Wednesday, December 4, 2013
After playing in various other bands for ten years in the La Puente California area, Mr. Suicide and Harley ventured off on their own to get back to their punk roots and start over with nothing but the guitar and drums with their latest project Rock N Roll Suicides. I love this kind of setup, the way a duo pushes themselves live, the relationship between both members in the band better be solid because there's no one else you're going to hang out with or record or play through shitty venues with. It's the purest form of rock, distilled down to the most basic elements, noise and rhythm and Rock N Roll Suicides are working in a long line of punk minimalists with a sound bigger than the two of them.
A rough, gritty electric kicks off A-Side's "Born in the Wrong Era" creaking in with a scrape of the strings and spazzy drums with a great back and forth between the two of them from the get go, messing with the timings and locking into that duo mind meld. Reminding me a lot of The Hussy with Rudy Suicide on guitar and vocals and Harley Kaos on drums, bashing away on an all cymbal kit and Rudy's got a distortion on the vocal. This even goes back to Motorhead with it's fast 4/4 that takes it's moment and ends in feedback, fast with a bluesy Cramps style. I could easily see these two in one of those chopped up, matte black hot rods in a constant state of being worked on with flames shooting out of the front when they step on the gas. Maybe it's the sound of all that space that's going on here. Space, the beach and HEAT. "What a waste" comes out with fast hyper punk and when the both of them get on this mic, it's like Heather and Bobby's midwest bluesy garage sound and Rock n Roll Suicides are squarely in the punk camp and their west coast dirty grunge sound. More aggressive and maybe it's the low end of this guitar that's sort of going metal, delving into the feedback and the screeching chords with the same amount of bashing. They don't just rely on jittery punk sound though, this one stops at random points really interrupting the head banging deliberately, bringing crafty equations to their thick garage party with timing that could only exist between two people playing any length of time together this loud and fast.
B-Side "I Live Blind" come on that stabndard blues bar sound but a little drunker and rowdy, more melodies and those starts and stops are still here but it's almost performed live, the loose kit attack and slippery cuts, scratchy guitar swaying back and forth on that long walk home. Sounds like they're taking a load off and having a few too many, the same way I write about records. Repeated scaled riffs with warm distortion, coming together like a rock and roll tough party with sunglasses and leather in the desert. Why is that my go to for this West coast sound? The toughest loners carve out an existence in the desert. There's nothing around to fall back on but this sound.
Get this from Wolf on A Bridge Records or contact these guys at their facebook page.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
I just was going through the Suicide Squeeze releases for their cyber Monday sale and forgot how much great stuff they've released over the last couple years on the seven inch format...Dirty Beaches, This Will Destroy You (picked up their latest double LP for 10 BUCKS)...wax idols...the Guantanamo Bay Natural Child split - all of it long sold out of course so I wanted to make sure to talk about this latest single from Eating Out. A three song EP with members Daniel and Brody from long time favorites Nu Sensae along with Mish from White Lung and Geoff Dembicki from Peace. Sounds like they took the experimental pop punk sounds of these previous projects and layered them with classic grunge sounds on the preview track "Come around". Beefy guitar sounds pile up building and building with heavy studio separation, crystal clear and working into a thick hum. They manage to keep this track plowing through definitely in a nod to grunge like a Screaming Trees or TAD with the vocals buried and distanced and a cavernous distortion recorded in a massive empty Detroit factory. Harmonies in an almost surf, beachy sound on the vocal against this heavy distortion, towering and hitting the same notes as Milk Music. You'll have to pick this up to get to hear the rest - unless you got it from Burger Records, Suicide Squeeze has this one limited to 500 copies (100 on opaque pink/lavender/yellow-mixed vinyl, 400 on black) with a download code.
Over the past few episodes Darren and I seem to have been referencing Modern Vinyl almost every show and it was high time we tracked down the founder, Chris to find out how he keeps up with his insane amounts of posts about new releases and the idea that we can all get rich by flipping records on ebay or on websites about vinyl for that matter.
Turns out it's SUPER EASY.
Picks for this week are the "Sunderberry Dream" Fuzz single from In the Red with a King Crimson cover on the B-Side and Darren picks a black friday Record Store Day split on Subpop with Shearwater covering Rhinnaha and Low covering Frank Ocean’s “Novacane”.
We also start a rumor that Mikal Cronin is Charlie Moonheart aka Charles Moothart? Maybe we're the last to know.
Correct us at the 7inches voicemail - (347) 770-1469.
