Thursday, March 29, 2012
I was recently thinking how Gentleman Jesse's radiant power pop was just what I needed for the sunny season ahead, and when I heard news of a follow up to 2008's universally loved Gentleman Jesse & His Men, I also wondered, where has he been? It turns out that Jesse Smith's great new LP has been in the can for close to three years now, waiting patiently as Smith dealt with a series of personal setbacks that nearly sidelined the release, and moreover nearly sank Smith's faith in the redemptive power of rock & roll. And yet, rising like the Phoenix, Leaving Atlanta has emerged from the ruins, sounding like a triumphant kiss-off to the doldrums and downers (even if it was actually recorded before the shit hit the fan). Leaving Atlanta embodies what many already know about the band (Jesse is billed here without his Men, but it's far from a solo affair); a love for infectious hooks and meticulously crafted melodies rule. The album is made up of thirteen bittersweet numbers about love, loss and wanting -- all delivered with a whole lotta gusto. Getting the party started is the inspirational anthem "Eat Me Alive," which sees Gentleman Jesse staying true to his power-pop roots; "If you keep your head down you'll push on through, and you just might make it to the other side," Jesse hollers out alongside candied keys, elastic bass, forthright beats and chiming guitars that go on tangents of joy-filled solos. It's this upbeat attitude that fittingly denotes the bands' spunky demeanor, like on my personal highlight "You Give Me Shivers" -- if you want to know how good it feels to be sitting in a park when the sun is out as this song blasts in your headphones, well, you're just going to have to try it and see.
(written for edited by Other Music)
Find copies at Other Music
Friday, March 23, 2012
The wax has barely set on The Hussy's 2011 debut LP 'Cement Tomb Mind Control' and here they are with a knock-out follow up 'Weed Seizure' just released on Tic Tac Totally (OBN III's, Bare Wires, A Giant Dog). The band are based in Madison, WI made up of duo Bobby Hussy (vocals/guitar/keys) and Heather Hussy (vocals/drums/percussion), some may already be familiar with them through Bobby's ever growing label Kind Turkey. The band recorded and mixed the album, produced it with the help of Bert Roberts and artwork was made by Ben Lyon. Together the pair forge rip-roaring Oblivians inspired garage punk touched by psychedelia's feel good freak outs.
Firing on all cylinders "Undefined" opens the album with radiant pop drenched in surges of fuzz, reverb heavy vocals, jangly rhythms and sanguine tinged guitars that will have any Mikal Cronin or Ty Segall fan drooling. Throughout 'Weird Seizure' there's a play on dueling boy/girl vocals, this is best shown on "Stab Me" which is measured out by dirty buzzing guitars and a bright honeyed glockenspiel. Highlight for me is The Hussy's cover of The Ones "Dog Said Yeah", with the drums propelling the song layers of crunchy guitars swarm alongside urgent vocals complete with a few barks and snarls. The album cools off with official closer "The Moon Rules #1", but with a little bit left in the tank The Hussy sneak in hidden track "Go Outside", and you know what? It's a beau-ootiful day in Buckinghamshire today so that's exactly what I intend to do - and this album is coming with me to go bask in the sun somewhere.
Watch out for The Hussy's two brand new singles on Italy's Goodbye Boozy label and Eradicator Records. They also have an extensive tour coming up - check out the Facebook link below for more details.
The Hussy on Facebook Bandcamp
Find copies at Tic Tac Totally
Monday, March 19, 2012
The Lonesome Savages are a group formed in Madison, WI made up of members from Dead Luke and Zola Jesus lead by Max Elliot, the four piece feature drums, a duo of guitars and keyboards alongside howling vocals. The Lonesome Savages offer up a struttin' punkabilly sound that recall acts like The Cramps and Vince Taylor. Crunchy guitars, thudding rhythms and bluesy keyboards dominate four love songs sung with a snarl. "Got Love" best shows the band's fondness for 50's rock 'n' roll with ragged, scaling keyboards and feverish guitars fronted by Elliot's wailed out grunting vocals. The highlight for me is closer "Train Kept A Rollin'" that's simply a great contemporary rock 'n' roll song, not challenging what's come before but having fun with it. Limited to 350 hand numbered copies - first 100 on coloured vinyl - the 7" also comes with two download-able Dead Luke tracks one of which is previously unreleased, the other cover of Suicide's "Ghost Rider", grab it while you can!
Find copies at Kind Turkey
The Lonesome Savages Bandcamp Facebook
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Gilded Gutter presents Zarjaz from Tronics and Freakapuss who will be making a rare live appearance to coincide with recent reissues of Tronics material on What's Your Rupture? Supported by fellow Londoners and DIY music makers The Pheromoans and Way Through.
Zarjaz will be playing Tronics and Freakapuss songs in his set.
Hope to see some of you fine folks there!
