Most of it having a more artful, ambient-like but it's never truly of the sort of slow, building sort. Too much is going on for that. It bounces, pings, shimmers and even has bursts of static that are like a robot with a broken vocalizer reciting a poem (check out "Starfield South" for that). Finally, this self-titled release is being issued by Hidden Waves, a label run by one of the band members. 

To be had here:
Travancore - Travancore

Thursday, December 18, 2014

EP Grab Bag vol. 84

December must been when we are getting our shit together. I finally signed up for some healthcare on the last day possible, been thinking seriously about getting my teeth all fixed up, found a new job so I am not shifting piles of useless books from one spot to another all day for peanuts. Oh, and I found all these submissions to share with you all on top of all the shit we've already been posting up.

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

Damned charming lo-fi band from Portland, Oregon. Sounds like a garage band in the sense that they very well wrote these songs in a dusty garage and didn't change it up too much from there. Most excellent already as they're fuzzy and happy tunes, just a bit krauty. "Wizard Mountain pt. 2" makes me wish I got to hear a part one. Then again EP could have been 4 times and I long and I could have wanted more. Put out by what seems to be a cool indie label from Pacific (Hong Kong currently) called Metal Postcard. Oh, and it seems to be out despite not being 2015, so enjoy it now.

How Scandinavian - Drowning In Myself (2014)

The kids from Palmdale are back with another single. You might recall the Educator single from earlier this early, perhaps not, but you can always catch up. I'm not grading you, after all. "Drowning In Myself" is a quirky tune that's not easy to classify, but the lyrical delivery itself is worth checking out as it isn't very usual. How Scandinavian stick to a bit of the melodramatic tones of the emo I am sure we all endeared when we were younger yet didn't forget new wave had merits. Gotta keep it catchy, even with the slowcore. Fine work, and when is there gonna be a longer EP is what I'd like to know.

Tufo - "Aspettandoti" EP (2014) 

From the Southern Italian city of Mola Di Bari comes a drum and bass duo. No, not the electronic genre, but an actual drum kit and bass guitar doing it to it. They're playing math rock, and the bass is doing what the angular guitar usually handles, in a sort of double duty that actually sounds fucking remarkable. It is rather minimal, thrashing cymbals, pounding drums and quick cords changing melody rapidly. Tufo has done a wonderful thing on this EP, and all I can do is hope to get to hear more like this in the future.

Swutscher - OKIDOKI EP (2014)

A very brief three track EP from Germany. While short is packed with lo-fi goodness. Fuzzy, even when acoustic somehow, and tints of surf and garage rock. It is almost over before you know it but does very well in the middle of a mix of all the other lo-fi tunes we've all been throwing at you en masse lately. Just let the songs permeate every waking moment of your day, as you waltz around and do whatever the fuck people with real jobs do and be happier for it.

Amos val - A Foundry (2014)

Back to Portland, Oregon for this final EP. I heard you need for atmospheric post-rock. You remember saying say that? I am pretty sure you did and you'll like it just fine. Amos val has several releases under their belt, but this is the first I've gotten a chance to hear them. The songs are engaging and rather sophisticated instrumentally, and it has some melodic singing to boot. I'd certainly recommended A Foundry to anyone that liked Jura's self-titled album I posted up earlier in the month.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wil Bolton - Whorl (2014)

Greece may have its problems, but music aint one of them. Sound in Silence is one of the best indie labels the nation has, and their constant search for atmospheric classical and post-rock acts throughout Europe is commendable. The steady stream of releases can be daunting to new listeners looking to jump into the label's extensive back catalog, making Britain's Wil Bolton a perfect jumping on point.

I don't have a classical background, so I feel I like the language required to describe this music effectively. It is minimal and brooding, with enough layers to allow multiple peelings. Nothing about this is over-the-top; it sits back, takes its time, and lets the listener paint its purpose and meaning.

It is available on 200 limited edition CDs. I am sure it costs a bit to get it out of Greece, but a lovely addition to your collection it would make.

