Monday, January 31, 2011

New Noise From Best Coast & Wavves As They Tour

  • Best Coast & Wavves - Summer is Forever split 7" (Mexican Summer)
    • This split has some previously released material (BC's "Crazy For You" and Wavves' "King of the Beach" are the title tracks of their latest respective albums) as well as one new track from each act.
    • Wavves' "Stained Glass (Won't You Let Me Into Your Heart)" is upbeat psychedelic pop with woozy guitar and organ in the background and multi-tracked vocals and drums well up front. Fun tune.
    • BC's new contribution, "When You Wake Up", is standard '90s-style guitar rock á la Letters to Cleo. Nice sound and good melody and lyrics. "It's always 11:30 when you wake up", goes the chorus to this mid-tempo song.
    • The digital version also contains "Hawaii" by a labelmate that I like much better, No Joy. It was on their album Ghost Blonde in November, which I raved about here previously.
    • Not sure when you can actually buy this thing, but I believe Wavves and BC are offering it for purchase on their current tour together. It took me some searching, but I finally found the MP3s (not including the No Joy track, even though it says it has it) posted last Tuesday at mikkisays.net.
So this may be the only blog streaming one of the new tracks so far. [Found it streaming at several sites since Jan. 12th! I must have been half asleep when I posted this.] Please enjoy Best Coast's latest noise.

Best Coast - "When You Wake Up" (Summer is Forever split; 1/2011)
video

Friday, January 28, 2011

Best January Release Goes to Young Prisms

  • Young Prisms - Friends For Now (Kanine) [youngprisms.com]
  • Friends For Now
    Friends For Now -
    Download here
    • Been looking forward to this entry. My favorite release of 2011 so far.
    • Beachy, surfy, punky, noisy, reverby So-Cal pop music, one of my favorite things in life. Male and female vocals.
    • In case you missed it on my last show (their picture graces the podcast widget), this is a quintet from San Fran. They're on a giant tour of the U.S. right now, and they're shipping off to Europe at the end of February. 
    • They were apparently searched for drugs more than once in Texas this week.
    • This album was reportedly recorded in a dirty apartment above a Chinese restaurant in the Mission District. It's their first full-length record.
    • For my Ohio readers, the Prisms will be at the MOTR pub in Cincinnati tomorrow night. I'm afraid I won't be able to make it. Total bummer.

I played "Breathless" on the show. Here's a live version of another album track, from their split 7" with Small Black on Japan's Big Love label.

Young Prisms - "Eleni" (live version; Small Black/Young Prisms split 7"; 2010)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sic Alps Return With Brilliance

  • Sic Alps - Napa Asylum (Drag City) [sicalps.com]
  • Napa Asylum
    Napa Asylum -
    Order the CD here
    • Not much I can say that hasn't been said better elsewhere, but for those who are new to this band, this is some great stuff here.
    • Noisy, lo-fi, psychedelic garage rock with lots of imagination and heart. Neither happy nor sad, fast nor slow. Just living.
    • These three guys from the Bay Area just do whatever they want, expressing whatever's in their hearts, and it comes off brilliantly. 
    • This could be their White Album. It actually reminds me of the White Album in its tone and attitude, though the songs are generally less structured, if only slightly. "My My Lai" could be this album's "Revolution 9" (thankfully it only lasts a minute-and-a-halfperfect).
    • 22 mostly short tracks that last a total of 48 minutes. Available on CD and vinyl.
Here's one of the more get-up-and-get-going tracks on the album. As far as I know, none of the other blogs are playing this tune.

Sic Alps - "The First White Man to Touch California Soil" (Napa Asylum; 1/25/2011)
video

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Thank You Dare Us Along On a Noisy Journey

  • Thank You - Golden Worry (Thrill Jockey) [MySpace]
  • Golden Worry
    Golden Worry - Download here
    • Upbeat and exciting noise rock from this Baltimore trio who have been a band since 2006 (with a drummer replacement in '09). 
    • Fast drumming and fun keyboarding accompany carefully crafted guitar play.
    • Very light on vocals, this release takes post-punk noise music in several directions. Not unlike a very happy sounding Sonic Youth in choosing wandering musical journey over traditional song structure.
    • It takes half an hour to get through all six tracks. Is it an EP or a full album? Who cares, it's great.
    • Track 2, "Birth Reunion", is on their MySpace.
Here's a wild and fun track from this new album that I don't think you'll hear elsewhere on the WWW.

Thank You - "Continental Divide" (Golden Worry; 1/25/2011)
video

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I Was A King Revisit '60s Psych in a Big Way

  • I Was A King - Old Friends (Sounds Familyre) [MySpace]
  • Old Friends
    Old Friends - Download here
    • Chamber pop meets psychedelic noise pop with tinny male vocals. Horns (often sounding synthesized), woodwinds, strings, piano, banjo, hand claps and theremin all play a part.
    • This Norwegian five-piece might have fit in with the Elephant 6 collective. Would've made the Beatles, Zombies and Beach Boys proud. Just look at that album art.
    • Twelve quick tracks in thirty minutes, and one, a track that is just three voices singing three chords, is only fourteen seconds. 
    • The album has a fast pace. The intensive drumming helps keep things really interesting.

