Posts Tagged ‘Garage’

Timmy’s Organism

The garage demons are runnin’ amok this fall as renown gutter necromancer with a telecaster Timmy Vulgar lays down a new slab of dust choked bile on hometown label Lo & Behold. Vulgar has never steered me wrong and, as he digs deeper into his Organism moniker, this band only becomes further entrenched as the brutal defensive pincer of his personal universe (see also: Human Eye, Clone Defects). Eating Colors culls together a few singles that seeped out of the swamp following the band’s brush with infamy as part of Third Man’s expanded roster, but it all careens together seamlessly into a prime slice of Detroit fuzz as the Organism’s fourth album proper.

Vulgar channels the specter of Don Van Vliet as he gargles acidic syllables over the Motor City’s true export – raw, unrefined, diesel-burning rock ‘n roll. He hoists his guitar like a sonic halberd, cutting down swaths of listeners swarming to the mecca of diseased fuzz that spews from the band’s aural wellspring. The Organism is best looked at indirectly, so as not to turn to stone on sight of the beast, but its best listened to at top volume, careening out of car windows and down cracked city blocks like an air raid siren of doom for all to hear. If ever there was a band that embodied, embraced and emboldened the idea that rock might open a mental portal to another plane, Timmy’s Organism is that band. The very blood of the band runs green with a radioactive pulse that’s melting minds with guitar vomit and on this latest slab, they’re bound to induce a nervous breakdown or two. This might be just what you need to sandblast the barnacles of 2017 from your system.





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Omni’s Frankie Broyles on China Crisis – Difficult Shapes & Passive Rhythms – Some People Think It’s Fun To Entertain

After splitting from Deerhunter, Frankie Broyles has taken a tumble through post-punk’s most angular avenues with his band Omni. The band’s debut for Trouble in Mind was a loving run at Television, The Voidoids and Wire, a sound which they only crystallize on their follow-up this year. For the latest Hidden Gems, Boyles takes a run at an album he feels has been left out of the public conversation, the synth-pop debut from Brits China Crisis. If the album’s cover is any indication, they’ve at least lifted a bit of aesthetic vision from the band but Frankie explains how the music has seeped into his own life below.

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Ecstatic Union – “Illuminator”

L.A. psych rockers Ecstatic Union slipped a solid release out on Lollipop recently and their single “Illuminator” encapsulates the feel good summer vibes that soak the entire record. Huge pop hooks are doused in the kind of glowing ’60s pop that permeated the Elephant Six catalog, taken even bigger by graduates like Beulah and The Sunshine Fix. The video has fun with a rapscallion beach rat character that brings a smile to any viewer. The rest of the record is worth a run as well. Get down with some sunshine vibes before they’re all gone.



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The Surfing Magazines

The Surfing Magazines knot their slackened indie impulses through a slow-simmer debut filled with rope-burn riffs and a midnight vocal slink. The London foursome drags the line directly from the VU and Jonathan Richmond schools of aloofness, swaggering through songs with an innate eloquence that hasn’t really been felt since guitar rock’s mid-aughts bubble. They embody the essence of detached cool, strumming with a purposeful, but decidedly laconic touch that flicks out frayed runs with a sigh that seems at odds with the lacerations they leave. If this were another era, one could only imagine a cigarette dangling unperturbed from the mouths of players in forgotten accessory.

However, while they find roots in an American past, there’s something indelibly British about the album – a stateliness that hangs in the air as the notes decay behind the fold. And thankfully there’s very little actual surf influence here, aside from the loungey instrumental “A Fran Escaped,” it’s kept to just a flourish and a name. Instead, the band projects an image of art-dallianced mod rockers whose jazz friends have come to rock a horn session, beefing up their stripped bare rumblers with equal doses of swing and skronk. Somehow they make it sound refreshing and, while there’s definitely a note of pretension here, like VU they get away with it since their charms outweigh their indulgences

The bones of the band crib decisively from the Wave Pictures half of the members’ background, with no real shreds of Slow Club’s lush indie-pop in sight. Though, what they’ve done with the same basic structure far outstrips Tattersall and Rozycki’s previous catalog. It’s hard to hammer at the essence of The Surfing Magazine’s sound without acknowledging that it carries deep debts to tried and true tropes, but what makes their version stand out is that they pull it off effortlessly and with such a cocked smile that the listener just has to appreciate their confidence and nod with appreciation.




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The Schizophonics – “The Train”

San Diego’s Schizophonics tap the primordial soup that fuels the rawest riff on rock n’ roll – the kind that left crowds slack-jawed and jonesin’ after performances by The MC5 and their siblings in sweat, The Stooges. The Schizophonics pump that strain of heat through every inch of “The Train,” coursing 1.21 gigawatts of disjointed guitar fury through any speaker that thinks it has a shot to handle the noise. They’re picking up the mantle once held high by frayed freaks like The Sonics. They’re donning the cape and bending down to the same twisted Tiki God that bestowed King Kahn with the very tempest of Soul that infected James Brown and Little Richard before him. With no small amount of blood letting, they’ve caught the manic itch of rock’s own riotous ripple and they’re spreading it far and wide here. Their LP is out now on the famed Sympathy for the Record Industry, so dig in for a full helping.



