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Steve Gunn – “Ancient Jules”

Steve Gunn’s made the amiable transition from his instrumental roots to road worn troubadour, and the video for his latest taste of Eyes on the Lines is steeped in that traveler’s ethos. The video sees him winding backroads and ending up in what looks to be quite a nice little night hanging with fellow guitar legend Michael Chapman. The song has a tarnished brass feel to it, driven by Gunn’s country flecked guitar sound and brought home with his weathered sigh of a croon. The album’s positioned to bring Gunn to a much bigger audience and frankly there aren’t more deserving. If this and that Kevin Morby album aren’t soundtracking your early summer nights, then you’re kinda missing the point.

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King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – “People Vultures”

Nonagon Infinity is already upon us but that doesn’t mean that King Gizz doesn’t have more in store for the hungry masses. Following up on their cryptic Jodorwosky-tipped video for “Gamma Knife” the band go further into the crazed cavern for “People Vultures.” Hard not to get some psychedelic Power Rangers vibes off of the chyron heavy effects, towering costumes and martial arts weirdness that ensues here, but somehow that all fits in nicely with what the band are hooking in visually for this album. The song was already a killer, now its just got a powerful image to accompany it. If you haven’t given the album a proper listen, then its about damn time. Said it before, but this one’s leading the charge for album of the year around here.

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Ensemble Econimique – “On The Sand”

Brian Pyle’s dark soundscapes have played their way out around here plenty of times but its been too long since I’ve checked in and “On The Sand” has me feeling remiss. On his latest track from the upcoming Blossoms In Red, he’s stripped things back to the minimal nature of doom. A vibrational core of bass rumbles through with the kind of foreboding presence that’s felt in the sweat on the back of your neck, Pyle’s guitar enters slow and menacing heralding only dread and that’s all before Peter Broderick lends his hushed, coldly threatening vocal take to the mix. The track seems like a breaking point, the moment that resistance is pushed aside and ground into the dirt. The accompanying video is appropriately stark, just shots of a woman haloed by the sun interspersed with Pyle and Broderick playing. Its one of the most crushingly heavy tracks I’ve heard this year and up there with Pyle’s best for sure.

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Omni – “Afterlife”

New cut from this Atlanta trio on Trouble in Mind recalls a welcomed jittery blast of new wave / post-punk dragging the line from ’77 – ’81. Flecked with bits of Televison’s hangover and Robert Quine’s shaky surgeon’s hand, the band seems well versed in their music nerdom. Stapling those post-punk guitars to the safety glass gaze of Devo and Pylon, they’re definitely rumbling down a hallway that I’ve got a soft spot for. The video pays homage in kind with some Commodore 64 vintage graphics that feel out the same angles they’re pinning to the track. This song’s giving me plenty of room for anticipation for the rest of Omni’s full length. Hopes on that the rest has the same jittery jones.

More info HERE.

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Wireheads – “Arrive Alive”

I’ve had a soft spot for Adelaide’s Wireheads for a while now and after last year’s excellent, Big Issues, they’re back already with a new track from an upcoming Tenth Court LP. The track is more refined and reserved than the Wireheads of old. There is hardly a sign of disonant violin or screeching din, instead they’ve built a song around the steady roll of bass that builds like a distant menace and hazy, grey tinted guitars. Of course the charred copper delivery of Dom Trimboli remains in the forefrong, never letting things get too comfortable, but as far as Wireheads go, this one is positively restrained. I’ll be interested to see how it fits in with the rest of the album (also titled Arrive Alive) which arrives soon from the Aussie imprint.

More info HERE.

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Savoy Motel – “Hot One”

This wasn’t quite what I was expecting when I’d heard that members of Cheap Time and Heavy Cream were teaming up for a new band. Both were RSTB faves and both traded in the sweaty crunch of garage punk with touches of glam floating in the mix. Savoy Motel have similar penchant for the late ’70s but they take their cues from a mutant strain of disco and funk that comes together in songs that are catchy and propulsive with melted wax twist. The addition of vocals sung through a mouth harp dips into just a bit of the wide open experimentalism that fueled the beginnings of disco, when anything was in play as long as the beat remained locked and you could find a way to dance to it. Sadly this single remains decidedly hard to actually obtain. There was a run of 50 promo 7″s that are long since gone. Though both sides can be found streaming as videos, neither can be purchased as of yet. Maybe they’ll show up on a full length or the band will get a Bandcamp running. Though for now, that elusiveness adds to the warbled charm of the single.

