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

Psychic Ills – “Never Learn Not To Love”

Over the tenure of this blog Psychic Ills seem like such a load-bearing staple that its hard to believe that songwriter Tres Warren has passed. The band evolved through myriad incarnations — mutating lineups and sounds through the psychedelic swamp. Their early record were nerve-bitten and bracing when others were looking to hang onto more of a pop life raft. Then Warren and his compatriots worked their way to a sort of psychedelic ebullience on their final album, Inner Journey Out, a poison-tipped country-psych ramble that stood as one of their best. While its bittersweet to know that there was yet another album in the making that may never reach our ears, this double sided ode to the relationship between Dennis Wilson and Charles Manson is a lovely curio of remembrance. The band tackles both The Beach Boys’ “Never Learn Not To Love,” the song that was based on Manson’s “Cease To Exist” and part of his rift with Wilson over changes made to the final version. The version here is lush and hazy, wrapped in the same sort of beautiful grace that marked their last album.

On the flip they tackle Manson’s original and give it a much starker treatment, letting the two versions stand in contrast to one another — the former a comforting shoulder and the other a cold rebuke. Both versions are quite worth your time, and wind up an essential pickup for any longtime fans of the band’s catalog. Warren will certainly be missed and reworks like this only prove why that’s true.




Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

The Tubs – “I Don’t Know How It Works”

The first couple of offerings from Perfect Records, the collaboration between Joanna Gruesome members and Mark Dobson from The Field Mice, have highlighted members of the band post-dissolution. Where Ex-Vöid blend JG’s knack for melody with some spark-changed guitars, The Tubs invests in Sarah Records-styled jangle that feels as timeless as ever. “I Don’t Know How It Works” is a bittersweet tumble down the tubes with organ swells and aquamarine-hued harmonies that can’t help but hurt as much as they heal. The song picks at jangle with a ruffled charm, feeling at once like the most put together track from members of the Gruesome family, yet still one that doesn’t subscribe to the notion of perfection.

The flip is a slightly more driven pop nugget that’s got strains of The Chills and The Bats in its DNA, and could easily crop up on latter-day offerings from either. Both sides are absolutely stunners and here’s hoping that as this label progresses they continue to highlight the crossover chemistry of members from the ranks of Joanna Gruesome while also roping in some likeminded folks along the way.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

The Holydrug Couple – “Vértigo/Valle de los Espejos”

Sneaking out on their Bandcamp this week, RSTB fave The Holydrug Couple have a charity EP set to benefit those wounds and affected by recent Chilean protests. Both sides of the 7” are covers from Chilean ‘60s band The Blops, who brought American and British rock n’ roll into the country — emulating The Beatles, The Doors, and other exports of the era, but interpolating their own native perspectives as well. Holydrug picks out two early cuts from the band focusing on a deep cut from The Blops’ debut album alongside a b-side from the ’71 single “Machulenco.” While both deviate from The Holydrug Couple’s usual deep valley euphoria, they present a nice take on the songs while drawing a line to some of their own influences. The single is being offered in a scant physical run of, or you can pick it up digitally on the band’s Bandcamp. Worthwhile to nab this one and spread some relief.


Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Huevos II – III EP

I mentioned the relatively low-profile pop of Huevos II a little while back, but a deeper look into their inviting EP for Sophomore Lounge is worthwhile. The band boasts a solid lineup featuring Michael (Ma) Turner who’s held down time in Warmer Milks, State Champion, Teal Grapefruit and duo’d with Nathan Boweles. Turner hooks up with some fellow Western Mass heads, but eschews the obvious – swerving shy of the noise laden squall and psychedelic folk of his peers to work in a clean combed vision of pop that’s at least paid a day trip to the alters of Kiwi-pop and Fort Apache-bred US indie. They poke the wounds of Eric’s Trip. They lean back into the mellower moments of Hüsker Dü round about the Zen Arcade days. They dig though the remains of Angst and pick out the sprightliest sections for reexamination.

There’s something bygone about the EP, a remnant of the past unperfected. In exploring Hidden Gems on the site, I’m always looking for the connective tissue from scenes that didn’t materialize, but somehow seeped into the unconscious ether and this is a record that feels like the very notion of that. The Paisley Underground harmonies of “Alright” feed on the slightly misaligned angles of Flying Nun jangles in “Sandy Goes.” The slight twang of “Memories” sighs out of the East Coast Boston basements and the record does a good job of making the case that they were all part of one spontaneous continuum. There’s every indication that the bad isn’t doing this for keeps, but after this five-spot start, I definitely want more.




Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Oog Bogo – Oog Bogo 12″

Melting like action figures in the microwave, the songs that make up the first solo EP from The Meatbodies’ Kevin Boog are garage nuggets that have skunked and soured. Atop a stutter of drum machine Boog works his way through the cellophane muck of sticky synths and fried nerve-ending guitars that sound like he’s been spending a lot of time with the early end of the last decade. Bringing to mind scum sifters like Nice Face, Gary War, and Flight, the EP is mostly working its way through the primordial ooze, though he hits pretty hard on “Tower’s Ladder,” which might slot in the paint-fumes fun times of your rotation alongside a Damaged Bug tune or two. Similarly the b-side swinger “Coyote Loves the City at Night” drops the fog-machine haze for just a bit to tip-toe into psych-folk’s ripple. This one lands via friend and fellow tone-skimmer Ty Segall’s Drag City imprint God?



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

The Telephone Numbers – I Took A Walk

Been waiting for this one to land for some time, as rumblings and Instagram pics floated out of the Bay Area over the last year. The Telephone Numbers are a trio featuring Thomas Rubenstein, Charlie Ertola, and Glenn Donaldson (Skygreen Leopards, Art Museums) coming together for a classic jangle-pop tumble through the sunny streets. Akin to Donaldson’s latest work with The Reds Pinks and Purples, but cleaner, less solitary and somber. There’s still a bittersweet tinge to their first single and it shines through on the title track, bringing to mind The Field Mice and later-period Felt. “I Took A Walk” is yearning, wrestling with a heavy heart, and not always winning. The band caps the single nicely with the spare, but sweet “I Don’t Wanna Cry,” a cover by pre-Big Hat band The Keys. Very excited to have and hold something from these guys, though hoping something physical might be in the works somewhere further down the line. This was practically made for sitting on the floor, staring at the ceiling and stilling oneself only to push the needle back to the beginning once more.




Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Lux – New Day EP

A ferocious EP from Barcelona’s Lux hits like a giddy hammer to the head. Over these four tracks the band barely takes a breath, forging a formidable punk gauntlet that tears at the listener from all sides. Spain’s been having a pretty admirable punk resurgence and this fits right in alongside Moan or Rata Negra. The EP rumbles into view with the suburban assault of “Action,” the band’s riot underpinned by the sonic slap of vocals that never let the listener off of the hook. The whole thing’s over in six minutes but not an ounce of sweat is spared over the four tracks. It’s cold out there, so maybe this is the best way to melt the ice and march on through the rest of these sun-forsaken months. Lux know just what you’re looking for and bring int 4x harder and faster than the rest. Recommended on repeat.

Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

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.




Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

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.




Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

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.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments