Tag Archives: partisan records

The hooks leave a mark on “EP2”, from Sydney’s Body Type

Sydney-based quartet Body Type was a ‘new to us’ band when we stumbled upon their fantastic EP2. Released in May, it’s quickly become a favorite here at tgh hq.

Self-described as “scuzz//rock” (or, alternately, “scuzzzzzzz”), the tracks on EP2 trace a majestic arc through driving, mid-90s indie rock to spikier, more 80s indebted post-punk. The blistering opener, ‘Stingray’, sets the tone nicely – the band’s taut, bright hooks counterposed against Sophie McComish’s vocal delivery, whose languid quality thinly veils a sneer as she warns that the titular, spineless fish is nonetheless able to “sting just fine”. Elsewhere, the slower pace of standout tracks like ‘Insomnia’ feel almost humid, but never cloying. The lead guitar melodies – in particular – are transfixing throughout and will rattle around in your brain for days. Sounding a bit more polished than last October’s EP1, there is more than enough of a Breeders-y off-kilter approach to the arrangements to keep it from feeling too safe.

EP2 is out now, courtesy of Partisan Records and Inertia Music. Head over to Partisan’s website, and you can purchase both EP1 and EP2 as one, long-playing vinyl release. Long live the “two ‘fer”!

Highlights include: “Stingray”; “Insomnia”; “UMA”.

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Check out the video for ‘UMA’:

Hark! The Black Angels Return With New Track, “Currency”, from Forthcoming New Album, Death Song.

The Black Angela, “Currency” (Partisan)

“currency/carry me/everyone is held hostage…
one day it’ll all be over/one day it’ll all be gone”

A welcome return from Austin’s The Black Angels, whose new record (and first in four years), Death Song (which appears to be a riff on the band’s name and the Velvet Underground song from whence it came – meta!), is due for release April 21 (pre-order here) on Partisan Records.  Lead single, “Currency”, finds the band as tight as ever.  Singer Alex Mass’ voice is the linchpin and dead center in the mix – carrying more than a hint of menace on past tracks, here singing in almost plaintive tones of the social quicksand of a consumerist society.  The song, several times, threatens to go full-on freak-out – a sliding, fuzzed bass repeatedly sounding a clarion’s call – before showing restraint and a slow burn.  If this is anytnig to go by, the new album should be a good one.

The Black Angels will also tour behind Death Song – dates here (with A Place to Bury Strangers).

Single Review: The Wytches, Robe for Juda

The Wytches, Robe For Juda/Wide At Midnight (Hate Hate Hate Records, 11/17/2013)

A compelling slice of stoner/surf/grunge/psych/whateverit’sgood rock from this Brighton, UK based trio, released on the great Hate Hate Hate label, also home to The Fat White Family (the group are now on the just as great Heavenly Recordings – well done!).  On the a-side, vocalist/guitarist Kristian Bell’s nasal croon floats disembodied over the track, which lurches spastically from jangly, psychedelic guitar and “Come As You Are”-inspired bassline to an angst-ridden piledriver of a chorus.  B-side “Wide at Midnight” might be even better, following a similar dynamic with lovely 60s sounding melody, de- or evolving (I don’t judge) into a catharsis of imploding guitars, drums and bass.  The quiet/loud/quiet dynamic in full effect.  Similar in tone and dynamic to contemporaries like METZ (who they are touring with in July), this and other releases like the Gravedweller ep have me looking forward to their debut full length, due in August.  The soundtrack to a really lost weekend – or maybe for that wraith chick in The Ring’s ascent from the well. 

Album Review: Eagulls

Eagulls – Eagulls (Partisan Records, 3/4/2014)

Eagulls are a Leeds-based quintet whose debut album I’ve been looking forward to for some time, having enjoyed earlier tracks like “Council Flat Blues”.  The band is often given the “post-punk” tag, and it’s easy to hear why:  their songs bring to mind equal parts early Killing Joke, The Cure and The Chameleons.  There are also hints of the more adventurous side of new wave and of early 80s hardcore punk in the vocals.

While many bands these days, it seems, draw heavily from these same influences, Eagulls manage to blend these into something more than merely the sum of their illustrious parts and, on its eponymous debut album, the band has clearly refined its sound from earlier releases into a solid collection of songs.

The band seems to dip a toe or two in the water at first.  Opener “Nerve Endings”, begins with swirling guitars, paired with sturdy, sold bass and drums, finally joined by vocalist George Mitchell, sounding a bit like “Seventeen Seconds”-era Robert Smith.  While decent enough, it seems the aural equivalent of first few drinks in a pub crawl:  the intent is there, but the inhibitions have not yet been cast aside.

It’s during the excellent middle portion of the album that the band conjures the raw emotion and vitality of the full-on bender:  Mitchell trades his Smithian yelp for belfry-clearing shouts, which interplay wonderfully with the guitar work of Mark Goldsworthy and Liam Matthews.  On this run of tracks, beginning with “Tough Luck” and continuing on through “Opaque”, the music stumbles and lurches blearily through waves of dissonant melancholy – all shades of blue and black –  while kept on a (strained) leash by the excellent rhythm section of Tom Kelly (bass) and Henry Ruddel (drums).  Proceedings reach euphoric, drunken clarity on twin highlights “Possessed” and “Opaque” – the stuff of raucous sing-alongs, the kind which possibly (de?)evolve into fisticuffs.

All said, a very satisfying debut.  One complaint, however, is with the production, which bathes everything in something approaching cotton wool:  it seems, at times, as though the band were recorded from the next room.  While this does add to the already tense mood, it too often ends up blunting the impact.  I look forward to seeing the band – June 18 at Great Scott! – to hear the difference live.

Highlights include:  “Tough Luck”, “Amber Veins”, “Possessed”, “Opaque”.