Tag: Raccoon Fighter

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.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site for some time, you’d know that over the past couple of years of this site’s history, I’ve written quite a bit about the Madrid, Spain-based indie rock trio The Parrots, and as you may recall, the band are one of the leading members of a collection of Spanish bands, who write lyrics almost exclusive in English; in fact, with the release of  “I Did Something Wrong”  off their Aden Arabie EP, the Spanish trio received both national and international attention for a boozy and riotous, garage rock/garage psych rock sound that has been compared favorably to Thee Oh Sees Black LipsRaccoon FighterHigh WaistedWhite Mystery and others.

Back in 2015, NME named the Madrid-based trio as one of  SXSW‘s “buzziest bands” and since then the members of The Parrots have been pretty busy: they followed up that year’s SXSW with the release of their critically applauded EP Weed for The Parrots, a critically applauded return to SXSW, which resulted in being signed by renowned indie label Heavenly Recordings, who released their full-length debut Los Ninos Sin Miedos, which featured the shambling and boozy Let’s Do It Again,” and the barn-burning, 60s garage rock-like  “A Thousand Ways.” Since then, the band has been working on their much-anticipated sophomore album but they’ve managed to release a one-off single, a shambling, ramshackle, garage rock cover of Latin trap artist Bad Bunny‘s smash hit “Soy Peor,” and as the band explains “We’ve always been big fans of urban music, trap and hip-hop. Not long ago, these styles started to be everywhere again in Spain, and with it we discovered many interesting new acts, both Spanish and Latin American. One of them was Bad Bunny, from Puerto Rico. The first song of his that we listened to was “Soy Peor” and we loved it. Since we started the band, we’ve always liked to cover songs that we like, usually it’s from bands that are more similar to our style — rock ‘n’ roll, punk . . . It’s the first time we picked a song in another style and tried to make it ours. The idea came up in a rehearsal, talking about choosing a new cover for a forthcoming show. People really dug it and a few weeks later we went to Paco Loco’s studio to record it.”

The Spanish band’s latest single “My Love Is Real” is the second official single from the band’s forthcoming sophomore album, and it’s a slow burning, old-timey rock ‘n’ roll ballad that sounds as though it should be played at a high school dance or a high school-era house party; but with a subtly sketchy late night vibe, that evokes the loneliness of of 3am-4am when most of the partiers have gone home, and you are by yourself drinking with your sorrows and regrets. Sonically and thematically, the song suggests the band growing up a bit but while still retaining the scuzz and grit that caught everyone’s attention. “With this in mind, we recorded the song at home and sent it to Tom Furse, he completely got the vibe and helped us create atmosphere we imagined.” Furse adds, “Joe Meek was my point of reference with ‘My Love Is Real’ – I used his guidance via Ouija board for a point of balance between lo-fi scuzz and the naive pop stylings of the song – which ended up with doing things like using the sounds of surf in the drums and doing crazy piano improvisations in the wrong key which I would speed up in the tape machine to get it in tune. My basic tenant was – ‘what would Joe do?”

Directed by Hector Herce, the recently released video for “My Love Is Real” continues an ongoing collaboration between the director and the band, with the video being something of a continuation from the preceding video for “Girl.” As Herce explains “My Love Is Real’ is set in imaginary 90’s. It is a brother video of ‘Girl’, previous single of The Parrots and follows the adventures of a loving trio. It is more metaphorical than narrative and more aesthetic than ethical. Codes that speak of romantic and human relations are hidden on its images.”

 

New Video: Introducing the Garage Rock Sounds of Up-and-Coming Californian Act Clean Spill

Comprised of Pat Curren (vocals, guitar), Charlie Fawcett (drums), Cameron Crabtree (guitar) and Geoff Shea (bass), the Santa Monica, CA-based indie rock quintet Clean Spill can take their origins to when Curren met Fawcett when they were ten year olds participating in a local surfing competition. Curren met Crabree while in high school and Shea, was a local barber, who was into the same music as the rest of the band’s members. As Crabtree recalls, “I decided to get a haircut from him and talk to him over the haircut about [playing with us]. If he would have farmed the haircut, we wouldn’t have given him the position. But it was a great haircut, so it worked out.”

