SINGLES: Oulu, Finland brings us this band called ESOM (Empire State Of Music). We’ll cap their name for good measure so there is no confusion. The guitars are loud and vocals are fem-pop. Straight-up, melodic and enjoyable music. Totally like-able compared to some of the real crap we get around here day in and day out. I don’t know anything about the climate in their town but if this music is any indication they don’t let it get them down. For us Americans this 5 piece all have weird names except for Lisa the singer. The rest of the dudes have names like Jukka and Topias. This is very chipper music yet they are got guitars that are way up in the mix. Anyway here’s their single called “Out the Door” and a video by them called “Comfort Zone”. Check it out and enjoy the happy.
RIYL: The Cranberries, B-52’s, Belly
From Melbourne Australia today we bring you a new video called “Ghosts” by indie-rock band called New Manic Spree that was shot on this desolated island of 65 people. Pretty decent tune featured people in red bandanas running from this smoke monster with weird feet and a long wicked beak. The tune itself has nice synths that bleep and carry you to this weird place. Pleasantly unsettling the kind of music you might want to watch some weird montage of animation sprawling into space with as well. You would not turn the station.
TONIGHT WEDS JUNE 26th: This should be a great night of redefined indie rock all around at The Rock Shop in Brooklyn. First on the bill is Adam Rubenstein who was an ax-man in the band Chamberlain. Who is evangelizing his release Excavator via Arctic Rodeo Recordings.So get there early. Like by 8:15.
Following his jams wil be Review Stalker Music Blogs’s house band Eastern Anchors. If you don’t own any Anchor swag you should. Since you already have all music right if not get on the bandcamp? Seriously, folks come for the handsome and leave with the rock stapled back in their heart. Do check out the latest lead track called “It Made Me Cry” on the Songs for Molina Compilation put out out by Steven Vineis which was recently featured on My Old Kentucky Blog.
Sewing up the night will be local, locals Gladshot. We hear their previous release was done up by our twitter pal John Agnello. He owes RS Blog a cocktail but either way from way back during a Male Bonding rant last year. Either-who they will be bringing melodies galore.
Singer-songwriters Debbie Andrews and Mike Blaxill front this quintet…great harmony-laced pop with a touch of 70s California. Infectious songs like “Feel You” and “Running Past Rosetta” should be drop-kicking inferior tripe off radio playlists everywhere. They have everything – sing-a-long hooks, strong harmonies, efficient but great guitar solos .. Gladshot is one of the nicest suprises I have had all year
– Pop Matters
Space indie rock. Even though they’ve been doing for less than a year Grounded sometime remind us of Sonic Youth. While emo-esque at times that does not stop you from listening to their tunes alla you black emperor and trail of dead a whee bit too. Anyway, go get their EP. It’s cool man
Dear friends of Review Stalker land,
Here’s the new Eastern Anchors single called “James The Viking” for your listening pleasure. This song is dedicated with love to EA’s friend, James Elias Hulsizer who past this recent winter. The band asks that you make a donation to the SPCA to honor James’ honor who loved animals, meat and beer. monmouthcountyspca.org. There is a B side called “I’d Spend Everyday Like This” which you can get on the band’s bandcamp page where you can name your own price. The B-side is not on their forth coming album Drunken Arts and Pure Science on Viva! La’Hara Records. The illustration is a likeness drawn by comic book artist Cliff Galbraith who founded the Asbury Park Comic Con happening this coming weekend Sept 29th.
ALBUM REVIEW: A Slothbear is what do you get when you mix some mammals and paint in Staten Island which forms the release they call Cantor On. Some may write this part of New York off as just a breeding ground for lap dance vixens but we won’t be so narrow minded. We thought we heard something deeper when we featured them in our Crop-O-Singles over the summer and here we are proven right. They do have more moves than a Go-Go dancer! This release is a wonderful dark trip of texture, mirrors and classic indie guitar maneuvers. Convulsively atonal which I’m ok with because the vocals give this music just a little bit more heart in the performance department. Making the music real and seem like it’s off the flannel and comforting in the right lighting. They particularity get their point across in a song called “Goodnight Retrograde” which is a 10 minute meandering jam that hints at the bands spontaneity at it’s best. Like we hear in long player songs that we love in punk art bands like The Fall. Then other times the technical Denison-Kimball like jazz proficiency surprises you like on their song “Sleep Daze”. A one trick circus dance pony they are not. As another track like “Ex-Teen” is a hopeful song about procreating in the future. What ever your pleasure be sure to tip them with a beer or buck. I’m sure they won’t mind. XOX.
