Browsing Category Tracks

School Damage – “Tall Poppies”

This one brings together members of two RSTB faves, Carolyn Hawkins of Chook Race and Jake Robertson of Ausmuteants. The group is self-admittedly going for a Vaselines meets Young Marble Giants sound, which on paper is an excellent idea that could go very wrong in execution. Thankfully the pair has the chops to pull it off pretty much perfectly. “Tall Poppies” hews closer to the Young Marble Giants side of that axis and they capture the stark, edge of electronic/edge of post-punk feelings with a deadpanned swagger that’s studied and superb. The track bodes well for what’s to come on their upcoming full length. If they can extend the exorcism of indie’s rise out of post-punk’s bones then it promises to be an intriguing entry in not only the Australian underground but also a welcome return to a sound that’s been explored far too seldom.




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Jefre Cantu-Ledesma – “A Song of Summer”

Very excited to hear a new cut from Jefre Cantu-Ledesma this week. The track is the first from his upcoming album, On Echoing Green, out June 16th on Mexican Summer. The track features vocals from Argentinian singer Sobrenadar and pushes Cantu-Ledesma’s needle slightly further from the crackled noise that he’d been engulfed in on 2014’s A Year With Thirteen Moons. That’s not to imply that he’s emerged totally from the din, there’s still a gauzy glow around the artist’s synth and guitar work, but this time it’s far less impenetrable, arcing closer to shoegaze than noise. The track bristles at the edges in waves of glorious energy and burns with a glow that’s quite like squinting into the sun. Cantu-Ledesma won’t be accused of making pop by any measures here, but fans of My Bloody Valentine may have found a new obsession in this one.



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The Myrrors – “El Aleph”

Arizona psych trio The Myrrors are back again this year, following on their intriguing LP, Entranced Earth from 2016 that raised their profile among psych heads everywhere. The new LP sees the band drift further from guitar psych and into dronescapes flecked with Eastern touches and their signature somber violin. The first taste from the upcoming Hasta La Victoria is a shamanistic shake through the valley of dessert psych, speaking well to their Southwest surroundings. It’s just a short wander into the scorched sun, but it feels like a ominous preview of the rest of what HLV has to offer. If you weren’t paying attention last year, then it seems Myyrors have doubled down on the urge to bend your ears to their psych prominence this year.




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Major Leagues – “It Was Always You”

Brisbane’s Major Leagues have been pumping out singles and short form releases that are packed with indie pop charms, but they’re now on the precipice of an album proper. “It Was Always You” heralds their upcoming full length for Aussie indie Popfrenzy, and it’s a swooning bit of jangle pop that’s got a bittersweet heart. A pitch perfect ode to lost love, the song pines in blurred hues that creep up between the tears on a warm summer’s day. The love may be over but at least something beautiful remains in it’s absence. This track piques interest for that full length for sure. For now though, just gonna hit repeat on this one a few times.




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Peacers – “Jurgen’s Layout”

Can’t help but love Mike Donovan around here, whether it was with Sic Alps, solo, or with Peacers. This time Ty steps out of view of the project, but Donovan tripled down on the ranks in his stead (math seems right). Adding to the fray is longtime RSTB favorite pop-in Shayde Sartin (Fresh & Onlys, Skyhigh Band, Skygreen Leopards) who always adds a bit of crackle to any band. The first taste of the oddly tittled Introducing the Crimsmen gives off a whiff of old Sic Alps for the lonely hearted. It’s typically sparse but coated in a layer of pop that’s entrancing and also just a touch menacing. There’s a hint of Skip Spence to Donovan’s songwriting, bolstered with an ozone riff and stormcloud sway. Put this one on the wishlist for sure. It’s a keeper.




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Mt. Mountain – “Dust”

I dug in on last year’s Cosmos Terros a bit, but Perth’s Mt. Mountain seem to have topped themselves with the stratospheric Dust coming out on Cardinal Fuzz in April. The title track is an epic knock into the drone/psych trenches. Building out of an insistent thrum married to high plains guitars, not too far off from Barn Owl territory, the band adds in some desolate flute that only enhances the apocalyptic feel of the track. This one ends up in scorched earth territory, as soon as the ominous clouds part, the chaos reigns. Mt. Mountain let loose with a six ton blast of sonic carnage that levels any qualms that the Aussies might not be stepping up to the task with enough firepower. The track doesn’t sustain gale force throughout, but teeters on the precipice of doom, making for an uneasy brilliance. Aside from the obvious hometown heroes in King Gizz, Mt. Mountain slot themselves in alongside Dreamtime in holding the psych banner high in the South Hemi. Having been ones to watch out for last year, the band graduates to necessary listening with this one.




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Kikagaku Moyo – “In A Coil”

Coming off tremendous acclaim for their pastoral psych masterpiece House In The Tall Grass Kikagaku Moyo don’t rest easy on recreating that album’s languid vibes. Instead they holed up in Prague and went deep into their improvisational side, as embraced on their earlier records. The first offering from the EP anchors their effusive psych cloud to a motorik pulse, hammering home the rhythm as a nice offset to the squelch of guitars and lilting sitar melody. It’s comforting to know that at their heart Kikagaku Moyo are looking to find the nerve of psychedelia, song based or not, and they’re leading you on their trip. They’re not looking for any nods of approval, just getting back to the nuts and bolts of lifting consciousness.




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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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