Tag Archives: 80s

“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

The (Soul Train) Line Forms Here – “Street Level”, from Galaxians, Bumps

Galaxians, ‘Street Level’ (Youth Club Sounds)

Hailing from Leeds, UK, Galaxians are Jed Skinner (synthesizers, programming) and Matt Woodward (acoustic drums, more programming), together with vocalist Emma Mason.  They’ve been releasing records since 2012, and I feel a bit disappointed in myself, to be honest, to have only just discovered them, courtesy of storming new joint, “Street Level”.

Released as part of a collaboration between Leeds-based label, Youth Club Sounds, and promoters, Super Friendz, “Street Level” is a movin’, groovin’, burning 80s throwback r&b/electro-disco jam.  Like a riposte to the classic D-Train track, “You’re the One for Me”, Mason roars the opposite while standing on the shoulders of greats like Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King and Teena Marie (the group’s site also references Gwen Guthrie…we can dig it).  Behind and all around her, a driving beat, slippery bass and squishy leads – the arrangement is fantastically dense.  It’ll put a smile on your face after a hard day, even if you’re a weekend girl or guy (look it up, young’uns).  Get up and dance…dance, I said.

“Street Level”, as well as other Galaxians cuts, can be found on the Super Friendz/Youth Club Sounds “Collaborationz” (so many zeds!) mixtape, which can listen to here and purchase on the Galaxians’ bandcamp page (where you can also check they’re upcoming live dates).  Hail Galaxians on fbook and the twitt.

Track Review: S A Reyners, Saturday Afternoon

S. A. Reyners, “Saturday Afternoon” (Self Released, 7/11/2015)

A jaunty slice of quirky, melodic, sophisticated pop from S A Reyners, Wellington, New Zealand’s own “one man band” (though drums here are credited to Kiel Feher).

Reyners cites, as influences, bands like Sparks and Aztec Camera.  These come through loud and clear on “Saturday Afternoon”, the second single from a soon to be released debut EP of the same name – the former in his vocal range and phrasing (which also recalls Matt Johnson of The The); and both in stylistic mish mash of the arrangement, which recalls the 80s integration of tropicalia and Caribbean music, as well as 60s style r&b.

I also a heard a fair amount of bands like Orange Juice and Haircut 100, in both the track’s breezy, effortless charm, as well as the sly wit and wordplay of the lyrics, describing the high of chancing upon an attractive girl you’d seen on the street at a local bar, followed swiftly the low of discovering she’s there with her soon to be fiancé.

Here’s hoping more pearls from EP are cast soon.  In the meantime, check M. Reyners on his Facebook page, on Soundcloud and on Bandcamp.

New Track: Communions, Out Of My World

Communions, “Out Of My World” (Tough Love)

We here at thegrindinghalt previously sang the praises of Copenhagen’s Communions and their progression from insular post-punk to a larger, cinemascope take on ‘80s indie.  This new single is their most wide-eyed yet.

The title gives one a pretty good idea of what to expect.  I’ve no idea how old the members are, but this is the sound of crushing (noun and verb) love, in a way felt during a certain period of one’s life. Martin Rehof’s despaired vocalizing of lines like “you’re the queen of your scene/and I’m just watching through a screen” and “no boy or girl/has made me feel the same” runs thick with the salt water taffy (melo)drama of unrequited love/lust.  The largeness of the arrangement almost consumes the vocals, reflecting the wistful beauty of the strongest of emotions being left unspoken, or restrained within the four corners of one’s mind (or room); a love note labored over, but never sent.

The production is filled with ‘80s touchstones – from the shotgun reverb on the drums to the synthesized sheen over the guitars – and calls to mind everything from mid to late period The Smiths and The Cure, New Order at their more romantic, even OMD in their pomp.

An alternate Ducky’s theme from Pretty In Pink? Perhaps – maybe this one would’ve worked.

Taken from new, self titled EP, due June 1 in Europe and June 2 in the U.S. on Tough Love and in Japan on Big Love.

New Music: Belle and Sebastian, The Party Line

Belle and Sebastian, ‘The Party Line’ (Matador)

Taken from to-be-released Girls In Peacetime Want to Dance (due January), this track shows a different side to the well-established Glaswegian outfit’s sound.  While B&S have never shied away from dance rhythms, past grooves reminded more of Ready, Steady, Go – this cut is more Dance Party USA; a shimmering, glossy piece of late-80s club, complete with whiteboy funky lead guitar and a snaky (synth) bassline.

This tune may yet inspire the band’s notoriously bookish fans to discard their cardigans and do the Roger Rabbit – ‘Where’s Me Jumper’, indeed.  Check out the video, below.