The Wead – “By The Whey”

So this one tows the line between re-released and the singles section, but small format is small format so here we are. Slovenly got their hands on these tracks by stroke of luck, hooked up by Cheater Slicks member Tom Shannon who met a member of The Wead during his stint as a clerk in Columbus, OH’s Used Kids Records. The double track of teen punk angst was given a sound upgrade and new garage punk snarl resulting in a double shot of snotty riffage that the world was sorely missing out on. The a-side is a rollicking bit of 60’s garage that spits and swings wild, but still has plenty of sweet vocals chiming before that solo tears the whole mess down. The band gets jangled and jostled on the flip, a strummer that pounds just as heard as the wilder seeming a-side. These kinds of finds are becoming fewer and further between, but knowing this kind of gem is still out there waiting makes it seem well worth flipping through countless reams of garage comps and rarities collections. Though maybe you just need to wait until life walks in and hands you an acetate across the counter.

Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Tomorrow The Rain Will Fall Upwards – “…And I Tried So Hard”

The purposely elusive Tomorrow The Rain Will Fall Upwards returns to Blackest Ever Black for a new long player that from all indications will be a really interesting listen. The first track proper is a slinking bit of calm tranquility that builds on angelic synths and swirling bliss. The cut emerges from the gauzy vortex for some piano fragility that builds the runnout to euphoric heights. Its a gorgeous track that can’t help but lift your spirits, even just a little bit. As I said, from the sampler that BEB just put out for the rest of the album, it sounds like the rest will weave all over the place into a mash of delight and cacophony, which sounds just perfect. Excited for this full length to unfold over the next month.




Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Wymond Miles on Jacobites – Robspierre’s Velvet Basement

Hidden Gems is based on the idea of those records that are found along the way in life that you can’t believe you never heard about, the ones that just blow you away on first listen and seem like such a find. The kind of records that get left out of all the essential decade lists and 1001 records you need to hear before you die type of listicle. The ones that got away. For the second installment in the series, I asked Wymond Miles, member of Fresh & Onlys and solo artist in his own right to take his pick at an essential piece of the past. He picked Nikki Sudden & Dave Kusworth’s 1985 sophomore LP as the Jacobites, Robspierre’s Velvet Basement. I asked Wymond how this lovely piece of the post-punk landscape came into his life and what the record means to him.

Continue Reading
1 Comment

Terry – “Hot Heads”

Aussie post-punk scrappers Terry have a new video for their cut “Hot Heads,” a standout from their recently released HQ. The track’s got a boatload of jangle and plenty of tension burbling in those tightly wound horns running underneath. Its a prime example of what makes their debut so endearing. The clip is basically the album cover come to life, watching the band watching themselves work through some line dance nostalgia that’s straight out of Footloose. Hell, if this had been the soundtrack to bootscootin’ maybe I would have paid more attention. If you’re not already on the Terry train (you should be) then now’s the time and below is the place. This is a constant on the RSTB headphones this year.


Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

75 Dollar Bill

NY duo 75 Dollar Bill meld an obvious love of Tuareg guitar twines, desert electro-blues and the kind of Japanese broken boogie noise that’s getting fewer and further between these days. Wood/Metal/Plastic/Pattern/Rhythm/Rock builds four pieces into towering walls of drone and snakes of guitar winding through desolate alleyways of percussion. They’ve been studying up their Ethiopiques, feasting on Arabic modality and pinning both to a dirty boogie beat that gores the heart of dance out of a ragged and frantic trance. The big step here is that Che Chen and Rick Brown are no longer alone in their excavation of the psychic heartbeat at the center of the Earth. For this record they’ve brought on a wealth of collaborators, Cheryl Kingan on baritone and alto saxes, Andrew Lafkas on contrabass, Karen Waltuch on viola, Rolyn Hu on trumpet and Carey Balch on floor tom.

The menagerie of sound adds to the chaos and clatter of their ragged stomp and its definitely the puzzle piece they’ve been looking for. Wood/Metal/Plastic/Pattern/Rhythm/Rock is euphoric in its search for the knife edge between noise and nuance. Chen’s guitars are brittle and bruised, sounding like metal twisting over on itself time and time again. Brown, for his part, finds rhythm wherever it lies, using a wooden crate to create a cavernous thud that’s omnipresent on the album and working his way through an arsenal of shakers and beaded rhythm sticks for a sound that’s organic in its street band aesthetic. In the end, the band has hammered all of their moving pieces into the shape of a record that can’t help but feel soulful, ferocious and raw.

Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Wyatt Blair – “Monday Morning Mess”

The sad demise of Pop Zeus’ Mikey Hodges left the fate of his collaborative LP with Wyatt Blair in permanent stasis, and the fate of Blair himself open ended in the wake of his friends passing. True to form though, Wyatt has picked up the pair’s indomitable vibe and parlayed it into a solo record that has the same lust for power pop as screened through the 80’s dayglo sheen of MTV, nervy new wave excess and an untitled buddy comedy starring John Cusack and Corey Feldman that only exists in my head. Lead off single is chowing down Eddy Money mania while channeling a version of The Kings enamored with The Cars’ syth sound. There’s never a glut of power pop but Blair sends those chills of excitement down your spine, getting it just right along with other crunch pop heroes of today like Barreracudas and Warm Soda. Pair it all up with a grainy video that feeds on the best of the the video vault cliche’s and its hard not to crack a smile for Blair’s double slice of fun. The album’s on the way in August and that’s just in time to crank it for some Summer sendoffs.

