Browsing Category Bits & Pieces

Taiwan Housing Project – “Authentic Alien Perfume”

Taiwan Housing Project popped up with a great 7″ on M’Lady’s in 2015, a shot of promise from two artists that bubble up on the RSTB faves list, Kilynn Lunsford (LITTLE CLAW) and Mark Feehan (HARRY PUSSY). I was always particularly saddened by the loss of Little Claw. Their brand of chaotic, aggressive post-punk was few and far between in this century. So with that in mind, it’s great to have Lunsford back at the helm of Taiwan Housing Project. The first cut from the upcoming album on Kill Rock Stars shows THP embracing that ethos and going a few steps further, upping the ante with frantic squalls of noise married to an insistent dance beat. The song winds up like a B-52’s single run through the wood chipper with with copies of The Contortions, Maximum Joy and This Heat. Easily one of the most vital songs released this year. Put this one high up on your anticipation index.




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Feral Ohms – “Teenage God Born To Die”

Been excited for this one since the live LP dropped onto the Castle Face roster last year. Though Ethan Miller has been involved in a cadre of psychedelic endeavors over the years (Heron Oblivion, Howlin’ Rain) his legacy has always been the wild spark of Comets On Fire. Early Howlin’ Rain had flashes of scorched riffs, but they mellowed over the years into something that had less of Comets’ DNA and more debt to ’70s radio rock. Heron Oblivion lit up psych-folk last year with a set of acetylene tracks that smelled of the same brimstone fueling Miller’s amps of yore, but it’s Feral Ohms that have truly brought his catastrophic nature hurtling back. “Teenage God Born To Die” is a wild, feral lob into the chaotic soul of heavy rock. The song threatens to tear itself, any set of speakers lucky enough to shuttle it’s fury and every waking body within earshot to pieces. Miller has woken the beast that lurks in the psychedelic heart and it’s clearly hungry. This one’s going to be hard to beat in 2017. Sweatin’ with anticipation.


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Power – “Slimy’s Chains”

Aussie punks Power get down to the nut of it on “Slimy’s Chains,” a hard-knuckled pumper that begs comparisons to the proto punk knock of ’76-’77, harnessing hard rock’s slip towards leaner territory. The band built up a reputation in their homeland as ferocoius live bashers and they’d harnessed at least a portion of that sweat and energy here. The set snuck out at the tail of ’16 in Australia but finds its way Stateside via In The Red next month. Plenty of pockets still pushing out quality rockers from Oz and Power feel like they’ve got a tap into the divine boogie beast.



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Ride – “Charm Assault” & “Home Is A Feeling”

Now I’m all for the comeback of influential bands these days, but I’ve learned it’s best not to hold one’s breath too hard in terms of them recapturing the spark that might have caught early on. That said, Ride come crashing through with two new tracks that embrace all the elements that made them such favorites over the years. The first is “Charm Assault,” a powerful, driving jangler that feels its own debt to Going Blank Again. The band spent a good deal of time honing their current sound while bouncing the reunion circuit and the renewed live legs may well have given them the drive for new material. It seems that immersing themselves in their catalog did well for finding a classic catch with some popped-on new production from dancefloor mainstay Erol Alkan. While this track captures the upbeat catchiness of their slightly more outgoing material, the second peek, “Home Is A Feeling,” creeps back into the warm blanket of Shoegaze that they built on Nowhere. So it seems they truly are embracing what made them work and blending eras on the new LP. Good to have them back.


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CFM – “Rise And Fall”

2017 appears to be the year when the members that have made Ty Segall’s backing bands so potent get their own shared glow of the spotlight, and deservedly so. With Meatbodies heading up the glam-psych concept album and The Cairo Gang shined into pop prettiness, it’s left to Charles Moothart to lift the garage baton high and get into some dirty riffs. The first taste of the band’s upcoming LP on In The Red is the tar-thick garage-pscyh stickiness of “Rise and Fall.” The recording here, like Moothart’s compatriots in Meatbodies, takes a notch up from the shredded psych salad he’s released in the past. He has West Coast studio wizard Eric Bauer and old pal Segall to thank for that, as the pair get down on recording and mixing duties. There’s an air of Motorhead’s laryngitis howl, a thatch of Sabbath via Satori riffs and a cloud of smoke so thick that the band can cut their dry ice budget in half. Couldn’t be happier to see all these solo runs adding up to a year of heavy gems.




