It’s pretty safe to say that the 90’s were one of the best decades for music in the last century. It’s the decade that just won’t die. From the endlessstream of reunion tours to the pop culture references in movies and television, the hits just keep on coming. Need more proof? I’ve got two words for you – cassette revival. I don’t know anyone who lived through it the first time that longs for the days of tangled tapes jamming matchbooks into the car stereo, so it must be the music that draws everyone back.
Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all perfect. There were plenty of crimes committed against our auditory wills. Those dreadful line dance songs that your aunt always requested at weddings. Nu-Metal. Auto-Tune. That horrendous Barbie song – a turd polished so brightly it could have blinded a mole from space. But there was a period of time in the early part of the decade where the pop confections of the day sat awkwardly on major radio playlists right along side some wonderful, fuzzy guitar drenched bliss, dished out by the great unwashed, proudly bashing away in their Chuck Taylors and flannel shirts. Can you imagine The Breeder’s “Cannonball” airing on top 40 radio stations today? I certainly cannot.
As we drift further and further away from this unusual time, it’s only normal that musicians and fans alike begin to look back on it fondly and revisit these sounds. But it’s not the kids (or rather than generalize, I should say it’s not MOST of the kids. As you were, Rock N’ Roll Hi Fives). Things have changed and there’s no going back. While my neighbors had to deal with the pounding of drums and squealing guitar amps in the garage, I live in relative peace and quiet in modern suburbia. Still, tranquil and utterly boring peace and quiet. Kids don’t want to “play guitar” any more; they want to “play” guitar.
I know, I sound like some crusty old codger complaining about “these kids today”. Excuse me while I chase a few of them off my lawn.
Where was I? Right, the 90’s…
DOLLAR STORE RIOT – “WHAT’S IT TO YOU?”
SINGLE REVIEW: Luckily, all is not lost. There are still plenty of musicians like the affable and capable Dollar Store Riot, who have found that making music purely for the joy of it can be its own reward. Their new single “What’s It To You?” attacks with the familiar abandon of those long lost gems of the Clinton presidency. Thea Kearney’s direct and forceful vocal delivery echoes Joan Jett at times (in all the best ways) and there’s a clear hint of Sleepyhead in the songwriting and delivery. Brian Boehm, Paul Haley and Will Kramer propel the song forward with pleasing abandaon. It hits like a late summer wave, pushing you back on your knees a bit until you can steady yourself and sway in its swirling flow – until another time shift hits like the breaker you didn’t see coming.
Just like it’s loud and proud retro sound, the video shot at Maplewood’s Woodland Hall immediately recalls late nights on the couch waiting for 120 minutes to start. Shot as a live performance with a bit of comic relief added, it’s a reminder that you can be serious without taking yourself too seriously.
VIDEOS OF THE DAY: First up is the ultimate hip hop point of view vacation video by Def Manic; and I mean this bro in the most complimentary way. Peejay Svoboda the editor has mad story telling skills and moves the picture nicely to the lyrics of “Thank You”. Sahara Beck’s singing is pretty in-between Def Manic’ emo-emmininen-esque raps – he speaks some truths and we dig it and it’s the song that gives rise to this film and not the other way around. The scenery is Thailand so every shot just looks amasolutely beautiful by default. It’s funny too without being too brass it looks like this kid got something classy going on from up in Serbia, New York (USA). From the album D.R.A.W. (Do Right And Win) avail on iTunes Single – Stalk him Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud
WATCH: “THANK YOU” BY DEF MANIC FEATURING: SAHARA BECK
Ok people, the funniest, funky and most hilariously serious mustache video award goes to Bootleg Rascal and their brand of unique dub-glactic trance with their tune “OH I KNOW”. Except one of them has a beard and they rock music playing actual rock implementation instruments but other than that this single is straight-up solid. This video is also filmed incredibly well and the ad libbing is laugh out loud pee-pee hysterical – so win-win. Being that I am part Mexican I can say these spanish looking dudes are the puerto rican power (you know by ween) that hold the lock-n-groove of Sublime with the nice manly bits of fish bonin’ danceability. The joke though is that they are actually from hard-on’s land of Sydney/Gold Coast of Australia and the singer is named Carlos so whatever. A sense of humor is what is missing in so many video, and music reviews I guess (Scruggs*), that we get these days, our number one complaint is that bands take themselves way too fucking serious and stretch the cool factor like a exploding cigar trick gone limp. Nobody likes that. (Did I use enough dick jokes in this paragraph?) Anyway, directed by Bootleg Rascal & Danielle Payne,
Filmed and edited by Danielle Payne. Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud
WATCH: “OH I KNOW” BY RASCAL BOOTLEG
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ok now that ides of March are here it’s time to check out Freddy Fudd Pucker originally from Dunedin, New Zealand who brings a subtle americana dark masked feel to this tune “Blood Diamond Mind”. Via Monkey Records
WATCH: “BLOOD DIAMOND MIND” BY FREDDY FUDD PUCKER
