Monday, July 25, 2016
Shakes are an indie rock band from New Zealand, playing gritty indie rock with a bit of pop polish and a lot of swagger. The hard-working quartet will release their second EP of 2016 in a few months, but has given us a taste with single "Strange Tides".
And if you like that song, and I expect that you will, here is their first EP of the year, Tambourine Girls, which is available for 'name your price' at this Bandcamp link.
Friday, July 22, 2016
I love songwriting that works both as a superb soundtrack and, for those that want to dig deeper, wonderfully twisted entertainment. "St Paul's (Westerberg Comprehensive)" focuses on gay students in a Catholic school, but adds references to Paul Westerberg of The Replacements, whose "Androgynous" was the inspiration for this song. Famous revolutionary makes an appearance, but she is re-imagined as a gumshoe in "Goldman's Detective Agency". Another song discusses fining romance in the supermarket. There is plenty more there, but I shouldn't deny you the fun of discovering it for yourself. And for those inclined to look, the Bandcamp link below includes the lyrics (which I think all bands should do). Suffice it to say that the album is about life and how to deal with it, roll with it, and persevere. An album this good deserves your ears, and your ears and heart deserve it.
Formed four years ago, Martha are Nathan Stephens-Griffin (drums), Naomi Griffin (bass), JC Cairns (guitar), and Daniel Ellis (guitar), all of whom write and sing. Blisters In The Pit Of My Heart is out now in digital, CD and vinyl formats via Fortuna POP! in the UK/Europe and Dirtnap Records in North America.
Bandcamp for Blisters In The Pit Of My Heart
Homemade Lemonade is out now via Glasgow's Olive Grove Records. See the Bandcamp link below.
Bandcamp for Homemade Lemonade
Olive Grove Records
Olive Grove Records on Facebook
Thursday, July 21, 2016
Bandcamp for Centre of Their World
Bandcamp for Calico Review
Webpage for album and tour
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Community Radio are Cameron Emerson-Elliott, Malcolm McKernan, Jen Kevin, Patrick Mathews. Look Now You're Cursed is available now on CD, vinyl and digital formats from two separate Bandcamp links, the band's (for CD and digital) and Madrid's Tenorio Cotobade (for vinyl), which I've provided at the bottom of the post.
Bandcamp for digital and CD
Bandcamp for vinyl
Sex Schön, Guido Minisky, Hervé Carvalho, and Kenzy Bourras are Acid Arab, four musicians that combine western electronic music with North African and Middle Eastern influences. Minsky and Carvalho founded the band in 2012, and are based in France. They are signed to Belgian label Crammed Discs, which will release their LP, Musique de France, on October 7. Here is "Buzq Blues", the first single. We think this album is going to be very good.
Crammed Discs page for Acid Arab
Crammed Discs page for Acid Arab
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
These guys take the spirit of early punk and take it places, and add influences and genres, that you wouldn't expect -- which of course is the most punk act of all. These guys are a blast of fresh air, albeit fresh air in a sweaty basement with beer on the floor.
Lumps are Aaron Hester, Ara Arnn, Rory Fortune, Sam Backer, Nick Carter, and Joe Wilson. Curses! is an absolute bargain at $5 for a digital download of 11 tracks at the Bandcamp link below.
Monday, July 18, 2016
Terry HQ, by Melbourne's Terry, reveals a band capable of jangling with the jangle poppers, rocking with the post punkers and dishing attitude with the punks. And there are a few slacker pop ballads as well. But for a band assembled by by two couples, who variously are members of Dick Diver, UV Race, Eastlink, Total Control, School of Radiant Living, Constant Mongrel, Russell Street Bombings, and Mick Harvey's band, talent and vision shouldn't be a surprise. The four-piece, consisting of Al Monfort, Amy Hill, Zephyr Pavey, and Xanthe Waite, share songwriting and vocal duties, resulting in a range of styles and tempos. But all the tracks share a sharp focus, incisive writing and a forward-pushing delivery. The band doesn't shy away from social criticism (e.g. "Third War"), but makes sure to provide some laughs as well. The approach is decidedly lo-fi, and there nothing about the album could be termed slick. But the approach fits the surging, rhythmic arrangements like a glove.
Australia seems to produce great guitar bands like Munich produces beer (and we wouldn't want to live without either), and Terry is a worthy addition to the roster. Get on the Terry train before it leaves the station! Terry HQ is out now via Upset The Rhythm in digital, CD and vinyl formats.
Terry's Bandcamp page (two previous EPs)
Upset The Rhythm
Over the course of ten songs, the band never puts a wrong foot forward. The songs are well written and executed with complete confidence. There is a special vibe to the music when the band knows they are good, and this album has it. And by the way, Heliotropes, I love, just love, the sax solo in "Wherever You Live".
For Over There That Way the band, in addition to Numsuwankijkul, is Ricci Swift, Richard Thomas, and Gregg Giuffre. The album is out now on The End Records.
The End Records
Friday, July 15, 2016
London's The Fireworks are all fuzz pop energy and sweet hooks, often at amphetamine speed and level 10 energy. Their 2015 LP Switch Me On dazzled us, and now they are back with a four song EP titled Black and Blue to prove that last year's quality was no accident. The record starts off above the speed limit with the pounding percussion and J&MC guitar blast of "All The Time". It is followed by the sweetly sad "The Ghost Of You", which provides ample evidence that this band can slay you as easily with a mid-tempo indie pop tune as with their trademark fuzz bombs. And speaking about fuzz bombs, "Bury Me" fills the room with a lovely pop tune wrapped in distorted guitars. "Go So Slow" closes Black and Blue in glorious fashion with elements of the three preceding songs, and may be the sleeper gem of the set. The EP is like a musical Red Bull for your spirit. And it is calorie-free!
The Fireworks are Matthew Rimell, Isabel Albiol, Emma Hall, and Shaun Charman. Black and Blue EP is out today via Shelflife Records in digital and 10" vinyl formats.
Bandcamp for Black And Blue EP
A few days ago I hadn't heard of Sloucher. But I am an admirer of Puget Sound label Swoon Records, and I'm familiar with Cayucas, Hibou, and The Globes, of which a couple of Sloucher have been members. So I thought it would provide a pleasant listen working through a long list of music that I need to cover. I pressed play on Certainty, their debut EP, and began doing other things. But "doing other things" quite quickly became "devoting full attention to some really, really good music". Headman Jay Clancy's songs are melancholy and melodic, with layered arrangements, a few country rock touches and enough distorted guitar to fit well in the Pacific Northwest musical scene. I found favorable echos of the work of Pavement, Elliott Smith and The Shins. As fleshed out by Clancy and his bandmates Kyle Musselwhite and Jack Hamrick, the seven tracks display delightful detail and nuance. Certainty has been occupying my ears steadily for a days, and I highly recommend it.
A couple of fine tracks can be streamed below, and you can stream and order the EP at the Bandcamp link below.