Friday, September 11, 2015
Red Sleeping Beauty is Niklas Angergard, Mikael Matsson, and Carl-John Nasstrom. And more good news -- the band plans more music for release next year.
The Always 7" is available today in vinyl and digital formats via Shelflife Records.
Shelflife Records page for Always 7"
Thursday, September 10, 2015
Power chords, harmonies, songs about girls and being young with your life ahead of you. And all played the way songs are played when the band (1) has talent, and (2) is playing to please themselves and you are merely invited along. You get twenty songs that you will play over and over until they are imprinted on your brain, and you'll recommend it to all your friends. and why not -- as is the case with all releases on the Jigsaw label, Restless Hearts is generously priced as a digital download or CD. The Bandcamp link below has the details, and the ability to stream the entire album. But you can check out the first two songs below and see just how right I am.
Bandcamp for Album
Yes, this is a big package and it is priced accordingly. But music like this is rare. And given that this material was out of print and Fire Records spend six years, and I expect a sizable amount of resources, to license the over 50 songs from Flying Nun, remaster them, and create this box set, you may not get another chance. You could even buy it and wrap it for a Christmas present to yourself, but who the hell would want to wait that long to listen to this great music?
The Jean-Paul Sartre Experience was Dave Yetton (vocals/bass), Dave Mulcahy (guitar), Jim Laing (guitar), and Gary Sullivan (drums). This box set is available in CD and vinyl formats. The vinyl has original sequencing with bonus material available as a digital download.
Fire Records page for release
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
"Studville" is a perfect introduction to Brisbane's Tempura Nights -- four musicians with a great feel for garage pop. If you like what you hear, click through to the Bandcamp page for their Whine EP or their Soundcloud page.
Bandcamp for Whine EP
Today's recently discovered band is Young Scum. The Virginia quartet came to my attention via the delightful French music blog Piggledy Pop. The play a somewhat dreamy brand of guitar pop with plenty of jangle and a good dose of sincere charm. They contributed the third and fourth tracks for the Reporters / Young Scum split EP which was released recently by Cambridge's Dufflecoat Records. Young Scum's Autumn August was released in February 2015 and is available on their Bandcamp page for 'name your price'.
The band's songs from their release for Dufflecoat Records:
The February EP:
Reporters / Young Scum split EP
Bandcamp for Autumn August EP
By the way, Nottingham's Reporters have a good, shoegazy sound. Check their songs out on the Bandcamp link. Here is the link to their Facebook page.
Tuesday, September 8, 2015
The Harpoons are Henry Mardin, Jack Mardin, Bec Rigby, and Martin King.
Bandcamp for single
Monday, September 7, 2015
The opening track of It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time, "**** (Is A Dirty Word)", puts the agenda for the album out on the table. In it Simon Love delivers a wry pop song with hooks, melody, and a fair bit of blue language expressing dissatisfaction with the concept of love. The remaining eleven tracks vary between perfect pop tunes, such as the following "The New Adam & Eve", and less conventional songs such as "Motherfuckers" "My Dick". The latter may be related in certain respects to the old King Missile song about a detachable organ, but it is cleverer and plays a good bit better to the ear. Welshman Love, whose previous artistic incarnation was as the frontman of the Loves, has a masterful feel for '60s-'70s pop craftsmanship in the manner of Emit Rhodes, Harry Nilsson and Todd Rundgren, and he displays it well here. He also has a theme, and it is a somewhat jaded, even bitter, perspective on love and relationships. While all of us who have lived can relate to some unkind sentiments on love, do we want a whole album of it? My verdict is yes. The theme plays well because Love is witty, as well as a superb songwriter. I just can't ignore an album that sounds this good and in many places, is this much fun.
Another topic is why I playing an album of offbeat and tuneful songs with negative sentiments about love makes me feel so much better, but I'm not going to dwell on that now.
It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time is out now via Fortuna POP!
Fortuna POP! page for album
It takes a peculiar talent to write songs that simultaneously convey excitement, mystery and a hint of darkness, and to perform them with both sublime skill and a rambunctious "first take" level of near chaos. But if I could pick any band as capable of doing it, that band would be Brisbane's Blank Realm. And Illegals In Heaven is evidence that I would be right. Their brand of psychedelic garage rock is widely inclusive of influences, and the band shows no strain in blending them together into their own heady brew. They are confident lyrically and instrumentally. Their songs evince honesty and damaged romanticism. The iron-ribbed rhythms from Daniel and Luke Spencer are are solid as any in the business, while the higher register is filled to capacity by Sarah Spencer's keys and Luke Walsh's guitar. Daniel and Sarah handle the vocals with conviction and nuance.
What is different from their most recent past album, the excellent Grassed Inn? To my ears the music on Illegals In Heaven seems designed with a wide scope to fill bigger spaces and make grander statements, while retaining the vitality of the band's highly appreciated live performances. And perhaps the band has become more adept at adding tender touches to their garage rock sweet spot. As evidence of the latter point, check out "Gold" below, which is one of my highlights on the album.
In my view, with this album Blank Realm has emerged from the great-little-known-talent territory to one of the best garage bands playing today. It is great on the first listen, and your appreciation will grow with each of your many replays. Most likely it is one of my top ten albums for the year, and I highly recommend it.
Blank Realm are siblings Daniel (drums and vocals), Sarah (synths and vocals) and Luke Spencer (bass), and Luke Walsh (guitar). Illegals In Heaven is out now via Fire Records and, in Australia, Bedroom Suck Records.
Bandcamp for Illegals In Heaven
Fire Records page for album
Bedroom Suck Records page for album
Sunday, September 6, 2015
Hungry? Here is a new favorable morsel of Babganouj. Called "Hit Song", it is a fantastic rush of sound, melody and energy. The Brisbane quartet will release an album later this year, and "Hit Song" reminds us why we care about that.
Bandcamp for "Hit Song"