Posts Tagged ‘Glam’

Savoy Motel – “Crossword Puzzle”

Been waiting on news of a new Savoy Motel and the first single from the upcoming Love Your Face is upon us and feelin’ fine. There’s less freak-funk this time around, but the band’s still picking at the prime of the ’70s this go-round — injecting a touch of bubbleglam, and it works with the band’s brand of hip-slung swagger. The beat’s made for dancing up a sweat in the pre-disco peak of ’74, rollin’ around the Bay City and soaking up a bit of foot-stomp shimmy from The Sweet while they’re at it. The guitars trade between bounce and crunch and the song is aided nicely by the VHS-vein animation from songwriter Jeffrey Novak. Look out for the new LP soon and let this one get under you skin in the meantime.



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Ty Segall & Cory Hanson – “She’s A Beam b/w Milk Bird Flyer”

An excellent collab up this week from Ty Segall and Wand’s Cory Hanson. The pair have had intertwined paths in the past with Segall releasing Wand’s first LP on his own God? Imprint and the pair kicking around the same L.A. psychedelic headspace. The songs were recorded five years back but they’ve held them close to the vest for some time. This week all sales of the single go to the L.A. Black Lives Matter efforts, so pick it up asap for maximum impact. The songs tackle the turbulent and soft-psych sides of the both artists’ endeavors. “She’s a Beam” has a sloow build before exploding into psychedelic sci-fi light. I’m partial to the flip, myself though. While the a-side is full of blinding flash, “Milk Bird Flyer” has a verdant, psych-folk feel to it, with Segall’s rather documented love of T. Rex coming through nicely. Soft guitar rambles are accented with refracted beams of guitar glitter that feels familiar, yet still thrilling each time they sprint into that sunburst sound. Fans of either artist will find plenty to love here.



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Endless Boogie – “Jerome”

There’s a lot of music hitting the ears today, but its always time to stop and clear the schedule when a cut from Endless Boogie comes rolling down the wires. The band’s been sifting through some archival cuts over the past year, with the excellent and essential Volume I, II getting a reissue last year. This time the band embark on a split between fellow RSTB faves Weak Signal and they unearth an outtake from their 2010 sessions for Full House Head. Featuring a packed lineup with Eklow, Sweeney, and Malkmus all hitting their full guitar glory here, the song bites hard on the frayed wires of glam, garage, and nascent punk without a shred of concern for self-safety. Admittedly shooting for a hybrid clambake of Hawkwind’s tail pipe huffer “Urban Guerilla” and the dirtbag glory days of Flaming Groovies., the grove kicks in like Slade gone gonzo and the whole track is short through with Paul Major’s inimitable growl. Don’t miss, don’t delay. This slab’s so thick and sinister they probably had a hard time getting the petroleum to petrify into a solid state. It bubbles and oozes with a glorious mung.




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Velveteen Rabbit

As the genre has been consumed and reconstituted over the years, it’s hard to find a take on glam-streaked power pop that doesn’t feel a bit worn through, a pale imitation of the original. However, when a band is able to rise through the veil and embody the spirit of swagger in just the right way it becomes a bit transcendental. Velveteen Rabbit are just such a band. Comprised of ex-members of The Jeanies, the band nails the fey n’ fragile, heartbroken yet hipswung vision of pop that Milk n’ Cookies, Hubble Bubble, Brett Smiley, Advertising, The Shivvers, The Records, and The Quick were all able to make into a beloved underground beacon for piners and frustrated teens throughout generations. The thing is, those songs weren’t just about pent up hormones. I mean, they were, but there was so much more seeping into the ether around the genre. If that were the only engine driving the wheels here, they’d have fallen off years ago. There’s a special spark that flickers into motion when the line between pop and punk is perfectly sliced.

Velveteen Rabbit are constantly walking that line like a tightrope and it’s impressive how many perfect nuggets they’ve packed into their debut for HoZac. They hit the ecstatic highs of the aforementioned collector’s bin burners then throw in some early shades of The Time, bringing Dez Dickerson’s “After Hi-School” to mind and infecting their sound with a silver-slung funk at times. But the band knows how to bring it down too, and that gives this record a fuller dimension. “Guitar” strokes at the wounded Chris Bell territory that gave power pop it’s heart, solitary and solemn, but just as aching as any of the rest. Similarly, “Better Than Ever” sidesteps power pop just a bit to sprinkle in some swooning R&B and white boy soul, but it pulls the strings tight between the Minneapolis slink and the Midwest jangle n’ crunch.

