Sep 30, 2014

Music Review: Yes I'm Leaving-Slow Release

     Plainly pictured on the front of Yes I'm Leaving's Slow Release is a collage of suburban tract homes with an assembly of human skulls looming largely above. ("This existence is death, man!") I imagine one of those nondescript garages contains a post-punk band wanting nothing more than to fulfill the promise of its name. Well, I personally haven't heard any post-punk (of recent) from Australia. It's currently a land that represents psychedelia and Nick Cave for me. So, I'll say, "Mission Accomplished, Yes I'm Leaving."
     For me, Slow Release really doesn't get any better than the first track, 'One'. It's a perfect Mission of Burma ripoff, complete with a rubber-band, thunderous bass; except with a second guitar and some swirly synth flourishes. The lyrics sound as if they're referring to both the band's name and the album's; "I had a vision/of you/now/one". The goal is transcendence. It's a sentiment of teen angst but men have visions whereas boys only have dreams. I really hope these dudes aren't ages 30+. I guess the narrative would be a bit comedic, for me, in that case.
     There're other lyrics on Slow Release that allude to small-town life and an anticipation of something more. Yes I'm Leaving is a talented band. Every song is tightly-woven save for the ending bit of Salt in which it's allowed to dissolved and then sputter out. Care Less is a pretty straight-forward, almost mid-tempo rocker. It doesn't sound as if it belongs on this album, sandwiched between the rest of more stylized fare. It's a lazy song by-design...Well, whatever.
     So I guess Slow Release is for anyone, young or old, who can identify with its cover art. It's not restless, it's determined. It's just saying its last goodbyes.

                                               The Verdict: 3 Bedpans

Sep 21, 2014

Music Review: BRONCHO-Just Enough Hip To Be Woman

     If any band deserves to use an ALL-CAPS moniker, it's BRONCHO. In my estimation, they have replaced Spoon as the most swaggerlicious modern band I know. 'Just Enough Hip To Be Woman' is loaded with undeniable dance-floor material. Everything is so on-point here. This album has broken my damn barometer. I really don't anticipate any other 2014 release unseating its current place of dominance in my world. 

     Of course, my excitement begins with the very first track, 'What', sounding reminiscent of Bowie's 'Queen Bitch'.  The album as a whole hearkens back to acts like Dire Straits (MTV is even mentioned towards the end) and The Cars with keyboards, genius riffs, couldn't-possibly-be-more-tight rhythm section, loose and playful vocals. It's pop heroin, man. It's an album that I'd like to include in some sort of square ambush. When this thing is playing, everyone within earshot better cease whatever they're engaged with and succumb to its spell.
     I don't yet know where these five dudes live in Oklahoma, but they should be takin' over that state. Even The Flaming Lips can learn something from BRONCHO. Here's to this album being reckoned with for decades-to-come, including but not limited to, cuts being heavily-rotated at Thunder games. Bravo, BRONCHO, bravo!

         The Verdict: Unknown (Strongest Guess: 20 Quadrillion Bedpans)

Music Review: Monster Treasure-Monster Treasure

     I love the intensity of this trio. The bass is very meaty, like Krist Novoselic. The guitar never changes tone and the drums are poppy. Monster Treasure don't need much to communicate. Two of the members are women and they often each sing different parts, adding a welcome dynamic to the sonics. Monster Treasure are what The Muffs hath begot. 
     I wish the vocals were a bit less breathy 'cause I'd like to know what 'Assholes' is on about. Meanwhile 'Psychedelic Girl' is a faithful pop-punk tune.
     Score another win for Stockton and, by proxy, Brooklyn's Harlot Records, which seems hell-bent on signing every damn act in that scene. So far, so good.

                                                                                                                            The Verdict: 3 Bedpans

Sep 10, 2014

Music Review: Os Noctambulos-Corsica Garden

     Some things in life are so good they hurt to consider. Is it safe to believe in magic? If I'm being completely honest, the idea of a modern Franco/Anglo band sounding as if they came from mid-late '60s garage/surf/psych pop era isn't quite impossible to fathom. Plenty of bands try for this sound, but when one seems to nail it so precisely, it seems unreal, and the initial shock upon first listen is considerable. Is every instrument actually played so stylistically as to sound era-specific or era-authentic? Even for myself, it's bit hard to imagine this perfect sound existing in 2014. 
     "Take my hand. Take my wrist. 'Cause it scares me, what I might do." sings Nick Wheeldon on, perhaps, the best track on Corsica Garden, 'It Scares Me'. Those are convincing words considering Os Noctambulos have pretty much perfected their sound. Nothing on Corsica Garden feels the least labored. If this band can write such masterful pop tunes so seemingly effortlessly, is there any limit to their potential? It scares me to think of what the hell else they "might do". Os Noctambulos belong on a Wes Anderson film's soundtrack. I can undoubtedly state that they have the same chops as any heavy-hitting '60s pop band that I can name-drop. Not only that, but I will, from today forward, rank Corsica Garden among the best albums from any of that era. I don't think it's crazy to set this album alongside the greats. 
     For music lovers, Corsica Garden is nothing short of beguiling. Os Noctambulos have  set a new, bold standard for all modern garage pop bands.


                                                                                                                           The Verdict: 4 Bedpans