Monday, December 2, 2013
Cole Furlow from Dead Gaze talked to me once about King Tubby and how it related to a lot of things happening with Animal Collective and later Panda Bear tracks in a similar experimentation with heavy dub reverb sound. Listening to this single from Tabajo I'm reminded of a similar end result in sound and theory. Trabajo, an electronic duo from Brooklyn, is Yuchen Lin and TJ Richards who are fanatical about gamelan music from Indonesia and have been experimenting and sampling it for the past couple of years resulting in this self released EP. It's got a lot to do with MadLibs Beat Konducta Volumes as well as Ducktails or Dirty Beaches in the way they rework the material with a lot of contemporary techniques while respecting the source.
A-Side's "Gamelan to the Love God" comes in with cycling loops of hand bells, chanting choruses and dense layers of cycling clanging like tracks from Person Pitch and it's deceptively simple combination of something completely new. The loops include lower end warped synth added by the duo along with reversed beats adding up to a shimmery almost psych feel with those rhythms intact. "The Myth" has choppier smaller cycles leading into more of those gamelan ensemble vocalizations and this is buried further contributing even more to that dreamy landscape while a heavy dub beat drops into this over a solo sitar. The material they work into these loops is subtle, it's hard to even pick out what pieces couldn't have possibly been there originally. The same way G-Flux on Electric Cowbell is pioneering his own cumbia, these guys are following a thread that for me started with Panda Bear and here comes these instrumental tracks, heavily chopped up and tilted towards faster tempos, veering into a dance sound this becomes something of a gamelan breaks record with big bass kicks of massive decay over the eastern loops in a huge sound chamber.
"I Am Tetsuo" is all bells and chimes in glitchy bursts for them to add a heavy thumping beat under this mathy percussion. The choral style vocal also relies on brief twitches of strange rhythms and ending up with a melody something like Enigma(Contemporary gregorian chants? That will never happen again) proving that the pieces can always be appropriated in new ways. The very reason all those needles were pulled backwards on turntables almost forty years ago now.
B-Side's "23 Skidoo" (also a band who dabbled in gamelan) is working in chimes and half beats built on top of each other, with their brand of repetition working in a hyper Eastern Velvet Underground style. There's warped guitar or a wah'd synth over the pile of chimes in primal rhythms; the real foundation for most gamelan tracks and suits this exploration well. When this really starts raking things together they hit a stride, the less air and breathing space between individual pieces starts to turn this into somthing else, just at the moment when you stop paying attention to the piece as it's individual parts.
On "Udan Mas" bell sounds are broken out in long melodies while a super western thump beat is laid out with handclaps, the old 808 ones. This track sounds the most psych to me, an alien soundtrack that has modern elements but true to the source textures. There's room for a haunting little vocal on this to finish up the track. "Mortal"'s quick loop is something out of a carnival merry go round on 78. Tempos blend together in impossible to follow ays with heavy synth. There's a soundtrack element to this leke Goblin or John Carpenter's stuff, here more subtle and loopy atmospheric with slower changes relying on this overwhelming twinkly loop but the same kind of macro composition at work.
The duo is actually playing Bundy's (75 Stewart Ave) this Saturday. Pick up this single from their bandcamp page.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Super Sale announcement from Darren over at Velocity of Sound - check out our podcast + eat turkey
Good morning vinyl lovers! I hope everyone is enjoying their day off today and finding the time to spin a favorite record or two! Velocity of Sound wanted to reach out and say thank you for being our customer, if it wasn’t for YOU, we couldn’t make 7”s.
For Thanksgiving Day, Velocity of Sound is offering 25% off all orders of at least two items or more. This deal could potentially land you two vinyl singles for only $5.83!! Just use PROMO CODE, JohnCandy at checkout. The deal ends at tonight Eastern time.
We also wanted to take this opportunity to let you know of a couple charity auctions you can take part in. Up for auction (over at eBay) are a The Lees of Memory “We Are Siamese” TEST PRESS (only 11 in the world!) and an Epic Ditch “36-HOUR” TEST PRESS (only 12 in the world!)
100% of the proceeds will be going to the Animal Rescue League of Western Pennsylvania. Not only can you get your hands on an extremely cool item, but you can also feel good doing it.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Plumerai and The Brother Kite offer up a novel approach to delivering entirely unique exclusive material with this split single released a few years back. Both bands are based in the northeast and their latest material these days is dense, heavily produced pop but for this single both bands agreed to strip down to nothing but raw simple instrumentation to see where the songwriting would land.
