Tag: garage punk

Live Footage: The Mystery Lights Perform Material off “Too Much Tension!” at Paste Studios

Comprised of founding members Mike Brandon and L.A. Solano with Alex Q. Amini and Zach Butler, the New York-based quartet The Mystery Lights have received attention across the blogosphere for an old-timey garage rock/garage psych sound and aesthetic that recalls The Who Sings My Generation-era The Who, The Animals, Raccoon Fighter, The Black Angels and 70s art punk — and for being the the first rock act to sign with Daptone Records subsidiary Wick Records.

Interestingly, the band can trace its origins back to Salinas, CA where Brandon and Solano grew up, met and played in a nubmer of different local bands in their teens before relocating to New York. The band’s lineup solidified with the addition of Alex Amini, Kevin Harris and Noah Kohll. And despite lineup changes, the band initially developed a word-of-mouth reputation over the period of a few years for explosive live shows across town. Naturally, those live shows helped the band develop their sound and approach. 

2016 saw the release of the band’s self-titled debut, which they supposed with a wild array of touring, including the now-prerequisite stop at SXSW. Over the past couple of years, the members of The Mystery Lights have been relentlessly playing shows everywhere — and they’ve been busy writing and recording, their Wayne Gordon-produced sophomore album Too Much Tension! Recorded at Daptone Records’ famed House of Soul Studios, the recently released album finds the band digging deeper into their influences to enrich their sound — without echoing the past. Thematically, the album touches upon substance abuse, self-care and the recognition of happiness only once it’s lost, imbued with a post-modern anxiety.  

The New York-based band was recently invited to Paste Studios at Manhattan Center to perform material off the new album that included the fed-up anthem “I’m So Tired (of Living in the City),” the tense and uneasy “Someone Else Is In Control,” the slow-burning The Animals-like ballad “Watching the News, Gives Me The Blues,” and the rollocking “Traces” — and all of the tracks performed at the live session were delivered with the raw, fiery intensity of their live set.

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Currently comprised of founding members Laila Hashemi (keys, vocals) and Lexi Funston (guitar, vocals) along with Staz Lindes (bass, vocals) and David Ruiz (drums, vocals), the Los Angeles-based punk act The Paranoyds can trace their origins to the longtime friendship of its founding members, who met when they were both in preschool. Eventually moving from the playground to the practice room, the band’s founding duo met Lindes and Ruiz, who joined the band in 2015.

Since becoming a full-fledged band in 2015. the Los Angeles-based punk quartet have  crafted material with the gritty spunk and dark playfulness of a cult-classic splatter film while developing what they’ve described as a “sister vocal act,” that effortlessly moves from scuzzy surf-pop to power chord-based garage rock. Interestingly, the members of the band have generally kept a low profile on social media, instead keeping in the old-school punk tradition of hitting the road, playing shows and kicking ass wherever they go; in fact, over the past few years, they’ve built up a reputation as an in-demand opener, opening for the likes of DIVV, Albert Hammond, Jr., Sunflower Bean and BRONCHO.

Slated for a July 12, 2019 release through Suicide Squeeze Records, the band’s “Hungry Sam”/”Trade Our Sins” 7 inch is a sort of one-off single that finds the band playfully expanding upon their sound and approach, before the release of more new material and a West Coast tour with blogosphere darlings Tacocat. “Trade Our Sins” is a slow-burning apocalyptic waltz centered around a simple arrangement of guitar, organs and drums that focuses on two lovers, in a now-or-never moment to share decadent, sinful delights before the end of everything. And while self-assured in a fashion that recalls JOVM mainstays The Coathangers, the song manages a sultry coquettishness.

Check out the tour dates below.

