Love This New Track from Barkhouse

barkThere’s two reasons I’m in love with this track from Barkhouse.  Part of the work, particularly the drumming, reminds me of great Walkmen tracks.  On the other hand there’s a Casablancas indifference that’s been recorded in the vocals.  Together, the song packs this huge punch that’s fairly gritty, with just enough pop sensibility to keep listeners tapping their toes throughout the day.  If you dig this song, as you should, look for an EP titled Wolves at the Wall to come your way very very soon.

Flesh Lights – Free Yourself

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Rating: ★★★★½

Modern punk rock seems to have gotten a bit stale, in my opinion.  You get tons of reverb on the vocals, you get guitar riffs galore, but you never get a band that embodies everything, until you listen to the new Flesh Lights record.  Listeners will find songs that are brash in parts, or tracks filled with arena rock riffs, but most impressive is that Free Yourself shows true musicianship.

You couldn’t ask for a better opening track than “Just About Due.”  It’s a power pop gem filled with this huge guitar stomp that really emphasizes the band’s skills with their respective instruments.  Every riff begs you to pump your fist, and I’m in love with the solo that breaks through briefly near the end, not to mention the growl of the vocal.  Such a tune would fit perfectly alongside “I Wait,” if we were to look at modern album structures, but the band holds off on offering that hit until later in Free Yourself.  The lead guitar works its way through a great mini-solo, but the chorus is best appreciated by people screaming at the top of their lungs with their best set of buds.

Still, this isn’t a power-pop record; it’s a record of great rock songs.  Flesh Lights kick you in the teeth with tracks like “Middle Age” and “We Go Off.”  The former takes a knock at middle-aged wannabes and hangers-on, all the while rocking things with a swagger all their own.  Can’t believe these guys are calling me out!  “We Go Off” is perhaps one of the record’s most dangerous moments, knifing it’s way through your speakers with these jagged guitar riffs and a ferocious vocal that nears going off the tracks.  There’s a stuttering approach that sort of reminds me of the stylings you’d find on an ALL album; just listen through this track to hear the band’s talent.

One of my favorite tracks, “Time Thief” seemingly comes off like an outlier, jamming out in a semi-Ted Leo fashion, at least in regards to the vocal delivery.  But, in the spectrum of the album, it fits in perfectly, displaying the band’s willingness to fill Free Yourself with nothing but their twelve best recorded songs.  Honestly, you can’t throw a single song on this album to the side; every single song is great in its own right, so sticking them all together in perfect order is yet another reason while Flesh Lights should be considered by all as a band at top of their game.

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Free Yourself is available from 12XU.

New Music from Vision Fortune

visionThis is something interesting, indeed.  I will say that I’m not too familiar with the work of Vision Fortune, but man, this track is definitely worth your time.  It sort of reminds me of the work of Liars, at least in their post-rock experimental pre-dance phase.  The sound is haunting in a sense, yet there’s definitely something that is drawing me…especially as the instrumental touches go their own way in the end.   Interested in what the band’s doing? Then check out their new album, Country Music, when ATP releases it in February of the next year.

Touch of Pop from Tam Vantage

tomThose of you in the know of the Aussie pop scene might be aware of Tam Vantage; he’s previously worked in Pop Singles and ATH darlings The Stevens.  But, he’s got a new project working under his namesake, and it’s delectable pop bliss for pretty much every listener.  I like the slight bit of inflection that’s in his voice, fitting perfectly into the light-hearted approach to his guitar work.  I swear, there’s something going on in that Melbourne water; I’m in love with everything that city produces. For now, there’s just this grand single, but I’ll keep you on the up and up with more announcements as they come our way.

Listen to the New Lemuria Single

Earlier this fall we caught a quite exceptional set from lemuriaLemuria over at Mohawk, and I’ve been thirsting to hear more music from the band ever since that night.  Luckily, this track popped up just the other day, and it’s worth sharing with you all. I really love the approach the band takes on this tune, revealing a classic alternative rock sound, which was produced by Mark Ryan of Marked Men.  Plus, if you pick this up (December 16th), as you should, then you’ll get a 40 page comic book alongside your purchase…so you’ve got to appreciate a little differentiation on the sales side…that and this song’s great. They’ll also be back in Austin at the end of November.

Happily Listening to Bruising

bruisedDon’t let the name, Bruising, fool you.  There’s nothing bruising or dangerous about this beautiful track from the UK outfit.  Sure, there’s some cascading guitar parts that might throw off a little bit of an edge, but for the most part, there’s nothing but sugar here.  Just listen to the main vocal, or the harmonies that join in carefully as the song unfolds; if you do so, I think we’ll be on the same page, right? This is our first listen to the band, as they’ve really just jumped into things, so I’ll give you a heads up on more to come in the future.

Orange Cassettes Go Back to 2002

oranjeOkay, so maybe they don’t go all the way back there, but seeing as the members of Orange Cassettes are from Elefant and Radio 4, that seems like a solid time for the bands to really be making a wave.  But, with that out there, the duo has comprised some music that moves forward while still wearing the patches of the not so distant past. The tune below is definitely begging to get a nice club remix, though I miss the brash quality that Radio 4 seemed to bring to the table.  The single is being released digitally by Ring the Alarm, which is calling all parities to action…seems like that action here is to just shake it.

Here’s A New Black Watch Tune

bwatch-320x320You know what’s going to make your day a little bit better? You’re going to have to listen to this new track from The Black Watch in order to make that happen.  The band are prepping the release of their new LP, Sugarplum Fairy, Sugarplum Fairy; it’s just a year after the most excellent The End of When (you better have that LP!). Listening to this first single, there’s a hint of Bobby Pollard in it, though I still love the crisp twang of the guitar that’s in the background.  Pop Culture Press will be releasing the album in late January, but I’ll remind you closer to that date, as this is sure to be another successful long player from the group.

Jack Name Readies New LP

jackieboyJack Name has worked with a lot of your favorite heroes, and in doing so, he’s built a following all his own.  His music’s something of an outlier, at least upon the first listen to his new song.  There’s a synthesized beat that serves as the backbone, while the darkness of his vocals is so enchanting that I can’t pull myself away from it.  He’s also got the approval of John Dwyer, who he’ll be touring with (including this week’s Austin date at Hotel Vegas); Dwyer  will also be releasing Jack’s Weird Moons LP on his Castle Face imprint in January of next year.

Stream the New EP from People/Talk

peepsStreaming albums is the perfect way for you to sample something you might not have heard, give it a once over, and make an educated consumer choice.  Thus, I’m bringing you this new EP from People/Talk.  The UK act originally began as So Sexual, but changed their name, possibly due to it’s overt Faint reference.  This new EP shows them developing their new wave sound further, pushing into larger pop territory.  Of course, this band might not have made it overseas if it weren’t for the hard work of the people at Bleeding Gold, who have released this EP on CD for your pleasure. Listen, enjoy, buy. Done.

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