It’s been a really big year for all things old school Athens. First, there was that Pylon box set, and then came the Love Tractor reissue of their 1982 self-titled debut. We reached out to Mike Richmond to throw a few questions his way, and in return he offered to share his recipe for Veggie Breakfast with Sausage. If you love what you hear, you can grab the LP in various formats from HHBTM (who graciously helped us get in touch with Mike!).
Tomorrow is the next installment of Record Store Day, and while not always a fan of RSD, it’s definitely important to support every single indie record store to help keep them all afloat. Plus, you get to find some gems that you might not otherwise have had on your radar, like the 60 Degrees & Sunny/FESTI-Vals 7″ from legendary Athens outfit Love Tractor. If you’ve listened to their debut self-titled LP from 1982, these songs should be familiar, but they’ve been reworked with help from members of REM/Sugar/Glands, so you get a fresh sound. The new reworking offers you a nice visual accompaniment featuring various weather phenomena. What I love is that it gives you an early glimpse at post rock, before it became boring; actually, check that, this is like instrumental music for Flying Nun fans; it was cool before they were cool…you’re going to have it on repeat all day. The 7″ comes out tomorrow via HHBTM, with an expanded reissue of the full-length on November 6th.
On their debut self-titled album, Love Tractor formed their own dance sound inside the city of Athens, just about the time Pylon and the B-52s were also making waves in the sleepy college town. They wanted to craft music they could dance to, and here, while we’re getting a re-imagined version, we’re getting a glimpse of the dance sound they drafted; there’s something primal and brooding in the construction, encouraging the pulsating spasms on the dance floor. I love that little organ/keyboard popping in around the 1:35 mark, building in further texture to the track while the rhythm section just pulses and pushes towards the future. This version of “Festivals” will appear on a special RSD 7″ for November 6th, two weeks before the band reissue their debut courtesy of HHBTM Records.
Just yesterday we got news that legendary Athens outfit Pylon would be getting this glorious box set treatment; today we get wind of another Athens OG band getting some reissue treatment: Love Tractor. The band sort of made the Athens landscape their own, bouncing between post-punk and art pop, creating their own niche in the community. Below, you get an unreleased bonus track, which honestly doesn’t sound too far off from the musical climate of today. The reissue of their self-titled debut will be preceded by some “reimagined” versions of album tracks for Record Store Day, but Happy Happy Birthday to Me will be reissuing the LP on November 6th, with liner notes from Mike Mills (REM) and Kate Pierson (B52s).
I love the way this new track from Je Suis France sets you up. You get this noisy, almost rambunctious rock moment, quickly opening with this broad sweeping pop moment that sort of has this youthful sense of longing. Slight turns in the vocals remind me, in a sense, of the Wrens in the way that they wrap these joyous pop nuggets in tightly constructed elements of noise. Discordant and yet warm, the perfect sort of indie rock for a man with twee tendencies. You’ll find this track on the group’s new LP, Back to the Basics of Love, available via Ernest Jenning.
Way back in November we dropped some news of a new LP from our beloved Athens based rock band Deep State. Since the fall I haven’t heard a whole lot more buzz on the band so I was excited to receive notification of a new single/video from the group yesterday. This new track, “Son” features some of the most rock n roll, fast paced themed music the band has ever offered. I would imagine this jam is going to be an absolute banger in the live setting.
Deep State will release new LP The Path to Fast Oblivion on February 1st via Friendship Fever.
Athens based rock group Deep State wooed our ears around this time last year with banging track “Time Unrivaled” and we’ve been eagerly awaiting new music ever since. Well wait no longer fans as the band recently announced a new album and shared this raucous new single called “Under the Gun”. Here we see the band bringing the same level of intensity they did with last year’s release as the song powers through close to three minutes of gritty vocals and distorted bass lines. Don’t call them indie rock, this is true rock n roll.
Deep State will release The Path to Fast Oblivion on February 1st via Friendship Forever.
Back in 2017 Nana Grizol released the incredible Ursa Minor; it was one of my favorite releases that year, and one with staying power in my rotation. But, just this last week, the band put up some early recorded tracks from the group, some that made it onto later releases, and some not. I’ve been listening to these tracks pretty non-stop all evening with my daughter; it has this oddball charm that reminds me of my college years when I was looking for anything that could make me dance or laugh out loud. Seriously, this is how you should spend your morning, visiting Theo and his guitar in the early days of the band; you can grab Theo Zumm right HERE.
Athens-based Gumshoe have been penning cleverly solemn Americana since 2011, coming to the attention of many with their Christmas single, “Santa Lock Up Trump.” But, the group, led by Andy Dixon, are gearing up to release The Governor’s Brother on November 16th…and we’ve got the group’s first single from that release below. It begins as sort of a wobbly folk number, setting the scene for Dixon to enter with his deep sorrowful tones. Yet, a close ear will find that this balladeer might be more apt to make you laugh than cry, with lines like “I drink Robitussin/And play putt-putt golf.” Plus, I love the twang of the guitar that solos through the track’s latter half; it’s a nice layer of emotional depth added to the tune. Give a listen, have a laugh and relish in the joy of a good Gumshoe song.
We’ve got some good friends hanging out in the musical haven of Athens, Georgia, and they’ve recently turned me on to one of the city’s promising new young acts, Nihilist Cheerleader. On this song’s angular opening, you’re ready for a barrage of post-punk, but the band already do things differently, instead turning towards a rambunctious rock n’ roll vibe that’s polished by the blend of melody. Flynne Collins bares some vocal resemblance to Marissa from Screaming Females, giving you that feeling that she could unleash on you at any minute, though here she’s fairly restrained. The group’s new album Riot, Right? is slated for a release later this Spring via Perfect Attendance Records, setting the band up huge success in 2018.