Friday, October 10, 2014

Various Artists - Now That's What I Call Music 666

We have praised several releases by Glasgow's Fuzzkill Records on these pages, including records by Deathcats, Poor Things, Fruit Tones, Kill Surrrf, Asian Babes, and The Rosy Crucifixion.  And we are happy beyond reason to advise you that all those bands are on Now That's What I Call Music 666, joined by Pinact, Min Diesel, Psychotic Reaction and other bands from the northern UK.  The album was assembled to celebrate Fuzzkill's first anniversary, and as a limited edition cassette for Cassette Store Day.  The cassettes were snapped up quickly, but the record lives on.  This just may be the best collection of punk and garage music you'll hear this year, and Fuzzkll has generously made the digital download available for 'name your price'.  So you can get it free.  But a few bucks for the bands (and the Bandcamp streaming app) wouldn't kill you, you know.  There isn't much more to say other than I sincerely believe that this is an excellent collection of song from exciting young talent.  I suggest that you probably will like it more than most of the records for which you paid much, much more.

A few tastes --


Bandcamp for record
Fuzzkill Records on Facebook
Fuzzkill Records on Tumblr
Fuzzkill Record's on Twitter

Rolling Stones Friday: Live With Me

"Live With Me" was recorded in May 1969 and represented many significant firsts for the Rolling Stones - it was the debut song with the band for both Mick Taylor and Bobby Keys, and the only time Leon Russell recorded with the Stones. And Taylor and Keith Richards' trading off licks on the song (released on Let It Bleed) signaled a major stylistic change for the Stones, the beginning of a new sound and era for the band, and the beginning of their creative zenith.

The studio version:

An interesting live version from a British TV show in 1971:

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Introducing: Girlpool

The ladies have of Girlpool have a lot of attitude.  In general, I think that is a good thing for musicians, but listening to "Blah Blah Blah" and "Jane", I know it is a good thing for this duo.  It takes some attitude to create a band with two persons, one on guitar and vocals and the other on bass and vocals.  And it takes talent to pull it off.  It seems that LA-based Cleo Tucker (guitar) and Harmony Tividad have the talent.  It has a roots garage feel that gets under your skin, but in a completely good way.  Girlpool has an EP coming out next month via Wichita Recordings, and we will discuss it when the release in closer.  For now, enjoy these two tracks.  Cleo and Harmony are touring in the US and Europe, and taking up a residency at The Echo in LA, over the next two months.  Check out the schedule at the bottom of the post and see if you can get lucky.


10/10 - Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg
10/17 - Philadelphia, PA @ Hazzard Hall
10/18 - Brooklyn, NY @ Death By Audio
10/19 - Brooklyn, NY @ Silent Barn
10/20 - Annandale-on-Hudson, NY @ Bard College
10/23 - Brooklyn, NY @ Death By Audio
10/22 - Brooklyn, NY @ Glasslands Gallery
10/23 - Brooklyn, NY @ Death By Audio
10/24 - Brooklyn, NY @ Silent Barn
10/28 - Purchase, NY @ SUNY Purchase
11/5 - New York, NY @ Terminal 5
11/6 - Westbury, NY @ The Space
11/7 - Northampton, MA @ Calvin Theatre
11/8 - Ithaca, NY @ State Theatre
11/14 - Brighton, UK @ The Hope
11/15 - Glasgow, UK  @ Bar Bloc
11/16 - Sunderland, UK @ Pop Records (Free In-Store)
11/17 - London, UK @ Shacklewell Arms
11/18 - London, UK @ Rough Trade West (Free In-Store)
11/19 - London, UK @ Sebright Arms &
11/23 - Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club
11/24 - Paris, FR @ Cafe Charbon (Free Show)
12/1 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo
12/8 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo
12/15 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo
12/22 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo 


"Treading Water" from Breakage, featuring Detour City

With When Night Comes, Breakage's first album since 2010 scheduled for December release via Digital Soundboy, he has released this stellar track featuring vocals from Detour City.  James Boyle, working as Breakage, has traversed the electronic landscape leaving footprints in dub, drum and bass, and grime.  On this track the stars are the subwoofer, bursts of synths, space, and the vocals, with drums eliminated from the mix.  The result is arresting and affecting, and suggests good things will come with the album.

Digital Soundboy

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

REVIEW: The Vaselines - V Is For Vaselines

What does the triumphant return of The Vaselines -- and in my view V Is For Vaselines is a triumph -- mean?  A few things.  First, Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee simply have a talent for writing solid pop songs with an up-front aggression coupled with a sense of humor.  The 2010 release Sex With An X and V Is For Vaselines demonstrate that the songs they created in their first incarnation were not an accident of youth.  The arrangements were, and are, lean, and the hooks are in all the right places.  The performances are energetic and the themes have the right mix of observation and dry humor.  Eugene and Frances were born to do this.  Second, The Vaselines are proof that some pairings simply have more chemistry than others.  Several decades after breaking up as a band and a couple, this duo manage to sound fresh and excited about what they are doing together.  Perhaps part of the secret is that they share a perspective that rock music is a fun enterprise and an ability to tap into their inner adolescent.

