Saturday, October 13, 2012

New video from I Am Harlequin - "Something Else"

This week finds the release of another imaginative video from Anne Freier, aka I Am Harlequin. This song features her distinctive voice and song style, deconstructing dance music along with what looks like a werewolf love story:

This is the latest from her EP Craze, which we've featured before on WYMA... click here to read more.

Free download and tour info - The Bohannons "River Above"

To further entice the undecided, I suppose, Chattanooga's powerful Southern rockers The Bohannons have a gift for you:

And if you're in the South, you're in luck. They'll be traversing their home state and working their way back via Arkansas and Georgia in November:

Oct. 27 The Honest Pint - Chattanooga, TN
Nov. 2 The 5 Spot - Nashville, TN w/ Shane Tutmarc, Little Bandit
Nov. 3 Maxine’s - Hot Springs National Park, AR  w/ LUCERO
Nov. 6 Smith's Olde Bar - Atlanta, GA
Nov. 7 New Earth Music Hall - Athens, GA w/ Lord Baltimore
Nov. 8 Radio Room - Greenville, SC
Nov. 9 The Wormhole - Savannah, GA
Nov. 10 Hummingbird Stage & Taproom - Macon, GA

In case you missed it, here's our rave review.

Out now on This Is American Music.

Friday, October 12, 2012

New Psych/Metal Discovery: Black Science - An Echo Through The Eyes Of Forever

Black Science is playing a wild psychedelic guitar rock, and on their album An Echo Through The Eyes Of Forever, they have done a thing guaranteed to endear them to WYMA's staff - they have covered a Guided by Voices song ("Hardcore UFOs").

It's noisy stuff with metallic guitars, although on the 15:00-plus album closer "Our Sentence Is Up", they bring in what I might describe as krautrock elements in between some full-scale guitar freakouts.

Check out the album here:

And their previous album Cosmodemonic And Beyond is available for "name your price" via Bandcamp - it sounds heavier to me - at least on first listen.

Recommended if you like guitars...

The Soul Corner - Martha and the Vandellas "Nowhere to Run"

Got my mind on my hometown of Detroit and the remarkable playoff clinching performance by the Detroit Tigers' Justin Verlander as I write this Thursday night. So I had to go with a quintessential Detroit song this week.  
"Nowhere to Run" has all the best Motown elements - killer melody, crushing chorus, big big James Jamerson bass lines, the best drum sounds, and amazing lead vocal.

And if you think this song could have been made in New York or Hollywood, or anywhere other than the Motor City, take a look at one of the first music videos, made as the first Ford Mustangs rolled off the line in Detroit in 1965, with some rich background about the recording of "Nowhere to Run":

Introducing: The Tuts

Are The Tuts the female version of the Libertines?  I don't really have enough information to say.  But I think that this English band has great energy, charisma, engaging songs and, to be sure, a shambling but melodic approach to rock that does, indeed, remind this listener of the Libertines.  The line-up is Nadia Javed (guitar and lead vocals), Harriet Doveton (bass and backing vocals) and Beverly Ishmael (drums).  They released a four-track recording in July.  Below is the video for the lead track and stream of the entire EP.

By the way, the ladies helpfully explain that a "tut" is to express annoyance, impatience, or mild reproof.  As in "tut tut".

Twitter ( @thetutsband )

Thursday, October 11, 2012

REVIEW: Tame Impala - Lonerism

Advance word about Tame Impala's second record Lonerism hinted that it was more keyboard-centric than the first record, Innerspeaker (which was extremely guitar-centric)... and while I suppose it is, there is plenty of great guitar work. This is an excellent record in every way - it's easy to identify parts you like (for example, "Feels Like We Only Go Backwards" might be my favorite song of 2012), but it's when you take the record as a whole that you recognize Kevin Parker's genius.

Here's that song (apparently, the second single off the record):

Echoes of Lennon, Waters, Rundgren, you name it... and absolutely delightful.

