When one thinks of math rock, one thinks of prog gone nuts. Skill typically outshines structure. Changes outweigh choruses. If you have heard Animals As Leaders, you know of what I write. Even bands like Fall of Troy, who tend to lean towards structure, because there are vocals, can get pretty tough on the old noodle. That is where Moreso’s first EP really stands out from the pack. Yes, they have complex riffs. Yes, they have the intricacy associated with math rock. However, their songs have definable and easily digestible patterns. Their songs have structure that allows even they lay person to follow the song’s musical journey without needing some Excedrin afterwards. It is why I would consider Moreso to be the perfect gateway drug into math rock.
The band is a three piece instrumental group. There is no doubt they can play. Could you imagine math rock otherwise? The strength lies, though, in their ability to make the sum greater than the parts. The guitar playing is fluid and flashy without being ostentatious. The drums are powerful without being confounding. The bass will lead support and counterpoint against the guitar for well-defined passages.
The 6-song EP starts strong right out the gate. Oil Spill is blistering with some of the cool single-string passages associated with Fall of Troy. The second song, Sewage Life, is another strong, fire-breather, with wonderful dissonant passages, reminiscent of Voivod. The next song, Shark Breath, has a tip-of-the-hat riff to Animals As Leaders. However, where I think Animals will go out too far, Moreso keeps the song solidly definable and comprehendible. The 4th track, From Gravel to Grass, probably my personal favorite, reminds me a little of some of the later Don Caballero material. After the first four intense tracks, the last two tracks settle in a little bit with Lavenclear and Little Ship. They are very lush and beautiful. It is easy to get lost in them. They’re almost meditative.
As this is Moreso’s freshman release, it is very exciting to hear what will be forthcoming. Be sure to check them out on their Bandcamp page or on Spotify.
Check them out live to see them do their thing. They are playing October 14th at Decicco’s Tavern in Raritan, NJ, with The Growling Hounds, Atom Driver, and Damage Done.
Also, here’s a video they posted from their recent outing at the Court Tavern.
The Brooklyn-based trio, TheMad Doctors, are going to beat the hell out of your ear holes with their latest release, No Waves, Just Sharks. The 10-song release is soaked in fuzz, with the springs from their reverb getting stretched straight.
I asked Greg, the drummer, how he would describe his sound. He described it as “Dudes who hang out in caves and arcades on the boardwalk with Motorhead t-shirts”. I completely agree. The Doctors have the trashy surf riffs of Link Wray on a very bad day. However, to say that they are a surf-punk band wouldn’t do them justice. These tracks truly bring the meat! Their sound conjures up images of Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath) and Lemmy (Motorhead) unleashing their own impressions of Dick Dale through alcohol-imbued glasses.
The Mad Doctors stick with the surf theme, much the way that Man or Astro-Man sticks with outer space. Some of the tunes start with kitschy vignettes. The songs may start with surfy riffs or snazzy chords. However, once the tunes get going, there’s blood on the beach. The tunes are blistering riff storms, with solid changes, great twists and turns. Top that off with a perfectly distorted, gritty vocal delivery. Everything fits very nicely.
While all the songs are great, my faves are:
The Ballad of Jort Dad: I love the intro. They give you fair warning right from the start of what you are getting into. The riffs and time changes are deliciously fierce. Shit Hawks At Blood Beach: Very cool groovy tune with the great Matt Witte on vox. A nice, surprising departure from Coach n Commando. Dial M (for Sultry): It’s as if the MC5 went sideways. I know that doesn’t make much sense. When you hear it, then you’ll know. Sooooo good!
The Mad Doctors
While the release is great, I can only imagine what they are like on stage. I envision a pummeling like no other. If you haven’t seen the Mad Doctors, you will get a chance very soon. They are playing RoughTrade in Brooklyn on September12th with A Giant Dog and Simon Doom.
Go to The Mad Doctors Bandcamp page and check it out!
ALBUM REVIEW: One of my new favorite downloads from the newly refocused emusic is Hookworms. If they(EM) didn’t recommend it I would still be ignoring the 30 times some publicist named dropped them to push their own band on me. Fuck totally been ignoring the blog too but that is a whole other matter I won’t bore you with the story here. Just know this “indie” psych band from Leeds UK is notable and THE HUM is the evidence, the happy noise that woke me up after a 3 month slumber of letting this blog float in space with not even so much as a reach around. They are coming around to the East Coast in April of 2015 so maybe I’ll get out of the house then. This record reminds me of a lot of other new psyche like no age and locals Wreaths; but they hit some pink floyd-esque flair here and there with well placed in a echo and bunnymen like Velvet Underground grooves and guitar delays. Still somewhat poppy and catchy though – your note dead right? Music shouldn’t bore you so this may keep you alive with a swift bong hit ( do the kids even do that anymore). Some screaming type stuff too on some of tracks which reminds me of Rye Coalition. You know when the notes yelp in a good way. Enough reminders and head-nods to a band that cares. Not operatic either or least you feel it as some of the running time on the their tunes goes over the minute mark.. Just good head noddin’ While their 13,000 fans on facebook already know their previous “artier” Pearl Mystic. This is a good sign and probably brought you by some record nerds or Weird World Record Co. Website
MUSIC REVIEW: This is a noisy punk band by definition. Big mucky-pup dumb guitars with distorted “alien-like” vocals in the vein of Gibby Haynes from the butthole surfers and when you add bigger dumb punk drums; the formula gives you the GRIZZLOR thing. Monster rock for monster bros from New Haven, CT. The EP artwork brain drawing totally reminds us of the movie When Mars Attacks. Seriously WE’RE ALL JUST ALIENS is planet melting molten rock with big thug like guitars you can use to beat-up your space alien friends. Squash them like bugs with the sheer guitar volume. These songs are blunt objects that rock well.