Tuesday May 29th
Dalston Victoria, E8
Doors - 8pm
Entry - 5
You can buy tickets following the link below
Facebook event listed here:
Zarjaz (a nickname based on a futuristic comic book ‘2000 AD’) began playing music in his early teens on the fringes of West London in the 70s. Touted as the “essence of Rock ‘n’ Roll” by Melody Maker, Zarjaz otherwise received little to no promotion, he had only played a handful of shows with a modest out put of records before facing scenes of teen hysteria. Too much attention from over zealous fans, and not enough from the music industry turned Zarjaz into a recluse. These days Zarjaz remains an elusive character, yet curiously continues to retain success whilst virtually being an anonymous artist in the UK. Tronics output isn't one to be aligned or compared with bands that came before rather, Tronics are referenced as an influence by bands who came after. His contribution to the underground and DIY music remains unmatched and Gilded Gutter is thrilled to be able to bring this show to you.
The Pheromoans are an experimental rock band based in London. The six-piece play out discordant indie with ramshackle rhythms, off kilter guitars and synths. They've had releases on Convulsive, Clan Destine Records, Sweet Rot, Onec Records and are currently working on a new album.
Way Through are a pastoral punk duo originally from Shropshire, now residing in London. Informed by the field as much as the flyover, Way Through write songs which phase in and out with guitar, tapes, damaged drums and vocals. Using wrong-footed repetition, rapid interplay and free-looping happenstance the band create a ragged yet intuitive tapestry of sound. Their songs walk the streets of market towns, wait forever at bus stops and lose themselves in edgelands. This duo have also just released their second album 'Enclosure' through Comfortable on a Tightrope.
Friday, March 9, 2012
I first learned of Le Pecheur a few months back when they sent along some songs written on a split single with J.C Satan. Since then the band have moved from France to London, released a new album and have a slew of tour dates coming up. New album 'Medieval Dreams' sees Le Pecheur's songs take full form with spooked guitars, echo heavy vocals and ramshackle rhythms inspired by all things psychedelic delivered with 60s garage rock savv-iness. Here is Pierre in his own words to tell us a bit more about Le Pecheur....
As there isn't a lot written on Le Pecheur let's have an introduction, who's in the band and what do you do?
Pierre (Guitar voice)
Caelan (Lead guitar)
Lucas (Bass guitar)
Have you been in or are currently in any other bands?
I was in a band called The Last Rapes of Mr Teach with Xav, but we kind of stopped playing. Caelan and Xavier also play guitar in their own band called Regal and Lucas plays in his psychedelic garage band called Strange Hands.
Why did you start Le Pecheur?
Because when I was in the The Last Rapes 3 years ago, I wanted to compose songs on my own. I bought a 4-track recorder and I started Le Pécheur as a solo-project. I didn't see it as anything serious, just a way to chill on my own and mess around with my four track tascam. We used to play a sort of happy garage punk with the Last Rape and I wanted something darker, more psychedelic.
Does 'Le Pecheur' mean 'The Sinner'? Can you explain the choice of band name?
Yes it does. I wanted a name in French and I liked this one.
To my ears at least I hear Garage and Psychedelia with a lo-fi approach in your music, is this accurate? What can you tell us about your influences to get to this sound?
Yeah you can say that. I used to listen to a lot of garage bands. Black Sabbath is a massive influence as well as Spacemen 3 and Sonic Boom. Bobby Beausoleil and Joy Division have influenced me and I'm a big fan of Country Teasers. I agree with Ben Wallers that it's better to record your music by yourself. I don't like the process of going to a studio and letting someone else record and work on your songs. I think that's why my songs sound a bit lo-fi. However, I'm getting better at using my recording equipment, so eventually one day my songs will sound like a U2 album...
Do you prefer playing or recording music?
When I started playing in a band 5 years ago, I preferred playing music, but now they're kind of equal. I've got 3 different 4-track recorders and I really like the process of using these machines. Recently, I bought an analogic modulation synth, which is amazing to play with and to record.
What's the most fun you've had playing a show so far?
It was few years ago, we played a gig in Belgium with the Last Rapes and Max, the bassist, was playing in a pram that he found on the road - totally naked...
What's the most memorable show you've ever seen?
Umm I don't know... Thee Oh Sees are incredible on stage, but I also like our friends the Magnetix from Bordeaux and a French band called the Feeling of Love.
You've recently moved from France to London - how are you finding your new home?
I like England. There's a different way of thinking, people are less arrogant than in France. It's nice to have a bit of change.
What would you say are the main differences between the French and English music scene?
I don't know. At the moment in France there's a lot of really good bands that come from the Garage scene. Rock music isn't in the french culture, it's not like in England where it's really popular, but it seems like there's not a lot of Garage bands in England. Maybe I'm wrong. On stage English bands always seem bored or pissed of to be there, like they don't care, that's funny. The French are more latin so they get emotional a lot, like really into their own music.
Is there anything you miss from France?
Yes, mountains, food (though I like a lot of English foods, you have great cheeses, great beers, great pies and stew and great cakes!)
What albums are you spinning at home at the moment? Any new bands you'd like to tell us about?
I've been listening to Wire a lot last few weeks. I used to listen to their album Pink Flag when I was 17, but I've discovered recently that Chairs Missing is really good as well. Prypiat is a new band from Lyon and they're really good. Maissa, who sings in this band, also plays in Sida, which is a really good band as well.
