Browsing Category Bits & Pieces

EZTV & Nic Hessler – “Buy This Record”

While I can always use any reason to love a good power pop cover, combining one of RSTB’s favorites from the present (EZTV) and the past (Milk ‘n Cookies) pretty much tops the list. For those who aren’t versed, Milk ‘n Cookies were probably one of the softest punches that power pop ever pulled and their dreamy-eyed debut is a classic in its own right that’s now getting yet another life from the folks at Captured Tracks. Well technically they gave it a new life a few years back on the sorely missed Radio Heartbeat imprint, but same owners different name on the delivery here. The CT issue is expanded with some extras but what you need is the main course anyhow and its a record that should be in all hands, not just us power pop nerds.

Anyohow, in honor of that release, and probably to shine a bigger light on its necessity, Captured Tracks is also issuing a Record Store Day single of labelmates EZTV and Nic Hessler covering the band’s shoulda-been-classic “Buy This Record”. Personally I’d have gone for a cover of “Typically Teenage” but any Milk ‘n Cookies is good Milk n’ Cookies and the pair up works well to capture the track’s fizzy fun. Can’t pick the single up until the insanity of RSD but you can grab the Milk ‘n Cookies box now, and you should if you know what’s good for you.



Support (the original) artist. Buy it HERE.

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Beach Skulls – “Santa Fe”

Ok so appending the Beach qualifier to your band name is officially past its prime, to the point that its just getting silly and for lack of a better word, distracting. There have to be some good band names out there, right? That aside, I’m not one to toss a track just because the band name grates me like no other. UK trio Beach Skulls have definitely been mainlining a heavy dose of Velvets here, but a bit of this track’s charm is that it feels like the band could give two fucks if you think they sound derivative. In fact this track seems so completely relaxed its hard to believe their singer could have been completely upright when he turned in this performance. “Santa Fe” is a prime slice of smoke ringed garage pop that feels like the last song that should play before you shuffle off home, harboring the kind of buzz that will stick with you the whole train ride home and sack you out peacefully once you reach it.


Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

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Seth Bogart – “Hollywood Squares”

Seth Bogart’s dropped the Hunx and embraced his true name, though no one ever accused Bogart of ever pretending to be anyone other than himself. The album’s a barrage of pop-laced over consumption, art piece poses and general outsized weirdness in dayglow colors that seems like an extension of what Hunx’ tenure stood for and what Bogart’s visual art has evolved into. Its a bit like Pee Wee’s Playhouse (the collective consciousness of the whole house) wrote an album about the underbelly of sex and obsession. But there’s a part of me that knows that for all the big, weird fun, I’ve always loved Hunx for his campy take on the power pop formula and that’s exactly what the opener on his eponymous LP embraces. “Hollywood Squares” is like a bigger, shinier version of what Hunx had been pushing for on Gay Singles, its scrubbed up in sound but still riding that dreamy-eyed heat wave to your heart. The rest of the album’s the artpiece, but this is the mindrocker right here and mostly, I just want to turn it up and let it buzz.

Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

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The Savage Young Taterbug – “The Paperstud”

If you’ve spent any time poking through the spools of the Night People roster (and you should, you really should) then its more than likely you’re already familiar with Charles Free’s Savage Young Taterbug. The label has released several tapes of his cracked folk implosions and now there’s finally a release coming to a turntable near you. “The Paperstud” creeps in like a lullaby, soft and sweet with Free’s vocals warbling over the top of music box melodies like a faded message recorded to private press and beat up by the mail en route to a relative overseas. Despite that rather dusty description, this is actually one of the more untarnished bits of the Taterbug universe and it proves that he’s always had a bit of a pop charmer floating under his tattered offerings. This one arrives as part of the Shadow of Marlboro Man picture disc, as usual, on Night People and wrapped up in some Sean Reed art goodness.

Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

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RSTB Most Overlooked

So, here it is. Raven has turned 10, which means that I’ve been doing this for a friggin’ decade at this point and I have to say, it hasn’t been a bad ride. With the site’s turn into the double digits it seemed time for a new coat of paint, which you may notice in the form of our new design and move to the proper .com address.

I spent quite a bit of time pouring over the site’s past in the last few months leading up to this relaunch and while I will work to get some larger features going this year, I’m not going to make lists a regular part of the site, outside of the mid-year and year-end wrap ups. I’ve never been a fan of running down rut-worn lists of records based on a loosely tied theme. But…nostalgia begged a bit and I came across several posts on records I thought just never got a fair shake. Its not a list of my best of the last ten years, those you can probably put together yourself from year end lists, rather these are some great records that just never seemed to garner enough yelling about them.

However, rest assured that despite a new look, the ethos of RSTB will remain largely the same. I’ll still focus on reviews that don’t get too gabby, some videos and now a short bit on tracks that are exciting from releases to come. There will still be a focus on the physical formats and prods to buy them, because paying artists for music you can hold in your hands will always be a good idea. So, without further adieu… the list.