Get it here:
Wil Bolton - Whorl (2014)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Bonifrate - Museu de Arte Moderna (2013) & Toca do Cosmos EP (2014)

Bonifrate is a man who's music I cherish above many others. I have had a long history of listening to his songs, both as a solo artist and in the remarkable band Supercordas (I still pretend to be able to sing "Ruradélica" when I am alone). I originally met him through my a friend of a friend of a friend, then only in a digital interface I am sure he's long forgotten. He sings in Portuguese, of which I don't know a word, nonetheless he has utterly captivated me as I can't be bothered to care about lyrics in English most of the time. The most embarrassing part of this is that I haven't gone hardly a week since the release of 2011's Um Futuro Inteiro without playing a tracks from it, then I went to dropped the ball the 2013 album and a new EP? Today I make it right, pilgrims, and also it functions as a good addendum to Amazing Larry's excellent post on São Paulo, though Bonifrate is based in the Rio de Jarneiro area. 

Museu de Arte Moderna is Bonifrate's full-length release from 2013 that is the immediate follow up to Um Futuro Inteiro. It's a psychedelic odyssey that pulls in a stunning variety of instrumentation and borrows from genres in neat and subtle ways. With everything that happens in the songs it is easy to feel overwhelmed at first, but continued listening is rewarded as the album seems to build up and stripe away the many layers in a very intentional fashion. In fact, tracks like "Paralaxe" and "Sabe da última?" are hard to stop listening to. Moreover, "Canção de pelúcia" is one of the more beautiful, slow final songs I've heard on an album.

Toca do Cosmos is the newest of Bonifrate's releases. The EP certainly shows an shift in style and further improved songwriting skills. "Rock da paçoca" is a wonderful duet that  "The Last Time" is is not only heavy on the keyboard, in a very good way, but the only song I ever recall hearing from Bonifrate in English. It is most righteous. Both the EP and Museu de Arte Moderna were releases through the label Balaclava Records were each of them can be purchased as well.

To be had here:
Museu de Arte Moderna
Toca do Cosmos EP

The Hiya Tunes - Hiya Tunes (2014)

Did you know they were going to make a Beetlejuice sequel? Fuck yea son! It was going to be called Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian, and my god, it would have been great. So great in fact, I am personally going to make it my life's goal to get the film made. Since I have a close relationship with Satan, it should be no problem. You see, he is the best agent available, and the reason most of the hacks you see on the screen get ahead in the biz. He drives a hard bargain, but as long as you don't mind being sodomized by ghouls in hell for a couple centuries, it's worth the trade-offs.

Mind you, These New Yorkers are no hacks. They might not even need to sell their souls to craft the soundtrack to the new Beetlejuice film; the songs are strong enough without Satan's power. I can see the scene now: Beetlejuice has entered a surfing contest, and the Hiya Tunes are providing the twisted soundtrack. They play to a bunch of Go-Go dancers (some alive, some dead), while Beetlejuice battles demon sharks!

What a film.

Get it here:
The Hiya Tunes - Hiya Tunes (2014)

Monday, December 15, 2014

бичкрафт - маскот (2014)

Lord knows I don't know what the name of this band is, but they make some pretty awesome noise rock. As the Ukraine splits apart, they could probably learn a lesson from this band. As the disjointed drums and fuzz pull the listener in varying directions, a solid, formidable bass line holds each element in check. The noise is given center stage, but not allowed to overall its brethren in rhythm. Checks and balances, if you will. It's what all noise should engage in.

Someone get these kids on a next plane to San Francisco. Something tells me they put on a transcendent show.

Get it here:
бичкрафт - маскот (2014)

Scenes of a City, Vol. 6: São Paulo, Brazil

The Brazilian village that would become the city of São Paulo was founded exactly 426 years before I was born. This has absolutely nothing to do with anything. But since we're nearing January 25th, I suddenly feel a connection to Brazil's, and South America's, most populous city (currently nearing 12 million people. That's like combining the populations of New York City and Madrid. Whoa!) As is the case in all of Brazil's cities, the contrast between the richest and poorest residents is stark. Kidnapping of affluent citizens is a common occurrence, so much so that the rich travel via bulletproof cars and even helicopters. São Paulo actually has the world record for city with most helicopters. The city's also home to an annual pancake cooking competition, so, you know... it can't be all that bad. 

