Top 10 July 2013
Note: All my top 10s are non-hierarchical. Everyone’s a number 1!
Don Gero – Queer Lodgings (pRIMORDIAL SOUNDs)
Newest release from diverse psych cassette label out of Boston, Don Gero is a drum and electronics bit of transcendent and pounding rhythmic annihilation. Bringing to mind Lightning Bolt or the amplified Africans of Konono No. 1 . This amazing tape manages to be tribal and hallucinatory by virtue of it’s lo-fi recording and loose feel. Simply too many moments of surprise and sublimation on this tape to count. Get your hands on it!
Solids/Animal Faces – Cold Hands b/w Give In/Hold On Split 7”
Exciting Montreal two piece grunge revisionists Solids reemerge with a gorgeous track on this split with Toronto’s punk shoegazers Animal Faces . Riding a wave of bands that are melding all the good parts of 90’s distortion drenched rock and updating it for the new generation. “Cold Hands” is Solids’ offering and it just soars, a thick riffsandwich that seems short for it’s 5 minutes, the flip brings two songs by Animal faces, the first an instrumental stonery reverie, and the second really opens up some mathy layers of guitar snakes while buried vocals beseech from a cavern of reverb.
New Swears – Funny Isn’t Real (Bruised Tongue)
New Swears are one of the awesome new crop of crazy good bands popping up in Ottawa. That’s right, while you were sleeping, yawnsville capital city became a fierce hotbed of rad garage and allsorts bands with a thriving DIY venue network to boot. Sporting two former members of The Polymorphines , New Swears are a joyful and wasted party, and this tape is brimming with feel-good tambo shakers and guitar hooks. Surfy, with punk hooks and smilyfaced vocals exploding with danger, fun, youth with just a small tinge of sadness. These dudes crap out catchy riffs like golden eggs, everything is light, uptempo and catchy as shit.
Shy Mirrors – Wrong Bomb (Mirror Universe)
In the red distortion counterpointing the almost pop songwriting, Chicago by way of Stockholm’s Shy Mirrors dropped this cassette on the Mirror Universe last month. It’s some really hype stuff that carries with it tinges of The Mice or some of the rawer bands from the Flying Nun catalog. Great stuff from a really consistently rad European cassette label.
Various Artists – AS220’s Spring Sampler 2013
Non profit community arts center in Providence Rhode Island AS220 dropped this free comp crammed with local PVD bands un an unsuspecting public a few weeks back. For the uninitiated, Providence boasts an incredibly vigorous music and arts scene, and there’s a really supportive energy for spaces and projects like this one. Many of these artists, I’m assuming have played regularly at the venue portion of AS220’s complex. It’s 21 tracks of gold, including such bright lights as The What? Cheer Brigade , Downtown Boys , Huge Face and Math the Band and a treasure chest of new discoveries.
Various Artists – Afterburners vol. 3 (Bruised Tongue)
Another freely available compilation to destroy my face this month was the bursting at the seams, 27 track, free offering from DIY Ottawa based label Bruised Tongue . What’s to say but “Holy Shitsnaps.. so. much. good.” Faves are tracks by Organ Eyes , Aube , Grime Kings , The Soupcans , Pow Wows (who do a great cover of The Clean ) , Moon , The Yips and the Tropical Drips.
Loosestrife – Enough
New Montreal duo Loosestrife offer a basic sound, a surprisingly rich palette from such a barebones and unaffected guitar, vocal and drums setup. Recordings are dry and understated, but have an urgency and energy in their lo-fi postpunk with a side of pop vibe. The simplicity lends to further the radness, there are shades of Young Marble Giants at work.
Melted Faces – Blood on the Curtains/Kick Fuck
Part of a transient but fierce clutch of ever-evolving garage/psych/punk bands in Montreal, Melted Faces drop an online single that spins you around in an unsettling paranoiac bad trip on “Blood on the Curtains” and then burns the motherfucking house down on “Kick Fuck”, two minutes of full-throttle garage perfection.
Grime Kings – Perfume (Something Ugly)
My wife Emily saw these guys play in Ottawa and turned me onto them, said they seemed about 17 years old and were so good they made her want to give up playing. I’m glad she didn’t, she’s a sick musician, but she was right about Belleville Ontario’s Grime Kings. Really pushing their envelopes in terms of experimentation, the ability to craft totally compelling and unsettling vibes where the recording risks meet the technical ability. Sort of sprouting from the fallout of Animal Collective but with far superior musicianship. At 17. Fuck me.
Hollywood – Love Child (Big Neck)
Look, you have to give it to a band that would introduce the guitar solo by yelling “Guit-tar!”. You know what you’re in for with Baltimore party rockers Hollywood.. a sweaty dance party and a lot of Angus Youngfacing* over the solos. So many high-kicks and all-caps!
- The live band version of the duckface.