Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wizard Oz - Wizard Oz (2014)

I've been listening to this album for a few days now and it is only getting better. Wizard Oz is relaxed and subtle album that mixes elements of chillwave, shoegaze and pop. It is addictively smooth and enticing enough that have been been sneaking away from customers at work to listen instead. The tracks are complex despite them never reaching an feverish pitch, they've layers of sound all gentle piled into some kind of sonic cake (can you tell I am hungry as I write this). Never thought I'd be such a fan of well placed beeps in the midst of shimmering effects and delightfully ethereal vocals. If you've been keen on some of the great Canadian electronic pop/chillwave albums we've posted in the past like Tearjerker or Foxes in Fiction you'll most certainly like Wizard Oz, though I believe they're Australian. Released by the French label, Beko Disques, and mixed by our pal Warren Hildebrand of Orchid Tapes.

To be had here:
Wizard Oz - Wizard Oz

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Space Rock Mountain Podcast 9 - "Not Just Phones"

This episode features:

An interview with Tobi Adams and his crowd sourced documentary, Not Just Phones, about West African music collected by Christopher Kirkley of Sahel Sounds. Help fund the project here.

1.       Tinariwen – Baye
7.       Kyu Sakamoto – Sukiyaki

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Gorlons - The Gorlons Live in Concert (2014)

Good news, everyone, a live album by the much-beloved Springfield, MO band, the Gorlons. Their full-length debut album just came out back in February, which has already been featured on this site and on first episode of the podcast. Therefore, the songs will seem familiar to those of you that had the good sense to download and hear that release, but as fans of garage rock know well, the best way to experience the genre is live and if you're not able to attend a show a live album is often the next best thing. This live set delivers what a fan of lo-fi rock and roll ought to hope for such as loud organ, fuzzy guitars and thundering percussion. Naturally, everything is a bit more washed out from the live recording, but who wants garage rock to be crystal clear? It is a sweet, cheap follow up that puts me near to tears wishing they'd come play a show in Detroit.

To be had here:
The Gorlons - The Gorlons Live in Concert

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Vintage Cucumber - Sing Sang Sung (2014)

Here's some music that would've been a cool soundtrack to the holiday last Sunday. No, not that holiday. That holiday. You know, the one that gives all the trustafarians in your city a reason to throw their "spare change for beer" signs into the backseat of their Landrovers and head over to the park to futz around with frisbees and devils sticks.

Now, I know some of you are all, "You're a little late, Larry. That was 4 days ago." Believe me, "a little late" is the story of my life. But isn't everyday 4/20 day? Isn't that what people say?

What we have here is a project by a Johannes Schulz, who apparently lives in a small town in Germany. Whoever he is, he's got a great album cover aesthetic, and is quite possibly the most prolific person on Bandcamp. He uploaded 9 albums in 2013 alone, for chrissakes. This EP, titled Sing Sang Sung, is already Vintage Cuke's 2nd release in 2014. Enclosed is some seriously atmospheric psychedelia. Slow jams lasting 5 to 10 minutes throw you into a daze, while the sounds of a babbling brook and chirping birds play accompaniment. These sounds actually accompany this whole EP, and several other Vintage Cucumber recordings, as if they are a member of the band. "Johannes Schulz on guitar. Nature on vibes."

Overall the music is very relaxing, cheesy, trippy, and will undoubtedly make you have to pee. For any non-smokers, Vintage Cucumber would serve as a wonderful soundtrack to your sleepy times.

Just make sure to pee first.

Vintage Cucumber - Sing Sang Sung

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Comets - Fire The Wake Up Call (2014)

It is always exciting to get a new project from talents musicians I've already had the good fortune to become familiar with through writing this blog, and here we've got not only one musician dedicated readers of the site with know but two. This is a the collaboration of the two Connecticut-dwelling musical frontmen, Cal McNamara of The Gentle Stunts and Tynan Cooney of Werewolf Police. Each of those bands were among my favorite submissions, and I even got to briefly meet Tynan at a live show of the Inclined Plane show, of which my erstwhile roommate is a member, when I was living in Connecticut. Now that you've read of this incestuous knot of bands hopefully you'll get an understanding of the high hopes I had set for Comets. Happily, they met my expectations with their electronic indie pop that blends 80s, instrumental hip-hop and top 40s music into something they've adorably tagged creep pop. If I ever had a club this the sort of songs I'd play, which might not be ideal for a the club-going crowd but seeing them not understand the darkly composed yet dance-able pop tracks would please me to no end. The lyrics absolutely worth listened to, with their absurd subject matter delivered a bizarrely stylish fashion. Watch out though, the songs'll are genuine ear worms just waiting to make a home in head.

