I always keep an eye on the labels I love, so I was really happy when Jigsaw Records tossed up this track from The Rightovers, a Hawaiian act who’ve just released their debut LP, Blue Blood. It’s interesting, as the music is not quite indiepop, yet not far off; at the same time, it’s not classic alternative college rock, and yet it is. Ultimately, it makes for a rewarding sound that you’ll circle back to time and time again, hopefully enjoying what you’re listening to, rather than try to decipher the musical nonsense I lay before you. Want a good tune? This one works.
I think any fan of great indie rock the last several years has to agree that no matter what Rose Melberg touches, it’s going to be magic…in some way or another. The last project we had from her was Imaginary Pants, but now she’s got a new outfit up and running, Knife Pleats. And yes, as always, Melberg and her pals fulfill the promise, creating hook filled tunes that make you feel young…and ultimately smile. The foursome will release Hat Bark Beach on September 29th via Lost Sound Tapes…with the CD version coming out later via Jigsaw…both reliable options for great tunes.
Lunchbox returned last year with the most excellent, Lunchbox Loves You. It seems to have ignited a fire beneath the band, as they’re already back with a brand new EP for your ears. It reminds me of taking the foundations of jangling indiepop and fusing it with the work of early Weezer (when everyone liked them, you know). Of course, that comparison brings nothing but hooks and great listens time and time again…there’s even some spots where you can fill in your own handclaps. You can grab their Smash Hits EP next week from Jigsaw Records.
Feeling like today’s mostly going to be a playful sort of day around these part, so I’m stoked to have found a pretty new discovery for myself, The Concubines. The band has been on a long hiatus while chief songwriter Jeff is abroad, but Jigsaw Records dug up the gem and have opted to release the band’s I’ve Tried Subtlety, which was recorded back in 2003. It’s amazing to me how this band still fit into the modern landscape, despite having written this bunch of indiepop songs twelve years ago. It’s filled with a jangling bounce and storytelling lyrics, so pick it up now, if you so wish.
Another day, another great song coming to you from Jigsaw Records. This time the label has teamed up with new Swedish act Moon Types, and dammit if these aren’t some of the enjoyable indiepop songs I’ve come across in the last few weeks. I like how there’s a Southern rambling in the execution of the guitar chords, accompanied by these great male/female vocal pieces that perfect the purity of pop songwriting. They’ll be releasing their Know the Reason 7″ later this summer, so keep your eyes peeled for your new favorite Swedish band.
It’s been a really great resurgence month for The Dentists, with two of the band’s songwriters unleashing new tunes/albums. First there was Treasures of Mexico, and now we’ve got Bob Collins and the Full Nelson. He’s releasing his new record, Telescopic Victory Kiss, and though slightly different, it hits as beautifully as one would expect. It’s a power-pop gem of a tune, mixed in with a little bit of an Elvis Costello or Ted Leo approach to how things are delivered vocally. I’m pretty sure you’ll have this playing for the rest of the day. Look for the album to see a release next week via Jigsaw Records.
I think you’re really going to enjoy spending some time with the latest Plastic Bubble LP. Jigsaw Records has just released the band’s Big Day Parade, which has 20 songs of hooks for pop lovers. It reminds me of a less orchestrated version of Cats on Fire, bringing in ringing guitar sounds, some added flare and a heavy dose of warm melody. You can press play and take yourself on a journey of great pop music, and that’s probably the best way to spend your Monday. It’s available now, with the digital version also being offered up by the band. Get on it.
Man, noise rock with catchy pop hooks seems to be everywhere these days, and I am far from complaining. American Culture are a Denver group making bubblegum pop with a noisey twist, and they do this quite well. Pure American Gum is a short yet tantalizing album filled with songs that will win your heart over with their fuzzy goodness.
Really, the buzzy noise rock that American Culture have made for you on this album is delightfully infectious. They bring the punk elements of imperfect vocals as well as the gravelly guitars, but most of the songs have a catchy chorus that is bound to delight and entertain you and get stuck in your head for hours on end, which you don’t mind at all. Take second up track and single “Actual Alien,” as the first case of this infectious sound. All of the components of this song come at you all at once, but after a moment of disorientation, you’re able to really appreciate how they all come together. There are the rocking drum beats that carry the whole thing mixed with the buzzsaw guitars and feedback to make for a straight jam. Just when you think that this song can’t get any better, the vocals kick in and make it to the chorus, where the distorted voice screams out “I just wanna be a part of your world” and you’re completely hooked. I could talk about this song for days.
If you listen to the lyrics on Pure American Gum, you’ll notice there’s quite a bit of a range of subject matter and solemnity. There are tracks like “I Like American Culture,” which does a lot of listing of band names and describes people listening to things/liking american things. On the other hand, there are numbers that delve a bit deeper like “Social Anxiety,” which remind you that this album goes beyond vapid subject matter. The variety works great for the band as well as the genre of noise rock; both the music and the lyrics go back and forth between playful and serious, noisy and catchy. “I Wanna Be Your Animal,” is a song that shows both sides of this band, bringing some quaint female vocals in the beginning and then slowly builds to its grand finish expressing simple desire with streaming synths and rambunctious drums.
This album is brief, yet the perfect allotment of time for this blend of songs; they don’t overburden you with their gritty punk music, but rather lay down their jams and then step back so you can fully take in what they’ve made on Pure American Gum. The length of this record enhances the music on here, but in a subtle way that you don’t even think about. You just simply go back to the beginning and start it again, volume up full blast.
I came across the band while looking into the current status of Math and Physics Club (one of my faves). Unlikely Friends is a band made up of its members, as well as those of BOAT, specializing in hook-laden indie rock. There’s a bit more distortion than one would expect, but you can still hear the jangle ring of the guitars, as well as the warm tones of the vocal delivery…so I’m hooked. Solid Gold Cowboys, the band’s new album, will be out this week courtesy of Jigsaw Records.
There are occasions when you get a tune that you can stop playing; it seeps into your soul, delighting your senses every step of the say. That’s precisely the sentiment I got when I first put on this new single from Sweden’s Animal Daydream. The guitar work could possibly take a nod to some of the modern indie acts like Real Estate, but it also looks back even further to the heyday of 70s soft rock. Sure, that era might be gone, but when band’s can execute songs like this, it’s hard to turn away. The Easy Pleasures EP will be released next week via Jigsaw Records.