One such band that I would like to put the spotlight on is this incredible four-piece from Nashville called Heavy Cream. They’re signed to Jeff the Brotherhood’s Infinity Cat Recordings and have released a few 7″s, a split with RTX, and a full-length titled Danny.
There’s a lot of bands out there playing their hearts out right now, and this is definitely one of them. You’ve got Mimi slaying on guitar, Seth killing it on bass, Tiffany banging it out on drums, and Jessica kicking out the motherfucking jams on vocals. It’s like the Ramones fucked MC5 in the back alley of the venue they recorded their first record at. Posted a couple of my favorite tracks below.
Fucking wig out to this shit!
Heavy Cream – Summer Bummer
Heavy Cream – Deadbeat
Can’t wait to see these girls (and guy) tear my face off at Galax Z Fair. I don’t know if the event itself has announced them yet, so consider this a ‘leak’ of sorts.
If you take a wild animal out of it’s natural habitat, be prepared to deal with a beast at it’s best. It will be riddled with anxiety, hostility, and fear. This can cause many problems which may or may not include the loss of limbs and/or lives depending on the size of the creature. That being said, if you’re going to try and interact with a cornered wild animal, you better be damn-well prepared to do so. Frankly, you can never know what to expect.
The same type of precaution should be taken when listening to an album like The Young Maths‘ freshly-released full-length LP, ERRORRS.
First of all, I should clarify that this is an album. Not a single. Not a split. Not an EP. An album. ERRORRS is a complete work comprised of eight musical tomes representing how far this band has come over their 5-6 years of playing together. In my review of the band’s last release, the You’re Buying Nothing EP, I wrote about how the songs on that release showed the band treading new territory “with treasure-in-hand”. Well, it’s safe to say that the departure in sound found on this album puts the changes on YBN to shame and then some. Gone are the ballsy dance jams meant to incite massive amounts of ‘boogying’. Singer/guitarist Robert Godinez’s vocals cross the line of vocal vigor and end up as screams on several fiery occasions. The guitars on this album no longer run the simple race of swift chords and implement almost siren-like howls slicing through the atmosphere created and maintained by the absolutely rock-solid rhythm section provided by JP Chapa and Manny Montejano, both of whom get their own times to shine on this record, I might add. Both Chapa’s and Montejano’s backing vocals on “The Cannon Choir” breathe new life into the song that didn’t exist in it’s earlier forms. Montejano even gets a vocal solo on the track that, while initially difficult to digest, ended up giving the song an extra layer of soul not unlike what I’ve heard from contemporary rock bands like TV On The Radio. However, if I’m going to enter comparison territory, two bands I cannot leave out are Crystal Skulls and Radiohead. I hear traces of both Blocked Numbers and OK Computer on this record. For example, the backbone of “Latin Roots” lies in the bass lines with guitars and drums acting as the icing on the smooth bass riff cake that the song is. Also, while Radiohead’s influence is scattered across the album, the most notable influence exists in the final track, “Practicing Invisibility”, which sounds like The Young Maths’ own Bizarro version of OK Computer‘s “Exit Music (For A Film)”.
Now, while praise is great, let’s talk about things I didn’t like for a second. Or rather, I should say ‘thing’. I’m actually quite surprised, there was very little that I didn’t like about this album. However, the title track, “ERRORRS”, was a bit more difficult to swallow than the rest of the album. To begin with, it is easily the most aggressive and ‘challenging’ track on the record. It boasts some frisky drum work, which is fine, and then there’s some forcibly radical horn-work, which is something completely new to Young Maths-land, and threw me for a loop upon first listen. Now, not only are these horns meant to throw the song into little fits of chaos, but they last an entire minute-and-a-half before vocals come in, which seemed a bit like overkill. The track may grow on me, but for now it’s far from my favorite on the album.
In conclusion, this album shines pretty bright for a darker record. While I may have a gripe, it is only taste-deep and does not reflect any ineptitude in the band at all. The Young Maths have created a beast of an album that will be hard to top; they’re putting their souls out on the line and playing to the absolute maximum of their capacity. Of course, we’ve come to expect them to play to the Nth degree, but not quite like this. To quote James Brown, “papa’s got a brand new bag”.
Favorite Tracks: “The Cannon Choir”, “Truth Tables”, “Treble Reducer”
ERRORRS is out now on Fall Back Records.
Never judge a band by it’s name.
This is a lesson I’m never going to learn. Try as I might to have a completely open mind toward every band I come across, I always get to a point where I end up passing on a band simply because I didn’t like their name or what their name ‘implied’ to me about their sound. Of course, sometimes the things I assume aren’t far from the truth, but every so often it just so happens that I’m dead wrong. I love being dead wrong. Case in point, Seattle’s Night Beats.
