Tag: 120 Minutes

New Video: Renowned Australian Singer/Songwriter and Guitarist Courtney Barnett Releases Psychedelic Visuals for Expansive Album Single “City Looks Pretty”

With the release of her first two, critically applauded EPs, I’ve Got a Friend Called Emily Farris and How to Carve a Carrot Into a Rose, the Melbourne, Australia-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Courtney Barnett quickly received attention from the North American, British and Australian press witty and rambling, conversational lyrics delivered in an ironic deadpan paired with big, power chord-based indie rock. And although to the casual observer, it may have seemed like overnight success, it actually wasn’t. In fact, Barnett has long been considered one of Melbourne’s best guitarists as once played in Dandy Warhols’ Brent DeBoer’s side project Immigrant Union and had  guest spot on Jen Cloher‘s third album, In Blood Memory.

2015’s full-length effort Sometimes I Sit and Think, Sometimes I Just Sit continued a run of critically applauded releases, and the album’s lead single “Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go To The Party” was promoted with a unique promotional campaign that included scores of giant billboards, posters and murals spontaneously posted around the world — and all of them declared the same unattributed statement in the same exact font. As for the song, it found Barnett and her backing band pairing thundering drumming, dense layers of swirling guitar chords and a scorching guitar solo and Barnett’s bemused and ironic deadpan delivery with a rousingly anthemic, arena rock-like hook. “Elevator Operator,” which I also wrote about on this site, was a stomping and shuffling T. Rex-like song that featured twisting and turning organ chords, handclap-led percussion, and a mischievous yet anthemic hook that described incredibly neurotic people, who are beaten down by boring and soulless day jobs, including one character, who escapes to peer over a rooftop for a brief moment of clarity while dreaming he was playing Sim City.  (If you’ve worked at a boring and soul crushing day job, that song may well be your anthem during the workweek.)

Last year, saw the release of Lotta Sea Lice, a critically applauded and commercially successful collaborative album with renowned guitarist and vocalist Kurt Vile; in fact, the album landed at #5 on the Australian charts, #11 on the British charts and #51 on the American charts. Building upon an incredible run of critical and commercial success, Barnett’s third full-length album Tell Me How You Really Feel is slated for a May 18, 2018 release through Mom + Pop Records, Marathon Artists, and Barnett’s own label Milk! Records — and the album’s third and latest single “City Looks Pretty” finds Barnett eschewing traditional song structures in order to focus on a motorik-like groove, razor sharp hooks and an expansive psych rock-like vibe that’s roomy enough for what may be some of Barnett’s most inspired and bluesy guitar work she’s recorded to date. The song lyrically is an exploration of friendship, place and home centered around the irony of friends treating you like a stranger and strangers treating you like their best friend. 

The recently released video by Courtney Barnett features some appropriately psychedelic imagery shot on what looks like digital cameras and an old Super 8, and in some way it brings to mind 120 Minutes-era MTV. 

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New Video: JOVM Mainstays Modern Time Machines Send Up Classic TV Shows in Video for Album Single “Freefall (Can’t Stop)”

Over the past couple of years of this site’s history, I’ve written quite a bit about the Los Angeles, CA-based shoegazer act Modern Time Machines, and as you may recall with the release of singles like Dweeb,” the band comprised of Ben Golomb, Justin Bond, Nadia Franks and Neil Johnson have received attention for a pairing dreamy boy/girl harmonizing with a sound that has drawn comparisons to  M83, Medicine, Sonic Youth and others. Adding to a growing profile, the band has received airplay on  KROQ 106.7FM, have appeared on Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show and will have some of their music featured in director Ashley York’s upcoming film So Help You God. 
The up-and-coming, Los Angeles-based shoegazers’ Josiah Mazzaschi-produced, sophomore effort MTM is slated for release next week, and the album features guest spots from Nightmare Air‘s Dave Dupuis, Bell Gardens’ Kenneth James Gibson, that dog.’s Kaitlin Wolfberg and a remix from electronic music production and artist duo De Lux. Earlier this year, I’ve written about the A Storm in Heaven-era The Verve “High Noon” and the  Dinosaur, Jr-like “Failsafe,” off the album — both of which further cemented their reputation for crafting 120 Minutes-era MTV-like indie rock. And much like its predecessors, MTM’s latest single “Freefall (Can’t Stop) continues in a similar vein as the band has a penchant for soaring hooks, feedback drenched guitars and dreamy boy/girl harmonizing, centered around earnest and plaintive lyrics. 

