Tag: 120 Minutes

Earlier this month, I wrote about the up-and-coming  London-based, up-and-coming shoegaze quintet Cosmic Strip, and as you may recall, the band, which is fronted by  primary songwriter and creative mastermind, Camella Agabalyan, has described their work as “music to watch girls by, music to move the stars,” and with EP title track “Heavenly,” off the band’s recently released debut EP, the band seems to specialize in shimmering and soaring shoegaze that brought Wolf Alice and Lightfoils to my mind.  The EP’s latest single “Sugar Rush” is a decidedly 120 Minutes MTV-era bit of shoegaze, centered around squalling and towering feedback, shimmering guitar chords, ethereal vocals, soaring hooks and an alternating quiet, loud, quiet song structure that immediately brings Slowdive and A Storm in Heaven-era The Verve to mind, complete with a lysergic haze.

“I wanted to write a song about the feeling of addiction whether it’s sugar, love, a drug, whatever your vice is”, Camella Agbalyan says in press notes about the new single. “I personally really connect to dreamy, druggy songs like Air, My Bloody Valentine, Beach Fossils, Slowdive, The Jesus & The Mary Chain, etc., so I wanted to inspire myself from that feeling but also show the darker side of addiction that you might not always get from those types of songs”.

Advertisements

New Video: Introducing the 120 Minute era MTV Sounds and Visuals of Cardiff Wales’ Silent Forum

Comprised of Richard Wiggins (vocals), Darlo Ordi (guitar), Oli Richards (bass), and Eliot Samphier (drums), the Cardiff, Wales-based quartet Silent Forum have developed a reputation for crafting accessible yet moody post punk, moving “from cold and brooding to nervy and almost overbold,” as Destroy//Exist says. Building upon a growing profile, the band has released a series of singles with a number of indie labels, including Libertino Records, who will be releasing the Welsh band’s latest single “How I Faked the Moon Landing,” as the part of of their Ghost Disco single club. 

As the members of the band explain in press notes, the song, which derives its name from their original name under a different lineup, finds the band moving into a more euphoric space — and as a result, the single finds the band meshing the shimmering guitar chords of classic 80s period Smiths (in particular, I think of “Panic”) with swaggering and anthemic Brit Pop; in fact, the song reveals a band that can craft a rousing, arena friendly hook but within an expansive 6 minute song, complete with some dexterous guitar pyrotechnics. Recorded and produced by Jaydon Martin, the recently released music video goofing around in their hometown as the band’s frontman Wiggins sings the song — it’s fittingly 120 Minutes-like. 

 

Currently comprised of founding members Austin Knecht (vocals, guitar) and Crysal Napoles (vocals, keys) along with Tamara Simons (guitar), Kai Dodson (bass) and Jonathan Palmquist (drums), the Los Angeles-based indie rock quintet Curtsy can trace their origins to when Knecht auditioned as a lap steel player for a country/folk band fronted by Napoles back in 2013. After bonding over a mutual love of 80s pop and 90s shoegaze, the band’s founding duo began writing songs together. Eventually, Knecht and Napoles recruited Simons, Dodson and Palmquist — and with the release of their debut single, shimmering guitar pop “One Less Thing,” the Los Angeles-based indie rock act quickly received attention from the site and across the blogosphere for a sound that to my ears drew from 120 Minutes-era alt rock; but with a heart wrenching sincerity.  Adding to a growing profile, the single was included on Spotify‘s Fresh Finds Six String and New Noise playlists, and as a result, the track has amassed nearly 50,000 streams.

Building upon that growing profile, “A Better Pet” will further cement the band’s reputation for crafting shimmering and propulsive indie rock centered around rousingly anthemic hooks — and while owing a sonic debt to 120 Minutes-era alt rock, the song thematically focuses the apprehension, uncertainty and self- doubt that frequently plagues the insecure romantic. And they manage to do so with a psychological attention to detail that feels lived-in and real.

