It’s been way too long song since we had a mix with new music, but it’s worth the wait cause here is a C100′s worth of mainly fresh releases to keep you going through the summer. Perhaps most exciting is the forthcoming album from Dead Ghosts, called Can’t Get No and out on Burger in the summer. They’ve already released the first single “I Sleep Alone” on Randy Records, who also put out the recent debut 45 from Uh Bones. It features an exclusive and tremendous b-side, and they’re also featured on the b-side of this tape with one of the best album tracks. First, you will have to make do with the a-side though. There’s a track from the 60 Second Swingers LP I wrote about not long ago, a potential summer hit from Cold Warps’ tour cassette (improving tenfold on that old Drums template), a recent single from hyped UK psych group Temples who are due for an LP release their year, as well as a track from Josh Schwartz’ Painted Hills album that I discovered in the past week. Have look at what you can expect from the other half, on the back cover.
Archive for category new releases
Ketamines released one of last year’s best albums, and now they’re back with more stuff in the vein of “Teenage Rebellion Time”. The first of four promised 45s (with cover art that joins up to a complete image) came out yesterday on Pleasance Records, and features “All the Colours of Your Heart” on the a-side, grooving on a bouncy riff. Coupled with the playful “Turning You On” (look out for it on the upcoming mixtape!) it sums up the sound of their soon-to-released sophomore LP.
Out on local Canadian label Mammoth Cave in the summer, You Can’t Serve Two Masters has a warm psychedlic air to it that might even remind you of Pavement at times. I can think of few sounds more fitting to be floating down the summer breeze. “So Clean” and “Spaceships” are both bright and smile-inducing. “Don’t Stop” is an immediate favourite starting out with keys taken as if right outta ? & Mysterians’ song book. Apart from “Double Elevens” and couple of more tunes, this album is a step away from the reverb-heavy neo-garage sound of their last release along with much of standard fare independent music today. Ketamines proved they are a force to reckoned with already in 2011 with the super hit “Line By Line”, and it’s slightly liberating listening to opening track “Come Inside”, as they fulfill a few more of the promises made by that first single.
Also out on Mammoth Cave, right now, is the debut LP from Calgary’s The Mandates. If you like Needles//Pins you’ll definitely enjoy their punky powerpop, and they deserve a mention if only for the fact they were nice enough to write in.
It’s not long ago since I wrote about Sam Lunsford and The Young Sinclairs. Now he’s back with another single under the Sinclairs moniker (still just Lunsford mainly). “Engineer Man”, set for release next month on Paul Messis’ label Market Square, is a new recording of a track from the group’s 2007 debut album Feel Bad (available in full on spotify). The new take features superior harmonies and guitar solo, making one of their best numbers even better. The flip “Problems” is less psychedelic and more folky in a classic Byrds fashion, with interweaving guitars and a fragile but crisp melody carrying the song. It’s great to see two of the most interesting musicians of today come together to make this release possible. Did The Optic Nerve ever get this good? I don’t think so.
Here are two recent longplayers from the continent. Italy’s Temponauts return with a follow-up to their Teen Sound debut A Million Year Picnic. The new album The Canticle of the Temponauts sees their brand of lightly psychedelic folkrock with britpop inflections cranked up a few notches, containing eleven recordings that are surprisingly well-produced. With a distinct flavour of 90s guitar-pop to counter-balance their strictly 60s influences, they create a familiar sound that stays original thanks to a strong batch of songs. The Temponauts are still all about Rickenbackers and Byrdsian jangle, and they do it exceptionally well on opening tracks “Elsewhere” and “Teleported Girl”, a ballad-version of Novecento’s italo disco hit “Movin’ On” and most of all on the beatiful “Sueno Real”. But that’s not all, as with their Italian forerunners The Strange Flowers you can also detect a strong affinity for psychedelic-era Beatles. “A XXI Century Serenade” is the perfect example and on “The March of the Martians” you’ll also get a sample of the group’s unique scifi-psychedelia. The second cover on the album is Beach Boys’ classic “Disney Girls”, and this puts me in mind of the great but seemingly forgotten Spanish group Carrots, who also managed to create a modern European take on the 60s West Coast sound. Fleshed out with some brilliant powerpop (hear “Can’t Be True” below), Canticle… is a very satisfying sophomore release that puts The Temponauts on the same map as other European outfits like The Shake, The See See and their friends in The Rookies. Two of the album tracks are available as a free download single, “Elsewhere”/”Gone Too Far”, and the album will be available soon from local label Other Eyes (who also put out the Rookies LP I wrote about a year ago).
