What do you do if your dad played drums in the Cure? Well, if you’re Gray Tolhurst, you start your Topographies and drench your sound in those nostalgic atmospheric notes and circling angular guitar licks. I love how this has that old school feel to it also, allowing for plenty of space to come into the song; it brings the melody to the forefront, giving the song and the listener breathing room. Sometimes I just feel like we’re beaten over the head with hooks, so its nice that it’s not pushed all the way down my throat from the get-go. It’s a solid tune from a promising band who will drop their debut Ideal Form in December!
The more I sit around at home, the more I just want to have fun with my music listening and my daughter…typically that means dancing about to various brands of post-punk in the living room. For me, that’s the highlight of this new Secret Shame track; you can hear the song steeped in the tradition from the moment that the jam kicks off…think of New Order with a dreamier twist on the vocals. I actually like it, giving off the perfect juxtaposition so the song doesn’t stray too far into homage territory. Just an energetic pop tune to make your day better; you’ll find this tune on the Dissolve/Pure 7″, out June 5th.
One of the records I’m most looking forward to this year is the brooding post-punk of Es, who’ve just shared their latest single from their debut. You can’t escape the ominous feel of this track; it feels as if we’re being surrounded, smothered…only to make one last ditch effort for survival with this song. I thought adding nice little synth line before the 3 minute mark added in some pop sensibility that may have gone unnoticed otherwise, allowing listeners just the briefest respite from the dark. The band release their debut album Less of Everything on April 3rd via Upset the Rhythm.
It’s hard to keep track of all the acts in Austin, more so now that there’s no longer Showlist to let me know when the release shows are going down. But, nonetheless, I stumbled backwards into Inks Lake (one of my favorite camping spots as a kid!); it’s a new outfit made up of former members of Nice Strong Arm and Beth Israel. There’s definitely a post-punk sound, heavy-handed in the opener “The Wilderness.” Moving forward, the band add a little bit more energy in “Bison Dele” and close it out with more of a traditional indie rocker on “Live All Over Each Other.” It’s a quick four songs, but the Where Else EP did its job, as I’ve got my ears pinned back waiting to hear more!
Admittedly, I don’t know a whole heaping lot about Germany’s Mofer, but that doesn’t mean I can’t throw my support behind this great track off their forthcoming Ghosts EP. At They’ve got this wonderful post-punk sound, the kind that sort of just soars and carries you with it, attached on the wings of glorious guitar sounds. In a way, it really reminds me of the Black Watch, offering up these sort of heavy vocal tones that reach for the higher notes as guitars buzz behind them. At the same time, there’s this effortless bounce beneath the surface, encouraging toe-tapping and light bits of pogoing in place. I promise, this is right up your alley.
One of the great things about the wealth of information at our fingertips, to me, has to be the discovery of acts long ago forgotten. And Upset the Rhythm, having already reissued More Wealth Than Money have opted to follow up that album by re-issuing What’s Going On, the 1984 album from Normil Hawaiians. This track, like the album, is just this sonic exploration pulled off in post punk fashion. It begins with what almost sounds like looped tapes, something we’re all familiar with by now…just before the guitar begins to ring through your speakers in that angular stomp. Vocalist Guy Smith enters the frame, wailing on the high (and is that a whistle?); it’s working in complete contrast with the propulsive rhythm section, yet it’s all tied tightly together. Later bits of the song get these little stabbing riffs cutting through the vibe, and then bam, we’re done. This is an intoxicating introduction to a group I knew little about.
I awoke this morning to find this track from Deliluh hanging out in my inbox, and I gave it a couple of quick spins. At first, I felt I heard some Dismemberment Plan nods (and I do), but then the guitars got a little more dangerous, a little more jagged and jittery. That’s when I got hooked, fueled by the tension of the song’s natural bass pulse in contrast to the spoken-word vocals and furious chords jumping at you from the distance. Now on multiple listens, it sounds like the more dangerous brother of Ought, post-punk and creative, but more likely to get you arrested. They’ll release Oath of Intent on May 3rd via Tin Angel and Telephone Explosion (US).
I’m keeping things crazy today with a slow instrumental track posted earlier, but now I”m changing things up with some sweet rock n roll. This punk/post-punk song called “Fellah’s Temptation” comes by way of French based rockers Nightwatchers. I love the driving guitar sound with the heavy bass and the almost bark like vocals. I’ll be adding this to my weekend playlist and jamming it non stop.
Nightwatchers will release new album La Paix Ou Le Sable on April 12th via Lovely Records.
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You may have thought our SXSW interviews were over, but you thought wrong! While most of these bad boys ran prior to last week, I did pick up a couple near the end of the festival. This one comes from Glasgow based group The Ninth Wave, who also appeared on my Top 6 to watch list. Ready for one more? Hit the jump.
As if you thought I’d let Nathan have all the fun with this SXSW interview game, you thought wrong! It’s time for me to start sharing some interviews myself and I’m starting today with one from Auckland based band Swallow the Rat. These guys were kind enough to answer or SXSW band questions and you can find their responses after the jump.