In four short songs The Pharmacy cover a lot of ground in the garage. “Dig Your Grave” will have you simultaneously wanting to thrash and twist. “Pines” is a light cotton-candy confection until a slicing guitar solo really satisfies the sweet tooth. Instrumental “Lazy Bones” is a doped up slow dance, making out in the corner as you sway a step behind the rhythm. And EP-ender “Burn All Yr Bridges,” a demo from the band’s time in New Orleans, sleepily seethes about Seattle from afar with equal parts beauty and bitterness. Serving as a teaser for the band’s forthcoming full-length Stoned and Alone, Dig Your Grave does exactly what its supposed to do … it leaves you craving more.
2011 wasn’t just a great year for local full-lengths, awesome releases abounded in all formats: EPs, 7”s and yes, even cassettes. In fact, Phil’s favorite local release of all of 2011 was Mercy Ties and Grenades split 12”.
Here are 15 of our favorite local EPs, 7”s and cassettes of the past year and our favorite nationally released EP with links to listen or look at each of them:
For the next month, The Daily Choice is going completely Bay Area. Nothing else will pierce these sonic walls except for these sounds. Well, unless something outstanding melts my face to the floor, ’cause you know I have to share a face-melter …
There’s been a lot of groups trying to do the reinvention of doo-wop thing; making a big old layer cake of fuzz and girlish harmonies and slathering it with jangly guitars and brushed drum kits. A lot of people have been wearing this costume lately, but no one has been wearing it like Shannon and The Clams. ’Cause this isn’t the doo-wop we’ve been given exposure to. This is the doo-wop that the starched shirts of the music biz didn’t want no one knowing about. Shannon, and her magnificent clams, manage to capture the drunken demo recording of some aspiring 50s pop group. The lead singer, all a shamble with a half drank bottle of Beam resting near her mic stand, can barely stand, but still manages to belt out the crooning high notes of her latest pop confection. The rest of the band, hungover and scared, nervously pound the rhythm, just barely keeping it together.
But these tracks don’t come to light. These tracks get put in dusty file cabinets and vaguely marked to keep away the lookie-loos. Shannon and The Clams are these tracks.
This track “I Wanna Go Home” is off the band’s 2009 album of the same name on 1-2-3-4 Go! Records. They’ve just put out a duo of 7″ on the same label, one being an amazing Christmas themed selection of tracks and you can listen to a bit of ‘em right here.
The good people at Trouble In Mind (a record label I’ve discussed a few times on this here blog) reached out to me a few weeks in regards to the leaking of the new single by Seattle’s own psych-gods Night Beats. I’ll be honest, prior to listening to Night Beats I assumed, due to the slightly glam moniker, that Night Beats were lo-fi club music. The type of droned out rhythm and beats that currently clings to the striped sweaters of indie music.
Luckily, for me at least, this is not grimy electronica streamed through a handful of odds and ends pedals. No no, this is psych rock, freshly polished and laid out on a cracked concrete table on a windy desert sand dune overlooking the land. Night Beats craft the kind of layered melodic noise perfect for a dip in to the salty sea of hallucinogens, the tracers and illusions dancing together on the shore.
“H-Bomb” is being released by Trouble In Mind Records (alongside three other mind-bending tracks) on July 20th.