Leptospirose - Tatuagem de Coquiero 

This record is a maelstrom of thrash punk reminiscent of bands like M.O.D, early Suicidal Tendencies, and Nuclear Assault. The genre is mostly known as Crossover Thrash which is a surprising and unfortunately mundane name for music that is fueled by pure adrenaline. That said, I don't normally go for music like this because I have enough anxiety as it is, but I've been enjoying this record a lot over that last half year, or so. Also available on vinyl, in case there's room in your library(and heart) for some Brazilian thrash. And let's not kid ourselves, there's plenty of room in both.

TRATAK - Agora eu sou o silêncio

Here we have an impressive full length of a more traditional Brazilian sound. The guitar playing and vocal style is reminiscent of bossa nova, but TRATAK more resembles the genre that immediately succeeded bossa nova in the late 60's and early 70's, commonly called "musica popular brasileira", or MPB (Brazilian pop music). The instrumentation is more involved than bossa, incorporating rock with occasional dustings of psychedelia (unlike the wilder genre of tropicalia, which was born around the same time). TRATAK could sit easily on a playlist with artists of that genre such as Edu Lobo or the wonderful Chico Barque. A gem of a find, if I do say so myself, and those with an affinity for older Brazilian music in general will enjoy this quite a bit.

Sweet Fanny Adams - Fanny You're No Fun

This EP was a surprise to me in it's simultaneous resemblance to both modern US indie rock but also post-punk of the late 70s, a genre that consistently piques my interest. I'll do one of these annoying comparisons that people want to shoot me for: it's like Spoon fronted by the lead singer of Cake with a distant essence of Gang of Four. Angry? Well, too bad. I wish I knew more about the group, not even sure if they're from São Paulo. Just listen to these four songs and enjoy them for what they are, fucking great rock songs. 

Caverna Central - HOFFMAN'S DEATH: Tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman

Here's a wildcard that was too strange to not include. What we have is basically 8 very short experimental rock songs where someone shouts "Hoffman's dead!" over and over. The music isn't terribly interesting, and honestly sounds like it was all written and recorded over the course of an afternoon. The bandcamp page was created in February of 2014 so it's possible that these songs were recorded on the very day that Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead. At any rate, it's a tribute to a great actor who died way before his time, albeit a bizarre tribute.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Space Rock Mountain Podcast 32 - "Hype!"

The gang gets together to talk about the documentary "Hype!" along with the rise of Seattle music, grunge, really shitty bands, and being naked with Limp Bizkit.

You can watch the whole film here.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

sleepersecond - we take no refuge, but we are home (2014)

More atmospheric stylings, this time from the Philippine's own sleepersecond. I can just imagine these lush tracks being put together in a small bedroom in Manila as people on the street rushed to work and back again. All the while one lone gentleman crafts a Christopher Nolan worthy soundtrack to the minuscule moments lost by those in a rush. None of the passer-bys know of the music being arranged to fit these moments of their lives, but the score continues. Pullsing, pushing, and then pulling back to let the street breath.

Get it here:
sleepersecond - we take no refuge, but we are home (2014)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Junya Nishimura - Between Dream & Real (2014)

I picked up a slew of Burger Records tapes during a  recent sale, so my tape deck has been pounding away with garage rock goodness this last week. But you need a break from sweat jams from time to time. With a cup of tea and a copy of Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals in hand, I sit with my demonic cat and let Japan's Junya Nishimura provide the soundtrack to this moment. I have a soft spot for minimalist piano explorations, and composer has some of the best lo-fi classical on the market. Far from noodling, these are short compositions that have a clear focus and direction. By the time Petite Valse II makes its rounds, the path is cleared to the crashing waves ahead.

This is a free download, but it deserves a physical release. Highly recommended.

Get it here:
Junya Nishimura - Between Dream & Real (2014)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Micromelancolié - Ensemble Faux Pas (2014)

Here in the California Bay Area, a large storm has hit forcing me to bundle up in my cave rather than brave the highways. As the rain pelts my window and slips through the cracks, I find myself looking for some meditative music to help conjure the old gods that once inhabited this earth. You can see them reaching towards the dark sky from the nearby woods, and one of my new favorite cassette labels has brought just the right soundscape to pull them closer.