Tour Dates:

06/11/19 – Seattle, WA @ Belltown Yacht Club

06/12/19 – Spokane, WA @ The Bartlett w/ Tacocat

06/13/19 – Boise, ID @ Neurolux w/ Tacocat

06/14/19 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court w/ Tacocat

06/15/19 – Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge w/ Tacocat

06/17/19 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada w/ Tacocat

06/18/19 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall (upstairs) w/ Tacocat

06/19/19 – Austin, TX @ Barracuda (outside) w/ Tacocat

06/21/19 – Santa Fe, NM @ Meow Wolf w/ Tacocat

06/22/19 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar w/ Tacocat

06/23/19 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah w/ Tacocat

06/25/19 – Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theater w/ Tacocat

 

Over the past year or so, I’ve written quite a bit about the London-based garage punk quartet The Cavemen, and as you may recall, the band can trace its origins to when its founding members, Paul Caveman (vocals), Jack Caveman (guitar, vocals), Nick Caveman (bass) and Jake Caveman (drums) met attending high school in Auckland, New Zealand. Reportedly, the members of the band bonded over a shared love of sniffing glue and wild rock ‘n’ roll. After spending several years drinking and loitering in their hometown’s basements, graveyards and parking lots, they honed their sound, eventually spending the better part of 2014-2015 recording their full-length debut. Interestingly, their debut album received attention locally for their ability to craft furious, face-melting power chord-based punk, inspired by The Ramones, The CrampsThe Stooges, and The MC5. Thematically, the material found the band making references about grave-robbing, necrophilia and other perverse, Troma Films-inspired shit but with a sneering sense of humor.

Just two weeks before the band was about to relocate to London, they went on a national graveyard tour that became infamous for its tackiness and for being ill-fated: the band’s Nick Caveman died in a tragic car accident, which forced the cancellation of the rest of the tour. Since then, Dirty Water Records released their debut across the European Union and elsewhere — and as a result of album single “Stand By Your Ghoul” and their “Burn Out For Love” 7 inch, the now London-based received international attention for boozy and filthy punk rippers.

They built upon their growing reputation for old-school-inspired punk rippers with the release of last year’s Nuke Earth and the “Lowlife” 7 inch, which featured the Johnny Thunders‘ “Born to Lose,” Highway to Hell-era AC/DC and New York Dolls-like “Lowlife.” Interestingly, this year has been a rather busy year for the London-based punk rockers, as they quickly followed the “Lowlife” 7 inch with the breakneck, filthy, troglodyte stomp of “My Baby Knows.” Centered by buzzing power chords, a rousing, mosh pit friendly hook, shouted vocals and a boozy Chuck Berry-like solo, the track is frenzied and furious take on ’77 era punk, compete with Troma Films-like lyrics.

 

 

 

 

 

Consisting of Accorinrin ( vocal, guitar), Yoyoyoshie (guitar, vocals), Hirochan (bass, vocals) and Kahokiss (drums, vocals), the Kyoto, Japan-based garage punk act Otoboke Beaver (おとぼけビ~バ~ in Japanese) trace their origins to when they met while beiner g members of Kyoto University‘s music club. The Japanese garage punk quartet quickly built a profile both locally and nationally for pairing incredibly dexterous musicianship with Accorinrin’s confrontational stage presence; but when Damnably Records released the Okoshiyasu!! Otoboke Beaver compilation, the Kyoto-based quartet received airplay internationally from the likes of BBC Radio 6′s Gideon Coe and Tom Ravenscroft, XFM’s John Kennedy, as well as praise from the likes of Pitchfork, NPRi-D and The Fader.

Building upon a rapidly growing international profile, the members of the band made critically applauded and attention-grabbing appearances at SXSW and FujiRock Festival, played a sold out show at London‘s 100 Club — and their Love Is Short 7 inch charted in the UK for 4 weeks. Last year, the band went on a tour of the UK that was bookmarked by slots at Coachella. The up-and-coming band’s newest album ITEKOMA HITS is slated for an April 26 2019 release through their longtime label home Damnably Records, and from the album’s first two singles “Anata Watashi Daita Ato Yome No Meshi” and “Don’t light my fire,” you’ll see why they’re so buzzworthy: their feral rippers draw from from noise punk, no wave, prog rock, riot grrrl-era punk in a way that bear a resemblance to Bo Ningen while being defiantly feminist.