Back in 2014 Fawcett leveraged some connections at surf company Hurley to assist the members of the band with studio time to record an album worth of demos that they dubbed Dear, Anger — and interestingly enough, what was initially meant to be a jam session quickly became their first professionally engineered and mixed EP, 2015’s XO, an effort that found the band’s sound and aesthetic centered around surfing and boogie boarding culture; however, as they played more shows, including playing with Kitten and touring France with Betty the Shark, which featured Curren’s half sister, the up-and-coming band discovered themselves, while realizing a desire to push their sound and approach towards the garage rock-inspired sounds of early period The Strokes and Arctic Monkeys, as well as The Growlers and The Allah Las. Simultaneously, the band was picking up lessons and advice from their tour mates abut the gear they needed to make the sound they wanted, as well as the hustle they needed to make a name for themselves. “All these artists were so hard working, knew exactly what it took for sound,” Crabtree explains in press notes. “We didn’t really know much about music gear in general. We’ve played with such a wide variety of bands, we gained such a unique perspective on fans of music, too, in that it was very rewarding to see that people still liked rock music in general.”

After collaborating with a series of different producers, their manager hooked them up with producer Hanni El Khatib. And as the story goes, back in 2016, the members of the band entered Jonny Bell’s Jazzcats Studio with the intention of recording a new single, and were instantly taken by the amount and variety of vintage gear in the studio. Experimenting with gear they never dreamt of using, and guided by El Khatib and Bell. the band began refining and honing the sound that they felt they were mean tot have. “Hanni’s style has a lot of radical, outrageous noise,” Pat Curren says in press notes. “We went a little bit down that way.” Throughout the recording sessions, the band wanted their recorded sound to hew close to their live sound, so they recorded the material live to tape, which gives the material a “you-are-there-in-the-room” immediacy. The end result became their soon-to-be-released EP Nothing’s on My Mind, an effort that features “Rolling,” a song that Curren and Crabtree wrote several years before — with a slightly different, more upbeat arrangement centered around shimmering guitar chords and a propulsive backbeat; but ironically, the song’s emotional center is the heartbreak over the confusing and bitter ending of a romantic relationship. Sonically, the song manages to be anachronistic — it’s indebted to the 60s, the 00s and this decade simultaneously, and in a way that brings Raccoon Fighter and others to mind.

Once they finished the EP, the band began to tour to support it until Shea broke his arm, which slowed down the momentum they had built up and without a record and a tour, they were in a hiatus; however, they decided to take control of their own destiny and they will be self-releasing the EP two years after its completion. “I think this will actually be the start of us hustling,” Crabtree says, noting the band has written multiple albums worth of music in the downtime. “Because we went through all that, we learned so much. Once this comes out we’re going to be on fire. Recording, shows — everything.”

The recently released video follows a young, extremely Californian couple that features the band’s frontman in a series of flashbacks — first when they’re adorable and through a series of bitter fighting, with footage of the band performing the song in a prototypical Californian background split the band brooding and goofing off throughout, creating a fitting balance between the heartache and breezy vibes within the song. 

New Audio: Renowned, Spanish Indie Rock Act The Parrots Release a Shambling, Garage Rock Take on Latin Trap Star Bad Bunny’s Smash Hit “Soy Peor”

Over the past couple of years, I’ve written a bit about the Madrid, Spain-based indie rock trio The Parrots. Comprised of Diego Garcia (vocals, guitar), Alejandro de Lucas (bass) and Daniel “Larry” Balboa (drums), the members of The Parrots are among the forefront of a collection of Spanish artists, who sing in English and Spanish that have received attention both nationally and internationally; in fact, with the release of “I Did Something Wrong”  off their Aden Arabie EP, were praised for a boozy and riotous garage rock/garage psych rock sound comparable to Thee Oh Sees,  Black Lips, Raccoon Fighter, High Waisted, White Mystery and others.

