Revisiting the Cosmos

The Cosmos are a now defunct rock n’ roll outfit from San Fran, featuring members that went on to participate in bands like Terry Malts and Dominant Legs, among others. Not too long ago they compiled their songs from the 2001-2004 years, and gave them a proper tape release. Why does that matter today? Well, for one, if you listen, you’ll see they were ahead of their time, as I can hear tons of modern acts in the stuff they were creating. Also, the band just decided to up and let you download that compilation of songs for absolutely free, though I warn you, these are working musicians and they all deserve a few bucks from you. Slow news week, so why not write about shit that rules?

Corey Cunningham is Business of Dreams

businessSurely you’ve heard me rave about everything Corey Cunningham has done, from his projects like Magic Bullets, Terry Malts and his own solo work. But, he’s just come out that he’ll be working under the moniker of Business of Dreams, crafting delightfully dark pop music. Please don’t label it as strictly synth pop, as there’s definitely more. Just take the opener on his new EP, which takes a slight turn around the 1.20 minute mark with a twinkling guitar chord. If you’re asking me, I’ll trust anything Corey touches, and this new EP he’s just put up is now available digitally, so it’s time for you to fall head over heels with his new work.

Terry Malts Start Label + Release Music from Their Old Acts

cosmosI’ve made no secret of my love for Terry Malts, both as musicians and people. But, that really all started for me when I discovered Magic Bullets. That’s a good place for the story to start because the band has just created their own label, Parked In Hell. What will be their first two releases? Ah, yes. Music from their first few bands, The Cosmos and Magic Bullets…see the full circle? The Cosmos (which also featured members of Girls) will be a 2001-2004 Compilation, while Young Man’s Fancy will be the title of the Magic Bullets album…it’s got a bunch of unreleased material on it that we’ve never heard (I thought I had it all). Also, keep an eye on the label because they’ll be releasing an EP from Malt man, Corey Cunningham too! Here’s some sample tracks off the first two releases!

An Interview w/ Terry Malts + Show Preview

For the last year, I’ve absolutely devoured everything this band has released.  Their debut full length, Killing Time, is currently holding its own as my top record pick of the year (Out now on Slumberland Records). They’re heading to Austin on Thursday night (Buy tickets HERE) at Mohawk, so we caught up with the group before their trip into town to chat about various things.  Thanks to Anton for hooking the interview up. Read more

Great New (Last?) Song from Magic Bullets

When talking to the Terry Malts earlier this year, I was really sad to hear that their other project Magic Bullets was pretty much closed, possibly for good.  Still, the band is going to release one final EP on Mon Amie Records on April 3rd, and I’m pretty pleased with the final result; it’s titled Much Ado About.  For their faster paced current workings, you’ll find a cleaner sheen on the Magic Bullets front, possibly even one that gets you swaying from side to side with your arms flying through the air.  If you haven’t checked out the band’s first self-titled effort, you should definitely pick it up, as it’s one of the most complete albums I’ve heard in the last few years.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Magic_Bullets_-_What_Took_You_So_Long.mp3]

Download:Magic Bullets – What Took You So Long [MP3]

 

New Rocker from Terry Malts

If you checked out our Top Songs, you probably saw Terry Malts, and hopefully you were all over that jam.  But now, as the band promised when we caught up with them at 29th Street Ballroom, they’ve finally got their album, Killing Time, ready for release on Slumberland on February 21st.  This track’s a mix of the group’s former project, Magic Bullets, and their own fuzzy pop sensibility that they’ve portrayed in TM.  It’s definitely not as quick as “Something About You,” but in its brevity, it almost begs you to play it again, rather than lay it all on the line quick as can be. Still, it’s going to be awesome.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Terry_Malts_-_Tumble_Down.mp3]

Download: Terry Malts – Tumble Down [MP3]

New Rocker from Terry Malts

During the summer I caught wind of this project by following the wonderful Magic Bullets, but Terry Malts is a beast of a different sort.  They’re a little bit more upbeat, and they’ve got a more direct approach to rocking.  Just this week they’ll be releasing a new 7″ on Slumberland Records, and we’ve got the A Side from the Something About You EP.  It breezes in quick, with a little bit of bounce.  You’ll find a sharpness to the guitars, and just one killer hook after another in the vocals.  I’m really excited to see where these guys go from here, and I hope you are too!

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/01-Something-About-You.mp3]

Download: Terry Malts – Something About You [MP3]

Magic Bullets – s/t

Rating: ★★★½ ·

San Francisco of late hasn’t really offered up a lot of genuine pop records, instead it has a great deal of bands weirding out if you will.  That is until you hear the delightful sounds coming from the self-titled album by Magic Bullets. There’s a lot of obvious influences that you’ll hear on this, their second album, but regardless of where they’re coming from, the group is sure to be up for good things in the future.

It’s hard to tell if the band is using California as their starting off point, or if they’re just channeling classic Orange Juice riffs.  They’ve got sharp guitar hooks fueling the song, and the drums give it an extra bit of spring.  You might find a hint of Robert Smith in the vocals, but the overall atmosphere of the song is much more vibrant, creating less of a mood swing and more of a foot stomper.  A similar effect is employed in “Lying Around,” the single for the band, but the pseudo-yelp in the vocals can only evoke a magical quality you’ll find in the band’s name.  Bubbling bass work here goes a long way to give a bit of a groove, and one you’ll use to get your friends moving about your house.

Still, this isn’t your typical album chocked full of jangle pop, as slow-movers exist to provide an underlying level of depth.  “They Wrote a Song About You” catches you in the arms of your lover, twirling you about, as the vocals have a smooth croon, which is different than early exposure to the band.  “China Beach” moves really slowly, but careful guitar strumming provides listeners with a chance to give themselves over entirely to the emotive quality here.  As other songs seem to encourage you to catch up with Magic Bullets, this song asks that you slip into the song itself, going gently into the swirling beauty of the chorus.

Surely everyone will find joy in songs like “On Top of the World” with its ringing guitars reminiscent of recent work by The Lodger.  This is the music you can dance to while your arms flail about and your feet struggle to catch the beat.  It’s a track that lets you get lost in joyousness and carefree times.  Similarly, “Sigh the Day Away” goes all nostalgic, reflecting guitar oriented dance tracks of the mid-80s (this is before the cursed invention of laptop dance).  You’ll hear songs like these, with their solid percussive elements, and you’ll have no choice other than to give yourself over to the rhythm, as you should.  Just let yourself go.

Magic Bullets self-titled album has a lost of trademark sounds taken from various other groups, which I suppose could be the one knock against the group, but when you’re able to perfect such qualities, taking them to your own place, then you’re a success.  Every bit of this album sounds familiar, friendly and danceable.  Grab your friends by the hands, drag them to your living room dance floor and enjoy this pleasurable record.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/04-Track-04-1.mp3]

Download: Magic Bullets – Lying Around [MP3]

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