Directed by the band’s Ben Golomb and featuring a lengthy cast, the recently released video is a hilarious and ridiculous send up on a number of classic TV shows including Mary Tyler Moore, Small Wonder, Gilligan’s Island and others.  

Nostalgist is a Seattle, WA-based post-punk/shoegaze act led by founding member and primary songwriter Asa Eisenhardt (vocals, guitar)  — and with the release of 2013’s Monochromatic EP and 2015’s Of Love and Days Ago, the Seattle-based project received attention for a heavy and moody sound that’s been influenced by Lowlife, Slowdive, Lycia, The Comsat Angels, The Chameleons, Killing Joke, Fields of the Nephilim, Hum and Red House Painters among others.

Recorded and mixed throughout 2016 and 2017, Disaffection, the long-awaited follow up to Of Love and Days Ago features guest spots from renowned drummer Aesop Dekker, who’s been a member of Khorada, Worm Ouroboros, Extremity and a former member of ex-Agalloch; Alex Entrekin (drums), who joined on as the project’s new drummer; and Monte McCleery (bass) who’s also a member of Seattle-based doom act Un. Interestingly, the effort features five originals and a cover of Catherine Wheel’s “Texture.” Disaffection‘s second and latest single “Smoldering Amber” finds the band drawing from post-punk, shoegaze and grunge, as the song is centered around a familiar structure — quiet, loud, quiet, with the quieter verses featuring towering and shimmering guitar chords over which Eisenhardt’s mournful vocals ethereally float over, and the blistering power chord-based chorus, held together with a propulsive rhythm section and arpeggiated synths. Without a doubt, the song will immediately bring 120 Minutes-era MTV to mind with a cinematic quality; but underneath the surface is a plaintive and aching yearning that gives the song a Romantic quality.

As Nostalgist’s Asa Eisenhardt says in press notes, “This is the most lyrically intimate thing I’ve written to date. As with many of my songs, it chronicles the beginning, middle and end of some manner of relationship, but here the words are especially dramatic (even for me, ha) and visceral. Infatuation is the most central theme. The instrumental arrangement emphasizes a dub rhythm in the verses, and I expect that influence to become even more prominent in future material. Dub was an enormous influence on ’80s post-punk, so following the throughline from bands I hold near and dear as influences (Comsat Angels, The Chameleons and Killing Joke to name but a few) and investigating that sound continues to be a natural progression for me.”

“At the same time, I do my best to really blend things up when I write, and both the mix and contrast of the heavy and the ethereal in ‘Smoldering Amber’ is easily the most pronounced of the songs on Disaffection. The verse section is minimal and grooving, but the chorus is huge and lumbering. The bridge is fragile and deliberate, the outro is hard-charging, uptempo and intertwined with synth melody. Dynamics are another dimension of musical color one can explore and manipulate, really. All in all, I think this track is especially exemplary of our elemental makeup”.

New Video: Modern Time Machines Return with 120 Minutes-era MTV Inspired Visuals for Rousingly Anthemic Single “Failsafe”

Earlier this year, I wrote about  the Los Angeles, CA-based shoegazer act Modern Time Machines, and as you may recall with the release of their debut single “Dweeb,” and several other singles, which received airplay on KROQ 106.7FM, the band comprised of  Ben Golomb, Justin Bond, Nadia Franks and Neil Johnson have received attention for pairing dreamy boy/girl harmonies with a sound that’s drawn comparisons to M83, Medicine, Sonic Youth and others. Adding to a growing profile, the Los Angeles-based shoegazers appeared on Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show and will have some of their music featured in director Ashley York’s upcoming film So Help You God.

