Posted by: on July 10, 2008 at 3:00 pm


Racebannon, Acid or Blood (Southern, 2008)

MP3: Terror & Dread”

Drop Racebannon‘s Acid or Blood into your iTunes and it emerges from the digital fog and hissing Apple steam as a 33-headed monster. There is “Terror & Dread,” a pure minute of electric guitars played with rusty forks and fake blood being sprayed on walls with a Wagner Power Painter. There is opener “Translucent Lifeforce,” nearly six minutes of proto-noise metal sludge, bloodcurdling screams, and sweaty hair plastered on skin. There is also “The Killer,” which crawls past the eight minute mark with a haunting mess of sound that leaves a trail behind the song’s blisteringly fractured metal heart. And then, after you’ve found your way through the devilish back alleys and psychosis-inducing, city bus-crushing sounds of “Vampyric Solution,” “Candida & Parasites,” and the rest of the more “conventional” songs on Acid or Blood, you’ll find 22 tracks that do you the solid of adding titles like “Fuck Us Into Submission,” “Bleeding From the Eyes,” “Heaving in a Bucket,” and “Gnashing Teeth 2gether” to your iTunes library. These tracks are silent killers, of course. They’re just buffers between the album proper and “Motherland Remix,” its grunting, rewarding finale. But if listening to Racebannon does anything besides shake molars loose, it suggests that some bands might have found a way to murder with silence. Our advice: enjoy the songs you can actually hear on Acid or Blood, and fear the shrunken heads of the silent 22. — Johnny Loftus

Leave a Comment 

Tags: , , ,

Posted by: on July 10, 2008 at 1:00 pm

YouTube Preview Image

Yelle, “Je Veux Te Voir” (Caroline, 2007)

Dude’s Georgia jersey is balls out. How did that garment even make it to France? It must be hard for him to catch SEC games live. Fun fact: if you watch this clip until its finale, that’s almost how it felt/looked here. Pop music will never fault you for loving it. — Johnny Loftus

Leave a Comment 

Tags: , , ,

Posted by: on July 10, 2008 at 11:00 am

YouTube Preview Image

Helio Sequence, “Keep Your Eyes Ahead” (Sub Pop, 2008)

Helio Sequence don’t get enough credit. These dudes have been making solidly melodic and even experimental indie rock four five albums now, and they can play on a mobile stage all over the city of Portland way better than their competitors. That’s just a fact, and this clip proves it. Light-up drum kit owns. — Johnny Loftus

Leave a Comment 

Tags: , , ,

Posted by: on July 10, 2008 at 8:56 am

Architecture in Helsinki, Like It or Not EP (Polyvinyl, 2008)

MP3: “Like It or Not (Version 2)

“Like It or Not” is one of those Architecture in Helsinki jams wherein the group’s penchant for shout out loud buggery doesn’t immediately inspire thoughts of chewing off your own fingers. The single version of the song gets backup here from a “Hold Music” remix that doesn’t necessarily sweat the original but is still plenty listenable, as well as versions of deep cuts “Beef in a Box” and “One Heavy February.” “Like It or Not” then returns in a mysterious, nearly unrecognizable remix of its own, courtesy of Spanish musician El Guincho, and we thank AIH for turning us on to his own library of fucked-up soundscapes. We also thank the ever-excitable Australians for continuing to use Will Sweeney as their illustrator of choice. His cover art for Places Like This and its attendant singles (you know, like this one) has been an inspiration of organized chaos and fantasy characters who seem ready to speak. — Johnny Loftus

Leave a Comment 

Tags: , , , ,

Posted by: on July 9, 2008 at 1:00 pm


The Dead Science, Villainaire (Constellation, 2008)

MP3: “Make Mine Marvel”

There’s something unsettling at the core of the Dead Science, like maybe vocalist-guitarist Sam Mickens has proof that we’re all going to hell, and he’s trying to send us the message through a tumult of cryptic lyrics, slithering cellos, harp strums, prickly guitars, and the occasional shout of angry violins. Like Clinic and Tim Kinsella’s ever-evolving Joan of Arc, Mickens and Dead Science operate on one level — let’s call it post-post-punk, just to grasp a grounding wire — but have their brains and fingers in so many other pots that it’s hard to figure out just what’s going on with Villainaire. And when you do figure it out, it changes. Luckily the changes are almost always welcome, like when a trebled-out guitar trades barbs with the string section on “Monster Island Czars,” and Mickens quavers over it all. “Holliston” forsakes volume for an acoustic piano and whispered lyrics; its dirge-like pace puts the song into cabaret theater territory. “Make Mine Marvel” is louder, cresting and breaking on Mickens’ ever-present falsetto, while “Lamentable” is barely there, a song built on memories of instruments. A perfect fit for the weird and wonderful Constellation label (Do Make Say Think, Silver Mt Zion, etc.), Dead Science’s mixed and murky messages are rewarding in their total mystery. It’s great when you can’t figure out where a band is coming from. It’s like they know something you don’t. — Johnny Loftus

Leave a Comment 

Tags: , , , ,

Posted by: on July 9, 2008 at 11:00 am

YouTube Preview Image
American Music Club, “All the Lost Souls Welcome You to San Francisco” (Merge, 2008)

