Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pop Dr(((O)))nes: Episode 21

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

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pop Dr(((O)))nes: Episode 20

Not a lot of time to run through everything this week, so we'll keep it to the essentials...

The new A Sunny Day In Glasgow is another great slice of their shimmering Cocteau Twins via shoegaze production. Vinyl on this one is limited to a piddly 250 copies, so you'd be wise not to sleep on it too long. Nice heavy weight, pastel colored wax.

The UK lo-fi and garage underground has been finally pickin' up a bit of steam recently. The brand new Pens LP (pictured above) is definitely on the low end of lo-fi, but plenty of great melodies buried under the tape deck production. Anyone into the Shaggs or even Times New Viking should head their way.

Veronica Falls, also outta the UK, is a group that doesn't even seem to have a release yet, though, with Captured Tracks being in their top friends on their myspace, that should quickly change. Just two songs on their myspace right now, but both are amazing nuggets of dark and surfy garage dunkers. Keep an eye on these cats.

Two hot new 7" slabs courtesy of the label that apparently never sleeps, Sweet Rot. First local release from the Vancouver label is a mighty one and highly anticipated from yrs truly. Two dark garage rippers courtesy of the mighty (and mighty underrated) Sex Church (hey, Vancouver! Someone write an article on these guys asap). No one in Vancouver even remotely on the same plain as these dudes. Easily the best Vancouver 7" of 2009 and a nice notch in the lengthy Sweet Rot belt.

Sweet Rot also continues to come up with some of the best France has to offer, which is apparently a lot (see AH Kraken, Anals etc). 6 tracks crammed onto one 7" of tightly wound, one-man bedroom pop...of the dark and burly variety. Very recommended.

That's all we have time for this week, but we'll be seeing you all at the Wooden Shjips show this Sunday, right? Good.

DOWNLOAD EPISODE 20 HERE (right click link, then Save As)

A Sunny Day In Glasgow "Close Chorus" Ashes Grammar 2LP (Mis Ojos Discos) 2009
Grass Widow "Lulu's Lips" s/t 12" (Captured Tracks) 2009
Pens "Hate Your Calendar" Hey Friend! What You Doing LP (De Stijl) 2009
Veronica Falls "Beachy Head" unreleased 2009
Amen Dunes "Amen Dunes" Dia LP (Locust) 2009
Nerve City "Patience As A Virtue" I Fucked Death 10" (Kill Shaman) 2009
Six Finger Satellite "Half Contro"l Half Control LP (Load) 2009
The Dictaphone "It Tastes Better Than Before" s/t 7" (Sweet Rot) 2009
Sex Church "Let Down" s/t 7" (Sweet Rot) 2009
Pissed Jeans "Dream Smotherer" King Of Jeans LP (Sub Pop) 2009
Anals "She's The Man" Total Anal LP (Permanent) 2009
Billy Bao "untitled" May '08 LP (Parts Unknown) 2009
Wooden Shjips "Contact" Contact 12" (Mexican Summer) 2009
Moon Duo "Dead West" Killing Time 12" (Sacred Bones) 2009
Fossils "Young Guns" Young Guns one-sided 12" (Ketchup Cavern) 2009
Locrian "Rain Of Ashes" Rain Of Ashes CS (Fan Death Records) 2009

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Pop Dr(((O)))nes: Episode 18

Ohh yes! New Sic Alps 7" is sitting nicely with their recent 2LP re-issue of "Long Way Around To A Shortcut", which compiles all them hard to snatch 7"s, 12"s and cassettes. The duo, now made a trio with the addition of Ty Segall, have been fairly quiet since "US EZ" dropped last year, though this rippin' new 7"er is fillin' all holes quite nicely. Pink vinyl via Slumberland. Snatch it up quick.

Hey, whaddyaknow? Amazing new band coming out of Portland!? Did not see that one coming. Seriously, what is in the water over there, kids? Anyhoo, the 3 ladies in Explode The Colors have managed to reign in elements of dub and post punk and then tossed in some melodica and head spinning drum work. You really gotta hear this one, asap. 'Nother 7" of theirs just dropped on KRS. Consider it on order! Oh hey, check out their blogspot page for some other merch, including a cassette.

Captured Tracks just can't seem to put out enough releases, luckily for us, most of 'em are pretty consistent. New Gary War sounds like, well, Gary War. If you can't get enough of his warbled space pop, then this 12" is for you. Best of the new batch, however, is a new 12"er by them ladies in Grass Widow (pictured at the top). Never managed to track down the LP on Make A Mess, but the tender and very memorable pop within this 12" has caused me to order up a whack of the re-press of said LP. Come by the shop in few weeks to snatch of 'em up.