With a name like Night Beats, one tends to assume that the music associated with a name like that is of the electronic persuasion. Well, one would be sorely mistaken in this case. Night Beats is a psych-rock outfit that embodies some of the best elements of the psychedelic rock genre both old and new. Their sound is raw and accessible to those who can grasp it, not unlike possible influences like The 13th Floor Elevators or for a more contemporary comparison, Thee Oh Sees.
They just released their debut album, which is self-titled, on Trouble In Mind Records. It’s a release I’ve personally been very excited about. What’s more, they’re going to be playing a show in Austin on the 12th with Dum Dum Girls, Mark Sultan, UFO Club, and Shapes Have Fangs at the Mohawk, which I’m quite excited for.
Have a stab at their album below with the track “Puppet On A String”. It’s catchy as hell and just scratching the surface of what you’ll find on the record.
Night Beats – Puppet On A String
I will have to agree that great things do come in small packages.
Earlier this year, San Francisco’s female power-trio Grass Widow released a 7″ EP called Milo Minute.
Without a single drop of hyperbole, I can confidently say that this EP is damn-near perfect. It’s only three songs strong but strong songs they are. Everything from the drums to the guitars fits snugly into it’s rightful place backing the band’s effortlessly smooth vocal delivery. I really, really enjoy this release and highly recommend you pick it up from Wizard Mountain right now.
While I wish I could post every single track on the EP for you to indulge in and enjoy, I cannot. Below, you will find my favorite selection on the EP, the title track “Milo Minute”.
Grass Widow – Milo Minute
“I never saw anyone play like that before. It was like they were trying to break themselves into pieces with the music.”
– Henry Rollins on the first time he saw Black Flag (Get In The Van, 1995)
I’ll go ahead and cast the first stone. I’m not the most consistent music blogger in the world. In fact, I’m quite lazy. I find that Tumblr is more of an immediately rewarding way to spend my time compared to taking the time to write a blog post about a band. However, deep in my cold, blogger’s heart there remains a single fiber of intrigue that pulsates with purpose and vigor when I hear a new band that actually makes me straighten out my posture and wipe the crust from my eyes while dusting off and popping my 10 fingers which, to my surprise, are still in good working order. Bands like these remind me of the very purpose of this blog; to spread the word of good music to others who might have not already heard it. This is a rare experience, so when a band gets me out of my grey shell, you as the reader would be wise to take note.
The band in question is called iceage. They are a four-piece from Copenhagen, Denmark that play an incredible, abrasive form of punk the likes of which I haven’t heard from a new band in a long time. Just listen to the track I’ve posted below, “New Brigade”, and you will get a pretty solid idea of the band’s raw energy that does not let up for one second throughout their debut album of the same name.
I’ve been listening to Henry Rollins’ audiobook, Get In The Van, for the past few nights. For those of you who have not had the chance to hear it or read the actual text, it’s a chronicle of his years in Black Flag from start to finish. Somewhere in the second minute, he talks about the first time he ever saw the band as a fan. I feel that the same words he used can be applied to iceage. I hope I will be able to see them when they come to Austin next Saturday.
New Brigade is out now on Escho. Pick it up.
Thinking back over my 21 years of life, I can’t recall ever perusing the pages of or let alone holding a copy of Playgirl. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a copy in person, come to think of it. But I remember many a reference to it being made in various films and conversations and through that discovered it’s existence. Given that I am a male, I learned of Playboy quite early in life and of it’s purpose. I understood what it was for and acknowledged it’s influence on the world and just how widely appreciated it was. So when I learned about Playgirl, I figured it too served a purpose for a large group of people of comparable if not at least equal size to that of Playboy’s reader/beatership.
In French, Playgirl translates to Moi Je Joue. Which is both a song by Brigitte Bardot (drool) and the name of the band that I want to talk about today.
Moi Je Joue is a four-piece from my neck of the woods, the Rio Grande Valley; Harlingen to be exact. They have a very familiar and yet refreshing sound that leads me to believe that they have a tremendous amount of promise. So far, they have two tracks up on their Facebook page; one of which you will find posted below.
Moi Je Joue – Solutions
I’m really digging this track. It reminds me a lot of the Smiths for some reason. I can’t wait to hear what they record next.
If you live in the Rio Grande Valley, I highly recommend that you take the opportunity to see this band in action this Tuesday when they play Cine El Rey alongside Dignan and Twin Sister. It’s going to be one hell of a show; definitely not one to miss. Also, word seems to be spreading that Dignan is going to be playing new material along with a cover, which I find pretty damn exciting.
I don’t know about you, but I’m totally putting my money on Toto’s “Africa”.
What do you think they will/should cover?
Yuck just released a new track called “Doctors In My Bedroom”. It will be the b-side to the single for the opener to their self-titled debut, “Get Away”. I’ve listened to it once so far and I like it very much. Then again, I’ve kind of fallen in love with this band. See what you think below.
Yuck is out now on Fat Possum.