Galloping by Slothbear MP3 from Cantor On [ Get some ] Show: Saturday Nov 12 The Grove, 64 Grove St. Brooklyn,NY
Something about their sound reminds me of these sounds: Prole Art Threat MP3 by The Fall from Totally Wired – The Rough Trade Anthology (1980-1983) False Jesii Part 2 MP3 by Pissed Jeans from King of Jeans Guitar Named Desire MP3 by Big Dipper from Heavens (1987) Private Party MP3 by The Bigger Lovers from How I Learned To Stop Worrying (2001) Tabby and Lucy MP3 by Boston Spaceships from Let It Beard (2011) featuring Robert Pollard
ALBUM REVIEW: If we were to shoot a band up in space in the late 1990’s and then they landed back on earth in late 2011 they would probably sound similar to the music on Lenses Alien by Cymbals Eat Guitars. Ageless and pure indie rock that was somehow incapsulated in this experiment of fluid guitars; almost as if anything that may have come before may have somehow influenced them in a magnetically sealed hyperbolic chamber. Never afraid to just let it fucking rip Joe & his rock-o-naughts launch you into the outer rim in a slow explosion that is every bit Trail of the Dead sounding without being formulaic as telling you a very long story via their music. Maybe it’s easier for you to imagine what The Shins would sound like with balls except in this incarnation they have volume behind the yapping. A track like “Plainclothes” is ever as much a hit as they showed us on their debut Why There Are Mountains. All the notes on here are as passionate as they are live except they give you much more this time. Lucky for them their command was steered by Jersey City denizen John Agnello so we have him to thank for capturing this space magic. But here they are playing awesomely with dynamics and layers of thick amp goodness that will clear the ear wax right out of the dormant state you were in while maybe you were up in the black. People who have since gone deaf to good music with this sonic landscape will be awakened at least for a brief respite their muscles will do a awesome convulsion they did not think they had in them.
We highly recommend this band as a cure for your rock guitar slump and bad posture. Enough of these words. Just fucking buy the shit for yourself. Catch them on tour, buy a t-shirt and whatever they say on your planet. We’re all only here temporarily so enjoy.
There are 5 great toe-tappers on this EP by The Eversons from New Zealand. I am always amazed that young bands can always improve on this genre or keep it fresh. With just the right amount of jam, a dash marmalade reverb and friendly vocal melodies the music becomes instantly familiar like your favorite order at the local deli. Although I would not know what to order in New Zealand eatery I’d imagine it may have to be the lamb with some sort of goat cheese right and side of local chips? Anyway, the point is there is a nice ring to their self narrated style lyrical musings. The music is overly familiar not too far away indeed of the self referential conversational sounds the Modern Lovers created. It would be nice for you to invite them to your next house party as I’m sure they may be just as chatty as they are good band.
You will like them if you like: Year’s Not Long MP3 by Male Bonding from Nothing Hurts (2010) Real Thing MP3 By The Wedding Present from Saturnalia (1996) Ill Love MP3 by Pete & The Pirates from Little Death (2008) Road runner MP3 by The Original Modern Lovers (1973)
Documentary: It’s a lofty goal to try and answer the question “What is Indie Rock?” and capture the whole of the late 80’s to early 90’s scene before the great music blog plague that is upon us now. Indie rock splintered pretty much as soon as it was born into all sorts of sub-genres.
…We had paper zines back then to rely on and the internets was not accessible to everyone – it was a discreet affair. Sure in there were music scene curators like epitonic who were listening, and many amazing fanzines and then there were dickheads like pitchfork who were not always so praising to deal with but underneath the airwaves was a sense of community. Somewhere in-between the music was exploited and well the rest is loosely documented history. Brad Katz, Myron Kerstein, Linda Cohen and Tricia Halloran want take this challenge and make a Indie Rock documentary. We all have our opinions. I know I tried my best on the east coast writing zines and playing in bands of merry-men. I think there has to be more stories out there right? I Know there is and it’s one of things doc people are looking help in. I personally think it would be an interesting story to talk about the transformation and answer the question: What happened to Indie Rock thru the eys of some of the fanzines? Under the shadow of Nirvana were all these bands that did not have a chance in hell of making a living out of their music. Just do a quick search in your iTunes for “indie rock”. The genre is used loosely to describe all sorts of shitty bands. I think alternative or “Other” is more appropriate sometimes. That’s a sign of something good when you can’t quite put a label on something.
The over-celebrated term at some point splintered into and then gentrified into a corporate rock category where Fleet foxes and the kings of Leon reside but that shit ain’t indie rock at all. Here’s a few things that distinguish the genre with community in mind. (1) DIY self releases e.g. bandcamp in modern terms for you youngsters. (2) You sold records/cds, 7″s and tapes not free downloads (seems absurd no?) (3) It didn’t matter what your band sounded like it as long as it did not sound like anything on the mainstream radio. Once you got major airplay you crossed the line into having an actual job. (4) Slacker was a fun thing. No promises. The thing is about the music is that there was no defining sound but lyrics and pieces by a variety bands like some of the ones below who actually knew what a melody was and they used it with their other tricks and was always part of their diverse delivery.