Adding to a growing profile internationally, back in 2015, NME named the Madrid-based trio as one of  SXSW‘s “buzziest bands” and since then the members of The Parrots have managed to be pretty busy — they followed up with a critically applauded EP Weed for The Parrots, made a repeat appearance at SXSW before signing to renowned indie label Heavenly Recordings with whom the band released their full-length debut  Los Ninos Sin Miedos, which featured the shambling and swooning “Let’s Do It Again,” a single reportedly inspired by the members of the band drinking beers and Horchata, eating Moroccan delicacies and the feelings of profound friendly and loyalty they all felt towards each other — and in some way, the song evokes the sort of feelings that are brought about when you’re drinking way too much and having ridiculous adventures with your pals. Album single “A Thousand Ways” was largely inspired by that moment in one’s youth when you may be most tempted by the forbidden and unknown, and when you may drop or avoid responsibilities of any sort. “This is the moment when, along with your friends, childhood dies,” the members of the band said. And much like its predecessor, the shambling, garage rock barnburner managed to remind me of Raccoon Fighter and 60s garage rock. 
Some time has passed since I’ve last written about them but as it turns out while the band is currently working on the much-anticipated follow up to their full-length debut, the members of the band have released a one-off, ramshackle, shambling, garage rock cover of Latin trap artist Bad Bunny’s smash hit “Soy Peor,” and as the band explains “We’ve always been big fans of urban music, trap and hip-hop. Not long ago, these styles started to be everywhere again in Spain, and with it we discovered many interesting new acts, both Spanish and Latin American. One of them was Bad Bunny, from Puerto Rico. The first song of his that we listened to was “Soy Peor” and we loved it. Since we started the band, we’ve always liked to cover songs that we like, usually it’s from bands that are more similar to our style — rock ‘n’ roll, punk . . . It’s the first time we picked a song in another style and tried to make it ours. The idea came up in a rehearsal, talking about choosing a new cover for a forthcoming show. People really dug it and a few weeks later we went to Paco Loco’s studio to record it. We have all been through one or several relationships where things didn’t end up well, you realize you are not the same, you go out partying and blame it on your ex but, maybe, it was all your own fault.”

New Video: Prettiest Eyes Return with a Scorching and Trippy Visuals for New Single “Don’t Call”

Comprised of San Juan, Puerto Rico-born, Los Angeles, CA-based Pachy (drums, vocals) and Marcos (bass) and the Ciudad Juarez, Mexico-born, Los Angeles, CA-based Paco, the members of synth punk/psych punk/psych rock trio Prettiest Eyes can trace their origins back to San Juan, where Pachy and Marcos played in a number of local bands before they all eventually relocated to Los Angeles to seriously pursue music. And within their first two years together, the trio realized two EPs  and their 2015 debut Looks, all of which featured sleazy, sludgy, psychedelic-tinged, garage punk rooted around throbbing bass chords, quick-paced drumming, buzzing keys and lyrics shouted and howled in Spanish and English — and while fitting comfortably among contemporary retro-styled, psych and garage rock bands like  Raccoon Fighter, The Yetis, The Black Angels and others, the band manages to set themselves apart, as a result of their material, which frequently possesses a sweaty, primal and downright dangerous urgency, with razor sharp hooks and a retro-futuristic vibe. 

Now, it’s been some time since I’ve personally written about them but as it turns out, the band recently released their sophomore effort Pools and from the album’s latest single “Don’t Call,” the San Juan, Puerto Rico-born, Los Angeles, CA-based trio will further cement their reputation for crafting sleazy, noisy, primal punk rock that throbs with a muscular insistence. It’s nasty and it’s weird as fuck but absolutely necessary and mosh pit worthy while mischievously nodding at John Dwyer’s impressively prolific work. 

Directed, shot and edited by Laura Sofia-Perez,  the recently released video for “Don’t Call” is equally as intense as the phone, further emphasizing it’s gritty psychedelia — in some way it feels like a wild and fucked up acid trip. 