 

 

 

New Audio: JOVM Mainstay Jon Spencer Releases Kaleidoscopic Visuals for Bruising New Ripper “Beetle Boots”

Best known as a founding member of renowned local alt rock acts The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Boss Hog, Heavy Trash and Pussy Galore, Jon Spencer released his long-awaited solo debut Spencer Sings the Hits last November, and as you may recall, the Bill Skibbe-produced album, finds the renowned guitarist and frontman embracing a DIY approach while collaborating with Quasi‘s and Heatmiser’s Sam Coombes and M. Sord. So far I’ve written about two album singles — the blistering and abrasive ripper “Do The Trash Can,” a track centered around a snarling, garage punk attitude, abrasive and enormous power chords and an oddly danceable groove and “I Got The Hits,” an equally explosive ripper, featuring abrasive power chords, a shit ton of double entendres and a propulsive, junkyard groove that’s danceable yet mosh pit friendly. 

Spencer Sings the Hits’ latest single “Beetle Boots” is a straightforward garage rock ripper, featuring around a downright nasty, snarling, power chord-based guitar riff, a propulsive groove and shouted call and response lyrics centered around picking up a guitar, joining a band and trying to kick ass and take over the world — but with the reminder that being in a band ain’t easy; that if you come in faking the funk, the game will chew you up and spit you out. 

Directed and edited by Andrew Hooper, featuring photos from Jon Spencer, Michael Lavine, Ebru Yildiz, Patrick Houdek, Myranda Baert, and Bob Coscarelli, art by Katie Skelly Visual and visual elements by The Verite Messengers, the recently released video is a trippy and kaleidoscopic treatment that draws from found footage of 60s psych pop concert films, young bands jamming, photos of Spencer and his bandmates — and all of it serves as a powerful reminder: that being in a rock ‘n’ roll band is fucking awesome. 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Oh Sees Release Nightmarish and Hallucinogenic Visuals for “Enrique El Cobrador” off “Smote Reverser”

Throughout this site’s eight year history, I’ve written quite a bit about the Bay Area-based  Oh Sees (a.k.a. Thee Oh Sees, OCS, The Oh Sees, The Orange County Sound, Orinoka Crash Suite and other variations) — and as you may recall, the band which is led by its ridiculously prolific creative mastermind John Dwyer has long-held reputation for a wide-ranging experimentalism that has seen the band dabble and bounce between lysergic-tinged folk, furious and sweaty garage rippers, sci-fi driven krautrock and more. And with each successive album generally being completely different from its predecessors, it makes the band difficult to pigeonhole.

Last year’s Orc was a muscular and darkly inventive turn for the current lineup which features Tim Hellman (bass), Dan Rincon (drums) and Paul Quattrone (drums), as the material balanced a trippy, cosmic vibe with some of their most hard-hitting and punishing tendencies. Reaffirming their reputation for being unpredictable, the members of the band quickly followed that up with Memory of a Cut Off Head, an album that found the band revisiting the sound and approach of their early years, best known as their “quiet” period; in fact, returning to one of the band’s earlier names — OCS — was meant to herald a return to –the lower end of the decibel meter. 

Last year, Dwyer and company did two shows with their quieter and lush incarnation at The Chapel in San Francisco and those live shows eventually produced a handmade, mail-order only live album OCS Live in San Francisco that was released through Rock Is Hell Records. Interestingly, the album will be re-issued and made available in a condensed 2 LP set and to support that effort, the OCS will play a limited performance run of mellow OCS tunes at The Murmrr Theatre in Brooklyn, as an octet featuring members of the early lineup, including Brigid Dawson (vocals), Tim Hellman (bass), Paul Quattrone (drums), Tom Dolas (keys), Eric Clark (violin), Heather Lockie (viola) and Emily Elkin (cello). (You can check those dates below.)

