Saturday, September 19, 2015

Salad Boys - Metalmania

I'm not unbiased here.  I love the Salad Boys.  Before you even get into their music there is knowing that David Kilgour once chose them as his backing band, and that their name comes from a misheard Feelies lyric.  Then there is the south island of New Zealand location, evoking the indie music history from that fertile scene.  That's a solid beginning.  And then there is the music, performed by three men from Christchurch who are veterans of other projects.  Frontman Joe Sampson (vocals/12-string guitar) also fronts T54, whose In Brush Park was reviewed here a couple years ago.  Ben Odering plays bass and Jim Nothing is the drummer.

Salad Boys craft an exciting mix of jangling garage rock, folk rock, and spacier guitar jams for their official debut, the humorously titled Metalmania.  Although lyrically intelligent, the vocals are underplayed and the instrumentation, especially the guitars, take center stage.  Depending on the listener's background, one may detect hints of countrymen The Clean, The Bats, Surf City or Straightjacket Fits.  For North Americans who currently are being graced with a Salad Boys tour, The Feelies and R.E.M. may come to mind.  The pace varies, with hard charging songs like "Dream Date", "Daytime Television", "No Taste Bomber" and "I'm A Mountain" balanced by gentler tunes such as "Here's No Use", "Better Pickups", and "First Eight".  And a song doesn't necessarily end in the way it begins.  A case in point is the wonderful "No Taste Bomber", which spends over two minutes reminding you of early R.E.M. before charging into an extended psychedelic finish.  For me, highlights include "Here's No Use" (I absolutely love this song), "No Taste Bomber", "Dream Date", "Daytime Television", "Better Pickups", and "First Eight".  But this is an album that I play often, repeating some songs but never skipping any.  Start to finish, it is a keeper.

Metalmania was released on September 18 via Chicago's Trouble In Mind Records.  You can stream the entire album at the Bandcamp link below.  Tour dates and locations are at the bottom of this post.

Band blog
Trouble In Mind Records page for Metalmania

9/23/15 - Chicago, IL @ The Owl (w/ Clearance)
9/24/15 - Nashville, TN @ Third Man Records (w/ Ultimate Painting & Paperhead)
9/26/15 - Memphis, TN @ GONERFEST 12 - Murphy's
9/27/15 - Cincinnati, OH @ Midpoint Music Fest
9/28/15 - Columbus, OH @ Double Happiness (w/ Connections)
9/29/15 - Detroit, MI @ UFO Factory
9/30/15 - Pittsburgh, PA @ VIA Fest
10/1/15 - Brooklyn, NY @ Palisades
10/2/15 - New York, NY @ Elvis' Guesthouse
10/3/15 - Boston, MA @ Out of The Blue Too Gallery
10/4/15 - Philadelphia, PA @ Everybody Hits
10/6/15 - Asheville, NC @ Tiger Mountain
10/7/15 - Atlanta, GA @ 529
10/8/15 - Jacksonville, FL @ Rain Dogs
10/9/15 - New Orleans, LA @ Saturn Bar
10/10/15 - Austin, TX @ Beerland (w/ Neil Michael Hagerty)
10/12/15 - Tempe, AZ @ Time Out Lounge
10/13/15 - Los Angeles, CA @ All Star Lanes
10/14/15 - San Francisco, CA (w/ Radioactivity) @ Hemlock Tavern
10/16/15 - Seattle, WA @ Highline
10/17/15 - Portland, OR @ Bunk Bar
10/19/15 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Diabolical Records
10/20/15 - Denver, CO @ GLOB
10/22/15 - Minneapolis, MN @ Hexagon (w/ Real Numbers)
10/23/15 - Milwaukee, WI @ Lucky Cat (w/ Lazy)

Thursday, September 17, 2015

"Effet Doppler" by SNGPR

Paris-based SNGPR is the French language project of Roman Oswald and Les Gordon, who also record in English as Mondrian.  They posted "Effet Doppler" today, and I think it is a great song.  No more fanfare, just enjoy.  And if you like SNGPR's work, go to the Soundcloud link below and enjoy more of it.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Brideshead - Never Grow Up

We really don't want to let summer go around WYMA headquarters, so we are thrilled to have a copy of Never Grow Up, a great new set of summery indie pop from Brideshead.  Nine vibrant songs with happy echoes of C86 and immaculate Swedish guitar pop.  The album delivers jangling layers of guitars (and a trumpet), a box set worth of hooks, warm vocals and energy in a charming rush of sound.  If you still have sunshine, this album is the perfect accompaniment for your day.  If you don't have sunshine, this album -- on repeat -- is essential for your mental health.  Everyone who lives with you will thank you for getting it.

