It’s a wonder that The Young Sinclairs and 13 O’Clock haven’t created magic together yet. But here is the band’s first single of 2015 and it’s one of their best yet. Available from 13 O’Clock since two weeks if one’s to believe their website. Also streaming on Spotify since December.
Archive for category new releases
Check out the new single from Paul Messis’ label Market Square! Talbot Adams turns in a brilliantly hazy powerpop 45, definitely something for fans of The Red Button.
While I am compiling the year-end lists for 2014, I’ll be adding records to this Spotify list. I realise there has been a lot of stuff I’ve missed this year, so it’s taking some time to catch up. There has even been a pile of records I have meant to write about during the autumn, but I simply haven’t found the time. This means that next year I will probably switch to more bitesize mentions of records to check out rather than full reviews – so you hopefully won’t miss as much as I have in 2014. Just looking at this playlist, which already contains over 600 tracks, we can definitely conclude that this year has been as great as any year for new music.
If you want a quick catch up, you should read Shake Appeal’s guest lists of 2014, a veritable who’s who of current garage and punk. Pitchfork’s new column Shake Appeal has actually been the lone reason to land on their website again, circa 10 years after it stopped being cool.
One of the most anticipated releases of the year, here’s The Young Sinclairs’… 8th (?) album. It’s called This Is the Young Sinclairs and is out now on Ample Play. As completists will know, the Sinclairs have had a habit of repeating songs over several releases. The new LP is no exception, with the a-side collecting single tracks from the last five or so years. It’s a fantastic chance to own signature YS tracks like “You’re Tied” and “Mona Lisa”, that have only been available on tape before. The devout fan will even also have heard the beautifully languid “Never Uneasy”, a demo of which was posted a few years ago.
The biggest surprise may be the inclusion of a track from singer Sam Lunsford’s self-titled debut album on the a-side. “I Just Wanted to Help” was one of the best of that set of West Coast soft psychedelia. But in fact, this number sets the tone for the rest of the LP – as you flip it over – the Young Sinclairs sound even more like the one-man-band it’s more or less become the last few years. It is less jangly, more stripped but at the same time laden with studio finery. Just like on Sam’s solo LP these bare-bones arrangements really highlight his prowess with a melody. “That’s All Right” could a been a long lost Dylan demo sung down a phone line. There are echoes of Colin Blunstone and Emmitt Rhodes here and there, and the standout track is “Dead End Street” with its shuffling drums and tugging vocal sounding like it could have drifted in through the window on a San Francisco street in 1968. It will no doubt be interesting to see what Lunsford/YS can churn out in this vein in the future. This stuff here is already timeless.
Finally getting round to posting some photos of the most recent album art I’ve done. This is for the Greetings From Möllevången longplayer from local bluegrass gurus The Original Five. The cover is set in Academy Sans and Serif from Playtype and printed in the Pantone red specified for Swedish road signage. It’s available on the Rootsy label, and for the launch we also did some matching posters and postcards (of course). It was a pretty brave choice from the band I have to say, but they wanted to break the mold a little bit and it turned out great. Stream the record here. More photos on flickr.
You haven’t missed the new album from Chain & the Gang have you? It’s called Minimum Rock n Roll and is released on Ian’s new label Radical Elite. The label doesn’t seem to have a website yet, but you can find it via their distributor Dischord or their friends at M’Lady’s. This time Brett is not in the live line-up, which might be because he’s been touring with Tyvek recently. It’s a great record and I’m very happy that the band is coming to Malmö again, thanks to Get Daun who’ve made the poster above for it. Last time I played records post- and pre-gig, but this time I’m proud to be joined by Lauren Miller. Together we are Phasing Out.
Feminist Bashback at Ungdomshuset in Copenhagen turned out to be a fantastic event. Obviously Hysterics was the big draw, the first time the Olympia punk group’s made it over to Europe as far as I know. Full of energy, shredding, but they also allowed the women in audience to have their own space at the front of the stage. They only have an EP out so far, on the brilliant M’Lady’s imprint, and I really can’t wait for a full-length. The singer was wearing a Los Crudos t-shirt and they even played their cover of Limp Wrist’s “Cruisin’ At the Show” off of the first Hysterics tape. That was my favourite moment of the brief show. Shopping also impressed of course, and you need to pick up their LP from the tail end of 2013, called Consumer Complaints and available from Milk.
