Browsing Category Singles (7″, 10″, 12″)

Uranium Club – “Two Things At Once”

A new entry from the Sup Pop singles club sees RSTB faves Uranium Club getting a shout with a new double shot of gnarled punk madness. The single gives birth to “Two Things at Once (pts 1&2)” and the songs display UC’s knack for tightly wound guitars, narrative insanity, and post-punk the way it was meant to be – experimental as hell, rhythmic and ripped. The first part takes more than a few time shifts before settling into a hypnotic slide-out with their spoken-word cadence dripping off the guitars. The b-side is an instrumental wander through the most serene waters I’ve heard from Uranium Club yet. The song acts as a bit of a coda to the half that precedes it, threading in a bit of the same theme, and easing down into the horizon. I’ve always loved the Sub Pop singles for their willingness to take chances on bands that might not be a hit with their huge audience, though here’s hoping that like Omni, this is one band that might stick around. Then again, both Blues Control and Tyvek are in the ranks of Singles alums, so I won’t hold my breath.




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Tobacco City – “Blue Raspberry”

Low profile Chicago alt-country crooners Tobacco City have been releasing a string of solid singles over the last year and they’ve hit on their best yet with the buttered and bashful “Blue Raspberry.” The track is hung on soft sunset strums and a warm melt of slide guitar. The vocals trade back and forth between Lexi Goddard and Chris Coleslaw like an old Parsons and Harris tune, just a bit more faded and worn in. The a-side is the stunner here, pulling at the lump in your throat to try to stay afloat, but they pair it well with a b-side that gives Goddard the front and center, with some ‘70s sequined backup vocals that maybe try to pull it too far towards the nostalgia train. Still, “Blue Raspberry” is a gem that won’t let go – sighed and swung low, padded out with just the right touch of twang and tape hiss. The band’s just recently opened for Orville Peck in their hometown, so here’s hoping Tobacco City is on their way up.




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Skull Practitioners – Death Buy EP

In The Red unleashes the vinyl debut from NYC psych trio Skull Practitioners and it’s as scathing an introduction to the band as you could hope for. Though its not the band’s official first release, they issued a limited cassette in 2014, this is the fist wide-scale release for the trio fronted by Jason Victor. Victor’s currently been serving as the current lead guitarist for a reformed Dream Syndicate (2012-pres), but this is a decidedly more fang-toothed animal than his releases with the Syndicate. Eschewing any love for knotted wordplay, jangles, or sunny melodies. Victor, along with Kenneth Levine and Alex Baker spike the adrenaline, push the tempos, and drive their vision of punk through the hull-heated, psycho-twang swagger that set Flesh Eaters loose on the public and gave Gun Club heroic status among collectors for decades.

The four songs here give the band a lot to chew on, especially the echo-flailed “The Beacon,” a direct descendant of the Flesh Eaters / Kid Congo Powers school of leathered punk flash if there ever was one. The EP serves as an appetizer for a full-length on In The Red to come soon, but its pretty satisfying on its own. Bookended by instrumentals, the EP creates a nice little arc of attack. The title track frizzles some ozone and leaves an acrid atmosphere rattling around the room that’s picked up by the chewed tin and grease-skeeved vocal tracks “Grey No More” and the aforementioned hip-crusher “The Beacon.” The EP slides out on the surf froth of “Miami” leaving the listener wanting more, which is pretty much the point. Keep an ear out for that long player. I’ll be interested to see how they keep the pace up for a full battery of tracks.



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April Magazine – “Parade”

You have to listen a little harder to hear the pop buried under the haze in which April Magazine shroud their works. Under sweater-soft hiss there’s a jangle that’s lovely and unassuming. The band isn’t so much shoegaze, as that almost feels too confident for this sound. This is huddle-core, tented under blankets and letting their sound seep out through the fibers into the waiting spools of a four-track. That’s not to say that the sound that seeps out through the muffled barrier isn’t enticing, just borderline private. Its as if we the listener might be intruding on April Magazine’s works and the moment they turn around and see us listening we’ll both blush a bit from the awkward encounter. While they’re playing, though, the three songs here are comforting nooks to get lost in for a few moments.



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Lumerians – “Yellowcake” b/w “C-Rock”

Following up their full length for Fuzz Club last year, Oakland’s Lumerians return with a taut, gnarled single for the label. “Yellowcake” sees the band in full motorik mode, letting the rhythm take over on both sides of this short-form cooker. The a-side is hazy, with vocals buried in a storm of smoke and shadow. More compact and less flammable than most of the band’s catalog, the single seethes with an innate tension that’s only compounded by the b-side, “C-rock.” The songs perfectly seque into one another, barely taking a breath between them, but the pace picks up as we’re launched into the controlled chaos of the flip side. While there’s a film of bile that can’t be denied on the A-side, I’ve been gravitating towards this Krautrock cannonball on the back. Its good to see the band so propulsive and tightly coiled. The 7” precedes the band’s run at a string of EU dates and will be available on the tour.



