Carnival Pop from Heavy Hawaii

Heavy-Hawaii_2013-675x429I honestly have no idea what to expect when Goosebumps, the debut from Heavy Hawaii comes out in stores in a few weeks.  Their first single, which we showed a few weeks ago was warmly draped in bright guitars, but this time around, that seems to be the last thing on the group’s mind.  Instead, they’ve got this odd pop plodder, that opens with playful circus-esque sounds…they pop in and out of the track.  It definitely serves as an interesting approach, though the group continues to use their same vocal approach.  It may be different, but it’s just as good, if not better, as their first single.

Hazy Touch of Pop from Heavy Hawaii

Heavy-Hawaii_2013-675x429One has to be a bit skeptical when a press release references ‘warped Disney songs,’ but then again, I have to admit that’s definitely intriguing.  But, the thing is, when you put all the oddities aside, the group has some legitimately solid tracks to enjoy.  Heavy Hawaii, the duo from San Diego remind me of everything I love currently about indie music, except they decided to throw it all in together…they DO pull it off.  You’ll find hazy vocals, bits of excessive noise, Cali sun, and harmonies, all executed in one tight knit track.  This definitely has me interested in the group’s Goosebumps LP, which will hit on March 19th via Art Fag Recordings.


Download:Heavy Hawaii – Airborne Kawasaki [MP3]

New Jam from Plateaus

Okay, so this isn’t exactly a new jam; it’s from the Plateaus self-titled album that I raved about just a bit ago.  But, they put this song out on the net yesterday, and it’s one of my favorite tunes from the record, so I had to have it up here on the net for you.  While some of their songs are faster and grittier, this one’s got a bit of pop polish, which is where I first found my love for the band.  There’s tons of punk rock and pop rock jams filled on their Art Fag Recordings debut LP, so if you pick it up now you’ll have plenty to sink your teeth into.


New (ish) Tune from Cheap Curls

It’s good to know that a little bit of that Dum Dum Girls heritage can now stake some claim in Austin, Tx.  Former member Katie has come back home to Austin, and she’s working under the name of Cheap Curls.  She’s just recently released a new EP via Art Fag Recordings, and I’m finally getting the time to give it more than just a glance.  There’s definitely some resemblance to her former band mates, but I tend to think Katie’s got more of a forceful songwriting style, which just happens to please my ears.  We were reminded of her talents when she helped make way for the Crocodiles this past Friday night. Oh, and one of her band members features a dude from The Rise, so there’s more rad Austin history for you!


Download: Cheap Curls – Message [MP3]

Plateaus – s/t

Rating: ★★★½ ·

After a slew of catchy 7″ releases, Plateaus are here with their self-titled LP, which is absolutely refreshing. It’s coated in a bit of distortion, but it’s quick to the point and filled with hooks.  It’s a short listen, which benefits those looking for high energy on repeated plays.  Those looking for a new slice of punk in their playlist need to add this one immediately.

It opens with the excellent single, “Blackout,” which bangs out a throttling beat from the get-go, while the guitar cuts its way sharply in and out of the mix.  Vocals have a nice bit of polished sheen to them, providing an edgy bit of pop to the pummeling track.  Then it jumps right in with another heavy-hitter, “Beach Coma.”  Musically, the songs seem to dwell in a similar space, though the vocals are delivered a little bit more spoken-word than its predecessor.  These are the sorts of songs that make a perfect album opening, giving you energy and hooks, establishing the mood from the start.

But, Plateaus aren’t aiming to make this all in-your-face rock n’ roll, especially when you listen to a song like “The District.”  There’s a slower pace to the percussion and the guitars, hinting at a more classic power-pop sound–something I adore in particular. Songs like “Jump Now” and “Swamp Thing” also carry this element of polished swagger to them, providing bits of pop to the general mood of Plateaus. For me, it gives you a nice little break from the grittier moments on the record, just in case you needed that breather.

Sure, the sound of Plateaus does have a very slight tendency to get caught in redundancy, but don’t even worry about that, as there are some clear standout winners, aside from the previously mentioned tunes.  “Better Things” is one of the album’s longest tracks, and it’s filled with noisy cymbal work and a twang-ing guitar that lurks in the far off background, only to cut in with a bit of screeching solo from time to time.  It’s stuck right in the middle of the record, so it often comes in to surprise me, and then I play it again.  I also have a personal affiliation with “Do It For You,” which was one of the first songs that turned me onto the group.  While it might open with a screeching guitar, there’s an element of sing-a-long pogoing delivery to the lyrics.  Sure, the music is lo-fi and dirty, but the hook comes with the combination of the music and the vocal, drawing me in every single time.

Since San Diego has a deep-rooted history of punk rock, it makes sense that a band like Plateaus would be born from the city.  They’ve combined the classic elements of the city’s sound, using hard-edged guitars and fusing it with elements of pop-punk, creating a sound that allows you to tap your toes, sing-a-long, and still bang your head.  There’s not a bad song on the record, so you can’t fail by getting yourself invested in this great effort.


Download:Plateaus – Blackout [MP3]


More New Jams from Plateaus

We’ve been raving about Plateaus all summer long, and it looks like the rest of the world is finally catching up to our impeccable tastes (I’m looking at you P4K).  They’ve put out a slew of punk/power-pop 7″s recently, and they’re about ready to bust out their self-titled debut for Art Fag Recordings.  This new single is just what I love in the group; it’s short and sweet, and catchy as hell.  These are the sorts of songs I dreamed about as a kid, so it’s great to see that all our electronic progression hasn’t gotten in the way of good old rock n’ roll.


Download:Plateaus – Blackout [MP3]

Great Track from Plateaus

After catching a show with Plateaus last month, I’ve been putting them on my daily play rotation, tapping my feet all the while.  They recently (end of May) put out this killer single I wanted to share with you, and I’ll point you to another great track as well. They’ve got this real low-key punk rock vibe, that’s as gritty as it is infectious.  You can buy their 7″ for this song from Hozac, but there’s also a great gem coming out soon from Art Fag Recordings, which you should pick up HERE.  The band will have an album out in the Fall, but for now, enjoy the jams.


Download:Plateaus – Do It For You [MP3]

New Track from Cold Showers

I’m really excited by this new track, or rather this alternate version, from Cold Showers.  It’s going to be released in early 2012 as a single from Art Fag Recordings, along with the original versioun, which is equally as awesome; we’ll keep you posted on the exact street date.  For now, get into this song:  It has a nice bounce to it from the beginning, which will live with the song throughout, but you’ll notice that coated vocal effect favored by Mike Sniper. There’s an odd haunting mood created by the vocals and the bass, but at the same time, there’s this counterbalancing brightness provided by the other instruments.  It’s dark, it’s catchy, and it’s just flat out good. You dig?


Download: Cold Showers – So I Can Grow (Alternate Version) [Mp3]