To be had here:
Comets - Fire The Wake Up Call

Monday, April 21, 2014

EP Grab Bag vol. 59

Here's what been coming in lately (for the most part lately at least). A truly international mix again and some really eclectic mixture of genres.

To be had here:
Pueblo People - Sentiero di Guerra (2014)

I know on our last podcast we had some fun at the expense of Italian music, but truth be told I am a huge fan of Italian tunes if not necessarily the disco. Pueblo People is a fine example quality music from the boot-shaped nation that I am digging. This is a 3 track EP but is a longer one nevertheless because of the lengthy tracks. This may sound strange, but it makes me think of a Bright Eyes from 1976, in the best of all possible worlds. The last song is my favorite, an epic, distorted and sprawling number that isn't supremely awesome.

Barry Walker and the Tanks - L.T.D. (2013)

This was the second band I was send by Portland's Snake Handler Recordings, along with Sinthaxis. This group plays alternative country, which is a genre I hold a fondness for despite my intense dislike of modern popular country music, and sadly I post too little of it. It's got what you want out of a good country song, a mournful tale sung in a soulful voice with twangy guitars. I highly recommend the full-length album, but I felt I should share something streamable so what we've got here is the single with two accompanying tracks. Plus the live version of "White Freightliner Blues" is fantastic.

Lady Flint - Lady Flint (2014)

Back to Europe with this EP from Marseille. This French duo plays some rock and roll that is swaggering and sleazy, you know in the complimentary sense. Bluesy, a bit heavy, and full of provocative lyrics it is a minimalistic punk at it's core, but as we know from too many two-piece bands to name it doesn't preclude some amazing and full rock and roll sound which these guys have in spades. If nothing else, check the final, awesomely distorted, very garage final tack "Problems" and I believe you'll be sold.

Wave n400 - Wave n400 (2012)

Another one of the older submissions but something I thought was interesting to share now nonetheless. Based in Bristol these guys were making a strange sort of electronic experimental music with a deeply psychedelic style. It has the slightly unsettling art rock feel of being more sophisticated than perhaps you thought, but really it is playful music with an artsy theme. Again I am gonna recommend the final track here, "Fuss" as it is really pulls together the whole EP and has gotten itself lodged into my head.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Whip Hands - Whip Hands (2012)

As if we've all not heard this enough already, but this is an album I also overlooked in the email submissions from my time in the wilderness (one I hope I am not re-entering by moving back into Detroit). Anyhow, this is a lo-fi garage-ish punk outfit that came out of Portland, Maine. Unlike the quaint, seaside town they hail from, they are rather and rough and tumble sort of rock and roll band for the most part, although they'll surprise you with a slow post-rock tinged song intro. The vocals are howling and the guitar is pretty unrestrained, the punk flows through the tracks, but it isn't a rehash as much as a stripped down and raw formation of the sound for the first several songs. Then it alters into a dark pop, post-whatever avant-garde-ish thing with sorta 80s-like riffs that I really found to be excellent (see "Money Is Honey, (But Licks Stick"). Still lo-fi punk rock throughout, and a good show of it. So sorry for the delay on this one dudes, but I hope you have kept it up.

To be had here:
Whip Hands - Whip Hands

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Home Alone - There's A Light Coming Through (2014)

Home Alone is Torontonian band, a fancy way of saying big city Ontarians. Canadian demonyms seem funny to me despite growing up on the Ontario-Michigan border, but that is beside the point, which is these mesmerizing songs. I have seen some chatter about this album on the internets already, as there should be. To put it crudely the tracks are lo-fi dream pop. However, as with most all good albums it is a combination of the more subtle factors that create the majestic treat for ears. They've got a perfectly balanced electronically graced sound throughout and some impressively delivered, impactful lyrics. Like emotional lullabies for the self-aware adult. Trust, it is some righteous shit that I feel a fool for not listening to weeks ago. In a hope that this won't undercut the creditability of my recommendation (which I assure you is legit as it gets) I'd like to give some props to Spacerockmountain alumnus, Warren Hildebrand, for mastering this album and releasing it on his laudably curated label Orchid Tapes. Check out what else he's been putting out, because the man's got impeccable taste.

