Wednesday, November 25, 2015
And for those hoping that the meaning of "goon sax" would be smutty and outrageous, be advised that the term is slang for the shiny plastic bag inside cask wine. Although I suspect that its mention could still get you slapped in some places with the right inflection.
Chapter Music page for "Boyfriend"
Bandcamp for "Boyfriend"
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
link) a little EP from a Scottish band named Cherri Fosphate, suggesting that they were a band to watch for the future. However, since we know what lazy slackers you all are, I expect that most of you haven't really been watching. Well, that's your mistake, because the band has released their debut full length, We Didn't Come Here To Say Goodbye, and it is even better than I would have predicted based on that fine earlier record. With vocals that recall Frightened Rabbit and a bit of Maximo Park and The Futureheads (if the latter two had been from a bit further north and west), guitars that evoke The Strokes in their prime, and pace and energy that recall Dogs Die In Hot Cars, this is a bundle of melody and muscular energy with a heavy Scots accent. The band proves more than adept in a few songs with a more relaxed tempo, but if you are like me it is the up-tempo songs that will keep a smile on your face and We Didn't Come Here To Say Goodbye on your playlist for quite some time.
Bandcamp for album
Bandcamp for album
Sea Pinks is Neil Brogan, Davey Agnew, and Steven Henry. Soft Days will be released by the Brogan's own CF Records.
Bandcamp link for digital order of "Depth of Field"
Bandcamp link for pre-order of Soft Days
Monday, November 23, 2015
While refining my list of notable albums for end of the year awards, I discovered that one of the albums in my likely top 20 list had not been featured. I suspect the reason is that I received my copy while recovering from an accident, but I nevertheless feel that the omission should be corrected, so here it the belated feature for White Men Are Black Men Too, by Young Fathers.
With a wide scope concept of pop music, versatile compositions, tons of ability and an insistence on delivering their art on their own terms Young Fathers are, in my opinion, one of the more exciting bands indie music. Previously, the Edinburgh trio released two EPs (Tape One and Tape Two) and an LP, Dead, which won the Mercury Prize. White Men Are Black Men Too finds the band continuing to tighten their musical expression while testing boundaries, both musical and thematic. The lyrics are clear-eyed and direct. The breadth of possible musical cousins, if not influences, such as TV On The Radio, Arcade Fire, Dirigible Planets, R&B and neo-soul illustrate why Young Fathers confound those who would put them in a genre box and try to explain their music from a single perspective. It seems to me that all one can do is let the music wash over you and tell the world what you hear.
And what you hear are strong pop melodies, aggressive bass and percussion and plenty of frills filling in at the higher register. Each song is like unwrapping a present, unraveling at its own pace and in its own unique way. As a whole, it is a big sound born of big ambition teamed with breathtaking talent. The best pop music is made by having something to say, and then saying it well. Based on this album, Young Fathers are near the head of the class in pop music.
For those unfamiliar with the band, they call themselves Young Fathers because each of them is named after his father. Based in Edinburgh, Graham 'G' Hastings was born in that city, while Alloysious Massaquoi is from Liberia via Ghana, and Kayus Bankole grew up in the United States, but his parents were from Nigerian.
Friday, November 20, 2015
The Wildness is an album made by a man who loves rock and roll, for listeners who love rock and roll. What more do you need?
Bandcamp for The Wildness
This Is American Music
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Stuck In The Never Ending Now is available this week via Matinee Recordings.
Matinee Recordings page for Stuck In The Never Ending Now
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Wreckless Eric (the performance name for Eric Goulden) climbed into the consciousness of many of us indie rock fans as a musician we considered very British. British like Ray Davies, Robyn Hitchcock, Peter Astor and Nick Lowe. Like many "facts", the truth is a bit different. Eric is, in fact, a bit less British in current physical form, as he has lived a number of different places over the years, and if my usually casual research is correct the man now is living in upstate New York. And for those not inclined to research, the latest Wreckless Eric album is titled amERICa, and the cover announces "Made in the USA Using American Parts And Labor". So if you want to 'buy British', I think the man's work still qualifies, but if you want to buy American, I think you can be comfortable.
Now, after that background the relevant questions is whether the album is worth your time and money. Our answer is"yes". The album contains eleven eccentric nuggets of personal stories and societal observations, packaged in Eric's adept songcraft and recorded with a chugging style that oozes both rock and roll spirit and the feeling that the author doesn't quite fit in society's well-defined boxes. And for those of us in America, it is interesting to see our country through another's eyes.
amERICa is out now via Fire Records.
Bandcamp for album
Fire Records page for album
Monday, November 16, 2015
The Obleeks are two brothers, Andy and Lee Ketch, plus Nick Harris. The Chicago trio plays power pop and bar rock with energy and verve. A self-titled four song EP was released in March, and it is available for 'name your price' at the Bandcamp link below. The Bandcamp page has links to other releases by the band.
To our ears, The Obleeks have the rock and roll fever, and will happily infect you as well.
The Jackals are an Edinburgh four-piece whose brand of warm, psychedelic indie rock sounds as at home on the American west coast as it does in their home city. Their new album People features soulful vocals, jangling guitars and melodies that range from dusty psychedelia to surf to foot-tapping country rock. Some of the songs, such as "Ghost Soul Traffic", are perfect for racing down the highway with the top down. Some are better for late at night. But the boys don't put a wrong foot forward over the course of this album, and the quality begs for a wide audience. Unfortunately, no major label has stepped up to do assist with that task, so it fall to fans like WYMA. Check out a few tracks below and then hit the links.
The Jackals are Scott Wilson (vocals/guitar), Paddy McMaster (drums/vocals), David Panton (bass/vocals), and Gary Quilietti (guitar). People is available in digital and vinyl formats from the Cartel page and other outlets below. The cassette version is available from Burger Records.
The Jackals' Big Cartel page