Oakland outfit Rays don’t want you to get too comfortable with their “sound,” and they don’t want you to get too comfy with your pop music. They enter the fray here with discordant guitars ringing and a rolling drum beat that sets the mood for a matter-of-fact vocal delivery. But, put your ear next to the speaker, real close like. You’ll hear a slight buzz throughout, an additional layer perhaps added by the bands newest member, keyboardist Britta; it also sounds like horns are brought in as well, so you’re getting far more than you bargained for with your average pop song. It’s frantic, almost spastic, yet wound tightly by superior musicianship so that your ears won’t know what hit ’em. Look for the band’s new LP You Can Get There From Here via Trouble in Mind Records on November 9th.
Pretty sure I’m in trouble financially, as it looks like I’ll have to stump out more money for Trouble in Mind Records as they announce a new LP from Mountain Movers (I’m ready for the TiM LP Subscription Series). Anyways, the Connecticut outfit brandish a psychedelia like no other; it’s a mindfuck of noise rock, filled with screeching guitars and stalking rhythm work. When the vocals enter the picture it’s easy to find yourself lost in some noise-induced trance, unable to find an escape, should you need one. They close it all out with a brash display of noisy musicianship, further seducing your ears and mind…you’re never getting out. But, should you come out safely on the other side, look for Pink Skies to drop on October 5th.
Well, it’s that time again, with David Nance announcing another release, this time under the moniker David Nance Group; this time it will be handled by the esteemed Trouble in Mind Records. Our first listen to the record gives us this fuzzy roots-rock riffage, the heavier sort that almost makes you stomp your feet and shake out your long shaggy hair. Nance slings his emphatic voice with an aura of indifference, haphazardly sliding in harmonies where he sees fit. You ever get one of those songs that just makes you feel? Yeah, this is one of those such tunes. Look for Peaced and Slightly Pulverized to drop October 5th, with a slew of tour dates throughout the Fall.
What!? Another band from Melbourne, Australia that rules? This time the band is The Shifters, and they’ve just announced they’ll be releasing their debut LP via Trouble in Mind Records. Our first listen has this rad bouncing rhythm line with matching guitar cuts jangling to keep the pace; it strangely grips you and never lets go. The subject matter, and accompanying video, seem to be taking a knock on a very ordinary life…which is weird because I’m working now, and then going to the gym…are these guys mocking me!? Doesn’t matter, the song is precisely what’s made the group a hot item; they release Have a Cunning Plan on September 21st.
The latest single from Ethers just dropped on Friday, and sure, I’m a few days too late, but no need to ignore a good time, especially when it’s sponsored by Trouble in Mind Records. I love how the song starts with this circling guitar stomp; it leads you to fully expect a brash bit of indie rock. But, just beneath the surface is this little organ/keyboard line, adding the slightest hint of pop sensibility; that’s furthered during the chorus when the guitars take on that angular jangle following the line of “it’s a rip off.” This song features on the band’s self-titled debut LP, which drops on August 24th.
It seems like it’s been awhile since I’ve really gotten down on some good old rock n’ roll, so let’s offer up this great new jam from Negative Scanner. It hits hard from the start, shouting over those discordant guitar chops. What really struck me on this single is its chorus, where the band flex their musical muscles by letting the instrumentation ride out in hurried fashion behind the vocals; there’s just something about it that gave it this elevated punk feel. Nose Picker is the title of their new LP, and of course, it wouldn’t be great if Trouble In Mind Records weren’t releasing it on July 20th.
Still riding high on all the sunny weather, I was really happy to see that The Love-Birds released another single from their forthcoming album. I think this is the one that’s really going to pull all the folks into their sound; it’s straight guitar pop, but pulls from the various microgenres within those confines. Somehow, the vocals bring to mind a young Thurston Moore, and while I can hear hints of the jangle I adore, I also hear some of that distorted explosion made famous by Teenage Fanclub…especially in the chorus. It’s a great song, made even better by the great weather outside my window. Join me in grabbing In the Lover’s Corner on May 25th via Trouble in Mind!
Sure, it’s just the beginning of April, but I’m going out on a limb and reserving a spot for this new En Attendant Ana LP in my personal Top 20 of 2018. The album is ten tracks of non-stop insatiable pop, with more enough grit to put them just outside the indiepop arena. Here, you can here the guitar work pushing fast, while the vocals cast another sonic image, giving off something slightly prettier. It’s slight, but just the faintest hint of contrast throughout this song, and the Lost and Found LP, keeps your interested time and time again. If, like me, you can’t wait for this album, it will be available on CD/Digi on Friday, but drops on vinyl in June…all via Trouble In Mind.
This delighting tune from En Attendant Ana just goes to show you that you can’t pigeonhole labels any more than you can pigeonhole bands. Sure, I already adore Trouble In Mind Records but by adding this French quintet, it’s basically seems like I should just donate all my spare money to the label…it’s going there anyways. The notes here hint at jangling pop, but the band swing in with these charming vocals, almost like early Camera Obscura. There’s a natural energy that indiepop fans will adore, and I’m stuck on the flourishes, like light horn touches as guitars anxiously ring out, or perhaps just the constant forward movement of the tune pushing ahead. Another example of fine pop picked up by TiM; look for Lost and Found on April 6th (June for LP).
The Love-Birds first came to our attention with their excellent Filled with Hate EP for Empty Cellar Records. Now, they’ve landed on perennial powerhouse Trouble In Mind Records for the release of their new LP. We find them treading interesting ground on this new single, somewhere between playful folk and steady power-pop. Little textural flourishes, like the “woo woo,” little keyboard notes or the speedy way the song closes, define the lasting impression of this single. Look for their In the Lover’s Corner to drop on May 25th.