Friday, September 29, 2017
The self-titled debut EP by Helsinki's Verandan is less than two weeks away, but apparently main man Ville Hopponen decided that was enough time to release another song. So enjoy "Follow The Money" while waiting for Soliti Music's release of the EP. The song is a sprawling, dreamy arrangement showcasing a meditation on the effect of economic dislocation on community.
Soliti Music page for "Follow the Money"
Bandcamp for "Follow the Money"
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
To put it simply and directly, Kosmonaut may be one of the best bands you've never heard of, writing the sort of songs that reflect the cool college vibes of Teenage Fanclub and the heyday of Creation Records, The Weather Prophets, early Primal Scream and some sunny psychedelic pop (check out "Dive In Blind" and "Your Day In The Sun"). And for those who detect some of our beloved Bulldozer Crash in the bloodline, you may have hacked a bit of their DNA profile and found Stephen Maughan). Suffice it to say that Misfits On The Horizon is the work of absolute pop masters, likely with divine inspiration . Giving you streams of four songs from a single album seems excessive, but it was painful enough to cut as deep as I did. I suppose if you only have time for one, listen to "Debbie Harry's Smile" or "Silver Star".
I know we have been (trying) to spend a lot of your money lately, but listen to Misfits On The Horizon and think about living in a world in which you can't play those songs whenever you want.
Bandcamp for Misfits on the Horizon
The Treasures of Mexico are Mark Matthews and Bob Collins, formerly of The Dentists, and Russ Baxter. We have no details on the album yet. If you want to hear more from the band while waiting, here is a link our feature for their 2015 album via Shelflife Records.
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Bandcamp for EP2
Our favorite New Zealand children, Astro Children, are preparing a new album titled Turnpike. Our first hint of the aural delights is "Straight For My Heart". Aptly named, we think, as we tend to take this band's music to heart. Astute readers will note that the song is available as a 'name your price' download. The rest of you will wander around in customary silence.
Astro Children are Millie Lovelock (vocals/guitar) and Isaac Hickey (drums).
Monday, September 25, 2017
Of course, none of us can do anything about Mick bowing out of the industry when he did. But this EP is really great stuff, and you now can have a thrilling artifact of the legend-to-be-that-was-not. It will make you happy, then sad, and then happy again. We recommend it.
The Bandcamp gets you digital. Very limited vinyl is available via Rough Trade in the UK and Emotional Response Records in the US.
Bandcamp for the It's The Mick Trouble E.P.
Link to order the vinyl version
We're here to discuss an album by Holiday Ghosts, a band from Falmouth, UK. But even before cuing up the album, we began to ponder just what the name meant. Are holiday ghosts the ghosts that specialize in haunting your holidays, despite your desire to 'get away from it all'? Or are holiday ghosts the ghosts of your last disastrous holiday, here to remind you that you spoke too sharply to your spouse, failed to get the exercise you had promised yourself and drank your booze provisions for the week by noon on Wednesday (put your hand down, this isn't a confessional)? I suppose it could be either, but we prefer a third alternative. We like to think that holiday ghosts are nothing more, and nothing less, than ghosts on a holiday, having fun and enjoying each other. After all, shouldn't hard working ghosts deserve some time off like the rest of us?
Of course, being analytical types we should offer some evidence for our preferred explanation. Our evidence is the self-titled, 12-track debut LP by Holiday Ghosts. Assembled from carefully curated bits of roots rock, garage pop, punk and a few touches of glossier material, you would be hard pressed to find many more joyful expressions of stripped down, just-for-fun, guitar pop in 2017. Our first introduction was the frank and darkly witty focus on unsettled mental states, "In My Head". Once we got the album we couldn't stop moving our feet to the garage pop of "Walk For Hours" and "Quiet Carriage", followed by the bouncing punk pop of "Airwaves". The roosty strut "Staring At the Moon" (one of our oft repeated songs) leads to the aforementioned "In My Head". "Paranoia" is our second dose of raucous punk, and we expect it is a staple of live shows. The next song, the lovely "Truman Show", is the album's most pop song and, led by Katja Rackin's breezy vocals, hints that the band's range may be even wider than this varied album shows.
Garage rock is back on the menu with the racing "Nothing to Show (Nowhere to Go)". It is followed by the standout "Sleep Through The Morning", which sounds like it was plucked off a nuggets compilation somewhere in the neighborhood of the 13th Floor Elevators -- and we mean that as a high compliment. Next up is one of the album's most beautiful moments, "Ron Song". We don't know Ron, or what he did to earn this song, but we hope he deserved it. The mid-tempo, '60s shaded "At the Same Time, Every Night" is rapidly climbing our interior charts, but we'd have agree with the band's choice of closing with the garage rocker "Can't Bear To Be Boring", featuring a driving rhythm and Katja's talk-sing backed by the guys in chorus. It is just the sort of song to bring calls for "encore". And speaking of encores, you can stream Holiday Ghosts at the Bandcamp link at the end of this post.
If you haven't figured it our yet, we'll make it even clearer: This album is terrific. We have had it on our daily rotation for over a month, and it isn't getting deleted now that we are posting the review. The energy, songwriting, and performances all are stellar. This is a smart band, but doesn't make a big show of telling you how smart they are. You just know after listening. And we have to give a special shout out for the excellent and varied guitar work on this recording.
Holiday Ghosts are Sam Stacpoole, who we first met as the frontman for The Black Tambourines, Katja Rackin, and Charlie Murphy. Holiday Ghosts is out now via PNKSLM Recordings. See the links below for details.
Bandcamp for album
Order page for vinyl
Order page for CD