To be had here:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sonnyskyes - The Imaginary Friend Ship (2013)

A submission I must shamefully admit went overlooked by myself for too long, however the music I found at the end of the link when I eventually got to it is too good not to share anytime. I wasn't given much information on this release, other than it is self-produced and from Long Beach. What I have been able to deduce with my earholes is that it is some magical lo-fi indie rock that is somewhere between garage, shoegaze and psych-pop. The wall-of-sound is employed tactfully, fuzz deployed liberally and the vocals make me think of half a dozen Elephant 6 bands. The vibe is cheerful and it bears a similar beach punk and renewed Californian sunshine attitude of artists like Wavves and Best Coast, the latter of which he does a cover of. I have been caught in my car more than ever in recent days, and getting my hands on some tunes like this are going a long way in combating the downer that is the unusually cold spring I found in my return to Michigan. Hopefully he's still at it is and we're not too far away from another release.

To be had here:
Sonnyskyes - The Imaginary Friend Ship

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sinthaxis – Bending Space Machine (2013)

Sinthaxis is a Portland, Oregon based band with a connection to Uruguay. First off, I learnt of this record when the label, Snake Handler Recordings were kind enough to send a couple of their vinyl releases to us. They play country-influenced psychedelic folk that feels chilled out and quite blissful with a worldly infusion of sounds. In particular they reminded me of the kraut-folk (it was a thing, trust) German band, Bröselmaschine with the mixture of Eastern, Western and Latin American. One can even detect the subtle influence of spaghetti Western soundtracks like those of Ennio Morricone, in "El Rey Adar" and "Babble on, Baby" especially. The album is diverse in its sound while remaining very true to an overall theme. For example the song "Wusûhihûñ_yǐ (There Where They Stay Over Night)" will demonstrate how a moaning chants and long instrumental wandering are just after the flourish-filled, twaggy guitar-driven tones of "Babble on, Baby." Each of the tracks has a degree of repeating core progressions that provides the same kind of meditative qualities of drone music. It is easy to lose oneself in these songs and forget your worries for a moment, something I could with more of all the time. The album can be streamed on the bands website, links to buy it digitally or physically are there too or you can email Snake Handler ( directly and get a vinyl for $10 plus shipping.

To be had here:

Friday, April 11, 2014

Toads and Mice - S/T (2007)

There's an inordinate amount of great musical talent from the state of Ohio, not the least of which is out of Dayton. My favorite band of all time, Brainiac, is from Dayton. Guided By Voices, the Deal twins... Lou Barlow was born there. To me, that sums up the best of the 90s. So it was no surprise to learn that Toads and Mice, one of my favorite finds in recent memory, also come from the "Little Detroit" of Ohio. Maybe it's something in the water there that makes people so talented... too far from the infamously flammable Cuyahoga River to be some congenital effect from the toxic sludge that flows there. Perhaps it's some industrial chemical from the nearby auto manufacturing plants that give predispositions to musical ass kicking.

Idiotic speculations aside, I don't have a great frame of reference for the brand of rock Toads and Mice play (or... played, I should say, as the band is no longer). They had a distinct '90s flavor and melodic tendencies that might categorize them as "post-rock", bringing to mind other artists of the genre. Imagine an 18-year-old Sam Prekop, on the verge of a mental breakdown, fronting a disjointed  Karate. While not as jazzy as The Sea and Cake or Karate, Toads and Mice employ the subtle and richly decorative guitar lines that largely defined the output of both. Their music is inventive, engaging, and as it steadily unfolds over the course of these 12 songs, I felt myself slightly entranced and more than willing to invest in repeated listens. Easy to do, as all the songs bleed into one another, making this more of a compositional voyage (sans pretensions). Toads and Mice kept it modest, dynamic, and rocking.

I suggest listening to it from start to finish. Rinse and repeat.

1000 stars.