The lovely people over at Fixture Records in Montreal just sent out a nice little package containing all their new releases. Seems as if the East Coast is having a a bit of an underground pop revival. I guess all those over-bloated East Coast powerhouse indie rock records released over the last few years have caused the kids to take it back to the bedroom and keep it nice 'n simple. CDs by both Freelove Fenner (Montreal) and Omon Ra (Halifax) are chock full of the warm 'n goopy stuff. Montreal's Dirty Beaches, on the other hand, has been steadily pumping out some woozy, fuzzy, lo-fi tape loops of the grimiest order. Watch out for a new cassette on Night People and a split 7" with US Girls. According to his myspace, looks like Dirty Beaches will be making their home in Vancouver very soon. Make sure to drop by Zulu and say hi!

Local musician and local musuc lover Tom Whalen (aka GR8 2000, 1/3 of Haunted Beard, guitarist/vocalist in Gross X-Mas, plus a few others I'm probably missing) has just released an amazing cassette-only compilation of twisted Vancouver electronic pop music. Featuring exclusive tracks by N. 213, MT-40, Cosmetics, Dandi Wind, and, of course, GR8 2000 himself. This cassette is an essential document of the here and now of underground Vancouver electronic pop. Not sure where you can cop this, but maybe Tom will be kind enough to bring some into the shop sometime soon...

Matt Mondanile and co. continue their 2009 onslaught with a coupla' new releases. Mondanile being the man behind Ducktails and his cohort Julian Lynch is in his psych dream pop band Real Estate. Lynch and Ducktails both have full length LPs on Olde English Spelling Bee, and the two also have a split 7" on the up and coming Underwater Peoples label. Lynch seems to be following in the beach worn footsteps of his comrade, as his debut LP features a lot of the same style of lo-fi, sun worn loops and effects. Not quite as grabbing as the Ducktails stuff, but worth a listen if that's yr thang. The Ducktails LP, however, is easily his best and most refined work to date. A lot of the listlessness of the Not Not Fun LP from earlier this year is gone and has been replaced by a much more concentrated work. 500 pressed, so don't sleep too long on it.

Veering far away from the beach and deep into a dank cellar prison is the new Wolf Eyes LP, which finally sees some vinyl action after being only available on CD for the last few months. Not quite as horror-scape-y as their last few Sub Pop albums, "Always Wrong" is a much more harsh outing. Fans of the "Stabbed In The Face" era should be content here.

Til next week...

Download Episode 18 here. (right click, then Save As)

Sic Alps "Super Lungs" Super Lungs 7" (Slumberland) 2009
Explode Into Colors "Coffins" s/t 7" (M'Lady) 2009
Grass Widow "Tattoo" s/t 12" (Captured Tracks) 2009
Gary War "Next Year" Galactic Citizens 12" (Captured Tracks) 2009
Freelove Fenner "Song For A New Elf" In The Bottle Garden CD (Fixture) 2009
Omon Ra "Aubade" Monolith 1 CD (Fixture) 2009
Dirty Beaches "The Death March" Horror LP CD (Fixture) 2009
Shearing Pinx "Hidden Now" s/t CS (Night People) 2009
N.213 "Meat Bend" Cool Sound Death CS (Vidkid) 2009
GR8-2000 "Hit By A Rock" Cool Sound Death CS (Vidkid) 2009
Julian Lynch "Venom" Orange You Glad LP (Olde English Spelling Bee) 2009
Ducktails "On The Boardwalk" Landscapes LP (Olde English Spelling Bee) 2009
Ducktails "Parasailing" split w/ Julian Lynch 7" (Underwater Peoples) 2009
Nudge "Two Hands" As Good As Gone LP (Kranky) 2009
Philip Jeck "A4.30" Spool CS (Tapeworm) 2009
Hanging Coffins "Monastil Disorders" s/t CS (Night People) 2009
Wolf Eyes "Cellar" Always Wrong LP (Hospital Productions) 2009
Wolf Eyes "Living Stone" Always Wrong LP (Hospital Productions) 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pop Dr(((O)))nes: Episode 17

Plenty of new gnarliness this week, including the ripping new 7" by New York's Drunk Driver. Somewhere along the lines of early Touch and Go'ers Killdozer and the current new breed of post-post AmRep aggressors (FNU Ronnies, Pissed Jeans, Mayyors, Twin Stumps), Drunk Driver are a steady stab to the ears for pigfuckers everywhere. Their collaboration with Mattin of Billy Bao is a clear indication of their of where their allegiance lay. Brand new LP on Parts Unknown should rank pretty high on the year end list. More on that one later.