There’s always going to be the cloud of derivation hanging over something like this, and yeah it points to a dozen dots on the map and snags those vibes with a gleeful grab, but the way the band hangs it all together makes the their eponymous LP a true gem. For all the references they conjure, they never sound outright like they’re biting a song. They slip into the satin soul of the ’78-’82 sound and make it their own. Overabundance of riches in 2019 makes me worry this one’s gonna slip through the cracks, but I say sleep on this and you’ll be losing out.



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Velveteen Rabbit – “I’ll Be A Boy For You”

When NYC’s Velveteen Rabbit launched their last single, they hinted at a band well versed in the soft-hands, glam-greased power pop of The Quick, Milk n’ Cookies and Brett Smiley. They were knocking down some RSTB touch points and doing it just right. Digging into the routine power pop’s bag of tricks is easy, but emulating this specific silk crush remains decidedly less so. With the announcement of their debut proper the band is digging into yet another tough niche to nuzzle, leading with the crushed velvet pop of “I’ll Be A Boy For You,” one listen proves it’s an absolute crusher, the next three cement it as gold. The song takes the gloved touch of their power pop and backs it up with the crimped funk of The Time circa their ’81 debut. This is the heir apparent to “After Hi School.” Though he’s left this mortal mold all too soon the ghost of Jamie Starr (nee Rogers) lingers over “I’ll Be A Boy For You” like a silk scarf signature.

The guitars crunch and vamp but its that stab of synth that sends chills. Then with a coy bite of the lip and a hip twitch the band sends this song vibrating through the ethers to supercharge the hearts and minds of the youth troops thirsting for some rock vitality. This is just the first blush, there’s more to come.



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King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – “Cyboogie”

The silence is broken and the lid is off. King Gizz is back with a new single and, as usual, as shift in sound. This time the band embraces the slick slide of glam and funk into the advent ’80s electronic, feeling every bit like Gary Numan trying on platform shoes with Slade, ELO, and Harald Grosskopf in the same shopping trip. They’re straying far from the face melting guitars, but the rest of the band’s schtick remains in tact – the dystopian vibes, psychedelic bent and penchant for voice overs remains. For the video they play up those vibes with touches of paranoid cinema, with the clip echoing the close-up discomfort of A Clockwork Orange and the shabby glitz of The Running Man. Whether this is a taste of what’s to come of a one-off diversion, only time will tell. The sound feels good on the band and ya gotta hand it to them, they don’t sit still and they don’t stagnate their sound. The single is out Feb 1st.

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Ty Segall

Those of you in for the long haul on Ty know that the man loves a good cover, but more so than most California’s favorite son has always been an alchemist of the art form. Early seven inches often used the flip as a forum for Segall’s deep bench record shelf swoons – covering ground from Echo and The Bunnymen to Simply Saucer to The Groundhogs. Live sessions gave reason to scratch the psychotic itch with GG Allen cuts and then, of course, there’s a multi-year endeavor to cover as much ground on the T. Rex catalog as possible. What’s set Ty apart from your favorite ‘90s ska band pumping up the tempo on old Paul Simon cuts with a crass smile is that Ty’s got the perfect combination of taste and chops. He’s passionate about the source material, but not so precious as to deliver note by note recreations. On Fudge Sandwich he picks out a handful of faves deserving new life and gives them their own caustic twist through the lens of the fuzz kaleidoscope.

A multitude of singles comps have scooped up the best of the B’s in the past, but outside of those RSD Rex pressings this is the first time that Ty’s ripped into a fresh set of covers with the pure idea of breathing new life into old favorites. Its not a new idea, hell The Detroit Cobras made a damn good living out of this model for years. Still, Fudge Sandwich maintains vitality in a crowded medium, largely because in Ty’s hands any song can become newly exciting. As he does with Hot Chocolate’s “Everyone’s A Winner” from Freedom’s Goblin, Segall dirties up a fair number of his subjects – giving acid grit to War’s “Lowrider,” and injecting a fair amount of evil to John Lennon’s “Isolation.” He’s just as apt to strip things back, though, folking up The Dill’s “Class War” into a summer strummer that hits hard lyrically in 2018.