Plumerai's contribution "Vacant Eyes" is a minimal track of a deliberate, solo electric, turned up loud the hardly plucked strings separate out in their own melody, naked in the middle of this silence. Elizabeth Ezell on vocals brings heavy emotion to the table in that pleading St. Vincent's quivering, near breaking down vocal. She's just as deliberate as that instrumentation and places phrases between notes creaking alongside this electric that threatens to stop itself at any moment. There's a quieter vocal behind her pleading and bells are softly struck with fur mallets so as not to break the spell of this intimate confession. A plaintive violin and organ slowly build in this Owen Pallet inspired arrangement to an epic plateau of a folk backyard Bowerbirds orchestra. They work with the negative space here, the hardly sung track of Elizabeth's vocal against nothing but a few notes one after another while the instrumentation waits in the wings to do some breaking down of it's own. If you're already in a mood, do yourself a favor and pour the alcohol down the sink.
The B-Side finds The Brother Kite stripped down on "We Can Never Be Friends". It's smooth country southern rock track with acoustic strums and Patrick's Michael Stipe style vocal in a bright echo bright echo chamber. They launch into storytelling mode, a clear nostalgic heartland radio number that if the title was any indication isn't going to leave you happy about the outcome. Reminds me of the potential of the Shins and their harmonic pop songwriting or you could actually go further back to Steven Stills, it's got all the attitude as those classic templates.
Get it from Plumerai's bandcamp page, an edition of 500 on coke bottle clear vinyl.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
The 7inches podcast (episode 6) - itunes feed here
Your up to the minute seven inch news coverage for the tristate area.
This week we cover:
The great Drag City, Ty Segall, Gemini debacle of 2013.
The great Drag City, Ty Segall, Gemini debacle of 2013.
The roundtable review of Gemini from The Firenote, The Polyvinyl 4-track seven inch club?!!!!!, The WFMU Record fair and the new Rough Trade shop in Williamsburg.
Darren’s pick for the week is the Mud City Manglers on Mind Cure Records - great record store releasing a new single from a new Pittsburg band every month.
Jason’s pick for the week is the new Minks record on Captured Tracks, Tides End and has trouble explaining why he's completely loving it.
The seven inches hotline is free for scared singles: (347)770-1469
Leave a message about the show and 7" singles we should check out.
Check out Darren’s releases over at Velocity of sound.
Sometimes I accidentally get things right.
I wrote up some first impressions about this single from Imaginary Pants before even checking Rok Lok Records and putting the final post together. I wrote some things about how it reminded me of other guy girl duo's like The Yips or Kitchen Floor combined with The Softies. I even read the back of the sleeve that listed the members as 'Jon and Rose' but didn't put it completely together until reading this description from Rok Lok:
Words don't justice to describe the great emotions I feel about being a part of this release. For starters it feels great to document more of the great music that my friend Jon Manning (Sandy City, Blanket Truth, Lost Sound Tapes) creates but it feels even greater knowing that I am also helping document music that the other half of Imaginary Pants, Rose Melberg, has created. To put things in perspective, as of this writing I am 35 years old and I have been listening to music the Rose has written/recorded with her various projects (Tiger Trap, The Softies, Go Sailor, Gaze, as well under her own name) since I was a 16 sixteen your old indie rock kid in highschool. If a past version of me got knowledge from the future about this release he (I) would be freaking out. Fanboy nonsense aside, it feels great to simply document great music by people such as Rose and Jon who have an impeccable track record of being a part of some of the best indie pop music my ears have ever been fortunate enough to hear.
Of course. I have a section on the record shelves that's grouped together by records I used to listen to nonstop in high school and still are great (and a lot that didn't make the cut). Records from The Cure, Pixies, The Smiths, Morrissey, Dead Milkmen and two from The Softies, Winter Pageant and Holiday in Rhode Island. Mind you I listened to them on CD or on mix tapes but I found myself picking these up years later because I missed them. Later I managed to get their singles and go further back to Go Sailor and Tiger Trap. It was the gold standard to measure other unpretentious music with feelings and it's great to randomly come across this latest from Rose without even have tried.
A-Side's "Channels" features warm acoustic with hints at The Polyphonic Spree or Sufjan with a twee element, just acoustic and centered on the vocal. Jon and Rose's high register unassuming vocals that work at getting the harmonies just right. Before I realized this was THE Rose, it always surprised me when I would listen to The Softies and it would always hit me that there's no percussion and here it is again, nothing but the slight echo in the vocal and this mellow electrified acoustic...or just an electric? Calming indie pop that soothes in a melancholy way. I always found her vocal to be sad without even trying. Bunnygrunt, The Swirlies, Bearsuit...all of these are coming back with Imaginary Pants lyrics about the shore, summer, the channel that runs out to the ocean; lofty, epicly sad sentiments from a back porch or lazy days in the screened in porch. You had it pretty good before winter started to set in. We're left with this salt stained stack of Hipstamatic prints all stuck together.
