Tag: The Breeders

Comprised of Rachel Ratner (vocals, guitar), Dave Ramm (drum), who’s best known as a former member of The Intelligence, and Matt Nyce (bass), the Seattle, WA-based punk band Wimps formed back in 2012 — an with the release of 2013’s debut Repeat released through End of Time Records, a 7 inch record released on the micro-label Help Yourself Records, and 2015’s Super Me EP, the Seattle-based punk trio quickly developed a reputation as one of the area’s best punk bands; in fact, the were voted Best Punk Band of the year, in a Best of Seattle Reader Poll.

Wimps’ third full-length album Garbage People is slated for a July 13, 2018 release through Kill Rock Stars! Records, and the album reportedly finds the band expanding upon their sound with the material employing the use of saxophone, keyboard and cowbell. Also, the album finds the band tackling much more serious concerns — gender pay inequality, the decline of bee populations as a result of climate change, insomnia and wanting to steal a pizza . . . but only if it’s these and so on.  Interestingly enough while expanding upon their sound and lyrical concerns, the album’s latest single, album title track “Garbage People” finds the band drawing influence from DEVO, The B52s, The Breeders and others in a way that feels anachronistic, as it sounds and feels as though it could have been released in 1979, 1999, 2009 or 2018, completing with a sneering, tongue-in-cheek irony.

 

 

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New Audio: Portland’s Blackwater Holylight Returns with a Trippy and Expansive Take on 60s Psych Rock

Over the past couple of months, I’ve written a bit about the Portland, OR-based rock act Blackwater Holylight, and as you may recall, the band comprised of founding member Allison “Sunny” Faris (vocals, bass),  Laura Hopkins (guitar, vocals), Cat Hoch (drums) and Sarah McKenna (synth), the band, which can trace its origins to when one of Faris’ previous bands broke up, and she wanted to begin experiment what her own version of what “heavy” should and could be both sonically and emotionally with the primary aim to celebrate vulnerability all of its forms. But along with that, as Faris explains in in press notes, because she was the only female in her previous band, she wanted to see how her “songwriting and vulnerability could glow taking the drivers seat, and working with women.” 

RidingEasy Records will be releasing Blackwater Holylight’s self-titled review on April 6, 2018 and from the Breeders-like alt rock meets shoegaze “Sunrise,” and the Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath heavy, power chord dirge and strident, feminist anthem “Wave of Conscience,” the Portland-based quartet have shown that their material draws from a wide array of sources with a piss and vinegar-fueled, kick ass and take names sort of self-assuredness. And unsurprisingly, the album’s latest single “Willow” continues in a similar vein while being their most expansive and most 60s psych rock-inspired song they’ve released from the album to date, as the band shifts tempo and mood while centered around some explosive guitar pyrotechnics and ethereal harmonies. 

Currently comprised of founding members  and primary songwriters Chuck Cleaver (vocals, guitar), known for being a member of Ass Ponys  and Lisa Walker (vocals, guitar), along with Mark Messerly (bass, keys), John Erhardt (pedal steel, guitar), and Joe Klug (drums), the Cincinnati, OH-based shoegaze quintet Wussy can trace their origins back to 2001 when its founding duo began playing together as a dare during a brief run of solo Cleaver shows. The first show they played together while being largely unplanned went without incident, so they agreed that they should continue as a fully fleshed band. Cleaver and Walker recruited Dawn Burman (drums) and Messerly in 2002 And as a quartet, Wussy released three full-length albums and a critically applauded EP that received praise from a number of major media outlets including Rolling StoneSPINVillage Voice, NPRThe Washington PostUncut and the legendary Robert Christgau, who placed the Cincinnati act’s first two efforts Funeral Dress and Left for Dead on his best of the decade list and their third, self-titled release on his best of 2009 list.

After receiving critical success, the band went through a series of lineup changes, as Burman left the band and was replaced with Cincinnati music scene Joe Klug joined the band for Attica! and Forever Sounds. The band’s newest member John Erhardt has helped evolve the band’s sound, adding a twangy psychedelic vibe as they’ve expanded their profile with recorded sessions for BBC 6 Music and KEXP, appearances at SXSW and CMJ, touring with the likes of The Afghan Whigs, and have shared stages with Yo La Tengo, The Breeders, Best Coast, Mudhoney, Okkervil River, The Mekons, COME, Wreckless Eric and Jeffrey Lewis.

