Tag: 120 Minutes

Marcelo Deiss is a Sao Paulo, Brazil-born, London-based artist whose music blurs the lines between indie rock, blues, folk and hard rock. Heavily influenced by visual artists like Steve Cutts and John Holcroft, Deiss’ work thematically touches upon social alienation, absurdity, despair and human greed — with an ironic, darkly humorous and satirical eye for the absurd in our every day lives. “Cutts and Holcroft’s work embodies a powerful and scary message about humankind which we can all really relate to as human beings. Their work really helped create a clear vision of what I was trying to achieve sonically,” the Sao Paulo-born, London-based artist says in press notes. Typically his work attempts to force audiences to see the obvious absurdities that frequently go unnoticed in our daily lives, by highlighting the news and situations that we all see but conveniently ignore, and the news we hear bu not really listen to, from our overuse and dependency on technology, to our shitty economic policies and our strange daily customs.

Deiss’ latest single, the 120 Minutes-era MTV-like “Horses Running” is centered around  his Bob Dylan-like delivery — half spoken, partially crooned and boozy vocals, fuzzy and distorted power chords, blasts of simmering synths, twinkling keys and rousingly anthemic hooks.  And while sonically recalling Odelay-era Beck, JOVM mainstays Sego and classic blues, the track is fueled by righteous indignation: thematically it focuses on the greed and social disaffection that could wind up killing all of us and destroying what’s left of the Earth. The song was directly inspired by Brexit, Donald Trump, the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements, and others that deal with the impact of oppression — and his own observation that the worlds of Brave New World1984 and The Year Of The Flood aren’t very far from our own.

“I think it’s important to discuss topics about our society and the current problems we face together in the modern world. This to me seems more relevant due to the current situation our society is facing right now.”

With the release of the critically praise single “Blister” earlier this year, the Champaign, IL-based power pop/punk act Nectar — Kamila Glowacki, Aaron Shults, Isabel Skidmore and Jake Mott — received attention across the blogosphere for a raucous, 90s alt rock-inspired sound with big, infectious hooks. Building upon a growing profile, the Champaign-based quartet’s latest release, the breakneck single “Fishy” is 92 seconds of enormous, sludgy grunge rock power chords and infectious, sugary sweet hooks. Much like its predecessor, “Fishy” is deceptive song in which upbeat melodies are paired with melancholy lyrics — with the new single detailing the swooning feelings of excitement, uncertainty, fear and anxiety towards a new crush that brings  Veruca SaltSiamese Dream-era Smashing Pumpkins and others to mind. 
Interestingly, the 120 Minutes era MTV-like “Fishy” was originally recorded and released on a split 7 inch with Jupiter Styles (formerly known as Single Player). The band re-recorded “Fishy” during the “Blister” sessions.
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New Video: Lightning Bug Releases Hazy Visuals for Ethereal and Soaring “The Onely Ones”

Led by songwriter Audrey King and featuring multi-instrumentalist Kevin Copeland and producer Logan Miley, Brooklyn-based shoegazer act Lightning Bug is grounded in a tight-knit friendship and an intuitive musical bond which heavily influences their sound — a mix of rapturous shoegaze, longing balladry and ambient soundscapes. While their recorded output has revealed a sonic eclecticism, their material is centered around a magnetic sense of cohesion. Lyrically, their work documents Kang’s relationship with her humanity and feelings, detailing memories fraught with joy and heartache, and the seemingly unending cycle of tension and release that comes as one develops self-trust. 

With the release of their first two albums, 2015’s Floaters, which landed on NME’s best debut albums of 2015 list and last year’s October Song, the Brooklyn-based shoegazer act has developed a reputation for being one of the genre’s newest buzzworthy acts. Building upon a rising profile, the act recently signed to Fat Possum Records, who will re-issue October Song on vinyl on April 24, 2020 — and to celebrate the occasion, the band released a previously unreleased single “The Onely Ones.” Recorded during the October Song sessions, the lush and atmospheric song is centered around a soaring hook, ethereal vocals, twinkling instrumentation and thumping beats — and manages to evoke a hazy and difficult to define and intense emotion that’s a mix of joy and anguish.  Unsurprisingly, the recently released video for “The Onely Ones” is shot in a hazy black and white that nods at 120 Minutes era MTV — while capturing a fleeting and temporal moment

“You know when you experience a sudden extreme of emotion? Not quite anguish, not quite joy, but some unutterable mixture of both. This song is my attempt to express that,” King says in press notes of the song and accompanying video.

The video for ‘The Onely Ones’ seeks to represent the fleeting impressions that stream behind the membrane of immediate reality. It attempts to remind how there is, shimmering within each person, an entire universe as intangible and as infinite as time.”

New Video: Denmark’s Twin Dive Releases a Surreal Visual for Mosh Pit Friendly Single “Holly”

Over the course of this past year, I’ve written a bit Aarhus, Denmark-based indie rock act Twin Dive. And as you may recall, the Danish alt rock act formed back in 2018 when its founding duo of Robert Jancevich (vocals, guitar) and Ragnar “Raggi” Gudmunds (drums)  met and bonded over a mutual passion for all things rock ‘n’ roll. Since then, the band has split their time between the studio and live gigs honing and polishing their sound while releasing material that has been compared favorably to Foo Fighters, The Hives and others. During that same period, Charlotte Mortensen (bass) joined the band, helping the band bolster their sound. 

Building upon a growing profile in their native Denmark and across Scandinavia, the band played at this year’s Spot Festival, which caught the attention of Drowned in Sound, who picked the band as one of the best acts of the festival — and they just recently finished a tour of Finland with Finnish act Ursus Factory. Earlier this year, I wrote about the grungy “Animal,” a track that recalls 120 Minutes-era alt rock — i.e., Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots and the like — while thematically, the song was about knowing and taming one’s inner animal. 

The rapidly rising Danish trio’s latest single “Holly” continues a run of grungy, power chord-driven material that draws from 120 Minutes-era alt rock. In fact, because of an arrangement centered around heavily pedal effected and jagged power chords, thunderous drumming and howled vocals the band’s latest single may arguably be the most indebted to Bleach and In Utero-era Nirvana of their entire catalog — but at its core. the song explores the unending battle between our sense of self and our ego in a way that’s partially ironic. 

Directed by Mark Vesterlund, the recently released and incredibly cinematic video is a surreal fever dream featuring a troupe of older Asian women doing traditional dances to the song — and while it’s an odd juxtaposition, the visual is meant to leave the interpretation of its message and meaning to the  viewer. 

Over the better part of the past year, I’ve written quite a bit about the Brooklyn-based post-punk JOVM mainstays Russian Baths. And as you may recall, with the release of their debut EP Penance, the band — Luke Koz, Jess Ress, Evan Gill Smith and Jeff Widner — quickly established a reputation for crafting a brooding 120 Minutes-era alt rock-like sound.

Building upon a growing profile, Russian Baths will be releasing their highly-anticipated full-length debut Deepfake through Good Eye Records next week.  Reportedly, the album finds the members of the Brooklyn-based JOVM mainstays pushing a sound long rooted in juxtapositions to its extreme:  feedback and dissonance seem to swallow softly whispered harmonies, arpeggiated synths and booming 808 like drumming are paired with angular and shrieking guitars, propulsive drumming and motorik-like grooves.

Often centered around surgical imagery, the album’s material touches upon themes of personal regret, cultural guilt, reflection on systems in collapse — and while evoking the zeitgeist of the moment, the material alternates between voices seemingly so close that they seem in the room right beside you and at other times, from an impossible distance. So far I’ve written about two of the album’s previous singles. The album’s first single was the aggressively abrasive “Tracks,” which to my ears was one part post-punk, one part noise-rock and one part shoegaze that evoked the uneasy, claustrophobic air of paranoia and distrust of someone, who has frequently been forced to ask difficult questions of themselves and their relationships with others. The album’s second single “Responder” found the band crafting an atmospheric track with elements of shoegaze, post-punk, brooding 120 Minutes-era alt rock and Western Gothic in a way that brought Shadow on Everything-era Bambara to mind.

Interestingly, Deepfake‘s third and latest single “Wrong”  may arguably be the most grunge rock-like song rebased from the album to date, as it’s centered around alternating quiet-loud-quiet sections, featuring fuzzy power chords, thunderous drumming and howled vocals. Sonically, the song manages to evoke a slow-burning and seemingly unending sense of dread and unease of a world going impossibly mad before your eyes.

 

Although their name to many of us may recall the obnoxious and announced telemarketing call, the Athens, GA-based act Telemarket conceptualized their name from a conjured and mesmerizing vision reminiscent of the sound they’ve developed — a sort of marketplace of noises, delivered from afar over muted and hazy signals all twisting and tumbling into a pulsing mass of indie rock energy with melodies driftingly vaguely out of chugging power chords.

Inspired by that vision, Adam Wayton (vocals, guitar) formed the Athens-based indie rock act with his University of Georgia Music Business program classmates Hunter Pinkston (bass,  guitar) and Jack Colclough (drums) in 2017. By the following year, the trio wrote and recorded their debut EP, What’s Behind You, a five song effort released through Wayton’s and Pinkston’s Avenue Noise and Sound.

Since the release of their debut EP, the band added Will Anderson (organ, synths) and enlisted the help of Will Wise, who produced their soon-to-be released sophomore EP You deserve a hard day’s work after a long night’s rest. Interestingly, the EP’s latest single is the fuzzy and gauzy, 120 Minutes alt rock-like “Woke Up on Time.” Centered by an infectious hook and some clear-eyed lyricism, the song manages to evoke the half-remembered and hazy feeling of waking up in the morning and having to rush out to work.

 

 

With the release of their debut EP Penance, the Brooklyn-based indie rock act and JOVM mainstays Russian Baths — Luke Koz, Jess Ress, Evan Gill Smith and Jeff Widner — quickly established a reputation for crafting a brooding 120 Minutes-era alt rock-like sound. The Brooklyn-based JOVM mainstays highly-anticipated full-length debut Deepfake is slated for a November 8, 2019 release through Good Eye Records,  and the album reportedly finds the members of Russian Baths pushing a sound centered around juxtapositions to its extreme: feedback and dissonance seem to swallow softly whispered harmonies, arpeggiated synths and boom 808s are paired with angular and shrieking guitars, propulsive drumming and motorik-like grooves.

Centered around surgical imagery, the album reportedly touches upon themes of personal regret, cultural guilt, reflections on systems in collapse — and while evoking our current zeitgeist, the album’s material is sung by voices that are seemingly so close that they’re in the room right beside you and other times, from a seemingly impossible distance. Now, as you may recall earlier this year, I wrote about album single “Tracks,” an aggressively abrasive song that in many ways was one part shoegaze, one part post-punk, one part noise rock and one part grunge, as the band paired fuzzy and distorted power chords with thunderous drumming and plaintive falsetto vocals. But at its core, the song evokes the uneasy, claustrophobic air of paranoia and distrust of someone, who is forced to ask difficult questions of themselves and of their relationships.

Deepfake‘s latest single “Responder” finds the Brooklyn-based JOVM mainstays meshing elements of shoegaze, noise rock, atmospheric post punk, brooding 120 Minutes alt rock and Western gothic centered by Jess Ress’ plaintive and ethereal vocals, dramatic drumming and shimmering bursts of guitar. And while sonically bearing a bit of resemblance to Shadow on Everything-era Bambara, the track evokes a profound and confusing sense of regret and loss.

 

 

 

New Video: Madison WI’s The Hussy Release a Satirical Take on Commercials

Over the past couple of years, I’ve written quite about the Madison, WI-based punk act The Hussy, an act that formed back in 2008 as a duo featuring its founding members Bobby Hussy (guitar, vocals) and Heather Hussy (drums, vocals). The Hussy quickly developed a reputation for a trashy and scuzzy take on punk and for a chaotic live show that had the duo playing shows alongside a who’s who list of indie rock and punk — including Mudhoney, Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, Twin Peaks, Reigning Sound,Spectrum, Black Bananas, Black Lips, King Khan & BBQ, White Fence, The Faint, Tenement and countless others. All of that helped the band gain a cult-like following across the Midwestern underground scene.

Between 2009 and 2015, the band went through one of their most prolific periods of their history, in which they released material through 20 different labels and in countless different formats. During that same period, the duo also went through a relentless touring schedule across US and the European Union, including an appearance at Gonerfest after the release of their beloved sophomore album 2012’s Weed Seizure. Additionally, they also pulled double duty as the opening and backing band for NOBUNNY through tours of the US, Australia, and New Zealand.

Since touring with NOBUNNY, the band’s founding duo have split time between The Hussy and a series of other creative pursuits. Bobby Hussy has continued to tour off and on with NOBUNNY as a touring bassist. His other projects include playing in Fire Heads with Tyler Fassnacht, who recently joined The Hussy to help further flesh out their live and recorded sound — and synth wave post-punk act Cave Curse, who released a full-length in 2017. Heather Hussy is also a member of Proud Parents, an act that released their full-length debut through  Dirtnap Records last year.

Now, as you may recall, towards the end of last year, the members of the newly constituted trio began tracking their soon-to-be released full-length album Looming, the follow-up to 2015’s Galore. Galore saw the band moving into a more focused direction with their songwriting, and it included material with more complex arrangements paired with a mid-fi production. And while the album reflected an evolution in their sound and approach, they managed to retain the infectious pop-leaning hooks that won them cult-favorite status. Interestingly, Looming, which is slated for a Friday release finds the band going in a much darker thematic direction with the material touching upon death, sudden loss, divorce, addition and our current horrifying, infuriating, and depressing sociopolitical moment.

Over the past couple of months, I wrote about two previously released album singles: “Coast,” a scuzzy power-chord ripper with an infectious and rousingly anthemic hook and “Sorry,” a decidedly 90s alt-rock-inspired, fuzz pop anthem featuring ironic lyrics that sonically brought to mind a series of 120 Minutes-era MTV titans, like Hole, Veruca Salt, The Breeders and others with a similar gritty and bilious quality. The album’s latest single “Cornflakes” is a mischievous and scuzzy garage pop track that recalls Weezer’s “Buddy Holly,” The Go-Gos and others as its centered around an infectious, shout along worthy hook. 

Directed and edited by Austin Duerst, the recently released video stars the band’s Heather Hussy, Bobby Hussy and Tyler Fassnacht. in a wild satirical take on cereal commercials and other commercials. 

New Video: Iceland’s Laura Second Releases a Surreal “120 Minutes”-like Visual for “Crop Circles”

Laura Second is a fairly mysterious multi-national indie rock act based in Iceland. Their forthcoming full-length debut Ending Friendships is slated for a November release through Icelandic indie label Why not? Plötuútgáfa! Records. The album was recorded last winter in a cabin in the Icelandic countryside — and interestingly enough, the album’s first single “Crop Circles” is a decidedly 120 Minutes-era MTV-inspired track: alternating slow-burning and dreamy verses and explosive, power chord-driven choruses. And while seemingly bearing a resemblance to the likes of The Breeders, The Posies, Pixies and others, the song possesses a drunken and uneasy lurch.

The recently released video features two Icelandic children attentively watching a surrealistic TV show on a videocassette player. It’s appropriately bizarre — and much like its accompanying single manages to emphasize the oddness of the song.

New Video: Brooklyn’s Pom Pom Squad Releases a Decidedly “120 Minutes”-era MTV-like Visual for “Heavy Heavy”

Earlier this year, I wrote about Brooklyn-based grunge rock/punk rock-band Pom Pom Squad — Mia Berrin (vocals), Mari Ale Figeman (bass), Shelby Keller (drums) and Ethan Sass (guitar)  — and as you may recall, the act have quickly become a local DIY scene staple for a modern take on the 90s grunge rock sound that finds the band balancing solemnity and whimsy, old school punk aesthetics and emotional vulnerability, which they’ve dubbed Quiet Grrrl punk — and for a raucous live show that they’ve honed playing alongside the likes of Soccer Mommy, Adult Mom, Long Neck and others.

The band’s sophomore EP Ow was released last Friday. Now, as you may recall EP single “Honeysuckle” was an anthemic track, centered around fuzzy power chords, thunderous drumming and a big hook within a quiet, loud, quiet song structure that accurately captured the mindset and emotions of a modern, young woman. Now, as you may recall, “Heavy Heavy” received attention from Stereogum, Paste, Under the Radar, Highsnobiety and Thrillist, as well as airplay on SiriusXM Alt Nation, and as soon as you hear it, you’ll understand why: the band crafts mosh pit friendly, power chord-driven hooks paired with thunderous drumming and a unhinged, feral vocal performance reminiscent of Fever to Tell-era Yeah Yeah Yeahs. 

Directed by the band’s Mia Berrin, the recently released video features Pom Pom Squad’s front person in a variety of guises — cheerleader, princess, angel that busts of out of those stifling roles through the destruction of a number of cakes. Of course, there’s also footage of a Doc Marten-wearing Berrin and her bandmates furiously performing the song. For any of you that have actually come of age during the 90s as I have, the video immediately brings 120 Minutes-era MTV to mind.