Members of Aquarian Blood, whose new album is due February 10 on Goner Records.
Aquarian Blood features husband/wife duo JB (Ex-Cult) and Laurel Horrell (formerly of NOTS). What began (according to the band’s bio) as a home recording project has turned into a full-blown one, and they’ve offered the world a three-act tease of their forthcoming debut, “Last Nite In Paradise”: “Heaven Is In My Head”; “Won’t Forget to Die” and “Asshole In the Castle”.
Fans of each spouse’s other projects will find much to like here. “Heaven Is In My Head” is full-on, raging synth-punk. Announcing itself with a Tron-summoning synth line, the band throw it all into the red: vocals yelp and rail, guitars squall and synths tase – like being spun around, blindfolded, to pin the tail on the donkey…for almost two minutes. “Won’t Forget to Die” (which, as the lyrics remind us, “no one ever does”), slows things wayyyy down the rabbit hole, a hazy raga psych drone wraiths around a Joy Division-y bassline, the gypsy strings towards the end adding to the fug. Last (in track order), “Asshole In the Castle” – its title sadly fitting in these days and times – is more of a straightforward punk record, albeit with layered vocals and an off-kilter guitar hook. Together, the songs make for a thrilling joyride. Can’t wait to hear the rest.
But wait we must, if but only for a bit longer: “Last Nite In Paradise” is due February 10 from the always in vogue Goner. Check the Aquarian Blood bandcamp page for (slightly) more info.
Ex-Cult, Cigarette Machine EP (2/17/15; Castle Face)
New from the Memphis, TN gang, wherein we find the band shifting gears with an ep chock full of cuts that will surely be in the running for “jam of the summer”, courtesy of your local Clear Channel, mind-control radio station. Just kidding: Cigarette Machine is a continuation of what Ex-Cult has been honing since their debut in 2012; all manner of punk goodness to soundtrack your next street fight.
For the label obsessives amongst you, the ep’s six tracks run the gamut from proto- to post-punk and even heavy psych, with a stray elbow here from post-Damaged Black Flag, riff-heavy west coast hardcore and even a cuff there from oi’s rhythmic chanting to round out the mix. Chris Shaw channels Rollins with his propensity for placing emphasis on…The. Last. Word. Of. Every. Line – drummer Michael Peery and bassist Frank McLallen bring the hammer and nails for this well-stocked garage. Bottom line: whatever the funk you wanna call it, it works.
May 8 DALLAS, TX @ THE FOUNDRY
May 9 AUSTIN, TX @TBA
May 10 EL PASO,TX @ MONARCH BAR
May 11 PHOENIX, AZ @ CRESCENT BALLROOM
May 12 SAN DIEGO, CA @ THE HIDEOUT
May 13 LOS ANGELES, CA @ THE SMELL
May 14 LOS ANGELES, CA @ SECRET RENDEZVOUS
May 16 SAN FRANCISCO, CA THE HEMLOCK
May 17 SANTA ROSA, CA @ TBA
May 18 EUREKA, CA @ TBA
May 20 PORTLAND, OR @ THE KNOW
May 21 SEATTLE, WA @ BLACK LODGE
May 22 BOISE, ID @ NEUROLOX
May 24 DENVER, CO @ THE HI DIVE
May 26 ST. LOUIS, MO @ THE JUICEBOX PLAYER’S PAD
June 9 MEMPHIS, TN @ HI-TONE W/ ICEAGE, LOW LIFE