Category: no wave

 

Currently featuring founding members Cynthia Sley (vocals), Pat Place (guitar) and Dee Pop (drums) along with newest recruit Val Opielski, the New York-based act Bush Tetras can trace their origins back to when Sley, Place, Pop and Laura Kennedy (bass) formed the band back in 1979.  Interestingly, their full-length debut Too Many Creeps was considered one of their scene’s defining moments as it accurately captured the vibe, feel and ethos of that scene’s particular moment.

Building upon a growing profile, the members of Bush Tetras were an opening act during The Clash’s legendary, spring 1981 17 show run at Bond International Casino. After the release of their Topper Headon-produced Rituals EP, which featured the chart-placing “Can’t Be Funky,” Laura Kennedy and Dee Pop left the band and were replaced by Bob Albertson (bass) and Don Christensen (drums); however, the band broke up.

For the better part of the next three decades, the members of the band were fairly elusive, although interestingly enough, the band’s original lineup reunited on a couple of occasions — in 1995, which resulted in 1997’s Beauty Lies and recording sessions the following year, which resulted in a Don Fleming-produced album that was shelved when Mercury Records was sold. That album was finally released in 2012.

In 2005, Julia Murphy replaced Kennedy and they resumed playing and touring across New York. The band toured across Europe the following year. Sadly, Laura Kennedy died in 2011 after a long battle with liver disease. In 2013, Cindy Rickmond, a former member of Cheap Perfume, Grayson Hugh, Church of Betty and Unknown Gender briefly replaced Murphy. And in 2016, Val Opielski, a former member of Krakatoa, Walking Hellos, PSXO and 1000 Yard Stare joined the band.

Last year saw the release of Take The Fall EP through Wharf Cat Records, the first batch of new music from the band in over 10 years. Over the winter, Third Man Records cleared their Cass Corridor showroom floor, invited the band down to Detroit — and enlisted the help of Third Man Mastering’s Bill Skibbe and Warren Defever to record their recently released “There is a Hum”/”Seven Years” 7 inch. A side single “There is a Hum” is a slashing bit of post punk, reminiscent of Entertainment-era Gang of Four and Sonic Youth — but seething with a neurotic anxiousness. B side single “Seven Years” manages to be a mischievously anachronistic track that sounds as though it could have been released at any point within the past 30 years. The glitchy and spastic track features some blistering and energetic guitar work centered around cowbell-led percussion and a sinuous bass line. Both tracks find the legendary post punk/No Wave act boldly reminding the listener that although it’s been a while, they play with a fury, passion and purpose that many younger acts lack.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New Video: Up-and-Coming Miami-based No Wave/Post Punk/Art Rock Act Donzii’s Dance Floor Friendly Debut

Donzii is a Miami, FL (by way of New York)-based post-punk/art rock/performance art/no-wave act featuring Jenna Balfe (vocals), Dennis Brewster Fuller (bass), Monroe Getz (drums) and Nick DeLucca (guitar), and their debut single “Mines,” which was released by Grey Market Records earlier this year manages to sound as though it were released in 1982 as it consists of early hip hop-like backbeats, an angular and funky bass line paired with Balfe delivering surrealistic non-sequitur-like lyrics with a chilly yet aggressive nonchalance, and while dance floor friendly, the material manages to hint at an underlying dark yet seductive nihilism.  

Directed by Tara Long, the recently released video is like a Dario Argento-like fever dream that features the members of the band pointing out the very odd nature of routines, communing with nature and brooding artfully among other things. 

New Audio: Ice Balloons Return with Doom-Laden Animated Visuals for New Track

Over the past month or so I’ve written a couple of posts on the All-Star, no-wave, noise-punk act  Ice Balloons, an act comprised of a who’s who of contemporary indie rock as the band’s lineup features  TV on the Radio’s Kyp Malone, Samiam’s Sean Kennerly, Fuckemos’ and Surfbort’s Sean Powell, Midnight Masses’ Giselle Reiber, Wild Yaks’ Dan Scinta and B.A. Miele. The project finds each member bringing disparate elements from their various primary gigs and creative pasts into their creative process but in a rather unique fashion. 

“Calypso Heartworm,” the first single off the band’s full-length debut Fiesta was a fuzzy and dissonant song with a rather untraditional and indiscernible song structure and while there are hints at familiar elements as there’s sort of a bridge and something that resembles a bridge and a hook, all held together by a propulsive and angular bass line, buzzing guitar chords and a trippy, kaleidoscopic vibe. The album’s second single “The Wasp” featured scorching guitar work, sizzling electronic laser blasts and distorted, howled vocals in an anthemic and blistering punk anthem from a broken and failing spaceship sent from a dystopian planet, much like our own. However, the album’s third and latest single “Fallen Family” is a hellish and doom-laden dirge, complete with down-tuned, rumbling bass, thunderous drumming and heavily distorted vocals. 

Featuring animation by Chicago, IL-based director Jim Trainor, the recently released visuals for the song are reminiscent of Matt Groening’s Life in Hell and Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto as it possesses a real dark irony. 

Last month, I wrote about the All-Star, no-wave, noise-punk act  Ice Balloons, an act comprised of a who’s who of contemporary indie rock as the band’s lineup features  TV on the Radio’s Kyp Malone, Samiam’s Sean Kennerly, Fuckemos’ and Surfbort’s Sean Powell, Midnight Masses’ Giselle Reiber, Wild Yaks’ Dan Scinta and B.A. Miele. And while the band may be a side project from each member’s full-time gig, the project finds each member bringing disparate elements from their primary gigs and their pasts into the side project’s creative process; in fact, as you would have heard on “Calypso Heartworm,” the latest single off the band’s forthcoming full-length debut Fiesta, the band specializes in a fuzzy and washed out dissonance paired with a difficult to discern song structure. There are hints at familiar elements — there’s something like a bridge and there’s even something like a hook and even verses — and it’s held together by a propulsive and angular bass line, buzzing guitar chords and washed out sounds. With a trippy and kaleidoscopic vibe underneath the cacophony of noise, “Calypso Heartworm” manages to feel anxious yet slack and chaotic.

“The Wasp,” the latest single off the band’s forthcoming album, Fiesta was inspired by insects, after a hallucination caused by attitude sickness during a trip to Colorado, and the single features scorching guitar work, sizzling blasts of electronics and distorted, howling vocals to create a song that sounds like a blistering punk anthem from a broken and failing spaceship sent from a dystopian planet, much like our own.

 

 

 

Currently comprised of founding members and creative partners Nina Teranchi and Nuha Ruby Ra, along with Alex Brown, Craig Doporto, and a rotating cast of collaborators and friends, the London-based experimental rock/post punk/post rock act Arrows of Love have developed a reputation across the UK  for inventive and difficult to pigeonhole songwriting and for an energetic live show.

The British collective’s sophomore effort PRODUCT found the band working with Bob Weston (best known for his work with David Bowie, LCD Soundsystem and Shellac) and Mikko Gordon (best known for working with Thom Yorke and Gaz Combes) and will feature a redux edition single of the album’s first single “Signal” crafted by Margo Broom, best known as the producer behind Fat White’s Touch The Leather redux. “Come With Me,” PRODUCT‘s second and latest single begins with a slow-burning discordant, No Wave-leaning introduction before the song quickly turns into an angular post punk art piece with Ra’s ruminating on a collection of scenarios and themes that are personal to her — ghosts from her past, challenges with mental health, destructive and self-destructive patterns and loss of control, written in a way so that the song plays out “like a scene from a film noir,” Ra explains. “The story stems from manic depressive episodes characterized by two people, who are really the same person; one in highest control, while one is weakest.” And as a result, the song bristles with a nasty and messy urgency; the sort of nastiness of a messy, lived in life full of confusing, embittering episodes.

 

 

 

 

Comprised of TV on the Radio‘s Kyp Malone, Samiam‘s Sean Kennerly, Fuckemos‘ and Surfbort’s Sean Powell, Midnight Masses‘ Giselle Reiber, Wild Yaks‘ Dan Scinta and B.A. Miele,  no-wave, noise-punk act Ice Balloons features an who’s who of contemporary indie rock. Although it’s a side project from each of their full-time gigs, the project find each member bringing sometimes disparate  elements from their pasts into their songwriting process and as you’ll hear on “Calypso Heartworm,” the latest single off the band’s forthcoming full-length debut Fiesta, the band specializes in a fuzzy and washed out dissonance paired with a difficult to discern song structure. There are hints at familiar elements though — there’s something like a bridge and there’s even something like a hook and even verses — and it’s held together by a propulsive and angular bass line, buzzing guitar chords and washed out sounds. And while possessing a trippy and kaleidoscopic vibe underneath the cacophony of noise, it’s a song that manages to feel simultaneously chaotic, slack and anxious.

 

Perhaps best known as one-half of acclaimed Brooklyn-based noise rock duo Talk Normal, an act that released two critically applauded albums, Sugarland and Sunshine and opened for the likes of Sonic Youth, Wire, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Zola Jesus among others, Andyra Ambro (vocals, drums) saw the breakup of the band, as marking a major shift in her own creative process and an opportunity to start something completely new with her solo recording project Gold Dime, which has been performing live as a trio — with  Jessica Ackerley and Ian Douglas-Moore — since 2014. Interestingly Ambro’s Gold Dime has received some attention nationally as the live trio have opened for Lower Dens, U.S. Girls and Xiu Xiu. And after several years of touring, writing and recording material, Ambro’s long-awaited Gold Dime debut Nerves is slated for a June 2, 2017 release through Fire Talk Records.

Self-produced by Ambro, recorded by PC Worship’s Justin Frey, mixed by Jonny Schenke and mixed by Ambro’s former Talk Normal partner Sarah Register, the album is a result in marked shift in Ambro’s creative process with the material reportedly consisting of much more exploratory and experimental compositions, and as you’ll hear on “Shut Up,” Nerves’ second single, Ambro’s sound manages to effortlessly alternate between swirling, hypnotic drone and wild and abrasive dissonance while held together by a propulsive motorik groove. Ambro’s ironically (and somewhat detached) deadpan vocals float over the mix. And while clearly possessing an almost neurotic and anxious tension, “Shut Up” in particular focuses on the challenges of confronting the struggles to continue creating meaningful, interesting art when there seem to be larger forces against you — and those forces push, shove and taunt you in every possible way.

Seemingly drawing from New York’s early 80s No Wave, art rock, noise rock and post-punk the song — and in turn, Ambro’s latest work — manages to do in a way that’s uncompromisingly, defiantly and joyously weird.