Toads and Mice - S/T

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Spirale - Labirintas (2013)

To be blunt, this is me stepping outside of my usual realm music I know something about and have spent countless hours listening to. I haven't ever been indoctrinated in the finer qualities and aspects of metal nor have I many emotional ties to the genre, really only listening to one band that could be called as much, that being Black Sabbath and then only the early stuff. Nevertheless, I felt like it would be good to give this album a listen. While it is still not what I usually would seek out, I guess a perk of being a music reviewer is getting a chance to hear all sorts of shit, and I was not disappointed in selecting Spirale. Sure it is heavy, guitar-blasting and rapid I didn't find to lack many of the qualities I enjoy about both garage and post-rock. Of course, this is more experimental metal with influence of math rock and prog, so I knew that'd be all slanted in my favor, but I don't think I should discount how much I liked this hard and fast rock. It's laced with spoken word bits in various languages and bass lines that made me smile. I was genuinely pumped by the end of it and I would be curious to hear what the those of you more acquainted with metal have to say about it. Does remind me a little of Matmos, Maserati and their ilk but naturally a bit heavier still. Not of usual cup of tea, but one I very well could revisit.

To be had here:
Spirale - Labirintas

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

EP Grab Bag vol. 58

Here sort of a mish-mash of all kinds of music that I found in the submission pile. International, mutli-genred, and thematically divergent but all united by some fine artistry.

To be had here:
How Scandinavian - The Educator (2014)

An overdue return of the mid-fi wonders, How Scandinavian. The Educator is the newest single by the group but sports enough supporting tracks that it pretty much an EP. The title track is a fine example of the whimsical song-writing that makes their music charming and the lyrics are rather witty if I understood them correctly. The second track is a neat jazzy number and then you'll be treated to a cover of the Beach Boys, which is never a bad thing. Finally a live track from the full-length I still recommend you hear, Dolorous.
Отстой - Сахара (2014)

I hope there's no situation where I have to try to pronounce this band's name, but I will pronounce these tracks to be righteous garage rock. This EP was submitted from St. Petersburg, Russia and has some very skillful written rock songs. These aren't the short ditties that we often get (and do enjoy), rather they're a bit longer and show the progress of a musician from the earlier wild, lo-fi songs on earlier Тупым EP. I haven't a clue what Дальше только даунхилл means yet it kept me coming back for listen after listen.

Nanaki - Afterlight (2014)

Likely our first submission from the Isle of Mann, Nanaki is a revived musical project with its first original release in 10 years. Five instrumental tracks that vary from post-rock to near-drone, but all with a heavy art rock vibe. The songs sound sophisticated in an appreciable fashion, and I believe he was aiming for that. The whole EP is done well and makes for a fine listen, yet above all I found the track "When Legs Go Bad" to be exceptionally pleasant to hear.

Good Empire - Good Empire (2014)

Good Empire are from Charlotte but I swear they could be a version of what I grew up hearing at the tiny, busted ass venues in my home county only like fifty times better. It is somewhere between garage rock, 90s alternative and emo (they even tagged it that way), but I don't want any of that to scare you off. I was always I proponent of a theory that any genre can be done well (expect ska), and here is proof of what potential songs that aren't oppressively emo being preformed excellently and being remarkably endearing.

The Hours - Steady Glazed Eyes (2014)

To end the quite diverse Grab Bag I've got some psychedelic rock from Winnipeg. Only two tracks here and it is still enough to let you know that this band has some incredible talent. It is thoroughly seeped in 60s psychedelia and the neo-psych of Echo and the Bunnymen-esque bands. They never get fast or guitar-heavy, remaining more dreamy and blissed out. If this is an indication of what an LP from this group could sound like I think we should all be eager to get our hands on it as soon as possible.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Majmoon - Procedure in a Case of Breakdown LP (2012)

Now here is something I really dropped the ball on. I was looking around at my which I hadn't done in quite some time and I saw that not only had Majmoon thanked me for posting them way back when but I that they had indeed released another album, two years ago at this point. My bad, guys. Anyway, I still love these German post-rockers so I am gonna post up regardless of how tardy. Majmoon makes epic post-rock, with the long, building sort of soundscapes that I so frequently praise. However, they're anything but a sleepy in their approach, the songs start straight off with remarkable playing and get spiral from there. I only wish that I could have an opportunity to hear these guys live someday, but I can't imagine I am gonna be jaunting through Munich again anytime soon. As usual most of us are gonna settle for the recording, but I believe you'll find that a rather pleasing consolation.

