Tag Archives: garage

Fa la la list!

We’re back with another list, featuring songs that have our tinnitus-riddled ears ringing like so many silver bells. Have a listen, won’t you?

Songs for a “Season of Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness”, or Something – Enjoy!

New lists, featuring some of our favorite tracks carried along the blustery drafts of the changing seasons.

The first:

And, if you dare, a sequel:

Fayetteville’s Ten High Announce Debut Full-Length, “Self-Entitled”

Ten High, Self-Entitled (Rare Plant Records)

Ten High are a new (to me) four piece based out of Fayetteville, AR.  To date, the group has released three EPs, played shows will tgh faves like Aquarian Blood, and have name checked as inspiration several others, including the Blind Shake and Ex-Cult.  Recently, drummer/vocalist Devan Theos was kind enough to pass along a link to their debut full-length, Self-Entitled (get it?), and I’m glad she did.

Self-Entitled finds Ten High tearing through an eleven-song set chock full o’ straight up r’nr, hints of psychobilly, 60s beat, hardcore, garage, psych – basically anything that sounds great played loud – all chewed up and spit out on a platter.  Primary vocalist Cat Owens’ shredded pipes recall Reverend Beat Man’s gruff screed, pairing like a fine ripple with the jagged-edged guitar and short/sharp drum and bass combination of Theos and Aaron Smith (as a former – terrible – bassist, I love the thick, rubbery bass sound).  Theos takes the mic sounding like a young Kate Pierson on the stomping “Skin Crawlers”, which comes off like a psychobilly take on Walk Among Us-era Misfits.

As with the best of so-called ‘noise’ rock, these tracks come based on infectious melodies residing dead center in the maelstrom.  “Royal Blood” employs a bit of blues boogie, while “Fakers” had my brain checking to Three Dog Night, for fuck’s sake.  Brilliant, even though I blame them for having “Mama Told Me Not to Come” for a full day…bygones.

Self-Entitled is available digitally and on cassette on April 5, courtesy of Rare Plant Records.  Ten High will be on Greenway Records’ upcoming showcase at SXSW, for all you lucky mallards heading to Austin.  There’s also a few dates before that, as well as a west coast US tour planned for the summer – check out the Ten High fbook for the dates.

Highlights include: “User’s Choice”; “Skin Crawlers”; “Fakers”; “The Trouble”.

Mr. Airplane Man Announce New Album, “Jacaranda Blue”. Listen to lead track “I’m in Love”.

 

Mr. Airplane Man, beloved crafters of garage-blues finery, returned to the scene after a multi-year hiatus in 2014, clearing out the vaults to release two fantastic album’s worth of unreleased material (Lost Tapes and Bits and Pieces), a live EP (Geneva Session), and playing shows all over the US and Europe.  The promise of new material has hovered for a bit and, happily, the duo recently announced brand new long-player, Jacaranda Blue, due for digital release March 16.  This announcement was preceded by a single – “I’m in Love” – which also serves as the lead track/taster for the album.

“I’m in love” shows Mr. Airplane Man returning no less smoldering than when they left.  A trippy take on blues, sashaying along a slow-burn, ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’ kinda groove, the track has a way of expanding and retracting in your head.  It’s a long-distance phone call to a love through a whiskey-induced fugue state, a rapturous profile in the glowing embers of a cigarette drag.  Margaret Garrett’s vocals – punctuated here and there with otherworldly coos and moans – emanate from somewhere down the other end of the line, faintly tethered by the gossamer light drumming of Tara McManus.  It’s a dizzying, seductive cut.

In addition to the digital release, which you can pre-order here, look for Jacaranda Blue on vinyl, courtesy of the mighty Sympathy for the Record Industry in the US, and on french label Beast in Europe.  Mr. Airplane Man – a live force not to be missed – have a few upcoming dates as well, which you can find on their website. You can also wander the woods with them on fbook.

“LA Women”, from New Orleans’ Patsy, is a Fantastic Debut

Patsy, LA Women (La Vida Es Un Mus)


Patsy are a New Orleans-based quartet.  After a series of excellent singles over the past couple of years, the band recently released their debut ‘mini’-LP, LA Women.

