ALBUM REVIEW: The genre emoticon tunes on this record are as catchy as a cat caught in a blender in heat. Now I don’t know if you would actually love to watch this sort of thing but the music is pretty unforgivingly pop which is being propelled out of the band called The Great American Novel‘s third full length release.
Wait for it.
“:(” Yes this happened but at least they can spell sad emoticon instead of smile because I was feeling, i don’t know, I really don’t speak much more tween than that myself so there is no code to debunk. Sarcastic. Yes we are… So no negative points there because millennials don’t get so easily bent. We a do applaud them for their efforts. You might like to know we think their tunes are strong and better than The Front Bottoms although we can’t stop to think about the time we tortured your plastic barbies and GI-Joes. (Another chapter for another time.)
Anyway, While we don’t want to be starting any wimpy bro wars and have some half drunken cans of PBR flung at us. You may disagree but this music is A-fuckin-OK even if they use keyboards like Eddie Van Halen plays guitar. Time will tell if they can keep this level of energy up which we like and it seems they have like a million of their dearest and closest high school friends singing along on the record. We already have the Vampire Weekend’s and crap they were only good for two songs — max. We do love the artwork which was done by Casey Roonan so that is a positive thing. It’s actually art work. Not lame steamer instagram photo. The best tune on this one for us is “Whatevering” and “Wish You Were Beer”. The lyrics are entertaining and speak hip for sure. The music is fun jangle jangle college alternative pop and cheeky like CamperVan. Check it out and follow them facehookers / twitter.
RIYL: Vampire Weekend, Bigger Lovers, Fountains of Wayne
MUSIC REVIEW: Mystic strums of magic created for laptops is the quick summary of the whimsical pop performed by Empty Chairs on Caveat Emptor. This is the kind of music that should be animated into a film feature or laser show. Lots of different movements in the track “Eyelashes”. Their video for the track “Akira” is weird as it has a character which resembles Woody Allen’s Sleeper robot that a girl keeps in her closet to do her chores. Don’t blink too soon or the trip will be over as this is the music dreamscapes are made of in outer space. For people who don’t like drugs this might be a good way to explain what tripping is like. Like a sight seeing person trying to explain what sight is like. This is what that experience could sound like. Very Beautiful music created by Peter Spear originally as solo project into his fold he has added Whitney Broadstreet on synth/vocals and percussionist Matthew O’Koren. Give this sexy dream pop a go. Comes out in Nov so don’t say we didn’t tell you first.
MUSIC REVIEW: oh this band… Lots of harmonies and nice guitar with subtle touches alla Johnny Marr; are what is We Are Scientists. This new A-Side is strictly for indie pop fans. “Something About You” is coming out on heavy 7″ wax via 100% Records and it sounds the most like Death Cab for Cutie to us. It’s the tenor of the versus that on first spin this is made clear. 2nd listen you hear all the little stuff that makes them cool. In particular off the album Change I guess. Granted there are only 3 chords in most recorded rock music and so many notes you still can’t help but dig their sense of happy song. You know if Nada Surf were ever happy about a potential relationship or Gedge were not a pompous ass you would get music like these guys make. It’s not shout out for Glee happy with rainbows shooting out of your ass. The vibe does make think a little bit of when your girl was blowing bubbles at you. That feeling – you know happy. Not sure about the B-Side on this one. So can’t tell you anything except it’s called “Let Me Win”.
While the band works out the details for their next release they are giving you this. Bassist Chris Cain mentions in the press release:
“The new album’s finished, but we’re taking our time setting up the release, and we wanted to get something new to fans on the sooner side.”
“I guess ‘charity single’ is the wrong word for this,” said singer Keith Murray, “since none of the money generated will go to a good cause. But in the sense that we did this because we knew some of the fans desperately, desperately needed it — in that sense, yeah, it’s a charity single.”
Non US Shows:
20th July – Super Bock Super Rock Festival, Meco, Portugal
22nd July – Thekla, Bristol – SOLD OUT
23rd July – Wedgewood Rooms, Portmsouth – SOLD OUT
25th July – XOYO, London – SOLD OUT
26th July – Club NME, Koko, London
27th July – Kasbah, Coventry
29th July – Oran Mor, Glasgow – SOLD OUT
30th July – Gorilla, Manchester – SOLD OUT
31st July – 53 Degrees, Preston
2nd Aug – Indiependence Festival, Cork, Ireland
3rd Aug – Limelight, Belfast
It’s Saturday and sometimes music just collides. We get a lot of crap all day long and we politely say we’ll check it out. We do believe in that courtesy. We know from experience pushing our own damn band though most blogs and clubs just don’t give a fuck to do even that; because they have it worse. So the importance of the words you use to describe your group better ring big ass bells or we’re hard pressed and too damn stressed to find the time to have the pleasure of listening to a band we might actually like. We might forget 5 seconds later too. Let alone after 100’s of release emails we’re churning through on the bus. If we’re awake or after after a cocktail or two. But never mind our issues.