The opening track grabbed me. Here it is.

I Was A King - "The Wylde Boys" (Old Friends; 1/25/2011)

Joy Formidable Prove That Emo Noise Can Be Epic

  • The Joy Formidable - The Big Roar (Canvasblack/Atlantic) [thejoyformidable.com]
  • Big Roar
    The Big Roar -
    Order the import here
    • Female lead vocals (except for one track), winding lyrics, plenty of layered guitars, impressive drumming and emotive synths. Flirts with shoegaze but tries hard to never be dull. It's the opposite of dull.
    • Formed in '07 from members of Sidecar Kisses. This is apparently their second full-length album.
    • If noise pop has a loud, British emo-punk side, this might just be it. And this time I mean that in a really good way. I'm super impressed. I even love the cover art.
    • At fifty minutes, a very long album, but worth the time. The opening track is nearly eight minutes long, but it never gets boring, not once. "Epic" seems to be what they're aiming for.
    • Unfortunately, this is an import for those of us in the States until March 15th, when it will finally be released here. I think it will be worth the wait unless you can manage to find it somewhere.
    • Looks like you can buy the MP3s at their own site here, assuming they take American dollars. Looks like you have to "join" their Web site, though.
    • This rockin' trio from North Wales is touring Europe from now into March, and then they're coming to the States for the whole of April. They'll be at The Basement in Columbus on April 4th.

This live recording actually gives a very good sense of how this record sounds. In a word: Damn.

The Joy Formidable - "A Heavy Abacus" (First You Have to Get Mad live album; recorded at the London Garage, 9/30/2009)

Monday, January 24, 2011

I'm an Unashamed Cloud Nothings Fan

  • Cloud Nothings - S/T LP (Wichita/Carpark) [MySpace]
  • Cloud Nothings
    Cloud Nothings -
    Download here
    • Released today in the UK and tomorrow here in the U.S.A.
    • Fantastic noise pop/punk that could also fall in the power-pop category. Great hang-out, feel-good songs with catchy melodies and infectious, grinding noise.
    • I met leader Dylan Baldi here in Columbus very recently. He's a really nice kid and very talented. I'll be able to say "I met him when..." when he makes it big in a few years.
    • He played all the instruments on this album. Very well, too. And his voice is fun to listen to.
    • This is CN's first full-length, the follow-up to their Turning On EP released in the fall.
    • I played their tune "Should Have" on the latest episode of the 8-Tracks Fierce radio show, and today there's a video for that song on Pitchfork. It's funny and gross.
    • The new album is streaming here for free. You should definitely check it out if you haven't heard it yet. And be sure to catch them on tour if you can; their live act blew me away.

This video will give you a taste for their live sound. This was in their hometown of Cleveland last month. This is the second song on the new album.

Cloud Nothings - "Not Important" (Beachland Cavern, Cleveland; 12/18/2010)

Wizard Oz Bring a Noise-Pop Feast For the Ears

  • Wizard Oz - Flower Days (Beko) [Angelfire]
  • Flower Days - Download here
    • Grainy keyboard pop with harmonized, reverb-heavy male vocals and spare use of guitar in most of their tracks. 
    • Very nice. Parts of it sound like they came from a video game, but not in a way that distracts from the songs, which are pretty good.
    • Duo from Fitzroy, Victoria, a suburb of Melbourne.
    • Beko's fourth full-length release and at least the third for Wizard Oz. They have two full-length albums from 2010 streaming on BandCamp.
    • Pretty good stuff, especially for free! About as good as keyboard pop gets, in my opinion.
I wanted to stream a track with plenty of guitar, so this is not quite representative of the whole album, but I dig it.

Wizard Oz - "Horse Tails" (Flower Days; 1/24/2011)
video

Triumph of Lethargy Sound Upset in a Good Way

  • Triumph of Lethargy Skinned Alive to Death - Some of Us Are In This Together (Don't Stop Believin') [MySpace]
  • Some Of Us Are In This Together
    Some of Us Are In This Together -
    Download here
    • Spare, slow, poetic art punk. Noisy guitars and angry vocals. Nine long, aching tracks and one short one.
    • The sixth full album from this quartet from Seattle.
    • Pretty cool. Kind of like Bailter Space at half speed.
    • The drummer is Andrea Zollo from Pretty Girls Make Graves, and she contributes some vocals, too.
    • Streaming at their MySpace here.

Here's an interesting video (see here for how it was made).

