B-Film & The Cannibalistic Po Howard Band is a Hobart duo made up of Paul Luttrell and Caitlin Barnett. Their debut album "B-Film & The Cannibalistic Po Howard Band Strike Back" was written and recorded in the space of 6 weeks in their home studio. "B-Film & The Cannibalistic Po Howard Band Strike Back" combine shoe-gaze elements, psychedlicia and classic rock type sounds. The album begins big and heavy, with hypnotic rhythm guitars and soon moves on to a more conventional shoe-gaze type soud.
The first track “I’m a bore, but so is everyone” starts with a distorted rhytm guitar, single note guitar bends and bass. They suddenly switch things up by playing a zeppelin-esque type guitar riff. The vocals being doused in reverb reminding me of the band “tame impala”. The second track “Speak again” is quite a departure from the first track. It starts with haunting synths, a subdued drumbeat and delicate female vocals while the bass moves the song forward. Personal highlight “Another Phrase that you’ll repeatedly say", is a meaty song with a towering distorted guitar, hard hitting drums and melodic vocals. The riffs reminding me of something I may hear on a “ty seagall” record. The final track surprises the listener as it follows no logical progression from the rest of the album, a ploy designed to signify the fluidity of music and musicianship. If you are a fan of gritty guitar albums, shoegaze and infectious vocal melodies check this out.
The San Diego-based quintet Future You was founded in late 2010 by Tony Felix. Each member of Future You is a multi-instrumentalist and their music often blends elements of indie rock, dream pop, and psych folk. Melodic atmospheric instrumentation, and layered rhythms are apparent throughout the debut album “meant to be”. Fans of bands like Grizzly Bear, Sigur Rós, Fleet Foxes, Radiohead will be happy to listen to what this band has to offer. Listening to “Meant to be” is tranquil and at times quite peaceful or melancholy. It contains different shades of emotions that are apparent throughout the album.
The opener “Close to Shore” starts with a distant piano and is quickly followed by a sustained lead guitar, ethereal vocals and consistent bass lines. The song’s highpoint comes at its most subdued when the singer repeats the phrase "settle down". A great song entitled “way home” hits the money with a melodic combination of instruments that tantalize the senses. As 16th notes are scraped on the electric guitar the bass provides a subtle backdrop. The closing number “one and only one” is a hazy atmospheric dream floating amongst the clouds as instruments float in and out of existence. Overall, this album contains a number of gems that is worth your time to check out. Matter of fact, you can listen to a song below
Ocean leaves is Timothy Poltras a multi talented Canadian Singer Songwriter. His latest release “Always is the time to make everything” is a impressive 22 minute – six song EP that blends a variety of different genres including indie pop, and folk. There are a lot of organic instruments present such as piano, guitar, bass, cello, ukulele and many others. The result of his hard-work is a carefully constructed and dynamic debut EP that moves from languid and pretty to grinding and gritty, but is held together by Timothy's sonorous baritone.
Opening track “The Ocean” is a darkly plodding tale of being overseas from your love. The cello, double bass, and piano create a dramatic opening that's sure to draw the listener in and sway them gently before setting off on a bit of a musical excursion. One of the best tracks entitled “lazy” which contains a rich variety of instruments and especially infectious string section catches your attention from the get go. The song is just a joy to listen to. The overdubbed vocals work well when he says, “and how many lazy days” followed by “will you waste away”. The last track contains a steady drumbeat with soft “ooohh and aahhss” until it unexpectedly explodes. Overall, this album was quite a delight to listen to. Quite a variety of organic instruments the listener can indulge in.
Shake Some Action! is a band from Seattle that draws sounds from the classic pop of the 60s to the 90s" Forming in 2006 they are six albums deep and their latest “Full Fathom Five” is an incredibly fun album with excellent song-writing. According to the band “Full Fathom Five" is a testament to the "Rickenbacker 12 string electric guitar”. This album combines Brit garage pop/rock with elements of post punk, folk rock and 60s jangle pop. It’s production sounds great and a lot of credit should go to the engineers as well. They did a great job capturing the right type of sounds. The songs sound classic but not over-produced. One thing I noticed is that the vocals just soar during the choruses and the bass guitar sound especially appropriate for the type of music that is being played. There are to many good songs. to mention here out of the 14 so you should just listen to the whole album.