To be had here:
Majmoon -  Procedure in a Case of Breakdown LP

Monday, April 7, 2014

Candy Claws - Ceres & Calypso in the Deep Time (2013)

Canady Claws is a band I have followed for a few years now after I found the kicking around the internet looking to get a fix of lo-fi electronic pop music (strange hobby, I know). I was all wrapped up in Monster Rally, Beat Connection, and Ocelote Rojo at the time and experimenting with tapes decks and a producing lo-fi remixes. While the remixes are not that notable, the music I found at the time still captivates me and not least of all Candy Claws. The band is a collaborative effort from musicians in various states and released on now-defunct label 2 Syllable in Brooklyn. I found this album to superior even to their prior releases, though I recommend checking those especially the LPs In the Dream of the Sea Life and Hidden Lands. The sound is fuller and richer on Ceres & Calypso in the Deep Time but still has the nostalgia-heavy theme with beautifully shimmering music to make what is some of the most pleasant listening one could experience. I believe you'll find it to be soothing to an astounding degree. Hopefully they'll outlive their label and keep on producing this wonderful music.

To be had here:
Candy Claws - Ceres & Calypso in the Deep Time

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Elvis Dracula Dance Party - Part 1

Welcome to my humble abode! Drinks are in the back, and I will be spinning records all night. Avoid the basement,  unless you want to meet some of our compulsory "guests."

No Bodies - No Bodies (2013)

No better way to get a party started than some haunting, reverb drenched garage rock. These guys may have been around in the 1960s (did I see them in Watsonville at that drug den with some burnt out hippies?), or they may just be some lads with a love of that always classic retro sound. "Tell Me Who You Love" and "I've Waited Such a Long Time" have gotten the crowd loose and limber on the dance floor, and will likely be put on repeat on your audio player.

Plantains/ Os Noctambulos - Split (2014)

Once the scream rips through "Northern Blood," I know my guests are in for a treat. The lovely morsels down in the basement feel fright grip them in a way they have never known. I however, grab another scotch and join the ghouls on the dance-floor. This split is one of the best I have heard in some time, with two excellent psychedelic rock bands putting forth their best foot and shaking the bones from a few skeletons in my proximity. We flip the record, and cool down with the fuzzed out surf hooks of Os Noctambulos. Sweat is pouring off of those still with skin and a request is made to play the record again. I oblige.

Prettiest Eyes - Peep (2014)

A few of the guests take a break to enjoy some of the refreshments. A few of our compulsory guests are brought up to the party to serve their purpose, and I put on this EP from Los Angeles.  Repetitive but hypnotic, it builds to a frenzied level as the bass pushes my hips back and forth. The guests chatting in the kitchen can not help but to emulate this movement, and when "Honey Honey" explodes, not a single individual is left sitting.

Shape Breaker/ Fuck Mountain - Split (2014)

I love Shape Breaker. I put their most righteous last record on our best of 2013 list. Thankfully, the group is getting the respect they deserve these days, and Gary Records was smart enough to put together a transatlantic split release with the equally great Fuck Mountain. 7 inch records are not the best music medium at a party, but I don't know if my guests could have lived through a full length from either band. The amount of jumping and thumping that went on as these tracks were played caused the needle to skip like a cholo in Chula Vista riding an earthquake. I now need to buy another copy of this record.

 Evasive Backflip - Orange You Glad To See Orange You? (2013)

I can tell we need a change of pace to keep this party going. I pop in Evasive Backflip's newest cassette tape on Grandpa Bay Recordings and let the more experimental among my friends display their dance moves. Some of the witches really get into the title track. They mention that much like the jazzy post-rock this band possess, churning a cauldron incorporates similar movements. Who knew? The sing along ending of the track catches everyone off guard, and makes a fan of even the most jaded ghosts.

No Valley - Over Time Scattered (2014)

Time to eat! I could go for the fat one myself (non-bloodsuckers don't realize they have tastier insides). No Valley plays pretty garage pop that goes down well with a side of lung and brain. I don't  know Charlie or why he don't surf, but the have a great song about said topic. My beloved state burns in said song, but if we go out listening to this EP, that's not so bad.

