New: Guided By Voices + Pink Mountaintops + Bent Denim + Earl Boykins + Jack the Bear + Coast Redwood

To quote the illusive Avalanches, ‘Since I left you, I found the world so blue’. It has been way too long since I did some unearthing of people that hit shit to make noise come out. So, here’s a small round up of bands that you should listen to, or you can get bent.

 

Guided By Voices-Planet Score

Holy shit, is this not the greatest thing ever? Badger from Breaking Bad keeps missing at basketball, and Rob Corddry wears his all-too-creepy smile. Oh yeah, and there’s a hot dog costume. Watching people fail has never been so boosted by high-profile celebrities (?) and soundtracked by such kick-ass new jams from one of the greatest bands on Earth (!). All praise GBV!

 

Pink Mountaintops-Ambulance City

Pink Mountaintops released one of those albums that you listen to few and far between, but will always consistently love. That album is ‘Axis of Evol’. Now, the band are back to release a new record, the first single of which is ‘Ambulance City’. To say it does not disapoint would be an understatement. Everywhere, Black Mountian fan boys are getting no-reason boners, as they’re indie rock poster boy turns in the mediocre for a turn at being fucking awesome. Dark, VHS mist-trails accompany what is basically a punk band consisting of Station from Bill & Ted 2 and David Bowie. Hot damn!

 

Bent Denim-Fuel

With the exception of This Is Fake DIY, reading the reviews for the new Bent Denim single is almost enough to make you want to shove your head up your ass just to see where these wankers pull their superfluous words from. I had a good mind to just ditch Bent Denim based on the *jerk-off motion* reviews of the track.

But ‘Fuel’ is too good for that. It’s a stunning track, like something that would play over the part of the movie where Bambi is still hanging out with his mum. It takes what was good about Youth Lagoon’s first album, and gives it more grit. Basically, this is Christopher Nolan’s Trevor Powers feat. Christian Bale. Good shit!

 

Earl Boykins-Doves

Early Boykins? Doves? This can only mean a steaming pile of horse shit right? Utterly wrong, as a torrential outpour of Dirty Nil meets FIDLAR fuzz erupts forth from Earl Boykins. ‘Doves’ is less about being all peaceful and shit, and more about releasing a bunch of birds to cause as much chaos as possible. This is ruckus-worthy shenanigans at their best: shreddery, cymbals and hoarse cry’s dominate this track like I dominated that pepperoni pizza on Friday night. By myself *sob*.

 

Jack the Bear-Free Rider

As far as band names go, Jack the Bear is around the Girls benchmark: doesn’t really excite you in the same way like a band called Cerebral Ballzy or Venom P. Stinger. But hey, at least they’ve got killer tunes that would make Christopher Owens and Dan Boekcner want to form a super-group (called Wolf Parade Girls, of course), just so that they could have a chance at reclaiming the downer indie rock title back from Jack the Bear. It’s well worth the time to also check out some of their previous material, fantastic stuff.

Actually, their name is perfect, because their e-mail name is jackthebearoffical….Take out a couple letters, and its jack the bear off. HA! COMEDY! LAUGHTER! BESTIALITY! Together at last! You’re all right, Jack the Bear, you’re all right.

 

Coast Redwood-Spirit

This is an album from self-confessed ‘spooky indie rock bangers’, which means that either we’re about to witness the coming of the next National, or literally the worst thing since I couldn’t find a matching pair of socks. Shove your genocide up your ass, that was a turning point in my life.

Anyway, luckily for humanity, Coast Redwood lean towards being the former of our two ultimatum’s. There’s the smoothness and gentle rollicking of The National there, but there’s also a jaunt-ness and dark aloofness that reckons with Blitzen Trapper. And then there’s also some peroxide blonde Miley Cyrus fun thrown in there. What, what, what!

So, you can expect dirty solos, smart ‘n’ taught lyrics, and one of the tightest indie rock bands you’ve heard. 10/10 would-stand-at-the-back-of-the-venue-with-arms-crossed-and-head-ever-so-slightly-nodding.

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New: Guided By Voices-Littlest League Possible

For the amount of time this I spend talking about bands that sound like Guided By Voices, I spend relatively little of my time actually talking about the band itself. At first, I had the excuse that they weren’t around anymore, but since re-forming in 2010, that excuse has been voided. And its not like they’re not prolific either, having released four albums in that time, three of them in 2012 alone.

I don’t know why I don’t talk about Robert Pollard’s merry band of slackers more because I do love them, but anyway, they’ve released a new song. It’s nothing especially out of the ballpark, but it reminds everyone why we love Guided By Voices so much. Pollard’s uniquer-than-a-sexy-Bill-Gates-impersonater voice, the constant theme of self-deprecation, and the awesome guitar, it all amounts to a big ol’ hard-on for GBV that never really left in the first place.

Album Review: Dollar Bar-Paddington Workers Club

a3920985061_2Man, this legendary bogan pop from Dollar Bar is sweeter than a cooked kangaroo steak at 3 in the morning (that’s what people outside of a 20 kilometre radius of the Sydney and Melbourne CBD’s do right?). Dollar Bar are like the lost love child of the Go-Betweens, the baby that came from a one night stand with the cracked out corpse of Archers of Loaf. The old-school references make sense because Dollar Bar are actually a 90’s band in disguise, ‘Paddington Workers Club’ being their sophomore studio release, following on from a debut record in 2004. So, the Guided By Voices influences are a lot less weary and understandable than a couple of the bands that have been popping up lately, 18 year olds that sound like they just sucked Robert Pollard’s dick after a ‘The Bears For Lunch’ session, as opposed to actually growing up with the band and their contemporaries.

Anyway, ‘Paddington Workers Club’ is a fine, cohesive record that wears the words ‘slacker’ and ‘guitar’ on its sleeve like a Superchunk fan wears a homemade iron-on patch of the album artwork ‘Heavy Pocky For Kitty’ on their denim jacket. The songs on the record whisk and wallow, waxing an everyman poetry about really average, relatable shit. ‘(You’re) Blind Baby’, adopts an acoustic doo-woop barbershop quartet vibe that’s been hijacked by a mad scientist way into acoustic surfer rock, and has settled into ‘my girlfriend sucks’ paradigm. ‘We Won the War’ gets a really loud Weezer vibe, earnest, simplistic lyrics (I keep hoping you’re next to me/finally I’l be in ecstasy) that are bolstered with a brash, pop-punk vibe that is catchy as all fuck. And standout track ‘Diff’rent 4 Gurls’ is like if that downtrodden guy from the beginning of ‘Undone (The Sweater Song)‘ got way into Marcy Playground, and then decided to write a song musing about the shitty double standards of gender-equality.

With these tracks and the whole shit-tonne of GBV and other semi-seminal 90’s-influenced stuff on ‘Paddington Workers Club’, Dollar Bar have come back pretty fucking strong. Finally, you can throw out that Afghan Whigs record you’ve kept for God knows how long, because Dollar Bar can replace that shit pronto. Not only are the songs better and contain more dark, dejected humour than a Ben Folds Five best-of, the fact is that Dollar Bar make really nice music to jam along to.

You can buy the record now at Dollar Bar’s Bandcamp for $8, or less than half of a McDonald’s Family Meal. You can catch Dollar Bar (and you should, because who knows when they’ll be back) at Petersham Bowlos on the 22nd of November.

Video: Surf City-NYC

Man, I’m kicking myself because I still haven’t gotten around to listening to Surf City’s sophomore effort, but if NYC is an indication, the album will be off the hook. I feel like that’s a massively incorrect descriptor for a band with a sound that recalls Pavement and Guided By Voices so readily, but I stick by my accusations. With ‘NYC’, Surf City have moved away from the post-modern shoegaze that they held so tightly on their debut, and have embraced slackerism and its birthplace, New York, with the kind of attitude that we all should. The result is a video and song that isn’t really about anything, yet manages to entrap your mind in a pit of lust like a horny hypnotist. With contemporaries like Virals and Reading Rainbow absolutely killing it, Surf City are still proving that they’re on top of their game, and one of the bands to watch.

New: The Persian Leaps-Praise Elephants

When you name your EP ‘Praise Elephants’, either you are really into Hinduism, or you’ve just got a big, bad sound that’s comparable to the wide girth of an elephant. The Persian Leaps, a noise pop band from Minnesota (land of the Vikings), go with the latter, featuring a college rock sound that tightens up the slack of greats like Guided By Voices and Teenage Fanclub, with a little bit of that romantic Replacements thrown in there as well. It makes for a very nice mix, as the opening track ‘Hard Feelings’ (posted above) will attest to. Layered fuzz and ragamuffin rhythms make way for a clean verse, that transforms again into a riff that claws at your system. ‘Not That Brave’ follows on with Pavement-esque bass rocking right up the front, whilst a sing-along narrative hangs around in the back. ‘Silent Treatment’ brings the thunder like a mid 80’s high school basketball movie, only the action is focused on the stoners hanging out on the bleachers. The hypothetical metaphorical movie is directed by John Hughes and stars a young Sean Penn, for those wondering at home. The catchiness only gains a flavour, like a really good steak, when the EP moves into a college rock version of The Cure’s introspection, on ‘Eternally Devoted’ (it’s even got a Cure sort of title). The EP is finished out with the brilliant shoegaze of ‘Sleepless’, a song that sounds like a lost work of Kevin Shields if he went through an R.E.M phase (it’s really fucking good).

Overall, The Persian Leaps aren’t just a band to ‘check out’….they’re an awesome band that you need to champion, like Rudy or Ferris Bueller. Do it.

You can buy the EP for $5, right here at The Persian Leaps Bandcamp.

Video: Dollar Bar-Everyone’s Everyone’s

Eat your heart out Robert Pollard, Dollar Bar have just released an absolutely amazing song. If you can’t dig these Pavement-esque dolceties, then you are simply not human. The very cool guitar melody intermingling with the chugging, blue collar rhythms makes this song simply gorgeous, but the added touch of the xylophone makes it more irresistible than cake (there’s no context, cake always rules). The added plus of accusatorially delivered and cynical lyrics like ‘Everyone’s out on display, but that doesn’t make it OK’ means that you should be sold by ‘Everyone’s Everyone’s’ more so than Pol Pot was sold on destroying humanity. This song has more urban grit and red-tinted angst than the song’s video would disclose, and proves that Dollar Bill are well and truly back!

May Playlist

May I provide you with an awesome playlist? I MayMay there be a shitload of awesome new garage tracks and videos, like Beaches’ ‘Send Them Away’ and Hebronix’s (ex-Yuck) ‘Unreal? There May! There May even be some tracks from a couple years back from badasses The Soft Moon, DIIV, Ty Segall and Harlem. If you enjoyed the Radical Dads video I posted a little while ago, you May enjoy the Shark? song ‘Down Low’. I May have also included some more electro-oriented stuff like Lapalux (props to Clancy), and Mirwais (for any of you who have seen Snatch) 

1. Beaches-Send Them Away

2. Guided By Voices-Flunky Minnows

3. C H U R C H E S-Flocks

4. Ty Segall- The Drag

5. Great Thunder-Kees

6. DIIV-How Long Have You Known

7. The Soft Moon-Circles

8. Harlem-Friendly Ghost

9. YVETTE-In Praise of Our Doubts

10. TOY-Left Myself Behind

11. Hebronix-Unreal

12. Lapalux-Without You feat. Kerry Leatham

10. Blood Orange-Sutphin Boulevard

12. Mirwais-Disco Science

13. Kill the Noise and Feed Me-Thumbs Up (For Rock n Roll)

14. Christopher Owens-Here We Go Again

15. Caveman-Thankful

16. Al Lover and the Haters-Ballin’ Chain

17. Forces- Overland (In My Mind)

18. The Prodigy-Firestarter (Death Grips Remix)

19. Holy Fuck-Lovely Allen

20. Shark?- Down Low