I don’t know if anyone remembers anything anymore except for how to turn things on, and how to stare all sad at blissful at the boob tube, but I wonder if anyone remembers a long while ago when I announced that The Great Wheel of Music was turning and that the detritus of the 90s (the ska, the power-punk, the Spin Doctors) was being churned back to the surface. We’ve spun through the 80s, thankfully, the pop-synth and high-waisted pants segueing in to new strains of electronica that I won’t find while perusing my Google Reader. And now, now we stand at the gateway to pop-punk, a dangerous path indeed. Terry Malts, all swaggering spit and neurotic vocals have fired the first shot and this English Singles track (another pop-punk release from Slumberland) is the flanking maneuver. “Finer Points” feels like it was recorded in a piss-stained garage, but right before everyone left, the guy not wearing a leather jacket tagged with anarchy symbols asked if maybe they could lower the distortion a little bit. Somebody might have huffed angrily on their cig, but at the end of the day, it just seemed like a better idea.
An addendum to my fear of the pop-punk axel turning – I never thought that on the way to one of my least favorite parts of 90s music nostalgia opening it’s mighty maw that we’d go through a period of such enjoyable tunes. One hopes that this is the norm, but just wait until the mainstream gets ahold of this shit, it’s going to be ugly, fast.
English Singles album Backstreet Pages is out today on Slumberland.
As a former fan of the debunked Magic Bullets, it’s been difficult for me to give love to the very much adored Terry Malts. I hear their thrashy, melodic almost-punk, and it seems an ill-fitting soundtrack to the Morrisey-esque days of Magic Bullets. I of course hold on to things for to long, and coupled with my inability to be intelligent, I have, very frankly, been missing out. Terry Malts are, again quite frankly, amazing. And even if I could pull my hipster critic card and say something like, “Oh man, Magic Bullets were just such a better band,” I’d be wrong as Terry Malts doesn’t smother the spirit of Magic Bullets, it just injects it with a two parts meth, one part acid and lets the good times roll. Consider me a smitten kitten.
Terry Malts new album Killing Time is out now on Slumberland.
Manatee reminds me that sometimes the cyclical nature of the world doesn’t just bring hardened pieces of poo back to the surface. That sometimes in our cannibalistic musical society a band emerges that actually takes the influences of the past and does something absolutely awesome with it. Manatee makes me think of the punk rock of the late-80s, early-90s, right before it turned to shit in the mid-90s where you could still go to a concert and have your face melted on to the floor by a sonic squall, but if perked up a little bit and really dug in, there was awesome nasal whine that emanated from the singer’s mouth. A nasal whine that was shot through with intelligent commentary and snarky lyrics and the kind of song-writing that would force you to the merch booth where you’d open up your wallet and buy two t-shirts and a 7″. That’s what Manatee makes me think of and these are fond memories, so I gave Manatee the highest of praise.
Manatee will be playing with Wax Idols (record release show) and Burnt Ones at Vitus in Oakland on December 3rd.
Manatee released their “Indecision” single on Slumberland.
I’ve been waiting to hear the new project from the folks behind Magic Bullets for a while now. Magic Bullets were a lanky sort of garage-lounge act and I’d heard that Terry Malts was the thrashy punk phoenix rising from those ashes. ”Something About You” certainly kicks their former incarnation down the stairs and in to the garden. It’s a two-layered song: layer one is the sort of up-beat early 90s punk rock you would associate with the very best bands that populated early Warped Tours; while layer two is a thick paste of drudgy noise reminiscent of the darker end of a band like Cosmonauts spectrum. One tempers the other though and Terry Malts comes across with a surprisingly original sound, a stab of energy built to expand your mind.
“Something About You” is in three-song 7″ form from Slumberland and will also be sold on the upcoming tour.
I can think of nothing but catchy this week. Everything I’m listening to is sufficed with two-part melodies and tight-little guitar licks and all of it makes me want throw gel in my hair and prance down the street in tight denim cut-offs. Veronica Falls fits nicely in to this mood. If Dominant Legs was the rising sun though, this is dusk, with the gleaming smiles of the midday starting to fade, and the more serious mouths of night-time starting to appear. It’s poppy, but it’s sadder poppy.
Veronica Falls new album will be released on Slumberland in the Fall.
All month, each and every day, I’m tossing you a big old bag of San Francisco/Bay Area love. Nothing more, nothing less. Enjoy with wool socks on.
At this point in San Francisco music, Sic Alps are pretty much local legends. They’ve toured with Sonic Youth, they’ve played free shows at bowling alleys, they continue to challenge the status quo of just what they’re making from album to album. They’re Slumberland single for “L. Mansion” was a sort of hazed-out bit of 60s pop, a truly hip-shaking bit of rock and roll that seemed completely out of the blue after the distorted, near experimental lo-fi sound of U.S. EZ and their monstrous singles collection.
You know what? With the amount of enjoyment I find in digging in to a new Sic Alps album, this track “Do You Want To Give$$?” peaks my interest all the more. The track strays drastically from the glowing pop of “L. Mansion” harkening more to the sludgy repetition of their earlier work. Yet the add in of the rolling tom, the jangling acoustic, the whistling chorus – it’s an undefinable beast in the best Sic Alps sort of way.