If you see a band/artist who are sitting in a meditative state, you can’t help but be impressed. Or you may say “they’re sitting in a certain way, I need to know what they’re hiding.” Draag may not be hiding something just yet, but they’re trying to pull you in their their glances. This Los Angeles-based bands, who are called “shoegaze rockers” (???) have released an EP today called Traci Lordz, and you have two songs to choose from. As for the song’s namesake, I had the poster the band are holding up below, back in high school. I liked Traci Lords, what can I say.
Fire Records will be releasing a new album from Surf City on March 24th called Jekyll Island and you can have a preview of it by playing a song from it, “Hollow Veins”. It rocks in a Lemonheads-meets-Weezer sort of way, but you are sure to hear other influences too.
Jo Bevan (vocals), Simon Drowner (bass), Rob Hardy (guitar) and Caz Hellbent (drums) are a London band calling themselves Desperate Journalist, and their debut album will be released next week Tuesday through Chicago label Minty Fresh. You can be captured by it right now by checking out “Control”, which may remind a few people of the great new wave of the early 80’s, a hint of Siouxsie Sioux or Ian McCulloch.
According to the press material, “rock stars went extinct but Marilyn Manson is still here” so if the Foo Fighters are not rock stars, maybe they’re just a cool band with punk roots. This means Marilyn Manson may be someone else within the rock star persona, that could be very true if you think about it. New album out on january 20th called The Pale Emperor, bow down to his likeness to a new song called “Deep Six”. Think about it: you’re dead now.
The three men above are a Brighton alternative rock band called In Dynamics, and if you are looking for more answers, you can have them with their new EP, Questions. They’ve made a video for the song “Waking Life”, another answer for you. For those in or near Guildford, England, they’ll be doing a show tomorrow (Friday) at The Boiler Room, which wraps up their UK tour for the year.
Poor Planning is a new 4-song EP by Puddle Splasher that play some pretty good rock, the type that you rarely hear on the radio these days or see on TV, but have to search for, which is how you discover the best music these days. I think these guys are pretty good, but so far I’ve mentioned the phrase “prety good” twice, and that was the third. It left me wondering if they’re able to do anything more other than hit the popular cliches that other bands of their ilk can do and have done better. The song I was won over with was “You Will”, and that’s probably due to the fast tempo and the delicate moments the group went through in the song. What I like is that the songs are good and easy to remember and it didn’t make me want to switch over to the next song. I wanted to hear more than the four songs featured here, which means I’ll wait around until they come up with a full length album, then we’ll go from there. I’ll be anxious like the young kid on the cover.
Upon listening to the opening song on Happy Diving’s new album Big World, it lead me to wonder how they’re going to keep up the massive flux of distortion they’re placing in the song. I love distortion and there’s a lot of harmonies going in the playing but can they keep it up? They do with their next song “Space Ooze” and I have to prepare for the massive punch these guys are going to supply. They don’t lighten up their intensity until the half way point when “Sad Planet” begins, only to realize the verse are the sensitive part, the choruses (or what they call choruses) is a much bigger punch into the gut. They repeat the formula on the second half of the song, keeping things low and to the floor until the 10th and final song, “10”, and then they bathe in walls of feedback. In between this, they sing songs of strength, power, loss, love, and wonderment, and they may do it in a way that some may overlook due to the velocity of how loud they play (or how bold the music is mixed). Fortunately, the album is mixed nicely, it doesn’t sound terrible by any means, it’s something that can be handled if you can tolerate the loudness. I happen to love it and when it comes time for the band to take a breathe, they do it nicely before they suffocate until the album properly ends.
If you know of Joanne Gruesome, you’ll be glad to know that they have three new songs for your listening pleasure. If you don’t know who Trust Fund are, get to know them on this brand new split 12″ EP.
Joanna Gruesome’s music may be called an in between release if you wish to call it that, but I simply consider it new music that they felt like releasing. I enjoy the dual vocals between Alanna Gruesome (McArdle) and Owen Gruesome (Williams). as it sounds good and is perfect for one another, you can place your emphasis on whomever depending on your mood. While all three songs are quite good, the one that jumped on me the most was “Coffee Implosion”, I love how it builds up but never to the point of an actual implosion, almost as if they’re saying we can take you there but not on record. Not yet.
Trust Fund also have three songs to discover. They are a spirited band. also from the UK, signed to Reeks Of Effort records and come off a bit like a cross between Weezer and The Go-Go’s, both retaining a pop passion but also not being afraid to rock out with bravery and soul. “Scared” is the second of three sides on their song and that’s the winner for me, although “No Pressure” is the most poppy of the three, light and sensitive but also crisp and strong.
It’s a nice set of indie pop music from two bands who are doing it with class, and I’m glad HHBTM Records put them back to back for this EP.
If there’s one thing that Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Pearl Jam did for the Pacific Northwest, it showed that it was a great place to find lots of great. The band thing is that the hype of grunge made countless fans assume that all bands sounded the same and had the exact influences. Not every band was super-polished or had the publicity teams to make them a powerful force. Take for example, a group from Bellingham, Washington named Crayon. They released a small handful of 7″ singles and EP’s before they came up with their debut album in 1994. The spirit of Brick Factory (HHBTM) sounded like a group that were willing to show how new they were, even though they existed for four years. They weren’t too polished or sharp, nor did they want to be. They wanted to twist their style of pop music with a lot of garage rock and noise, as if they wanted to join Sonic Youth, King Missile (Dog Fly Religion), Coffin Break, or Hazel and have a huge party. It was loose punk rock with a poppy edge, and their album sounded like something you’d pop into your cassette deck and just get drunk.
That album is now 20 years old and the spirit lives on with its reissue, which has come out on vinyl for the first time. You might assume that having fourteen songs on an album is too much and would lower the sound quality, but the original album was under 40 minutes, which means the sound quality is excellent. Some may feel indie music from the early 90’s have been lost in time but as far as the fans are still out there and show how much this music moved them, a reissue like the one for Brick Factory will continue being reissued. If you get the digital version of this album, you’ll get seven more songs that are from their earlier singles. Brick Factory may not make you feel as long as you were 20 years ago, but it is sure to remember why these songs trilled you in the first place.
(You may pre-order the LP directly from HHBTM Records.)
Smegma are one of Portland’s best known unknown bands, known for their incredible and warped sense of creativity. They’ve been doing this for over 40 years and now they’re going to release an album of mostly new music called Mutant Stomps. These songs were taken from sessions recorded between 2012-2013, while one selection is taken from their archives recorded in 1975. The album will be out on November 23rd and will be pressed on vinyl as well, in a limited edition of 100 copies. The record can be pre-ordered by clicking here.