Tag: garage rock

New Video: Ron Gallo Looks Back on a Dysfunctional Romantic Relationship in New Visuals for Album Single “Put The Kids To Bed”

Ron Gallo is a Nashville, TN-based singer/songwriter and guitarist, who is perhaps best known for his eight-year stint as the frontman of Philadelphia-based indie band Toy Soldiers, an act that initially began as a guitar and drum duo that at one point evolved into a massive 12 member collective, before settling into a quintet when the band split up in 2014. Gallo’s full-length effort Heavy Meta was released earlier this, and the album was primarily written while Gallo was still in Philadelphia, and while he was involved in a lengthy romantic relationship with a woman, who had a number of personal and emotional issues. As the story goes, when that relationship end, Gallo relocated to Nashville and finished writing the album during a period in which may arguably have been among the most transformative periods of his life, a period that he had felt was a personal reawakening and a musical rebirth.

At the time Gallo wrote and recorded songs in small batches without the intention of making a full-length album and initially without the support of a label. As Gallo explained in press notes “Coming out on the other side, I now look at my past as a hazy dream where I did not know myself or the world at all. I still don’t know anything, but I’m closer than before. There is so much to learn outside of your comfort zone.” The album’s material reportedly touches upon several themes including Gallo’s personal ideology on abstaining from drugs and alcohol, self-empowerment, domestication, dead love, not knowing yourself, mental illness and more — and although Gallo expresses a frustration with humanity and civilization, the material is balanced with an underlying hopefulness. Says Gallo, “this record comes from my frustration with humanity and myself, and from my wanting to shake us all. At my core, I’m compassionate for humanity and the sickness that we all live with, and from that comes something more constructive.” He ends by saying “Party is over — this is the beginning of true personal responsibility for ourselves and our world and so we must LIVE truth, be freaks, be fearless, be light, love and be our best selves.”

Now, as you may recall, I wrote about album single “Please Yourself,” a fuzzy and aggressive garage punk rock song consisting of fuzzy and distorted power chords, a propulsive backbeat and Gallo’s howled vocals expressing a wild urgency and frustration, as though the song’s narrator wants to violently shake everyone around him while screaming at them “Pay attention, you goddamn idiots! Stop fucking around and do something to make it right!” The album’s latest single “Put The Kids To Bed” finds Gallo and his backing band meshing jangling garage rock and psych rock while detailing the push and pull of  a hopelessly dysfunctional romantic relationship — and while rooted in an unvarnished and unflinching honesty, the song will further cement Gallo’s growing reputation for crafting incredibly hook driven rock. 

The recently released video for “Put The Kids To Bed” continues Gallo’s ongoing collaboration with director Joshua Shoemaker, and the visuals follow a dream-like logic, following Gallo as he heads to bed. Eventually a woman joins him and they place paper bags over their heads, symbolically trying to make their best face, despite a simmering hate between them. Whoa. 

New Video: Introducing the Lysergic-Inspired Visuals and Scuzzy Garage Psych Sounds of Sweden’s Baby Jesus

Comprised of founding members Fredrik Kristoffersson (guitar, vocals) and Elis Jäghammar (bass, vocals), along with Björn Axetorn (guitar) and Rasmus Högdin (drums), the Halmstad, Sweden-based quartet Baby Jesus can trace its origins to when its founding members spent several years playing in a variety of local metal and hardcore punk rock bands. Axetorn and Högdin were recruited to flesh out the project’s sound and although their sound draws from garage rock and psych rock, the material on their debut was recorded as a series of live takes in their own studio, capturing a feral, punk rock energy and paired it with fuzzy, garage psych rock. And the band quickly followed that up with tours across Sweden, France and other parts of the European Union.

Interestingly, the band’s sophomore effort, Took Our Sons Away is slated for a September 8, 2017 release through Yippee Ki Yay Records and the album, which reportedly has the band actively capturing their live sound, finds the band exploring new moods, lyrical narratives and textures, all while retaining the scuzzy and fuzzy garage punk of the preceding album; in fact, as you’ll hear on the album’s latest single “The Beat,” the Swedish quartet pairing a propulsive backbeat with layers of scuzzy power chords and howled vocals, complete with a feral and forceful immediacy and a piss, vinegar and whiskey-fueled fury. 

Shot with what looks like a combination of old VHS tape and faded Instagram filters, the recently released video for the single features footage of the band playing a show somewhere in front of psychedelic projections, hanging out and being aimless and rocking out hard and general punk rock shenanigans. 

New Video: Kick Ass with White Reaper in New Video for “Judy French”

Over the past couple of years, I’ve written quite a bit about the Louisville, KY-based JOVM mainstays White Reaper, who with the release of a blistering and urgent, self-titled EP and their critically applauded, hook-laden, breakneck full-length debut White Reaper Does It Again quickly received national attention.  After a relentless touring schedule to support their debut, the band spent the better part of the past two years or so writing and recording their sophomore effort, The World’s Best American Band, an effort that was released earlier this year. And from the album’s first single “Judy French,” the single reveals a decided change in sonic direction as the song leans heavily towards New Wave and prog rock — to my ears, the song reminds me quite a bit of The Cars “You Might Think” and Moving Pictures-era Rush while emphasizing a rousing, arena rock friendly hook but at its core, the track may be the most earnest love song they’ve released to date. 

Directed by Brandon Dermer and starring Alexandra Daddario, the recently released video for “Judy French” employs a relatively simple concept but with forceful effect, as the video quickly cuts back and forth between the members of White Reaper performing the song with Daddario presumably playing the role of the song’s Judy French, as we see her rocking out as hard as the boys in the band are; and of course, along with that are some subtly patriotic-leaning imagery to boot. 

Now, if you’ve been following this site over the past couple of years of its seven year history, you’ve come across a handful of posts featuring the Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock/garage rock trio L.A. Witch. Comprised of Sade Sanchez (lead vocals, guitar), Irita Pai (bass, backing vocals) and Ellie English (drums), the trio have developed a reputation for crafting a grungy, garage rock sound that draws from late 50s-early 60s rock,  The Pleasure Seekers, The Sonics, The Black Angels, The Brian Jonestown Massacre and others — all while bearing a resemblance to JOVM mainstay artists The Coathangers, Sharkmuffin and Death Valley Girls

Suicide Squeeze Records, the label home of The Coathangers and several others will be releasing the band’s self-titled debut on September 8, 2017, and the album’s latest single “Kill My Baby Tonight” is a sultry and swaggering murder ballad full of chugging and jangling guitar chords played through copious reverb and delay pedal. Sanchez’s sneering, venomous vocals slash through a propulsive and stormy rhythm section; but unlike any of their previously released singles, the Southern Californian trio’s latest single reveals both a steely self-assuredness and some of their most ambitious songwriting to date.

 

 

 

 

New Video: Howl with a Dancing Werewolf in the New Visuals for Dion Lunadon’s “Howl”

Perhaps best known as a member of the internationally renowned, Brooklyn based indie rock trio and JOVM mainstays A Place to Bury Strangers, the New Zealand-born, Brooklyn-based bassist Dion Lunadon has had a lengthy music career that traces its origins back to when he was a member of New Zealand-based band, The D4. During a short break in APTBS’ touring schedule, Lunadon had a sudden rush of inspiration that resulted in what he has described as a neurotic impulse to write and record a bunch of songs right there and then — and the end result was his solo debut EP, Com/Broke, an effort, which reportedly drew from the bands that inspired him in his youth, including Toy Love, The Gun Club, Gestalt and Supercar.