Where prior singles tended to stay firmly in the hardcore lane, LA Women finds Patsy blending an inspired mix of surf, garage, 80s hardcore, skewed 80s new wave, and garage.  Their straight ahead hardcore jams – including a re-recorded version of “Nazis are so Plain” from their 2015 demo – bear a slippery quality that reminds of DKs, particularly in the woozy guitar work (see, in particular, album highlight “Society Ape”, which sounds melodically like a DKs/Damned mashup).  Elsewhere, tracks like the excellent “Heathen” and opener “Count it Down” bristle with a-go-go worthy garage energy.

LA Women is out now, courtesy of the ever-excellent La Vida Es Un Mus (seriously, check the roster).  Patsy have a few tour dates forthcoming, which can be found below and on their bandcamp.  Here’s hoping for more soon (including a date closer to thegrindinghalt HQ – *cough*).

10/11 Rochester
10/12 Montreal @ L’Escogriffe
10/13 Toronto @ Sneaky Dee’s
10/15 Detroit @ Help!
10/16 Chicago @ TCC Gallery
10/17 St Louis @ B Line
10/18 Memphis @ Murphy’s

Check Out “Soul Mender”, the New EP from Zerodent.

Zerodent, Soul Mender (Almost Ready)

“Soul Mender” cover. Photo credit: Igor Coko.


Zerodent is a four-piece band out of Perth, Australia.  Formed way back in 2015, their excellent self-titled debut came out last year on German label, Alien Snatch! and, lo and forsooth, a new three-track EP, Soul Mender, is upon us…and it is good.

There’s a righteousness inherent in a lot of the best punk, and it’s on full show here.  Mixing classic ℅ ’77 sounds of bands like The Saints and Buzzcocks (the opening riff of the title track reminds of “Harmony In My Head”) with garage, SoCal h/c gnarl and a bit of maximum r&b, the EP is an absolute rush from start to finish.  Vocalist Lee Jenkins spits, snarls and wails, driving the service to completion with the rollicking “This Time” (personal fave, though it’s hard to choose).  Pass the fucking plate.  The only gripe is it’s too short.

Soul Member is out now, via Almost Ready.  You can catch up with all things Zerodent on their fbook, and peruse their catalogue on bandcamp.  Don’t see any tour dates up yet, but hopefully that will change soon.

Obnox Return with a Niggative Approach

Obnox, Niggative Approach (5/30/2017, 12XU)


Obnox is the musical alter ego of vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Lamont ‘Bim’ Thomas (pictured).  Having released five long-players under this moniker in the last 3 years, the word ‘prolific’ seems apt.  I must admit that new release, Niggative Approach, is the first one I’ve fully sat down with – and now I’m both damn glad I did and in a hurry to dig deeper into the earlier material.

The title might be a wink and a bow to Detroit hardcore godheads Negative Approach (whose singer, John Brannon, makes an appearance on the album’s intro and outro), but the album is far too diverse, dense and interesting to damn with the faint praise of a hyphenated ‘punk’ or other descriptor.  Frankly, there’s so much going on in this record, it can be giddily overwhelming.  Jazz, psych, garage, soul, blues, punk, funk, r&b, hip hop, Beastie Boys, Funkadelic, Rudy Ray Moore, Kid Congo, D’Angelo, Shabazz Palaces, Sun Ra, War, Curtis Mayfield, MF Doom, sky high riffs, heavy funk bass, kick drum grooves, eye of newt and a partridge in a motherfuckin’ pear tree – all this and more await across the album’s 14 tracks (excluding intro-/outro).

I found it best to just strap in, give in, and let it all wash over me, repeated listens bearing ever sweeter fruit.  The spy theme raga of “You”.  The hot, humid synth feel of “Hardcore Matinee”.  The wide lapel groove of “”Beauty Like the Night”.  The diamond amidst the rough of the beautiful “Carmen, I Love You”.  Exhale.

Niggative Approach is out now, on 12XU.  Monitor M. Thomas’ (social media) movements on fbook and the twitt.  No tour dates as yet, but here’s hoping.

Highlights include: “Audio Rot”; “Afro Muffin”; “Carmen, I Love You”; “You”; “Niggative Approach”; “Beauty Like the Night”.