Brideshead was formed in Germany in 1993, although they sing in English.  Never Grow Up is their third album (along with some shorter releases), which suggests that they either are slackers or they have real lives.  The band consists of Martin Nelte (vocals), Burkhard (drums), Zwen Keller (guitar), Hanns-Christian Mahler (guitar), and Paul Engling (bass).

Never Grow Up is available as of September 18 as a digital download, and in CD and limited vinyl formats via Shelflife Records and, in the UK, Dufflecoat Records.

Shelflife Records page for album
Dufflecoat Records page for album

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Kitchen Cinq -When The Rainbow Disappears: An Anthology 1965-68

If, when searching through the used record bins in your favorite record store, you found one of the long-lost singles or, if you are really lucky, a copy of the one album released by Amarillo, Texas' The Kitchen Cinq, you would count yourself a very lucky humanoid.  Founded as The Illusions (and at one point known as The Y'alls) as a way to meet girls, the band had the playing chops, harmonies, looks, and knack for presenting the material that should have earned them a few hits, a few appearances on American Bandstand, and a longer career.  They moved to Los Angeles in the mid-60s with dreams of making their way in the industry, and attracted the attention of Lee Hazelwood, who signed them to his LHI label.  But the market was crowed with bands featuring a psychedelic sound and solid harmonies, and The Kitchen Cinq never caught the breaks needed.  Of course, at this point there is no second chance for the band, some of whom are no longer living.  But their music is getting another life in When The Rainbow Disappears: An Anthology 1965-68.

The collection consists of 28 songs, and is available on 2 LPs or CD via Seattle's Light In The Attic.  The sound reflects the guitar pop of the time.  But within that genre then covered the waterfront.  You'll hear hints of The Yarbirds, The Association, The Beach Boys, The Beau Brummels and The Byrds.  That variety, and their covers of songs by The Beatles and the Brummels, as well as renditions of "Solitary Man", "I Can't Let Go" and "Gloria", results in a album that not only chronicles the recorded output of the band, but also serves as a sort of mix tape of '60s pop.

By 1968 the band called it quits.  The members split into other bands for a while, and some did studio work.  But the quality of their music has remained a near secret until now.  If you like the music of that era, as I do, you will find this a delightful album.  Check out the link at the bottom of the post for clips of all the songs.

The Kitchen Cinq was Mark Creamer, Jim Parker, Johnny Stark, Dallas Smith, and Dale Gardner.  J.D. Souther, another Amarillo boy, was a temporary member.

Light In The Attic page for release

"Letters" by 23:23

The uniquely-named 23:23 is the side project of Rami Vierula, frontman for the Finnish dream pop band Delay Trees.  The songs he writes and performs for 23:23 are lo-fi, nocturnal musings, dreamy and intimate.  A prior album was titled 23:23 Album Trilogy, and he now will follow it with an EP named To Die On A Faraway Island With You.  The EP will be available via Helsinki's Soliti Music in October, but you can here the first song shared from the record below.

"Letters" is a poignant tale of unanswered letters, and unrequited love.  Vierula is ably assisted by Ringer Manner (The Hearing) on the vocals.  The combination of '60s pop duet and fuzz rock soundtrack is very affecting.

Bandcamp for October 2014 release

Monday, September 14, 2015

"When You Were Mine" / "Comedian (Comedienne)" from The Flatmates

We cannot do much about the start of another work week, as there are limits to our power and influence.  However, perhaps we can make it a bit better by bringing a great single to to your attention.  The Flatmates, which were one of my favorite C86 era bands, have reformed with Lisa Bouvier and Brian Price joining original members Martin Whitehead and Rocker.  In addition to shows and festivals, they have found time to hit the studio and dash off the new single consisting of covers of "When You Were Mine" / "Comedian (Comedienne)".  I don't know how many versions of Prince's "When You Were Mine" have been recorded -- I'm most familiar with the original and Crooked Fingers' excellent Americana dirge -- but The Flatmates turn it into a fuzzy garage pop anthem that is worthy of inclusion with the best of the bunch.  "Comedian" is a cover of the Cinerama song, and it an able partner to "When You Were Mine".

The single is available in as a digital download and in a limited run of vinyl.

Bandcamp for single