Posts Tagged ‘Garage Pop’

BOYTOY

On their sophomore LP, Brooklyn’s BOYTOY evoke the West Coast far more often than they reference the streets of their current home. Part of that left coast feeling may lie in the album’s Topanga Canyon conception and its construction at the hands of producer Kyle Mullarky (The Allah-Las, The Growlers). The record is soaked in eternal sun and imbued with a laid-back attitude that’s picking at the bones of surf and garage, with plenty of affection saved on the side for sunshine pop and doo wop swoons. The band borrows bass talents from Lena Simon of La Luz and, like her mainstay, the band has a habit of straddling those genre lines with an effortless cool.

Much of that effortlessness must be credited to vocalist / guitarist Saara Untracht-Oakner, however, who wraps her delivery in a permanently cocked smile that lets on just how much fun she’s having with these songs. The best garage pop can’t be taken too seriously (a lesson the aforementioned Growlers seemed to have unlearned on their last LP) and for the genre to stay afloat it’s necessary to impart some manner of carefree cool or irreverent recklessness. While BOYTOY aren’t going to blow down the doors of your surfshack or ruffle the sensibilities of your elders, they’re certainly helping the sun shine brighter and the beers go down easier. Night Leaf is tried and true to the formula of latter day garage – dipping its toes in girl group charms and lacing them with a touch of bite. Be that as it may, if you’re looking to soundtrack a day or two spent ditching summer school, then the band has your back.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Beach Skulls – “Sacred Citrus”

Manchester garage slingers Beach Skulls have popped up here in the past with their low-slung, amp-fried pop nugs. They’re at it again with “Sacred Citrus” from their upcoming PNKSLM LP and it continues the tradition of swagger-addled garage-pop that they’ve made their bed in over the years. The track trades in hammock-swung vibes of calmly festering fuzz and rumbling toms then slides into a fiery chorus that’s tipping the sweat gauge a few notches harder. The push-pull makes for a nice dynamic positing this as a summer soother that’s more aloe and ice crush than high octane workout.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

The Buttertones

L..A. foursome Buttertones have been working their way through the chutes and ladders of indie garage for some time now, looking for their place in a sweatbox scene that’s crowded at best. Following up on Gravedigger, they look to the oil slick riffs and curled sneers of The Cramps, Gun Club, Hasil Adkins and maybe even a touch more Cramps (for good measure) as their inspiration. Rolling their hip-slung swagger in twang worthy of Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet and gripping an ace horn section to fatten things out, the band hangs a crisp white collar on typically dirty linen. Their clean lined delivery pines like Nashville looking down Memphis way. They’ve got the studio set up right, the moves practiced until they’re seamless but they need to scuff the tape and aim the dial towards the red to really push this sound into its comfort zone.

Like their labelmate Nick Waterhouse, they’re adept at emulating eras and tone and for what its worth they find purchase in some genuinely fun moments here – the Lux Interior grease stain hop of “Baby C4,” the lounge comedown of “Don’t Cry Alone” – but something in the margins feels like for all The Buttertones’ bravado they’d probably blanche at trying to bum a smoke off of Nick Cave. When you name a song “You and Your Knife” there needs to be a feeling that the danger is real, and even though the rumble on Midnight In a Moonless Dream is more Jets vs. Sharks than Warriors vs. Rogues, they give the danger enough spark to feel fun. The band clearly know which shelves in their collection hold favorite LPs and they’re making the stretch to try to hit the marks. Might just need a few more scraped knees to pull off the darker direction, but I appreciate the effort nonetheless.



.
Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Wyatt Blair – “The Want To Be Wanted”

Wyatt Blair tackled ‘80s excess with a deft scalpel on his last album, finding a way to push Kenny Loggins’ towering tentpole radio hits to a place that was somehow nostalgic and quaint without feeling like he was trying too hard on Karaoke night. Now he’s on the verge of a new album and the first single is taking aim at another sweep of the ‘80s cinematic arm. Instead of guitar anthems that conjure visions of shirtless volleyball, caddy parties and repressed heartland teens, this time he’s taking aim at The Breakfast Club set. The latest single is packaging synthpop heartbreak into the kind of radio fodder that once buoyed Tears For Fears and Simple Minds with some new wave guitar slices that pull from the sheath of Echo & The Bunnymen or Modern English. Needless to say, I stand a bit curious to see if he continues this bent for a full album or if this remains an aberration on his style, but “The Want To Be Wanted” pulls off its trick nicely just the same.


Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Hockey Dad

The second volley from Windang, Aus’ Hockey Dad sends a vat of growth hormone raining down on the band’s sound. Not that Boronia could be accused of sounding scrappy, but everything that made that record tick is blown up to towering, shiny proportions on Blend Inn. The band is often lumped into a “Surf Rock” sound, which might have to do with their coastal town fostering a surf scene and some early videos featured the band members indulging in the waves. However, they are much more accurately embracing the axis of punk and grunge that pushed through the ‘90s, putting some meat on the bones of punk’s pogo riffs and embracing the allure of a bigger pulpit from which to hawk the resulting crunch pop. In the end, they’re about as surf as Weezer, I suppose, in that they’ve embraced some of the iconography, but not so much the ska-skiffle bounce when it comes to the fretwork.

