Thursday, December 26, 2013

Magik Markers : Surrender To The Fantasy

'Surrender To The Fantasy' is the new LP from noise-wave crew Magik Markers.  These nine new recordings feature a fresh line up comprised of: Elisa Ambrogio, Pete Nolan and John Shaw.  Joining the band in basements, J Mascis' attic, Pete's "old music room" and a practice space in Brooklyn were Aaron Mullan and Justin Pizzoflerrato, who captured Magik Markers most compelling work to date.  'Surrender To The Fantasy' focuses on familiar tools: guitars, keys, drums and bass, to refine the savage live approach used on earlier albums.  The record melts American rock swagger, psychedelia, folk and visceral noise together in a way that challenges what the band have done before.  This is fittingly shown on "Acts Of Desperation", with Ambrogio taking over drums whilst Nolan bliss-es out on guitar alongside a bluesy harmonica breezing through the track.  "Bonfire" kicks things up a gear invoking mayhem and destruction in a way that completely turns 'punk' on its head.  Songs tie in to places significant to the band like "Crabs" (Hartford, Connecticut) and "American Sphinx Face" (Holy Oke, Massachusetts) for example.  "American Sphinx Face" utilizes distorted/fuzzed/Wah-ed out guitar to needle notes throughout, apace with improvised beats anchored by Shaw's mesmerizing bass line.  'Surrender To The Fantasy' reveals curious twists and turns the more you spend time with it so don't be surprised to find it calling you back for repeated listens.  Magik Markers continue to tread through the underside of American ritual and rock 'n' roll with their usual zeal on 'Surrender To The Fantasy' whilst hitting a new stride as they go. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Fuzz : Fuzz

Roland Cosio, Ty Segall and Charles Moothart make up power trio Fuzz.  Their first album follows well received single 'Sleigh Ride' also released through In The Red.   'Fuzz' builds on the explosive rock sound from the 45 merging Black Sabbath-esque metal with Hendrix psychedelic stylings on guitar.  'Fuzz' even references grunge with their sludgy number "What's In My Head" that sees Moothart subvert the riff from Stiltskin's "Inside".  As the band name and title suggest there is fuzz accompanied by pounding drums, hefty bass and meteoric guitars, this is best shown on "Haze Maze".  "Hazy mazes tryin' to get to you, well it will end where it began, with your body placed beneath the sand, in again the cycle never ends, made of SKIN forgive your human sin", Segall sings in a strung out holler - and it's these ideas of morality and mortality that thread through the lyrics.  "Loose Sutures" continues, "Bleak futures on the run, I don't know what's to come, fate's forging, beams bent on burning me, run...", accompanied by 70's stadium style breakdown's in the music letting each instrument have their own joyous tangents (and you should have seen people freakout during this song during their show at The Dome recently).  'Fuzz' is made up of 8 interplanetary metal songs that is everything you want from a modern band interpreting 60's/70's rock sounds, for those who need fuzz in their life, here's Fuzz with 'Fuzz', get fuzzy, get Fuzz.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Dead C : Armed Courage

New Zealand legendary noise makers return with new album 'Armed Courage' for Badabing Records.
After nearly 40 years playing together Michael Morley, Bruce Russell and Robbie Yeats for the first time appeared on the front cover of a music publication not so long ago, and what more fitting than The Wire to host them.  It goes without saying The Dead C were long overdue the accolade as they've always made music on the precipice.  The trio eschew trends and fads allowing them to exist in their own world creating something uniquely theirs, resulting in a vast catalogue of releases that remain unparalleled.

This new album is comprised of two ruminative incantations; Side A "Armed", Side B "Courage".  "Armed" is a weathered track entangling whirling fuzz, gnawed guitars and turbulent rhythms forging something rattled and ominous.  Hunkered down on the following side is "Courage", hollowed out with sedated vocals, static hum, needled guitars and splattered rhythms - which all gradually pull into focus to playout a rapt improvised jam before plaintively withdrawing.  This album is a must have for the converted and new comers alike.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Magik Markers : Ice Skater / Machines

Magik Markers have returned!  New single 'Ice Skater /  Machines' precedes their new album out next month on Drag City.  Three piece Ambrogio, Nolan and Shaw utilize drum machines, seraphic vocals and eventide synths on euphoric A Side, 'Ice Skater'.  Flipping over to Side B, 'Machines' is a gnarly, instinct driven jam wired with wrangled guitars, loose drums and gulping bass featuring otherworldly effects overarching the whole thing.  This new single introduces some new ideas Magik Markers have incorporated into their sound and a track capturing the savage improvised approach they're known and loved for.  Can't wait for 'Surrender To The Fantasy' - they're playing in London 20th November at Bethnal Green Working Men's Club NOT TO BE MISSED!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Destruction Unit : Deep Trip