Support the artist. Buy it HERE

0 Comments

Pink Fairies – Neverneverland

Projects connected to 60’s luminary Twink seem to have a way of finding their way into collectors’ hearts. The Pretty Things, Tomorrow, Santa Barbara Machine Head (one of my personal favorites) and his own Think Pink album all paved the way leading up to him hooking up with the bulk of The Deviants to form The Pink Fairies. The band’s debut sprang out of a single for Polydor that contains what are arguably the band’s most powerful tracks, “The Snake” and “Do It,” the latter of which was even covered by The Rollins Band on their album of the same name. The debut from ’71 is one of those albums that finds its way into the crossover between hippy ideals and hard rock’s rising sun.

There are moments when the band shows their roots in Twink’s past, hints of Tomorrow’s Pink Floyd worship on “Heavenly Man,” slinking half-hearted anti-war creeds on “War Girl and the twee psychedelics of title track “Never Never Land.” The band’s eclecticism often gets the better of them and they’re distinctly at their best when they turn on the power and lean hard into rock as an ethos, but then again, there were several others in ’71 who’d had the same indulgences and came out with more of a household reputation. The charmers here warrant this one falling much higher on the list of classic rock castaways, but in the end this is a release for the heads, and perhaps “Uncle Harry’s Last Freakout” can best attest to that. Still its got enough bright spots to keep it floating to the top of your classic psych collection from time to time and there are certainly some playlists that could benefit from a little padding from The Fairies.


Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Wymond Miles – Call By Night

On his third solo album for Sacred Bones, Wymond Miles pares back his sound while delving deep into the heart of pain and past with traumas both new and old. The album calls back to Miles’ youth in small working class towns, a side of America that’s been thrust into the light of day harder than ever this year. For those that grew up in the heartland among the flat expanses, endless highways and smell of carbide deeply ingrained into every fiber of life, its a bleak reminder as Miles unfolds a life less charmed in blistering black and white. For Miles, his towns lie further to the West than the rust belt ruts of my own youth. A land of promise from the turn of the century on, offering endless vistas and a life less managed and just as often offering a life less fruitful and quietly suffocating. Its a landscape that was built up high and only had further to fall from grace. Like the American South, the West has its billboard towns and vacation centers but on the other side of any vacation town lie those who’d love nothing more than for their tenure in town to end.

Call By Night touches on war’s human scars and youth’s permanent marks, and in his framing, Miles backs off a touch on the overt touches of Echo and the Bunnymen that have swathed his earlier records. There’s still a grandeur to this one, but its stripped clean and simple, like wire ready to be harnessed to a spark. Miles’ voice is up close and booming in your ears like an accusation. The songs are sparse, not to the point of being empty, but unfettered in a way that gives them a bigger punch when he unlooses his demeanor. The tension is thick, like the wounds never healed, feeling as if he picks at the bandage it might all unravel. And sometimes it does, such as when he burns the world down on the devastating centerpiece “Divided In Two.” He’s been an integral part of Fresh & Only’s dark pop corners and it seems that after his sophomore album he almost packed it in, but as Call By Night can attest, its a good thing he had another one to get out of him. This is Miles at his best and a boon to those souls curled under the covers waiting for the dawn to come each day.

Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

EZTV – “High Flying Faith”

I came sorely late to EZTV’s first album, but the band’s timeless touch on the power pop paradigm seemed far too welcomed to pass up. Now the band stands on the verge of a follow-up and it sounds even more polished, working through the Byrdsian touches that found their way down to the likes of Shake Some Action-era Flaming Groovies and the bigger vistas of The Raspberries or later period Big Star. They’re fully gripping that hold on pop shimmer and this time they’re bringing Jenny Lewis along for the ride with some subtle backup vocals. Frankly, there couldn’t be a sweeter touch to add to any crystalline pop song than Lewis’ bourbon and honey drawl. The song fairly melts out of the speakers like sugar dissolving in water. Every note feels perfect, but not in a cloying way. EZTV have a timelessness that hits like the sweet pang of nostalgia rather than the hot slap of kitcsh. If this is how they’re rolling out of the gates for High In Place, then I’m pretty damn eager to hear how the rest plays out.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Scott and Charlene’s Wedding – “Don’t Bother Me”

After a solid sending EP that’s lead the charge up this year, Scott and Charlene’s Wedding return for that full length romp and, like the EP namesake, “Delivered,” their new cut, “Don’t Bother Me” perfectly sums up the band’s slack atmosphere and shaggy vibe. In the Aussie spectrum, there are plenty who know just how to make that jangle work and even more who know that the suburban ethos of bored, broke and nonchalant go a long way. That said, Craig Dermody fills those phrases with more weight than most and makes the slacker soul seem enlightened, or at least merely charming. The video appropriately stages a walkabout through the band’s home life, wandering the rooms and leading up to packing it all in a truck and taking off. The band has recently relocated back to Melbourne after stints in NYC and London and they’re sounding all the better for it. Nothing like home to fan the embers that flame in your heart, eh? This clip leaves me only wanting more.


Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments