I put I Fell in the Bog and Saw God (2012) by Rural Savage on after a very long day and it was exactly what I needed to clean my circuits. It’s punk rock that is kind of fuzzy, a little bit rude, leads me to suspect that being in their pit may include mandatory participation in drunken shout-sing-alongs, and ends on a unexpectedly solemn note. There is also a companion EP called I Fell in the Ditch & Saw the Divil. The first two songs, College Drop Out and Alcohol, show off their punkabilly chops. But it is the third song, Donegal Acid, that cemented their place in my affections. I Fell In The Bog And Saw God by Rural Savage I don’t know for sure but I think Dada Taranta might be a meditation about finding God in the pub in a very literal sense. Or else it’s about the little old men you always find propped up at the end of the bar (any bar) everywhere in the world. Perhaps both? In any case you can mosh to it: I Fell In The Bog And Saw God by Rural Savage And the startlingly … Continue reading
Ever have it happen that you dismiss a band as “not my thing” for a while, then, one day, you hear a song that makes things click? “Oh, I get it now!” you say. I had that moment today with the band Fonda and a new single they released in late November (on Minty Fresh), “Sequence Dream”. There’s something about its sweep of dream pop, the layers of diaphanous vocals and gossamer keys and guitar, that sits perfectly here in the early winter days. It’s music for sitting by a window with a hot cuppa and being self-indulgently melancholy. The b-side, “Another New Year’s Eve”, is, as you would expect from the title, custom-made for wallowing in holiday heartbreak. Fonda, if you didn’t know, have been recording since the late ’90s, just released their most recent album, Sell Your Memories, last February, and already have a new album in the works. Fonda Official Website Fonda @ Twitter Fonda @ Facebook
Milan Jay (John Millane and Joseph Kenny) have spent the better part of the last year and a half (or so) holed up in a small town in the west of Ireland working on a new record. How Well Do You Remember Dying is the first single; the full record is expected in 2014. Despite the name, the song is not about literal death or actual resurrection; rather, it is a hard-edged meditation on burning your life down and starting over. It might not be the life you expected, or the life you had planned. It is the life you chose.
True confession: The first time I listened to Wax Fang’s tunes, it was totally because I had to find out what kind of noises a band called “Wax Fang” was going to make. I was expecting them to be either gothy and overwrought or possibly gothy and making-sly-commentary-on-subcultural-ridiculousness. What I found is that they are neither of those things. The best way I can think of to describe it, after listening to their three new stand-alone singles, is to say they are masters of building tiny rock ‘n roll universes. Here are the songs. Each one contains a fully formed world, built out of bold guitars and augmented by piano, strings and steady drums. The Blonde Leading the Blonde: The opening riff is the one that hooked me and drew me in, but the whole song serves as an introduction to the depth and verve of their sound. Hearts Are Made for Beating: A meditation on how sometimes love is a bomb that goes off in your chest. Goes well with walking around the city alone on a dark, cold night. King of the Kingdom of Man: One minute you’re rolling along, doing the grocery shopping, … Continue reading
Mumblr is: Nick Morrison (vocals, guitar), Scott Stitzer (drums), Ian Amidon (guitar) and Sean Reilly (bass), and they are from North Philadelphia. White Jesus/Black God is their first record. They have made up their own genre – fuzz punk – which at first I thought might be a new way to say grunge, but no, this is definitely fuzzed out and distorted punk rock. It is gloriously obnoxious and exactly what I needed after several weeks of floating in a dream pop / electronica haze. Here are three tunes I especially liked: Holy Ghost: This may be the most aggressive song about making out and grammar arguments that you will listen to today. Mumblr- White Jesus/Black God by Fleeting Youth Records Puke: The first 20 seconds of this song sound like a rock n’ roll accident, like someone swung a wrecking ball into the middle of the band and knocked everyone into the speakers and amps. The rest of it sounds like they all managed to stand up and find their guitar picks and drumsticks and sing a song about being really angry at someone and not quite knowing why. Mumblr- White Jesus/Black God by Fleeting Youth … Continue reading
Blitz//Berlin are Martin, Casey, Dean and Tristan, from Toronto, Canada. Martin sings, they all play multiple instruments, and several of them have beards. They grew up on punk shows and sci-fi movies and when not rocking out, make scores for independent films. They have recently released a three song mixtape, which you can listen to at Soundcloud and then download for free here. All three songs are quite good; I picked Outside to share because of a lyric that reached out and hooked me: There’s a barroom in the belly of the war machine / and they’re serving cheap American beer all night / There’s a bedroom in the bottom of the sinking ship / it’s where I love you where I love you where I love you on the outside. As soon as I heard it I wanted to know the rest of that story. Also, I love the surging, driving beat.
Greenhouse is Ryan Torres (drums, synths, guitars) and Rex Hudson (bass, synths, guitars) and they are from Denton, Texas. The Last Shred of Night is their second record. It is a very long record – twenty-nine songs! – but this is, surprisingly, neither oppressive nor tedious, mainly because it is the kind of electronica that I think of as “companionable.” It’s good to put on while working on other things, because it’s complex and interesting enough to occupy a restless mind, but unlikely to cause a distracting dance party. Also, they have the very best song titles. Reading the track list feels like a cross between skimming titles in a short story anthology and eavesdropping on text messages between friends. Here are some examples: The Last Shred Of Night by GreenHouse The Last Shred Of Night by GreenHouse The Last Shred Of Night by GreenHouse
File this under: unlikely musical collaborations. Billie Joe Armstrong (Green Day) and Norah Jones have teamed up to make Foreverly, which is complete reinterpretation of the Everly Brothers’ Songs Our Daddy Taught Us (1958). The results, so far, are unexpectedly sweet. Here they are with Long Time Gone: The rest of the record is set to emerge on November 25th, 2013.
Border Wars by The Architects, is, or will be, a concept album in five parts. Each part will contain both a comic book and a record, intended to be experienced simultaneously. Volume 1, the comic, written by Brandon Phillips, lead singer for The Architects, and magnificently illustrated by Mallory Dorn, is the start of a dense, dark and bloody story of life along the Texas/Mexico border, full of interesting characters, including but not limited to: an inmate on death row who shares hints of a complicated past; a duplicitous, murderous reality-tv-star sheriff; a mega-church pastor and his estranged son; and a mysterious girl whose appearance – naked and half-dead – adds fuel to the narrative. Volume 1, the record by the Architects, illustrates the same story in a different but complimentary and congruent way. The bruised jewel-tones and thick black lines of the comic are echoed by the bright brash punkabilly guitars; the lyrics allow the listener to get an idea of the character of the broad outer world of the comic while also illuminating the inner world of individual characters. Also, while we here at NTSIB vigorously resist falling into the “sounds like” trap, I have to tell you, … Continue reading