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Frankie and the Witch Fingers

L.A. psych swingers Frankie and the Witch Fingers are back and tapping into a dank sweat lodge brand of psychedelia that sows its seeds in the euphoric daze that drove Roky Erikson, The Remains and Rudy Martinez (aka the ephemeral Question Mark). They’re looking to find that heat lightning intangibility that crops up when the stars are aligned just right and the crowd is in full sway. “Lernings Of The Light” is a full-on, harp-pocked, blooze-psych blowout that rattles the rafters and picks up the mantle that so many of the class of ’68 left curled and waiting between the tubes of their battered amps. New one is out via Permanent in September.




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Flat Worms – “Motorbike”

Following up a couple of solid singles on Volar, L.A. trio Flat Worms jumpstart the anticipation for their album proper with “Motorbike,” a two-ton fuzz whollop of a track that’s fueled by adrenaline, squelch and rumble. Pounding the pulse as hard as any cross traffic lane zagging, the song is too much fun not to crank on repeat for a good 5 or six rounds. If the rest of the album is even half as ripped as this cut, then its another win in the Castle Face column for sure. Need more reason? Sure you do. Members have spent time as part of touring bands for Oh Sees, Ty Segall, Kevin Morby and Wet Illustrated.




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Guantanamo Baywatch

Guantanamo Baywatch charmed with with their 2015 album, Darling… It’s Too Late, and they continue on a similar stint with their latest. The new album is still pairing a ’50’s/’60’s rock ‘n roll hop scotch approach with surf interludes learned right out of The Astronauts / Challengers playbook. Desert Center tends to dial back the John Waters Twister party taste that was slicked all over their last, though. Instead they’ve toughened up their twang a bit, and rightly so, Suicide Squeeze is dropping allusions to Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet. The Canadians best known for for their association with The Kids In The Hall share the same – surf rock as channeled by Morricone – feeling that winds up inhabiting much of DC’s riffs, or at least the majority of its instrumental passages.

The vocal numbers kick the dust off slightly, going for more of a lonely hearts prom set in a wayback desert diner feeling. The band’s nothing if not lodged in the pomade dreams of a more innocent time, but they manage to carry it well without sounding too much like a college cast of Grease looking to keep the gang together with a new endeavor. They channel some universal pain and heartbreak into their choked-up ballads like, “Blame Myself” and “Neglect.” The rest winds up skittering through sidewinder spy riffs and spaghetti western rip tides. It’s another fun romp, even if much of the water’s already been tread.

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Kelley Stoltz – “Same Pattern”

San Francisco’s secret weapon, Kelley Stoltz, is back with a new album for Castle Face and he’s perfecting his brand of Neu-wave pop. Stoltz has lived a career on the periphery, often appearing behind the boards or in the guest musician credits of lauded releases, while his own never get the full acclaim they deserve. Even with label stints at Sub Pop and Third Man, Stoltz remains a secret handshake for those with discernible taste, but so be it, I guess. This hint of his newest is pulsating with life – motorik, hazy, blissful and buzzing. It’s a step into the ether for Stoltz, who’s often found his way along the garage-pop spectrum. “Same Pattern” is built on a throbbing vein of Krautrock that’s a step in a new direction, albeit fitting to the artist’s greater pop universe.

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The Murlocs

It would seem that the cult of King Gizz is reaching the boiling point these days. Still wondering how they’re gonna make that five album deadline at this point but, hell, why not throw in a side project or two while you’re at it? The band’s Ambrose Kenny-Smith will likely never fully extract himself and The Murlocs from under the yoke of his banner band, but they’re doing their best to carve out a little space of their own. Old Locamotive expands on the garage-blooze spiral that’s swirled out of The Murlocs speakers since before 2014’s Loopholes. This time it’s just a touch cleaner and snug down into a pocket of groove that feels nicely worn, like cracked leather.

The record is skewing towards the mellow, still packed with a swamp-thick punch of guitar, but not blowing as hot and frantic as the Jason Galea artwork on the cover would suggest. Kenny-Smith has always been a sucker for the blues half of that garage equation, and he plays it up like a harp man keeping his brand fresh. More often than not he can work the organ and harmonica strewn tracks into a decent romp, but there are the occasional drags. The highlights hit pretty hard, though, and when he tears into a track like “Snake In The Grass” its hard not to crack a smile. All told, this is the most consistent The Murlocs have sounded yet, and whether its studio bleed over from King Gizz or a wellspring of the band’s cohesiveness, he’s molded this into a decent volley from Flightless’ second string.




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