Also, Castle Face Records will be re-issuing a string of Oh Sees out-of-print Oh Sees albums from the quiet era beginning with The Cool Death of Island Raiders in February 2019. In the meantime, the band has released live footage of them performing the trippy and epic burner “Block of Ice,” that features some wild and unhinged guitar playing centered around a propulsive and steady groove. Quieter? I’m not so sure, as this one as a buzzing, garage psych quality; but either way I’m looking forward to catching Dwyer and company live. 

But before that, the ridiculously prolific Dwyer and his Oh Sees/OCS released Smote Reverser earlier this year, and album single “Enrique El Cobrador” finds the band meshing classic psych rock and prog rock in a way that brings JOVM mainstays King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard but with a muscular and frightening sense of menace at its core, as the song is centered by a motorik-like groove, explosive blasts of guitar, arpeggiated keys and Dwyer delivering his vocals with a guttural snarl. Directed by Alexis Giroux and featuring animation from Giroux and Massimo Colarusso is a hallucinogenic nightmare of murder, bloodshed and bright colors and other wild imagery. 

TOUR DATES
12/15/2018 Murmrr Theatre – Brooklyn, New York
12/16/2018 Murmrr Theatre – Brooklyn, New York

Priors is a Montreal, Quebec, Canada-based punk rock outfit that specializes in relentlessly pummeling garage punk with a dystopian attitude. The Canadian garage punk band’s soon-to-released sophomore album New Pleasure is slated for a release next Friday through Slovenly Records, and the album is reportedly a major step forward for the band — and as you’ll hear from album singles “Heart Strings” and “Provoked,” the band’s sound is centered around lacerating, fuzzy power chord-based riffs, rapid fire drums, skittering analog synths and punchily delivered shouts and howls — and interestingly, the album’s first two singles manage to evoke the creeping sense of anxious  fury that we’re all feeling on an increasing basis, as we live in a mad and delusional world in which our “leaders” have relativized commonly accepted fact, and accept all the things that will lead to our annihilation.

 

New Video: The Wildly Psychedelic Visuals for Jon Spencer’s “Do The Trash Can”

Best known as a founding member of New York-based alt rock acts, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Boss Hog, Heavy Trash and Pussy Galore, Jon Spencer’s solo debut album Spencer Sings the Hits is slated for a November 9, 2018 through In The Red Records. And as you may recall, the Bill Skibbe-produced album, fiQnds the renowned guitarist and frontman embracing a DIY approach while collaborating with Quasi‘s and Heatmiser’s Sam Coombes and M. Sord.

“Do The Trash Can,” the album’s propulsive and blistering first single will further cement Spencer’s long-held reputation for a scuzzy and abrasive sound that draws from the blues, industrial rock and metal centered around a snarling, garage punk attitude, caustic power chords and an oddly danceable yet mosh pit friendly groove — while kicking ass and taking names. Interestingly, the recently released video continues Spencer’s ongoing collaboration with director Alex Italics and it’s a wild, psychedelic nightmare that subtly comments on American consumerism and our predilection for fast food-like products. 

New Video: Plague Vendor’s Frenetic New Single “Locomotive”

Over the years, I’ve written a bit about the Whittier, CA-based punk rock quartet Plague Vendor, and as you may recall the act which is comprised of Brandon Blaine (vocals), Luke Perine (drums), Michael Perez (bass) and Jay Rogers (guitar) formed back in 2009 — and in a short period of time, the members of Plague Vendor developed a reputation for frenetic and raucous live sets. Naturally, as a result of their reputation they played an increasing number of shows, and along with that they had begun to write an increasing batch of material. Those early live shows lead to 2014’s debut album debut Free to Eat, an album that has been described as terse, dark and thrashing post-punk.