A Giant Fern is a Portugal based cassette label well versed in the minimalist experimental genre. Sadly, I was not quick enough to get the physical tape itself (tapes being the best format for conjuring old gods and demons), but the digital file will suffice. Two long, drone-like tracks from this Polish artist great the cold like an old friend, then collaborating to bring a fear and wonder to my already tired existence. It is hard to decipher what is coming from the music and what is bleeding in from the storm outside. I slip deeper into the mix, and now find myself lost in its design. There is no escape.

Get it here:
Micromelancolié - Ensemble Faux Pas (2014)

Brigitte Roussel - Amber Hole (2014)

The experimental music has been getting submitted frequently lately, and it isn't something I'm gonna complain about. The Italian musician Brigitte Roussel has been featured on SRM, but it was some time ago and with her band known as Nac/Hut Report. While they've put out releases since then it seems it is what must be many albums that've slips through the cracks in my highly imperfect system of arranging write-ups. So my bad on that, but at least I get the pleasure of sharing Brigitte Roussel's solo work on her new album Amber Hole.

It is difficult to place Amber Hole into a genre beyond experimental or avant-garde. It is a dark, strange series of tracks, with an eerie mood predominating. That said, it is tastefully done, like watching a good horror film, it is capable of unnerving and entertaining the consumer in equal measure. Not that Brigitte Roussel is scary, but she certainly isn't aiming to be comforting. Amber Hole can seem like a lost recording, distorted and tracks layered upon on another with static bursts, faint vocals and humming electronic noises. Basically, it is the sort of album one can imagine being played at a contemporary art museum with a projection of grainy black and white footage on a wall playing in a loop. Sure, it is a wee bit pretentious, but all art is if you're not into it. Personally, I am into it and thought it was a fine thing to experience.

To be had here:
Brigitte Roussel - Amber Hole

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Sin Veldt - S/T (2014)

It's been a good while since my last post, and I'll venture to guess subsequent posts will start with the same opening sentence.

Autumn has consistently been my favorite of seasons since childhood, but less and less so since working for online retail. The holidays always equal a shit-tsunami of pain-in-the-ass work conditions where the microcosm of that small warehouse turn quickly into a "too many cooks in the kitchen" scenario: where the bosses are literally telling you how to best do your job, and the slightest of personality quirks(best dealt with from across the warehouse) lay ground for a social minefield where one has to either spend a month and a half in complete misery or swallow their pride and politely laugh and bullshit their way through to January.

Add going to school part-time to the mix, and it's almost enough to make a person mad (as in both irritable and mentally compromised).

It's during these times that I routinely look for music like that of The Sin Veldt. That lo-fi garage. That psych and surf. That vocal delivery. Enough to make me say "fuck what's happening outside of my headphones." Enough to dose myself with a much-needed pill: common side-effects may include temporary swagger and apathy. Enough to make me want to return to Spacerockmountain to try and spread the word.

I'm going to throw some words out that may or not mean anything to you: The Stooges, The Seeds, Brian Jonestown Massacre. This garage is more about revivalism than new wave Jay Reatard torch bearing or Black Lips drunk-stoner good times... albeit this advertisement was written under the influence of champagne, pot, and pizza. The Sin Veldt's self-titled record is more like the I'm-saving-up-for-a-motorcycle-but-I'm-in-a-band-so-it's-going-to-take-awhile garage rock.

"Throw Your Baby Down" is a highlight to a consistently good listen. Bookmark this one for next summer, or download now for help getting through the oncoming holiday which may, perhaps, include micromanaging family members.

7 songs. Free from the band.

The Sin Veldt - S/T

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Jura - Jura (2014)

I heard about Jura from a member of Jura. He is actually a coworker of mine at my new job, in fact he's the man whose position I assuming upon his upcoming departure. Just so happens he plays in a post-rock outfit based in metro Detroit, so I couldn't help be find myself rather curious about what they sound like especially as I have been listening to a bit more post-rock and shoegaze music, recalling my fondness for those etheral songs from Montreal's numerous Silver Mt. Zion connected bands.