MUSIC REVIEW: One trigger is the Album itself. With a title like Mechanics & Energetics of Stilt-Running which clocks in at 21 minutes by the EndAnd. Says hey they have cut out the parts you don’t need. It’s noise rock/punk the description goes. It’s better we say than this. Schizophrenic for sure but the kind of noise metal milieu riffs that start off with anthems and give you heart-attacks after a long run with the cops chasing you. The good shit that you can feel in your ferrel bones. Apparently they are popular but what the hell do we know. We work in a cave up on the 14th floor. Too tired to Click play but when we do make the time we’re glad we did. A bunch of guys from Brooklyn, blah blah blah. They have a fuck-load of Facehooker fans etc but that shit is meaningless if you can’t deliver; in particular if you get to name your price. The opener “At Fault’s End” and third tune “The Detach” are stand-out tracks. Start there if you too are in hurry like us. “I’m One Of Three” has this messy Sorry Ma forgot to take out the trash thing. Anyway… we don’t care too much for some of quick tapping kick-drum prog stuff because it’ starts to sound like Alice in Chains trying too hard but as a whole this band is great. I’m sure it’s all awesome live. Thanks to James from I.M.P for sending this along without people like him everything would be silent and dull around here.
RIYL: Botch, Iceage, Propagandhi
Next up is band we’ve been following for years. Sludge pop-punk this guy said from The Young Leaves back in 2009 and Christopher from Holliston, Mass has not gone away from the original thing we liked at first when got an actual CDR in the mail. Yes! We say to this latest single Alive and Well/The Love Song Single. If you like loud songs with more melody in one chord than your average boy band. Then give this trio a free download. They even have the token chick bass player which we like to see. But seriously, grow some internet balls. They are coming to NJ on 6/28 and 6/29 Smithtown, NY. So check out some live music. Get the Deets from them my dear facehookers on their page and if you are not already fuckin’ stalk us back already. What the hell is wrong with you.
I love you. I’ve been saying to myself and now I’m saying this out loud (again). Where the hell are all the good guitar bands!? Bands I beg you please don’t use a drum machine unless it’s a demo and you’re desperate. So for now say hello to Dot Dash and Cursive (saddle creek) who have actual musicians. These are Bands who know how to craft a song and play said instruments.
Spark> Flame > Embers > Ash by Dot Dash from D.C. sounds like early Psychedelic Furs to be up-front but this only lasts a few minutes. There are some good jangle guitar pop here. At first it’s seem a little off-kilter then I saw the light. This is not their first rodeo with lots of shows coming up. There’s are some mod elements going on here where they are also not afraid to let a whole chord fly with a Pete Townsend arm twirl. No sir. A big nod to all things that were good and fresh for alternative music in the late 1980’s. Dot Dash sound fresh.
Learn How to Fly MP3 by Dot Dash from Spark Flame Ember Ash Mack The Knife(Kurt Weill Cover) Mp3 by The Psychedelic Furs from re-leased and remastered debut (1980)
If you like these songs you may fancy a band from England called with their track called Still Young MP3 Title track by New Manhattan
I have to be honest (aren’t I always?). I’m mostly familiar with a couple older Cursive songs because they appeared on some emo comps back in the day with Brown Bike and some other crap. I will tell you though there were never any volume issues and I Am Gemini is no exception. Plenty of guitar hooks, etc. No break-out hits and it’s definitely not elevator music. This record simply rocks from beginning to end. Set on repeat. You’ll be fine.
Here’s some more tracks to add to your Emo compilation: The Red Bedroom MP3 by the San Diego band No Knife. I found this track on a Dim Mak of all things a comp called Emo Vault I. Is This Thing On_ MP3 by The Promise Ring from Nothing Feels Good. This is arguable one of three bands that started the emo genre. The melody is a little repetitive but you’ll get the point why it’s teenage anthemic. Red Letter Day MP3 by The Get Up Kids
MUSIC REVIEW: Kate Tucker – Ghost of Something New EP (Noise Trade) – I’m going to tell all you manly men types with your new mustaches and hippie cologne. You would not want to leave this girl for fear she’d write a killer song which on first listen would turn you into a puddle of salt. So fair warning. Lucky for you she mixes it up a bit on her most recent EP but still delivers sultry alt country angel tinged vocals that are truly aspirational. The shining light of alt-rock maybe. You can be brave here but even she admits to us on the twitter she only “seems to write sad songs.” In this case we recommend a whisky chaser to get you in the mood because to us these songs are like having drinks with an old friend. This amiable friend happens to be a little dark at times but somehow she gives us hope even when we are down. Her voice brings on a little smirk and fills us like lighting does on a silent stormy night with her melodic electric guitar interplay. In particular on her opening song “Revolution” and equally pervasive on the title track bringing the EP to a close. Here’s a video from her 2010 release White Horses plus a couple treats. Check her out I have a feeling you’ll be hearing more from her soon.