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Pony Time

Pony Time are creating a pretty danceable racket with just bass and drums, knocking the garage-pop formula askew and finding their solace in a quick wit that’s underscored by chunky as hell hooks. The Seattle duo has kicked out four releases since 2011 and they’re only now finding a true stride with Rumours 2: The Rumours Are True. The band called out Wounded Lion, which caught my eye and its a damn fine point of reference for the their half cocked smile and thick low-end celebrating fare. There’s a toasted ember element in the grumble and rumble of Rumours that comes off as duct tape biker glam, feeling like a band reaching for the bright lights with what they have on hand. I’ve always loved a non-trad lineup and though the bass n’ drums combo has been around plenty (DFA 1979, COCO, Lightning Bolt) that fat bass sound combined with Luke Beetham’s yelp lets Pony Time keep the tradition alive without immediately pegging them into a hole dug by others traveling down similar aesthetic paths. The band brings the party and not a whiff of self-seriousness and that’s the charm of Rumours 2 they’re just hanging out like the Spuds McKenzie of garage you were always looking for.




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Drinking Flowers – “Black Monday”

Creeping into the sheets of Britpop’s glam hangover and smudged with post-punk’s rhythmic charms, Drinking Flowers are finding a hazy medium between driving pop and smokey psychedelics. Their album on Manifesto is packed with a plethora of pop gems but standout single “Black Monday” ranks among the best. The band have an appropriately gauzy and disorienting video for the track, leaning on the song’s droning buzz and rumble of bass, the clip is a pretty apt summation of the track’s headspun approach. This one’s been a playlist staple for a while now and I’m remiss for only noticing now that this video’s been out for a couple of weeks, but worth a spin for sure.


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Steve Gunn – “Conditions Wild”

Its always nice to see longtime RSTB faves grow to the kind of widespread attention they deserve. Steve Gunn has been a fixture on the site for quite a while and his classic Golden Gunn album remains on constant rotation on my turntable. Way Out Weather broke him to a wide audience and signing to Matador probably won’t hurt either, huh? The first taste of his new album for the venerable label, Eyes On The Lines, takes a more accessible direction than ever, delving into the lushest bit of singer-songwriter territory Gunn’s ever explored. But with that unmistakable Gunn guitar snaking its way through the track and a crack team of players assembled for the album – Nathan Bowles (drums, banjo, organ), Hans Chew (wurlitzer), James Elkington (guitar, lap steel, dobro), Mary Lattimore (harp), Jason Meagher (bass, guitar, flute), Paul Sukeena (guitar), Justin Tripp (bass, keyboards), and John Truscinski (drums) – it would be hard to keep this one under wraps for long.

The video takes Steve on a stop-motion diorama trip through the woods that ends with Steve charming his would be threats with his guitar. Seems like a solid plan to me. This is looking to be an album worth keeping tabs on until its June release.

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Black Mountain

The thing I love about Black Mountain is that they go all in. They aren’t doing prog by half measures, name checking King Crimson or Can because it ticks some boxes off of their diverse influences card. No they’re full on Tarkus-ing. They’re pulling Pink Floyd synths out of their teenage memories and updating the notion of grandiose for a new age. They’re finding the Lost Chord, breaking through Wakeman’s Fragile territory and going for it like they couldn’t give a shit if you notice their Tull shirts showing. If punk was the buck reaction to prog, then what’s more punk than going full prog in 2016? Thing is this isn’t just a rehash. Its not a nostalgia album proper. Black Mountain have all these influences searing through their veins and they come pouring out through every inch of IV but the take feels fresh. They make prog mammoth again, crushing and awe-inducing in a way that should make you feel a fool for ever passing up all those Hammond-laden brothers in arms in the first place.

Its hard to believe that its been well over a decade since they dropped their eponymous debut, and even harder to realize its been six years since they had a proper full length. But just hearing the McBean / Webber combo back on the speakers makes me realize how long its really been and how big a hole there’s been in rock since they left. The album boasts production from Randall Dunn (Sunn o)), Wolves In The Throne Room) and has the balls to open with a eight plus minute epic that’s only the first taste of how towering this album gets. Six years is a long time but build up expectations, but IV smashes through them with ease.




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