Ambsace - BOREAL (2013)

Now that everyone is full on human flesh, we grab our wine and spirits and take a seat by the fire. Ambsace is up next, and this cassette puts everyone in that loving mood that only creatures of the night can know. This is pop music, but not like the type currently playing on the radio or hipster night-clubs. Ethereal vocals combined with funeral-dirge pop beats and surprisingly well layered background harmonies go over well with this group of the dead and haunted.

Ghost Dance - ST (2013)

What better way to end our party than with a band called "Ghost Dance?" Best yet, they create well composed psychedelic garage rock that always goes over well in my home. These lads were apparently pulled from the Missouri wilderness from a feral beast mother, and if this story checks out, they will make it onto my next round of invitations. If not, they will suffer dearly. "Howlin'" is a great song, if I do say so myself. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Space Rock Mountain Podcast - 6 "Gloomy Saturday"

Never miss an episode!

Featuring music and conversation related to the following songs:

1. Kristy and the Kraks - No No No
2. Yelephants - Five Tulips
3. The Sad Bastard Book Club - I May be the Final Nail, but it Took a Team to Build This Coffin
4. Kanoi - Witch Mountain

Lost and Found
Temples - Shelter Song
Hunters and Collectors - Say Goodbye

Life Through Music
Paul Whiteman - Gloomy Sunday (1936)

Kristy and the Kraks - ST (2014)

These lovely ladies must be label-mates of mine, because their bread of minimalist Rock'n'Roll is so infectious, that I think it gave me a new disease: Rockatitous. This disease can cause constant foot thumping and headbanging until your body literally dies from aggravated movement. Thankfully, I am already dead and don't have to worry about passing. Those of you who are still with the living should consider playing this record as a potential death-wish.

Made up of only two women, they spend little time filling their tracks with unnecessary sound; only the bare minimum of sounds are crafted to give the listener the distinct feeling that they are sitting in on a live performance with the group. The songs are simple and loose enough that it feels natural and fitting without leaving you wanting. They do know their harmonies however, and when both members chime in with the harmonies, my garage rock heart begins to tingle. Awesome 7 inch record that should get a play at all parties and social events in your schedule.

Get it here:
Kristy and the Kraks - ST (2014)

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Sad Bastard Book Club - The Crow Nose Quartet's "Carrion, My Wayward Son" (2014)

The Sad Bastard Book Club are a San Francisco doom-folk band that has been playing their brand of depressing, climatic rock music for a few years now. More than willing to wear their literate hearts on their sleeves, I personally find this type of post-rock to be some of the best the city has to offer. While most bands regulate themselves to a specific scene and tone, the SBBC crafts music that can easily fit next to many of the competing genres rubbing shoulders in the Bay Area. Sure, the song titles are long as hell (I find myself having to go back over them a few times as I write this guarantee their correct wording), but the ideas presented in them are ones that are universal. Sadness, depression, death: few bands operating today weave together tales incorporating these concepts more competently than this group. In fact, even if no vocals were present, the music is so strong that the entire record could operate as an instrumental. Hard to say that about most acts.

Get it here:
The Sad Bastard Book Club - The Crow Nose Quartet's "Carrion, My Wayward Son" (2014)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Chiquita y Chatarra - Niagra Fallers (2013)

I take issue with our culture's current obsession with whimsy and cuteness. Wes Anderson making cute movies, girls wearing fake old-timey mustaches, selfies and band photos where eyes are up and to the side, hoodie's with fake animal ears sewed to them, kitten cams... and what's with the ukelele being everywhere all of a sudden? TV theme songs, radio advertisements, all-ukelele cover bands... It's like it's the 1980's but instead of synthesizers everywhere it's goddamn ukeleles. 

I'm just waiting for the turnaround, that inevitable revolt against the status quo where disco becomes post-punk; pop metal becomes grunge. I realize it's a process and it won't happen overnight, but my eyes and ears are feverishly hunting for examples where cute exists simultaneously with something a bit more dangerous. 