Triumph of Lethargy Skinned Alive to Death - "The Dirty Street" (Some of Us Are In This Together; 1/18/2011)

Friday, January 21, 2011

White Fence Blows My Ever-Lovin' Mind

  • White Fence - Is Growing Faith (Woodsist) [Blogspot]
  • Is Growing Faith
    Is Growing Faith - Download here
    • Holy crap. I didn't know what to expect. This is amazing.
    • Another Tim Presley (Darker My Love, The Strange Boys) project.
    • Timeless noisy So-Cal garage psych-rock. Fun with tape effects, an instrument I can't quite identify...just wow.
    • A long-ish album at 46 1/2 minutes. Sixteen tracks, and all are whoppers.
    • Cover art by Presley himself.
    • Incredible album. Words can't express how cool it is (not any better than other blogs do so, anyway). Just get it and listen.
If you're not convinced, here's a track that sounds like Part 2 of the track that came before ("Your Last Friend Alive"), but much noisier and more psyched-out. This is one of the noise-poppiest tracks on the album. "Harness" is a really good one, too. This here is another 8-Tracks Fierce exclusive.

White Fence - "Enthusiasm" (Is Growing Faith; 1/18/2011)
video

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pollard's Still Rockin' It

  • Robert Pollard - Space City Kicks (Guided By Voices, Inc) [robertpollard.net]
  • Space City Kicks
    Space City Kicks -
    Download here
    • A father of noise pop/rock, who brought us Guided By Voices, now brings us his twentieth solo album, by my count, and it's a killer. Gnarly but artful noise punk from a master.
    • His fifth full album on his own GBV label, started in 2008. This one has eighteen tracks, but only one is more than three minutes long. Total length is only 36 minutes.
    • Looks like the physical release was put off a week, but you can download the MP3s now.
    • Has to be one of the most prolific recording artists of the last five years. He put out two full albums in 2006, three in '07, two in '08, two in '09 and two in 2010!
    • Still lives in Dayton, OH, and was inducted into his high school's hall of fame last year for excellence in football, baseball and basketball! He threw the first no-hitter in the history of Wright State University, where I worked a few years ago.
    • Probably won't make anyone's top-ten list for the year, but it's a good listen. I'm happy to have it in my rotation.
The opening track is what really grabbed me (and not just because it looks like a Fantastic Four reference), so here it is. Very strange video, but I can dig it. Unfortunately, the whole album is not this psychedelic and interesting, but it's good.

Robert Pollard - "Mr. Fantastic Must Die" (Space City Kicks; 1/18/2011)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

F&G: Possibly the Best Garage-Psych of 2011?

  • Fergus & Geronimo - Unlearn (Hardly Art) [MySpace]
  • Unlearn
    Unlearn - Download here
    • Thirty minutes of noisy, sometimes minimalist garage-psych. Very cool. Lots of variety on this, their first full-length album. Not for the kids due to some language and sexual themes.
    • Includes flute, organ and sax. All instruments are played skillfully by this duo from Denton, TX, and their friends. No, Fergus and Geronimo are not their real names.
    • Bold and not afraid to make whatever sound comes to their hearts, whether classic or innovative. This is true rock-'n'-roll, and it's now, man.
I couldn't find this track online anywhere, so this is an 8-Tracks Fierce exclusive. Good stuff.

Fergus & Geronimo - "The World Never Stops" (Unlearn; 1/18/2011)
video

Tennis Is Carried By an Incredible Voice

  • Tennis - Cape Dory (Fat Possum) [MySpace]
  • Cape Dory
    Cape Dory - Download here
    • What a voice. It sounds like The Sundays never died; they just went into hibernation, listened to all the best music ever made and returned as an even cooler pop band.
    • Light on the noise, but it still sounds like minimalist noise pop to me. Very inspired by '60s bubble gum of the sha-la-la variety, and it really works.
    • This boy/girl duo from Denver is returning from the UK this weekend to continue their tour stateside. They have a pretty impressive tour schedule that extends into mid-March.
    • Yeah, and apparently they're sailors, but you can read about that anywhere.
    • The last band I heard with a voice like this was Cryptacize, last year. This is a different style of pop, but it's the same kind of shock knowing that girl's voice is the major reason you like this band.

I think my favorite track on this album is the title track. All the tracks are pretty short, and this is the shortest at just over two minutes. And it has a pretty cool video.

