Jim And The French Vanilla

Jim And The French Vanilla | Afraid of The House | 3hive.com

Jim And The French Vanilla | Afraid of The House | 3hive.com

I’m a big fan of The Blind Shake, when I found out that Jim Blaha had another another band – Jim And The French Vanilla – I was all ears. Turns out, this is Jim’s 3rd release under the Jim And The French Vanilla moniker, his previous two releases were solo, acoustic efforts that were super limited and released on CDR.  For this new album, Afraid of The House, Jim recruited his brother (also in Blind Shake) Mike Blaha, and together they’ve turned out a 26 minute beat down of blistering, scuzzy, garage rock goodness. Give “When You’re Down” and “Eye For An Eye” (below) a spin. Enjoy.

[We have Afraid of The House on beautiful black vinyl – in the 3hive Co-op Shop, while supplies last.]

Ty Segall

Ty Segall | Ty Segall (2017) | 3hive.com

Prolific singer/songwriter Ty Segall released his 9th full length album earlier this year, with the help of usual suspects (his live band) Emmett Kelly, Mikal Cronin and Charles Moothart playing behind him.

As on previous releases, Ty and his guitar are king, as he shreds through tracks like ‘Break A Guitar’, ‘The Only One’ and ‘Thank You Mr. K’. There is plenty of jangle, and pop on this bad boy as well, like on ‘Orange Color Queen’, included (below) for your downloading/listening pleasure – build a mixtape with it, I dare you.

This is Segall’s strongest effort to date, definitely worthy of your time. Enjoy.

[We have Ty Segall’s S/T new release – in the 3hive Co-op Shop, while supplies last.]

Ty Segall – Orange Color Queen from S/T (2017)

Slowcoaches

Slowcoaches | Nothing Gives | 3hive.com

I spend the first part of every year going through my routine of researching music from the previous year that I’d somehow been sleeping on. 2017’s biggest wake-up so far has been Nothing Gives by London’s Slowcoaches. This blistering debut – which in my defense was released in early December – has all the right triggers if you’re nostalgic for ’90s bands like Babes in Toyland or L7: chunky hooks, start-stomp tempos, that indifferent sneer…

However, I haven’t been pining for that sound at all. So why was I so drawn in by “We’re So Heavy” when it showed up in the pole position on my Discover Weekly playlist? One superficial explanation could be the Anglophile appeal. Elastica plagiarized Wire almost note-for-note but somehow got a hall pass from me while I remember wandering off to find a snack during Babes in Toyland’s Lollapalooza set back in ’93.

The real answer – for me, at least – lies in the cloaked intimacy of singer/bassist Heather Perkins’ lyrics, which she slyly tucks between punches of fuzzed-out guitar and angsty anthemic choruses. There, Perkins cops to her anxieties, and their consequences, with a realness that is both exhilarating and heartbreaking. On “Raw Dealings” she sings, “I’ve been struggling with distance every time/You’re all out of time, you’re all out of time”. She’s indicting herself and setting herself free in the same breath. The album is full of these subtle moments that make their fierce outer trappings even more meaningful. Don’t sleep, even for a minute, on this lot.

You’re Jovian

You're Jovian | Stereochronic | 3hive.com

Virginia’s You’re Jovian’s swirling, reverbed guitars and pounding drums immediately brings to mind shoegaze classics like My Bloody Valentine and Swervedriver. You can get a taste below.

Their incredible 2012 Punkadelia Records release, Stereochronic, is getting reissued on cassette by Funny / Not Funny Records. It’s also available digitally on You’re Jovian’s Bandcamp page.  Give these guys a try, you’ll be glad that you did.

You’re Jovian – Sentimental Doubt from Stereochronic (2012/2017)

You’re Jovian FB

Tyvek

If the name Tyvek sounds familiar you’re either already up on one of Detroit’s finest art punk outfit or you’re in the construction business. Maybe both, who knows? Tyvek have been called “Detroit’s Talking Heads”, probably due more to singer Kevin Boyer’s hypnotic, poetic lyrics than their mostly raucous garage sound. Last year’s Origin of What is the band’s sixth studio album in eight years, though they’ve sold scads of CD-Rs and tapes on tour to document the creative process between proper label-backed efforts. Having released his other band’s debut (a raw, psychedelic gem in its own right) on the same day as Origin of What, Boyer clearly has no problem working with a revolving cast of characters. For the latest Tyvek release, he reunited with Fred Thomas (drums/engineer), Larry Williams (bass), and Heath Moerland (guitar) – the latter two also played on The Intended record – to hone a sound that sounds both urgent and considered at the same time. There are so many great tracks to choose from, it’s hard to pick just one – though I suppose I did for my Top Songs of 2016 post. I posted a couple more below, but from there you’re on your own…

PLRLS

PLRLS | Have You Seen My Fancy Pony | 3hive.com

Baltimore’s PLRLS (pronounced “PLURALS”) are a zany 5-piece punk-wave band that sound like Devo having a backyard pool party with the B-52s.

Their new album Have You Seen My Fancy Pony is a 30 minute romp of heavy as hell bass lines, hand claps, his and her vocal harmonies, angular guitar blasts and enough keyboard to make you believe you just took the DeLorean back to 1980.

Get a load of the bombastic “Oh What  A World” (below) in either downloadable MP3 form or via their new music video (why not partake in both?), it’ll have you pogoing (pogo-ing?) ’til you drop.

Have You Seen My Fancy Pony is out on Friday (Jan 27). You’ll be able get it from their Bandcamp page.

