Last Friday I ran some great albums for you to stream, but one slipped past me, and I’m aiming to rectify that error by sharing the latest LP from US Highball with you today. We’ve covered hits like “Double Dare” and “Let’s Save Bobby Orlando’s House,” so you should know exactly what you’re in store for by listening; you get a good 12 songs of infectious power-pop that’s sing-a-long ready. Plus, your listen should also keep in mind that you’re also get a little bit of dry humor, which only makes the group all the more endearing. A Parkhead Cross of the Mind is available via Lame-O Records/Bingo Records, but go ahead and stream the whole thing below just for your enjoyment.
Man, there’s a seemingly infinite amount of great tunes coming out this week, and while I know a lot of this has bounced around, one of the charmers I hit upon is the latest from US Highball, the Glaswegian pop outfit readying their new LP for Lame-O Records. “Double Dare” is the perfect way to jump into the new album, toying with the jangling riff work, though still hyper-reliant upon the combined melodic focus of Calvin and James. Tossing in a synth solo mid track just illustrates the band’s willingness to really take a spin and have some fun with their craft. I’m a sucker for this chorus too, particularly when that drum rolls across the background. A Parkhead Cross of the Mind is slated for release on March 25th.
Well just in case you weren’t ready for SXSW to kick off in a couple of weeks, you’ve clearly seen that the ATH crew is more then ready. We’ve been dropping these interviews every day for the last few weeks now with no plans of slowing down until the bands stop responding or the festival week arrives. Have you started planning yet? Today I have the Glasgow based outfit Walt Disco who should be on your radar on the music side of things for SXSW week. They were kind enough to answer our little questionnaire and you can find their answers after the jump.
Guess I’ve been on the mellow end of things this week, so glad that I ran into Loup Havenith and his Big EP. When you listen to the song below, you’re surely going to align the Glaswegian songwriter with Elliott Smith, which is surely okay in everyone’s book. Eventually, the intimacy begins to spread a bit into a bolder sound, with the track adding in textural layers that give it some punching weight for the listener; it pushes that sound, while still holding that sort of whispering vocal, all the way until it reaches this fuzzed out climax that takes the song to its end. Big is available today!
I’m not sure if Japan Review is on everyone’s radar just yet, but I’d really like to continue to push for the band’s inclusion in your listening rotation, thus why I’m here dropping this new single. From the get-go, you get this sampled machine gun drum beat, working in unison with this wall of guitar noise, clouding the horizon for the listener. Then Adam O’Sullivan drapes his voice carefully in the empty space, and while there’s a quiet softness, he seems pained, or tired (like us all). Still, the song’s not done there, moving into a more melodic moment for the chorus, then opening up in the track’s back half for sonic exploration of striking ambient noise. I’m totally in love with Kvetch Sounds; it’s out on October 29th via Reckless Yes.
What on Earth is this beautiful sound coming from the latest Japan Review single? Immediately my ears filled with these discordant angular riffs, just heavily jangling, bouncing notes off one another to create this dense background of anxiousness. Moments later, synth work rolls into the picture, polishing the song like a fine gem, letting the melodic vocals calm your nerves as drums snap at the mix from below. Every sound works against each other, and in crashing together, they mix and leave you blanketed with this sublime piece of artful noise. I’m totally floored by this tune, and hoping that the whole of their new LP, Kvetch Sounds, lives up to this track; it’s out on October 29th via Reckless Yes.
We’re starting to move into those cooler evenings (you know, dropping to the low 90s), so stumbling into the latest from Constant Follower seems the perfect way to move into the Fall. For starters, we don’t have to wait before we meet the careful craft of Stephen McAll; he offers himself to the listener, laying his soul before us. He drapes it all over this mild-mannered guitar work, leaving plenty of space in the song’s middle for us all to take stock of our lives and what we’ve got going around us. This song appears on Neither Is, Nor Ever Was, which drops in October via Shimmy Disc/Joyful Noise.
Feel like it might just be a solid day to kind of hang in the corners of this darkened brand of dream pop/shoegaze notes, so here’s another to follow that Letting Up tune; it’s the album announcement from Glasgow’s Japan Review. The duo have evolved from the bedroom project of Adam O’ Sullivan into this creative duo fusing cavernous sounds to create a bit of melodic topsoil for your listening day. This announcement of a new LP comes with the single “Competition Winner,” which is dominated by this propulsive drum sample, allowing the band to sort of throw anything on top. Here’s there’s a blend of noise and melody, Adam’s voice lurking somewhere in the song’s purgatory; it all reminds me of the early days of Radio Dept. Kvetch Sound will be out on October 29th via Reckless Yes!
It’s been almost two years since we last heard from Glasgow’s KAPUTT; I remember thinking then that the band was onto something, ready to break through some of the formulaic post-punk of that year. With their first single since the release of Carnage Hall, I’m pretty sure I’m being proven right, as they seem to have stripped the formula of any form at all, instead crafting this speed-demon of post-punk fury, both spastic and exhilarating. Just listen to the stuttering delivery in the chorus of “movement, n-n-n-n-now!” Then it breaks off into this free form explosion that stutters and squawks until the end. You’ll get this tune on their new Movement Now/Another War Talk EP, out May 14th via Upset the Rhythm.
As the year goes on, I’m finding that I’m really stuck on bands pushing the boundaries of my boring ass expectations. Glasgow’s Nightshift continue to impress, as they kind of manipulate sounds that resonate with my tastes, yet still sound incredibly refreshing. On their latest single, there’s this rolling drum, akin to any number of like-minded acts, but when placed as the backbone of the vocal chant, it becomes meditative, almost primal in nature. You could easily find some spirituality just using the vocals and the drums…if you were looking for that. But, because they don’t seem ready to just rest with a decent time, they have this incredible guitar bit that seemingly matches the beating of the drum, though with some tonal changes. Mostly, I’m taken by the fact that this is the band’s 3rd single from their forthcoming Zoe LP, and not a one of them sound similar. Does this mean we can have an actual full album listening experience on our hands? Find out on February 26th when its drops via Trouble in Mind Records.