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The Black Angels – “Currency”

Four years on from their last album, The Black Angels return with the promise of a new LP, and from the sounds of “Currency” it’s a very true return to the qualities that burnt them into the souls of so many in the heyday of Passover. “Currency” has a deep cut burn to it, slung low and loose, crawling into the room with true menace in its eyes. The song’s capitalistic subject matter feels like a vital strike in a year when morality’s price seems as subjective as ever, but even prescience doesn’t snag attention away from the atmosphere that the Angels conjur. Though lyrically cutting, the band has always been able to command a room with their ability to summon darkness at a moment’s notice. Their dessert sweat seeps into every crevice on this track, soaking it in an almost sensually ominous swagger. The band remains at the top of psych’s pantheon, and with this track they plunge a knife deep into the wood of any argument that would wager otherwise.

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Evan Caminiti – “Toxic Tape (Love Canal)”

Evan Caminiti’s Dust Editions label has been quiet over the last couple of years, since about the time he released his last album Meridian, but the imprint is cranking back up for his follow-up to that acid bath of electro-acoustic fallout. The first track from the upcoming, Toxic City Music, is bubbling under with the crackle of static electricity, gently nudging and creeping its way towards the sound of fried synapses. The album is built from an array of field recordings captured in Caminiti’s now home of NYC, in fact “Toxic Tape” pulls sounds from the artist’s own kitchen sink, flipping one’s environment into a backdrop of noise and squelch in the best Matmos tradition. Its also a return to Caminiti utilizing guitar under his given name, though the instrument is buried deep below layers of crust and crackle. The album features sympathetic souls Jefre Cantu-Ledesma and Rafael Anton Irisarri, notable names if any and finds its way out in early March.


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The Roamin’ Catholics – “Breadcrate”

In 2014 a short-lived group of Aussie scene stars came together, played a few shows for the few who saw them and then disappeared into the distance, absorbed by the the members’ other commitments. Featuring members of Bitch Prefect, The Rangoons, Bushwalking and Houswives, the band sprang up out of the current Aussie tradition of bands forming through loose groups of friends colliding musically without any overarching plan. Though they were largely a live group, they did lay down some recordings during their time together and, now, independent record store and new label Repressed Records is issuing their first ever release. The song hews close to the chaotic crumble of The Fall or fellow aussie crust farmers UV Race. Its a dirty chunk of Oz debris that supports the label reurrectin this fogotten pocket of players. Check out “Breadcrate” below.



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Bleached – “Can You Deal?”

Bleached are back and frankly I’m ready! Although its been less than a year since the release of Welcome The Worms, that album provided so much earworm-Summer-mixtape fodder that its nice to have even a short form offering on the table. The EP coincides with the band touring with punk legends The Damned and in addition to the digital version the band has put together a zine with contributions from Liz Phair, Jane Wiedlin of The Go Go’s, Mish Way of White Lung, Tegan Quin, Hinds, the band members themselves and more. The proceeds of the zine will all go to Planned Parenthood. As for the first track, it’s the band giving their towering vision of alt-rock a little dreaminess in a lyrical ode to letting someone love you for who you are and never compromising. Its definitely full of fun but the “fuck off and let me be me” attitude exemplifies the project’s mission. A good one for a good cause. What’s not to love?




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Wooden Wand – “Mexican Coke” + Carlos The Second

Good news today out of the Wooden Wand camp, there’s a new album on the way from Three-Lobed, Clipper Ship. The album arrives in May and is preceded by the gorgeous new single “Mexican Coke,” a sighed country ode to having to supplement income with side hustles. The album marks a shift away from Toth’s last few, stripping back to more of the sing-songwriter countenance that permeated his lone album for Rykodisc under his given name. The album boasts an impressive supporting cast of players ranging from Wilco’s Glenn Kotche to session stars like Darin Gray, Ryan Norris, Jim Becker, Luke Schneider, Zak Riles and Jim Elkington. All the players have contributed to accomplished visions of folk and country over the past few years and they bring that drive and finesse to Clipper Ship. Its been a touch since Toth had a Wooden Wand album out and it feels good to have one on the way for sure.


The announcement makes the news doubly good today because while we were all wrapped up in the tail end tail spin of 2017, James and a few friends slipped an album out under the name Carlos The Second. It features some nuanced instrumentals from Ryan Norris (who also appears on the new album) and sets Toth’s honeyed croon agaist some starker than usual settings, and even a smattering of beat driven tracks. Its new territory for sure, but fits well into a catalog that never shies away from collaboration. As an added bonus, Langhorne Slim swings by for a flat-out wonderful country rocker that has both singers at their best. Check out “Hall Of Mirrors” below:

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