Some of my Indie’s Heroes: Sense Of It MP3 by Polvo from Cor-Crane Secret I saw Polvo a couple times and they were the quirkier version of SY. Almost songs re-interpreted as noise or vice-versa. Hard to explain but the music is backwards but still had hooks. Great music and totally worth a deep dive. [BUY] Slack Motherfucker MP3 by Superchunk from Tossing Seeds Singles (89-91) This is one of the Anthem’s of Indie Rock. [BUY] Plumb Line MP3 By Archers of Loaf from Icky Mettle More hits on this record than any noisy record of it’s kind maybe since mission of Burma or Husker Du. “She’s an Indie Rocker and nothings gonna stop here” [BUY] For Respect MP3 by Don Caballero from S/T Blown away the first time I heard and saw Damon Che play the drums like some drunken bull on a folding chair. So much energy with no singing ever to be had. [BUY] What Goes On MP3 By Built to Spill (Live) I was a treepeople fan before a BTS. In fact I had no idea they were both Doug’s bands. Fact that 4 guitar parts can inhabit one band’s sound and without that magic it would still be cool. Always discovering some counter melody in this music. [BUY] Gimme Indie Rock MP3 by Sebadoh from III One of the funniest things that random people always told me is that I sounded like Lou on bass with the free use of distortion. Happened a few times. Then they’d describe him to me as the dickhead who played with J in Dino. Always came across as an ass to me when I’ve seen him. Maybe he’s perpetually uncomfortable with his talent? Funny impression but there it is. [BUY] (I Got A) Catholic Block MP3 by Sonic Youth from Sister SST. Silver Rocket MP3 from Daydream Nation. [BUY] In 86-87 I had all of Sonic Youth’s releases to date. I was a indie rock kid. In to everything really. First time I saw SY was a pre-release show of Day Dream nation one hot summer night at CBGB’s in 88′. Lunachicks and Skunk(Aka Mighty Joe Young) were playing with them which was fronted by Matt Sweeney of the epic guitar band Chavez. They played the album front-to back and it was like being on drugs. All the guitars had letters on them and they just whipped through this huge wave of sound. I’ll never forget it. [Our Band will shine tonight] Boilermaker MP3 by The Jesus Lizard from Liar – If you don’t break your neck listening to this music something is wrong with you. David Yo his singing sounds like somebody is slopping paint over the mic. [Buy] Nirvana tried to champion them just as much as the Melvins. I have the 7″s to prove it but sometimes the drunken ranting is just not fit for radio… allas the problem with Indie Rock. Corporate Alternative Rock wanted something easy to sell and most of these bands just weren’t handsome enough.
In keeping with our fem fatale singers theme this week. Here’s a a couple crushers that could easily mystically cut you up with their guitars or voice or both! Leaving behind a puddle of manhood from their gaze if they so deemed but they’d surely prefer to keep you standing for their performance because they want to be adored as they should be! These bands are full of sonic awesome sauce – if the teary parts of gram parsons or whispyness of Cocteau Twins heal you. Fit it with a guitar hammers with these two bands.
ALBUM REVIEW: First up here’s the UK’s The Sorry Kisses new one Keep Smiling (the music always tastes better from England sometimes) featuring the very angelic Hayley Hutchinson as the singer songwriter with the support of her gentleman caller Sam Forrest. This being valentines month and all I asked Sam how he met Haley. He says “They both were playing music in York England for too many years and eventually one summer we hooked up over whiskey, cats and a few gram parsons records…“ OK she might have a different notion of this but allas they make some amazing cosmic music that is as thick with distortion as it is gritty at times with a confluent delivery. Peppered with a healthy does of melodic flavors fit for any music collectors disparate moody taste. Needless to say they are a very prolific couple because of this meshing. If your’re a cat lover or a hater or fan of Hum there’s a few tracks on this one that will make you seek out your perfect match or at least a few biscuits to eat while you gaze in amazement at a poster of Gram Parsons as it were a dream that’s become real. Ok, but lets not stop the dream sequence there; as there’s three dimensions to the Kisses’s music. One of which has this whole 80’s nod to Smiths/cure/echo all in one acoustic pop-ditty vibe with a song called “Blue Skys” that you should check out. Further evidence is backed up by of their passion for country evidenced by a bunch of covers they did during a winter hibernation. We’ve included one here for your love affair to begin. I see another video with the stalker ode (we love those) with the track called “Fanboy” that talks about the good nature that can turn sour where the star actually gives the fan a chance. Sounds like a country theme to you maybe? Give these tracks a listen and mix them up with anything in your Poptopia fantasy band. You’ll do alright. Because the kids are alright!
The Joy Formidable – In anticipation of the Big Roar being released as a follow-up to A Balloon Called Moaning. Here’s a live video to get you excited. This Ritzy Bryan can sure deliver swiftly some serious songstering wrapped in this subtle and delicious alternative Scottish like sounds of Cocteau Twins reverb blanket. If you don’t believe me just grab a song and check it out for yourself. You’ll be an instant fan and all we ask is for you take a hit, breath and exhale. The music is that energized as if you were swimming in a room filled with static electricity.
Here they are performing the lead-off track “The Greatest Light Is The Greatest Shade “on Rabid in the Kennel with Jack Rabid’s (The Big Takeover) radio podcast broadcast show that they sometimes film/document in Brooklyn USA. The recording is real pro so the band sounds like super awesome sauce.