Tennis - "Cape Dory" (Cape Dory; 1/18/2011)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Smith Westerns Take On the World Like Grown-Ups

  • Smith Westerns - Dye It Blonde (Fat Possum) [Blogspot]
  • Dye It Blonde (AmazonMP3 Exclusive)
    Dye It Blonde - Download here
    • Four young men from Chicago, including a pair of brothers, making hi-fi noise pop that is happy, confident and easygoing. Just enough keyboard in the background. 
    • Pretty great. Can't really find anything wrong with it, but it's not for your tough moods. Can definitely brighten your day, though.
    • Their second full-length, and a very impressive release. These kids could go really far.
    • Kind of a country feel, and yet sounds like a full choir  at some point in nearly every track. Masterfully orchestrated. A true feel-good record.
    • Engineered by Chris Coady (TV on the Radio, Beach House, Yeah Yeah Yeahs).
    • Streamable at NPR's site here.
    • Currently on a long tour of the U.S. SW is a true American band, and they probably deserve your attention. Hopefully they won't wear everybody out with too much promotion.

This here track is just too much. Wow.

Smith Westerns - "Still New" (Dye It Blonde; 1/18/2011)

Ducktails Inspires Me to Go Fishin'

I'm a little overwhelmed at the prospect of trying to blog about all the noise pop being released just today! But I'll do the best I can as I can get to it.

But first...here's a picture I took of Cloud Nothings at The Basement in Columbus Friday night. 


Their leader, Dylan Baldi, should really keep these guys around. The drummer was particularly amazing and really brought CN's songs alive. I was ecstatic and bought some old tape from Baldi that sounds like chillwave, I guess.


You can hear my favorite CN song, "Should Have", on my radio show, in the sidebar to your right.

Anyway, back to new releases. I suppose I'll start with Ducktails.

  • Ducktails - Ducktails III: Arcade Dynamics (Woodsist) [alexphelan.com/ducktails]
  • Ducktails III: Arcade Dynamics
    Arcade Dynamics -
    Download here
    • One-man band Matthew Mondanile, also of the band Real Estate, presents his, um, third full-length solo album (I'm guessing from the title).
    • This is bedroom pop that not only sounds homemade but also makes you feel at home. Not lazy, but not quite ready to face the day, either. If you can imagine noise pop for goin' fishin', this is it. It's not all that noisy, really, though, but appropriately lo-fi.
    • He finally moved out of his parents' house exactly one month ago and is preparing his own record label called New Images.
Here's one of my favorite tracks from the album.


Ducktails - "Killin' the Vibe" (Ducktails III: Arcade Dynamics; 1/18/2011)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

MINKS Are Fun For '80s Children

  • MINKS – By the Hedge (Captured Tracks) [Blogspot]
  • By the Hedge
    By the Hedge -
    Download here
    • New York boy/girl duo, though they play with as many as four other people on stage. Not a lot known about them so far.
    • The whole album has kind of an '80s goth-pop vibe to it. Fans of The Cure are sure to like it, though the vocals are laid back, sometimes more Bob Dylan than Robert Smith.
    • Nice use of female backup vocals on many tracks.
    • High-quality recording that many music fans will eat up. And I like it, too.
    • Touring the U.S. this spring with Dum Dum Girls and Dirty Beaches. Maybe some of the mystery will go away then.
Here they are playing one of the album's singles at Glasslands a few weeks ago.

MINKS - "Funeral Song" (Glasslands Gallery, Brooklyn; 11/21/2010)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Return of the 8-Tracks Fierce Radio Show

It's 1/11/11, and that means it's time for the monthly radio show to make a comeback! Incredibly, the old 8-Tracks Fierce show has been in the top 20 alternative music podcasts at PodOmatic.com for the past few months, and with its new format and higher audio quality (thank you, Jesus Geek!), I'm hoping it will climb into the top 10 very quickly.

The new show features eight all-new noise-pop and noise-punk tracks from all over the scene. All of this music is coming out in the next couple of weeks, and some is available today. And here it is:


8-Tracks Fierce - January



The show will always be streamable in the sidebar to the right. You can add it to your iPod at my PodOmatic page. If you use something other than an iPod, you can download the MP3 using this link.


The track list for January

Guider
Disappears - Guider -
Download here
Me You Us Them - "Research" (from the 7" vinyl split with Bloody Knives, out 1/2011 on Triple Down/Kill Red Rocket)

Porcelain Raft - "Dragonfly" (from the Ghosts of the Perfect Language cassette, out 1/2011 on Sixteen Tambourines)

Disappears - "Guider" (from the album Guider, out 1/17/2011 on Kranky)

Tape Deck Mountain - "P.I." (from the Secret Serf EP, out today on Lefse)

Cloud Nothings
Cloud Nothings - S/T -
Download here
Mike Adams At His Honest Weight - "Bad Weather" (from the album Oscillate Wisely, out 1/25 on St. Ives/Flannelgraph)

Beach Fossils - "Calyer" (from the 7" single, out today [supposedly] on Captured Tracks; also the What a Pleasure EP, out 2/22)

Cloud Nothings - "Should Have" (from the album Cloud Nothings, out 1/24 on Wichita and 1/25 on Carpark)

Young Prisms - "Breathless" (from the album Friends For Now, out 1/25 on Kanine)