Lunadon’s highly-anticipated, self-titled, full-length debut is slated for a June 9, 2017 through Agitated Records. And if you had been frequenting this site over the past few months, you may recall that I wrote about the album’s first single “Fire,” a primal and furiously roaring single that draws psych rock and garage rock, revealing that while its creator is approaching middle age, he’s refusing to go quietly into that good night. The album’s second and latest single “Howl,” continues in a similar vein, meshing punk rock, psych rock and garage punk with a feral howl reminiscent of The Stooges — i.e. “1969” “No Fun” and “I Wanna Be Your Dog” — complete with a forceful, Neanderthal stomp. Certainly in a day and age in which most contemporary music is somewhat safe and packaged for convenient consumption, Lunadon’s solo work is a powerful reminder that rock should be dangerous, rebellious, loud, primal; it should inspire your most base, animal instincts — to howl, stomp, fight, fuck and repeat.

Directed by Ladytron’s Reuben Wu, the recently released music video for “Howl” features Loren Palmer, as a hipster werewolf, expressively dancing to the song in the woods and while being hilariously goofy, the visuals manage to also be as primal and forceful as the song it accompanies.

Over the past couple of months, I’ve written about the up-and-coming, Halifax, UK-based indie rock trio The Orielles. Comprised of 21-year Sidonie B. Hand-Halford (drums), her 18-year old sister Esmé Dee Hand-Halford (bass, vocals) and their 17-year-old best friend Henry Carlyle Wade (guitar, vocals), the trio have quickly developed a reputation as being one of Northern England’s “most exciting local bands of recent years,” and one of their hometown’s best-kept musical secrets — and interestingly enough, the trio can trace their origins to when the Hand-Halford sisters met Wade at a house party and bonded over a shared love of Stateside-based 90s alt rock and indie rock.

With a growing reputation and profile preceding them, Heavenly Recordings head Jeff Barrett caught the band opening for their new labelmates The Parrots in late 2016 and immediately signed them to the label. And this year looks to be a hug year for the British upstarts as they just recently finished their first UK/EU tour, and their epic, 8 plus minute track “Sugar Taste Like Salt,” which draws from psych rock, New Wave and post-punk with lyrics that reference Quentin Tarantino’s Deathproof captured both the attention of the blogosphere and this site as it reminded me quite a bit of The Mallard‘s Finding Meaning in Deference, complete with the self-assuredness and confidence of a bunch of seasoned pros.

The Halifax, UK-based trio’s latest single “I Only Bought It For The Bottle” continues in a similar vein as its predecessor as it finds the band pairing ironically delivered vocals with a psych rock and indie rock-leaning arrangement featuring swirling and shimmering guitar chords played through effects pedals, a persistent and propulsive rhythm section consisting of a boom-bap-like drumming and a tight bass line to hold it all together. Interestingly enough, lyrically speaking, the song reveals a hilarious yet astute sense of cultural and critical observation that belies their relative youth. As the band’s Esmé Dee Hand-Halford explained in press notes “The track is loosely based upon [the] Nicolas Winding Refn film The Neon Demon as it talks about the idea of how beauty has become a currency and that we no longer desire substance, yet seek things based on appearance and face value. The microcosm of this idea comes through the lyrics, which explain a story of how the subject bought a bottle because it looked really nice and tasty, but it actually tasted like shit.” Certainly, in an age where the crude, ostentatious, ignorant know-nothings have the power of over millions of lives and yet repeatedly remind everyone of their idiocy, greed and selfishness, the song is absolutely fitting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site off and on over the past two or three years or so, you may have come across a post or two featuring the Gothenburg, Sweden-based punk quartet LaDIDa, an act that over its time together had received attention both across Scandinavia and the European Union for their Dadist and manic take on punk rock, which frequently would include the use of singing saws, melodica and stylophone paired with the prototypical punk rock arrangement of guitar, bass, drums and vocals. Along with that, several blogs have compared the band’s frontperson Britta Persson to Yeah Yeah YeahsKaren O., and that shouldn’t be surprising as Perssson’s vocals manage to evoke a similar bratty and snotty in-your-face/don’t give a fuck attitude, an aware and confident sensuality and a feral urgency within a turn of a phrase.

