Brandy, “Clown Pain” (Total Punk)
NYC trio Brandy features members of Pampers and Running (the latter one of our fave bands of the last few years in the ‘whacked-out’ punk space). Their recent “Clown Pain” 7” is an excellent mash up of the members’ other band’s respective sounds – the a-side, title track welding a wizened psych(out) on to sky-high, fist pumping riffs, while b-side “Rent Quest” underpins a buzzing drone riff with a ‘shake appeal’ rhythm. It’s kind of like a basement jam featuring The Stooges and AC/DC (Bon-era, duh) and it’ll make you want to do that Angus Young accordion dance thing. Great stuff.
The single is available now, courtesy of Total Punk. Brandy do have a Bandcamp page for your perusing delight, where you can also fine their fine debut long-player, on Monofonous Press. While you’re doing that, work your senses overtime by checking out this video of Brandy playing live video at Union Pool, Bkln.
Too Free, “ATM” (Sister Polygon)
Too Free is a new band comprised of Awad Bilal, Carson Cox and Don Godwin.
The lead single from their forthcoming debut, “ATM”, is an intoxicating, pose-worthy slice of early house and electric disco – the toms even reminiscent of the famed go-go of their DC hometown. The multi-step rhythm/elastic bass/synth combo is mesmeric, but it’s Bilal’s vocals that truly put on a show here. One part early house diva, another Anohni, Bilal glides through notes on diamond-encrusted wings, the inherent vamp and strut infused with raw emotion. “Engulf me”, indeed.
“ATM” is available now as a stand-alone download on Too Free’s bandcamp page (link below). The group’s debut long-player is due to be released later this year, on Sister Polygon.
JOHN, “Future Thinker” (Pets Care Records)
John Healy and John Henry Newton are the two John’s behind a London (Crystal Palace, to be exact – go Eagles!)-based group named, erm, JOHN (aka “JOHN (TIMESTWO)”, in certain spaces). In a bit of online serendipity, we discovered the group via fbook shoutout from one of our current faves, We Wild Blood.
Self-described as ‘four arms, four legs, two heads, wood, metal and plastic’, “Future Thinker” pushes a once familiar guitar/drum combo deeply into the red. Growling vocals and buzzy guitar roil and churn over a steady, almost glam rhythm. It’s a continuous sonic slap in the face over the duration of its 3:02 run time, with the addition of cacophonous sax squalls from Chloë Herrington towards the end a welcome one. Reminds a bit of Metz, Snakehole, or Sex Swing. Do as they say and “burn the proverbial bridge”.
“Future Thinker” is set to be the lead track off JOHN’s forthcoming debut long-player, Out Here on the Fringes, due in October courtesy of Pets Care Records. It is available for pre-order here.
Keel Her, “Complain Train” (O Genesis)
We here at tgh love a good pun, especially one that’s ultimately self-effacing/deprecating. In that spirit, we present Keel Her, the musical alter-ego of Rose Keeler-Schäffeler. Get it? We’ll give you a sec…ok, then.
“Complain Train”, taken from forthcoming long-player, With Kindness, is a lovingly crafted dose of psych-tinged indie pop, in the vein of Broadcast, Jane Weaver, and Rose Dougal. A woozy, almost playground-like synth melody provides the backdrop for Keeler’s reflective lyrics, before ultimately falling off to a rougher-edged solo/outro. It sits nicely with other previews from the record, the dead-eyed girl group charmer “Empathy”, and slow-burning “No Control” – each one putting Keeler-Schaffeler’s incredible knack for vocal melody construction on pedastalic display.
With Kindness is due today (June 7), courtesy O Genesis, a label run by Tim Burgess, Nik Colk Void and Jim Spencer (fan boy alert!). Do yourself the favor of perusing her Bandcamp page (link below), whereat all manner of demos, EPs, covers, &etc., are there to be enjoyed (her cover of Robert Wyatt’s “Heap of Sheeps” is a particular fave).