Saturday, July 20, 2013

Video for "Hung On Tight" by Snakadaktal

While fans await the upcoming LP from Australian dream pop band Snakadaktal, the band continues to prime the pump.  The latest offering is the single "Hung On Tight".  We have it in video form and Soundcloud stream below.


Friday, July 19, 2013

His Name is Codeine - The Only Truth is Music

The music of Elgin, Scotland's His Name Is Codeine is built around pop melodies swathed in walls of guitars, keys and percussion.  I suppose that if one were inclined to genre tag the music shoegaze, psychedelic and noise pop all would lay a claim.  But those designations cover a lot of territory and ignores the uniqueness of quality music.  After all, Ride and The Jesus and Mary Chain both are called shoegaze, but they really are not that much alike.  And examining The Only Truth Is Music, the debut LP from His Name Is Codeine, one can identify the distinctive elements that the band combines.

While the pace and atmosphere may evoke track downer rock, there is a current of vibrancy coursing through many of the tracks.  For example, "Shoot to Kill" is likely to have the crowd stamping and dancing as the music rumbles on.

"Not A Number" is a menacing, droning track featuring another distinctive feature of this band -- two fine female vocalists.

The Only Truth Is Music has been available since the end of May.  If you are interested, check the Bandcamp link below.  You also can stream the entire album on Bandcamp.

His Name Is Codeine consists of Lyn Ralph (bass/vocals), Marc Roy (guitar/vocals), Mark Simpson (guitar/vocals), Ian Dickson (guitar), Liz Maycox (percussion/vocals/keys), and Stu Russell (drums).  The core of the band formed in 2010.

A third distinctive element is the band's versatility.  They can sound sleazy or reach for the heavens.  They can drone, stomp, shred or jangle.  "Replica Gun", for example, has a near country feel --


"Elevator" by TV Ghost

"Elevator" is the new track from Lafayette, Indiana's TV Ghost.  It is an darkly atmospheric song, featuring haunting, even anguished, vocals, driving rhythms and stabbing  waves of reverberated guitars.  I find the doom and gloom quite delicious, actually.  Give it a spin.

TV Ghost are Jimmy Frezza, Tim Gick, Brahne Hoeft, Tristan Ivas, and Jackson VanHorn.  "Elevator" is included on the forthcoming album Disconnect which will be released later this year by In The Red Records.


REVIEW: Jackson Scott - Melbourne

Given all the music that I've covered this year with a connection to Melbourne, Australia, it probably was inevitable that I eventually would review an album entitled Melbourne.  And so here we are, with the debut album from Jackson Scott, a young American who currently resides in Asheville, North Carolina.  Scott records his psychedelic pop material solo on a four track, and then manipulates it with Garageband.  There are some Syd Barrett touches here, as well as some slacker psychedelia elements displayed earlier this year by Bored Nothing (ah, Bored Nothing is from Melbourne!).  But there are some unique elements here as well, and they help Melbourne stand out and suggest a promising future for its author.  One such touch is the sound manipulation -- he changes the pitch of his voice in the songs and further manipulates the music during the production of the tracks.  Quite simply, the lad has a good instinct for what sounds add interest without crossing the threshold into negative territory.  Another, is that Jackson Scott has the ability to knock out a wonderfully relaxed pop song, irrespective of the subject matter.  Probably the best examples are "In the Sun", "Any Way" and the lovely "Sandy" (about Sandy Hook) --

Good examples of the Syd Barrett influence are "Tomorrow" and "That Awful Sound", the latter of which you can stream here --

And here is a track that combines several of the elements that demonstrate Jackson's appeal --

Jackson Scott is not a finished product -- and at age 20 he shouldn't be.  But while Melbourne is not perfection, it bears signs of talented songwriting and production, and hits excellence in a number of spots.  It is a great start.  The album is out on July 23 on Fat Possum.  Tour dates are provided after the relevant links.

Fat Possum page for Melbourne

Currently Scheduled Tour Dates:
09/11 Columbus, OH – Ace of Cups
09/12 Bloomington, IN – The Bishop
09/13 Detroit, MI – The Garden Bowl
09/14 Chicago, IL – Schubas Tavern
09/16 Minneapolis, MN – 7th St. Entry
09/17 Des Moines, IA – Vaudeville Mews
09/18 Kansas City, MO – The Riot Room
09/20 Denver, CO – Larimer Lounge
09/21 Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court
09/23 Seattle, WA – Barboza
09/24 Portland, OR – Holocene
09/26 San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore*
09/27 Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour*
09/28 San Diego, CA – Cashbah*
09/29 Phoenix, AZ – The Crescent Ballroom*
10/02 Austin, TX – The Mohawk*
10/03 Little Rock, AR -Stickyz Rock n’ Roll Chicken Shack*
10/04 Nashville, TN -Exit In*
10/05 Atlanta, GA – Terminal West*
10/06 Carrborro, NC – Cats Cradle*
10/08 Washington, DC – Rock & Roll Hotel*
10/09 Philadelphia, PA – First Unitarian Church*
10/19 Pittsburgh, PA – Altar *
* = w/ Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Friday Nuggets - "Personality Crisis" The New York Dolls

The connection between 60's garage rock and 70's punk rock is a direct one.  But it isn't as if the lights went dim between 1968 and the introduction of the Ramones in 1976.
For example, after the Stooges and before the Ramones came the flamboyant New York Dolls whose 1973 eponymous debut was voted both the Year's Best and Year's Worst by the readers of influential Creem magazine. Glam, raw, hard rock and over the top in every way.

