New news? After taking a 15 year break, The Rentals are going to release a new album called Lost In Alphaville and are now signed to Polyvinyl. The album will be released on August 25th in the U.S. and September 8th in the UK. Check out a song from the forthcoming album, this one is called “1000 Seasons”. To pre-order the record on coke-bottle colored vinyl, head on over to TheRentals.com.
Hail Lucid State (Last Gang) may sound bold and exotic (and for some folks, erotic) but those words combined become the title of the new album by Dark Horses. The song is aggressively sensitive, maybe in tune with the mood of the lyrics but it works brilliantly well.
The first album by Austin, Texas’ Casual Strangers (self-released) tends to make it sound grander than it really is, especially when it tries to push the experimental guide, which I don’t hear. What I do hear on this album is a powerful piece of durable rock with a bit of depth and magnitude that is regularly not found in what passes as pop rock these these, and I like it. The group are fronted by vocalist Katey Gunn, who enjoys decorating the songs with different textures, pulling the listener in and then going in for the kill at the right moments. The same can be said for guitarist Paul Wacklawsky, drummer Jake Mitchell, and bassist Jaylinn Davidson, who enjoy exploring the arrangements of the songs, equally balancing what Gunn does with definition and space. Waklawsky also takes the microphone a few times, and what you had expected for some elements suddenly changes. Some tracks sound like durable new wave while other moments sound like the progressive things that some bands of the 90′s enhanced and made it their thing, or part of a thing that made these alternative bands so great, as if they heard different things and wanted to expand on things to take it one step further. I hope Casual Strangers are able to take the casual strangers known as their fans to new places and worlds.
(The self-titled Casual Strangers’ album will be released on July 22nd.)
When it comes to hearing an OOIOO album, you loosen the seat belt and comprehend what’s about to come through. When it comes to hearing a new OOIOO album, you get quite loose and be certain that there will be uncertainty. On Gamel (Thrill Jockey), the abrasive freakiness that was once a part of their being has been replaced somewhat by meditative chanting as if they decided to pray in Indonesia, enjoy the atmosphere of the outdoors, bring their guitars and have a festival musical and cultural orgy.
For the most part, this is not a rock album in a traditional sense. It’s cultural and ethereal, as if Yoshimi decided to open another door or two and immerse herself somewhere else to find a new joy and comfort. Is it meant to be a prayer of sort, or another freaky soundscape, as heard by unknown outsiders? It could be a bit of both but I’d like to think the foreignness of what may sound new could become familiar and thus a joy to the outsider who’ll find comfort inside.
The interesting about listening to this is that while there are some gaps of silence in between the songs, the entirety of Gamel sounds cohesive, as if it’s a Broadway or soundtrack album, or a concept album where you’re left trying to figure out what it all means. By the time some sense of rock finds its way into the mix with song #4 (“Gamel Ninna Yama”), it’s obvious that this is an all new world, but it’s an OOIOO world, and you can’t help but be delighted with it.
If you only knew of Yoshimi through her work with Boredoms, this new album by OOIOO is very much like the transformation she and Yamatsuka/Yamantaka Eye has gone through from wicked bursts of noise to exploratory beauty. The exploration she has made throughout her career continues here in this variation of OOIOO, and I can only imagine what their shows will be like for this album. I expect for them to be interactive with the audience for it.
The press release for this song states The Soft Bones’ “Ceramic” was released “on the 3.7.14″, but I don’t think they’re
referring to a label called 3.7.14, but rather the 3rd of July, which was yesterday. For those who enjoy their pop with an ethereal shoegaze spirit, this is the one for you, sure to carry you down the next mental stream. The Soft Bones is the creation of one many, who is preparing for his debut full length album due next year.
If the subject line to this post is a bit confusing, I will simplify it. Seattle band Fox And The Law have a third album ready to complete and it’s due on October 21st. It’s called Stoned To Death, so no one is getting high (yet) and no one is being beaten (not to my knowledge). For the time being, the band have three shows in their immediate future and once the album is completed, they’ll be doing some fall shows, which will happen after they come back from Europe. For now, this is what’s up for them:
July 26… Seattle, WA (Capitol Hill Block Party, Neumos Stage)
August 9… Damascus, OR (PDX Farm Fiesta)
September 5… Seattle, WA (Tractor Tavern) (European tour kickoff)
To hear what they’re about in a live setting ,check out this performance they did at KEXP in Seattle last year.
You have no doubt seen the cover for Weezer’s debut album, it has been seen countless times in the last twenty years, it is a statement and a musical landmark. In the last three years, it’s safe to say someone has already called it “iconic” while the guys in Weezer might call it “moronic”. Up to you.
Twenty years later, the album is honored by You Blew It! who are honoring Weezer with an EP tribute of songs from that debut album, simply called You Blue It!. The EP will feature new versions of “Susanne”, “Only In Dreams”, “In The Garage”, Surf Wax America” and “My Name Is Jonas”, the latter of which you can check out below. Topshelf Records will release the EP in digital form on July 15th while the vinyl pressing will hit stores and stands on August 12th. If you want to hear what You Blew It are about outside of a Weezer context, they are on tour in support of their latest album Keep Doing What You’re Doing.
July 1… New Haven, CT (Toad’s Place)
July 2… Clifton Park, NY (Upstate Concert Hall)
July 3… Syracuse, NY (Lost Horizon)
July 5… Toronto, ON (Opera House)
July 6… Millvale, PA (Mr Smalls Theatre)
July 8… Lansing, MI (Common Ground Fest)
July 9… Columbus, OH (Newport Music Hall)
July 10… Columbia, MO (The Blue Note)
July 11… Chicago, IL (Concord Music Hall)
July 12… Milwaukee, WI (The Rave)
July 13… Minneapolis, MN (Varsity Theater)
July 15… Lincoln, NE (Bourbon Theatre)
July 16… Denver, CO (Summit Music Hall)
July 17… Salt Lake City, UT (Club Sound)
July 19… Seattle, WA (Showbox at The Market)
July 20… Portland, OR (Crystal Ballroom)
July 22… San Francisco, CA (Regency Ballroom)
July 24… Los Angeles, CA (The Fonda Theatre)
July 25… Pomona, CA (Glass House)
July 26… San Diego, CA (House of Blues)
July 27… Tempe, AZ (The Marquee)
The recent box set of the band’s great Spiderland album has made Slint get back on the stage again, for there’s now a new and younger audience who would like to discover them, so they’re doing some shows in August, including at the Green Man Festival in Crickhowell, Wales. Here are the dates:
August 12… Brighton, England (The Old Market)
August 13… London, England (Electric)
August 14… Leeds, England (Cockpit)
August 15… Glasgow, Scotland (The Arches)
August 16… Crickhowell, Wales (Green Man Festival)
August 18… Belfast, Ireland (Limelight)
August 19… Dublin, Ireland (Button Factory)
Frog Eyes are a group who will be releasing an album next month on Paper Bag Records called Carey’s Cold Spring and if the style of alternative rock leans on the slightly gothic side, you’re going to love this. As a hint, try out “The Road Is Long” and travel along the road with them.
From their album Cover Your Eyes (Integrity) is a video made for the song “Inbetween” by Horse Party, a trio consisting of Ellie Langley (guitar & vocals), Seymour Quigley (guitar, bass & vocals), and Shannon Hope – (drums). What works about this song is the female/male dual vocals and the strength of the lyrics, teaming up with the solid music played behind it. Watch the drummer too.