France’s Dusty Mush bring the noise on their newest release, Cheap Entertainment. Their brand of lo-fi, garage rock sludge is highly recommended, especially for any Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees fans. Bludgeon your ears with some “Hot Tomato” (below) for a taste, you’re going to dig it.
There is not a lot of information on the interweb about Californian keyboardist/beat maker Kiefer Shackleford. What we can tell you is his recently released debut LP Kickinit Alone is about as smooth as it can get – combining cool jazz instrumentals with chilled-out hip-hop beats.
Kickinit Alone is the perfect summertime record – play it at your next BBQ or make it the soundtrack to chilling out on your front porch while watching the neighbors dismantle a pickup truck in their front yard. Whatever it is you like to do to relax, Kiefer has the music for it.
16 tracks of snotty punk and garage rock grime.
1. The Spits – She Don’t Kare
2. Mind Spiders – No Romance
3. Thee Spivs – It’s True
4. Booji Boys – Confess + Control
5. Heavy Times – Midnight Highway
6. Leggy – I’m Gonna Destroy That Boy
7. La Louve – St. Theresa
8. Jigsaw Youth – Aunt Jenny’s Got My Back
9. KRIMEWATCH – ?? ?? (track 1)
10. Futuro – A Torre da Derrota
11. Foster Body – Drawer
12. Zig Zags – Runaway
13. Petite League – Sun Dogs
14. Pink Mexico – Rake
15. Little Big Ian – Je Ne Te Pardonnerai Pas
16. Gorilla* – It’s All Pop
Matthew Melton recently put an end to his garage pop outfit, Warm Soda, after releasing their 4th LP, I Don’t Wanna Grow Up. His new band, Dream Machine, which includes his wife Doris, is a definite step forward from Warm Soda – it may be safe to say the Dream Machine sound is a little more grown up.
Their debut release, The Illusion, was recorded using the healing powers of A=432HZ, it is eleven tracks of organ driven, garage-prog groove – equal parts Iron Butterfly and the Doors, with some YES sprinkled in for good measure. Go ahead and sample some of their delicious groove on “All for a Chance” below. I can’t wait for more from these guys!
At the end of last year, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard frontman Stu Mackenzie promised they’d release five studio albums in 2017. Murder of the Universe is the second album so far, a riveting three-chapter sonic assault based on the title subject, which begs the question: how do you possibly follow up scoring the end of the universe?
Well, if you’ve been following KG and the LW you know they’ve surely got some more tricks up their sleeve. So buckle and enjoy the ride.
[Murder of the Universe is available on “vomit splatter” colored vinyl in the 3hive Co-op Shop while supplies last.]
Mac DeMarco is back with more tasty, spaced-out, pop songs on his third LP release This Old Dog. At 27 years of age, DeMarco is nowhere near “old dog” status, but 5 releases (3 LPs and 2 EPs) in just over 5 years makes Mac a veteran at his craft. This Old Dog will grow on you with every listen, I recommend that you let it. Give the two earworms, below, a spin – you’ll be glad that you did.
Legend has it Vex Ruffin is the only artist Peanut Butter Wolf signed to his Stones Throw label on the merits of an unsolicited demo tape. PBW apparently liked the drawing on the cover and decided to check it out. The untrained punk musician and UPS driver thought his friends were goofin’ on him when he got the phone call.
With that kind of an origin story, you owe it to yourself to give Vex Ruffin a listen. What you’ll hear is really hard to pin down. Vex’s detached vocals recall Beck’s early years. Those wicked minimalist basslines could be outtakes from a previously unreleased Can (or Stones Roses?) record. The eerie, reverb-drenched synths and sounds smack of Cabaret Voltaire’s industrial funk. And that’s just side one of his latest album, Conveyor.
All told, Vex Ruffin is fun to listen to and hard to label. What do you expect from someone who says his favorite artists in high school were The Cure and DMX?
Nova Scotia’s Booji Boys play a grimy brand of punk rock that’s right up my alley. Their solid, self-titled, LP is 12 tracks in under 20 minutes of snotty, distorted punk rock goodness. Give “Dear Donny” and “Bad Boy Blues” (below) a spin, you’ll be glad that you did. You can download this bad boy from their Bandcamp page, or snag it on wax from Drunken Sailor Records. Enjoy.
24-year-old New Zealander Amelia Murray writes, produces, and sings as Fazerdaze. Her debut full-length Morningside is an impressive collection of spunky, sun-drenched jams and soaring dream pop. Her songs are tight and her vocals outta sight, with lyrics that get right at it (“I’m trying not to try so hard for you”). Soak it in and make your summer more summer-y.
I wasn’t a fully committed goth in high school but I listened to my fair share of goth music, and sometimes dabbled awkwardly in goth fashion. The Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle – nowadays known for his storytelling skills, as a lo-fi turned hi-fi musician and awarded novelist – spent his teen years as a “goth kid”, though I reckon we shared a similar awkwardness. So when Darnielle directs an entire album’s worth of songwriting to the genre/culture, it’s because he has enough material to work with.
Whether the Sisters of Mercy-esque strains of “Rain in Soho” or their tribute to the SoM frontman himself, “Andrew Elritch Is Moving Back to Leeds”, Darnielle and company deliver each track with a clear knowledge of and empathy for its subject matter. On “Stench of the Unburied” Darnielle sings, as someone who suffered his way through SoCal summers in all black: “Outside it’s 92 degrees/And KROQ plays Siouxsie and the Banshees”. In typical Mountain Goats fashion, it’s followed by a narrator’s wink and nod: “Ice chest full of Corona and Pineapple Crush/It’ll take 20 years for the toxins to flush.” It’s this tension that makes Darnielle’s songwriting so authentic, endearing, and surprising.
Goths avoids the trappings of a concept album. Musically it wanders, however coherently, from ominous minor key anthems to loungey new wave to flute-driven baroque pop to an entire bonus record of ambient mixes “for the all-night goths who need to reply to the dawn with total darkness.” The thread remains, but Darnielle trusts his listener to figure it out in their own way.
To me, Goths is about the sometimes tragic, sometimes humorous struggle of adolescent identity (which continues to plague some adults). The search for identity often chased by self-doubt and self-consciousness gets summed up in the album’s best line, the chorus to “The Grey King and the Silver Flame Attunement”: “I’m pretty hardcore, but I’m not that hardcore.”
Even without explanation, Goths is a great album. “We Do It Different on the West Coast” – while relevant here – would fit on any Mountain Goats record, with it’s perfectly Californian brand of self-deprecating coastal pride. It’s followed by “Unicorn Tolerance” which is just plain adorable. Do yourself a favor and listen to Goths, regardless of how much black eyeliner, white foundation, red lipstick, and hair spray you have on your person.
[The deluxe edition of Goths comes in “vampire red” vinyl with the aforementioned bonus LP of ambient mixes. We have it in the 3hive Co-op Shop, while supplies last.]