Tag: Suicide

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Hot Snakes Return with a Sly Commentary on the Proliferation of Tech and Screens in Our Daily Lives

The acclaimed punk act Hot Snakes can trace its origins to when its then- San Diego, CA-based Swami John Reis founded the band back in 1999. That year Reis’ primary gig Rocket from the Crypt had gone on hiatus after their longtime Atom Willard left the band — and coincidentally the band was in between labels. As the story goes. while searching for a new label and drummer for Rocket from the Crypt, Reis founded his own label Swami Records and began experimenting with other musicians, which eventually resulted in the formation of two side projects — Sultans and Hot Snakes, which began in earnest when Reis recorded a batch of material with Delta 72′s Jason Kourkounis. Reis then recruited his former bandmate and collaborator Froberg to contribute vocals — with most of the material they recorded, eventually comprising their full-length debut Automatic Midnight.

Although Reis and Froberg collaborated together in Pitchfork and Drive Like Jehu, Hot Snakes proved to be a logistical challenge: Reis was in San Diego, Froberg had relocated in New York to start a career as a visual artist and illustrator, and Kourkounis was based in Philadelphia. This resulted in sporadic and intense recording and touring schedules that frequently included bassist Gar Wood, best known for his work in Beehive and the Barracudas, Tanner and Fishwife. And while Hot Snakes shares some obvious musical similarities to Reis’ and Froberg’s previous projects, their sound was more primal, garage rock-based one, influenced by Wipers, Suicide, and Michael Yonkers Band — and for a completely DIY approach to recording, touring and merchandise with the band releasing material through Reis’ Swami Records. (Unsurprisingly, Hot Snakes’ debut Automatic Midnight was the first release through Reis’ label.)

After releasing two more full-length albums, 2002’s Suicide Invoice and 2004’s Audit in Progress, the band split up in 2005. But in 2011, they reunited for a world tour, which reportedly set the stage fr the band’s fourth, full-length album, last year’s Jericho Sirens, which was coincidentally the band’s first album in over 14 years.

Recorded in short bursts over the past year in San Diego and Philadelphia, the album features Reis and Froberg collaborating with Wood and drummers Kourkounis and Mario Rubalcaba — both of whom have been on prior Hot Snakes albums but never on the same one until now. And as Reis explained in press notes for the album, one of the most rewarding aspects was continuing his  collaboration and creative partnership with Froberg. “Our perspectives are similar. Our tastes are similar. He is my family. And what more is there to say? My favorite part of making this record was hearing him find his voice and direction for this record. I came hard,” Reis says.

The material thematically commiserates with the frustration and apathy of our daily lives while pointing out that generally we haven’t had a fucking clue. As the band’s Froberg said at the time, “Songs like ‘Death Camp Fantasy’ and ‘Jericho Sirens’ are about that. No matter where you look, there’re always people saying the world’s about to end. Every movie is a disaster movie. I’m super fascinated by it. It is hysterical, and it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. It snowballs, like feedback, or my balls on the windshield.” Sonically, the album reportedly finds the band incorporating some of the most extreme fringes of their sound while staying true to their long standing influences — but interestingly, some songs feature nods to AC/DC and others. As Reis says in press notes, “It sounds like panic and chaos. Restlessness and unease. That’s a sound that I would ask for. I want that record. The inspiration would be simple, maybe even kind of straightforward. Very early rock ‘n’ roll DNA with lots of rules. I would find some note or rhythm in it that captivated me and I dwelled on it and bent it. That’s where I found dissonance. Bending and rubbing against each other uncomfortably. Marinate and refine. A lot of the other Hot Snakes records always had tension and release, but this one is mainly just tension.”

Just before they were about to embark on a 12 dat UK and Ireland tour during December, the band released “Checkmate,” a blistering, AC/DC-like track centered around booze-soaked power chords, howled lyrics and a chugging yet forceful rhythm section. As the band’s Rick Froberg said in press notes, “‘Checkmate’ is big, fatty content freshly extruded from the Hot Snakes sausage machine. Same ingredients, new flav.” The single is available through all the digital service provides but it’ll also be available directly from the band as an extremely limited physical 7″ vinyl with the exclusive b-side “Not in Time.”

Co-directed by the band’s John Reis and the band’s longtime friend John Oliver, the recently released video follows digital representations of the band invading and infesting a house, making the video a sly and mischievous commentary on the proliferation of screens and digital content in our daily lives. (Essentially, you can’t take a leak without a screen popping up somewhere!) 