After mucho hype on the new Charles Albright 7" on S-S (thanks again, DJ Rick!) I finally managed to scoop up some copies of the stunner. Not quite as brutal as some others played on the show this week, Albright, however, is a lot catchier. Should be enough ripping, buzzing guitars to fill yr hole.

New TV Ghost should satisfy fans of the more frightening releases of In The Red's past. Goth-y synth and sharp sounding guitar combo, combined with throat ripping vocals make for a spook of a listen.

Also managed to grip some copies of the new and limited Anals LP (hit me up in the comments for one of my last copies...) that has fulfilled the promise made on the Sweet Rot 7" from last year. Definite Brainbombs vibe on this one, and not just in the lyrics. The hard swinging rhythm section sound as if they're constantly on the very of flying out of the grooves and into gut. Essential '09'er.

Also from France, Crash Normal have dropped not just one but four new releases recently (get a hold of S-S for some of these, not to mention many other tasty tidbits in his distro section), but this 7"er on Plastic Idol takes the cake. Weirdo garage psych that oughta make a nice come down after being jilted by The Anals. Hit up S-S for all 4, whydoncha?

Finally snagged me a piece of the elusive Wizzard Sleeve and was well worth the wait. The squad from Mobile, Alabama and their whiplash garage have made quite the impression and I anticipate a mighty full length...soon?

One last Smmr Bmmr purchase made the playlist this week, and it comes from San Diego's Beaters, who, I believe, share members with Christmas Island. The A Side of this is a chugging number with a bassy, blurting synth and a great sing-a-long chorus. On repeat, please!

Also managed to scoop up the ultra limited new LP (100 copies, and not sold out!) by Chicago's Black Math. Kinda goth-y new wave synth rock that wouldn't sound outta place next to Echo & The Bunnymen, Legendary Pink Dots or even some Bauhaus. The LP is long gone but there is a new 7" available from Lost Space. Or, hey, you can download an older EP here (via the band's myspace).

In anticipation of Sweet Rot's first full length LP, I grabbed some copies of the newest cassette by Virginia's Nerve City. Not quite the amped up garage rockers I recall from their 10" on Kill Shaman, but much more in line with the downer garage blues of Pink Reason. Hey, we dig it. That LP should be dropping in the next few weeks. You'll hear all about it when it does.

After a few delays on my part, Sade Sade finally got some airplay on the show. Sade Sade is the new moniker of Gabe, formerly of Yellow Swans. Gabe has wasted no time since moving to Vancouver in spreading his infectiously positive attitude in the local noise and arts scene. Anyone familiar with Yellow Swans should feel right at home here with his brand new CDr released on his own Diadem Discos imprint. Only available at his shows, so check him out when you can.

Rale finally makes it to the vinyl format after several cassette releases on labels like Ekhein, Monorail Trespassing, Callow God, and Peasant Magik, just to name a few. Same concentrated blissgaze of electronics on those aforementioned cassettes, but the sound is a little more dense this time around, possibly due to the transfer to vinyl. Forthcoming LP due sometime soon on Static Aktion.

And, finally, we arrive at the brand new White Rainbow, which isn't out for another few weeks, but a demo was sent my way recently. Anyone who found themselves loving 2007's "Prism Of Eternal Now" should be delighted with "New Clouds". He has, however, strayed a bit from the full on ambient tracks of the past and added another couple layers of texture with hypnotic tape loops. RSTB says it best, "'New Clouds' runs slow motion Krautrock to the precipice of consciousness, grabs sine waves by the hands and then pushes them down a hill, rolling in repeated waves of dizzying swells."

'Til next week...

Download Episode 17 here. (right click, then Save As)

Drunk Driver "Fire Sale" Fire Sale 7" (Fashionable Idiots) 2009
Charles Albright "I Wanna Hold You" I'm On Drugs 7" (S-S) 2009
UV Race "Malaria" Malaria 7" (S-S) 2009
TV Ghost "The Network" Cold Fish LP (In The Red) 2009
The Anals "She's The Man" Total Anal LP (Permanent) 2009
Wizzard Sleeve "Witchmouth" split w/ Static Static 7" (Jeth Row) 2009
Crash Normal "Flying To NY" Flying To NY 7" (Plastic Idol) 2009
Beaters "Fishage" Fishage 7" (Single Screen/Volar) 2009
Black Math "Eyes Water" s/t LP (Permanent) 2009
Nerve City "On The Rise" Hell CS (Amateur Depression) 2009
Sade Sade "De-Escalation" Peaceful Protest CDR (Diadem Discos) 2009
Rale "Folding Bedroom" Whispering Gallery 12" (Arbor) 2009
White Rainbow "Tuesday Rollers And Strollers" New Clouds 2LP (Kranky) 2009
Anemones "I Am The Breeze" Come Down Like A Cloud LP (St. Ives) 2007