Check out this trippy trio called Little Death Machine with their new video single “Pale” which reminds us of PJ Harvey and soundscapes you might expect to find on 4AD. Lots of quick cuts shot on black with couple nicely dressed ladies in dresses and somebody spray painting some shit in the background. Simple video and evokes the song nicely. Via Glasstone records. Band Website | Twitter
ok death cab for cutie fans you will dig this band from Canada called We Are The City. The trio already have a “buzz” but we really think their sound is unique and video really evokes their tune “Kind David” extremely well. Maybe because we are partial to the idea we/I am/are the king of our domain in our head. The drumming is off kilter and the guitar rhythms are tight like something off of hit liquor by Shudder to Think. Production and editing wise this is best video in this batch. Very much their own sound borrowing nicely from influences and just being. This song is from their sophomore release called — Violent. Band website | Twitter
WATCH – “KIND DAVID” BY WE ARE THE CITY
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VIDEO OF DAY / SINGLES: Meet Me in Orbit’s music is created out of analog synthesizers, vintage gear and decent knowledge of what is possible with soundscapes. This dream-synth duo (Yea I know we rag on duo’s around here a lot but mostly regarding a band that is just a drummer and guitar player and too lazy to find a third member to play the fucking bass.) Anyway, these San Francisco based guys Jared Brannan and Brandon Bews will release their debut EP, called Traveller on April 7, 2015 via Sky Council Recordings. If you are fan of grandaddy, trip hop and old sounding keyboard tones then you might dig them. Due website
VIDEOS: Here’s a bunch of recent videos from bands from new jersey that we like for one reason or another.
Check out the latest Video for the song “NJHC” off the album Givin’ Up On Free Jazz by the love-able rockers The Everymen. You probably could write this song if you wanted too but you might have to be a pretty good googler to make the lyrics work. I’m proud when I see such Jersey pride. You can buy their album at www.ernestjenning.com | facebook them
WATCH: THE EVERYMEN- “NJHC”
WATCH: SCREAMING FEMALES – “HOPELESS”
Produced and Directed by Lance Bangs and Edited by Pete Larsen. We like this song. I think these two ladies from these first two bands could be sisters. It’s as close to pixie-like song as it gets for The Screaming Females. Catch them on tour! Jim from Cool Dad Music does a nice and goes into a lot of detail song for song reviewing their new recordRose Mountain – Visit the official Don Giovanni Records website space for music: http://dongiovannirecords.com/
WATCH: DENTIST – BIRD IN A CAGE
New video directed by City Gardens ex-bouncer turned videographer our pal Mr. Jim Norton. Takes the band to the snowy lanscape of new jersey. Singer shows off her pearly whites and comes-off very angelic. The tune is is vert pop-alt. The vibe is good in this song. The other songs on their record are faster, punkier, surfier and just as sweet. Get their latest on bandcamp page.
If you have a video you think we should feature just drop a line.
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Ok vacation is over but still working to get real life going, in particular my new business venture for making videos on a full time basis and digital support for viva la hara films + digital. Please take a moment and check it out.
THE YOUNG WILD – Just released their electronic data inspirared EP called For Now Not Forever. The 8 bit lyric video below is awesome. “Moment goes” is the name of the single and it’s pretty nice. We recommend seeking out the whole record. Think EMF meets YAZ in echoing Depeche Mode keyboard let chamber which should make your feet do the dancy dance. The kids were expecting another DJ spun EDM set but instead get these guys who can sing and have enough guitar tangle. Perfect for a movie soundtrack.
VIDEO: THE YOUNG WILD – MOMENT GOES (LYRIC VIDEO)
MANNA FROST TRIO – Mellow yellow acoustic american folk rock. We dig this single “Empty Seats” from their new record Overgrowth. Sorta pink floydish psych on the other tracks but mostly not this song swoops along giving you plenty of visuals. The video mostly looks like it was shot by one person in the woods of North Carolina somewhere. I’m guessing Stacy Harden is the hippie camper depicted behind the cinematography but its all good. This will appeal to greatful dead and Neutral Milk Hotel fans a like. Maybe it will make you cry. Comes to you via sky core records.
“And I’ll always get sad
listening to the Dead
Driving down to Assateague
in my head”
VIDEO: MANNA FROST TRIO – EMPTY SEATS
GALKIN – Find some slacker rock on the EP called Pity Party. Some weenesque vocal effects and some mildy droning guitar strumming gives you Toronto’s Mikhail one man band. We dig this so give these jams a go and space-out.
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We like noise. We like trash. We like Austin’s Spray Paint’s tune “Threesome Can Wait” from their third lp Clean Blood, Regular Acid. If you like shit that seems to crawl on the walls and stick there with some weird stuff glistening as if you injected some delay into a box full of devo bobble heads then that is what this song sounds like. Plus drugs but I don’t think I can agree with the topic. Unless they are being sarcastic. Given the opportunity I would probably would give a long frozen stare. “What did you just ask me?” Then this noise would start to play in my mind at which point. I would get it. I would. website | Bandcamp
RIYL: Scratch Acid, Butholes, The Fall, Swell Maps
Catch their noise on tour in September.