Wussy’s forthcoming seventh studio What Heaven Is Like is slated for  May 18, 2018 release through Damnably Records in Europe and Shake It! Records in the States, and the album’s latest single “Gloria” is reportedly inspired by the protagonist of Fargo‘s Season 3, Gloria Burgle, played by Carrie Coon — but in a much larger sense, the song is meant to paint a portrait of an inscrutable everywoman, who dares to stand up to an omnipresent, almost supernatural, villain. As the band’s Lisa Walker explains in press notes, “This season of Fargo was so bleak and unrelenting. The V.M. Varga character seemed like an undefeatable entity, something between a robber baron and whoever’s secretly watching you from the other side of your screen in real-time. Gloria’s purity of heart made her this bright shining light.. the only person actually impervious to the enemy. But even beyond that, I was very inspired this year by several women who dared to put everything on the line, even their own lives, to stand up for what is right. I tried to show my respect for this great courage in the re-telling of Gloria’s story.” Interestingly, the band pairs this narrative story within a song that manages to be cinematic yet intimate while nodding at Americana and early 90s Pearl Jam — i.e., “Tremor Christ,” off Vitalogy and so on.

 

New Audio: Blackwater Holylight Return with a Heavy Psych Rock Dirge

Comprised of founding member, Allison “Sunny” Faris (vocals, bass), Laura Hopkins (guitar, vocals), Cat Hoch (drums) and Sarah McKenna (synth), the Portland, OR-based rock act Blackwater Holylight began as an experiment of what Faris’ own version of what “heavy” should be both sonically and emotionally. “I also wanted a band in which vulnerability of any form could be celebrated.” But interestingly, as Faris explains in press notes, her current band can trace its origins to when Faris’ longtime band split up. “In my last band, I was the only female in a group of 6, so I wanted to see how my songwriting and vulnerability could glow taking the drivers seat and working with women.”

Last month, I wrote about “Sunrise,” off the band’s self-titled debut, a single that struck me as meshing elements of Breeders-like alt rock, garage rock and swirling, towering shoegaze — but with soaring hooks, bringing to mind classic, 120 Minutes-era MTV alt rock, while eschewing familiar song structures. The album’s latest single “Wave of Conscience” is an enormous power chord-based heavy psych dirge that sounds indebted to Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath — and sonically speaking, could have easily been mistaken for a track off the incredible Brown Acid compilation series but while being a strident feminist anthem. 

New Audio: Jay Som Releases Previously Unreleased Single from Her Critically Applauded Debut

Melina Duterte is an Oakland, CA-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, whose solo recording project Jay Som received national and international attention last year from the likes of NPR Music, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Billboard, Stereogum, Paste, Consequence of Sound, Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, Spin, Newsweek, Exclaim!, Under the Radar and a number of others elsewhere.

Building upon a growing profile, Duterte, recently announced the release of two previously unreleased songs that were recorded during the Everybody Works sessions as a 7 inch single titled “Pirouette”/”OK Meet Me Underwater,” that will be officially released both on vinyl and digitally on January 26, 2018 through Polyvinyl Records. Both of these tracks were made during the spring of 2016 – the first demo stages  for Everybody Works. They were fun to write and record but felt out of place on the track list during the finalization of the album. These tracks remain close to my heart and I’m really grateful they’re finally out in the world,” Duterte explains press notes about her soon-to-be released 7 inch single. And as you’ll hear on A side single “Pirouette,” Duterte specializes in a jangling, hook driven, 90s alt rock inspired sound, reminiscent of The Breeders but with an incredibly bold yet breezy self-assuredness.  

Currently comprised of founding members Joey Lemon (guitar, vocals) and Paul Goodenough (drums) with their college friend Matt Aufrecht (keys) and close friend Shane Bordeau (bass), the indie rock quarter Berry can trace their origins to when the band’s founding members met at an intensive, four-month, music program in Martha’s Vineyard, MA, back in 2002. When the band’s founding members returned to the Midwest, they recruited Aufrecht before writing and recording their debut effort Marriage, which was released by Right Place Records in 2003 to critical applause. Building on a growing profile, the band toured extensively across the country, with a number of touring bassists before relocating to Chicago with the hopes that their idiosyncratic and quirky sound would fit into that city’s scene.

While in Chicago, the members of the band had an incredibly prolific year between 2007 and 2008, in which they wrote, recorded and released six EPs — and to promote the releases, the band embarked on a novel tour: forgoing the typical cargo van or bus, the members of the band purchased a 30-day Amtrak pass and booked shows from Chicago to Seattle, relying entirely on public transport, traveling with a rather minimalist setup that included a tiny tube amp in a rolling suitcase, a children’s drum set in a single kick drum case and a full-sized keyboard on rollers. Exhausted by the tour, the band Bordeau, and eventually wrote and recorded their 2010 full-length Blue Sky, Raging Sun, which was inspired by their Amtrak tour — with the material juxtaposing scenes of epic, natural beauty with ennui of endless train rides in which micro societies were formed by handfuls of strangers.

However, despite the band developing a long-held devoted following, their 2010 effort saw limited commercial success and after its release, the individual members of the band spread out across the country to pursue separate professional opportunities; but in 2014, the band reconvened in rural Kansas to write and record without much expectations as to what the end result would be. Unfortunately, after writing and recording 11 songs in a breakneck 4 day period, the album fell into production limbo for several years until Paul Klimson offered his services to complete the album, which will finally be released through Joyful Noise Recordings next week. Everything, Compromised will further cement the band’s reputation for crafting  forward-thinking indie pop that’s complex and yet delicate.

Interestingly, Everything, Compromised‘s latest single “Civil Disobedience” finds the band’s sound possessing elements of shoegaze, dream pop and indie rock reminiscent of The Shins, The Breeders and hanging 70s AM radio rock — but with an offbeat and mischievous air.

 

 

 

Deeply influenced by The Breeders, T-Rex, punk rock, psych rock and New Wave, the Wilmington, DE-based singer/songwriter and guitarist, Grace Vonderkuhn has received attention for a sound that meshes elements of psych rock, garage rock and guitar pop; in fact, back in 2015, I wrote about Vonderkuhn’s slow-burning, brooding, and lysergic cover of The Psychedelic Furs‘ “Love My Way.” Adding to a growing profile, over the past year, the Wilmington, DE-based singer/songwriter and her backing band, which features Brian Bartling (bass) and Dave Mcgrory (drums) has opened for the likes of Titus Andronicus, Lower Dens and blogosphere darlings Sheer Mag among others.

“Worry,” the first single off Vonderkuhn’s forthcoming full-length album, slated for a February release through Egghunt Records features some muscular and self-assured power chords paired with angular and driving bass chords, forceful drumming within a 90s alt rock song structure —  alternating quiet verses and loud choruses, arena rock friendly hooks, an explosive and cathartic bridge and a fade out into the song’s coda.  Though it clearly owes debts to the aforementioned Breeders, Veruca Salt and others in the 120 Minutes-era MTV universe, the song, as Vonderkuhn explained to the folks at GoldFlakePaint is an “anthem for over-thinkers” with the song’s narrator attempting to  act as a calming counterweight, as she constantly reminds herself that maybe she shouldn’t be worrying as much as she does about everything, that some things are just beyond your control. And as a result, Vonderkuhn’s latest is a deceptive and mischievously modern take on a beloved and familiar song and aesthetic.

 

 

New Video: The 120 Minutes-Inspired Sounds and Visuals for Ramonda Hammer’s “Destroyers”

Over the past few months, I’ve written a couple of posts featuring the Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock/grunge rock quartet Ramonda Hammer. Comprised of  founding member, frontwoman and primary songwriter Devin Davis, along with Andy Hengl, Justin Geter and Mark Edwards, the quartet derive their name from a woman, who was featured on the early 2000s reality TV show Cheaters, and with the release of their 2016 debut effort, Whatever That Means, the act quickly received attention both locally an nationally, as the album was released to praise from the likes of  Impose Magazine, Earmilk, PureVolume, Fuse TV and others. 

Building upon a growing profile, the Los Angeles-based indie rock quartet signed with New Professor Records and released “Zombie Sweater” to applause from Brooklyn Vegan, She Shreds Magazine, Blurred Culture and others; in fact, the band also was named one of “LA’s hardest-working bands of 2016” by Oh My Rockness and one of the “best LA emerging bands of 2017 by The Deli Magazine. The quartet released the Destroyers EP earlier this month, and the EP’s latest single, EP title track “Destroyers” is a jagged and off-kilter track that channels The Breeders, Veruca Salt, The Mallard, Bleeding Rainbow, and others, complete with a rousingly anthemic hook before dissolving into a stormy yet chaotic and cathartic coda; but at the core of the song is a bitter, emotional ambivalence, as the song manages to be simultaneously feral yet ironic, triumphant and ass-kicking yet yearning for more — without quite knowing how to get there. 

Directed by Matthew Anderson and featuring the members of Ramonda Hammer along with Elizer Rios, Dylan Karate, Jessie Payo, Gayly Singletary, Addison Murphy, Caleb Hammond, and Justin Jackson, the recently released video draws from 120 Minutes-era visuals — but with a decidedly hazy, feverish vibe, as it features two toga wearing men, drinking wine until one drops dead presumably from poison, a series of Ancient Greek-like characters on the fringes, much like a Greek tragedy before splitting into focusing on the band performing the song, as though it’s the soundtrack to the proceedings. 

New Video: The Lysergic Sounds and Visuals of Beaches’ “Arrow”

Comprised of Antonia Sellbach (guitar, vocals), Alison Bolger (guitar, vocals), Ali McCann (guitar vocals), Gil Tucker (bass, vocals) and Karla Way (drums, vocals), the Melbourne, Australia-based psych rock quintet Beaches formed in 2007, and since their formation the quintet have developed an international profile for their critically applauded 2008 self-titled debut and 2013’s sophomore effort She Beats both of which drew from psych rock, shoegaze, prog rock and krautrock — with both albums being shortlisted for their respective years’ Australian Music Prize. 

Second of Spring, the Aussie psych quintet’s third full-length album is slated for a September 8, 2017 release through Chapter Music — and interestingly enough, the album is the first double LP released by an individual artist/band in the label’s history. Recorded in their hometown of Melbourne with producer/engineer John Lee, who has worked with Totally Mild and Lost Animal, and mastered by David Walker, the Melbourne-based psych rockers third album reportedly finds the band expanding upon the sound that won them international praise and attention but with material that emphasizes a jam-like feel.  Now, if you had been frequenting this site earlier this summer, you may recall that I wrote about Second of Spring’s first single “Void,” which featured buzzing power chords with a motorik groove and anthemic hook. And interestingly enough, the track reminded me quite a bit of The Breeders “Last Splash,” Liz Phair‘s “Supernova” and others but with a swirling, lysergic feel; but as the band’s Ali McCann explained to Vice Noisey “‘Void’ is a conversation between two people, who discuss a prolonged absence, a temporary disappearance into a space of emptiness. We wrote ‘Void’ in our rehearsal space in Reservoir (Melbourne) during a prolific period of songwriting. It was produced by John Lee (Phaedra Studios), who also plays synthesiser on this track. Karla and I are on vocals. There is a restrained interaction between them, tempered by the motorik drive of the instrumentation.”

The album’s second and latest single “Arrow” continues in a similar vein as its predecessor as it features buzzing power chords and a chugging, motorik groove and an anthemic hook under-pinned by a breezy, ethereal melody — and while clearly nodding at 90s alt rock, the song subtly nods at 60s psych rock. And fittingly, the recently released music video for the song features some incredibly trippy, psychedelic imagery — including an extended section in which shapes explode and change color and rearrange themselves in front of the viewer, in exact beat to the song, before briefly panning out to show one of the band members standing in front of projection screen or a hand manipulating things.