Here is the video for the single, "Elephant", a pounding rocker that melds Parker's Lennonesque vocals with a musical underpinning that reminds me of nothing so much as Marc Bolan:

Or check out the Motown drumming-into-heavy psych of "Apocalypse Dreams":

While it's all of a piece, there is plenty of sonic variety and it is far from repetitive. And while I loved the guitars on Innerspeaker, Parker has revealed himself to be the kind of artist you can trust. If you are willing to follow him on the journey that is "Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Can Control", you will discover the most wonderful keyboard and vocal effects, and it will lead you into the quiet, introspective "Sun's Coming Up".

Parker's willing to share his world - it's not as though he is a loner because he doesn't enjoy being with people. I think it is more because he realizes he has the ways and means to share his singular vision with those of us who are willing to go along... and for that, he is to be applauded.

Buy, listen, read at Modular Records.

"Shocker In Gloomtown" by The Breeders, with onlookers

I have a musical question: How the hell did I miss this?

Oh, well. Better late than never.

REVIEW: Lenzie Moss - Introducing Lenzie Moss

Lenzie Moss is the project of Finlay Macdonald, whose previous credits include Music and Movement, Teenage Fanclub, BMX Bandits and Speedboat.  Unsurprising for a man with that background, Finlay really knows his was around an electric guitar pop song.  Finlay has collected eleven of his best recent tunes and released them on his debut solo EP, Introducing Lenzie Moss.

And what songs they are -- timeless melodies backed by delightful arrangements, and featuring Finlay's engaging tenor.  The first track also is the first Lenzie Moss song I ever heard, "Kelvin British Summertime".  It is about late '80s Glasgow, mentioning meeting friends and liking Big Star, Dinosaur Jr and loud guitars.  The excellent third track, "Son of A Unicorn" slows proceedings down and injects a wistful mood.  But the guitar work accenting the lyrics is like a delightful song within a song.  "Where the Eagles Dare" ramps up the pace again.  But perhaps as is the case with any good pop, the proof is in the listening.  And I'm confident enough that this album speaks for itself, that I've embedded the entire stream below.

One of the attributes of this album that most pleases me is that it represents an artist comfortable in his skin.  He has a voice, a guitar, a few collaborators, and sometimes a piano.  There isn't a compulsion to toss in a dance number or layers of synths.  And not that there is anything wrong with the stuff that is not in the album, but those things aren't Finlay Macdonald, so they aren't Lenzie Moss.

The Bandcamp link below also contains the entire stream, and for the discerning music fan, the chance to grab a digital copy of Introducing Lenzie Moss.

Twitter ( @lenziemoss )

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

REVIEW: Revolt Revolt - Latah Nights

Revolt Revolt is a Boise- and Seattle-based guitar rock band - heavy emphasis on the guitars, but with a strong rhythm and some fairly prog-leaning bass lines... In fact, while I think they are closest in sound and approach to Built to Spill, I definitely get the comparison to Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh and Guided by Voices, and in places I hear echoes of Jane's Addiction. But the guitars predominate, and that's just fine with me.

Revolt Revolt has released its second album Latah Nights, on the heels of a recent tour with Built to Spill, and this is definitely recommended to anyone who's a fan of BTS's sprawling guitar rock.

Lead singer Chris Bock has fronted the band since it first formed in 2007, but some of the members on this record are different from their debut album Chordata. This time around, it's Bock and Ben Brunn (original members), joined by drummer Ben Wieland of Jumping Sharks, and guitarist Ralph Mugot of Hungry for More.

Here is the video for lead track "Flares" off the new album Latah Nights:

This album is really a scorcher. Even when they stretch out on songs like the 4:56 "Gold" or the 5:16 "Hell Has Its Roads", there is no letting up on the excellent lead guitar work. Some of the songs are a little softer - "Sattelite" for example, is at a slower tempo and a little more acoustic-guitar based. But even on that one, there's plenty of guitar feedback.

Overall, Bock's vocals are a good counterpoint to the sometimes-meandering, sometimes-raging guitar leads. He's in the Neil Young/Doug Martsch area for the most part - higher register, really well-integrated with the band's overall sound.

Here's a video for an older song, "Golden Age":

This is an exciting band - to have undertaken a 43-city tour with Built to Spill with one album under its belt and a revolving membership, and then to have recorded an album as strong as Latah Nights portends very good things for their future.

The record was released August 21 on Spark And Shine Records.

New single from Fear of Men

Yes, it is that time again -- the happy occurrence of another release from Brighton's Fear of Men.  No, this talented lo-fi four-piece hasn't purchased ad space on the blog and, to my knowledge, has no blackmail material regarding me or the other contributors.  We simply think that they have a great sound and have a knack for creating songs that you want to hear over and over.

The latest effort is the two-track Mosaic 7", which will be available as of October 15 on vinyl.  The record is released by Too Pure, and can be pre-ordered.

The title track is somewhat different from past Fear of Men songs, as it has samples from an old church sermon interspersed with their retro '60s sound.  As usual, the harmonies and arrangements are solid gold.

"Your Side" features a wonderful bass line.

And the additional great news is that Fear of Men is planning the release of an LP collecting their singles in early 2013.

Twitter ( @fearofmen )
Too Pure

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

REVIEW: PAWS - Cokefloat

I have followed Scotland's PAWS for over a year and a half, and been impressed with their energy and impressive skills.  But, whether due to my lack of proximity or lack of perception, I still wasn't prepared for just how good their debut album is.  Cokefloat will compete with a couple of other worthy contenders as the my favorite garage pop album of the year -- a year in which there is some pretty damn good garage stroking my aural passageways.

The album has scorching guitar riffs, impressive rhythm foundations, roaring vocals and very good songs.  The trio of Philip Taylor (guitar and lead vocals), Joshua Swinney (drums) and Matthew Scott (bass) have crafted material that reflects the last couple years of their lives, including the death of Phil's mother.  So there is sadness, melancholy and bare emotions.  But there is optimism and the entire record is bursting with life.

Here is the the first single from the album, "Sore Tummy" --

We bring you this video of a performance of the second track, "Jellyfish", to give you a taste of their live energy:

There are some fine slower paced moments among the 13 tracks on Cokefloat, including "Get Bent" and "Poor Old Christopher Robin".  But for me, the tunes that remain in my memory the longest at the faster paced ones.  Not that I have relied much on memory for this album as late, as I've left it in the daily rotation.

Cokefloat was recorded at Lightship95, a recording studio floating at a wharf on the Thames in East London.  This represents the band's first time recording in a professional studio, as all prior efforts had been home recordings.  The sessions were supervised by Rory Attwell of Test Icicles, and he deserves props for capturing the band's live energy.

As did Scottish artists Frightened Rabbit, We Were Promised Jetpacks and The Twilight Sad before them, PAWS signed to Brighton's FatCat Records for this release.  The band is based in Glasgow, although the members come from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Tain.

Twitter ( @wehavepaws )
FatCat Records

Monday, October 8, 2012

New Honky-Tonk Discovery: Denney And The Jets - Denney And The Jets

If you have an idea what a band called Denney And The Jets ought to sound like, perhaps based on your memory of that old Elton John song Chris Denney chose to name his band after, put it aside. These guys are playing pure country honk - a sweet reminder of old Stones country like "Sweet Virginia" or "Brown Sugar", or the Burrito Brothers (admittedly, those aren't terribly different when you get right down to it). And Denney and his mates are very good at it. There's a nice bit of reverb on the guitars on some of the tracks, stinging solos on others, some barrelhouse piano, and a very wild spirit to the whole proceeding. I swear, the lead track reminds me of nothing so much as an old Stones song with Keith on vocals... and the lead guitar work is in that neighborhood, too.