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New Audio: Hot Snakes Return with a Classic Anthemic Ripper

The acclaimed punk act Hot Snakes can trace its origins to when its then- San Diego, CA-based Swami John Reis founded the band back in 1999. That year Reis’ primary gig Rocket from the Crypt had gone on hiatus after their longtime Atom Willard left the band — and coincidentally the band was in between labels. As the story goes. while searching for a new label and drummer for Rocket from the Crypt, Reis founded his own label Swami Records and began experimenting with other musicians, which eventually resulted in the formation of two side projects — Sultans and Hot Snakes, which began in earnest when Reis recorded a batch of material with Delta 72’s Jason Kourkounis. Reis then recruited his former bandmate and collaborator Froberg to contribute vocals — with most of the material they recorded, eventually comprising their full-length debut Automatic Midnight. 

Although Reis and Froberg collaborated together in Pitchfork and Drive Like Jehu, Hot Snakes proved to be a logistical challenge: Reis was in San Diego, Froberg had relocated in New York to start a career as a visual artist and illustrator, and Kourkounis was based in Philadelphia. This resulted in sporadic and intense recording and touring schedules that frequently included bassist Gar Wood, best known for his work in Beehive and the Barracudas, Tanner and Fishwife. And while Hot Snakes shares some obvious musical similarities to Reis’ and Froberg’s previous projects, their sound was more primal, garage rock-based one, influenced by Wipers, Suicide, and Michael Yonkers Band — and for a completely DIY approach to recording, touring and merchandise with the band releasing material through Reis’ Swami Records. (Unsurprisingly, Hot Snakes’ debut Automatic Midnight was the first release through Reis’ label.)

After releasing two more full-length albums, 2002’s Suicide Invoice and 2004’s Audit in Progress, the band split up in 2005. But in 2011, they reunited for a world tour, which reportedly set the stage fr the band’s fourth, full-length album, last year’s Jericho Sirens, which was coincidentally the band’s first album in over 14 years. 

Recorded in short bursts over the past year in San Diego and Philadelphia, the album features Reis and Froberg collaborating with Wood and drummers Kourkounis and Mario Rubalcaba — both of whom have been on prior Hot Snakes albums but never on the same one until now. And as Reis explained in press notes for the album, one of the most rewarding aspects was continuing his  collaboration and creative partnership with Froberg. “Our perspectives are similar. Our tastes are similar. He is my family. And what more is there to say? My favorite part of making this record was hearing him find his voice and direction for this record. I came hard,” Reis says.

The material thematically commiserates with the frustration and apathy of our daily lives while pointing out that generally we haven’t had a fucking clue. As the band’s Froberg said at the time, “Songs like ‘Death Camp Fantasy’ and ‘Jericho Sirens’ are about that. No matter where you look, there’re always people saying the world’s about to end. Every movie is a disaster movie. I’m super fascinated by it. It is hysterical, and it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. It snowballs, like feedback, or my balls on the windshield.” Sonically, the album reportedly finds the band incorporating some of the most extreme fringes of their sound while staying true to their long standing influences — but interestingly, some songs feature nods to AC/DC and others. As Reis says in press notes, “It sounds like panic and chaos. Restlessness and unease. That’s a sound that I would ask for. I want that record. The inspiration would be simple, maybe even kind of straightforward. Very early rock ‘n’ roll DNA with lots of rules. I would find some note or rhythm in it that captivated me and I dwelled on it and bent it. That’s where I found dissonance. Bending and rubbing against each other uncomfortably. Marinate and refine. A lot of the other Hot Snakes records always had tension and release, but this one is mainly just tension.”

Just a few weeks before they head off to a 12 date UK and Ireland tour during the month of December, the band released a new single “Checkmate,” a blistering AC/DC-like track centered around booze-soaked power chords, howled lyrics and a chugging rhythm section. As the band’s Rick Froberg says in press notes, “‘Checkmate’ is big, fatty content freshly extruded from the Hot Snakes sausage machine. Same ingredients, new flav.” The single is available through all the digital service provides but it’ll also be available directly from the band as an extremely limited physical 7″ vinyl with the exclusive b-side “Not in Time.”

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Pleasure Motel Releases a Sensual Visual for Thumping and Propulsive New Single

Dave Tudi is a Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, who has been the creative mastermind behind a number of musical projects I’ve written about throughout the course of this site’s nine-plus year history. His latest project, Pleasure Motel is a minimalist synth pop project with a sleazy and menacing, industrial-leaning sound that recalls Ministry, early Nine Inch Nails and Suicide. 