2016’s Stuart Sikes-produced sophomore effort Bloodsweat landed at number 2 on this site’s Best of List, and from album singles “ISUA (I Stay Up Anyway)“, “Jezebel” and “No Bounty,” the album was full of frenetic, furious and anthemic punk performed with a blistering and undeniable swagger. Up until recently, two years had passed without any original material from the members of Plague Vendor; but before joining renowned producer John Congleton to begin work on their untitled third album, the members of Plague Vendor, along with Brett Gurewitz and engineer Morgan Stratton entered Sunset Sound Studio 2, where they spent a furious two days writing, completing and recording two songs in two days — the first single was the anxious, raw and stomping “I Only Speak in Fiction.” As the band’s Luke Perine explained in press notes at the time, the writing and recording of “I Only Speak in Fiction” helped revitalize the band and restore their focus. “As a band, we grow anxious—often depressed to some degree—during our downtime,” Perine said in press notes. “Having these two days to get in the studio ahead of working on the next album released a lot of that tension. It became a more productive two days than we expected, as we were only planning on recording one song. I think we are reaching a higher level of focus together as we go into this next album.”

The breakneck “Locomotive,” Plague Vendor’s latest single was recorded during the “I Only Speak in Friction” sessions, and track is centered by rapid fire four-on-the-floor drumming, brooding guitar chords, a chugging bass line, a mosh pit friendly hook and Blaine’s vocals, which shift from crooning to manic howling — and while the song possesses a primal and furious energy at its core, the new single reveals a band that has grown increasingly confident in their songwriting and approach, decidedly expanding upon the sound that has won them attention. 

The accompanying video captures the band at their best — live, frenetic, furious and downright rousing. 

New Video: Jon Spencer Releases Dread-Filled Visuals for Scuzzy and Groovy “I Got the Hits”

Best known as the founding member of New York-based alt rock acts, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Boss Hog, Heavy Trash and Pussy Galore, Jon Spencer will be releasing his first solo album, Spencer Sings the Hits! on November 9, 2018 through In The Red Records, and the Bill Skibbe-produced album, finds the renowned guitarist and frontman embracing a DIY approach while collaborating with Quasi‘s and Heatmiser’s Sam Coombes and M. Sord. Now, as you may recall, earlier this year, I wrote about “Do The Trash Can.” Spencer Sings the Hits!’ first single, a blistering, scuzzy and abrasive ripper that drew from blues, industrial rock and metal centered snarling, garage punk attitude, caustic power chords and an oddly danceable groove.

Unsurprisingly, the album’s second and latest single is the swaggering and scuzzy industrial, garage blues “I Got the Hits,” and much like it’s predecessor, it’s an explosive ripper centered around explosive and abrasive guitar chords, a shit ton of double entendres and a propulsive junkyard groove that’s manages to be danceable and mosh pit friendly.

Directed by Alex Italics, the recently released video for “I Got the Hits” delves into the darkest and murkiest corners of America, and throughout the video we see a completely immobilized and helpless Jon Spencer, as life and sinister and shadowy figures lurk move around. “Over the past year I kept seeing wonderful and strange music videos that had one thing in common: all were directed by an Alex Italics,” Spencer explains in press notes. “I determined to track down this young auteur with the aim of getting a similar cinematic sensation for my new album Spencer Sings The Hits!. Alex turned out to be a mild-mannered young man from Tucson, Arizona living in Southern California. I gave him a free hand to pick the song and devise a treatment. The result is the scary slice-of-life that you can now see for yourself.”

“I love the creepy contrast with the song’s punk abandon,” Spencer continues. “We filmed at a rented house in Santa Ana. At the end of each day, after the nearby nightly Disneyland fireworks had faded and the cast and crew had left, I would sleep in a bunk bed in the child’s bedroom. Turns out doing an entire video laying on the floor is harder than it looks!” 

Adds the video’s director, “nothin’ says ‘rock and roll’ like suburban angst, existential dread, and shadowy figures!”