As listeners for the more experimental genres, especially the often subtle post-rock and ambient tunes available, will recognize the key to a good album is sustaining a heady, intangible mood throughout. It's very easy to approach such music passively, in fact that is the first instinct. To soak in the sound. However, lately I have found it incredibly rewarding to set other tasks aside, to merely listen and imagine with the music with nothing more than a single can of beer or a hot cup of coffee in my system. This is how taking in Jura's self-titled album went from me pretending to read a novel while listening to sitting, eyes shut in a wooden chair, and not worrying about a thing. The album is indeed subtle, with few flourishes and those that appear aren't long or loud, instead the songs are markedly sparse at times, floating along with echoey lyrics and shimmering cymbals. The tracks entitled "Kalamazoo," "Lullabye," and "As a fool, I will follow you" all held me in complete captivation, even more so with some of their extended playtimes. Now, I cannot promise everyone will get this tranquility for hearing Jura, but as with much competently done post-rock, ambient or what have you it has the potential for a dispositioned person to thoroughly enjoy it in a calmness unparalleled in other modern music.

To be had here:
Jura - Jura

Saturday, December 6, 2014


What we have here is a very washed out post-punk album outta Minneapolis. YONI YUM are an echoey, chaotically surreal display of snyth-driven avant-garde. The songs seem as if they were recorded live, which very well could've been the case, and it has that oddly leveled balance of sounds that comes from a bootleg record, with lyrics that aren't intelligible, keys and guitars warped and even the drumming got fuzzy somehow. Basically, it is pretty fucking cool and a real treat for a lo-fi advocate like myself. Reminds me of some of my favorite live show or rather obscure bands I've only gotten to hear in similarly recorded manners. Videohippos and Bubonic Plague may be the best examples of what I mean, but I am sure most of you won't know either of those. Not the goddamn point, there is something analogous in your music listening experience if you're the sort that goes to house parties with out of town bands, galleries that have fucked up modern art on the walls and kindly weirdos playing instruments or even spend too much time in the less crowded corners of the internet.

GREATEST (CL​)​HITS is best heard with good speakers or headphones, for otherwise what little fidelity existing on the recording will fade into a nonmusical mess. That being said, it is also very good with some extremely cheap beer in the system and maybe a whatever else you've on hand. It is artistic, but is an non-artsy way. Anti-classly, and I dig that, especially when it involves snyths.

To be had here:

Thursday, December 4, 2014

EP Grab Bag vol. 83

The EPs keep flowing in, hard to keep on top of them all. So perhaps not in the order they were submitted nor even the order I listened to them, here's what I have spent some time with and believe it is time to share.

To be had here:
Simplicio Neto & Os Nefelibatas - Fuscas & Dirigíveis (2014)

Mighty fine Brazilian indie rock. It has a laid back  psychedelic and folk-like feeling that'll be familiar to those that've heard my favorite modern Brazilian band Supercordas, as a member of that group the great solo artist Bonifrate produced this EP. Simpilicio is a songwriter and documentarian that Bonifrate ranks among his favorites and I can understand why. They songs are full, a bit washed out and lazily relaxed in the same way a good tune by the Kinks is for a blissful 8 minutes plus. The title track "Fuscas & Dirigíveis" is tops, a very good album for us in the northern hemisphere remember is it summertime somewhere else and have a moment of respite.

Lull - Dead or Alive (2014)

Lull are from London, England but they could very easily be mistaken for an American band from the 90s from their sound. Doubtlessly they've got some transatlantic influences that're bearing fruits in the three songs of this EP. The other SRM guys just had me want a documentary on 90s music, and I can say after the sour feeling that left in my mouth, Lull comes out looking rather sweet. I genuinely liked the dazed indie rock sound they're making, with the title song again being the stand out example of the release.

UNQUALIFIED NURSE - The Weird (2014)

A second installment is what is shaping up to be a series of micro-EPs from Britain's UNQUALIFIED NURSE. The songs are incredibly short as was the case for Medicine Music, and likewise they are loud and hugely distorted. This band is onto a hardcore garage punk sound that could really yield a great album if they keep at it like this. It sound like it couldn't get rougher or more raw at this point in the infancy of playing, but there's absolutely no place better to start than that.

