Friday, December 11, 2020

Skink Tank - Skink Tank EP


It almost is hard work keeping up with the jangle-oriented guitar bands of Melbourne. We say "almost" because while it takes time, it is pure pleasure. In terms of volume and quality Melbourne has pulled up to the top tier with New York, Glasgow and a few others. Today's fairly fresh discovery is Skink Tank. This trio is rambunctious, positive, tuneful, and based on their self-titled, seven-track EP, talented. There is plenty of passion, although it seems that they don't want to be seen as trying too hard. It is all blue-collar and Friday-night fun. We are disappointed that we can't just head out the door and see them live in a neighborhood bar. However, we have a few weeks of test driving this EP, and we assure you that is sounds damn fine in your own home. Our mood improves each time we play it. And for that, our partners thank Skink Tank, our kids thank Skink Tank, our dogs thank Skink Tank, our cats ... well, to be honest, the cat ignores us completely.

Skink Tank are Maggins on bass and vocals, Ricko on guitars and vocals, and Ally on drums and vocals. The EP is out now in digital and cassette formats via Psychic Hysteria.


Bandcamp for Skink Tank EP

Psychic Hysteria

"Found Out" by Locked Hands

We are starting our day with a downloadable nugget from Scotland - "Found Out" by Locked Hands. This project's brand of electronic pop eschews routine templates and never fails to deliver thrills. "Found Out" grabbed our interest instantly with a stuttering dub beat, then blending in shadowy vocals. Short and punchy, it is a track that earns a lot of replays around here.

Locked hands is one of the projects of Belfast-to-Edinburgh's Sean Ormsby, who also is co-head of label Errant Media.

Errant Media on Twitter

Errant Media's Bandcamp (previous releases)

Thursday, December 10, 2020

"Back to Me" by Cool Sounds


Lets give a release day warm welcome to "Back to Me", the lead single from Cool Sounds' upcoming full length Bystander. We can always count on this band to deliver warm, pleasing melodies and sweet guitar lines. And while the press release promises social commentary over the dulcet tones, "Back to Me" begins the proceedings with some calm reassurance. We needed that.

Cool Sounds are Dainis Lacey, Nick Kearton, Ambrin Hasnain, Steve Foulkes, Jack Nichols, and Pierce Morton. Bystander will be released on February 12 via Osborne Again and Spunk Records in Australia and New Zealand, and by Nice Guys in the rest of the world. If you want vinyl, you might consider pre-ordering it. The limited edition white vinyl is already sold out.



Bandcamp for Bystander

"Skogen" by Stephen's Shore


Here is today's first jangling delight, "Skogen" by Stockholm's Stephen's Shore. The band was formed in 2011 and previously released an EP and an LP (both available on their Bandcamp page). They now are preparing to release new EP Brisbane Radio. While two EPs and one LP in a decade is not a furious production pace, our experienced ears advise us that this five-piece makes up for the leisurely pace by focusing on high quality output. "Skogen" is the second track to be released from the EP, following the title track.

Stephen's Shore are Viktor Sjodin, Erik J. Undehn, Jimmy Ottosson, P.A. Blomqvist, and Mattias Berqvist. "Skogen" and "Brisbane Radio" are available digitally via Meritorio Records. The EP will be released in digital and limited edition vinyl formats on January 22, also via Meritorio.


Bandcamp for Brisbane Radio

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

"Make Kin" by Nightshift


When we learned that Glasgow's Nightshift includes members of Spinning Coin, 2 Ply and Robert Sotelo we instantly were interested. And listening to "Make Kin", the first single of upcoming album Zoe, shot our interest to Code Red levels. Smooth and slinky, this is percussive, post punk goodness of the highest order.

Zoe will be out in late February via Trouble In Mind, and we are eager to have it.


Trouble In Mind Records page for Zoe

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Fixtures - Weak Automatic EP


Brooklyn band Fixtures embraces a wide variety of influences, all of them worthy of consideration. Then they turn the crank on their very own music machine and churn out a hook-filled, noisy version of indie pop/rock. And for extra flavor they now have added a saxophone. The result -- as evidenced by their new EP Weak Automatic -- is joyful, positive and thrilling. For our ears the songs are a satisfying combination of pop music craftsmanship and jam band. What better (legal) way to get energy for that mid-week slump?

Fixtures are Kris Liakos (vocals/guitar), Jah McGuire (bass), Alain Paradis (guitar/vocals/keys), Robin Fowler (drums/percussion), and Jules Block (sax). Weak Automatic EP is out now in digital and cassette formats via Bobo Integral Records.


Bandcamp Weak Automatic

"Common Sense" by Melby


Happy day! One of our favorite Nordic bands, Swedish quartet Melby, is back with new single "Common Sense". While retaining the charm of their past work, the new song expands their range from their psych pop roots to a more sophisticated pop with a bubbling groove. We like it quite a bit, and suggest that you may as well.

Melby are Matilda Wiezell, Are Engen Steinsholm, David Jehrlander, and Teo Jernkvist. "Common Sense" is out now as a digital release via Sweden's Rama Lama Records and Germany's Sinnbus.



Bandcamp for "Common Sense"

Various links for "Common Sense"


Common Sense is out on Rama Lama Records (ROW) and Sinnbus (GSA) on December 8th. The track was recorded with and produced by Alexander Eldefors.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Half Japanese - Crazy Hearts


With Crazy Hearts we find Jad Fair's Half Japanese project four decades and nineteen albums into their career. While the band has long been known for their default tendency to create noisy music, they more recently have given more emphasis to pop sensibilities while still living large in the garage rock/psychedelic pop channels. Crazy Hearts is not only a good example of that transition, it is an excellent pop album boasting varied songs, a generous spirit, and a vulnerability that seems more pointed with Jad's talk/sing delivery.

In addition to Jad Fair, Half Japanese is John Sluggett, Giles Vincent Rieder, Mick Hobbs and Jason Willett. Crazy Hearts is out now via Fire Records.


Bandcamp for Crazy Hearts

Various links for Crazy Hearts