Look, I’m not here to tell you how to live you life, but when it’s halfway through the work week and you’re dragging along, one thing that always refreshes me is some good old fashion face melting rock and roll. Fuzz, another outfit from Ty Segall and company, are here to aid in that refreshing process with the announcement of their second full length album called II, and with the gift of two new tracks from that upcoming record. This new album will be out October 23rd via In The Red Records, and while we await that record, we can taste what’s to come with “Pollinate,” and “Rat Race.” While both of these tracks bring the psychedelic rock and roll to your ears, they do so differently: “Rat Race” is more of a straight up rock track with punk influences, while “Pollinate,” is a grungey psych rock slow burner. I’m digging both, what are your thoughts?
White Reaper’s claim to fame first began after their explosive live act started turning heads and ears in Louisville, which led them to take off on a little tour in which the live act caught the attention of crowds nationwide. A little time has passed since this tour, and the four piece of young 20-somethings have used this bit of experience to craft this bombastic and raucous full length debut, White Reaper Does It Again. This record, though on the short side, is a rambunctious and explosive first album with select tracks that will surely be jammed in your head for a long time in the future.
The record’s start is explosive and immediately gripping: the first track, “Make Me Wanna Die” has enough fuzz on it to give you imagery of tv static all while you jam along. The instant you press play on the album and this song comes rapidly flooding through the speakers you can hear the band’s direction and genre fairly instantaneously— they waste no time in getting to the meat of their material. As I already mentioned, the electric guitar is ferociously fuzzy, raging through the track at high volume, the vocals from Tony Esposito are also heavily distorted and yet they crisply resound. Meanwhile, one element stands out quite cleanly from the mix, and that’s the intermittent organ sounding keyboard riffs which pop away from the mass of reverb and grit, acting like a cool wave of water to splash you in the face from the white hot guitar, vocals and cymbal-heavy drums. It’s a bright start to the record, and surely one of the bright stars on White Reaper Does It Again.
As the first track suggests, this album is a blistering shot of adrenaline to the heart from the beginning to the end and the band doesn’t ever really slow it down or pause for a break. Even in the middle of the album, where one might expect a lull in the garage rock, White Reaper give you the killer back to back duo of “Candy” and “Sheila.” The first of these two tracks centers around the rapid fire vocal delivery from Esposito, which is at once sweet and fierce. His voice, perfectly distorted, snarls and spits verse after verse, matching the guitar riffs and playfully bouncing around. These vocals are pushed to a new level on the next track, “Sheila,” on which I’m reminded of the vocals from Surfer Blood. This track simmers at the beginning, and the vocals serve as almost an agitator to bring the song to full volume. When the band bursts into the chorus, they truly shine, and all the elements come together for a buzzy whirlwind of garage rock.
While this is quite the impressive full length debut, I’ve found that some tracks simply stand out a little brighter than the rest. This is not to say those that I haven’t singled out here aren’t good or worth spending time with— on the contrary the whole record is quite gripping, but with further extended listening, there are certainly numbers that will stay with you for longer than others. Figure out which ones those are for you and spend some time with White Reaper Does It Again.
Noah Stitelman made music under the moniker Neighbors for quite a while, but has since retired the group for greener pastures in Brooklyn. From the ashes of his old group comes his new project known as Total Makeover. Below you can find the debut single called “New England Highway” which is a slow burner type of pop music featuring a chill vibe. Eventually the chillness builds into a nice and noisy ending sure to get your pulse going.
Total Makeover will drop their debut EP on August 21st.
There has been a lot of talk recently about the scene and venues and closings and doom with gloom for good measure. +1 and I went out for an evening of music to hang with some friends and get our sweaty dance party on. At the beginning of the day, the two shows hadn’t sold out, but by mid-afternoon both the Tanlines show outside at Red 7 and the Starfucker show on the main stage at The Mohawk had sold out. That is kinda nuts given the heat, the lack of students and the summer doldrums that usually wreak havoc on venues. Yes, we got a big time batch of beats, friends and sweat.
Read on for a few more comments about us, the bands and photos-a-plenty…
Didn’t want foks to think we’d gone soft today, so I dug up this recent single from Zig Zags, just to make sure we kept things rocking. Like all things from the Zags, it’s just a straight ahead rocker, with a little bit of flare on the noisy side of rock n’ roll; there’s no bullshit, no frills, no catch…just a good rocking jam. This just one of four new songs that’ll blast your speakers on the band’s Slime 7″ EP, which will come out on August 11th via Famous Class. Go ahead and turn it up.
Pony Time have broken the news that they are returning with what will be their fourth studio record, Rumours 2: The Rumours Are True, on September 11th and they’ve shared with us this first track from that upcoming record. Below is “Time Tells Me,” which is a blend of straight up rock with surfy influences like these light and airy drums. The guitar on the track is a little crunchy, blasting through subtly at the start of the song and then it slowly overcomes the smooth vocals to take center stage. Take a listen and get ready for that new album.
Madrid’s Hinds have been making garagey tunes since their origin in 2011, but this new track “Chili Town” seems like a big step in the right direction for the group. The song has got that classic garage feeling; light guitar riffs wave though the background as the wild and imperfectly loud gang vocals hit hard. To me, this sounds like the perfect hybrid between the crispness of surf rock and the grit of garage. I’m really enjoying the number, which sounds perfect for this summer heat. Take a listen.
You know those hooks that are present in some of the later Woods records, like that track “Cali in a Cup?” Imagine a band writing a whole album like that, using lush arrangements, careful manipulation of vocals and instrumentation and filling all that space with great pop sensibility. That’s precisely what you’ll get when you listen to this new Monogold single, and presumably their forthcoming LP, Good Heavens. Some of the harmonies on this track even border the landscape where we find Grizzly Bear traversing, musically speaking, so that’s an added bonus for listeners. You’ll be able to grab your own copy of this delightful LP when the group release it on September 25th.
Okay, so it’s not like Cloudberry ever really fell off, but they definitely had slowed down the production of one of the greater indiepop labels out there, so it’s good to see that they’re getting back on their game…especially with this great new song from The Color Waves. There’s a wayward jangle/ring to the guitars, but it’s well-paced, so things don’t seem forced into the genre. Vocals warmly wrap themselves around every turn in the song, not quite soaring, but definitely with some lofty ambitions. The 7″ with this single will be issued later on this summer, but for now you can just rejoice in another great slice of pop music.
Eau Claire, Wisconsin is a long ways a way from Austin, but not too far away in terms of mindset: here, we call our city the Live Music Capital of the world, and in the Eau Claire is the Music Capital of the North. Nestled in the Chippewa Valley and overlooking the the river, we were treated to three days in the woods with 22,000 of our newly formed friends celebrating music, arts, and the spirit of the river valley. At the center of it all was the man who dreamed up such a festival: Justin Vernon, who, alongside Aaron Dessner, brought all of us together in essentially his backyard to experience something greater.
Read on for our recap of the inaugural Eaux Claires Music and Arts Festival and see some pictures from the fest.
**Feature Photo Courtesy of Graham Tolbert