Sean Patton - Scatterbrain (2014)

Sean Patton is a folk singer-songwriter from Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Scatterbrain is what he described as his first "real EP" but from it's polished and sophisticated sound it'd be easy to imagine him having been making folk albums for years. These folk songs are no small feats of composition that just a bit of country flare in them, with a skillful band behind him complete with back-up singers. Tender lyrics and sweet singing, I must be getting more mature or whatever because I found this EP charming in a way that a younger me would have been confused by.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Lucas Brode & Bubba Crumrine - 'doggone' // Shedding Those 11ft Wings (2014)

A spilt LP by two fellas hailing from the state of New York. Both can easily be considered experimental, though of differing varieties. Lucas Brode makes use of a guitar as his certain instrument, indeed at times the only instrument to be heard, with gesticulating, angular playing to which the best comparison I can summon is Ecstatic Sunshine, but toned down and with one guitar. Doesn't need accompaniment, he does just fine at producing remarkably stark, subtle and evocative tunes all on his own with his "mostly tapped guitar lines." I don't know tapped guitar lines are because I'm a fool, but he said it and I liked it.

Bubba Crumrine seems to a man to know in Ithaca, NY and is in the mathy post-rock band Mouth to Mouth to Mouth. His solo work beings rather towards ambient but quickly jumps headlong into noisy avant-garde experimentation.  Even delves into creepy, effected spoken word over strange instrumentation on the track, "Iridescent & Gold," to move to intense noise during "Acme" just thereafter. Both of the musicians are out of a limb in the way I really appricate, totally worth hearing if you're in the mood for something unusual, gloomy and loud.

To be had here:
Lucas Brode & Bubba Crumrine -  'doggone' // Shedding Those 11ft Wings

Monday, December 1, 2014

A Big Silent Elephant - Sonne (2014)

Sonne has a fragile sound. A low fidelity and bizarre instrumentation of this psychedelia causes sound like it on a stiffening magnetic tape, ready to break and leave you wondering at the songs you've missed out on. It is like were lucky to have found these delightful, weird songs at all, which even if they are a digital release that's infinitely reproducible. Surely it is thanks to the internet that something like this could even find such a wide potential distribution.

The songs are mesmerizing in their minimalistic states. Often there won't be much more than enchanting lyrics, sung in a irreverent or ghostly choir-esque style, over acoustic guitar, simple percussion and various key and chimes that sound as if they could pass for child's playthings. This isn't to say the songs lack in any profoundness, they are moving in their own strange way, being very relaxing yet surreal. Perhaps the best example of this is "Oh Acid" but I would also suggest "Junk & Poison" and "Kollapsed" as fucking amazing tunes to have a beer and stop worrying about life to. Overall, I would highly recommend this album to fans of Nate Henricks or IL CULO DI MARIO, as while neither of these are quite the same style, they share a mood.

A Big Silent Elephant is a new moniker for an Italian musician sometimes known as Mauro Da Re, who's become a reoccurring presence on Spacerockmountain. He previously went by a Man with a Broken Piano, having put out a few EPs under that name and a collaborative effort with the Turkish musician called Beyza. This new full-length from Poland's Resonating Wood Recordings was previewed in the Starlight 7" release of two of the track through the same label.

To be had here:
A Big Silent Elephant - Sonne

Friday, November 28, 2014

Volage - Heart Healing (2014)