After the release of “You Got It,” the band’s most straightforward, garage rock-leaning song, a song that reminded me quite a bit of the arena friendly sound of The Kills, The Black Keys and others, the quartet has decided to go on a hiatus. And as LaDIDa’s Rat Westlake explained in an email to me “Me and Bea [Britta Persson] often found ourselves sitting in my little studio room with ideas and no other band members around, so we started getting stuff down using our silvery computer pal to sort of the rhythm section (with a little help from me). It turned out pretty good! So we decided to kick off a duo — if we do not count the aforementioned little silvery chum. Et voila . . . The Cherokee Death Cats.” Persson’s and Westlake’s debut single as duo, “Read my lips” is a churning, scuzzy, propulsive, lo-fi leaning bit of garage rock reminiscent of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Raveonettes, The Cummies and others that subtly nods at New Wave and post punk, complete with a rousingly anthemic hook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Formed in 1964 by five American GIs station in Gelnhausen, Germany — Gary Burger, Larry Clark, Eddie Shaw, Dave Day and Roger Johnston — as The Torquays, before a name change to The Monks, the garage rock/avant garde rock quintet had quickly become bored of the already cemented, traditional rock format, and as a result, they were inspired to create what was considered a highly experimental sound and aesthetic comprised of hypnotic and driving rhythms, which minimalized the role of melody, innovative sound manipulation, copious feedback, shrill vocals and guitarist David Day’s frequent use of the six string banjo. They were also well known for their shocking appearance as they would frequently dress up like Catholic monks, complete with black habits, cinctures tied around their waists and their hair worn in partial tonsures.  And although they horrified and baffled audiences of their day, in the 50 years since their last known release, the members of the American-born, German-based quintet are now largely considered pioneers both of the avant garde movement and of punk rock, as their socially charged material — material, which had the band voicing objections to the Vietnam War and criticizing what they viewed as the increasing dehumanization of modern society and modern life.

As The Monks, the American-born, German-based quintet released a handful of singles during 1966-1967 — most notably “Complication,” which coincided with the release of their only full-length album Black Monk Time. Though the material released during that period achieved limited commercial success or attention, over the past few years, the band has become a cult-favorite act, thanks to a newfound interest in Black Monk Time by collectors and music obsessives looking for art rock and psych rock of the 60s and 70s, and appearances on several compilation albums, including Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968 — and along with that bands like The Dead Kennedys and The Beastie Boys have publicly cited The Monks as an influence on them.

With the release of 1999’s Five Upstarts Americans, a collection of rarities, B-sides and demo’d tracks from the Black Monk Time sessions, the members of the band reunited for a reunion show and a series of sporadic tours throughout the 2000s. For the better part of five decades, it was assumed that The Monks quietly split up after a handful of releases; however in a strange bit of a serendipity, the folks at Third Man Records were sent a treasure trove of unreleased and barely released, original photos of the band, newspaper clippings, business cards, letterhead, contracts, postcards and analog tapes, which contained unreleased material recorded sometime in early 1967, sometime around the time of the recording sessions of their final single “Love Can Tame the Wild”/”He Went Down to the Sea,” and after hours in the Top Ten Club, just before the band’s breakup.

From what the folks at Third Man Records could determine, the Hamburg Recordings 1967 EP, the EP’s first single “I’m Watching You” would have most likely been recorded on February 28, 1967 during the same sessions in which they recorded their final single — and while sounding completely of it era, nodding at the blue-eyed soul of The Righteous Brothers, the mod rock of The Who and The Kinks, as well as The Beach Boys and The Doors, the song possesses a swooning urgency that feels wild and unhinged, evoking the thoughts of someone who’s madly, desperate in love; but just under the surface, there’s an obsessive menace, as though the narrator may stalking his object of affection.