It’s been a hot minute since we’ve run our weekly recap, but last week we covered a ton of ground, so why not give you a chance to see what all we were digging on our end? It was good to see Trouble in Mind with a couple of new releases we’re likely to enjoy from Martin Frawley and Connections. We also got to meet new supergroup from Melbourne, Equal Parts and their debut single. Plus, we even got to dip our toes in the Austin waters, with a new Daily Worker tune and a live recording from Balmorhea. Browse below, see what you’re into…likely all of it?
If you’re one of those that missed the brilliant Tower of Age in 2020, then be sure to rectify that by heading to Trouble in Mind and grabbing it. But today, and thanks to Andy at RSTB for pointing this one out, I’m rocking a new Lithics single. If you’re looking for a marching percussive element to drive some wonky art-punk, then, well, you just need to jump on this train as it’s all about a rolling snare mixed in with some light hi-hat. Aubrey Hornor’s deadpan vocals march to the same beat, all before the guitars start to jitter in your speaker, shaking the room with angular spikes. From there, the song snakes its way in and out of your brain, weaving sharp cuts across the backbone of the marching drum beat. I love this band, and you should too!
After dropping the superb Mandatory Enjoyment via Trouble in Mind, Dummy return with a brand new ripper for Sub Pop Singles Club. They pick up exactly where they left off, dropping in these motorik drum beats that race the the song forward, while guitars and melodies battle for control over the direction of the track. Juxtaposed male/female vocals, aided by the rising sun of synth work, build this underlying brightness that the band tame just before the 2 minute mark. That, however, is a momentary blip as the song explodes into euphoric noise at the 2:17 mark to close the tune out in high fashion. Also, keep a look out at your local venues, as the band are touring pretty heavily for the time being.
Did you hear Onyon‘s debut EP? Yeah, me either, but that’s the great thing about labels like Trouble in Mind Records, they’re not afraid to reissue a rad record, just so it ends up on your radar for the future. This record’s filled with jittery darkness, with vocals knifing back and forth between English and German, much like the guitars throughout the EP. If you think you’re getting weary of the post-punk attitude, then throw on a tune like “Shining River Utah” that illustrates how far the Leipzig bunch can push this sound. Shout out to TiM for turning all of us onto this rad album; you can hear the whole thing on the band’s page, or wait and grab the cassette from the label now!
We’ve spent a ton of time discussing the Austin acts on this bill, and maybe even put out a release by one of them, so if you haven’t listened to Being Dead, Queen Serene and Future Museums…do so. But, this post is about encouraging you to show up to Hotel Vegas to catch one of the more underrated, yet highly appreciated, acts in the indie sphere: Dummy. Their work is hard to pigeon-hole, moving between various periods of electronica and indie rock with such ease that one would find it difficult not to be mesmerized. Last year’s Mandatory Enjoyment made a lot of year-end lists, including our own, so clearly you’ve gotta show up tomorrow night. Plus, if you are planning on going, please wear a mask! The band’s already been hit with Covid on tour, so let’s do our best to keep them, and ourselves, safe. Show kicks off at 9:30 with Future Museums.
We first brought you news of Partner Look last April, when the band dropped a quick 7″ after forming as kind of a spur of the moment projects between the Hasnain sisters and their partners, Lachlan Denton and Dainis Lacey. This is one of the unique things about the Melbourne scene right now, with friends trading places all over to create exciting new projects. Today, the band announce their debut self-titled LP, dropping via Trouble in Mind/Osborne Again/Spunk in February. Lachlan (of Pop Filter/LD + ER/Ocean Party) gets the lead on the vocals here, and his voice always has this familiarity and spirited vibrance; it adds to the bouncing rhythm section helmed by his drum work. There’s a little bit of twang in the guitars, sort of taking a kind of psychedelic folk boogie to the track that reaches its climax in the chorus when everyone joins in for a singalong. Try this one on for size.
There’s not pigeonholing the Hecks, and I think we’re all better off for that. We’ve heard a couple of tunes off their forthcoming album, My Star. A quick listen might show the band as a fun times no-wave pop spectacle, but that’s precisely why I think you’ve got to listen to “Heat Wave.” This track broods and pulses; it’s washed in fuzzy electronics with the vocals riding the vibe in a purely indifferent fashion. As any aficionado of pop would tell you, the sounds on this track, old or new, just sound like what it would be like if we were all real cool. The band moves and shifts, so there’s really no telling what their LP will bring you going forward, but we’ll know when it drops on October 11th courtesy of Trouble in Mind.
I really love how the new stuff from this forthcoming Hecks record has me guessing at every corner; they easily have me outsmarted. I spent the first minute and a half of this new single think this is what Shellac would sound like if Steve wanted to write a dance record. But, eventually, the synth work sneaks into the song, sort of washing out the balance of this angular riffs and smoothing out the vocals into this retro R&B vibe from the MTV era. Then all of a sudden it becomes this eccentric jam breakdown throwing everything (including the kitchen sink) into the mix and coming out on top with this funky coda. This is the 3-in-1 pop song that has you coming back for more; it’ll be on My Star, dropped by the kind folks over at Trouble in Mind on October 11th.
Okay, so maybe this Possible Humans isn’t exactly a reissue, per se, but maybe just a world-wide release so you can all enjoy what those 200 folks over in Australia were able to get their hands on back in April. Everybody Split garnered raves from P4k, and of course, ever with a finger on the Aussie pulse, Trouble in Mind jumped on board to give the band’s debut a broader release. All that leads us to the track below; it’s different than say your Twerps or your RBCF, at least here. Weirdly, this track sounds an awful lot like what GBV would sound like if they found/wanted a proper studio recording; the chords (both guitar and vocals) sound worn out, like their on their last breath. That modest pace builds the tension, allowing for the song’s latter half to really let the guitars/vocals free, taking off on their own before returning home. If you have this LP, you’re lucky, but if not, TiM has you covered on August 2nd.
Rays already won me over with their 2017 self-titled debut, so it makes sense that I’d already be prepping my wallet for an adventure to the local shop to pick up their newest. But, it’s not out for a bit still, so we can just enjoy the brand new song they’ve just dropped. This track steps in line with the claim that the Cali outfit have refined their sound a touch, looking more at TV Personalities and Cleaners than perhaps their earlier work suggested. I still love how the guitar seems to twinkle in the midst of all the sonic madness; that’s not turn our heads from the matter of fact vocal delivery, offering a certain sense of calm amidst the frantic bounce. You Can Get There From Here drops on November 9th via Trouble In Mind.