I have been looking forward to hearing more music from this French garage pop band since I heard their EP, MADDIE, from last year. And now Volage has a full-length put out by the very awesome Parisian label, Howlin' Banana Records, who've released awesome garage rock outfits, the Madcaps and Qúetzal SnåkesHeart Healing is certainly a more ambitious effort building on the qualities of the prior EP, as the majority of the tracks being fantastically fuzzy garage pop tunes. Often sung in harmony by the multiple vocalist, filled with very catchy guitar playing and the generally upbeat tone make it possess much of the charm of British Invasion albums. Even the dreamily psychedelic style the Beatles later adopted can be heard, especially in "Love Is All." In fact there's little to be heard on the album that suggest they're French at all, not that this is a problem when the songs are good as they are. Moreover, some of the songs such as "This Ain't A Walk," "Loner" and "Paolina" demonstrate how they are very capable of playing loud, heavily distorted garage rock. Volage possesses remarkable songwriting abilities that more than overcome the well-trod territory of 60s-esque garage pop revival, allowing them to truly standout. There are several songs that in a different era could have easily been radio hits, particularly the title track "Healing Heart" and "Wait" and "Upset." The charm of these songs are undeniable and would've melted the hearts of those teenage girls that are the ultimate tastemakers if this was 1966. Still fucking great to be heard in 2014.

To be had here:
Volage - Heart Healing

Thursday, November 27, 2014

EP Grab Bag vol. 82

This here is a clean up Grab Bag, thing I meant to post early, sometimes much earlier yet to do my poor organizational skills on the computer I lost track of completely. I find it ironic that my day job is keeping a warehouse of books, counting somewhere around a million titles, in order and to retrieve them at a moments notice, but ask me to make a logical set of subfolders on my macbook and I fail utterly.

To be had here:

Sadly misplaced this EP in the shuffle of submitted material from the last few months. NO/NO are from Milwaukee and play new wave inspired post-punk. The bandcamp page is full of wonderful tags like coldwave, dark wave and shoegaze which are more or less unexplainable. What I can elucidate on are the eerie singing, done in a near-falsetto at times and suitably subtle enough to let the instruments shine. The guitar, keys and drums are equally the stars of this EP, really swirling into a most excellent coaction of post-punk glamor.

There are but two songs I nearly overlooked on this release but when you listen to it you'll swear there are more. This is due to the shifting tones present in the tracks, which seems to be unified by little more than an awkward bizarreness. The second track is a gloomy folk song that is exceptionally curious after the exceedingly erratic display that is the first song, "Driving Horse (Gluten-Free Listening Guide)." They also wanted to share their EP from last year, Go Exist, that is also very strange and confusingly evocative.

Divine Intervention Now is from Philadelphia and has made a strange EP that is quite suitable after hearing Creature from Dell Pond. It also has some folk aspects, notably acoustic guitar parts, in the mix, and very weird lyrics. All of it is sung in the deep, gravely voice and accompanied by a nice array of guitars, drums, chimes, horns and other wind instruments that make it like a dream one might have after drinking a bunch of coffee, watching old movie clips and passing out. Though the chaotic features appear most obviously, with careful listening there's a firm bedding of distraught cultural catharsis being expressed in the songwriting.

Additionally, there's a little back story as to how I got my hands on this EP. After receiving an email that explain they want to send my a physical copy, which I am totally cool with, but I was surprised to see when I finally got my hands on it that the package had a miniature bible in it with the pages cut out to hold an SD card inside. Of course being a barely functional adult I didn't have a working SD card reader so I hopped in my car and had to ask my friend to tell me what was in this mysterious package. Then I mixed up which of the dozen or so downloads I made there up and could not even recall which came off the SD card, so it was delayed further. How I did so after seeing the album art is beyond me, but I guess better late than never. Sure, I could have hunted it down online from clues and the initial email, but if someone takes a knife to the bible to give you music, you use the fucking SD card.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Shivas - You Know What To Do (2014)

You Know What To Do is the latest in a series of albums the Shivas have put out of the last several years, and while I am not as familiar with all of them as many other garage rock outfits, they are a band I undoubtedly enjoyed each time I've had the good fortune to run across. The tunes are catchy, riddled with surf rock guitar and 60s psychedelic singing. It is like the Kinks took a few lessons from Dick Dale for many of the tracks, and it is wonderful. They diverge from this form for songs like "Big Mama Casio" that bears remarkable parallels to "Be Brave" by the Strange Boys. A similarity that is carried for several tracks, but with a more retro garage pop sound compared to the Strange Boys' country-tinged sound, and it is fused with some of that Julian Casablancas reverb vocals. Like the reverse of the same coin in some ways. You Know What To Do is undeniably has many familiar elements and to hear them so delicately swirled makes for an addictive listen.

