Sunday, September 23, 2018

"Rockin' to the Beat" by The Perfect English Weather

Today's word is "perfect", because we have the perfect single for that time of year between summer and fall.  You know, the time when there is a perfect summery sheen to an early fall day, or a perfect fallish crispness to a sunny fall day.  The single is "Rockin' to the Beat" by the aptly-named The Perfect English Weather.  The duo of Simon and Wendy Pickles (also of The Popguns) have a new album coming out soon, but they, and Matinee Recordings, decided to provide an advance single to help your seasonal transition.  The record consists of "Rockin' to the Beat" and a fine mix of that song by Equinox.  Available now on digital platforms.




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Friday, September 21, 2018

Action Painting! - Trial Cuts (1989-95)


Emotional Response Records is doing heroic work giving new exposure to artists from the catalog of the defunct, much-loved Sarah Records.  Among the most welcome is the work of Action Painting!.  Welcome not just because of the quality, although the quality is undeniable, but because over the course of six years prior to disbanding, the band did not record a full length.  However, they did release four singles with Sarah and one single with Damaged Goods.  That previously released material, plus unreleased material carefully curated by the band, now comprises Trial Cuts.

The listener doesn't need to dive too deeply into this collection to discover that Action Painting! wasn't a prototypical Sarah Records band.  Yes, they jangled, strummed and crafted hooks.  But their sound also could be loud, fuzzy and aggressive.  Just compare "These Things Happen", below, with the following "Collapsing Cloud" and the demo for "Sailor Beware".  This was, indeed, a versatile band that could produce sighs from the twee crowd but stand shoulder to shoulder with The Wolfhounds and 14 Iced Bears.  So lend Trial Cuts your ears, and it will pleasure them from several directions.  And note that Action Painting! has reformed and is writing new material.  Let this compilation be your prologue to their next chapter.

Trial Cuts is available now in vinyl, CD and digital formats (See the Bandcamp link).









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Thursday, September 20, 2018

The Chills - Snow Bound


Martin Phillipps, the mainstay of long-running guitar pop band The Chills, has few peers when it comes to decorating his musical compositions.  These are songs adorned with sharp hooks, incisive and concise lyrics, and inviting choruses.  Imagine the most beautiful Christmas tree you have ever seen -- bright, shiny and promising continuing joy -- Martin's songs are like that.  The latest set of gems arrived late last week in the form of Snow Bound, and it reveals Martin and his bandmates to be at the top of their game.  The themes reflect the age and life experiences of the songwriter, as well as current events, and as always, observations, whether sentimental, hopeful or trenchant, are wrapped in solid melodies.  Phillipps seems comfortable in his own skin, but not so comfortable that he can't take hard looks at politics ("In Harmony") and love ("Time to Atone").  "Scarred" and "Complex" demonstrate that this band can rock out like champs when the material demands, but songs like "Deep Belief" and "In Harmony" show their mastery on the more nuanced side of the coin.  We highly recommend this album for fans of The Chills, guitar pop, or just good music.

Our favorite songs at this point: "Bad Sugar", "The Greatest Guide", "Scarred", "Deep Belief", and "Snow Bound".

Snow Bound is out now in vinyl, digital and CD formats via Fire Records.








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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

"Sing to Me Candy" and "Laughing Man" by Papercuts


On October 19 Papercuts will be releasing a new album titled Parallel Universe Blues via Slumberland Records.  While you have to wait a month to get your hands on it, we can give you two songs to whet your appetite.  Papercuts is Californian Jason Quever and whomever he add to the mix for a specific recording.  Expect melody melody, hooks, jangle, and a bit of 'Galaxie 500 plays Jesus and Mary Chain'.  Oh, and expect it to be good.





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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

"Pharmacy Girl" by Drew Beskin

Late last month we shared two songs from the upcoming album by Athens singer-songwriter Drew Beskin (link).  Today, we bring you a third track, the stunning "Pharmacy Girl".  Featuring retro chord progressions and an inspired dose of sleigh bells (yes, sleigh bells), it should provide the third leg of your conclusion that this will be one of our favorite albums this year.

Nostalgia Porn will be out October 19 via Laser Brains Records.


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"Bubble Sword" by Hairband

It has been our impression for quite a while that the musical talent in Glasgow in inexhaustible, but just in case our conviction on the subject wavered, we have yet another data point in support.  Here, for your listening pleasure, is "Bubble Sword" by Hairband.  A five-piece consisting of Rowan Wright, Sephi Lock, Emma Smith, Rachel Taylor, and Simone Wilson, the project brings together five songwriters with experience in other top bands such as Spinning Coin, Breakfast Muff, Lush Purr, and Kaputt.  They features three guitars, as well as bass and drums, producing a sound that is full and confident, but loose-jointed and carefree.  We think this group will go as far as they want to.

Hairband's self-titled debut will be out October 19 via Monorail Music.



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Sunday, September 16, 2018

The Hannah Barberas - Go Go Hannah Barberas

This week the lovely quartet known as The Hannah Barberas are releasing their new three track record Go Go Hannah Barberas.  If you act now, you may be able to get it free, which is something even our readers can afford.  The record is the second from the band since the middle of the summer, and showcases their ability to create infectious tunes.

The Hannah Barberas are Damien, Lucy, Doug and Matthew.



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Friday, September 14, 2018

The Sunbathers - A Weekend Away With ...

Paul and Julie live in the English midlands, not particularly close to the sea.  But from the name of their band to the themes, sun-kissed vibes, and field sounds (or beach sounds?) in their songs, they seem to be living in a hut at the edge of the dunes.  So we present to you, The Sunbathers, duo who will help you hold on to a bit more of summer as the leaves start to turn.  The band previously released shorter recordings with Dufflecoat and Cloudberry, but we now have their new full length album, A Weekend Away With ... .  Characterized by gentle acoustic strumming, soothing melodies and Julie's sweet voice, and boasting a generous 15 tracks, it is the perfect accompaniment for your weekend--this weekend or any other for that matter. 

A Weekend Away With ... is out now in digital and CD formats with Jigsaw Records.  See the Bandcamp link at the bottom of this post.





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"Seems" by Johnny Kills

Well, dammit, someone needs to save Friday and it might as well be Johnny Kills.  The trio is one of our favorite current purveyors of exuberant garage rock.  Their contribution to Friday's salvation is via "Seems", the new single for Killing Moon Records.  Addressing the conflict presented when you receive good and bad news simultaneously (like us being happy its Friday at the same time we review the things we need to accomplish before we leave the office today), it is sure to supercharge your day.

"Seems" is available at all the usual digital outlets.  And say thank you to Tim Lloyd-Kinnings, Cameron Gipp, and Lewis Lloyd-Kinnings, aka Johnny Kills.



And because it is Friday, you may need the band's previous 2018 single, "Who's Counting?" --



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