ALBUM REVIEW: Somewhere in-between a white trash hero and flippant grandpa boy is what indie folkster John McCauley has been repainting. Deer Tick is the story of American Gothic recovering from a binge. If the Deervana stunt is any evidence. He’s literally wearing and proud of his choice of flannel rock. I’ve always been a fan of the music coming out of Providence RI, it’s always a little dark and pleasantly seedy. I think they have more Go Go Bars per square mile in their city limits juxtaposed against the art school RISD. Of course right? So is the album title Divine Providence ironic? Facial hair management may not have something to do with this combo but this band has soul and in the end it’s a simple formula. This music is the kind of thing that happens in Edge City’s like Providence, RI.
“We’re fucking men but we act like kids, We’ll Face the music next time we roll-in” – The Bump
The rock meter on this record falls somewhere in the neighborhood of The Hold Steady side of a true american bar bands and les affaire back porch of Uncle Tupelo. No flash. No real Posers. No bullshit. The exit sign here always flickers and welcomes you in. These tunes squeak authentically which at times means it’s sloppy and purposely under produced giving it that twinkle of drunken hopeless charm. Leading-off with “The Bump” it reminds me of some juke joint where PBR is the top shelf and there are no labels on the vodka you recognize but there are plenty of badly cut trucker rails being shared in the bathroom. I’ve been to this bar akin to something like The Plumb St pub in New Brunswick NJ that closes at 4am and opens at 6am for the knight workers. I don’t really want to go back but I’m glad these guys are telling me about it again. Somebody needs to experience the night ending with the sun coming up when everything looks blurry but I don’t need my eyes to hear that. The music’s all right here.
I’m going to try and keep these documentary style installments coming. Part II is already done. Here’s Part 1 of the what will be a Über trailer from a truly american shoegaze treasure as Jack puts it – The Sleepover Disaster. Long story short this is part of larger “non-musical” documentary project I work on called create or else about inspiration or at least that is how this started – I ended up with a ton of footage. So these are the musical fruits of which I intend to share all the great moments with you rock fans. When it’s done it will be a nice short documentary on Jack Rabid’s Big Takeover fans, friends and bands he featured last summer at the Bell House in Brooklyn. So subscribe to the RS channel on the Utubes or RS in the twitterverse to be in the know. Lets see I can keep this up all summer long! Lord of the rock gods like Krokus only knows I have enough music to make it so. So your encouragement will be needed. I’m just psyched to watch my editing skills get better with each one. We’ll see.
Next week: A song by Jon Auer of The Possies.
The Sleepover Disaster at The Big Takeover's 30th anniversary show
Shoegaze fans: Dark Star MP3 by The Sleepover Disaster from their release called Hover. Somewhere between space walking and swimming in a clear ocean where you can breath the elements is where the beauty of this Fresno California band’s shoegazer music lives. Get Some »
More music like this: 100 Million MP3 by Sunny Day Real Estate from How It Feels to Be Something On Confess MP3 by Catherine Wheel from Chrome (1993) Only Shallow MP3 by My Bloody Valentine from Loveless (1991) Sci-Flyer MP3 by Swervedriver from their album Raise (1991)
VIDEO PREMIER: When ever there is a #2 in a song title I think of the melvins #2 Pencil track. Don’t ask me why it’s irrelevant here. This new The Nico Blues – “Folk Song Number Two” video is shot entirely on GoPro Cameras and is as folky sounding as kraftwork sounds like van halen. What? Yeah, seriously folks if Mitch Easter started producing the shins or superchunk he’d have them sounding like The Nicos Blues. Great band. Enjoy!
Here’s a mish-mosh of some recent musical treats from the deep within the RS inbox for your listening pleasure.
Nothing Here Worth Staying For by JJ & The Rogues‘s EP Stare Down from Fort Worth Texas is somewhere in-between Elvis Costello my aim is true and a Monkees lunchbox with a rock-n-roll McCartney shake. Hold the Lennon in this Wilco salad as I say they seriously have lots of influences that come across in the right ways. Oh and did we mention this release is free like air? Yup get some »
And It Come And Goes MP3 by Lightsout from their self titled single. These Britishy sounding guys are based out of The Gowanus in Brooklyn and sound in the erie vain of early British Sea Power and The Wedding Present guitar style on this track. Somewhere there is a hi-watt amp on fire from their last gig as this guitar music bounces. Check them out »
Whitewash MP3 by MYTY KONKEROR from their 8 song record I miss the future. Mostly instrumental power psyche rock on this release with electricity driven guitars. Certainly nice to hear bands getting away from the vapid sticatto haircut rock. The singer when he pipes in sounds like lou barlow which is a very good thing. Bringing back the drug rock via twin lakes records. Get Some »
Cover Girl (Acoustic Demo) Live MP3 by Saints of Valory is a tune from their new Neon Eyes EP by this Austin Texas band which is a mix of live and studio tracks. Simply though I saved the best for last. These guys are going to be huge. Remove the pretension of things I personally hate about music and add a real rock singer with a band who has their shit down and they become elevated and almost saintly. Yup I said it. Shoot me. Doesn’t matter if it’s recorded or performed live they pull this pop-off effortlessly. No laptop magic just tunes that swirl in your ears with a touch of U2esque charm without the politics or spiderman antics and if some of the bad 80’s pop were hip it woulda sounded like SOV. Dig it »