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Purling Hiss – “Interstellar Blue”

Over the last couple of years Mike Polizze has favored the short format over the album and its been a good run of chasing his respective pop demons in different directions. Out Tonight tumbled down a JAMC / Suicide spiral, but it beat with a fuzzy pop heart, hungover from his previous albums. The flip covered Spacemen 3 in earnest, letting the influences affix themselves firmly to his sleeves. But Interstellar Blue is a different animal. Its as far out as Polizze’s let himself get in quite a while, chomping the fuzz and fray like a man happy to be back in the plume of amplifier fallout once again. He eases in with “Useful Information,” still toggling on a strum, though it revels in a bigger guitar bite. Its on the next track that he returns to the days of Hiss yore, while pushing the formula forward with vision and clarity. Back when they were slaying for the altar of Hissteria, there was a din that surrounded them, dirty, dirgey, and spectacularly loud. But that loudness came with a price in fidelity. The din threatened to subsume them.

Here they’re back at the altar, laying a six-stringed sacrifice down on the lacquer for the world once more, but this time they’re bringing their dedication to higher-fi along with them. “Ostinato Jam” is pure Hiss, damaged and deranged just the way you like it. The wire-tightened “Naut” is frantic and fuzz-caked and the title track is a dropout boogie of the highest order, sniffing at the cosmos with redline abandon. The band hasn’t sounded this good in a long time and its, admittedly, great to have them back.

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David Nance Group – “Meanwhile / Credit Line”

Last year the David Nance Group brought the Omaha native’s sound to a wider audience with their LP Peaced and Slightly Pulverized on Trouble in Mind. While he’d long been bashing out cover versions of Lou Reed, The Beatles, and Doug Sahm, with the crystallization of the ‘Group’ he’d channel his disparate influences into a fried pickle porridge of a record that sweats boogie blues a la Crazy Horse interpreted by a pack of holed up Pere Ubu fanatics. Come 2019 and Nance is back and broadcasting his disjointed choogle on a bigger bullhorn, with a two-track twister out this month on Third Man. “Meanwhile” and “Credit Line” feel right at home as spillover sides from last year’s long player, both finely toasted, ragged, raw and looking to taste the barroom floor. It’s recommended that you pick this one up and give the windows a rumble this week. This won’t be the last we hear of the DNG, but it’s a good quencher ‘til the next LP gets handed down from above.

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RVG – “Alexandra”

Skidding into a US tour, Aussies RVG are back with a new single that finds them comfortable in their velvet cushion of sound that wavers between Echo and the Bunnymen, The Church, and Love and Rockets. “Alexandra” retains the band’s emphasis on sweeping drama, mirroring Echo’s knack for riveting swells and invoking anguish as a genre unto itself. Amputated from a larger narrative of an album the song’s more of a primer for those who might have missed out on their excellent, and still underrated debut. If this one catches your ear, its recommended you go back to the crushed eyeliner and rain of that eponymous gem.

The b-side sees the band take on mid-period John Cale, giving a dose of urgency to his ’85 deep cut from Artificial Intelligence. Vager’s vocals do well for the song, perhaps taking a bit of license with the original’s more buttoned-down approach, but she’s does plenty to make it her own. The band pumps the song full of the same sense of urgency that they employ in their own works. With all due respect to Cale, its actually a great argument for covering your heroes, as they give the song quite a bit more gravity than the original ever had. Nab this double cut, definitely see the band if they swing through your area.




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Rosey Dust – “Keep For Life”

Over two sides of his debut single, Kevin Klausen channels The Replacements, Teenage Fanclub and post-Big Star Chilton with the zeal of a tried and true acolyte. There’s ripped denim and sweat baked into “Keep For Life” – a roughed up track that feels most in debt to The Mats’ legacy of roadworn, dustbowl American rock n’ roll. The flip enters a bit of tenderness into the equation, softening the lights on the verses, but still laying into the guitar like an ‘80s kid enthralled with the long tail of the ’70s, yet ducking the FM strains that dominate the right of the dial. Klausen’s clearly waiting for the solos in each track, itching for his time to show off and, while it works well in these two tracks, its easy to see how two long sides of the same could begin to wear on the anticipation index. Its a nice first stride, albeit one that stands squarely on the shoulders of giants before him.



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Alien Nosejob – Buffet of Love 12″

Following up on his LP from last year, Jake Robertson (Ausmuteants, School Damage) serves four tracks of minimalist dance delirium. Shifted away from the squirm pop of his previous LP, Robertson keeps the emphasis on endless pining and extraterrestrial love but sets the scene amid a backdrop of stripped-down beats and cold-call synths. While he claims a bedridden bout with Italo-disco deep dives on YouTube is at work here, there’s also more than a few shades of German beat mongers in the bones of this EP as well. Echoing the insistent pop predicaments of Monopol and Rheingold, the EP’s four tracks are shorn of the goofy warmth that pervaded his album and zipped up in the icy folds of Nosejob’s new phase.

Whether this is a permanent shift or Alien Nosejob remains a pop chameleon destined to forever shed its skin remains to be seen. The four tracks here serve a potent dose of no-frills dance, but perhaps there are already new shores to be littered with tales of love lost and missed abductions. For now, this acts as a nice document of dance built for isolation – bedroom pop gems that don’t need a room full of gyrating sympathizers to make their Teutonic twists last.

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