Woolen Kits performed with The Mallard some six months ago in a dingy bar call The Knockout in San Francisco. As a whole I remember the show being drunken and amazing and everything I’d come to expect from The Mallard. Woolen Kits though, I recall them sounding like Total Control in slo-mo, a bunch of skinny kids from Australia moping about on stage. And of course, now that this song “Susannah” has splashed across the internet, it becomes apparent that I was clearly at least at some high level of intoxication because this song sounds nothing like Total Control and is actually some amazing hybrid of post-punk and happiness and scruffy Australian beaches. This, not the strung out looking hallucinations I had from months prior, this is a band I’ll continue to listen to.
Woolen Kits new album Four Girls is out November 13th on the amazing Trouble In Mind Records.
Trainwreck Riders have been off the radar for a while. After a big break on the San Francisco scene more than a few years ago, this easy-going group of alt-country stand-outs stepped out of the spotlight for a while. Aside from an appearance on the first In A Cloud compilation, I can’t remember the last time a Trainwreck Riders song floated across my eardrums. Now, with nary a peep, Trainwreck Riders have released a single, “Gypsy Stealin’” in lieu of a new record, Ghost Yards, which comes out tomorrow. “Gypsy Stealin’” captures all the bar-room bravado and drawled country twang you’d expect from a Trainwreck Riders song, and though it’s a perfectly pleasant song that will surely pluck at the nostalgic heart strings of the Bay Area, I worry – is this too little too late? Trainwreck Riders made a name for themselves in the long waned days of San Francisco pre-garage rock. The city’s music scene is now sharply divided between the synthy rehash of the 80s and the gritty lo-fi lip curl of garage and it’s fallout. It isn’t that Trainwreck Riders aren’t worthy of praise, I just wonder if there’s still a place for them in this very different scene.
That said, their new album Ghost Yards releases tomorrow.
Greer McGettrick and The Mallard are long time staples on this website. She’s done a lot of growing musically over the last four years that we’ve known her, and it’s always exciting to post a new track and literally hear the progress she’s continuously making. While we wait patiently for a new record, sate your Mallard appetite with this Velvet Underground cover. Where Lou Reed and company went poppy, The Mallard goes for a little more dark pop, McGettrick’s near monotone holler taking the place of Lou Reed’s snide pop croon and guitarist/bassist Dylan Tidyman-Jones filling the harmonies with his sneaky falsetto. It’s a bold undertaking to cover such a universally known song and The Mallard and company do so with aplomb. It might not be a reinvention of the “There She Goes” wheel, but it’s damn good, damn catchy version and that’s more than you can expect from a retread of one of the great songs of all time.
The Lou Reed cover will be on the Castle Face curated Velvet Underground tribute album featuring bands like Blasted Canyons… and more.
The Mallard will embarking on their first East Coast tour starting in DC on the 7th of November. I implore you rare East Coast readers, watch them while you can.
Black Moth Super Rainbow has been off my musical radar for a while. After the early excitement over there acid-tripped vocals and deep, crunk-like electronica faded, the band sort of disappeared from my musical rotation. So it’s nice to tap back in a few years later and find a different Black Moth Super Rainbow, but one I’m still inextricably drawn to. Gone are the days of vocoders and theremins in the forest, green-dusted fairies dancing at the edge of your field of vision, replaced by a streaky, dirty version of bubblegum pop. “Windshield Smasher” feels like a fairy-tale first gone electric and then gone horribly, horribly sour. The villainous cronk that Black Moth Super Rainbow use to such great effect in the end overtakes the more delicate, poppy strains of the song, and the good old fashioned feeling of electronica gone-fucked up returns in full force.
Black Moth Super Rainbow’s new album Cobra Juicy is out today on their record label Rad Cult.
Gap Dream’s newest single “Generator” follows in the slow burn antics of previously TDCed track “Cover It Up.” Where “Cover It Up” was a struck match slightly flickering in the wind, “Generator” is a beachside flashlight flickering its way to a dead battery. Sure, the wavering guitars of psych-rock everywhere still noodle their way about in to the song, peeling off to float away above Gabe Fulvimar’s everyman vocals, but the song has the almost poppy bounce of a whole different genre. Regardless of what sandbox this track plays in though, it’s just another sign that Fulvimar and his little one-man outfit are clearly something to keep an eye on.