Destruction Unit are; Ryan Rousseau, Rusty Rousseau, Nick Nappa, JS Aurelius and Justin Keefer.  They're a noisy rock band from Arizona.  Since a few line up changes and settling into a five piece the band have released cassettes on their own Ascetic House and a debut LP called 'Void'.   Since making their mark with cacophonous punk Destruction Unit have been picked up by Sacred Bones for 2nd album 'Deep Trip'.  These eight new songs amplify the vortex of crashing sounds forged from psych and rock you may have come to know in previous releases.  "The World On Drugs" opens the album with stormy fuzz, crashing rhythms and bellowing vocals sounding just about as volatile as it gets, and from here the album doesn't let up for a second.  "Slow Death Sounds" shifts things up another gear with delirious vocals, warped guitars and rampant drumming pushing the song to it's limits before sharply coming to an end.  Another favourite track is head-spinner "Control The Light", a raucous track that walks in the steps of punk but in different shoes.  'Deep Trick' is a great new rock album, it's great new rock for that matter, when you're done listening to this it will make everything else you have on your ipod seem like a waste of time. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Oblivians : Desperation

Oblivians are back with their first studio album in 16 years.  'Desperation' (In The Red) sees the return of rampant garage-rock-blues stylings they're known and so well loved for.  These 14 blistering new songs are unmistakably our favourite Memphis trio as they beckon 50's rock 'n' roll, 60's garage, soul and blues.  During their break Eric, Gregg and Jack have been continued to write music (Reigning Sound, Parting Gifts, Jack-O & the Tearjerkers, The Dutch Masters, True Sons of Thunder to name a few) and what sets 'Desperation' apart from previous albums is you can hear how working apart has brought something new to the table.  The songs sound more slick without losing the wild and rambunctious nature of their approach.  A great example is "Loving Cup" featuring hyper chugging rhythms, smokey vocals, crunchy guitars and a savage guitar solo sailing over the top of the whole thing.  From there The Oblivians continue to turn up the heat with brawlers like "Run For Cover", "Fire Detector" and one of my highlights "Oblivion".  'Desperation' finishes with "Mama Guitar" playing out scratchy strings, rock 'n' roll howls and thumping beats seeing the album blasting on all cylinders before it leaves you in the dust.  Really great new record, when it comes to trailblazing rock songs Oblivians dish 'em up in spades.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Rat Columns : I Wonder

David West, James Vinciguerra, Matt Bleyle and Jon Young make the line up the for Rat Columns.  Some may already be familiar with these guys from their work in Rank/Xerox, Total Control, Lace Curtain, Burning Sensation, Orgy Of The Undead, Frank & The Can I Speaklys, Whalehammer, Pualine Mason, Nosedive, KBA, Sopors, Abi Yoyos and Violent Change.  

Rat Columns recent show opening for Rank/Xerox at The Lexington was one of my favourites this year, their set was completely arresting and I had to pick up this 7" (the LPs had already sold out).  Rat Columns started primarily as a solo project and that's what I think we hear on this single.  These 4 songs of Post punk wanderings recall 80s British Indie with it's dejected vocals paired with lush guitars, alongside a Joy Division-esque bass line and drum machine - best shown on BSide "Glass Coffin".  Rat Columns album 'Sceptre Hole' is out now featuring the full line up which pushes things over the edge with songs becoming more ballistic, more pop and more psychedelic shrouded under a cloud of drone.  All releases so far have been on Smart Guy records and you can pick up copies here

Rat Columns : Tumblr Bandcamp 

Video for "I Wonder" by Hannah Lew

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Ooga Boogas : Ooga Boogas

Ooga Boogas follow up their fantastic debut 'Romance and Adventure' with a self titled album that came out at the beginning of summer or there-abouts.   The Melbourne four piece are: Mikey Young, Per Bystrom (whose Aunt also did the stunning artwork), Leon Stackpole and Richard Stanley  - who has released the album on his own Aarght! Records label.  'Romance and Adventure' saw Ooga Boogas put their own stamp on garage rock in 2008, and these ten new songs take a look at rock through different lenses utilizing electronics, so don't be surprised to hear a few changes in their approach.  Opener "Circle of  Trust" features strutting bass & beats alongside guitars building and releasing tension with choppy sections intermittently smoothed over with fuzzed out riffage.  My personal highlights: straight up chugging rock 'n' roll song "Ooga Boogas II", the incredible guitar solo at the end of "Mind Reader" AND "It's a Sign".  "It's a sign that we're making it baby, it's sign that we're doing things right, when I'm looking at you and you're looking at me, when I'm smiling at you and you're laughing at me...", Stackpole sings in a heartfelt holler apace with saccharine guitars, low gulping bass and palpitating beats - he continues "Well it seems we've got something going on, when you take your panties off and don't put 'em back on,".  'Ooga Boogas' has been one of my records of the summer and I'm sure if you get a chance to pick up a copy it'll be yours too!   

Best press release for an album ever: