Earlier this year, I wrote a bit about the Portland, OR-based indie rock quintet King Who, and as you may recall, the band which is comprised of Michael Young, Ryan Hayes, Ryan Cross, Glen Scheidt and […]
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 Bunnymen, Evil Heat-era Primal Scream and Luminous-era The Horrors, thanks to one of the funkiest rock bass lines I’ve heard this year.
Now, if you had been frequenting this website over the past few years, you may have come across a couple of posts featuring the Brooklyn-based indie rock act Lazyeyes, and as some of you may recall, the band, which initially began as a trio and now currently consists of Jason Abrishami (guitar, vocals), Sam Maynard (guitar, vocals), Jeremy Sampson (drums) and Jermey Rose (bass, vocals) received quite a bit of attention after the release of their 2013 self-titled EP: The Deli Magazine named the band the “Best Psych Rock/Shoegaze band,” Purple Sneakers praised the EP as a “moody and anthemic record, equal parts shoegaze and dream pop,” Stereogum described their sound as a “a muscular, riff-happy brand of guitar based dream-pop” and they were a featured artist in the November 2014 issue of NME — and adding to a growing profile, tracks from the EP received airplay from BBC Radio, XM Radio and a number of FM stations across the globe.
2015’s self-released, sophomore EP New Year was eventually picked up and reissued by Burger Records‘ cassette imprint Weiner Records, and “Adaptation,” the EP’s first single received quite a bit of attention across the blogosphere, including this site. Some time has passed since I’ve last written about them — but their long awaited full-length debut Echoes is slated for a summer release through Egghunt Records and 2670 Records. Interestingly, Echoes first single, album title track “Echoes” is a brooding and seamless synthesis of 80s British post-punk and shoegaze as you’ll hear angular and propulsive bass chords, four-on-the-floor drumming and towering, pedal effected guitar pyrotechnics paired with rousingly anthemic hooks — and while the song may initially strike you as drawing influence from Heaven Up Here-era Echo and the Bunnymen, it reveals a band confidently expanding upon the sound that first captured attention.
FACIAL is a Los Angeles, CA-based post-punk band, who have described their sound on their Facebook Fan Page as “the noise that cuts like a chainsaw through the thick buildup of residue in your mind, left behind by years of dealing with the dull banality of life. They take the dead parts of your brain killed by mundane reputation and blast it away with a pressure hose, while the low end rattles all the barnacles off your body and pounds you the way you are always afraid to ask for. Sweet melodies interchange with primal screaming as you fluctuate between comfort and discomfort, horror and jubilation, familiarity and utter confusion.”
With their sophomore album Facade slated for release on Friday through Chain Letter Collective, the Los Angeles-based post-punk trio reportedly finds the band blowing away the facades and exposing the ugly truths underneath whether it’s their hometown, their country or within themselves. As a result, the material burrows down into the uncomfortable realities that we’ve long tried to push aside such as primal urges, anger, hate, selfishness, envy, jealousy rather than the superficial and alternate reality we show to the world that we are happy, cooperative, peaceful, benevolent members of a kind, cooperative society. And interestingly enough, album single “Black Noise” is a darkly moody, tense and angular track that nods at Echo and the Bunnymen’s Heaven Up Here and others but with a menacing and muscular tone, as though capturing the murky depths of the id.
Directed by Jack Mikesell and co-produced by Jared Robbins and Matt Macnelly, the recently released visuals for “Black Noise” employ a chaotic, dream-like logic with the video beginning with the members of the trio walking through a model town like gods, before quickly cutting to an interpretive dance sequence reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” — that is until a group of young women come by to kick the band’s ass and smash everything in their sights, which in some way seems to evoke our own destructive urges going absolutely wild. Towards the end of the video, the young women join in on the interpretive dance.
Live footage of Echo and the Bunnymen live at Shepherd’s Bush Empire.
Featuring Anthony Cozzi (vocals, guitar), Russell Calderwood (guitar), Nithin Kalvakota (drums) and Lucas Sikorski (bass), Chicago, IL-based quartet Radar Eyes initially received attention for a fuzzy, garage rock sound, and with Cozzi’s relocation to Los Angeles, the quartet’s forthcoming effort Radiant Remains was in some way meant to be a swan song for the band — while being a sonic change in direction as the band’s material took on a decidedly 80s post-punk rock sound that channeled the likes of Crocodiles, Heaven Up Here and Ocean Rain-era Echo and the Bunnymen, Starfish-era The Church and others as you’ll hear on the album’s moody and shimmering first single “Community.” And much like the material that influenced it, “Community” reveals that the band has the ability to write material that possess an incredibly anthemic and rousing hook.
Directed by Laura Callier and featuring desert footage shot by Jason Ogawa, the recently released music video for “Community” manages to mesh the feel, spirit and imagery of contemporary videos with that of videos from MTV’s heyday — including a Peter Gabriel “Shock the Monkey”-like motif, in which the lead singer sits in front of screen in which various images are projected; sequences in which the band’s lead singer, dressed entirely in black is wandering around the desert, followed around by an equally mysterious man dressed entirely in white; along with some introductory sequences in which the band are hanging out with a bunch of folks at an outdoor bar. The video itself possesses a dreamlike logic while hitting upon the song’s sense of longing to fit into someplace.
Led by San Francisco, CA-based singer/songwriter Young Lee and featuring a rotating cast of collaborators including members of indie rock bands such as WATERS, Hazel English’s backing band, Doe Eye, There’s Talk, and Elsa y Elmar, The Soonest have released a handful of EPs at traditional recording studios that have won attention both locally and regionally for a layered and moody, 80s post-punk/post-rock leaning sound; in fact, Lee was asked to write the score to the documentary Weaving Shibusa.
Mixed by Greg Francis and mastered by TW Walsh, the project’s recently released full-length debut effort, Doors to the City was recorded in an empty Bay Area church, and the high wooden ceilings helped create the enormous, wall of sound like sound that you’ll hear on Doors to the City’s first single “Start a War,” a single that pairs Lee’s lilting and dramatic vocals with layers upon layers of angular guitar chords, a forceful, motorik-like groove consisting of a sinuous bass line and propulsive drumming, and an anthemic hook. Sonically, the song manages to channel Crocodiles and Heaven Up Here-era Echo and the Bunnymen — including deeply urgent and visual lyrics that describe an uneasy and fraught relationship.
Last month, I wrote about Brooklyn-based indie rock/shoegazer act Dinowalrus. Currently comprised of frontman Pete Feigenbaum, who has spent some time as a touring guitarist in Titus Andronicus; Max Tucker; Meaghan Omega; Dan Peskin; and John Atkinson, who joins the band as a touring member, the members of the band have received attention for a sound that possesses elements of post-punk, krautrock, shoegaze, synth pop and psych rock — i.e., much like the single I wrote about last month “Tides” off the band’s forthcoming full-length FAIRWEATHER. The album’s second and latest single “Light Rain” is a shimmering and swooning track — thanks to shimmering guitar chords, ethereal synths and a propulsive groove– that sounds as though it cribs from Crocodiles and Heaven Up Here-era Echo and the Bunnymen and Starfish-era The Church.
Led by its founding member and creative mastermind David Eugene Edwards, Wovenhand much like Edwards’ previous projects have a long-held reputation for intense and anthemic music that showcases Edwards’ Romantic and incredibly dramatic crooning — and for a relentless experimentation and reinvention. His previous project 16 Horsepower was well-received for a sound based around antique Americana while Wovenhand’s earliest incarnations specialized in hushed ballads; however, with the newest and most current lineup, featuring Planes Mistaken For Stars‘ Chuck French (guitar) and Neil Keener (bass), Ordy Garrison (drums) and Crime and The City Solution‘s Matthew Smith (piano, synth) the band has written and recorded some of the heaviest and most forceful material to date on their latest effort Star Treatment slated for release on September 9, 2016 through Sargent House Records globally — with the exception of Europe.
As Edwards explains, the soon-to-be released album’s title isn’t a reference to our contemporary obsession with celebrity; rather it’s a reference to the concept of astrolatry — or humanity’s enduring interest in the stars of the night sky. “It’s ethereal in its concept,” Edwards says. “There are many layers, as always. I’ve been paying attention to the stars in the sky and in literature, and it’s a theme throughout the album.” He adds, “There’s more love song style on this in general, which is nice. The idea of what love is and how it’s expressed and all these different atmospheres.” Star Treatment‘s first single and opening track “Come Brave” finds the band pairing a propulsive, rumbling and rolling drum beat, enormous power chords, Edwards crooning vocals, a swooning and urgent Romanticism and rousing, arena rock friendly-like hooks with celestial hooks in a song that sounds as though it drew from Crocodiles and Heaven Up Here-era Echo and the Bunnymen, complete with a dark and mysterious fury.
The band will be embarking on a world tour to support the album. Check out tour dates below.
09/12 COLOGNE, DE @ Gebäude 9 *
09/13 FRANKFURT, DE @ Zoom *
09/15 BERN, CH @ ISC *
09/16 ZURICH, CH @ Bogen F *
09/17 VIENNA, AT @ Flex *
09/18 BUDAPEST, HU @ A38 *
09/20 SALZBURG, AT @ Rockhouse *
09/21 MUNICH, DE @ Ampere *
09/22 LEIPZIG, DE @ UT Connewitz *
09/23 BERLIN, DE @ Heimathafen *
09/24 HAMBURG, DE – Reeperbahn Festival
09/26 ARHUS, DK @ Train *
09/27 OSLO, NO @ John Dee *
09/29 HELSINKI, FI @ Tavastia
09/30 STOCKHOLM, SE @ Nalen *
10/01 LUND, SE @ Mejeriet *
10/02 COPENHAGEN, DK @ Vega Jr. *
10/04 EINDHOVEN, NL @ Effenaar *
10/05 AMSTERDAM, NL @ Melkweg *
10/06 LEUVEN, BE @ Het Depot *
10/07 GENT, BE @ Handelsbeurs *
10/08 CHARLEROI, BE @ L’Eden *
10/10 LILLE, FR @ L’Aéronef *
10/11 PARIS, FR @ La Maroquinerie *
10/13 ORLEANS, FR @ L’Astrolabe *
10/14 GRENOBLE, FR @ La Belle Electrique *
10/15 FEYZIN, FR @ L’Epicerie Moderne *
10/16 TOULOUSE, FR @ La Rex *
10/18 LONDON, UK @ The Dome *
September Girls, who derive their name from a Big Star song – interestingly, via the Bangles – formed in 2011 and quickly recorded a number of demos and began booking gigs across both their native […]