Browsing Category Bits & Pieces

Parsnip – “Health”

There’s been a bit of a decline in girl-group punk swagger since the heydays of lo-fi faded into the background, but Parsnip brings the sound rushing back in full color for their debut single on Anti-Fade. The track is swooning with ’60s vocal harmonies but rooted in the Paisley-punk of bands like The Pandoras, doubling down on twangin’ guitars and squirming organ. The song is caffeinated cool, careening around hooks with a sugar buzz that’s pretty damn hard to ignore. Why would you possibly want to, though? This is a top-down stoplight dance party from start to finish and I’m keeping it on repeat.




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Odd Hope – “Reasons I Will Not Say”

Been a while since I’ve heard from Odd Hope, the solo project from Tim Tinderholt, but he’s back in fine jangled form on new track “Reasons I Will Not Say”. Still chasing the fading tail of the Sarah Records ghost, Tinderholt again creates a song that’s gently bumping the nostalgia centers of the brain. Full of wistful sighs and softly crying keys, it’s more fleshed out than the first single that he put out a few years back on Fruits & Flowers, a sign that the upcoming LP is shaping up to be a real jangle-pop contender. Produced by Skygreen Leopards’ Glenn Donaldson, the LP, also on the small SF imprint, is the label’s first full-length proper. If the rest of Tinderholt’s songs shape up as beautifully spare as this, then we’d all better keep an eye out for what’s sure to be a hushed classic in the making.




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Ciggie Witch – “Shadow”

Melbourne’s Ciggie Witch have found their own shambolic place in the pantheon of Aussie indie, refining and polishing their take since 2014’s Rock and Roll Juice. Alongside similarly conglomerate bands like Scott & Charlene’s Wedding or Wireheads, they’ve followed both pop brilliance and their own oddball impulses. But as with those two bands, when they’re on, they’re fucking on and they prove that with “Shadow,” a dark and sinewy ramble through jangled pastures. The song melds chiming guitars with mournful slide to find a place of bittersweet hope that’s elevated way beyond the fray of your average indie punters domestic or South Hemi. If the song is any barometer, their new tape for Lost and Lonesome is going to be a necessary pickup. Don’t let it get lost in the clutter of this overstuffed Fall.




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Premiere: Fire Heads – “Forgot It Now”

Brand new cut from Fire Heads (formerly Fire Retarded) who’ve toughened up their sound to a slashed-knuckled punk rumble for their upcoming LP on Big Neck. The band features longtime RSTB fave Bobby Hussy (The Hussy, Cave Curse), though it strays pretty far from his usual garage-pop fare. “Forgot It Now” is snapped into a gonzo punk strain that wouldn’t sit too uneasily next to fellow Midwestern shred lord Timmy Vulgar. The song is teetering on the edge and ready to blow bolts at any second. The band is taking the carnage on the road this fall, so if you’re lurking around a town they’re heading to, be sure to go sweat out a few songs with them. Dates below.

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The Living Eyes – “Horseplay”

These Geelong punks are back in action. Always one of my faves from the Aussie circuit, The Living Eyes’ third record is out in November on Anti-Fade. They launch into another heavy hitter in a catalog stuffed with whip-smart punk. This time the boards are manned by none other than King Gizz captain Stu McKenzie, proving that KG are everywhere at once and always pushing the quality out of the South Hemi. “Horseplay” is a brief burst of bouncy fun, clocking in at just over 2 min, so consider this just something to whet your appetite for the full release.




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Ty Segall – “Alta”

Ty’s been working overtime, dropping non-album nuggets all over this year – 7″s and EPs and now a live favorite tamped down to tape for your listening pleasure. Again wrung out with Albini, this time on a quick break from touring last spring, “Alta” shares much with the sessions that wrought Ty’s last eponymous monster. The track pools in, cool and sparkling before launching into a wall of ’90s grunge that tears the roof off the place. This is a showstopper, an ozone-huffer that reaches for the guitar god in Segall’s bag of personas. It’s easy to see how this one grew out of live performances first and it seems like it might very well cement itself to set-ender placement for quite some time. As far as unexpected presents go, this one’s a pretty sweet package.




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Crepes – “Sexyland”

Somehow missed this as Crepes worked their way from solid Aussie indie, Deaf Ambitions, to the big time over at Spunk, but the band finally have an upcoming album on the books. Deaf Amb will still handle the LP, which is good news for the the stalwart label. The first track is a powerfully sweet stab at indie-pop, full of end of summer breezes that should waft you nicely into the cool down that’s to come as we finally ease on down the Autumn road. The track is twanged slightly and brushed ever so sweetly with the kind of vocal harmonies that can’t help but melt all the stress out of a moment. If the rest of this LP is half as good as the first taste, then its primed to be a contender on year end lists.




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The World – “Hot Shopper”

The World’s solidly slung EP from a short stretch back was full of taut post-punk nugs that cracked the window to their new full length for Upset The Rhythm. First single “Hot Shopper” is a spring-loaded knuckle-popper full of rubber band bass and staccato horn stabs that bring to mind Maximum Joy and A Certain Ratio. Its got a scrubbed up fidelity from the short format predecessor and bodes well for an album crackling full of the certain kind of dancefloor ozone that lived in the underground of the ’70s. If this Oakland band is missing from your radar, adjust, and quick.

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Event Rundown: Basilica Soundscape 2017

I’m not usually one for live coverage. There are those that do it well and photographers with a better eye and I’ll usually leave it to them. This, however, being my fourth year in attendance at Soundscape in a town I’ve called home for as long, it feels fitting to at least weigh in. This might be even more true given that the mass that descends on Hudson is so often swept up in telling you to check out this “cute” hamlet nestled by the river that they forget to stop and reflect on who and what Hudson really is. So, while I’ve always appreciated Soundscape for giving an easily accessible glut of great artists (both literary and musical) it’s often hard not to grit at the parade of weekend goths gawkin’ up real estate prices during Fall Musical Recess 2017 sponsored by Warby Parker clear frames.

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Mapache – “Chico River”

Picking up the West Coast psych rock tradition and peppering a liberal dose of country swoons n’ American croons, Mapache are heirs apparent to the Rademaker brothers’ crown of Alt-country warblin’. The first cut from their upcoming eponymous LP on Spiritual Pajamas is sweltering in the afternoon heat of slide guitar and rambling plucks, but its the honeyed twining of their voices that seals the deal. The duo work their way around harmonies with the grace of artists twice their age. It seems that they’ve caught on to the old soul early and are making it work well to their advantage. Keep this one in your sights when the album hits next month.




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