 

 

Earlier this month, I wrote about the Portland, OR-based indie rock quintet King Who, and as you may recall, the band, comprised of  Michael Young, Ryan Hayes, Ryan Cross, Glen Scheidt and Travis Girton will be releasing their Hutch Harris-produced sophomore full-length album Giant Eye through SELF Group on August 17, 2018. Reportedly, the album finds the band expanding upon their sound as they increasingly incorporate elements of New Wave, post-punk and dream pop  while retaining the heavy bass of their full-length debut Us Lights; in fact, Giant Eye‘s first single, the slow-burning “Ice Cream” sonically finds the band drawing from shoegaze and dream pop as the song is centered around shimmering guitar chords, a propulsive rhythm section, a soaring hook and Micheal Young’s plaintive falsetto, sounding though as it were recorded during the era of 120 Minutes-era alt rock.

Interestingly, Giant Eye‘s second and latest single, “Crying Shame” is centered around a motorik-like groove, four-on-the-floor drumming and Young’s plaintive falsetto, and as a result the song may arguably be the most New Wave-inspired song off the album, sounding as though it were drawing from Heaven Up Here-era Echo and the BunnymenEvil Heat-era Primal Scream and Luminous-era The Horrors, thanks to one of the funkiest rock bass lines I’ve heard this year.

 

New Video: Moaning Releases Amorphous and Dada-esque Visuals for Slow-burning Album Single “Misheard”

Over the first couple of months of this year, I wrote about the Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock trio Moaning, and as you may recall, the band comprised of Sean Solomon, Pascal Stevenson and Andrew MacKelvie have spent the past few years crafting  and refining a moody and angular post-punk sound that manages to draw influence equally from shoegaze and slacker rock. During that same period of time, the band has received attention both nationally and internationally from a number of major media outlets including The Fader, The Guardian, DIY Magazine,Stereogum, and others.

The trio’s highly-anticipated, self-titled, full-length debut was released earlier this year through  Sub Pop Records, and album singles like the Joy Division/Interpol/Preoccupations-like “Artificial” and the moody and shimmering “Tired,” further cemented their reputation for moody post-punk with enormous, arena rock-like hooks. Unsurprisingly, the mid-tempo ballad “Misheard” continues in a similar vein, as it features angular guitar chords and enormous hooks but finds the band decidedly pushing their sound towards shoegaze and 120 Minutes MTV-era alt rock, centered around lyrics that vacillate between self-loathing, confusion and regret — all familiar emotions that are engendered in the aftermath of an equally confusing and embittering relationship.

Directed by Steve Smith, the recently released video for “Misheard” continues the band’s string of accompanying their songs with surreal visuals — this time with some amorphous, neon-colored imagery that’s like a Dada-esque nightmare.

New Video: The 120 Minutes MTV-Like Sounds and Visuals of Mute Swan’s “Enough Fun”

Since their formation back in 2014, the Tuscon, AZ-based quartet Mute Swan, comprised of Mike Barnett, Prabjit Virdee, Thomas Sloane and Roger Reed, have developed a reputation for crafting swirling, densely layered psych rock that’s been described by some as a less jittery Of Montreal and compared to Soft Bulletin-era Flaming Lips, and although that may be arguable, their latest single “Enough Fun” is a hazy, power chord driven song that should remind you (if you’re old enough) of 120 Minutes-era MTV — in particular, Siamese Dream-era Smashing Pumpkins, Melvins and others, with an uncanny pairing of melody with enormous, crowd-pleasing hooks. However, as the band’s frontman Mike Barnett explains, “America is having a meltdown. This song is about that. With fuzz.” And as a result, the song find the band carefully walking a tightrope between ethereal and summery guitar pop and furious, sociopolitically charged rock, expressing frustration at the unchecked greed and power of the wealthy elite.

The recently released is shot in a grainy VHS style, reminiscent of home videos from the 80s and follows a group of one-percenters cruising around aimlessly in a Mercedes, burning money with a religious cult-like figure. It’s trippy and pretty fucking surreal but all too fitting.