Other random tunes: Hot Water Music –Elektra MP3 (90’s) The Replacements –Rock And Roll All Nite MP3 Kiss cover 1985-10-18: 7th Street Entry, Minneapolis, MN Atkins, Martin’s China Dub Soundsystem –Yellow Cab MP3 from Made in China (2007)
MUSIC REVIEW: Do you like Lux Interior inspired garage psycho-billy? We think Majestico has got some threads a little loose in this Rolling Stones inspired meets pico de gallo wax on this new 7″ EP called Love is God. It’s not a Mardi Gras band from the looks of it or a purest roots rock band but it is out today on Jeffery Drag Records. Is this “folk ‘n’ roll”? We think there is more of a creepy roll here that is just getting the weed going a bit. This is the bearded skunky variety perhaps with some shiny specs of brilliance. Music for garage rock fans who like a show with their acid or acid in their blues show. This stuff will last like trails and you will want to come back for the weird. If anything try and figure out how they convinced a Mayan to appear in their video. Give it a whirl and get away from that lame electronic shit. This is a real rock show.
RIYL – Sounds like these sound man: I Was A Teenage Werewolf MP3 by The Cramps from Songs The Lord Taught Us (1980) Oh Lord MP3 by The Brian Jonestown Massacre from Take It From The Man! (1996) Radiation Blues MP3 by Dax Riggs from We Sing of Only Blood Or Love (2007)
MUSIC REVIEW: Christine Leakey’s tunes are part orchestrated noir, part dark forest and yet very much a real dream. These first free songs from her coming record Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure are a smooth decoupage straight from the heart that have been a long time in the making since her earlier days in bands called Cadillac Bill & the Creeping Bent, The Double Feature Creatures and Tijuana Knievel. There has been a time lapse since her having to set music down and done some traveling. Perhaps she was on a quest to find her muse? Whatever the case – she’s fermented her thoughts and has some illuminating tales to tell us after a 14 year gap. Hailing originally from the heart of the 1000 Islands, Gananoque Ontario (sounds so magical), Canada she is our familiar neighbor whom brings us fairy-esque soundscapes sculpted from many fem-fatale influences and life experiences. In a exchange she says..
“I will admit though, there is a strong sense that I missed out on something throughout this time. It could just be that the weight of having to abandon my music… Or a relationship gone wrong… Either way, when I look more deeply, I see all the little things I have been doing and it all adds up to some interesting years.”
This preview of teasers we hear the dark sexy light of Nico washed in Bongwater like reverb and the pillow talk of pink floyd. She’s created something pretty focused and telling here with lots of layers like those you in might find when digging in the sand. A castle of music has been created with subtle and solid colors of sound which will give you a fuzzy feeling. Give it a go – the authentic grit will draw you in and surprise you. Your imagination will conjure the rest of the story.
Lovely MP3 by Christine Leakey from Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure
Album Review: I am a little late to the game to this group but in the grand skeem of things not really because The Like is retro gal 60’s pop in the vain of She & Him via Downtown Records. Certainly paying great homage to the genre as this music borrows nicely from that whitegirl mo-town sound but without the bee-hive hair-dews. Honestly not much has changed but that is ok! They are just re-spinning but knowingly with the right twists, so it comes across as super fun peppy music relying more so on vocal hooks than guitars and some good bass riffs. I owe it (again) to Michael Shelly from WFMU for spinning their 2010 album Release Me on his show recently. There’s not a lot experimentation and the lack of women’s lib is not the point with this stuff. Music would be dead if the Spice Girls ever sounded like this so lets keep this as our little secret ok? This is more honest make-out music and totally empowered by their sharp feminine Brit accents. These are pretty sexy songs fit for any Russ Meyers films where girl trouble could mean a myriad of naughty things and maybe less fights but anyway here’s to my curator and me as yours. Enjoy The Like and some others for your girl’s mix below.
EP 2 MUSIC REVIEW: If you would have told somebody you could play this many notes in the 1930’s they would have thought you were an octopus or a carnie but yet here you are on the eve of closing out yet another decade and metal is alive and well. Not that you’d know what metal was then but if you want to call Gondoliers prog metal you’re more than welcome to do it in this decade whilst you can.