The album races off with the guitar driven "lost in space" which has some of the catchiest vocal melodies I have heard this year. The chorus just bursts with exuberance as the singer belts out "lost in space". The title track "Full Fathom Five" is one of my favorites on the album. Nothing to complicated here, just great songwriting and a band playing live together in a room. Other songs like "the way you make me feel" have a distinct early beatle-esque feel that blends in well with the album. If you are looking for a great pop album with great songwriting there is no need to look any further. Shake some action! made a hell of an album.
Glimmerpost are located on different sides of the Earth, with the producer, beat maker and keyboardist in Australia, and the guitarist/bassist, singer and main song writer living in the U.S. Despite their distance they put together a very solid self titled EP. Their EP is an eclectic mix of shoegaze, indie pop, and various electronic styles such as breakbeat, hip hop, and IDM. These songs are engaging and really a blast to listen to. The seven songs go by fast and leaves the listening yearning for the full length that will hopefully be coming out soon.
The EP starts out with “gloombox” and upbeat number that is quite a highlight. Everything on this song really comes together nicely. The slightly distorted yet clear vocals combined with catchy guitars and synths will be an irresistible treat for shoegaze fans. The second song “boardwalk” is a nice change of pace and reminds me of something you would hear if you combined aphex twin and video game music with reverb laced vocals on top.. The programming is awesome on this song. “All be pure” is slower number with a pulsating, steady bass and smothered in white noise. The last song “off track” is yet another change is pace that is an instrumental piece that contains clean guitars and soft melodies. This EP offers a lot a variety for its 21 mins. Yeah-just go and get this right now.
Child Actor is fantastic new band that released “Victory” back in October. They are a band that blend elements of R&B, shoegaze, and rock and then sprinkle on a hyper-flavored mix of electronics that stimulate the senses. Currently on Fake Four Inc this band has come quite a long way in the little over a year they have been around. Comparisons maybe drawn to a band like “gang gang dance” or “purity ring” but there are elements here that make them unique. Namely their ability to have fun, experiment and not take themselves so seriously. This is definitely an album the crams everything in the frequency spectrum possible at times similar to a band like “Dan Deacon”. Even though their isn’t a lot of space available the lead vocals provided by Natalie Plaza are whimsical and delicate sitting on top of the music. These songs go by fast and really don’t need to be separated into different songs. The 36 minutes and 12 songs does go by mighty fast.
The album starts off surging forward with “This is it” with loud drums, a barrage of melodic reverb drenched oohs and ahhs provided ny Natalie and versatile mixture of synths and additional percussion. Even though the songs run into each other their isn’t a lack of different things to listen to on each song. Bottom line is this is a fun cd full of sounds that fans of “Purity ring” and “Gang Gang dance” will surely enjoy – I know I did.
Truth be told I was hoping to be taken back by Jamie Lidell's latest self titled effort. I was a huge fan of "multiply" and
was and still is one of my favorite albums that gives me a little extra jig in my step.. Unfortunately, I am not as impressed with this effort. The songs don't flow as well and there aren't as many stand out tracks. The biggest problem being he tries to cram in to much. That being said there are some songs here that do shine and some efforts on production that are pure ear candy.
This album is full on inspired by early/mid 80's boogie and naked electro funk. On "I'm Selfish" and "Big Love" that's just what he delivers in full,with his big deep soul vocals wailing out right up their with the expressive,bass synth and percussive drum machine heavy synthesizer operating at peak level. "Do Yourself A Favor" and "You Naked" are two strong,down in the slow crunching Moog bass groove of Zapp/Roger era funk whereas "Blaming Something",a lyrical message for masculine accountability,it's a spare and slippery bass/guitar centered groove straight out of the late 80's Paisley Park school. Only the aptly titled and badly misplaced droning industrial dance music of "What A Shame" is severely out of place on this album musically.
