Posts Tagged ‘Moshi Moshi’

Flamingods – “Marigold”

Picking up more than a few similarities to indie’s pervasive and over-the-top psych-pop personalities – throwing Animal Collective, Thee Oh Sees, Temples and Tame Impala in a Vitamix and scrambling ‘til smooth, the London quartet Flamingods seem on the edge of household familiarity with their latest single. The UK via Bahrain band is widening their scope of influence even further on the upcoming Levitation, scooping up inspiration from Mid-East and South Asian funk, psych and disco from the ‘70s. While first single “Marigold” doesn’t quite sound like a lost trinket from the South Asian delta, it’s a pretty blistering bit of excess splattered pop that puts the band on par with Psychedelic Porn Crumpets in terms of welding guitar volume to heady shakedowns for a pretty fun ride. Naturally, this one caught my eye (as with Shana Cleveland) due to artwork from RSTB fave designer Ardneks. Moshi Moshi’s got the album arriving on May 3rd. Can’t wait to hear more from this one.



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The Wave Pictures

After last year’s brittle, buoyant, jagged and jilted turn as The Surfing Magazines I was eager to see how Dave Tattersall and Franic Rozycki returned to their home in The Wave Pictures. While their latest is a far cry from the precision take on art-surf that tumbled out of the speakers last year, Brushes With Happiness is no less intriguing. Recorded as a one-night stand with only some lyrics in hand, the band entered the studio, stripped back the walls of inhibition chemically and laid down the album as an improv to tape. The result is a minor key comedown that’s batting the bare bulb around the room and slowly curling into the embrace of depression-laced garage blues.

The band nails the codeine cool of late night diviners that came before them, finding a detached swagger in the menacing single, “Jim” or the slinking follower “Laces.” The album’s off the cuff nature gives it a distinct and consistent mood, vibing off the room and practically sweating sour sneers and old smoke at every turn. The songs don’t get overly samey, but they’re clearly part of something bigger than themselves. It’s an album’s album, a suite that’s imbued with the nighttime, infused with solitary penance and grappling with demons itching just below the surface.

While the band are admittedly reaching for their Tonight’s The Night Moment, they aren’t quite clamping down that degree of indispensable output, but that’s not to say this isn’t a shining moment in The Wave Pictures’ catalog. Brushes With Happiness is an abrupt heel turn on the majority of their UK contemporaries – loose, unfussed with hooks, and crackling with an energy that’s not built for the machinations of radio placement. Instead the band have followed their own muse down the crumbling k-hole and come out the other side with a delightfully cohesive and dour record that’s a perfect drinking buddy. They embrace the ache and put it back out into the world for one more revolution.



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The Wave Pictures – “Jim”

One of last years most undeservedly glossed over releases had to be the eponymous debut from The Surfing Magazines. It was a step back into indie’s heyday, throwing a touch of surf’s veneer into a stretched and snapped web of toughened hooks that proved guitar rock still had some legs in 2018. The backbone of The Surfing Mags was the trio normally filed under The Wave Pictures, they just pop in ringer Charles Watson from The Slow Club to make the transition. Now back to their old tricks, The Wave Pictures have two new albums on the way for 2018 and first up is Brushes With Happiness, an off-the-cuff recording that the band did in one day. The second offering promises a bigger pop picture but “Jim,” the first cut from Brushes speaks to the marked difference between the two albums. This is a pure product of the band’s blues séance held one January night.

The track is sparse, but still glowing with the guitar tones of Dave Tattersall, who seems to have a strange wrangle on the lizard writhe of rock. The track slinks in and huffs the firelight out of the room, feeling full of detached cool, – the kind of track that would underpin a killer’s saunter into a nest of unfortunate victims in a film with any taste. It’s all preamble here, though, and part of me wants it to explode at the end into a shambolic arc of metallic shred but somehow that’s not what I feel is at foot on this record. I’ll be eager to see if it’s all held breath and hushed menace like “Jim.”




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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 Surfing Magazines – “Lines and Shadows”

Consisting of two thirds of The Wave Pictures and one half of Slow Club, London combo, The Surfing Magazines come locked in with a touch of DIY pedigree. They don’t rest on reputation alone though, brandishing an effortless cool that seeps through the wires, laying the track into territory that’s squeezed out of the Velvets school of punk and into a bone dry twang that belies their British roots. They slide the track home with a slow building of sax that boils over as the track reaches peak, shattering into a thousand pieces of skronk and squelch that burn down any composure built up over the previous few minutes. A barbed first single that hopefully lets on to an equally interesting album.




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