The rest of the set does its best to bring some standards to grind in the garage – fuzzing out Grateful Dead, Neil Young, The Spencer Davis Group and Sparks. He then sprinkles in some deeper cuts for the heads, hopefully opening up a few young guns to Amon Düül II, Gong and Rudimentary Peni in the same way he might have done for Simply Saucer and The Groundhogs before them. While the year already has its peak Ty release in the form of Goblin, this is a reminder that the man never sleeps and we all reap the benefits.



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Velveteen Rabbit – “Mind Numbing Entertainment”

Rising out of the ashes of longstanding NYC power pop band The Jeanies comes a new band of glam-popped punchers holding onto a lot of what made their former band sizzle. Velveteen Rabbit are, however, doing it with quite a bit more refinement than The Jeanies ever mustered. Glam pop revivalists often get a bad rap for mining a movement that many see as a passing fad – the soon sullied toy found in the cereal box of punk, power pop and proto-metal at the end of the ‘70s. However, when done right there are fewer genres that can crack a smile so wide. Sure, the affectations are preposterous, the fashion was downright criminal and there was bubblegum stuck all in the hair of everyone involved, but as far as frivolous genre experiments go I’ll take it any day.

Velveteen Rabbit dip their paws into the great crossover between glam’s fuzz-tumbled crunch and the fey end of power pop. The bands that were able to hit this stride found a bit of a golden hour sound that rocks like the punks but shies away from the pit to pine over girls at the bar. Think The Quick, Brett Smiley, Milk n’ Cookies or Phil Seymour and you’re on the right track here. The double shot of flippant fun leaves ya wanting more, which always marks a good single. This is prime ‘70s jukebox fodder following in the footsteps of plenty before them but absolutely a good time with each spin it takes around the platter.



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HOLY

For his second album as HOLY, Sweden’s Hannes Ferm uprooted his life and slowly began to dismantle the sound he’d built on his previous album. The band’s debut was rooted in a brand of garage-pop that’s not out of line with many of his labelmates on local hub PNKSLM. As he shifted to his new home of Stockholm and his new digs at Studio Cobra, however, he looked to lush works for inspiration and began a journey to a double LP concept record about deep personal change, alienation, and the nighttime. It’s a subject that would seem to inspire quiet introspection and the soft pluck of strings, but not so in Ferm’s world. He envisions the night as glimpsed through the kaleidoscopic swirl of traffic signals, brake lights, and neon signs under the sway of melancholy and psychedelics.

Ferm calls out Todd Rundgren’s classic A Wizard, A True Star as inspiration and that’s a telling germ to cite. All These Worlds Are Yours takes a similar tact of diving into songs that explode with pop colors and softly strung hooks, then clipping them short right when they’ve got you in their sway. He pulls a pop one-eighty on the listener quite a few times over the course of the record’s tenure but rather than knock the listener off track, the technique just adds to the dizzying funhouse that Ferm has constructed. The album is rooted in glam’s opulence, but not it’s rock candy crunch – there are no fuzz-tones or Bolan-sized amp rumblers here. Instead, Ferm has built a velvet-draped dreamland that’s powered by reverb and light.

It’s a huge step forward for the artist, leaving behind his humble rock beginnings to embrace the kind of mini-epics once favored by the members of The Elephant 6 Orchestra. With the help of producer Martin Ehrencrona (Les Big Byrd) he’s captured the heartswell of emotions that accompany youth’s moments of alienation, revelation, and reinvention, then used them as a neon engine for creativity. All These Worlds Are Yours sounds every bit like it could have come down in Dave Fridmann’s heyday of panoramic psych-pop and that it was largely self-done speaks volumes to Ferm’s talent and to his promise for the future.




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Ty Segall – “The Main Pretender”

Gettin’ hard to resist these Segall gems, dropping almost bi-weekly now like a necessary dosage. The latest pushes aside the laconic cool of “My Baby’s On Fire” for a fever-sweat vision of glam that’s panting with weird lust and shaking with crossfired nerves. It’s an infected descendant of Roxy-era sleaze-rock taken to the logical extreme. Mikal Cronin returns to blow sax on this one, but this time he isn’t providing mere sunset accompaniment to Segall’s house-light comedown, not in the slightest. This time he’s out for blood and bile, cutting through the riffs with a serrated groove that’s sharpened its spines on the back of James Chance’s singular vision from years before. There have been some choice cuts in this multi-hued basket of treats, but none have lacerated like this.




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