60 Second Swingers have just released their debut LP, after the promising single “Lonely & Blue” from last year. The album Better With Fuzz Babe! is available from Soundflat now, and as you may have noticed that is also the title of a compilation from Greek label Fuzz Overdose, which featured the band. Fuzz Overdose released their very first EP back in 2009, and all three tracks appear in new versions on the LP along with their recent a-side, leaving only their cover of “60 Second Swinger” (Little Phil & the Nightshadows) as an exclusive b-side. There are a bunch of cover versions here too, by the likes of the The Omen, The Illusions and Murphy & the Mob. Out of the brand new originals “The Last” impresses the most, with its catchy farfisa melody. On the whole this is a very authentic and professional sounding garage revival record, as it should be considering the members have all played in various bands on the French scene, most notably The Mean Things. In fact, this album sounds like a natural progression from that group’s two LPs Out Come the Freaks! and Change Out Ways, with guitars heavy on fuzz and tremolo, lots of organ and snarling vocals. On occasion the sound also feels like a throwback to 80s revival acts, especially Sweden’s The Creeps and The Stomachmouths, which is a good thing of course. This is an incredibly strong debut, and I can’t imagine a better opening track than “Please Don’t Let Me Down”. Play it below and you’ll surely need to buy and play the rest of the record.
Jacco Gardner has been getting some well-deserved attention this year, after his debut LP Cabinet of Curiosities came out. Hopefully the same will apply to Sam Lunsford, who I’ve already featured with his band The Young Sinclairs. Around Christmas last year however, he too released his first, self-titled solo album. Available digitally and on cassette from his own label Mystic Fortress, it’s an incredibly strong release from both a song-writing and a recording techique perspective. 10 out of the 11 songs were recorded by Sam in his own analogue studio, and the production sounds every bit as refined and perfected as on an Emitt Rhodes album. On this album he gets more experimental than on the Young Sinclairs material, incorporating elements of light psychedelia, soft-rock and some allround good Zombies-vibes. Lengthy opening track “All About the Love” impresses, as well as the single choice “Just Wanted to Help” which you can watch a video for over at his website. Listen below, to the gently haunting closing track “Haven’t Got the Time” on which Lunsford manages to sound like Richard Ashcroft if he’d been a Nick Drake enthusiast, and then stream the rest on bandcamp.
Cassette label Neotomic has been one to keep an eye on since last year’s split with Teen Runnings and Sea Lions. Home Recordings featured four tracks each from these Japanese and US bands, and anyone following Adrian Pillado’s soundcloud is familiar with the insane quality of his home demos. “Yesterday’s Today” might be one of his best songs, wonder if this will turn up in a full band version?
Earlier in the year Neotomic put out the first album from Brooklyn/Queens punk-pop group Beachniks. This came as a very welcome surprise, 4 years after their Captured Tracks 45. There are only a handful of cassettes left, but it’s now also available on vinyl from the band themselves. The sleeves have been painted by hand, just like the recently covered single by What Next? (another band Serge Pinsky is in). The rest of the band are Carmelle Safdie on vocals, J.B. (Crystal Stilts) on drums, as well as siblings Emily, Nik, and (occasionally) Alex Curtin. The latter two previously played together in German Measles along with Serge. Another contributor to the album is Juan Waters (of The Beets), who has just released a solo single and will be touring with Carmelle. The whole album was recorded by Gary Olson at Marlborough Farms, so it’s very much a family affair. The songs speak for themselves, listen to the whole album, or just “What’s Your Damage?” below.
I won’t withhold that Cabinet of Curiosities is one my most anticipated debut longplayers of the year. Jacco Gardner impressed everyone with his Trouble In Mind 45 “Where Will You Go” last year. A single deeply ensconced in Curt Boettcher and Gary Usher’s production style, but still with one foot in Gardner’s native 60s sound, known as nederbeat. His first LP is a shimmering wonderland of psych-pop, that includes both of his previous singles. Trouble In Mind should be proud to have put out one of the early contenders for 2013′s best album. Gardner’s vision is complete, he doesn’t do covers and the only outward reference I can find is “The Ballad of Little Jane” which must be a nod to British popsike and groups like Timon (who recorded the classic “The Bitter Thoughts of Little Jane”). In general the lyrical themes are darker than Millenium’s somewhat light fare, and at times approach Syd Barrett’s introspection. One of the most memorable melodies is that of “Lullaby”, driven by a picked guitar. “The Riddle” is probably the track that most resembles Gardner’s previous album with The Skywalkers, and on most of the tracks organs and electric pianos are still prominent. Apart from the single tracks “Where Will You Go” and “Clear the Air”, I think the strongest song is the title track, which could have been an instrumental by Air, almost. The drumming and organ playing also brings my thoughts round to Broadcast at their most analogue. Although there’s track called “Summer’s Game”, the record sounds perfect for early autumn. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy it now!