"Seacliff" picks things up which I guess is unusual for a B-Side, but the A-Side was so perfect, here's a jangly buried electric twanging away, franticly strumming in a pretty serious rhythm. The great mix of loose carefree sound of Jon's higher vocal...an introspective bedroom Mates of State. They get into this chorus of chanting and the whole thing is a little loose and surfy sounding with barely an effect on the vocals like the Besties with odd choppy rhythms of Dog Day that they make work completely with sheer creation and layered harmonies. It's a specific style but one that's closely associated with DIY and cooperation and not stomping the shit out of each other in a warehouse like assholes. There's room for a nicer scene like this. Instead of mean Mr Rollins yelling at Calvin. I always hated that story...reminds me how much more punk this is because it isn't trying to be punk to the point it can be actively hated? Ugh, forget all that, I'm glad to hear this...a great new release and I'm going back now through her catalog thanks to this single.
Pick it up from Rok Lok Records. Another label that seriously cares - the most important thing.
Monday, November 25, 2013
Hollywood are from Baltimore. Hollywood likes those giant shiny letters that spell out ‘Birthday’ so everyone knows it’s your special day. They like heart shaped beds because normal beds are boring and if that bed is covered in shag fabric, it’s for your pleasure. Hollywood lists every track title IN ALL CAPS because they are important and yelling. Hollywood is four guys who play loud fast and hard with a sense of humor because anything else would be completely pretentious.
The opening track, “UP ALL NIGHT” jumps into that huge pop punk sound of thick treble range guitars with an opening anthem, they literally have no choice but to get this off their collective chests. The scratchiest static sound from their guitars with beefy thick fingered chords, palming the whole instrument taking over the track, crashing in waves with macho yelling of vocals back and forth between band members. Hollywood can get away with a completely ridiculous track because they’re playing at such speed, so thoroughly thick and massive it becomes an avalanche of spazzy highs and you’re at the bottom of the hill. Drums and bass take a backseat to this front and center distortion.
"FINGERS REMEMBER” is based in part on blues scales and Dictators goofball '50s sound, parodying that era that was already joking. It switches into a scuzzed up Stray Cats chorus sound where his fingers remember a girl. Gross or nice? You decide.
They slow down to a bass line thump, double up the vocals and scream in some kind of super double chamber so they aren't on the same planet as the rest of this song. Clear and driving with a sort of Clash sound, lots of guitar being the focus here, just never stop playing.
"$PACE JAM" has an almost psych sound of lower gritty thunder on the guitar, scuzzy and dripping. The vocals are slathered with echo and delay sounding now like Rocket from the Crypt with all members yelling together about space travel and aliens. I can’t stress this enough, they want to just rock and Love Child won't let you have anything but a good time. They demand that they buy you beers and introduce you to the friends of their girlfriends. When you go out with Hollywood, you better just forget whatever you had planned for the next day.
“(I PREFER) DRUGS” has a stomp scuzz beat and a sick single note guitar melody about drugs, for some reason reminding me of a hippie punk sound of Jane's Addiction drawing from a classic rock sound and launching it into space with swirly effects. You better believe the vocalist has all kinds of attitude strutting around on these tracks, snarling and belligerent, the first guy to flip over a table at the end or the beginning of the night.
On the flip side of their insert is a monster movie close up of an old poster and I think Hollywood wants to overwhelm and have the same energy, to talk about those ridiculous things like monsters or zombies and ignore conventions. Always blown out, the trio blares through a megaphone. Every kind of distortion must be utilized and if this gets the slightest bit shoegaze Hollywood will kill you with a tiki torch. They want scuzz clipped and chopped up into the hawaiian sunset with a swamp creature eating it up, coming up on the beach to hang out next to the bonfire.
They can't help but have that scuzzy pop bubble sound that turns into something of a dance floor if they didn't rip it out already, they are going to leave a lot in their wake. An acoustic guitar? They know how to play those? They’re attacking those garage '50s pop sounds on "SNAKE BITE" making sure to keep it light as possible with songs about drugs and reptile bites, but then they refuse to let you rest or give you a moment to process this.
"FREE SWIM” saunters along over rolling tom fills like a slow chainsaw busted through a hundred tiny amps. They always go to that next level of girls on the strip and cool cars, they’re just in love with their sound crunching as hard as possible even when it has to do with swimming at that summer camp. You can real hear what a character this lead singer is, completely filling out this hillbilly vibe with a toothless grin and straw in his teeth. How did he get a swimming pool anyways? They save the last track, "HUMAN BBQ PART 2” for a thunder sludge sound about kidnapping kids and war. How'd we get here guys? I guess all that crazy alien weirdness also includes some super demented not nice things that are going to happen to people, like this human BBQ. Out with a bang.
On blood or party balloon red vinyl. You're choice. From Big Neck Records.