“Generator” is the b-side of Gap Dream’s entry in to the newest edition of the Suicide Squeeze single’s club.
I haven’t been able to exactly pin down King Tuff yet. In the past the artist has crafted palatable gutter rock. The sort of snot-crusted, infected stab-tat rock and roll that doesn’t leave you with bloody ears and black eye. Blame it on Sub Pop and their fold of polish happy producers, or just call the next step in a difficult-to-classify artist’s musical progression but this track, “Screaming Skull” sounds nothing like the grimy pop King Tuff has put out before. Instead, “Screaming Skull” sounds like the last song played in a John Hughes film from the glory days of teen-comedies. Lessons have been learned, unexpected relationships have happened, and with a slo-mo shot of someone pumping their fist or throwing a gummy bear, this song snaps on in the background, screen cuts to black, credits roll. Which, cinematically, works fine, well even, but in the oeuvre of King Tuff, I can’t say I’ve settled on my thoughts yet. Something about it feels to have the sort of douche-bag sincerity of a The Boss mixed with the sort of cruisey beach rock any hipster worth his/her salt has grown used to in the last two or three years. King Tuff, if this is the next step on your voyage, I don’t know if I’ll be joining you, if instead this is just a dalliance with a bigger label looking to expand the scope of your audience and sound, well, here’s to you coming through at the end.
“Screaming Skull” is a 7″ release from Sub Pop, out now.
It took me a moment to like Night Hikes. I was standing in a comic book store in Berkeley, surrounded by older, cooler, comic book nerds drinking wine and eating free crackers and amongst the floor-to-ceiling walls of books, Night Hikes, small and confident stood there strumming away. His voice was high, nasal even, and at first it felt like a college open mic, but perhaps this is just the beauty of Night Hikes. The music, a man and a guitar, feels so familiar that it rests on your shoulders like an over-worn sweater you’ve dug out of the bottom of a drawer, but as you sit near it for a moment, let the smell, the sound, the feel of the music wash over you, the subtle differences, the gentle curveballs Night Hikes is throwing, become crystal clear.
There hasn’t been enough fanfare for the new Oh Sees album on this site. I blame myself.
Don’t fret though, this new video for the previously TDCed “Lupine Dominus” manages to perfectly capture the underlying sleaze of Putrifiers II. It’s like it’s giant cannon full of confetti signaling the arrival of another near perfect Oh Sees album.
Thee Oh Sees Putrifiers II is out now on In The Red.
Say what you will about my musical knowledge (limited and hampered by a constant case of musical ADD) but I’m still on the discovery end of English folk rock. Oh sure, Light In The Attic’s Michael Chapman releases are gangbusters, but that’s where my toe dip ended … until now. Drag City just put out this bizarrely amazing album by English folk trio Tony Caro & John and I am astounded by what it does to my perception of the genre. I imagined English Folk to all fall in to the Pentangle mold with just a hint of renaissance and a lot of acoustic string plucking (forgive me if my knowledge of Pentangle’s sound seems aptly unresearched) but Tony Caro & John sound like they we’re riding the wave of the early surf rock kids. There’s a real sort of 60s engine rev to this song that plucks it right out of the dark void of my proconceived notions and makes it one of the best oddities I’ve heard in awhile. Every music person I look up to adores English Folk, and Tony Caro & John seem a dynamic representation of why that is.
Tony Caro & John’s highly sought after album All On The First Day was recently reissued by those geniuses over at Drag City.
Honestly, Monday morning Daily Choices are always some of my toughest to choose. Not just because I’m usually groggy from a long weekend and roiling with self-doubt over the prospect of another week of work, but because Monday presents the biggest conundrum in terms of what mood to set. Do you start the week with a blast of more feel good garage and hope that the feeling eases you in to a solid week? Or do you turn on the slash and burn rock and roll just to announce to the world how you feel? Or more so do you just drop the week’s weakest link, a song that you like but don’t love, and know will go easily in to the morning of a few other cobweb-brained readers?
There’s no solid answer, but the question, each and every week I actually muster the energy to post something on Monday, hangs in the air. The reissues of heretofore unknown band Loop caught my eyes this morning, the sort of perfect meld of scorched Earth guitar, single-beat drum kicks, and an almost poppy voice, all tied together in to one big steel-toed boot kick to the next five days of cubicle livin’.