While this album is fun to listen to it's lack of focus is its biggest detriment.
While many people thought this was going to be Thom Yorke's dance album AMOK is a much deeper and visceral listen than that would imply. The songwriting here is pretty impressive and Thom Yorke's voice has never been more present. The album as a whole has a lot of surprising warmth and delicate beauty nestled between the beats and the laptop bleeps and blips.
The album opens with "Before your very eyes" a clattering of sampled rhythms and electric guitar to a rather light-hearted Yorke. "Judge Jury Executioner" provides a great balance between harmonized vocals and a deep bass beat. It is a haunting number which has an upward kinetic energy that is one of the most sonically impressive tracks on the album. However, it is Yorke's singing and guitar playing that make the song work. This song was supposedly written by the whole band! Fourth song "Dropped" is probably the best song on "Amok". It is dark, twisted and has a beautifully cynical York vocal which echoes back to something you would hear with radiohead. Lots of phasing from right to left with a muffled techno beat that is begging to be played on a nice sound system. The song "Stuck together pieces" could be a subtitle for the album and is a upbeat instrumental that focuses on Flea's amazing bass work. AMOK is a genuinely inventive and innovative album and even though does not hold up to radiohead is something that is worth listening to.
Broken light is a four- piece that released their debut “the spring tide” in August of 2012. This is a solid effort that marries two of my favorite things- pop and shoegaze. The album boasts 10 songs over 45 minutes that seamlessly blend into one another and is served best in one sitting. Broken light does an excellent job of combining clean and distorted shoegaze elements with a pop sensibility. What’s even more unique is there are traces of post-rock bands like “explosions in the sky” that work to the songs benefit. The songs are easy to listen to making the 45 minutes pretty painless to get through.
Some personal highlights are “magnetic north” which starts with a unique drum beat and a nicely picked clean guitar. Other songs like “Nucleo/Tides” pop with kinetic energy that is hard to resist. Broken light really hit their stride when they play together and rock out.. The ebb and flow of this album is seamless and shows that the band put in a good amount of thought with the songs and where they were placed on the album. Overall, this is a very good album that is easy to digest, fun to listen to and pulls from a nice eclectic variety of genres that fit together well. Do yourself a favor and listen to this album.
After his former band called it a day, Collin spent about 8 months writing and home-recording his debut album “Corridors”, a collection of 13 songs with the 80s flavored feel of bands such as The Smiths or The Cure, combined with the roomy, melancholic melodies of post-rock, the blurry aesthetics of shoegaze, all with a really fitting lo-fi approach to it. Collin Ward aka Observer Drift latest effort is according to him is “an ode to my childhood and several dreams I have had. The lyrics revolve around innocence and simplicity and some heartache.” It’s a good description because the songs instrumentation is light and floating a lot of the time (lead guitars with long reverbs and rhythm guitars that seem to be completely clean). Even the words themselves seem to be floating along effortlessly. You could describe the music as “dreampop” but there are other elements that surface and peak through at different times.
A fantastic slower number entitled “Backwards” contains a simple drumbeat, airy synths and reverb-drenched guitars while Ward’s vocals are heard on top. It fits together quite beautifully. Other songs like “Her Lullaby” easily could draw influences from a band like “New Order.” It’s a simple dance number where Ward sings “don’t forget to breathe” over a 4/4 drum beat. “Her Lullaby” is followed by a song entitled “Tree Shadow” which has a delicately picked guitar melody that kept my attention the whole time. Ward recorded this album in his house over an eight month period and at times I see this being the only real detriment to the album. The songs are fantastic but the only thing really holding it back is the bedroomesque feel. In the hands of a great producer/engineer this album would be even better than it is.
Observer Drift came out with a delicate, simple yet sophisticated debut album that embraces the spirit of American alternative rock of the 90s and the british pop wit of the 80s, a really interesting mix of influences for an exciting new artist to watch out.
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