IT'S NEW MUSIC FRIDAY with all that you need (and more) to enjoy the weekend
and get right into the week ahead.
DANY LAJ & THE LOOKS - Ten Easy Pieces [LP](We Are Busy Bodies)
The Montreal-based purveyor of "Pure Pop" has a real knack for hooky choruses. With his trio The Looks, "Ten Easy Pieces" puts it all in the blender and lets it just spin. Laj and bassist/vocalist Jeanette Dowling go for that John/Exene harmony ("Painting My Face.") "Pick It Up" starts out like the Sex Pistols and then veers quickly into Shoes thanks to drummer Dusty Campbell. Laj's adenoidal voice fits this Power Pop well, and "Ten Easy Pieces" boasts a couple of winners that could really shimmer ("Smile") and jangle (the sweet sync-ready "Don't Keep Me Guessin'") in the future.
THE GOALIE'S ANXIETY AT THE PENALTY KICK - Ways of Hearing [LP](Run For Cover UK)
Given their chosen moniker (it is actually a novella from award-winning Austrian writer Peter Handke and its Wim Wenders adaptation) and the fact that their organic emotional songs need time to unfurl and breathe before subjecting them to the air of criticism, "Ways of Hearing" demands a few pauses. The Modest Mouse-meets-Elliott Smith vibe of "We Love You So Much" makes a great starting point as one gets to experience nearly all their points of sound in one track. The string-driven dual-singer dialogue of "Jars Filled With Rain" searches for catharsis and "The Cat
Stands On My Arm" bursts open with dissonance, noise, and a haunting climax. "Ways of Hearing" is a real grower, but you really do need time to let it sink in and dwell inside of you - welcome in these days (or daze) of instant gratification.
DEVIN SHAFFER - In My Dreams I'm There [LP](American Dreams)
KASS RICHARDS - The Language Shadow [LP](Good Cry)
When the female voice either in presentation (Shaffer) or writing (Richards,) works to become something it truly is not - the product is mesmerizing. With her high voice bathed in reverb and simply accompanied mostly by finger-plucked arpeggios, Shaffer soars into "Enemy" and then uses the cooling balm of "Kissing In The Park" as a means to ask questions, insert tape-recorded conversation and nature sounds to find harmonies untested.
Richards is a veteran of the backing band with Meg Remy's stellar U.S.Girls. Joined by her bandmate Geordie Gordon, Arcade Fire's Tim Kingsbury, and producer Basia Bulat, Richards delivers a thought-provoking album. "Language Shadow" rifles through the consistent posturing of British Folk, and still comes up as intimate as dreamy California folk. Case in point: "Atlantis." Richards' double vocals feel like Cat Power, but beneath the barebones tinny electric guitar, the song concludes with a symphony of sound before drifting away. When she tackles Dave Davies "Strangers," she renders it an acoustic stately Joni Mitchell-esque hymn. Everywhere that Richards sings, she wraps her elegant voice around the melodies (the luminous "Daughter") which are infused with such power and control that they lighten even the darkest lyrics ("Diving" where she seems to release the negative emotions to their own funeral-at-sea.) "Language Shadow" is truly a beauty.
TOTH - You and Me and Everything [LP/CD](Northern Spy/Redeye)
On his outstanding solo debut, Alex Toth takes a beautiful look at recovering from heartbreak. While his upbeat tempos and building vocal loops warm the experience up significantly, it is the Arthur Russell vibe that lights up “Everything.” It sounds like more “lonely music for lonely people,” but Toth chooses to place himself under the microscope (“I Might Be”) and yet write for all of us. “You And Me and Everything” is an album made out of love (“let’s just dance until there’s no music anymore,”) about not what is lost-but what remains ("at some point I decomposed into a bunch of flowers” from the brilliant “Turnaround (Cocaine Song.)”)
THE LOUNGE SOCIETY - Silk For The Starving EP [LP/CD](Speedy Wunderground/PIAS America)
This bunch of upstart teenagers from Yorkshire sound like they are out to become the next Franz Ferdinand. Rumbling bass and those downtown NYC circa 1980 beats cause serious undulations when you listen to their danceable yet detached societal examination (the banger “Burn The Heather.”) While “Cain’s Heresy” cranks up the guitars a little more and drives at it like Strokes circa “Room On Fire.” A lot of promise here.
THE GOA EXPRESS - Second Time [7”](Ra-Ra Rok Records UK)
Another promising UK band, the Goa Express clearly spent their time in lockdown refining a sunnier, more jangly version of the buzzy 80’s psychedelia they admire. “Second Time” shimmers like Spacemen 3 meeting Stone Roses. The chiming guitar figure that opens the song is so perfect, you almost wish it would never end. However, then you would miss how they pump up the chorus with a little bass handiwork. Brilliant.
And now..for some LOUDNESS!
MATHLOVSKY - Yassssin [LP](Ohm Resistance)
SCORN - [LP](Ohm Resistance)
Like a weirder, noisier, more apt to shred Thundercat, Mathlovsky samples, cuts, and pounds through ten tracks of danceable EDM. “Baby Marshall” is a masterclass in layering. Take a bottom-lip-biting funky beat, add a serious breakbeat (or two,) augment with effected drops and watch it bubble. Once you focus on just what Mathlovsky is slinging, there is more guitar, samples and with a well-timed stop - it finds that sweet spot. “Moving Day” goes for a more conventional beat, but amps up the weirdness, while “Grind” pushes all the meters over the top. In the end, maybe all that time in the red is what Mathlovsky is all about.
Mick Harris’ noise/beats project Scorn returns with a trailblazing set of Dub-ish tracks that mix a wide variety of nonmusical elements with musical entities (Kool Keith’s startling rap on “Distortion.”) The opener “Ends” sounds like it is going to blow up your speakers. Never fear, the rumble only gets more subdued as Harris takes you into the ethereal (“Mates Corner”) and even knocks out some 80s Electro-Dub a la Adrian Sherwood (“At One Point.”) Harris is quite the manipulator of sound, “The Only Place” is dense but just heavy enough for you to check those speakers when it is finished.
PART CHIMP - Drool [LP](Wrong Speed UK)
The UK’s Part Chimp is here to lay down the grimiest, bone-crushing, AmRep in the Nineties music this year. With influences like the Melvins under their belts, you can count on bass lines that will shake your foundations (the psycho-screamer “Back From The Dead.”) However, once they get into the midtempo stuff, Part Chimp prove to be more adept (drummer Jon Hamilton on “Wallow”) and sophisticated (the huge Queens Of The Stone Age-ian build and squeal on “Up With Notes.”) Full on Part Chimp!
JOSIAH - Out of The First Rays [LP](Heavy Psych Sounds ITA)
Twenty years later, here is the UK proto-metal group Josiah to keep you up all night and make your neck hurt. “Out of The First Rays” is a slammer from start to finish. Remember that feeling the first time you heard Monster Magnet open “Spine of God” with that hair-raising psychedelia guitar figure? The twisting-and-turning “Malpaso” almost bests it. Josiah’s closest comparison is Sabbath, especially thanks to Matthew Bethancourt’s vocals. However, the band is fiercely running through a treasure chest that is their own. The ten-plus minute closer “Black Maria” is a druggy, sludgy, panning from side-to-side trip that erupts like a bluesy volcano for its grand conclusion. The buzzing opener “Head On” and the crushing “Sweet Smoke” recall Seventies AOR radio when it was brave enough to play the hard stuff. “Out of the First Rays” slays.
Well, another week, another list of suggested music for you. Thank you. Share. Comment. Enjoy.
On a final note, T-BONES would like you to know that Record Store Day is coming back for DROP 2 on July 17th. This list of exclusives, reissues, and just awesome products will be invading our time shared here for the next few weeks. However, it is just another guest at the party. There’s no slowing us down. Tell your friends about us.
Enjoy. Share. And check out the entire RSD list and even WISHLIST us if you like. RSD 21 with T-BONES
A mix of the NEW RELEASES and REISSUES from this week!
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