NEW MUSIC FRIDAY - Full steam ahead!

all the releases you need to know about, hear and add to your musical palette.


Oakland’s Sugar Candy Mountain has made a lot of great music over their tenure so far. Most of it is characterized by this intoxicating mixture of Psychedelia and Tropicalia. “Impression” is the duo raising their writing game. The songs are now less “spot-the-influence” and more “capture-this-emotion.” “Running From Fire” and “Please Don’t Look Away” could exist on the page for Pop singers. However, their dense production (with Jason Quever of Papercuts) allows them to build tangled webs for their words that elicit multiple meanings. “Impression” dwells in that nether world between dreaming and waking up. Never wake up.

81355 - This Time I’ll Be Of Use [LP/CD](37d03d/Secretly/AMPED)

The stylized numbers of the trio spell out “BLESS.” Bless this Indianapolis trio Sirius Blvck, Oreo Jones, and Sedcairn Archives for their invention on “This Time I’ll Be Of Use.” Spartan music feels pulled out of machines like they physically banged on these devices until they made the beats they wanted. “Thumbs Up” finds its mix between Suicide-ish ancient drum machine and snare snaps just in time for the lightning-fast rappers to slip into a grain-gripping swagger that has each of them wrapping the other in cleverly written concentric circles. “Capstone” is the standout. Simple, straight, and to the point, 81355 struggles to tell their history, digest history around them, and control or even fathom how they are supposed to make history (“Every now and then I remember other lives/Staring at the crystal ball down the other side.”)

ANNA WEBBER - Idiom [LP](Pi Recordings)

Saxophonist Anna Webber is caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place. As a Jazz musician, Webber needs to push her music forward so that it stands out from the pack. The tracks that comprise “Idiom” are not easy to break down or even skip. The eight-plus minutes of “Forgotten Best” provide the best introduction to Webber’s style and composition frame. A talented player (check “Idiom VI-Interlude 2 and Movement III” for some serious high-to-low surprises,) Webber kicks it off with a sort of freeform Free Jazz entropy. However, as the players all begin to fall in line, you first hear them subtly playing off of each other. Then, playing the rhythms from each other (guided by John Hollenbeck’s driving percussion.) When the motion of seemingly random notes stops, Webber, Hollenbeck, and pianist Matt Mitchell do what can only be described as a “free-jazz swing.” Later “Idiom” is a major composition for Webber requiring a huge arrangement with multiple orchestral instruments again bouncing around a series of giant-sized honks, squeaks, and runs. “Idiom” requires a lot of patience, but brings a rich reward.

KIZIS - Turn [LP](Tin House)

Like a mixture of campfire music at summer camp and the freedom of playing Avant-Garde music with no rules, Kizis slips 36 songs onto their debut album (with quite likely twice as many singers.) With no real direction, Kizis find melody where there is often none. The Arthur Russell-meets-Dirty Projectors danceable dizziness of 'We Are Strong" is most exemplary. Synths lead you out of chaos, strings swell in the background and voices reach for high registers that retrieve some hidden inner melody (from a mantra no less of "change the world, be yourself.) When they are not reaching for the stars and trying to enlighten and inspire, their minimal ideas -often very experimental - make a great foundation for song/ideas. "Redbody" could be a Soul song, but you would never know it from its quiet beginnings. Perhaps that is the lesson Kizis is out to teach us, "change the way you listen, be yourself."

vbnd - Scum Funk [LP](Deepmatter UK)

Devon Gunn, bassist and leader of vbnd and its associate The Soulmate Collective has a handle on some low-key NeoSoul-ish/Funk with Jazz ornaments. For all the limitations of their recording, vbnd keeps it all very simple and lets every song breathe.  Like good Soul music, tracks like "Gold Chain" need time to develop and yet need to be concise enough not to overstay their welcome. Gunn's instrumental tracks are often bubbly funk, but when he brings in the smoky voice of Katie Tupper - vbnd really gains speed. Tupper sings in almost a whisper but knows just when to hang on to a note and when to release it.  The aptly titled "Slowly Starting To Take Form" and the more conventional "Fallin' For," showcase her comfort in lower registers and within the band's relaxed groove. Also, when Tupper sings Gunn steps up with some great bass work ("The Oceans (She's A Winner, Baby.)") vbnd is already on their third album and knows how to heat it and cool it back down.

Our descent into Metal and Noise.

ELDEN - Nostromo [LP/CD](Fuzzorama SWE)

This Swedish Hard Rock/Metal band have a great balance between the melodic thrust of classic Seventies Rock and the atmosphere/drama of Tool-ian metal today. Great guitar work, thunderous drums and songs that buzz away ("Fossilised") at you.  The Baroness-esque vocals are near perfect, and when they chug through a song like "Heavy Rain" it is hard to believe you are not hearing the ident of some Rock station.


This Danish Black Metal duo unleashes a steamroller of a six-song debut on the world at large. The hallmarks of Black Metal are all in their places, true. But the guitar is searing hot. On the slower, thunderous title track, the multi-tracked guitar built up to a screeching solo that peaks just as the band is arriving at the slowest junction in the song. The monstrous "Lucifer Kalder" (feat. Frederic Leclercq) is menacing and nearly skips its power metal groove into chaos.  While there are only two members (and several guest vocalists,) Angstskrig power through this pitch-black Metal without losing the groove or melody.   

PORTAL - AVOW [LP/CD](Profound Lore)

If any horror filmmakers are looking for the most frightening music on Earth to accompany their cinematic vision, look no further than the abyss-descending, soul-crushing thunder of this Australian Death metal group. The fact that they lead you to your grave with the upward guitar shrieks on “Catafalque,” is enough to raise your hair. The single “Eye” is a blistering furnace blast of molten blastbeats accented by brief guitar wails. The multitracked voice from “Offune” breathes fire while the guitars/bass/drums build a wall of noise behind it. Portal’s musical structure is one that excites because they break several rules. First, the voice is understandable and it generally guides the songs along. Second, the blunt force trauma that is their music (see the bludgeoning opening of “A Manor of Speaking”) never spells out its place in the song but always swirls around it like some sinister wind sent from deep in the earth to drag us all back there. Third, their best songs ooze, moan, rage, and then pounce upon you. “AVOW” is another triumph for those brave enough to dive into Death Metal.

NURSE WITH WOUND - Merzbild Schwet [LP](United Dairies)

After two albums, the trio Nurse With Wound was stripped down to just Steven Stapleton. The loneliness, obsession, and dedication of working as one are extremely evident on this 1980 reissue. Still as scary as the earlier pair, Stapleton has refined his techniques to embrace more consistent noise and a frightening, lo-fi, industrial beat. “Futurismo” is straight audio verite with a background that erupts at times until the quiet piano leaves you to wonder if some burst of noise is coming next. “Dada X” is a bizarre Annual Report-style Throbbing Gristle collage with electronic sounds that could disrupt your speakers enough to toss your needle out of the groove. The effect of both (or really any early NWW) is total disorientation. The darkest ambient takes its mood from these recordings, but it is not Industrial music. Nurse With Wound is that last ride on the train where even though you are the only traveler - you doze off only to wake up bleary and with no earthly idea where you are.

SCOTCH ROLEX - Tewari [LP](Hakuna Kulala/Nyege Nyege Tapes)

Japanese DJ Scotch Egg is no stranger to composing with noise. However, “Tewari” is a mind-expanding collection of noise compositions from around the world. With his slate of guests, each track is far different from the one preceding it. “Omuzira” featuring MC Yallah constructs a Hip-Hop groove above her largely percussive syllabic drops. Her flow is very American (check the stops and repetitions,) but it all feels - for lack of a better word - very hardcore. Then, DJ Scotch Egg unleashes a beat tectonic-plate-shaker of a beat, and Lord Spikeheart of DUMA (reviewed here 12.22.20) shrieks like a demon above it. The combined effect is conjoining the two worlds of Hip-Hop and Doom/Death Metal into one growling beast. We will never be the same again.

Enough with the ear-shredding..let us close out with soothing notes.

ELECTRIC LOOKING GLASS - Somewhere Flowers Grow [LP](We Are Busy Bodies)

So much modern Psychedelic music is associated with the Rock side, that when you receive some breezy, well-arranged baroque Psychedelic Pop - it feels heaven-sent. Electric Looking Glass are more interested in the Summer of ‘66, than ‘67. That makes a world of difference once you plunge into their candy-colored Turtles-meets-The Left Banke style Pop. To their credit, they add so much to each song to give it that merry-go-round twirl but they never impede the song with their choice of orchestral ornamentation. “Find Out Girl” is a surprising galloping, minor near Posies-esque jam complete with mellotron, harpsichord, and high harmonies. While “Rosie In The Rain” tacks jangle into their Paisley skill set, Electric Looking Glass do their best on the slower songs (“Don’t Miss The Ride”) which they allow to unfold like an odyssey. Electric Looking Glass beautifully recapture the past, but their songcraft is worthy of comparison to any Pop band today.

We are closing in on the bullseye that is Record Store Day-Drop One! With that, we will write as much as we can about those new releases that you simply cannot miss. However, this is no slowdown - it is a ramp up! Thank you. Share. Comment. Enjoy.

On a final note, T-BONES would like you to know that Record Store Day is coming in two drops - June 12th and 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 TBONES

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