NEW MUSIC FRIDAY predicting weeks of good music - one week at a time!

We saw our shadow and it whispered "We want more hard rock."

ALBERTINE SARGES - The Sticky Fingers [LP](Moshi Moshi)

Coming on like a combination between Lizzy Mercier Descloux and Camille Paglia, Albertine Sarges makes a danceable Avant-Pop record that is like a more-Dada Talking Heads. Sarges and her sinuous band know how to just find the groove ("The Girls") and let it ride. As a vocalist, she has a unique power that carries her all over the place from spoken-word declarations ("Free Today") to a beautiful chanteuse moment ("Oh My Love.") Yet as different as each song is the minimal production ideas make them fit together giving her overall message of "seeking release" the cohesion it needs.  


Immaculate recorded and arranged, this very Noir quartet proves that they are masters of controlled tension. “Hey hey, Les Chevaux” builds thrillingly from the back-and-forth of double-bassist Yoyo Rohm and guitarist Mija Bajinski. She also sings in a low, vibrating voice that is reminiscent of Nico - but not as Teutonic. On "Nous," they beautifully leap from emotion to emotion with Nick Cave-ish sentiment and just a hint of cabaret drama. Appropriately, “Nous” turns out to be for all of us.

TAMIL ROGEON - Son of Nyx [LP/CD](Soul Bank/K7!/Redeye)

Jazz violin is a facet of that American art form that is seldom added to. Stephane Grappelli set the standard, Jean-Luc Ponty took it overground, and Billy Bang kept it going. Australian violist Tamil Rogeon is here to give the viola and its relation to Jazz a dramatic rethink. Fresh from conducting the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Rogeon had an idea - "make a BeBop record with viola." "Son of Nyx" follows more in the promise of classic Blue Note Jazz than more modern records (that profess to) as the six compositions are well-plotted, arranged, and written to make room for some great vocals from his small 4-person choir ("Momus") and even some Fusion-y tracks.


Like Arab Strap playing with Kraftwerk, this moody trio of collaborators uses streams of electronics and effects to first achieve a Motorik pace before diving into sinister Psychedelia (the brooding “Shop Soiled.”) Adam Stone’s gravelly voice cuts through whether he is desperate or detached. The mixture of Dead Sea Apes steadiness as a Rock band with synthesist Stephen Bradbury (a/k/a Black Tempest) leaves you to think they would make a great band. Stone’s Aidan Moffat-esque warblings caustically go after society and its loss of control to either each other or technology. On the hypnotic “Formica Desk,” a panoply of sounds end the song reducing you to overload. Perhaps that is the purpose of “Dataland” - to elicit the most human emotion from machines.

WOBBLY - Popular Monitress [CD/CS](Hausu Mountain/Redeye)

Jon Leidecker of Negativland and Thurston Moore's Ensemble branches out into a spacey yet wistful album of acoustic piano blurred together with snatches of technology. The effect is a little Cecil Taylor-esque as parts sometimes overlap, sometimes compete, and always surprise. The best part about "Popular Monitress" is how with all the abstract noise of machines (some programmed by Drew Daniel of Matmos/Soft Pink Truth,) most of the mood changes Leidecker triggers with his piano.

COMA WORLD [LP](Byrd Out/K7!/Redeye)

Maxwell Hallett and Pete Bennie join forces to make organic Drum N’Bass. Hallett (a/k/a Betamax from The Comet Is Coming) does furious work between his snare, high-hat, and kick. His terse rhythms on “No Focus” are what makes the track boil over. However, when he slows down for the underwater blues of “Some Sleep For The Weak,” Bennie’s bass and guitar work bubble up around the beat. Further on the sublime “Cream Submarine” is a dreamy Dub-meets-Shoegaze showcase. As only a duo, Coma World draws you in and lets you merely float along with them on their voltage of discovery.

CHUCK JOHNSON - The Cinder Grove [LP](Vin du Select Qualitite)

There has been a spate of Steel Guitar records over the last year. Listening to this hypnotically beautiful instrument ring on and on in the most meditative textures has proven to be what listeners look for in this age of uncertainty. However, most of them have a couple of tricks and then grow alarmingly repetitive. Listening to the Californian Chuck Johnson play within mountains of reverb and stately organ leaves you mystified. Like a Terry Riley record or even Eno/Fripp, “The Cinder Grove” does a lot with a little regularly alternating between what sounds familiar and demands you listen closely to identify it. “Raz-de-Marée” is practically a hymn for our times. Ten plays and it still never sounds the same. “The Cinder Grove” is both natural and spacious - so welcome in these times of confinement.


Portugal’s Mad About label looks like they are about to find the lost sides of MPB’s beginning and end. This Eighties session (you can really tell from the streams of delightful music opening of “Doce Manhã”) really absorbed some Beach culture and Seventies jazz. The gaucho Gelson Oliveira has an expressive voice and is at his best playing around the group with vocal melodies Pat Metheny Group style (“Novos Horizontes”) or even reaching high (the stylish “Acordes E Sementes.”) Ewerling leads a tight band even though his drums are mixed a little low. “Terra” is still a worthwhile find from an era that we have not heard.

And now..because our shadow wants it..

SPY - Service Weapon [7”](To Live A Lie)

Spy sounds like another Bay Area punk band, but the four songs on “Service Weapon” have something more to prove. The muffled, barked vocals are never set to shred - but there is a lot of David Yow-isms and what amounts to biting the mic off. As a band, Spy’s best feature is the ability to wind up the tension on their songs. On the opener “Violent Majority,” the twists and turns make it an epic 1:36. However, the martial pulse of “Running Out of Space” flipping immediately to a hardcore slam is the real wake-up call. While “Bootlicker” is brutal not when it is noisy, squealing and fast - it is the middle when they slow down to a Black Flag-ian grind that peaks beautifully.

LOWRIDER - Refractions [LP](Blues Funeral)

WEDGE - Like No Tomorrow [LP](Heavy Psych ITA)

Rock N'Roll is alive and Europe - as captured by these two bands. 

Longtime Swedish Desert rockers Lowrider are back with a blistering album of Kyuss-ian stoner metal. “Refractions” is a real neck-snapper. The band’s titanic riffs threaten to implode your speakers. The awesome “Ode To Ganymede” is a Prog-ish epic that rips through some searing guitar licks before going cosmic and adding an old school Hammond B3. The epic closer “Pipe Rider” could go on forever as far as I am concerned.

Germany's Wedge joins Italy's Guida as the two groups on Earth who could realistically take Rock back to 1973. Wedge's songs are intricate Uriah Heep/Deep Purple-esque "overture" Rock. While their tracks do not fit into some Prog-ian suite, given their arrangements they come close. "Blood Red Wine" blurs the lines between The Cult and Edvard Grieg, all the while with some pounding bass and well-placed organ. The boogie "Queen of the Night" turns into Coverdale/Hughes era-Purple with a glam break involving a tambourine and a slinky guitar solo. However, it is the raging "Playing a Role" where Wedge really shows their prowess at a Queens of the Stone Age-style crusher with small, intricate breaks. Wedge prove to have so many useful ideas as a band and individual players, “Like No Tomorrow” is both a Metalhead’s AND a Rocker’s dream for the entire album.

Both of these records are also exactly why Metal vinyl is made.

You survived another blistering week of the hottest new releases T-BONES can find for you. Never fear, there are always more. So find another (safe) adventure before you go back in the hole. Or, scroll back up and live it all over again.

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