Got a little Mammoth Cave preview today... I'm beginning to put MC in the hard-to-keep-up-with pile of people like Trouble in Mind and Captured Tracks....by the time I'm done writing this and checking out their latest releases... I'm not sure why I even bother...these guys know what they're doing...you gladly pay them to do all the work. What are you doing wasting their time looking around? reading bio's?...take Lantern, a perfect example, bad ass, stripped down, ultra roots blues, spazz garage rock...distorto vocals, something like a reincarnation of Bob Log III. They tour with at most 6 pieces of equipment, ready to play in about 10 minutes, rock out for twice as long and blow out the shit out of there.
For what it's worth, Vice named them, best band in philly.
Lantern – I Don’t Know 7” (MCR 019)
A: I Don’t Know
B: Out of Our Heads
300 Copies / Black Vinyl / Large Hole / Digital Download
Art: Liza Czech
Following up to killer cassette releases on Night People and Electric Voice, this is Lantern's debut 7" single. Zachary Fairbrother and Emily Robb were the brains behind Oman Ra II, a band we loved a great deal (the Oman Ra II / Dirty Beaches split cassette will never leave my van). "I Don't Know" sounds like a 'roided out Bo Diddley and "Out of Our Heads" which sounds like it could have been included in the Stooges Rough Power bootleg. Lantern have been on tour throughout the USA for the last month and a half, and I guarantee that you won’t have trouble selling these.
Next, we remember the Moby Dicks and their single about a local eating establishment, here they team up with B.A. Johnston, who seems to be a sort of Joe Jack Talcum, or John S Hall type of loveable weirdo fixture. The Moby Dicks recreate their favorite B.A. classics, like this "You're gonna miss me when the zombies come", which is about all the ways we're going to think about the good times even after we're walking around dead zombies. That's nice. The sleeve is also.
(2) B.A. Johnston with The Moby Dicks 7” EP
A1: Robot World
A2: You’re Gonna Miss Me When the Zombies Come
A3: McDonald’s Coupon Day
300 Copes / Black Vinyl / Large Hole / Digital Download
Art: Paul Hammond
We have been huge fans of B.A. Johnston for some time now - a song and dance/comedy/folk. Neil Hamburger's delivery with David Lee Roth's stage antics, B.A. Johnston is the last true vaudevillian entertainer left on the planet. He tours Canada constantly, playing 250-300 shows per year to the point that he has become somewhat of a national icon. And we love him. The Moby Dicks re-create three of their favourite B.A. Johnston “songs” - "Robot World" (off B.A.'s classic album "Call Me When Old and Fat is the New Young and Sexy"), "You're Gonna Miss Me When the Zombies Come" (off "Stairway to Hamilton"), as well as the previously unreleased "McDonald's Coupon Day."
FInally the Mandates are up next with a precise post rock sound, the amps have been cleaned up, maybe even polished, the grille's replaced...that shitty ungrounded hum is even gone. They can even yell without distortion, that starts to feel novel actually...punchy, clean power punk that sounds like it was recorded with a bunch of talented young ones. The way it should be. Did you know anything about a scene in Canada? Now you do. Well, get these singles and you will.
I also swear there is a hot gentlemen on gentlemen's magazine which I hope these guys are named after.
Mandates – Photo in My Wallet 7” EP
A: Take You To the Dance
B1: Photo in my Wallet
B2: So Much for Saturday Night
150 Copies / Black Vinyl / Small Hole / Digital Download
How many good bands does Calgary, AB need to have before people start taking it seriously as the current hotbed of Canadian Rock 'N Roll? The Mandates are just the latest example of how good things are getting. Straight-up punk/powerpop in the vein of Carbonas or Exploding Hearts. "Photo in my Wallet" alone makes this worth having, and we are already almost sold out of this record (50 left).
Go check out any of Mammoth Cave's stuff on their bandcamp page and order direct from them here.