Check out this video of them playing "Fun Girls" at the Basement in Nashville:

The group's evolving membership is a veritable who's who of the Nashville garage punk scene:

Frontman Chris Denney began writing songs in the Spring of 2008, recruiting Wes Traylor (Natural Child), and Jake and Jamin Orrall (of JEFF The Brotherhood) to be the very first of his Jets. After each member parted ways to pursue their own individual careers, Chris signed on Daniel Pujol (eponymously of PUJOL) and Joe Scala. After Pujol's departure, Denney solidified the lineup by adding longtime friend Sean Cotton on lead guitar, Joe's little brother Evan Scala and most recently bringing in Ric Alessio on keys and sax. Denney and The Jets have turned songwriting into a full realized communal process and have grown in to one of the South's finest.

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know we're crazy about JEFF The Brotherhood and PUJOL - and now we're falling for this band too. This EP was produced by Andrija Tokic, who also worked on the Alabama Shakes record.

At this link, you can download  "Fun Girls". And you can buy the 5-song EP via the record label Limited Fanfare here.

And if you are in NY/NJ, Boston, Pittsburgh or Baltimore, you might be in luck:

10.10.2012 - Asbury Park, NJ @ Asbury Lanes*
10.11.2012 - Brooklyn, NY@ Williamsburg Music Hall *
10.12.2012 - Worcester, MA @ The Grind - Clark University *
10.13.2012 - Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar *
10.14.2012 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Thunderbird *

REVIEW: Generationals - Lucky Numbers EP

Generationals are a New Orleans band with indie rock sensibilities, a broad base of musical expression and a real genius for pop hooks.  Their latest effort is the three-track Lucky Numbers EP, which they self-released last week.  In addition to the title track, the songs are "Hazel House" and "Sale City".

The opening track is a vibrant, bright-hued nugget of dance pop that evokes the party spirit of the band's hometown.

The closing song, "Sale City", featuring a chugging dance beat and call-and-response vocals.  If "Lucky Numbers is the early beginning of a New Orleans party day, "Sale City" is late at night with the party at full throttle --

The core members of Generationals are Grant Widmer and Ted Joyner.  Other current members are Ben Jones and Eric Rogers.

Lucky Numbers EP is available at the usual digital outlets, such as Amazon and iTunes.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Review: Sera Cahoone "Deer Creek Canyon"

Sera Cahoone is a Seattle-based singer-songwriter. She has named her very fine third record after the area where she grew up in Colorado. And Deer Creek Canyon is filled with images of searching, belonging, longing, and finding that sense of connection.
More than anything, what strikes me about this record is its intimacy. Cahoone draws you right in, makes you feel like she is speaking directly to you. Both the writing and the singing are exquisite. The overall sound is relatively sparse - acoustic guitar, banjo, drums, some bass, all of it well played and performed, with nothing getting in the way of the vocals.  Every song is a good one.

The title track:

Here's an official video for the song "Naked":

Deer Creek Canyon itself is a rich environment, dominated by scrub oak habitat, and once mining country, now connected to the suburbs of Denver, nor far from Columbine High School. No doubt a place that must have changed a great deal in Cahoone's lifetime, and far more so in her parents'. The sort of place that summons a great deal of your emotions, perhaps all the more so when you live 1,300 miles away in a large city in the Pacific Northwest.

I had not heard Sera Cahoone before, though she was a member of Band of Horses. On a quick check back to her prior solo records, Deer Creek Canyon sounds like a step up. There's a confidence to this record that elevates Cahoone to the company of some top flight Americana artists - Aimee Mann, Cat Power, Gillian Welch. If you appreciate Americana music, you are likely to be like me, very drawn to these songs and the sound of Cahoone's voice.  

Deer Creek Canyon is highly recommended, one of the year's best releases.

Artist web page: See especially the tour dates in the month of November in the Western US, with opening band the Parson Red Heads, a favorite here at WYMA blog.