Trouble In Mind are simultaneously putting out a companion album by West Coast studio project Maston, recorded by one Frank Maston. Shadows is a short 10-track album with several instrumentals that bear an almost cinematic quality, much like later Mercury Rev. On the tracks that do have vocals, they blend into the wall of sound and serve little function apart from melody. Most of songs sound inspired by Brian Wilson (just like The Explorers Club were on their first album) but there are also echoes of a folker side (Lee Hazlewood Industries?), especially on “Messages”, which is my favourite track. Maston’s first album is perhaps most interesting as a soundscape, but with more focus on the vocals and lyrics there should be some amazing pop songs lurking in there.
And did I mention that The Limiñanas recent TIM single La fille de la ligne 15 is most excellent? I’ve already played the single by Fuzz (Segall & Moonheart) at my club night, and it definitely turned a few heads.
Here are a couple of bands that my friend Serge Pinsky are in currently. What Next? is an ex caUSE co-MOTION!/German Measles group from Brooklyn and they put out their first single last year, all by themselves. They’re about to release a second one soon, but let’s get back to their last one. On “Trip” they mix up the pop-punk we’ve become used to from both previously mentioned bands with a dose of folkrock. The a-side features both harmonica and some loose 12-string playing. Brilliant concept and with a chorus that sticks after 3 seconds, we’ve got a winner. The b-side is more of the ramshackle pop that Dave has long specialized in. Get it/stream here.
Sapphire Mansions started as a home recording project by Jay Hough (Golden Triangle, and recently the Zarjaz live band). Jay works in a record shop and switched from drumming to playing his own songs on guitar about three years ago, backed by a drum machine. The fruits of this was the Whispered In Sparks cassette that came out last year on It’s Raining Tapes (with only one release, I guess it’s Jay’s own label). Jay is playing live with a full band now, that includes Serge, and they’re going to record an album this year with Gary Olson, who recorded German Measles and caUSE co-MOTION! (among a wealth of other groups). Jay was nice enough to send me some rehearsal takes of new songs, and it’s definitely a big progression from what you can hear on this tape. Still, it’s a brilliant debut which definitely lives up to the aspirations inherent in the name, taken from a Felt song. Actually it’s not one of Felt’s best or even most memorable songs (being an instrumental) and some of the songs bear a bigger resemblance to the sound of much earlier Felt recordings such as “Trails of Colour Dissolve” (e.g. on “In the Eyes of Your Friends”). There’s even an echo of Deebank’s guitar style on the instrumentals “Whispered In Sparks” and the formulaic but effective “Go Out In a Week”. The tracks that do have vocals leaves you wishing they weren’t so muffled, since the titles suggest some actual lyrical content that might be of interest.
I believe the tape is sold out, but it’s such a promising release that you really must keep an eye out for future singles and an album. I’m sharing my favourite track “Walking Away From You” below. If you liked the Tomorrows Tulips tape on Burger you’ll love this.
I recently got some great 60s garage reissues, including the Skeptics LP I wrote about earlier. The Modds’ “Leave My House” also came out last year, on Portuguese label Groovie. It’s been remastered from the original tapes, and the infamously lo-fi top side (barely audible rhythm section and insanely loud guitar) now sounds very fat and surprisingly heavy for a ’66 recording.
Another recent one is the new issue of Masters Apprentices all-time classic “Undecided”, paired with (the in my opinion even better) “War Or Hands of Time”. It’s on a label called Ugly Pop, which could have been a spin on the Australian garage comps Ugly Things, but it’s actually a Canadian punk label. All the while they’ve put out several 60s reissues including local legends A Passing Fancy. But here they are committing two sides of the best and loudest Australian beat to vinyl. In fact, I’ve just discovered there’s also a reissue of The In-Sect’s brilliant “I Can See My Love”. Will have to get that one too. The centre label on the “Undecided” disc is an imitation of the original Astor design, fun.
Here’s a new one-off 45 from Paul Messis and The Sufis. It brings a more British slant to The Sufis’ hyped brand of psychedelic pop. You can get it directly from Messis’ new label Market Square, for only £4.50. Listen to the flip “Inside My Mind” below. Messis promises his new and second LP Case Closed will be out by late spring, and he’s also recording another collaborative single with James Tranmer (The Pheromoans, The Sticks).