For me, 2011 is looking really exciting. It seems like the guys with guitars are taking aim at the rest of us, and really letting loose. Yet another release I’m excited for comes from Obits, who will be releasing their new record, Moody, Standard and Poor via Sub Pop on March 29th. My favorite reason to get super excited here is that singer/guitarist Rick Froberg used to jam in Drive Like Jehu and Hot Snakes. Much like those two groups, Obits always seem on the verge of kicking you in the face via heavy percussion and sharp-edged guitars, but as age has taught them some restraint, they’ve honed their chops just enough to keep it all cohesive. One listen to the drums here, though not necessarily experimental, more just pounding, and you’ll probably be tapping your feet at your desk. We’re cool with that.
Download: Obits – You Gotta Lose [MP3]
If you haven’t caught onto this by now, you definitely should. The Forms are finally returning this year with Derealization, set to be released in February as a Double LP, which will include their first album, Icarus. It’s got some pretty sweet guest spots, including one Matt Berninger. Personally, it’s really striking to hear how different, yet familiar, his voice sounds on this track. I’m not sure if it’s the recording or what, but I know that it seems a bit rougher–I toally dig it. Just add this to the string of hits coming your way in February. Sure, it’s only six songs, but you buy it on vinyl, and it’ll be well-worth it. And expect to see the band in Austin around SXSW.
Download: The Forms – Fire To The Ground [MP3]
Are you ready for the next big thing folks? Well, if you haven’t already heard, we’re pretty sure that the next big thing is going to come from Dream Diary, a Brooklyn band with a whole lot of jangle, a touch of British homage, and a dash of twee. Yep, pretty much sums up exactly what you’re looking for right? Well, the band plan to release their album, You Are the Beat, on February 15th via Kanine Records. If this single below is any indicator of things to come, we expect more exceptional tunes to be coming our way in the very near future. Oh, and you can also check out another track over at Spinner.
Torquil Campbell of Stars and Chris Dumon are returning with their band known as Memphis for a 3rd LP under the moniker. Below you’ll find new track from the guys entitled “I Want the Lights on After Dark” for your enjoyment. Of course you’ll hear a lot of the influence from Campbell and his many years in the Canadian powerhouse. Hell, this could probably even be labeled as a Stars song and most people couldn’t tell the difference right? New album Here Comes a City will be available on March 8th via Arts & Crafts.
Download: Memphis – I Want The Lights On After Dark [MP3]
Katy Goodman can typically be identified by her participation with Vivian Girls, but let’s not let her rest on those laurels. She also works diligently on various projects, one of which is La Sera. Prior to the release of her self-titled album, which comes out in February on Hardly Art, Katy’s putting out another single, as a follow-up to last year’s. The effortlessness that seems to accompany the melodies in her songs really makes me wish she had more of a hand in writing VG tracks, as everything here feels more spontaneous, and less mapped out, sonically. If you haven’t gotten into La Sera yet, now is your chance folks.
Download: La Sera – Devil’s Hearts Grow Gold [MP3]
No Monster Club is a Dublin band fronted by primary songwriter and founder Bobby Aheme. Bobby formally played music by his lonesome but has since fleshed out his sound to incorporate a touring band. Below you’ll find a sample of this new garage rock styling band in the form of “The Last Bottle in the World”. A new EP is said to be coming soon from these guys so I expect you to pay attention.
Download: No Monster Club – The Last Bottle in the World [MP3]
It seems lately that Atlanta has been churning out music left and right, yet I haven’t quite heard the same sonic palette that I hear when listening to Carnivores. They’ve just released their latest record If I’m Ancient, and it’s got such a jangling light-heartedness that I’m slowly falling in love with the album. There’s a bit of slow moving classic rock enchantment, yet the trading off between male and female vocals definitely gives you that hook to draw you deep into the songs. It’s youthful, yet there’s a wash of depth/darkness that seems to encompass the whole release. It’s been perfect listening to this on such a cold rainy day hear in Austin. Even if it’s sunny in your town, you’ll still enjoy what these guys have to offer.
Download: Carnivores – Salts To Mine [MP3]
Not really sure how I feel about the name of this group from Mississippi, but I’m definitely positive that I’m feeling their raucous tunes. Bass Drum of Death will be releasing their album GB City through Inflated Records on February 22nd. Listening to the album’s single, it recalls a more energetic Black Rebel Motorcycle Club back in the early days, bringing plenty of pounding rhythmic grooves wrapped inside of an edgy wall of noise. This appears to be the year when slinging the rock kicks back into gear full time, and Bass Drum of Death is just going to bring it twice as loud. Check it out, you know you wanna.
Download: Bass Drum of Death – Heart Attack Kid [MP3]
Somehow in our online slumber last year we missed out on this incredible LP Patagonian Rats from Sacramento based band Tera Melos. The group appeared on some smaller year end lists last year and I didn’t take much notice of them until I heard the track “Frozen Zoo”. Now I won’t say that this one song will blow you away, but it should spark enough interest for you to check out a full stream of their incredible debut LP over on bandcamp. Another EP of new material is expected in February on Sargent House Records.
Download: Tera Melos – Frozen Zoo [MP3]
Out of the ashes of Marked Men comes Mark Ryan, pushing through with his own group, Mind Spiders. The band will be putting out their self-titled album on January 25th via Dirtnap Records, which basically guarantees goodness with their releases. On this first single you get a little hint of garage grittiness filling it up, but the pacing provides a little bit more of a straight power-pop feel to it, allowing the band to capture both audiences. Yeah, it’s a short track, but if you give it a listen, it definitely feels like there’s so much more than 1.8 minutes of rock n’ roll here. And did I mention they’re from Ft. Worth? Who woulda thunk it?
Download: Mind Spiders – No Romance [MP3]