First up this week is the highly anticipated (well, at least by a few of us) full length LP from SF's Mantles (pictured above). With two super tight 7"s under their belts the four-piece come out swingin' and are hittin' e'ry one of these tracks out the park. Breezy psych-pop that ain't too reliant on one pedal or one piece of fuzz. Nope, just simple songs through and through. On repeat!
Three full length LPs in just over a year and a smatterin' a singles I don't care to count have made these SF's garage rock killers into one of the most prolific (don't ferget consistent!) groups currently putting the fuzz down. New one from Captured Tracks was sent my way for the previewin' (physical LP coming in about a week or two) and I still can't wrap my skull 'round it. The kids have made us expect 'nother blast from the Nuggets past, but instead we got a record crammed full a sounds I can't quite label. Definitely still on the lo-fi touch of things, but these here are songs are...kinda warped. It's like they took some of them ol' OCS folk-y type tracks then tossed in a heap of warble, and then sped these tracks up a touch to make you think helium was involved in there somewhere. Yr shakin' yr head. I know. But it's damn good and a new direction was in the cards if you've been holdin' 'em in yr hands since them Coachwhips days.
Shearing Pinx finally crawl back to the wax after spending mucho time on the micro cassette releases, and let me tell you, this one is worth all them recent cassettes plus some. Neck crackin' now-wave bruisers stand side by side with lengthier excursions into tightly wound riffage, all of which comes spillin' out like so many bleedin' fingers and broken strings. If that Modern Creatures LP weren't so good, this would be the top of the top here for Vancouver full lengths. Apparently there'll be another Sh. Px. LP released on Divorce in the near future. Might just knock them Modern Creatures down a notch, not that this is a competition or nothin'.
After some pretty steady cassette releases and some CDR action, Eternal Tapestry make it back to the full length LP and deliver their finest moment yet (promise). The surrounding buzz on this was enough for the 500 copy run to disappear in a week or two. Anyhoo, if you've spent some time with ET before then you know what to expect; monumental psych mountains climbed and conquered. Re-press, so I'm told, is on the way. Contemporary fans of all things psych are urged not to sleep on it.
France's Natural Snow Buildings have finally made it to full length vinyl. The duo have released scads of tapes and CDRs, most of which'll drain that paypal account post-haste if you ever spot 'em on ebay, but this here is their first big splash on wax. 3 LPs (comes with 2 CDs of the same thing) and a comic book courtesy of the kind, wallet breaking man over at Blackest Rainbow, and you've got yerself a weekend tucked in with their shimmering mix of folk 'n drone. Edition of 500 was scooped up within days, though you can still grab copies of the 2 CD edition. Better that than nothin'.
After a few weeks off, we got another great phone call from my man Josh Rose, and we spent some time pontificatin' the wonders of one of the best local bands to splooge up on local sand in recent mem'ry. We are talking about the mighty Fortress. They hardly played a show or two 'fore I was urged to take 'em in live. Disappointed I was not. Somehow the 4 piece have managed to take the sharp 'n shrill attack of them Big Black albums that we all love so much, coiled em up into some sorta' nasty spring, and then let the top offa' that jar real quick-like. Rhythm section locks in while the guitar scrapes at yr ears and the howlin' of singer/synth slammer Kelly frightens the crap outta ya. Elements of Tunnel Canary, Mutators and whole buncha post-hardcore bands creep in but somehow none of 'em really rises to the top. They got themselves a real hard to nail down sound, which is just how we like 'round this here blog. Honest to Abe, one a the best bets out there right now. CDRs available at shows. Hey looks like you can catch 'em on Friday at the Secret Space, then Saturday at Main and Pender (?). Whatcha waitin' for?
Oh yeah, looks like Spencer Davis (geetar and vocals in Fortress) also likes to make some electronic noise in a solo thing he calls Nervous Operator. Borrowed myself a copy and gotta sit with it for a bit before I try to put fingers to keys, but you can grab that cassette at Fortress shows too. Solder and Sons should also be able to help you out with that.
Ok, that's it for this week. Plenty of stuff to wade through this week for next show, which should be a good 'un. Tune in.
Download Episode 21 here. (right click link, then Save As)
The Mantles "What We Do Matters" s/t LP (Siltbreeze) 2009
Thee Oh Sees "The Fizz" Dog Poison LP (Captured Tracks) 2009
Dan Melchior Und Das Menace "Blue Tentacles" Thank You Very Much 2LP (S-S) 2009
Meth Teeth "I Was Wrong" Everything Went Wrong LP (Woodsist) 2009
Shearing Pinx "I Am Jim O'Rourke" Weaponry LP (Divorce) 2009
Nu Sensae "Mens Rea" 3 Dreams 7" (Critiscum Internationale) 2009
Little Claw "Frozen In The Future" Human Taste LP (Not Not Fun) 2009
Eternal Tapestry "Cathedral Of Radiance" The Invisible Landscape LP (Not Not Fun) 2009
Wet Hair "Mesmerized Glass" Fountain LP (Not Not Fun) 2009
Natural Snow Buildings "The Fall of the Shadow Kingdom" Shadow Kingdom 3LP (Blackest Rainbow) 2009
Nervous Operator "Side A excerpt" s/t CS (Self Released) 2009
Fortress "Otoro" unreleased 2009