And whether my observations are spot on or not, you really don't need to think about such things.  The fact is that V Is For Vaselines stands on its own merit as a rock album with punch, heart and polish completely without regard for past history or sentiment.  The power and drive of opener "High Tide Low Tide", "One Lost Year" and "Number One Crush", for example, would be just as exciting if the artists were teenagers from Glasgow with no history or notoriety -- as indeed they were over two decades ago.  But the success of this album is more than just songwriting talent and a better production technology.  While retaining their sly and naughty edge, evidence of maturity peaks through.  And dueling soon-to-be-ex-lovers in "Single Spies" and closing beauty of "Last Half Hour" reveal an ability to slow it down and deliver a very affecting mid-tempo song.  Upon refection, perhaps the greatest triumph is Eugene and Frances' ability to shrug off the weight of being accidental underground stars, anointed by Kurt Cobain after they'd disbanded the first time, and focus simply on providing excellent rock music.

This is an album you'll be happy to have now, a year from now and the year after that.  You can order through their website.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

"Hold Me" from Gold Fileds

"Hold Me", the new track from Australian electro-pop band Gold Fields gave me the opportunity to close my eyes and engage in some free word association.  The winners were smooth, mellow, happy, tropical, and rhythmic.  It's suitable for the dance floor and under the stars at the beach.  And all of that adds up to "winner" for me.

Gold Fields are Mark Robert Fuller, Vinci Andanar, Luke Peldys, Rob Clifton, and Ryan D'Sylva.


"Memory" from The Mantles

San Franciso's The Mantles will be touring in Europe near the end of October and the beginning of November.  But even better news (at least to those of us with no access to the tour venues) is the announcement of the Memory 7", to be released in early December by Slumberland records in North America and French labels Les Disques Steak and SDZ Records in Europe.  You can sample the guitar-driven garage rock on the A-side below.  Relaxed and jangling, it shows us that The Mantles haven't lose their capacity to deliver thrills.

Slumberland Records
Les Disques Steak
SDZ Records

"Alena" from Yumi Zouma

New Zealand's electro-poppers Yumi Zouma have graced us with another shimmering slice of pop magic.  Stream "Alena" below, and enjoy the warmth as summer slides into autumn.  The single is out now via Casine, and is available from the usual digital sources.


Monday, October 6, 2014

The Debutantes - The Debutantes EP

If Bek and Graeme at Soft Power Records ever go prospecting for gold, I suggest that you follow them and set up a nearby camp, because they have a knack for discovering nuggets.  With a budget a fraction of that enjoyed by even mid-size labels, these sharp-eared folks have attained an admirable and enviable string of discoveries.  No, Soft Power won't be putting out the third LP of a band that has already become well known.  But you can count on them to find a band that has a great sound, good writing, and only a small and regional following.  Bek and Graeme will release a few songs on cassette, vinyl and/or digital, giving the band some needed exposure, astute collectors a piece of aural gold, and me a chance to gush a bit.  Past releases have included recordings from September Girls, Blood of the Bull, Rosy Crucifixion, The Wharves, Obedient Wives Club, and Aggie Doom.

And unsurprisingly, little label from Livingston, Scotland has done it again.  The next release is the self-titled debut EP from Galway, Ireland's The Debutantes.  The band members are Leon Butler (guitar and vocals), Sarah Grimes of September Girls and Cruising on drums, and Paula Cullen of September Girls on bass and vocals.  In five tracks the trio delivers a thrilling mix of garage, shoegaze, dream pop, reverb and fuzz, with male/female vocals and an occasional bit of scuzz rock.  Opening track "Burn The Merchandise" kicks off with swaggering, chiming garage rock.   Shoegaze is on offer for following track "Gentleman's Wash".  The third song is the dreamy "Kids", which has a hazy vocals over a shimmering arrangement and some Spectorish production.  "X&Y" is a reverb heavy garage rocker with pounding percussion and male/female vocals.  The EP closes with  the scuzzy adrenaline rush of  "Adam's Apple".

Gentlemans Wash from Leon Butler on Vimeo.

The Debutantes EP is out on October 11, but pre-orders are available now.

Bandcamp for EP
Soft Power's Soundcloud page

Introducing: Ultimate Painting

Ultimate Painting is a side project, but it is a side project with a lot of promise.  Consisting of James Hoare from Veronica Falls (in the second side project of his to feature on our pages this year) and Jack Cooper from Mazes.  With their debut LP set for release on October 28 via the Trouble In Mind label, James and Jack are giving fans a preview via the album tracks "Winter In Your Heart" and "Ten Street".  We suggest you keep your ears out for Ultimate Painting.  They are playing several dates in the eastern United Sates and in London in the latter half of October.

Trouble In Mind Records