Dippers, the band formerly known as Thigh Master, today release their new Looking for a Sphere EP, offering up a new vision/sound to coincide with the name change. The EP has two core traditional tracks, embracing slower tempos while honing in on the melodious nature in Matthew Ford’s songwriting. I love the way “Drift Space” moves, slightly opening up as drums come in quietly and notes just kind of hang in the atmosphere; it feels like something you’d have found on a K Records release in the early years. The other two tunes find the band playing with more of an instrumental approach, exploring new sonic visions as they prepared to write a slew of songs for a forthcoming long player on Goner Records. So go on then.
Gathering members from across Ex-Cult, Nots and Hash Redactor, it seems like Ibex Clone already had a nice formula, at least to appeal to my tastes. Now, with their new album and a brand new single, it’s time to give the band’s work a nice listen. Drawing inspiration from GBV, Meat Puppets and XTC, the band’s aim are to take those pop structures and stretch those sounds into something fresh. You can certainly hear the guitar work playing into the jangling pop scene, though the fleshing out brings in a little bit more heaviness and weight; it all sort of feels like collage work, adding layers and textures from the musical touchstones and building a new piece that stands on its own. Excited to hear where All Channels Clear takes us; it’s out via Goner Records on February 3rd.
I feel like Michael Beach‘s new record is like my own personal birthday party, with each song a new little gift waiting to be unwrapped. Today’s single is a melancholy ballad built upon a piano ballad, moving gradually as Beach carefully narrates with a solemn vocal performance. You get these discordant little elements of interlude in the song’s latter half, building on the promise that we’re going to get a little bit of experimental mood pieces collected for this new release. There’s this great little emphatic moment just before the 2 minute mark that I really appreciated, adding some punctuation to the tune too, so listen closely there. The self-titled EP will be out on September 30th via Goner/Poison City.
I can be pretty picky about what I cover, particularly when it comes to the singer-songwriter genre; it’s got to be something really exceptional to capture me…like this new Harlan T. Bobo tune from his forthcoming LP. The majority of the tune is a heavy strum and Bobo’s voice, dominating. For me, what caught me was the 1.15 mark in the track; you can hear Harlan strain just a bit, adding a little imperfection and a little honesty to the songwriting, making it all the more endearing. Porch Songs, the new LP, will be out on August 5th via Goner Records.
Our old pal Michael Beach is back at it, today bringing news from Australia that the songwriter will be releasing a new self-titled EP this Fall. Below we’ve got the the first sneak listen, with a track that feels like a feverish march on our sanity. For me, there’s really two sides to what Beach and company are doing. Musically, there’s this furious push and pounding rhythm, setting up the song as a sort of punk rock party anthem. But, Michael’s vocals are extremely steady in that mix, headstrong and just a melody above spoken word; it gives him this sort of rocker croon that slides right into the grooves. Stoked to see he’ll be touring the US this Fall, with a stop at Goner Fest…speaking of, Goner Records is putting out the EP along with Poison City on September 30th.
Alright, I know this new Low Life jam came out last week, and I’m thinking it was covered by the sites where the cool kids go, but I love Low Life, so wanted to make sure I had a little bit of coverage for it on my end too. Opening with this discordant experimentation, the tune soon travels into this sort of cavernous feel. Those guitars seem claustrophobic, they’re exploring the nooks and crannies of the song’s space, but there doesn’t seem to be anywhere to go, so they echo in the background. Vocals on this one are heavy, almost forlorn in their presentation, though it all comes across like this distant communication from a parallel world. Yeah, it rules. This tune’s on their new LP, From Squats to Lots, the Agony and XTC of Low Life, out via Goner Records on November 5th.
While everyone’s clamoring for that glorious Mellencamp and Springsteen collaboration, why don’t you turn your ears towards something just a little bit hipper, just a little bit more stylish…the new tune from Power Supply. Leon Stackpole has a very matter of fact delivery on this new tune, like a classic bard turning stories into song. The song itself has a little bit of an almost country twang, almost a little boogie to it; this is maybe what Bob should have sounded like when he first plugged in that electric guitar. There are some special moments I’ve been pulling for, like the line starting with “watching, watching the water flow by” just before the 2 minute mark…its a nice little calmed melody that’s soothed my ears for sure. The band drop In the Time of the Sabre-Toothed Tiger on October 22nd via Goner Records.
Sorry to inform you that this week is indeed Goner Records week, as the label have announced yet another banger of a tune, along with the announcement of the new Low Life album. This is great news, as we were big fans of Downer Edn, so to know that From Squats to Lots: The Agony and XTC of Low Life is just around the corner makes this a wonderful Friday. When this opens up, the drums are thunderous, furiously rushing us into this tornado of guitar swirls, lifting us and dropping us, lifting us and dropping us. The vocals are rather direct, and almost without emotion, adding to the pseudo-industrial nature of the track. Personally, a few listens through, and I kind of imagine this as a dark-wave response to Les Savy Fav, particularly when you get to the chorus; it just feels very Tim Harrington. The new LP is out on November 5th.
Is it Goner Records Week over here at ATH? We’ve covered Power Supply, Exbats and now our friend Michael Beach drops this great new single with Goner as the follow-up to his most excellent Dream Violence. This new single is this crunchy rocker, fuzzed around all the corners, with Michael struggling with the ways of the world, as alluded to in the song’s title; you can feel that strife in his vocal delivery…or so I think. For me, a fan of ten second snippets of joy, there’s this great moment at 1:42 (and 2:43) where the drums stutter, and Michael’s voice softens, delivering this beautiful melodic moment amidst the crashing guitars that really will stay as part of a collection in my bag of the “Best Ten Seconds.” Please enjoy!
The EXBATS are a dream for any father/daughter rock n’ roller; the band is made up of Kenny McClain and his daughter Inez, rounded out with Bobby Carlson on bass. But, I have no talent, musically, so my daughter is out of luck. Regardless, the EXBATS have just announced a new album for Goner Records, and dammit if you’re not going to fall for it in the biggest way. On the surface, you do get that sort of classic 60s sugar-pop, but beneath that, there are hints at sort of early 80s punk (thinking Blondie here), not to mention the jangles that swept overseas from Flying Nun; its a huge sound, no doubt aided by recording with Matt Rendon of the Resonars. Now Where Were We will be out on October 22nd!