But I’m actually here to tell you about another LP from the end of last year, and I’ve been meaning to post about it since January. Vexx is another punk group from Olympia, who enthralled me after watching a live clip from a M’Lady’s showcase. Only half of this group is female, but their singer is such a magnetic front person, much like Christmas’ Emily Beanblossom. I picked up one of the last copies of the transparent vinyl from Brett (M’Lady’s) and it really is the best punk LP I’ve heard from all of last year. The 2nd pressing is still available from their label Grazer, so get on it. From the blistering “Don’t Talk About It”, the ominous “Strength” to the unlikely hooks of “Roky, Take Me Home” Vexx throws the best of the Wipers into the blender, pour in some very original ideas and when everything sets you have 8-track album as heavy as cement.
EDIT: Both Grazer pressings are sold out, but M’Lady’s is going to re-release it on cassette, cd and 12″.
The Guardian just did a roundup of new Australian bands, failing to mention The Frowning Clouds or Clouds/Ausmuteants side project Hierophants. They have a new single out on Italian label Goodbye Boozy called “Nothing Neu” which mixes Spencer Davis Group with Neu! Also out on the same label is the Clouds’ first single off of the new album. “Beetle Bird” is coupled with a remix by Rhys and Josh from The Horrors.
Anyone who has heard The Children of Nuggets box set will know who The Nashville Ramblers were. Carl Rusk who lead that outfit was previously in a group called The Mystery Machine. Equally obscure, they only played three gigs and had one song released (on the third volume of Battle of the Garages). Rusk played guitar in this group, which also featured singer Ray Brandes who later went on to form The Tell-Tale Hearts with British ex-pat Mike Stax. While the Hearts are often quoted as the best garage revival band, I’m tempted to say the Carl Rusk original “She’s Not Mine” is the best garage tune of the 1980s. The group also looked about as cool as the Music Machine, as you can tell from the incredible footage found on Brandes youtube channel. The band was filmed in 1983, doing covers of The Remains, The Blues Magoos and The Easybeats.
Last summer two new Mystery Machine recordings appeared, “Wood and Smoke” is an original song you can hear above, and “Show Me the Way” is a cover of The Free-For-All’s classic Canadian garage 45 (same band as The Great Scots). “Wood and Smoke” is a very Byrdsian composition with Rusk’s ringing 12-string. The lyrics are good and the solo just nails it. Not surprising really since Stax is still making great records himself in this day and age (with The Loons). If you liked the recent Higher State album, these two songs will be right up your street. You can still only get them on itunes or amazon, but as the picture (above) suggests, let’s hope they get a release on Stax’s Ugly Things label soon.
One of the best new bands of last year, along with The Neumans, I’ve only just heard. The Kumari had their first 45 put out by Heavy Soul about a year ago. Doesn’t sound like anything else on their roster, pure jangly psychedelic vibes with an authentic American sound typified by their cover of “Don’t You Dare” by The Impacts on the flip (one of the most overlooked songs of the 60s). Led by Claude Pelletier and Benjamin Craven, these guys recorded their new single at The Higher State’s studio in Folkstone, not surprisingly. Lost In Tyme signed them, and now the 4-track EP Watching You is out. They’re not going to cause a big sensation, but for anyone into moody garage it’s clear that this is the best release since last time Frantic V reared their heads. But anyone into popular groups like The See See or The Black Angels are sure to see the qualties of the title track “Watching You”. One of the other three tracks is a cover of Black and the Blues’ “I’m Sad” on Rigby. Hear it, along with three outtakes from the same session here. All of equal caliber, “Until the Day” might even be their best track, can I guess it will get a State Records release this year?
You’ll actually get a really good deal on their bandcamp, if you download their first 45 you also get two tracks off of the new ep as well as the Spacemen 3 flavoured instro “Kumari”.