So our Nugget this week is a live TV performance from 1973 of "Personality Crisis":

The 1973 lineup of the New York Dolls was:

David Johansen – lead vocals, harmonica, gong
Arthur "Killer" Kane – bass guitar (deceased)
Jerry Nolan – drums (deceased)
Sylvain Sylvain – rhythm guitar, piano, vocals
Johnny Thunders – lead guitar, vocals (deceased)
The record was produced Todd Rundgren whom the band fought openly with throughout the recording (Johansen on Rundgren: "An expert on second rate rock 'n' roll." Rundgren: "Get the glitter out of your asses and play").

It doesn't get much more rock'n'roll than the New York Dolls.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

"Whisky" from Marian Hill

Marian Hill are Philadelphia duo Jeremy Lloyd and Samantha Gongol.  They recently released "Whisky", which features a sparse, beat heavy production with female vocals.  I think it is interesting stuff; give it a spin.


"Forecast/The Way You Think You Look" from Bombers

Birmingham's Bombers aim to conquer your ears.  And they aren't doing it with the fuzzy guitars or blended hip hop/soul of many ob their contemporaries, but rather with a blast of dark, psychedelic post-punk in the form of double A-side "Forecast/The Way You Think You Look".  The release is available in digital form on July 29, but we're featuring it today so you can evaluate and plan your purchase, but mostly because we like it and want to share it with our readers.  The music is energetic, foreboding, and sharp, with throbbing bass lines that drive the songs forward with a sense of purpose.  And it is refreshingly different from much that is out there today.  Try "Forecast" here --

Bombers are Matty Warke (guitar), David Owen (drums), Darren Mullen (bass), and David Duell (guitar/vocals).  I very much want to hear more from these guys.

Twitter ( @bombersband )

Reverberation Radio #71

The weekly musical treat from the folks at Reverberation Radio opens doors to exploration of different genres, locales and approaches to music..  This week the music runs a musical odyssey from Germany to South America to Australia and to points unknown.  This week's selections set a new standard for the obscure.  Enjoy.

1. Trio - Energie
2. Tim Cohen - New House In Heaven
3. The Homosexuals - Still Living In My Car
4. The Hooterville Trolley - No Silver Bird
5. Icy Demons - Summer Samba
6. Fabulous Diamonds - No. 6
7. Go-Betweens - Cattle & Cane
8. Amps For Christ - Edward
9. OCS - Along The Way
10. Som Imaginario - Morse
11. Secrets - Lavender Flu #4

New Discovery: Houndmouth ("From the Hills Below the City")

All of us having spent 4 years living in Indiana, I suspect my comrades here at WYMA will agree that the Hoosier state might not be the first place one would go searching for the next great American band. And New Albany might not the first place you'd look even within Indiana.  

But we discover bands here at WYMA in the darnedest ways. So there I was quaffing a brew at Bridgetown Beerhouse, my favorite little beer joint in Portland (saying quite a lot given the hopped up culture here), and playing on the sound system was this amazing music I'd not heard before. Was it brand new? Was it some long lost Southern band from the '70's that I'd somehow missed? Did Levon Helm's spirit and groove take over some other band? The vocals, musicianship, lyrics, spirit - it was all there - fantastic. 

I left the beer shop, loopy from the music, and went straight home to get on the internets to find this band.  

Meet Houndmouth, from yes, New Albany Indiana:
Katie Toupin - keyboards, vocals
Matt Myers - guitar, vocals
Zak Appleby - bass , vocals
Shane Cody - drums, vocals, beard

Houndmouth formed in 2011, and last month released their tremendous debut CD From the Hills Below the City, on Rough Trade Records, the highly regarded mid-major label based in England. This straight to a great label leap rarely happens anymore, even more seldom for an Americana band not likely to get big time radio play. 

But they just have it. Here they are recently performing "Ludlow" from the CD on the David Letterman show (the perks of being on a hip UK label):

"On the Road": 

One more, "Penitentiary", where I hear shades of The Low Anthem, another great young Americana band:  

Artist web page, with tour dates happening now (see them!), links to their Facebook and various pages:         

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

REVIEW: The Memories - Love is the Law

Love is the Law by The Memories is a collection of 17 scruffy, jangly, rootsy and utterly charming songs about love, sex, and drugs.  Much of it is high quality slacker pop, and some of it might cause you to wonder whether the youth stick has struck the Beach Boys.  Consider it Portland, Oregon's contribution to modern romance literature (I don't actually have Portland's permission for that, but I dare them to sue me).  Most of the songs are short, but all are packed with melodies and hooks.  Courtesy of  Burger Records, the album is available on July 23.

