Posts Tagged Speakertree

Date: December 15th, 2013
Cate: new releases

Adam Widener & French Boutik

cover

Adam Widener seemed set to release his debut album quick on the heels of his stunning Fuzz City ep Make Out last year. But after leaving Bare Wires and previous efforts like The Zygoteens, he’s taken his time to finish what has become Vesuvio Nights. It’s finally out now on Speakertree, mixing up the breakneck 12-string pop-punk with numbers of less controversial length and speed. And I would say he’s managed to adapt to the 12″ format quite well. While he doesn’t vary his sound as much as the equally new wave-inspired Keepsies (who did so to great success on their single earlier this year), he’s able to capture the listener with his voice which is full of feeling and doesn’t actually have to be mixed so flat as it is here. While the drums sometimes sound a bit too much like a machine for this type of music, Widener totally compensates with his melodic guitar leads. The sound is quite different but the songwriting is very similar to Mikal Cronin’s album this year, and since that’s one of the best bets for my album of the year that bodes well. This a very even album and thus hard to pick any standouts from, but I think the song that best suit the longer format is “Fake Flowers Never Die”, which keeps you piqued throughout. The track that’s been picked to promote the album with a video, “Laughter On Your Heels I’ll Follow” is perhaps the most natural follow-on from his last ep, and an instant manic hit.

cover

A release I’ve been meaning to write about for a while now is the second (and this time a double!) 45 from Paris’ premier modernists French Boutik. Released by the iconoclastic Copase Disques, these four sides ooze of mod style. It’s their follow-up to last year’s Les Chats De Gouttiere EP that I sadly failed to mention. On both releases three out of four tracks are sung in French by Gabriela Giacoman, who sounds more than a little like Fay Hallam. Their organ-heavy sound is not too distant from Makin’ Time, or modern groups like DC Fontana for that matter. “Pousse au crime” is the best track here, with its groovy verse, breaking into a fuzz-filled chorus that leads into an organ solo. While the group casts more than once glance towards the 80s mod revival scene, there’s just as much of an original French 60s air to their sound. Halfway between The Style Council and Jaqueline Taieb, it doesn’t take many listens to glean that this outfit has a great album in them.

Date: August 4th, 2013
Cate: new releases

The Ar-Kaics & Las Vinylators

cover

Here’s an update from Speakertree Records, a debut 45 for these Richmond boys and girls. The Ar-Kaics is a three piece garagepunk outfit and this is about as great as first singles come. With a sound that wouldn’t have surprised anyone if the 60s-style centre labels had read Crypt Records. Just like Die Ersten Menschen’s LP from a couple of years ago, this is not an excerise in recreating old production values with vintage equipment, but a way of channeling an ethos. “She Does Those Things to Me” is an a-side oozing with simplistic attitude. It doesn’t really matter that there’s no bass guitar, but perhaps their parents can invest in one now that the kids have proven their worth.

And one for your calendars, Speakertree have announced the release of our main man Adam Widener’s debut LP later this autumn. Vesuvio Nights is the title and you can read what they have to say themselves over here.

Los Vinylators - Agente Naranja

Here’s an album that actually came out late last year. I’d lost track of Mexico garage group Las Vinylators after their 45 on Groovie Records, and it turns out their first LP Agente Naranja was released by tiny label Grabaxiones Alicia during 2012. It deserves a mention since it’s by far the best the recordings done by a female group since The Felines, and add to that that it seems impossible to find in online shops.  The album features 11 fantastic cuts, replete with fuzz bass guitar, Vox organ and inspired original compositions. “Autocinema Zombie” being perhaps the best of those, even rivaling Os Haxixins’ output (and maybe, maybe inspiried by Mexican hereos Kaleidoscope’s classic “Hang Out”?). Among the covers you’ll find a version of one the Watchband’s  top 4 tunes, “Don’t Need Your Lovin'”, re-titled No “Necesito Tu Amor” here. The Monks and The Human Beinz also get a new spin, and I only wish they’d recorded their take on Las Chics too. In 2012 the group also released a collaboration with Bob Urh (of The Ultra 5), in the shape of an EP called UltraPsychoVinylization!

Date: August 3rd, 2012
Cate: new releases

The Unwed Teenage Mothers

A happy surprise today was that The Unwed Teenage Mothers are back with a new record. Their one-sided debut Blonde Girls is still one of the best garage/pop records of the last few years, right up there with Harlem. The new 7″ packed with four tracks is out on Speakertree, who released the great Swimsuit LP last year. “Rain” has got a bit of a heavier sound than what you’ve heard before but the four songs cover a lot of ground musically, with plenty of variation. The standout track is “Why Does It Have to Be Tonight” with its simply glorious vocal melody, check it out below.