New Video: The Artful and Menacing Visuals for The Parrots’ “A Thousand Ways”

Adding to a growing international profile, last year NME named the Spanish trio as one of SXSW’s “buzziest bands” and since then the members of The Parrots have been incredibly busy — they’ve released a critically applauded EP Weed for The Parrots, have toured relentlessly and played an incredible 14 shows at this year’s SXSW (in which they were later signed by renowned indie label Heavenly Recordings). Building on the growing buzz around the band, the trio spent a week at Paco Loco Studios in El Puerto de Santa Maria in Cadiz, Spain, where they recorded their latest effort Los Ninos Sin Miedos. And if you had been frequenting this site earlier this year, you may recall that I wrote about album single “Let’s Do It Again,” a single reportedly inspired by the members of the band drinking beers and Horchata, eating Moroccan delicacies and feelings of deep friendship and loyalty and as a result the song possesses a shuffling, intoxicated feel of elation and adventure — the sort that would come about when you’ve drunkenly stumbled along a new best friend. Sonically, the single furthered their reputation for crafting raw, shaggy garage rock that channeled the sounds of 1961-1965.

As the band explains, their latest single “A Thousand Ways” draws from the key moment in one’s teenage years, when you are probably most tempted by the forbidden and unknown, and you then avoid responsibilities and complex responsibilities. “This is the moment when, along with your friends, childhood dies,” the band says. Interestingly, the latest single continues along the same veins of the album’s previously released single while nodding at other contemporary garage rock acts like Raccoon Fighter and others, as the band pairs Garcia’s howled vocals mangling the English language with an unvarnished and wild earnestness with buzzing guitars and a propulsive backbeat. And the band does this while evoking a stoner elation and paranoia.

Directed by frequent collaborator Pablo Amores, the recently released video for “A Thousand Ways” is a cinematically shot video that’s one part perfume ad, one part art film, one part Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange that ends in a gorgeous and surreal fashion.

Comprised of founding members Erin Jenkins and Mathieu Blanchard and recent recruits Chris Dadge (bass), who has had stints in Lab Coast, Alvvays and Chad VanGaalen‘s backing band; and renowned singer/songwriter and guitarist Samantha Savage Smith joining a guitarist, Canadian band Crystal Eyes can trace their origins to the melancholic dream pop the duo wrote while nomadically bouncing back and forth between Tofino, British Columbia and Halifax, Nova Scotia — dream pop that the band’s founding duo has claimed has drawn from Francoise Hardy, Guided by Voices.  As a relatively constituted quartet, the band has continued to tour across their native Canada, including consecutive appearances at Pop Montreal.

The band’s latest effort The Female Imagination was written while the band spent time on a lake island in rural Ontario and was recorded on a Tascam 388. And according to the band, the album thematically focuses on and explores the other side of ourselves that we can never quite seem tor reach. The album’s latest single “Already Gone” consists dreamy and ethereal harmonies with layers of shimmering guitars played through copious amounts of reverb and delay pedal and a persistent, driving rhythm and in some way, the song sounds as though it were equally influenced by 60s garage psych — i.e., much like contemporary acts like Raccoon Fighter, The Black Angels, early Dum Dum Girls, Death Valley Girls and countless others but with a moody and sensual feel.

 

 

 

Comprised of Aaron Lloyd Barr (vocals, guitar), who doubles as a visual artist by day; Eric Arikian (bass), a member of Let’s Be Loveless and Ben Reynolds (drums), a member of Slang King, Del Caesar is a New York-based indie rock trio that specializes in a power chord riff and anthemic hook-driven, swaggering garage rock sound, adding themselves to a growing list of both locally and nationally known acts, including the likes of High Waisted, Raccoon Fighter, White Mystery and others. And while possessing the necessary swagger that the genre requires, the band’s material is rooted not in the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle but in ordinary, everyday experiences — relationship problems, having big ambitions and dreams, the working for the man doldrums, etc. paired with gritty and grungy riffs, a driving backbeat and howled lyrics, recorded in mono and straight to tape, as you’ll hear on “Like They Always Say,” the first single off the band’s forthcoming EP, EP 2 slated for a November 11, 2016 release through the band’s own label Reheated Spaghetti Records.

What I personally love about the single is the fact that much like their contemporaries, their material sounds as though it could have been recorded and released in 1965, down to its “nah, nah, nah” hook. And while drawing from the same youthful exuberance and spirit, the single manages to evoke the very basics of what rock ‘n’ roll always has been about — a bunch of cats hanging around, stumbling onto something that sounds kind of cool and pairing them with lyrics based on their own frustrations and observations.