The Shivas are a Portland, Oregon band that is getting some well justified press and some swell label backing. To Elvis's sure pleasure, this band is put out on cassette by Burger Records and to Larry's possible indifference it was released on vinyl and CD by K Records. Even got mixed by Larry's old boss, Calvin Johnson. Of course, being released by these hip labels makes the album an established PR and distribution network, something most of the bands don't have. What I mean is that this album is gonna do fine without my 2 cents, but I thought it was a good piece of art regardless and I'll call what little attention I can to it as well, if for nothing but personal gratification.

To be had here:
The Shivas - You Know What To Do

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Heaven's Gateway Drugs - Apropos (2014)

I have been on a BJM kick since our recent discussion of the band, and have been on the hunt for like-minded acts. The good folks at Ongakubaka turned me onto this Indiana band that clearly owes a debt to Anton and his crew, right down to their name. This is highly polished stuff that could easily appear on a slew of revival compilations, and might fool a few listeners into thinking this jumped right out of 1969. "Read Between the Lines" is about as strong an album opener as you can get, and by the time I reached the track "Secrets" near the end of the record, I knew I would be spinning this disc again. Highly recommended.

Get it here:
Heaven's Gateway Drugs - Apropos (2014)

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Muzzlers - Wash Your Hands With... (2014)

Garage rock singers often want you to think they live a decadent, destructive life (see our recent conversation on the Brian Jonestown Massacre for example), but few actually breath said lifestyle. Based on the raspy growling from this Chicago band's front-man, I imagine he has downed a few whiskeys and smoked a handful of cigarettes in his day. This is lo-fi, busted and fucked garage rock for the "post-happiness" set (an eloquent Bandcamp tag if I have ever seen one). It isn't a free download, but a few streams can't hurt you. And pass the scotch.

Get it here:
The Muzzlers - Wash Your Hands With... (2014)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Scare Quotes - It's Not For Everyone But It's For You (2014)

Scare Quotes is something I am shocked I haven't had a friend recommend to me. Every now and then someone bothers to do that still, despite me nearly never recalling what they've suggested. Not just because I am a dick, it's largely because I'm in a never ending race to listen to everything in my inbox. This is terribly hard to describe to my friends, most of whom never read any of this, so they say recommend something they're digging from source more mainstream (not that those are bad per se) than what I spend my time listening to for Spacerockmountain. Usually these bands and singers emerge as something I couldn't have avoided if I wish, hearing them in grocery stores and bars in trendier neighborhoods. Yet every now and then it seems this paradigm is inverted and it seems the catchy and band that could be justifiably popular gets to me and no one I know has heard of them. This time it came to me in the form of Scare Quotes.

So I sat on this album for over a month, that is how much I can get behind on listening to submissions. Yet when I put on the album after it nagging stared me down in the browser app on my phone for a couple weeks I wasn't paying attention too closely until second track, "High Life," started. Shit changed right then. The song remarkably easy to listen to, with the vocals forward and catchy pop patterns. The next track, "Hit the Highway," only reinforced my conception that this could very well become popular, as did "Burning Life" and "Faded Black T-Shirt." However, rather the eclectic songwriting takes turns with "Frozen Grapes" and "Time Enough at Last," which expose the album's wonderful truth. This is a bedroom project really, done by at home by musician Nick Ammerman, formerly of Advance Base, with a four-track recorder. Certainly the album is lo-fi, however it's employed with apparent skill and purpose. The album couldn't be as warm and inviting if it was produced more sophisticatedly. Hopefully these songs with get my traction and I'll hear them somewhere in my day-to-day, but even if they don't at least we got to hear them now.

To be had here:
Scare Quotes - It's Not For Everyone But It's For You

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Space Rock Mountain Film Series - "DIG!"

For the next episode of the podcast, we will be looking at the seminal documentary "DIG!" and the Brian Jonestown Massacre. Surely, you have seen the film, but if you havent here it is in full below. Contact us and tell us what you think of the film and the band in question. Did this make you want to go out and join a band like it did the Gorlons? Did you come to love garage revival, or hate it? We want to know!

Dig! from Retazovvorks on Vimeo.