Leave it to the embittered, but tender fellows in American Music Club to depict themselves floating in the very cocktails they drink. This classy clip for one of the numerous classy jams on AMC’s latest record features bottoms up cameos from Mark Eitzel and Vudi. But witness also the appearance of Grace Zabriskie, esteemed member of David Lynch’s usual suspects (she played Laura Palmer’s mom on “Twin Peaks,” and appeared in Inland Empire). Here she’s the queen of the barflies, or your welcoming committee. — Johnny Loftus

Leave a Comment 

Tags: , , , , ,

Posted by: on July 9, 2008 at 9:04 am


Port O’Brien, All We Could do Was Sing (Port O’Brien, 2008)

MP3: “Fisherman’s Son”

Gotta admit, Port O’Brien‘s “I Woke Up Today” goes great with Tommy Seebach. Whoever decided to pit the relatively obscure California group’s music against heavy hitters like AC/DC, Madonna, and Daft Punk in the YouTube-driven Seebach Versus sweepstakes, you’re a genius. But what really matters here is Port O’Brien’s music, which has a backstory they’re happy to tell you about. The band’s biography is a revealing portrait of their core membership and evolution, written in a tone somewhere between the technicolor storybook world of ABC’s “Pushing Daisies” and the homespun monologues of Garrison Keillor’s News from Lake Wobegon. Not going to summarize it here, so if you’re looking for a good read, check it. But it does give us some context as to where Port O’Brien’s coming from, a frame of reference, which is an increasingly rare thing in music. On All We Could do Was Sing, vocalist Van Pierszalowski often suggests Will Oldham with more salt and sea spray in his beard. Tender, folk-inflected ballads drawn from a life spent partly at sea and always away from a true love? The Melville quote at the top of their bio is almost revealing enough. There are some great freak-out moments on Sing, too — “Will You be There?” proves the Port to be as volatile in the guitar skree department as they are in the lonesome acoustic one, while “Close the Lid” is artful, tightly-arranged indie pop with bassline pep and a few nods to Rogue Wave. Late entry “In Vino Veritas” shines the spotlight on the vocals of group cofounder Cambria Goodwin. No doubt coming to a wood-paneled room near you very soon, Port O’Brien has appeal for anyone who’s ever been stuck on a boat, apart from a loved one, or a fan of acoustic-based indie rock with a significant folk tip. Ahoy. — Johnny Loftus

Leave a Comment 

Tags: , , , ,

Posted by: on July 8, 2008 at 3:38 pm

Benji Hughes

MP3: “So, Well”

I was hoping to sleep at some point, then fucking Benji Hughes jacked my night. I’m truly hoping this jam was recorded on an airplane in the bathroom on his laptop after listening to Cinerama. It has that one-take, long-night drunken feel to it, yet it seems to breathe that wispy oxygen-infused air that drives the best pop songs all the way to Mars.

UPDATE: Fuck. Dude has a small cornucopia of amazing homebrew jams. Get some.

– Brandon W.

Leave a Comment 

Tags: ,

Posted by: on July 8, 2008 at 2:00 pm


Apse, Spirit (ATP Recordings, 2008)

MP3: “From the North”

Originally released in 2006 via the Acuarela Discos imprint out of Madrid, Spirit will probably find a much larger audience with this reissue from ATP. Apse will also play the New York version of the ATP Festival this September, and will issue new material via the label later this year. So in other words, everything’s coming up Apse. (When can we start wishing for an Apse/Apes tour?) On Spirit, the Massachusetts-based group goes largely experimental, examining the quiet as well as the volatile in long stretches (“Legions” sounds like Sigur Ros with a fantasy heavy metal influence), dreamy interludes (the faraway pianos and disembodied vocals of “Wind Through the Walls”), and snaking trails of tribal percussion (the fantastic “From the North”). Things get even longer later, when tracks like “Blackwood Gates,” “Ark,” and “Spirit” stretch out into seven, eight and eleven-minute lengths of strange fabric, dark poetry, and percussion orchestras who live in sewer drains. The record could definitely use some enlivening; even though it’s consistently interesting musically, there’s a sense of the sound meandering down Apse’s own strange rabbit hole, like they were going to explore this shit on their own, but you happened to be listening. But if you’re willing to follow them down there, they’ll reward you with strange sweet meats and backwards fruits and vegetables. — Johnny Loftus

Leave a Comment 

Tags: , , , ,

Posted by: on July 8, 2008 at 1:00 pm

YouTube Preview Image

The Tough Alliance, “First Class” (Sincerely Yours, 2007)

Not quite blowing up in America just yet, the Swedish duo Tough Alliance appear here with “First Class Riot,” from their A New Chance EP. All reports place their music in this category, this category of fuck-all happiness burgeoned with keys and kooky stabs at 1980s/early 90s stuff like synth-pop and, yeah, EMF. But there’s not much wrong with that when the chorus is as catchy as this one. And that dude plays two drums with more excitement than most indie rock drummers play all of them. — Johnny Loftus

Leave a Comment 

Tags: , , , ,

Page 20 of 201« First...10...1819202122...304050...Last »

SHWFLYR

  • Recent Posts

  • Tags

  • Archives