Rikky Gage (vocals/guitar) and Kyle Handley (lead guitar) are also in White Fang.  But this album is the second effort as The Memories.  Adding bass player Izak Arida from Boom!, they recorded the album in various places, various states of consciousness and probably various levels of romantic fervor.  But rather than feeling disjointed, the songs seem bound together by a zest for life, a willingness to (over) share, and a great sense of fun.  It seems that memories can be a great source of inspiration.  This one is highly recommended.

The Memories - I Remember You from Gnar Tapes on Vimeo.

Burger Records

"Freshbloom" from Sundara Karma

Sundara Karma are four 17-year-old musicians from Reading, UK.  They don't have a record deal, they don't have a big tour booked, and they still are under 1,000 Facebook friends.  But to my ears, Oscar, Haydn, Ally and Dom combine to make good music.  They are hoping you agree with me, and have released "Freshbloom" as a free download.  The lads have calculated their introduction well.  The track features massive percussion, woozy guitars and soaring vocals.  I suspect that it will evoke thoughts of summer, as well, so it has the timing thing going for it as well.  Go ahead, own a piece of Sundara Karma.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

REVIEW: Picnic - The Weather's Fine

Most of our readers probably are not familiar with the music scene in Estonia.  And I suppose that isn't surprising.  However, if you are a dream pop fan, you are well advised to turn your gaze to The Weather's Fine by Picnic.  I think it important at the onset to note that while dream pop may be the best general description for the fine music on this album, the reader should not assume that this is a collection of tracks where the quest for atmosphere results in indistinguishable, albeit lovely, soundscapes.  The songs on this album are distinct, often bold, and contain lovely bits of personality.  It may be a bass line riff here, a percussion line there, or a bold foray by the synths, but this is a set of indie pop songs that stand out collectively and individually.  And soaring over it all is the angelic voice of Marju Taukar.  It is likely -- even fair -- that the superb female vocals will draw comparisons to Cocteau Twins, although to my ears Marju's voice is more grounded than Elizabeth Fraser's.  The band also will remind listeners to Radio Dept. and fellow Estonians Pia Fraus.

Whether relaxing in the back yard or driving under starry skies, this album is perfect for your quieter summer moments.

Picnic is Rivo Järvsoo, Andres Soosaar, Marju Taukar, and they reside in Tallinn, Estonia.  The band was formed in 2006.

The Weather's Fine was released by Shelflife Records (and Seksound in Estonia) in limited edition vinyl, CD and digital formats.

Bandcamp (2010 album)
Shelflife Records page for album

Bad Cop - Light On EP

The Light On EP is a blast of garage rock from Nashville's Bad Cop that wears its grease stains, youthful swagger, outsider perspective and innate pop sensibilities proudly.  And it is more than entitled to go so.  From the opening pop rock of "The Wind" (think Phoenix) and rootsy "Can't Get Enough", to the vamp of the title track, through the punk of "Post McDonald's Punk" (all too short at under two minutes) and finishing with  the catchy power pop riffs of "My Dying Days", the record leaves no doubt that these guys can make good rock music.  If you want some social commentary or hair-raising personal stories, the pay attention to the lyrics.

Bad Cop is a trio consisting of Adam Moult, Alex Harness, Mike Frazier and Kevin Kilpatrick.  The Light On EP will be released on Jeffery Drag Records on July 23.

Jeffery Drag Records

Monday, July 15, 2013

"Hand In Mine" from Jonathan Rado of Foxygen

Jonathan Rado of the band Foxygen will release his solo album Law and Order on Woodsist on September 3.  The just released album track "Hand in Mind" serves as a reminder of why pop fans should care (hint, he may be a pop genius).

And his April LP Raw & Odar is available free at this link.


New, free music from Astro Children

Dunedin, New Zealand's Astro Children have returned to Earth to offer their new single, "Gaze".  As you may recall, we profiled their fall 2012 album recently (link).

Also available free is their March offering.  I like this one a lot.  I've already added it to a few playlists.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

NEW SONG: Gaoler's Daughter - "Cordelia" from upcoming How To Make Time

Gaoler's Daughter is a South London guitar pop band with a terrific sense of melody and they've recently completed a new album, How To Make Time, for release in August, with a preview single available to listen now and buy August 12.

Here's the advance track, "Cordelia" - just about a perfect 3:00 slice of guitar pop, featuring everything you like about that kind of music:

Looking forward to hearing the rest of the album, and you can learn more about the band at their site or Facebook.

Gaoler's Daughter website

Spanish power pop from Jose Casas y la Pistola de Papa

Canciones de kilometro cero is a five-track power pop release from Spanish musician Jose Casas y la Pistola de Papa.  The lyrics are in Spanish, but the sounds are universal for guitar pop fans.  And it is available for everyone's favorite price -- free.  Hit the Bandcamp link below.