Jan 31, 2015

Brief Blasts 4: Featuring Stalls-S/T, Blood Sister-Dysphoria, Kim Gray-Backseat Bingo, Ty Segall-Mr. Face

     Stalls make Oakland sound like the hippest place in Cali, man. They've infused a very once-thought-to-be East Coast or New York vibe to Oaktown's repertoire and I can't be happier to know it's happening all of forty-some-odd miles from my current location.          
     All the tones are clean yet foreboding and the bass (probably the highlight here) moves nimbly through each tune. The only bit that's murky are Sam's vocals. Anyone can clearly hear this dude has an enviable set of pipes (cross between Ian Curtis and Nick Cave) yet he's chosen to obscure them proper. They're the loudest yet most distorted element in the mix.
     Stalls share a drummer (Nick Clark) and a label (Vacant Stare) with Mall Walk. Vacant Stare's roster should be able to take over all of CA if they wish and certainly much further reaches. They're a lethal combo, man. No one's recovering from what these bands assemble; Stalls woo with pizzazz/mystery and Mall Walk break hearts with tales of loss.

Interesting to Note: Stalls' Sam Weiss shares a name with a character that the ever-badass Kevin Corrigan once played on TV's Fringe.

Listen/Buy Here

                                                                                                                             The Verdict: 3 Bedpans

     Blood Sister create dizzying, menacing synth pop. They really get into it, making certain notes wail and soar as some guitarists would. It might be the soundtrack to the high-tech invasion. 'Dysphoria' is a strong debut musically not to mention the realm of cover art.
     The cover was painted by local SF artist, Tristan Chase Arcelona. As disturbing as it may be, it's one of his tamer pieces. It's a picture worthy of much consideration. 

Thoughts On The Cover Art

The band seems to be sharing blood from pricked fingers in a nonchalant unity ritual. The most stylish member, whose knees couldn't be closer together, is flanked on both sides by the others, whom have symmetrically-crossed legs. 
The woman on the left is like a proper thirty-something mother-of-two-or-more and the man on the right looks like he could be the owner of a record store or just a barista. 
Upon second consideration, the middle woman's look is kinda deceptive. I think her hairdo denotes high fashion, but her clothes are quite dull. The man is wearing an all-black nerd uniform and the mom-ish woman is wearing red/white/blue, like a true suburban creature. 
The wallpaper looks like it could be circuitry and there's what very well could be a blank, framed canvas, elevated just enough that only the bottom quarter of it is in frame.
The three plates set before these three people and the contents atop each presents many questions as is most likely their intent.

Listen/Buy Here

                                                                                                              The Verdict: 3 Bedpans

     Is Backseat Bingo a car passenger visual-checklist game? 

Red car? [check] 
Laundromat? [check] 
High School marquee advertising a dance? [check]
Homeless person towing more than one grocery cart? [check]

     Let's play Garage Pop Audio Bingo with Skinny Kids lead man, Trevor Kim Gray's latest release:

Surf guitar? [check]
Laid back yet precise drums? [check]
Fat  bass? [check]
Female backing vocals? [check]
Hand claps and finger snaps? [check]

And to all of that, he adds one harmonica flourish. 

     So he sings, "Take it easy. I won't forget the little something that make sense when only Frank Sinatra sings in song." I could be wrong, but I don't think any of Frank's tunes featured a harmonica. But to that, I'm sure, Trevor would sing, "I don't care. Rules don't apply." He has everything covered here. His checklist is fulfilled.

Listen/Buy Here

                                                                                                              The Verdict: 3 Bedpans

      I'm all about hyperbole so even though it's still only January (31st), I'm gonna predict that, in terms of 7" releases, it won't get any better than Sir Ty Segall's 'Mr. Face'. Firstly, it's Ty Fucking Segall at his finest, jamming acoustically. Secondly, we get double-the-pleasure as this is a four-sided, two disc set. All these tunes are great, need to be heard, and need to be bought by Segall completionists. Thank you, Famous Class Records!

Listen/Buy Here

                                                  The Verdict: 4 Bedpans

No comments:

Post a Comment