What's the future for Le Pecheur? Any projects, shows or releases we should look out for?
When I'm settled in London properly I'll record more songs. Our album, 'Medieval Dreams', is out and it received good reviews, which is nice. But we still have enough material to do one more album and a couple of seven inches, just need to find a record label. We're playing in London with Hunx and his Punx on 14th May at Upset the Rythm. After that we'll tour a bit in Europe at the end of May and then at the end of June with our friends Titan, a psychedelic group from Paris. And we're also playing in Amsterdam on 16th March in 2 weeks time, which is cool.
"I'm full of dust and guitars" - Syd Barratt, if you were sliced in half what would be inside?
I'm trained as an illustrator and at the moment I'm drawing a lot, so I'm probably full of indian ink and coffee!
Le Pecheur Bandcamp Facebook
Hunx & His Punx w/Radioslaps and Le Pecheur May 14th
@35 Stoke Newington Road, London N16 8BJ
Find tickets here
(poster by yours truly)
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Love Backed by Force is the third album in the Tronics cannon following What's the Hubbub Bub, also from '81, and it is the group's most immediate release. Here Zarjaz offers up discordant melodies, candied guitars and minimal rhythms made up of bongos, tambourines and handclaps. These tracks weave folk, pop and electronic elements into a piece heavily influenced by the Nadsat language used in the cult classic film, A Clockwork Orange. Interplanetary opener "Charlie Manson" features warbled digital effects revealing Zarjaz's flare for computerized sounds. Yet the bulk of the album takes a different shape, with rock guitars alongside nursery rhyme melodies with repetitive lyrics delivered deadpan. "I've got this crush on you, and it's crushing me," Zarjaz confesses in "Crush on You," accompanied by infectious bright fuzzy guitars set to chugging stripped-down rhythms. Another standout track is "My Baby's in a Coma" featuring a cheery tune offset by cheerless lyrics -- it's this tragicomic point of view that aptly describes Tronics' approach, with a style of songwriting that influenced a legion of UK indie bands who came after, from the Smiths on down. Love Backed by Force is where Zarjaz began to develop his self-styled "baroqueabilly" aesthetic, and utilized it to charge the gates of this new thing called post-punk. What's Your Rupture? has certainly done the Tronics catalog justice, absolutely recommended.
(written for edited by Other Music)
Find copies at Other Music & What's Your Rupture?
Monday, March 5, 2012
Michael Yonkers has been making music under the radar for 50 years in his home town of Minneapolis. Starting out strong his first album ‘Microminiature Love’ was recorded and initially set to be released on Sire 1968, for reasons that still remain unclear the piece was shelved. Yonkers recorded seven songs reflecting the psychedelic garage sounds of the time with traces of music that made impression in his formative years like Trashmen and Link Wray. Discouraged by Sire's reaction to 'Microminiature Love' the group disbanded that same year and Yonkers retreated to his family home where he began recording in the basement. Experimenting with synths, tape loops and his now famous home-made theramin Yonkers song-writing experienced a shift playing out Pentangle inspired loner-folk songs that would become second album 'Grimwood', a complete polar opposite to his debut. In retrospect rejection from Sire benefited Yonkers as he could enjoy flexibility in writing music that perhaps working for a bigwig label may not have afforded him. As a result going through his catalogue offers one surprise after the next with Yonkers tirelessly exploring different avenues of rock, blues and folk.
A few years after this album was recorded Yonkers suffered an accident while working in a warehouse that would leave him rendered in debilitating pain for the rest of his life. In 1971 a wall of computer equipment fell on him breaking his back. While in hospital further complications arose when Yonkers had an allergic reaction to the dye that was injected into his spine for use in an xray. To this day he continues to receive treatment to help with mobility and alleviate discomfort including dance-therapy, yet reading articles on Yonkers one common factor threads through pieces written on him; he is not defeated by the accident, he would rather talk about the next song he's going to write.
De Stijl reissued 'Microminiature Love' with 6 bonus tracks and 'Grimwood' a few years back catapulting Michael Yonkers virtually unheard of catalogue into the underground limelight. Drag City followed suit unearthing previously unreleased album 'Lovely Gold' originally recorded in 1977 on a "tube tape", a home-made device Yonkers built out of discarded machine parts. In the midst of these albums surfacing Michael Yonkers began playing with local band The Blind Shake and a simple jamming session turned into 2007 album 'Carbohydrates Hydrocarbons'. S-S Records have put out follow up album for Michael Yonkers with The Blind Shake adding to the now historic and well loved Yonkers musical cannon. 'Period' is a psychedelic blues record tinged with the 60s garage rock from his roots, filled with pounders sounding comparatively meaner and more dense -- recommended for anyone who likes Psandwich. With so many worthy labels supporting him, now, is the perfect time to get stuck into Michael Yonkers' records.
More reading, links to hear songs and mail order can be found here --
De Stijl Drag City
Michael Yonkers "Puppeting" from 'Microminiature Love'