At heart, the band is echoing traces of the mid ‘90s Fort Apache sound filtered through two or three generations of slacker pop buffer. They take some time to wind down the pace for some heartfelt swoons under the Aussie moon, finding themselves balancing the album’s sunburn grind with the requisite beer cooldown every so often, but they tend to shine brightest when the volume swells. The bigger sound feels good on them, bolstered by production from John Goodmanson (Sleater-Kinney, Death Cab), and it fits with their rise from garage-punk upstarts into a more in-demand act over the last eighteen months. Ever impressive is the band’s ability to squeeze a quartet’s worth of punch out of just two players. Their sound is never wanting, but lean, with a touch of bite.

I’d had hope with the band’s first album and they’ve lived up to any expectations placed on them for their sophomore album. Still scrappy at heart, but with a thicker sonic stew brewing here, they’re definitely working out to be contenders.





Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Saint Cecilia – “We Know Us”

A nice charmer to cap off the week, this cut from Saint Cecilia’s slept on record from the end of last year gets a new life through video. The song is pure girl group swoon, but the keys give it a tight new wave bent that drags it out of the garage ghetto and floats it above the fray. Cecilia Enriquez taps into a psych-pop that’s glittering without feeling frivolous. There’s a dark undercurrent that keeps this tethered and bites down for blood and its absolutely infectious. If you missed out on this last year, get into it now!

Support the artist. Buy it HERE (tape) . or HERE (dig).

0 Comments

Premiere: Pega Monstro – “Ó Miguel”

Lisbon duo Pega Monstro is back with a new LP for UK DIY label Upset The Rhythm. This time they’ve turned down the growl and reclined into the sunny strums of sweet-natured garage pop. It’s not a total departure from their last album, but certainly they’re entertaining the pop half of that phrase more than the garage these days. The new single, “Ó Miguel” jangles its way into your heart in barely two-minutes, but it can’t help but brighten any day. Paired with visuals from Sara Graça, the band’s video for the track comes together like a Wet Hot American Summer dance routine, silly and saccharine, but almost infectiously fun. Casa De Cima found its way out last week and if you’ve missed out, take some time to dig into the sisters’ new charmer.


Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Easy Love – “I’ll Be Fine”

New one here from Easy Love, the solo project from Justine Brown of Summer Twins. The song doesn’t stray too far from the Twins’ breezy ’60s pop overtones and general swooning appeal, but with a thickened sound and a grind of fuzz guitar backing her up, Brown’s new venture is hitting ticking all the right boxes around here. The song is drenched in longing, an ode to lost souls everywhere finding their way back to solid footing. The track is off of her upcoming album on Lollipop / Burger, which seems like a fitting home for her, given an already rosy track record with Burger. The track is probably one of the best I’ve heard out of Summer Twins or Brown’s previous solo work and it begs some attention when the full album drops in Feb.

Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Death By Unga Bunga

DBUB have been cracking at the skull of the European garage scene since 2010, but its just now that they’re crawling into the US consciousness and its damn good timing, because Pineapple Pizza is their crispest set yet. The EU never went in for that whole lo-fi buzz bin. They’ve kept garage above board and crystal clear for years and this album reminds me in the best ways of the pure fun of the 2002 garage revival that put everyone back into the pit as a herald of rock’s return. The record has a pop heart that beats loud and clear, with hooks the size of Subarus locking down its nucleus and a relentless bounce of cheerfulness that makes this album border on pop punk in the fun department. Its at least a close cousin of the genre at heart, even if the band sees themselves as more of a garage band.

Don’t know who’s choosing the singles on this one, but despite the initial punch of “Tell Me Why” the best bits here are being overlooked. “Best Friends” casts its hooks in early on and “Make Up Your Mind” is a nodder as well and “Strangers From the Sky” is as big as they come. Catchy though it is, “Young Girls,” which did make the singles cut, makes me cringe in that way that Bad Sports’ “Teenage Girls” did a few years back. Its hard to sing along to a song that’s predatory at heart. No matter how “celebratory” you think your anthem of youth is, its creeping us all out. But that trip aside, this one’s a keeper and one of the most fun records to come onto the speakers in a long long time.

Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Mozes and the Firstborn – Power Ranger EP

RSTB faves Mozes and the Firstborn have been pretty quiet since their super solid 2013 eponymous LP. But it would seem that the silence is broken and hopefully its just the tip of the ‘berg for the Dutch crew. They’ve got an EP with four new tracks up for free download over at their Bandcamp this week. Still mining their same classic rock impulses, via the oversized sound of early aughts psych Juggarnauts like Soundtrack of Our Lives and building choruses on a shaggy 90’s Pavement / Pixies axis, the band’s always come off much slicker than many of their Burger brethren and better for it. Along with fellow EU garage diggers Death by Unga Bunga they’re ushering in a hard hankering over here for some big, crisp pop that worms its way into your head for days. Pick up that EP below. There are very few reasons not to. Hopin’ this leads to an album announcement on the horizon.

Support the artist. Get it HERE.

0 Comments