So it’s CMJ and we honestly don’t give a flying fuck. Fans of real awesome sadcore as was coined back-in-the-day and was brewed when the 90′s were a confusing time in rock history may have missed Chokebore all together in the same way. This band originated from Hawaii and then migrated to Los Angeles and was soon championed by Tom Hazelmeyer on Amphetamine Reptile Records for a bunch of releases. Now the French Label Vicious Circle is re-releasing two must have albums on vinyl because they too know something about real fucking music and don’t need some confusing festival to tell them so. Their albums Motionless (1993) and Anything Near Water(1996) came out right when Nirvana were bigger than the sum of their parts and dwarfed any body else trying to make a dent. These guys made records we looked forward too and were cut from the same tree of bands like Melvins and Jesus Lizard that got to open for them. We really dug their live performances a whole hell of a lot too. Which we don’t see many bands like this any more playing guitars like they mean it. It’s all these internet band bores. On stage the two brothers Kroll had a burst of musical energy led by the rock crooning being bellowed by singer/guitarists Troy Balthazar and all together they came across like a exploding tsunami made up of passion and bong resin all up in your ear holes.
Anything Near Water and Motionless are two bongeriphic albums. We said a few times in our old fanzines that we were once appalled by the vocal delivery on one 7″ but quickly noticed it’s the sum of this very organic musical thing we realized there was much depth once we got to get into it. Anything Near Water is super moody and what really drew us in about them. I don’t think bands like this get made by any one entity, especially our then narrow view of the world, with a then readership of like 100 people. That number has grown over time now in the 10′s of thousands but that is not important. The real important part which this is one band we would pay to go see again is Chokebore. Don’t take our word for it. Let your ears do the listening because like we were saying. Not a brooklyn band comes even close to this music but if you are in Europe in November you have a chance to check them out. The band recently went back “online” after a fairly long hiatus and on the very short list of bands we would like to see back in action this is one of them.
BUY Motionless or Anything Near Water.
CHokeBore In Concert:
07/11 KARLSRUHE (G) Jubez
08/11 BIELEFELD (G) Forum
09/11 LE LOCLE (CH) Lux
10/11 MILANO (IT) Lofi Club
11/11 BOLOGNA (IT) Freakout Club
12/11 YVERDON (CH) Amalgame (+ Shannon Wright)
13/11 ZURICH (CH) Güterschuppenwollishofen
14/11 FEYZIN (LYON) (69) Épicerie Moderne (+ Olivier Depardon)
15/11 TOULOUSE (31) Connexion Café
16/11 SAINT-JEAN-DE-VÉDAS (MONTPELLIER) (34) Victoire 2
18/11 PARIS (75) Trabendo
19/11 RENNES (35) Antipode
21/11 BORDEAUX (33) iBoat
22/11 LIMOGES (87) La Fourmi
23/11 MONTBÉLIARD (25) Moloco (Festival Génériq)
24/11 KORTRIJK (BE) De Kreun
25/11 BRUXELLES (BE) Rotonde (Botanique)
04/12 HAMBURG (G) Hafenklang
05/12 LEIPZIG (G) Werk 2
06/12 DRESDEN (G) Beatpol
07/12 BERLIN (G) Privatclub
08/12 PRAGUE (CZ) Lucerna Music Bar (+ Girls Against Boys)
Lots of 80′s all up in this 5 song EP by We Are Scientists new release Business Casual. First track “Dumb Luck” has a hair metal vibe. Cool use of guitar trills (action of pulling off and on your electric guitar strings) but then it kicks into the chorus and you want to jump. The next couple tracks “Return the Favour” and “Good Answer” are business as usual for these New Yorkers then they hit you with “Take My Breath Away” (Yes Top Gun). Now if you are trying to mix-up nostalgia mix this would be good track to throw in there. Our favorite cut is actually the demo of “Courage” on here. Great songs are just great in their most basic state. Either way. They are still a good pop guitar band even if the hair thing is not your thing.
Buy to Own:
iTunes | Spotify | 10″ Vinyl
SINGLE REVIEW: Seattle’s Robert Dale, aka Belgian Fog, wraps the ghostly apparition of Bryan Ferry into a coolly detached mist of dance floor dry ice in their ridiculously catchy, John Goodmanson-produced new single “You Drive Me To Madness.” This follow-up to the robotic bedroom synth pop of “Wait For Help” switches the Fog’s focus from late night noir to prime time light.
Meticulously composed, with pristine instrumentation and a none-too-subtle nod to the future-obsessed corner of the ’80s (the exact formula Daft Punk used to take your ears hostage this summer), ‘Madness’ slides in nicely alongside The National and TV On The Radio on $14 martini happy hour playlists. Gliding along almost too effortlessly, the suave thrust of ‘Madness’ leaves the distinct impression that the Fog, for now at least, are a 1-man show given the single’s uniformity of vision and execution. The instrumentation meshes and co-mingles as if all from the same seed.
While so many similarly-minded new(est) wave synth bands reduce themselves to well-dressed mannequins, drowning in their own monotonous detachment, Dale’s warm falsetto quiver gives human weight to the clinically precise, sleek new car shininess.