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Mozes and the Firstborn – Power Ranger EP

RSTB faves Mozes and the Firstborn have been pretty quiet since their super solid 2013 eponymous LP. But it would seem that the silence is broken and hopefully its just the tip of the ‘berg for the Dutch crew. They’ve got an EP with four new tracks up for free download over at their Bandcamp this week. Still mining their same classic rock impulses, via the oversized sound of early aughts psych Juggarnauts like Soundtrack of Our Lives and building choruses on a shaggy 90’s Pavement / Pixies axis, the band’s always come off much slicker than many of their Burger brethren and better for it. Along with fellow EU garage diggers Death by Unga Bunga they’re ushering in a hard hankering over here for some big, crisp pop that worms its way into your head for days. Pick up that EP below. There are very few reasons not to. Hopin’ this leads to an album announcement on the horizon.

Support the artist. Get it HERE.

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Feels “Close My Eyes”

Feels have been knocking around the L.A. underground for a bit but with a debut on the way for Castle Face, produced by Ty Segall, they seem poised to pop onto a few more radars in the next couple of months. The first taste of their eponymous LP sounds like a kissing cousin, if not a straight up disciple, of Ty’s catalog and there are certainly some of his fingerprints on the thick wall of fuzz that blows out of the speakers in an unwavering squall. Steeped in the school of ’90s riffs the track makes time flirting feedback with the soft punch of Laena Geronimo’s rock candy purr, bolting from the start and rushing to a panting finish that’s all clatter and growl. Everything down to the ’60s storybook cover art has me itching to listen to more from the band. Won’t have to wait too much longer though, the LP is out at the end of the month and knowing the Castle Face crew, it’ll likely be pressed onto a collectible technicolored edition as well.

Listen:

The track appears on Feels’ upcoming album Feels out February 26th. Support the Artist. Pre-Order Here.

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Woods “Sun City Creeps”

With each successive record, Woods find themselves closer to the threshold of crystalline. “Sun City Creeps” despite the flagrant reference to legends Sun City Girls, doesn’t scotch tape together street market psych and noise as that trio might have, but it does tap into their worldly sense of rhythm and adds a slinking brass element to Woods’ sound that elevates them even above the sunshine sways of their previous LP. The song finds the band chugging through guitar wahs and dark corner choruses before treading into a couple of psych breakdowns, that were this Woods circa 2009-10, would have unfolded into a minute plus of fuzz and tape distortion. Here though, they’ve caught hold of those impulses, perhaps leaving the jamming for the stage. Instead they’ve found themselves perfecting a bit of psychedelic lounge that’s stepping into deeper puddles than ever before, maturing Woods into a new age.

Listen:

The track appears on Woods’ upcoming album City Sun Eater In The River Of Light out April 8th. Support the Artist. Pre-Order Here.

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Best of 2015


Its been a long year at RSTB and though the pace may have been slower on the face, there has been lots going on to be sure. Next year marks our 10 year anniversary and we’ll have a new look shortly, so stay tuned. There will also some other fun things to mark the anniversary as 2016 wears on. But enough of the future, let’s look to the past. Here are my favorites of 2015, as usual in no particular order, along with a mix of tracks.

Blank Realm – Illegals In Heaven (BUY)
Dick Diver – Melbourne, Florida (BUY)
Colleen Green – I Want To Grow Up (BUY)
Young Guv – Ripe For Love (BUY)
Sir Richard Bishop – Tangier Sessions (BUY)
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Paper Mâché Dream Balloon (BUY)
Wand – Golem (BUY) // 1000 Days (BUY)
Thee Oh Sees – Mutilator Defeated At Last (BUY)
Ben Chatwin – The Sleeper Awakes (BUY)
Mikal Cronin – MCIII (BUY)
Twerps – Range Anxiety (BUY)
Future Punx – This Is Post-Wave (BUY)
Sean McCann – Ten Impressions for Piano and Strings (BUY)
The Mantles – All Odds End (BUY)
Barreracudas – Can Do Easy (BUY)
Peacers – Peacers (BUY)
Love Axe – South Dakota (BUY)
Jefre Cantu-Ledesma – A Year With 13 Moons (BUY)
Fuzz – II (BUY)
Sauna Youth – Distractions (BUY)
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Multi-Love (BUY)
Swiftumz – Everybody Loves Chris (BUY)
Rabit – Communion (BUY)
Holly Herndon – Platform (BUY)
Herbcraft – Wot Oz (BUY)


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Jacuzzi Boys – “Sun”

Jacuzzi Boys have struck out on their own with a new EP and its thick with garage fumes. The same sense of off-kilter fun that’s always pervaded a back catalog full of quirks and hooks remains, especially on the bounce of the title track “Happy Damage”. Elsewhere the band rolls the guitars in gravel and toughens their knuckles against a storm of amplifier heat. Its a quick six shot but the Boys have never been known to linger long and there’s more than enough here to sink into. Its playlist fodder for sure but well worth the full spin over and over. Brief or no, I’m just happy to have ’em back.

Listen:


Support the artist. Buy it: HERE

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