Modern Time Machines’ Josiah Mazzaschi-produced, sophomore effort MTM is slated for an April 6, 2018 release and will feature guest spots from Nightmare Air‘s Dave Dupuis, Bell Gardens‘ Kenneth James Gibson, that dog.’s Kaitlin Wolfberg and a remix from electronic music production and artist duo De Lux. And as you may recall, album single “High Noon” featured the boy/girl harmonies that first garnered them attention while sonically reminding me quite a bit of A Storm in Heaven-era The Verve. Interestingly, MTM’s latest single “Failsafe” is a decidedly 120 Minutes-era MTV affair — in particular, I’m somehow reminded of Dinosaur, Jr. and others, as the song features feedback drenched and pedal effected power chords, rousingly anthemic hooks, a propulsive and insistent rhythm section and those boy/girl harmonies; but underneath the dreamy vibes is an aching yearning.

Directed, edited and filmed by Kimberly Zsebe of ZB Images, the recently released video, much like the song itself seems heavily indebted to 120 Minutes-era MTV, as it features the band performing the song while partially shot under kaleidoscopic filters, which gives the video a trippy feel.

New Audio: Blackwater Holylight Return with a Heavy Psych Rock Dirge

Comprised of founding member, Allison “Sunny” Faris (vocals, bass), Laura Hopkins (guitar, vocals), Cat Hoch (drums) and Sarah McKenna (synth), the Portland, OR-based rock act Blackwater Holylight began as an experiment of what Faris’ own version of what “heavy” should be both sonically and emotionally. “I also wanted a band in which vulnerability of any form could be celebrated.” But interestingly, as Faris explains in press notes, her current band can trace its origins to when Faris’ longtime band split up. “In my last band, I was the only female in a group of 6, so I wanted to see how my songwriting and vulnerability could glow taking the drivers seat and working with women.”

Last month, I wrote about “Sunrise,” off the band’s self-titled debut, a single that struck me as meshing elements of Breeders-like alt rock, garage rock and swirling, towering shoegaze — but with soaring hooks, bringing to mind classic, 120 Minutes-era MTV alt rock, while eschewing familiar song structures. The album’s latest single “Wave of Conscience” is an enormous power chord-based heavy psych dirge that sounds indebted to Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath — and sonically speaking, could have easily been mistaken for a track off the incredible Brown Acid compilation series but while being a strident feminist anthem. 

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of weeks, you may recall that with the release of their debut single “Ambulance,” the Brooklyn-based indie rock quartet Russian Baths, comprised of Luke Koz, Jess Ress, Evan Gill Smith and Jeff Widner, received attention for a sound that the band has described as nodding at Big Black, 70s space rock, Big Muff and British post punk among others; however, “Slenderman,” off their soon-to-be released EP Penance nodded at brooding, 90s alt rock/120 Minutes-era MTV as the song featured the familiar alternating quiet, loud, quiet song structure — in which you would have had heard shimmering guitar chords, throbbing bass chords and propulsive drumming paired with a rousingly anthemic hook. “What’s In Your Basement” the EP’s next single was an abrasive, mosh-pit worthy song that nodded at Bleach and In Utero-era Nirvana and Finelines-era My Vitriol.

“Poolhouse,” Penance‘s latest single is an expansive, shoegazer-like song that manages to bring Sonic Youth to mind, as the band employs the use of jangling dissonance to create a an eerily gorgeous song that feels immense and downright oceanic.

The Brooklyn-based indie rock act has two upcoming live dates — one of them being a March 15, 2018 opening set at Elsewhere for Frankie Rose. Check out the dates below.