PLRLS’ music deserves to be in your ear holes! Enjoy.

PLRLS – Oh What A World from Have You Seen My Fancy Pony (2017)

PLRLS FB

Pollen Rx

Pollen Rx | Sunbelt Emptiness | 3hive.com

Pollen Rx | Sunbelt Emptiness | 3hive.com

Austin, TX 4-piece, Pollen Rx, play a tasty brand of hook driven, scuzzy punk rock. Their new LP Sunbelt Emptiness is a frantic 29 minutes of angular guitars and crashing cymbals swirling around his and her vocal melodies. You can the title track “Sunbelt Emptiness” a spin below, I think you will dig it.

Sunbelt Emptiness is out on Friday (Jan 27) via Austin Town Hall Records. I highly recommend it.

Pollen Rx – Sunbelt Emptiness

January Mixtape

13 songs of inversion clearing goodness. Enjoy.

1. The Rebel Set – Trails! [hidden volume]
2. Helens – Just Like Pet Sounds [self]
3. RUMTUM – Good Places [self]
4. L’Orange – Rest Like Pollen [self]
5. MF DOOM – Charnuska [high times]
6. Palmas – Sweet Water [lost colony]
7. Emma Russack – My Own Friend [spunk]
8. Cub Country – You Want It All [them are good]
9. BADBADNOTGOOD – In Your Eyes (feat. Charlotte Day Wilson) [innovative leisure]
10. GABI – Distance Makes Me Disappear [self]
11. I Am The Polish Army – David Bowie [self]
12. The Staches – Total Commitment [bongo joe]
13. Uranium Club – Who Made The Man? [fashionable idiots]

Sam’s Top 23 Songs of 2016

(Sequenced for flow – not ranking – purposes.)

Tyvek “Choose Once” (In the Red)
My single of the year, from my album of the year. So raw, so good.

Mass Gothic “Every Night You’ve Got to Save Me” (Sub Pop)
Family Sing-Along Song of the Year honors go to this raucous doo-wop jam.

DIIV “Under the Sun” (Captured Tracks)
Shining down from a shimmering crack in the clouds that hung over 2016.

A Tribe Called Quest “We the People…” (Epic)
I could have chosen any of a half dozen tracks off this album but this here’s the anthem, get your damn hands up.

Francis and the Lights w/ Bon Iver “Friends” (KTTF)
Alan Parsons meets auto-tuned R&B meets, well, Bon Iver.

KAYTRANADA “LITE SPOTS” (XL)
Half this song is impossible to dance to; the other half is impossible not to dance to.

De La Soul “Royalty Capes” (AOI)
I wish this album had been more fulfilling than my anticipation of it, but there are some real gems amidst the scattershot experiments. This one’s about why a guy can’t find vintage De La on any of the streaming services.

Homeboy Sandman “Heart Sings” (Stones Throw)
Homeboy Sandman w/ I Am Many “Real New York”
(Stones Throw)
Sometimes he rhymes slow, sometimes he rhymes quick.

Beach Slang “Spin the Dial” (Polyvinyl)
“I was born at the bottom
But I never belonged
I’m hardly ever right
But I’ve never been wrong”
Could’ve been ripped straight from Paul Westerberg’s notebook.

The Men “Dreamer” (We Are the Men)
What you’d imagine to be playing anytime a parent pounds on their teen’s bedroom door and yells, “Turn it down!”

The Radio Dept. “Committed to the Cause” (Labrador)
A slinky statement of a song with hints of Prefab Sprout and St. Etienne.

Parquet Courts “Steady on My Mind” (Rough Trade)
Mmmn, Velvet-y.

Grandaddy “A Lost Machine” (Sony)
Man, this album can’t come soon enough…

James Blake “Love Me in Whatever Way” (Polydor)
That laugh track makes this even more heartbreaking than your average James Blake song.

ot to, not to w/ Noah Smith “Regretta I” (Other People)
Listen very closely.

The xx “On Hold” (Young Turks)
I know their 15 minutes of fame should be long gone, but that Hall & Oates sample…

Sonny & the Sunsets “Needs” (Polyvinyl)
The album where Sonny fell in love with a drum machine and made some goofy babies like this one.

Sunflower Bean “I Was Home” (Fat Possum)
Critics fawned over their debut but I found most of the album kinda boring. That said, this single is some transcendent psych rock amazingness.

Terry Malts “Used to Be” (Slumberland)
Terry Malts has been to me in the early 20-teens what The Wedding Present was to me in the early 1990s – completely durable and indispensible.

The Intended “Don’t Wait Too Long” (In the Red)
Rollicking goodness from Detroit’s garage (or basement, as the case may be) scene.

Leonard Cohen “It Seemed the Better Way” (Sony)
I’m a man of faith but after a year like this one, I get it. I really do.

David Bowie “Lazarus” (ISO/Columbia)
As my grandmother was bedridden and dying of cancer she’d ask my mom to open the curtains so she could watch the birds in the tree outside her window. When I first heard the bluebird line, I crumbled into a sobbing mess. Bowie gave until the very end…ain’t that just like him?

The Rebel Set

The Rebel Set | 4 Song EP | 3hive.com

The Rebel Set | 4 Song EP | 3hive.com

Phoenix, AZ punk rockers The Rebel Set are back with a new EP featuring 4 tracks of organ-fried, fuzzy punk rock goodness. You can stream all 4 songs below, I highly recommend that you do.

This bad boy is available now on vinyl (and digitally) through Hidden Volume Records. You should snag this on vinyl, that’s the best way to experience any Hidden Volume release. Enjoy!