9/19 – AUSTIN, TX @ HOTEL VEGAS #!
9/20 – MCALLEN, TX @ CINE EL RAY #
9/21 – HOUSTON, TX @ WALTERS DOWNTOWN #$
9/22 – NORMAN, OK @ THE OPOLIS #
9/23 – KANSAS CITY, KS @ MINIBAR #
9/24 – CHICAGO, IL @ EMPTY BOTTLE #
9/25 – DETROIT, MI @ PJ’S LAGER HOUSE #
9/26 – LOUISVILLE, KY @ CROPPED OUT #
9/27 – MEMPHIS, TN @ GONERFEST #
! – w/ Ghetto Ghouls
# – w/ The Rebel (Ben Wallers from Country Teasers)
$ – w/ Merchandise and Institute
We like to champion new bands here at Review Stalker. Mostly because we wish there were sites or magazines or writers who looked beyond the hype and wrote about our bands or paid attention to the sounds that were hitting their ears. We like passionate writers and if you think you want to take a stab by all means get in touch. Join us. We’re just here bubbling up and weeding through all sorts of shit in our boring days to give you first listens to bands that might be just coming-up around in their scene. No matter where it is. We listen then judge your band name or band photo. Not the other way around. Honestly, if we had more time to listen and feature more than we do – we would. Important to know it is a total labor of love who we do decide to put on the site. We don’t get paid to do. Anyway, enough about us here’s a bunch of quick blips on some music.
First up here’s Hidden Charms which are four young lads from London who play Rhythm and Blues. You know like the stones used to claim. These guys sound more like the Zombies at least from the vocal perspective and are no where near as proficient as the Rolling Fucking Stones but still well produced getting some nice breaks with just their very first single being made available here.
Black Lady Soul from Ontario Canada give you some slow soul grooves on their latest bandcamp offering. Stand-up basss that swing you along along.
Black Lady Soul “The Fall”
VIDEO: Mike Watt in il sogno del marinaio “il songo del fienile”
One minute we’re checking out the latest offering from Mike Watt with some dudes from Italy from a band called il Sogno Del Marinaio and then BLAMO. We get bands from Italy sending us music. Which is the is coolest thing I love most about doing this blog. We get music from all over the world and always make a point to check them out because we’re all about your maximum rock-n-roll experience. Dangerous Mindshas more details on this one.
So Ladies and Gentlemen here’s Plankton Dada Wave and their latest bandcamp offering available as a 10″ called Haus Of Dada which goes for 13 Euro which I think is like 26 USDs or something(don’t quote me? Anyway comes with a nice multi-coloured Tee-shirt which is worth it right there. Oh the music you ask? Well son, if you dig when XTC got arty or watts bass playing on DOS. Then this interesting mix of psuedo prog punk will be your thing. This music is frenetic and whimsical. You know like a crazy persons must feel like with an entire circus of clowns going nuts in the inner lobe of their brains. The featured track “Ygolohcysp”, which if you were backing up into my blog you would see in your rearview mirror what this really spells. So tricky these Dada-o-ist. The lead track totally samples Trio and their tune Da Da Da and then they just blow it out from there. The lyrics are all in Italy so we have no clue what they actually singing about but the mood is totall fun. This music is brought you by Ghost Records. One listen through and you’ll feel nuts. Trust me.
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Lines West – Never judge a band with their obessions with trains. I know there are train people as I tend to be one every once in awhile but prefer the bus. Don’t ask. The answer is boring. However, this album by Lines West has all of the elements we love about Fountains of Wayne, Nada Surf all mixed in this alt-country kind of tinge with perfectly crafted pop songs that should be all over terrestrial radio at the very least. Founded by John Radzin and Brian Larney via Bridgeport, Connecticut. This is the good shit with a nice balance of keyboards, piano and well placed harmonies and smart song writing. Great for Sunday mornings driving over bridges vacation bound somewhere. Buy Itunes | Amazon | Visit: www.brianlarney.com
DOWNLOAD:Down To Me MP3 by Lines West from Stop Look and Listen
The Silence Kit has been making original alternative indie rock for awhile now and every track is crafted with care. We respect this and it comes through very clearly these guys know what they are doing. Here’s a cool song equaly parts baritone new wave vocals with some Haircut 100 thrown in this song called “Looking through” Swizzlings keyboards and a mix of Cure-esque simplicity from their new album Watershed. Check out their deep catalog on their bandcamp. If you love all the amazing sounds of real 80’s alternative then dig this man.
Buffalo Sex Change – Here’s something for all you slow psych fans from upstate NY via Dadstache Records. Think Velvet Underground doing whip-its with the Black Angels and you shall have a Buffalo Sex Change experience. Order this debut on cassette you freaks from their bandcamp store. For fans of early Jesus and Mary Chain.
All three of these bands are awesome and you are welcome. Share and like this facehookers!