Another worthy entry into an already fertile field of artists genre and era-hopping through their laptops to make the old sound new again.
Single Review: We Are Scientists “Something About you”
Single Review – Japan Soul “Hey Yah Hey” drones!
Esom vs New Manic Spree
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
ROCK SCENE: There is a new night in the Asbury Park music scene which has been bringing you FREE shows every monday night at the Wonder Bar all summer long. Don’t try and find out about it on bars official site though as the Happy Mondays music series has its own facebook page. The shows are continuing in the fall with lots of past local luminaries such as Battery Electric, wreaths and others. Tons of give aways and concert ticket at the Stone Pony, Wonder Bar, Convention Hall or Paramount Theater! So get on it and like them on the facebooks you facehookers!
Mon 9/9 Eastern Anchors and Corrina, Corrina
SINGLE REVIEW: Art collective made-up of smart geeks is the quick high-level on Japan Soul. They have theorized that the beginning of the end started on or around 911 and life as we knew it in the 80′s has been spiraling out of control ever since. Their latest video/single shows us drones monitoring our every move with the track “Hey Yah Hey”. Apocalyptic yes. True? Probably.
Music pulp fiction and future storytelling is the great canvas that these brooklyn manipulators of sound have decided to tell on their dance pop release Plastic Utopia. This is the forth tease but no doubt in age of being able cut–n-paste our errors and revise your intention until it’s perfect here is another slice from the full release. So we’re sure it will sound as utopian and futuristically art-camp as they have shown previously. That is the irony of this all. When electronic music was still done to tape and mixed in analog you could tell there was a human element. It was man and the machine and his ability to reproduce things. So it’s the kind of thing if you have been revising history (as you work) it’s hard to wonder what is truth is even as it happens. The vocals are pitch processed with un-singable parts and with so many layers we’re always wondering if enough is enough already but hey we don’t have to try and reproduce things live. This is the magic of musical editing and the job a of a live band. Hell they could press a button and go from there or just let the DJ do the work. Anyway, enough of the semantics of this. The previous cut “transparent” was more on the Roxy Music side of things which shows more of instrument abilities but in all a good combo of the genre that started with kraftwerk and then co-opted by everyone. Regardless these dream pop rebels make good music and the lyrics are working to tell you real time what is happening as your every move is tracked by weird drones. I’m not sure why everybody would need to be tracked. That would be ridiculous like trying to read all of our email and making sense of it all. Oh Wait? Um, check them out.
Computer World(“Computerwelt”) MP3 by Kraftwork s/t (1981)
Wonderdrug MP3 by APB from Cure for the Blues (Link Records 1986)
RIYL: Haircut 100, APB, kraftwork, Roxy Music
RELATED ELECTRONIC MUSIC REVIEWS:
Water Graves EP psychedelic electronic music for mystics
Empty Chairs space pop for Caveat Emptor
Music History: Moog Fans – Celebrate Synth Britannia Documentary
Deep Archives: Album Review – The Ecstatic Analog Magic of Casiokids
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.
RIYL: Air, flaming lips, stereolab
MUSIC REVIEW: Digital EP’s are in vogue as reported by your roving EMO reporters all over the blogosphere. The challenge is to be able to put out a set of songs that rock together. I think for most young bands the album format is pretty much dead unless they can afford to do the vinyl thing. Anyway, you are in luck because CAPTIVES have no issues here with their latest effort called Afterimage which will be available as a 10″. Luck for all you nerds. Sounding pretty alternative rock with their big guitars and throaty delivery these dudes are from Eagle Mountain, Utah and they show us that all good manly things can go beyond the distortion only mantra of your father’s hardcore. While I don’t think these guys have or run Meth labs this music is totally amped. There is some subtle use of delay on the guitars and plenty of throaty ‘scringing’. What is unique to these guys is their dual-vocals are coming at you from both channels via Jeffery Mudgett and Trevor Bookout. I could never tell Guy from Ian until after seeing fugazi live. The feeling was the delivery was as one. Same sort of effect here which works to help give these tunes a little depth. The most accessible song on this release is the emo infused semi-ballad “To Forget” with a line about poking your eyes out. The sounds are big and we recommend giving it a spin. Crap it’s the fucking internet people you can listen before you buy or decide to go see them live. Brought to you by Reveille Records.
We are only bound by the things we let bound us, we are all captives.
RIYL: Metal, Systems of A Down
ALBUM REVIEW: The shear velocity of the punk rawk squaks coming out of the band Poor Lily (Bronx, NY) reminds is what we liked when we first heard Fresh Fruit for Rotting vegetables by the Dead Kennedy’s or Circle Jerk’s – Group Sex. There are more to the dynamics besides playing fast and the tidal wave of the 19 rip-roaring tunes on Vuxola is surely the evidence. You could easily bag and tag it with tunes titled “Microwave” and “Slurping Sludge” which seem to even harp back to themes that were sung about in the 80′s! Hell the singer even seems to be channeling Jello but you know what? It’s super fun and we don’t care. This is a great gate-way to the punk rock genre for the kids. Don’t we need more gutter punks anyway to remind us why we rebelled in our youth in the first place? Highly recommended so you can annoy your neighbors. What evidence do you really need?