I’m going to reserve sticking these Somerville Mass experi-metal (yuk yuk) geeks in any one particular sub-sub genre for right now because they mutated again into something deeper and beautifully darker. When they go-off the rails they are in the wires – reconfiguring the mess. Twisting out the guts from some random piece of roadkill and then proceeding to schredd and serenade the double octavewave pedal in celebration of their carnage and physical feats. These are your neu metal duo geeks with fast machine gun like reflexive notes playing the soundtrack of your prom copulation in discordant Glass like un-harmony. The noise is free but the sting of the memories will only last this life time so dig in and get weird cuz punk is sorta dead or at least the 1980’s version. Did I mention it’s fast like Don Caballero and precise like a razor and yet dumb like bull for everyday use? If not pardon moi let it rip.
As I sit here on this Saturday night drinking beers and it occurred to me how much I sickly like sharing my thoughts on music for the four or five of you who care. There are lots of new bands on the block these days as they seem to replicate faster than the rabbits do in my neighborhood. There are so many one internet hits that surely I’d think you would like to take advantage of since the kids these days all have smart recording devices. If there is good song they really do have the potential to sound good. Magically awesome sounds come right out of their pods and away they go! Here are a few of our picks for this month check them out while they are hot because then they will be gone starting another band trying to re-live the now.
MP3 – “A Brighter Sunday” Farmer Sea‘s Italian ass sounds more like Mathew Sweet, Dave Grohl and the song Solar Sister with some oohs and aaahs that give them a bit of a familiar majestic sound. This track is the lead song from their debut Low Fidelity in Relationships – BUY IT its like that lost strokes album that never followed Is this it. Well sorta.
MP3 – “I Am Blind” by Elephant Stone a little of more of the same as above and chip in with a little British new-wave pop ditty that is as pleasant as a setting sun down the beach. I suppose they have beaches in Canada where they are from but I think they are on lakes. This track is from their debut The Seven Seas. BUY IT. MP3 – “Pacific Nostalgia” by Fungi Girls from Texas is by far one of my favorite tracks with such a nice roughness to it alla No Age that it will be hard to beat it’s sincerity. Reverb is used like a knife that JAMC used to cut feedback out of their guitars with. You can tell these kids ( 15 – 16 years old) listen to a unreasonable amount of music and take advantage of their youth. They can’t even buy freakin’ cigarettes for Christ’s sake. Check out their id reverberations blog where they post a ton of RAR files (i dunno even how to open). They are not afraid of being uncool and sincerely remind me of my youth. Listening to this track feels like that High-fidelity scene when the John Cusack character discovers the skater’s tape. Anyway… I don’t even know where to send you to buy the Fungi Girls so good luck with that.
MP3 – “Wind Phoenix” – Cymbals Eat Guitars is more than likely on the top of their game. Who knew cool bands could be based out of Staten Island? I kid because I live in Jersey and well there are many. Anyway, this tune has lots of layers and floatty vocal melodies of the Shin’s variety but in this case they are not afraid to flip the volume knob all the way up. Doesn’t hurt either that pitchfork likes them. Lucky for them with so many different things going on in their music and all… CEG is on tour this fall. I will have to check them out live if somebody puts me on the guest list. They mention MMR in their bio which makes one of their band mates around my age. Ha! The good thing is they sound nothing like most of the crap in that old rag. Check out Why there are Mountains now. Buy it.
Other bands with singles in rotation at the homestead: Wolf Gang, The Watermarks, Memory Tapes, Local Natives and Real Estate.
The early description of 70’s icons like Randy Newman, Jackson Browne and Glen Frey come to mind when listening to Pronto’s debut All Is Golden. Under the analog edge is a indie band playing retro, sparse and working to let the core of the song bring it on home like a inspired yelling carpediem. No massive amounts of compression, comfortable sweaters, or studio trickery can fool the good song radar. The tracks are purposely sparse with just enough musical layers to keep it honest and golden. ha! In the middle of the record there is an attempt to get a little proggy in a AIR sort of way but it’s quickly abandoned for higher ground. This is all Mikael Jorgensen. Labeled as his solo project he is supported by long time friend and drummer Mr. Greg O’Keeffe and some other indie guys from Iron & Wine, Califone, and Antibalas as a the namedrop bio’s goes on. He could have picked up anybody in all honestly and I wouldn’t have noticed. The New Jersey roots are having played in Movere Workshop and Lizard Music. If this band would have come in 1978 nobody would have noticed but being that the time machine was fixed and have transported 30 years later. Their debut is much welcome in the emosoundscape and the mushrooming repeater stations. The music is proof positive that the art of song writing is alive and well and has not changed much since that time. You can even twitter them in the prontospere but no modern marketing tool gimic will change the connection the music makes all on it’s own. I’m not sure how access translates into live performances or music but what do i know. The couple sample tracks here are quite good cuts like a freshly poured beer. They refresh and numb the palette. There is hope for people who will take the the time to seek out music. Catch them live starting in March and thru out the spring of 2009.