Tudi’s latest Pleasure Motel single “Love Songs” continues a run of minimalist and propulsive tracks centered around arpeggiated synths, relentlessly thumping beats, an infectious hook and mantra-like lyrics delivered with an icy and ironic detachment. Unlike his previous released Pleasure Motel work, “Love Songs” may arguably be among the sleaziest and most debauched songs of his growing catalog. And if doesn’t stir lust deep in your loins and in the reptile brain, there’s something wrong with you. 

The recently released video is split between sensual, black and white stock footage of young couples making out and hooking up, and sleazy red-filtered footage of a sunglasses wearing Tudi singing the song’s lyrics. The visual manages to continue the project’s DIY ethos  — cheap, fast, sleazy.  

Formed earlier this year, the Chico, CA-based punk duo Beehive features Jake Sprecher (vocals, guitar), a former member of Terry Malts, Smokescreens and Business of Dreams and Shutups‘ Bud Amenti (bass). And in a short period of time the duo have managed to play venues up and down the West Coast, while writing and recording their debut EP, Depressed and Distressed, an effort recorded on 1/2″ tape in one take.

Slated for a September 6, 2019 release through Jester Recordings, the duo’s forthcoming EP quickly establishes their sound. Drawing from the likes of Suicide, The Splits and Television Personalities, the material is centered by desperately howled and repeated vocal phrases, a repeatedly hammered riff and a propulsive bass line played over a Hammond Auto-Vari 64 drum machine.

The EP’s latest single “When Can I See You Again” is centered around slashing guitar lines  and a forcefully propulsive bass line that seem as though they’re desperately trying to attack the incessant and emotionally indifferent drum machine. At its core, the song seethes with the desperate, lovelorn obsession of young lust.

 

 

 

 

Up-and-coming Copenhagen, Denmark-based noise rock act why sun have begun to develop a reputation across their native Denmark for a dark and melancholic sound, which they’ve dubbed sleepy noise, and references acts like Suicide, The National and The Jesus and Mary Chain.

Building upon a rapidly growing national profile, the act comprised of Rasmus Kjærsgaard Velling, Lasse Skydsgaard Knigge and Julius Emil Brinck released their latest EP Frugte (the Danish word for fruit) earlier this year. The EP features two critically applauded singles: “Eastern Love” and their latest single, “Traffic,” a slow-burning, lysergic-tinged, shoegazer dirge, centered around layers of reverb-drenched guitar chords, thumping almost industrial-like drumming and rumbling baritone vocals. Interestingly, the track — to me, at least — evokes lazy, downright sleepy summer afternoons, aimlessly daydreaming.

  

 

 

 

New Video: Froth Releases a Lysergic Visual for Minimalist “77”

Over the course of three albums, the Los Angeles-based noise rock trio, Froth comprised of Joo-Joo Ashworth, Jeremy Katz and Cameron Allen have developed a reputation for restless experimentation with forays into shoegaze, psych rock and post-punk — but interestingly enough, their fourth album, the Tomas Dolas co-produced Duress, which is slated for release Friday through Wichita Recordings reportedly finds the band stepping out from the shadow of their influences and crafting a sound wholly their own with the material being unapologetically experimental yet accessible. In fact, the album’s material incorporates analog synthesizers, overdubs and drum machines, along with traditional rock instrumentation.

“77,” Duress‘ second and latest single is centered around shimmering arpeggiated synths, bursts of feedback, a motorik groove featuring a sinuous bass line and shuffling, four-on-the-floor-like drum programming paired with ethereal vocals. And while recalling Trans Europe Express-era Kraftwerk, Lodger-era Bowie and Suicide, the eerily minimalist track possesses a murky vibe.

“Toward the end of the album, Tomas and I were really digging deep into my voice memos trying to see what was worth making into a real song,” the band’s Joo-Joo Ashworth recalls in press notes. “I had him play bass and synth while I sung and played some guitar. Only with Tomas would we ever come up with an odd timing song. The lyrics are mostly about when I was living with my parents for a couple months after I got kicked out of my apartment by an evil landlord.”

Directed by Shane McKenzie, the recently released, lysergic visual for “77” is centered around glitchy, neon-colored, VHS glitchiness. “We’ve known Shane McKenzie (Shake Chime Zen) for a long time, he’s always doing analog projections at shows around LA. We liked his VHS vibe and thought it would be fitting for the ’77’ video. He was able to match the analog glitchiness of the song with the way he processed the video. Other than that, it was inspired by scenes from The Eric Andre show and some of R. Stevie Moore’s VHS videos.”

