Friday, October 3, 2014
The return of Brighton's beloved The Popguns in 2012 was warmly welcomed by indie pop fans. But not content with adding a new drummer, a background singer and playing their old material, the band's return takes a big step forward this year with the release of new music. If Pop Fiction, the LP to be released near the end of the year is the main course, then this month's Lovejunky 7" is the perfect appetizer. The title track is the sort of up tempo guitar pop on which The Popguns earned their fame: Note perfect and sincerely affecting vocals over loud guitars and muscular power chords. I don't know about you, but if The Popguns and I were standing in a downpour and Wendy started singing about what a sunny day we were enjoying, I might start applying sunscreen. One of the dual B-sides, "Long Way to Fall", is a top track in its own right. "Home Late", the second B-side, The Popguns change pace for a gentle and sweet closer, featuring female vocals over an acoustic guitar. Few bands have enough writing prowess to create tracks such as "Long Way to Fall" and "Home Late" as B-sides. However, note that the B-sides won't be on Pop Fiction, so you can only have them by acquiring the Lovejunky 7".
The Lovejunky 7" is officially released on October 12 by Matinee Recordings. But pre-orders are now available, and releases like this tend to be snapped up all too quickly. If you wait, the vinyl will be gone. Fortunately, it also is a digital release.
The band's current line up is Wendy Pickles, Simon Pickles, Greg Dixon, Pat Walkington, Tony Bryant, and Kate Mander.
Matinee Recordings page for release
I've been holding this one for awhile, but why wait any longer?
"Torn and Frayed" from Exile on Main Street (1972) is one of the Stones most successful forays into country music. But it's not standard honky tonk, owing as much to Memphis soul, and even gospel, as it does Bakersfield.
Many speculate that Gram Parsons who was present at the French chateau where Exile was recorded, had a hand in this one, and it certainly recalls some of his best work. But the song was written by Jagger-Richards and the only credited guest musicians are Al Perkins on pedal steel guitar, Nicky Hopkins on piano and Jim Price playing organ. But many things were in the air during the recording of Exile and Gram's country-rock was among them.
The Stones haven't performed this one a lot live, but here's a great one from 2002:
Thursday, October 2, 2014
The streams for "Joanna", "Drag Me Down" and "Stuck" are provided below, but based on my evaluation there are a number of other songs of the 14 on the album which are at least as worthy to showcase the quality of the band's efforts, including "Forget the Fall", "Lonely", and "Anna".
September 8. The growth of this band, from demos circulating on the Internet just last year to this debut album, is remarkable and encouraging. Perhaps it is time to decorate your ears with some Flowers?
Do What You Want To, It's What You Should Do is out now via Fortuna POP! in Europe and Kanine Records in the US.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
The first of the EP's five tracks is the standout "Secrets" (video below). With gorgeous harmonies and twanging and jangling guitar accompaniment, it should be irresistible for any pop fan. The dreamy "Hold the Line" (stream below) cements the duo's jangle pop credentials, and features a delightful call and response vocal. "So Open" is a heart-on-the-sleeve '60s nugget. The penultimate track, "Floodlights", initially competes with "Secrets" as the track which most recalls The Mamas and Papas, but shows a more modern face as it unspools. In the closing track, "Heading West", Jack and Eliza recall the best work of She & Him, or the first album from Seattle's The Young Evils.
It is over fast, but you'll be all two happy to replay it multiple times. Jack + Eliza focus on songwriting (Eliza won the John Lennon songwriting contest at age 15) and vocal interplay. There isn't much of that around these days, and I suggest we all treasure it.
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Martyr Privates' new self-titled debut album is not the shy, retiring type. Make no mistake, it isn't a friendly puppy dog, either. But this records growls, stomps and swaggers through your cranium like it owns the place. And fortunately, the invasion is likely to leave you happy and satisfied. It is the kind of psychedelic rock that dwells in noise, chunky drone and expertly curated grime -- more The 13th Floor Elevators filtered through '80s-'90s alt rock than the acoustic side of Jefferson Airplane. You know, hammers instead of scalpels and all that. But from the opening chug of album opener "Someone's Head", I was impressed with this band's clear-eyed and unfussy vision of rock and roll. The sound is full, but there is nothing extraneous. There also is nothing to tie you to current trends in music. No synths, samples, or guests, and certainly nothing you'll hear on mainstream radio or by a contestant in a blind audition for the voice. And that is one more thing to treasure about Martyr Privates -- it is our album and we don't have to share it with pre-teens and Madison Avenue ad agencies.
Martyr Privates is a Brisbane trio consisting of Ashleigh Shipton (bass), ex-Slug Guts member Cameron Hawes (vocals and guitar), and Sam Dixon (drums). Martyr Privates is available now in digital and vinyl formats from Bedroom Suck in Australia and New Zealand, and Fire Records elsewhere. And as an aside, I'll observe that the partnership between Bedroom Suck and Fire Records is an incredible boon to indie music fans. Bedroom Suck is one of the finer little labels around, with their finger on the pulse of vital underground Australian music. Fire Records comes to the table with a distribution and support reach that labels the size of Bedroom Suck cannot generate, couples with Fire's proven excellent taste in music.
Bedroom Suck Records
Monday, September 29, 2014
link), the band will release A Swirling Fire Burning Through the Rye on November 11 via Empty Cellar Records. A second song, "And It Grows" has just been made available. It proves that Pat Thomas, Ryan Wong, Pat McDonald, and Alex Fleshman make some of the best psychedelic garage rock on today's scene.
Empty Cellar Records
Empty Cellar Records
Sunday, September 28, 2014
I'd love to tell you more about American Wrestlers, but other than they are from St. Louis, they have this excellent track named "I Can Do No Wrong" floating around the web and available on Bandcamp for 'name your price', and they recorded a cassette which presumably is available, I don't know anything. But if you enjoy the song, download it and send them a dollar so they can make more music.
Bandcamp for "I Can Do No Wrong"
Bandcamp for "I Can Do No Wrong"