Enter Chiquita y Chatarra, a Spanish duo whose name one online translation interpreted as "Very Small and Scrap Metal", actually means (according to an NPR article about the band) "Tiny and Trashy".  So far so good. The band loves playing the kind of music I love: garage, psych, surf, punk. I know I know, been there done that. But what makes this band stand out for me, at least, is the voice of their lead singer. An alto with a barely restrained intensity, her voice reminds me at times of Jack White impersonating Charlie Day from It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia (though she is consistently more in key than both). Chiquita y Chatarra have the minimalism of Bratmobile and the 50's pop garage of Shannon and The Clams. But when they take it down a notch, as they do in the last song "All I want", one can almost hear the Pixies in there, too. 

I think this is a step in the right direction, people. Great stuff, pay what you want. If any are inclined to buy the bands vinyl, here's the link.

Chiquita y Chatarra - Niagra Fallers 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

EP Grab Bag vol. 57

Alright, this one is a lo-fi rock heavy Grab Bag, but then again this is a lo-fi rock heavy blog, so you should be prepared. A mix of fresh submissions and a couple I pulled out of from the stack the built up during my time in the wilderness.

To be had here:

It is nice to start a grab bag with rock and roll, especially if it is heavy garage punk. Skull Practitioners are a New York City band that plays loud, screeching punk rock filled with noisy thrashing and buzzing guitar. I'd say it is heavier than even the rash of garage rock bands including Yelephants, Geyser and White Owl. It is like the crazy tracks by Parts & Labor, Eat Skull or Numbers but with more of the bluesy rock vibe retained. A wild and exciting EP that I enjoyed thoroughly.

Now here is something unlike most everything else posted lately. This release is tagged as "chopped and screwed" and I won't be able to conjure a better descriptor than that. It is seconds of songs placed into an order than must only make sense to the fella that made it. Jumps all over the place in a very eccentric fashion, making use of R&B, rock, pop standards, folk, soundtracks and even spoken word clips. Let yourself go and have your brain rattled up by this sound collage, what is the worst that could happen?

Black Pages is the moniker for an Orlando-dwelling garage rocker I believe as submitted a few times and I simply cannot recall if I ever posted. However, I am confident I've written on this set of acoustic tracks he's recently put out. They're short, clamorous songs but they are exceedingly catchy. He's got some chops, this guy. Also in the quite likely case that I just think I wrote him up before but I really just listened to it and forgot to, I am gonna recommend his whole discography.

Can't have too much lo-fi in your diet, so here's some garage pop from Austin. Silkies sound they tunes are infused with all sorts of wonderful influences of surf, garage and 60s girl groups and bubblegum pop. Just for very brief tracks here yet it is still enough for me to be impressed. The singing is perhaps the highlight and for the same reasons I like Summer Twins and Best Coast, and I could stand for many more female lead garage bands. However, this isn't a one trick band, the song writing shows even in the short songs that they're know exactly what they're doing. Listen to this a get ready for summer.

Car Seat Headrest - Starving While Living (2013)

If you've been reading lately you'll find this artist familiar, for it just days ago that I posted an overdue write-up of his latest full-length, Nervous Young Man. Thing is, I love this guy's music and I didn't wanna miss a second chance to stress this why not sharing his wonderful EP that also was released even before that LP. Fantastic lo-fi psychedelic songwriting with themes of anxiety, self-loathing and a nice dose of existentialism. At the same time I've never felt like any of the tracks are downers, just frank lyrically and amazing musically.

Grey Czar - The Men Who Harvest the Sea (2014)

A little rock and roll from Salzburg, Austria to wrap up this Grab Bag. This EP sounds like progressive rock to my ear, but I am not sure what they'd call it. Jazzy guitar riffs and poetic lyrics seem pretty prog though. The tracks are solid, and when they cut loose with their playing it really is captivating. If you experience like me it'll take a minute or two for the singing to grow on you, but it likely will should you give it enough time to establish a tone. Wish they had listed some influences because I'd be curious to hear them.

Space Rock Mountain Podcast 5 - San Diego Special

Featuring music and conversation related to the following tracks:

1. Heavy Hawaii - Suicide Summer
2. Emperors of Gnouv - Masters of the Galaxy
3. LoveLight Shine - Freedom Fighter
4. Bulletins - Is Love
5. Shiva Trash - Bleach Bath
6. Moon and Sixpence - They All Fell For You
7. Drive Like Jehu - New Math