Tour Dates

2/22/18: The Saint — Asbury Park

 

3/15/18 Elsewhere, Zone One — Brooklyn

 

New Video: The 80s Crime TV Show-Inspired Visuals for Swimsuit Issue’s “Look Now”

Fronted by founding duo New York-born, Los Angeles, CA-based duo Miles Garber, who’s best known prominent male model and Dave Gagliardi, who’s best known as a member of renowned punk act Trash Talk, Swimsuit Issue can trace their origins to when the duo met outside of an art show on the Bowery back in 2014. And instead of quickly rushing to put out material, the duo, along with a rotating cast of collaborators spent the next two years honing and refining their sound with the end result being their anthemic, 120 Minutes-era MTV meets contemporary indie rock- like debut single “Look Now,” complete with jangling and fuzzy power chords, a propulsive backbeat paired with Garber’s crooning vocals, in a song that manages to balance earnest emotionality with a deliberate attention to craft.

The band’s self-directed video draws from 80s cop movies, crime documentaries and crime TV shows — and a little bit of Trading Places as the video features Dave Gagliardi as a blatantly corrupt and thieving inside trader, who’s investigated and then arrested by his bandmate Miles Garber. Filmed in a series of flashbacks, the video features a number of talking heads, along with the video’s villain and protagonist singing along to various points of the song in a way that reminds of one of Magnolia’s many surreal turns. Interestingly, the video manages to emphasize the song’s aesthetic and vibe, with each miserable character seeming to be yearning for something more than what they have in front of them.

With the release of their debut track “Ambulance,” the Brooklyn-based indie rock quartet Russian Baths, comprised of Luke Koz, Jess Ress, Evan Gill Smith and Jeff Widner, received attention for a sound that the band has described as nodding at Big Black, 70s space rock, Big Muff and British post punk among others; however, “Slenderman,” which I wrote about last month, reminded me much more of brooding, 90s alt rock/120 Minutes-era MTV as the song featured the familiar alternating quiet, loud, quiet song structure — in which you would have had heard shimmering guitar chords, throbbing bass chords and propulsive drumming paired with a rousingly anthemic hook.

 

Interestingly, “What’s In Your Basement,” the latest single off the Brooklyn-based act’s forthcoming EP Penance continues the 90s alt rock vibes — but this time, their latest single is blistering and abrasive, mosh pit worthy grunge rock that brings to mind Bleach and In Utero-era Nirvana and Finelines-era My Vitriol, with a similar balls-to-the-walls self-assuredness.

Penance drops on February 23rd.

 

Comprised of Rob Withem (guitar, vocals), Greg Markov (bass) and Thom Walsh (drums), the Phoenix, AZ-based indie rock trio Fine China can trace their origins back to 1997. And soon after their formation, the trio released their first two EPs and a 7 inch through the Southern California-based indie label Velvet Blue Music. The Phoenix-based indie rock act went on to release three more full-length efforts, including 2005’s critically applauded The Jaws of Life, which also had material featured in several TV shows.

Late 2016 saw the 12′ vinyl re-issue of their critically acclaimed The Jaws of Lifewhich interestingly enough saw the release of a bonus track to coincide with a 10 year reunion show; in fact, the bonus was met with critical applause and as a result, the vinyl re-issue quickly sold out. Building upon the growing buzz that surrounded the band again, the band’s first release in 12 years Not Thrilled finds the band returning to their original label home, Velvet Blue Music, who released their debut effort over 20 years ago. Slated for a February 23, 2018 release, the material on their forthcoming album was recorded in Rob Withem’s home studio and mixed by Bob Hoag, their longtime producer and engineer at Flying Blanket Recording in Mesa, AZ.

“Anyone Else,” the first official single off the new album will further cement the band’s long-held reputation for crafting a warmly familiar, shimmering, 120 Minutes-era guitar pop sound with an anthemic hook — and although the band’s Withem says in press notes that “I wanted a sound that harkened back to singles from the mid to late 80s that I heard on the radio as a kid — stuff like Don Henley and Dire Straights. But root it in an elegant guitar pop sound, like XTC or Crowded House,” the song (to my ears, at least) reminds me quite a bit more of The Smiths, which isn’t a bad thing to go for.