The Bellamys’ Debut EP is Jangly, Lo-Fi Goodness

The Bellamys, S/T EP (Odd Box Records)

With their self-titled EP, Cardiff trio The Bellamys (though one member now resides in Vancouver), have crafted an indie pop winner.  Opener, “Motorway”, sets the tone nicely – chiming guitars cling and clang over an urgent drum beat and synthesizer that sounds a bit like the droning of a hurdy gurdy, as boy-girl harmonies and counter-melodies delve into the delights of well, driving.  Apex, “Best Friend”’s punk jangle underpins a wistful diary entry describing a would-be companion (“but you don’t notice me/you look right through/me/you think you are so cool/that’s cause you are”).  Closing ballad, “For You to See” conjures Super 8 quick-cut images and is quietly affecting without going full twee.  An absence of artifice makes this a charming, hand-hold of a listen; like having a conversation with an old friend over a beer – hopes, dreams; weighty stuff made to feel less onerous.

That press release accompanying the digital recommends the EP for fans of The Pastels, C86, Tellulah Gosh (I’d add The Vaselines and Thee Headcoats) and, erm, Slayer.  Sly, and (very) thinly veiled Haunting the Chapel references notwithstanding, this is a damn fine, lo-fi indie pop record.  Get on it.

Odd Box Records (which, with a roster boasting such artists as City Yelps, The Manhattan Love Suicides, T.O.Y.S., and Nervous Twitch, has quickly become one of my favorite labels over the past few years of doing this) will release the EP on December 2.  Here’s hoping The Bellamys continue doing their thang, in spite of the geographic separation.  Check more on the band on fbook and delve into their earlier catalogue (the demo from February is also great – paricularly, “it’ll be ok”) on Bandcamp.

On “The Stooge”, CFM Delivers the Proto-Punk Goods

CFM, “The Stooge” (In the Red)

CFM is a four-piece band making good use of main dude Charles Moothart’s initials (Moothart is a frequent collaborator of Ty Segall’s, both on albums like Slaughterhouse and in side projects like Gøggs and Fuzz).  The group released its debut long-player, Still Life of Citrus and Slime, earlier this year, and is now back with a new EP, Homegrown Paranoia.  Recently shared track, “The Stooge”, offers a taste.

“The Stooge” is an open-faced, space-boogie jam sandwich, piled high with the taught, razor-sharp melodies and shag pile layers of fuzz you’d expect from a Segall co-conspirator.  Moothart’s voice has a bit of a keening, early Ozzy feel to it, particularly in the way he rounds out the tone on some of the lyrics.  Things begin to unravel around the 1:45 mark – clarion feedback changing the view through the tv eye of the track’s (almost) namesake; a completely deranged guitar solo feeding a full-fledged MC5-style riot goin’ on – and remains barely hinged through to the end, Moothart repeating the word “desperate”.

Homegrown Paranoia is due next month, from In the Red Recordings.  Credit to the excellent CLRVYNT mag for the tweet tip on this one – check out their write up on the band here, which includes upcoming tour dates (true story: I saw CFM open for Ty Segall and the Muggers in the spring; they’re well worth your hard earned).

Check the Psych-Soaked Garage Rock of “Dark Clouds/Don’t Know Why”, the New Single from Germany’s The Wrong Society

“Dark Clouds/Don’t Know Why” 7″ (13 o’clock Records, 9/6/2016)

The Wrong Society are a 4-piece out of Hamburg, who have been releasing records since 2013 but are new to us.  The band make hazy, psych-soaked garage rock that evokes merseybeat and bands like The Seeds, 13th Floor Elevators, The Monks and The Small Faces.  “Dark Clouds/Don’t Know Why” is the band’s new, 7” single, and it’s a belter.

I actually first heard b-side “Don’t Know Why”, and was immediately hooked by its rain soaked pavement charm, the feel reminiscent of The Kinks’ “So Tired of Waiting”.  A-side, “Dark Clouds”, has the appropriate air of malevolence you want in a garage rock version of a “done me wrong” song – the clouds bring sadness, yes, but with a hint of payback?  Stay tuned.

“Dark Clouds/Don’t Know Why” is out now on 13 O’Clock Records, and can be purchased via The Wrong Society Bandcamp page (as well as the other, usual suspects).  For more on the band,  check them out on fbook