This is likely to be my last post about any Trouble In Mind band…at least for this week. But, in saying that, this is just another reason the label has been so consistent lately. They’ve signed on Chicago’s The Hecks for the band’s debut, and you’re not likely to hear much like it, though you’ll hear similarities across the board of the latest indie rock fare. Guitars open dangerously, yet steadied by a polite bit of pop sensibility just underneath. Then they take a turn into the realms of art-punk, just before another right turn takes them into the realm of dissonant noise…closing the track abruptly. It’s a fascinating collection of all things punk and rock, leaving listeners salivating at what’s to come on their debut; the self-titled record is released on September 2nd.
It’s been nearly 9 years since we last heard from Japancakes, and there couldn’t be a better way for the band to reintroduce themselves than through this new synth driven track off their new LP. Those who’ve followed the band might notice something slightly different…the inclusion of vocals…the first time the band have used such an approach in 20 years. But, Carrie Clough hits the perfect notes, especially around the 1.43 minute mark; it soars highly before allowing for the electronic pulse to bounce back into your ears. Backing vocals get added to the rear-end of the song, emphasizing the majestic pop the band have left you with on this tune. Their self-titled release will be out on May 6th.
Fascinations Grand Chorus is two players, Stephanie and Andrew. They use keyboards and drums to craft their sound. That being said, this isn’t a Mates of State redux; it’s a construction of pop structures taking nods to punk rock and psychedelia. All that being said, I’m really stuck on the emphatic vocal performance of Stephanie on this song; she’s playful yet pitch-perfect. This is our first listen to the band since announcing their debut self-titled EP, and it’s a bright start that promises more great things to come from the band in the future. Listen up.
In case you didn’t hear how happy we were to help with the Ocean Party LP last year…we were, we really were. But, the long story is that I came to the band by way of Curtis W, the man behind Velcro, and one of the core members of OP. He just put up his new self-titled LP, and I think it’s a good bit of tunes to help you see where his songwriting comes from/goes. I think I’m currently stuck on the slight jangle of “Bed Ridden 2.” But, for you newcomers, or fans of Aussie pop, you can currently grab the album for NYOP…though we always encourage dollars going to the bands. Sweet streams.
It’s already been mentioned all over the Internet (yesterday) that Kyle Forester worked in Crystal Stilts, but I think that’s all you need to know, as nothing on his debut single sounds anything like that band, nor should it. He’s off on his own now, at least for this effort, and pop aficionados should take note. To my ears, this sounds like a stomping Nada Surf hit…Forester even takes on some of the same vocal notes as M. Caws. Still, it’s not power pop, it’s more of barn-storming, and I love it. He’ll be releasing his self-titled debut via Flying Moonlight Records on March 20th.
Okay, so maybe Stutter Steps aren’t your new favorites, not yet anyways. But, those of you who’ve carefully wrapped yourself in a world of indiepop and Australian/NewZealand guitar craftsmanship will surely find yourselves a new band to adore. This first single is as fine example of the art of songwriting as I’ve come to hear, which should come as no surprise; Ben Harrison, the man behind the band, can call himself a contributor/collaborator to the works of Dean and Britta (if you need to look that up then it won’t mean much). Still, I can hear the band’s references to Flying Nun, though I prefer to imagine Harrison crafting his own American version of the Go-Betweens. There’s incredible melodies and such a gentle warmth; you’re bound to find this the most endearing tune today. Their self-titled album will be out soon via Wild Kindness Records.
It looks like 12XU has added another high voltage act to the stable, and I’m really excited to hear what exactly comes from new signing Snooty Garbagemen. Tom Triplett already has some links with the lable via The Blaxxx, but this new project already has an impacting sound that’s got me itching for the full-length. The musical vibe is just a blasting rock n’ roll burst, and some might find it akin to Thee Oh Sees, with Triplett’s yelps…but, there’ seems to be much more control on the direction of this single. The self-titled LP will be out on the label July 6th, and after last year, I’ll pretty much trust anything they put out.
Disclaimer. I’m friends with Stuart from Decisions Decisions. Disclaimer. Stuart was also in the Rise, who I think any old-school Austin music fans fawned over. His new band has that same tenacity, living somewhere between the realm of post-punk and hardcore. The vocals border on angsty scream, though they have a bit more control, allowing the actual lyrics to shine through the track. The band have just uploaded 8 new songs to their Bandcamp page…and they’re worthy of your time, if rocking out real loud is your style. Check it…and I’ll keep you posted on upcoming shows.
I feel sorry for those in Austin that aren’t hip to the Zoltars. They might seem unassuming, but the vision of Jared Zoltar has kept the band crafting infections pop songs that deserve your attention. And now, the band are returning with their 3rd LP, which, based on this single, should be a delight for listeners in our town and beyond. I dig the swagger that pervades this tune; it sounds like Jared’s on to something cool that you want to be part of. They’re going the self-titled route for this effort, so look for that LP (and buy it) when Happenin Records tosses it out on February 24th.
You’re probably tired of hearing about Brooklyn bands, but Life Size Maps seem to be offering something slightly different from your average fare. The group is crafting pop music of the purest form, utilizing synth hooks and a chorus that will surely find a home in your subconscious. You’ll tap your toes, you’ll sing along, and you’ll realize that the simplest route is sometimes the best. Take a ride with these lads, and enjoy your day. Old Flame Records will be releasing the group’s self-titled LP during the first weeks of April.