Over the course of three albums, the Los Angeles-based noise rock trio, Froth comprised of Joo-Joo Ashworth, Jeremy Katz and Cameron Allen have developed a reputation for restless experimentation with forays into shoegaze, psych rock and post-punk — but interestingly enough, their fourth album, the Tomas Dolas co-produced Duress, which is slated for release Friday through Wichita Recordings reportedly finds the band stepping out from the shadow of their influences and crafting a sound wholly their own with the material being unapologetically experimental yet accessible. In fact, the album’s material incorporates analog synthesizers, overdubs and drum machines, along with traditional rock instrumentation.

“77,” Duress‘ second and latest single is centered around shimmering arpeggiated synths, bursts of feedback, a motorik groove featuring a sinuous bass line and shuffling, four-on-the-floor-like drum programming paired with ethereal vocals. And while recalling Trans Europe Express-era KraftwerkLodger-era Bowie and Suicide, the eerily minimalist track possesses a murky vibe.

“Toward the end of the album, Tomas and I were really digging deep into my voice memos trying to see what was worth making into a real song,” the band’s Joo-Joo Ashworth recalls in press notes. “I had him play bass and synth while I sung and played some guitar. Only with Tomas would we ever come up with an odd timing song. The lyrics are mostly about when I was living with my parents for a couple months after I got kicked out of my apartment by an evil landlord.”

The members of Froth are currently on the road, touring to support the new album and the tour includes a July 3, 2019 stop at Elsewhere’s Rooftop with A Place to Bury Strangers doing a DJ set. Check out the rest of the tour dates below.

Tour Dates

# = w/ Black Marble
* = w/ Versing
% = w/ A Place To Bury Strangers DJs (DJ Set)
$ = Release Show w/ Adult Books

6/7: Los Angeles, CA @ Lodge Room, Desert Daze Presents $
6/19: Las Vegas, NV @ Bunkhouse *
6/20: Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar *
6/21: El Paso, TX @ Love Buzz *
6/22: San Antonio, TX @ Lime Light *
6/23: Austin, TX @ Barracuda *
6/24: Dallas, TX @ Club Dada *
6/25: Houston, TX @ Satellite *
6/26: Memphis, TN @ Hi Tone Cafe *
6/28: Madison, WI @ UW-Madison *
6/29: Chicago, IL @ Logan Square Arts Festival *
6/30: Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups *
7/2: Washington, DC @ Comet Ping Pong *
7/3: Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere Rooftop * %
7/5: Somerville, MA @ ONCE Ballroom *
7/6: Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz *
7/7: Toronto, ON @ Baby G *
7/8: Detroit, MI @ UFO Factory *
7/10: Sioux Falls, SD @ Total Drag *
7/12: Denver, CO @ Globe Hall *
8/23: Eindhoven, Netherlands @ Fuzz Club Festival

Initially formed back in 2015 in Thessaloniki, Greece as a duo featuring founding member and creative mastermind Jimmy Polioudis, a.k.a. Zimmy Lips (guitar, vocals) and Konstantinos Iosifidis, a.k.a. Lostinthe (drums, vocals), Vagina Lips released a self-titled cassette, which they followed up with a 5 song mini-album Youth in Chaos, which was released through MO.MI Records. Interestingly around the same time, Polioudis appeared on a popular Greek TV show — and coupled with the project’s unique name, Polioudis along with Vagina Lips became much more widely known in Greece; however, after Konstantinos’ departure in 2016, Vagina Lips has become a solo project — with Konstantinos producing the band’s Athanasia, an album that was listed on several Greek blogs as one of the best albums of that year.

Interestingly, since the release of Athanasia Polioudis has been remarkably prolific releasing two EPs, a mini album and three full-length albums — 2016’s Decadent Life EP, 2017’s Elixirthe Vernorexia mini album, and Of Our Lives. Inner Ear Records release Athanasia on limited edition vinyl earlier this year. Building upon a growing profile. Polioudis has played at some of Greece’s bigger festivals, including PS2020, Plissken Festival, Westside Festival and Saristra Festival among others. His latest album Generation Y was recorded over the summer, and while the album is primarily influenced by Stereolab, Sonic Youth, and Car Seat Headrest, album single “This Is A Good Life” seems to draw from post-punk — particularly from the likes of Suicide, as the song is centered around rapid-fire, four-on-the-floor drum machine, arpeggiated synths, an angular and propulsive bass line and an anthemic, shout along worthy hook; but the song is underpinned with a bitter irony, as it points out the fact that the “perfect life” is usually extremely phony, if not damn well impossible.