Posts Tagged ‘Nashville’

Ornament – “It Must Be The Season”

Ran across Nashville’s Ornament when the band was just working out photos through Nashville scene photographer Emily Quirk. Her coverage usually spans some great up and comers that roll through the town. I was sad at the time that they hadn’t really had much recorded output clanging around but now it seems that the band is releasing their debut single, “It Must Be The Season” b/w “Family Happiness.” The double shot positions the trio on the edge of indie/precipice of country in a wide-skied ’70s fashion that’s been bleeding more and more into the preferred fashion of late. Tip in bit of psych smoldering at the edges and I’m pretty much sold.

The A side has a loping ramble that works chiming guitars to great effect before sliding through a twanging solo that’s pure amber tones grafted to AM haze. The track’s a strong starter that’s putting them in league with EZTV or Ultimate Painting. The flip takes things to an even lusher locale with the sunset hues creeping high in the sky and a swell of strings making this feel much larger than their humble roots would suggest. Definitely a band to keep tabs on and a solid single top to bottom.




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Paperhead

A distinctly polished upgrade of Paperhead’s nostalgia-centric rock trip, their latest Chew is an ambitious reach that pays off for the most part. The Paperhead is one of those band’s that has been clanging around in RSTB’s reach for a few years now. They came up as underage wunderkinds with a taste that spoke to hours dosed in YouTube fodder that knocked through Nuggets-era material like Kaleidoscope, Gandalf, Tomorrow, July and Rainbow Ffolly. They emulated the off-kilter, day-glo pastiche so well that it was charming, but not didn’t necessarily speak to carving out their own space. They’d excelled at winking at collectors who couldn’t help but feel that “the kids were all right.” But on Chew they begin to move away from that and into their own space, finally coming to terms with the influences that have bubbled up in their formative years, blending that ’60s sweet tooth with a more complex pop that speaks to their familiarity with the Elephant 6 catalog as that stable developed out of their own adolescence.

Tracks like “Emotion (Pheromones)” speak to the kind of lush pop made by Beachwood Sparks and middle marks of Beulah. “Little Lou” is a hazy dose of Olivia Tremor Control’s outer reaches. Elsewhere they fully embrace a ’70s eclecticism that found a home for country’s mellow glow within psych-pop’s walls. They dabble in dual languages on standout “Dama De Lavanda” and they seem to fully swell into a sense of who they want to be. Yes, they are still quite smitten with the seeds of the past, but now they appear to have let more of themselves into the mix. As an added plus those skin deep and sleeve worn influences have all seeped deep into the system and germinated in delightful ways. This is a band still having fun with the kind of music they enjoy, indulging but also adding to the conversation. It’s psych-pop with a human heart.




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Okey Dokey

Nashville duo Okey Dokey struck a chord around here with their single last year, “Wavy Gravy”. Now they’ve snuck out a full length that expands on their exploration of blue-eyed soul through an updated filter of psych-pop and indie charms. They capture just a touch of the full swell hopefullness that drove fellow Tennessee-pop troupe Magic Kids. Like that outfit they employ large scale arangement, taking full advantage of the nostalgic twinge of stings and brass. Likewise they meld in doo-wop and soul vocal takes that give their songs a flashback flutter around the edges.

Guitarist Johny Fisher’s also made time in The Weeks, and while he doesn’t bring a huge influence of the band’s southern rock into the room, his chops remain here with some sprightly guitar work that shades the pair’s songs nicely. That said, its really the vocal treatments that stand out here, from the swooning church picnic swing of “Congenial Man” to the wide-eyed wonder of “Wavy Gravy,” the album floats along on the pair’s upfront approach to the voice on Love You, Mean It. Rounding out the sound, they bring along a wealth of talent in the form of friends from Wild Child, The Weeks, Rayland Baxter, Morning Teleportation and Bully. It winds up as a nice bit of sunshine, hazed with just a touch of stained glass light, brightening up any afternoon.




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Paperhead – “Dama De Lavanda”

Nashville’s Paperhead are one of those band’s I’ve been waiting on to take the bump up to a full-on widescreen approach. They’ve been seeding some great psych-pop over the years, embracing the lo-fi trappings of the times on their 2010 debut for Infinity Cat and the eponymous follow-up LP on Trouble in Mind a year later. They’d hinted at a bigger scope on Africa Avenue, but its this wide-open slice of psych-pomp, which embraces huge atmospheres, lounge jazz, blue-eyed soul and a ’70s hangover of indulgent (yet glorious) major label epics, that feels like they’ve finally found themselves. The bi-lingual romp from their upcoming album, Chew, drops in flutes and sumptuous horns to the mix of fuzzed out guitars before breaking down to a psych-soul outro. Can’t wait to see how this fits into the scope of the whole album. It feels like a great first step towards the band embracing their full psych-pop potential.


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Savoy Motel

The hardest thing about digesting distinct styles is making them sound fresh. In the interim between the close of the ’70s and the precipice of 2017, funk, glam and disco had their wave, subsequent revivals and to most they’ve been strip-mined for all they’re worth. But Savoy Motel just don’t know how to take “no” for an answer, and its a damn blessing that they won’t. They take that triplet of genre cues as a jumping off point and dive through an alternate universe where the punks and the disco kids worked hand in hand, sawed off the barrel and found a way to make boogie raw and unrepentant. They pull on the outsized attitude of glam and wield it like a battering ram against any who refuse to get down. They find the simmering and squirming groove at the heart of their eponymous debut and they jack it full of amyl nitrate and High Karate. It’s a record that, while built on familiar forms, converges like a lost artifact of dirty funk freakanetics. It’s a prototype of glam glory and electronic infancy thrown in the blender, blades out and stomping in platformed perfection.

The real clincher is that they dig in deep on the greasy weirdness of any and all of the forms that they inhabit. They stroll through Eno’s queasiest catalogs, tracing his exit from Roxy’s feather boa n’ leatherette S&M boogie and into a his ascent through lyrical pop that picked at the freak impulses of the insomniac soul. The band scotch tapes those aesthetics to an 72-hour binge of Arthur Russel’s swaggering disco divergences and Gary Numan’s panting portent for artificial intelligence with a libido, picking up their rhythmic beats and committing them to memory. As evidenced by the band’s own fashion flare they’re raiding the closets of Slade, Geordie, Bolan and Sweet; but they’re not sticking around pumping quarters into the jukebox for a night of nostalgic waxing. They’re just stealing the clothes off the passed out members of their entourage, nicking an amp and pedal or two to get that fat sound, and making off into the alleys like good degenerate youth.

They’re stomping those hard-heeled boots into the fuzzed-wah floorboards and letting the vibe seep out into the room. It’s a record that feeds on the past, while ignoring the reality. They even make prog a strange bedfellow on the epic centerpiece, “International Language.” It’s the best ‘what if?’ riff that’s never got its shot. As a fan of the fringes and half-failures of the past, this reimagining of styles hits like a warm liquor burn in August. It’s uncomfortable and soothing all at the same time. Savoy Motel have found a way to raise the dead and make ’em dance. Still not what I’d ever have expected from the core members of this band, and I’m delighted to have my expectations dashed in this case.


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Natural Child

There’s plenty of mining the classic rock quary’s these days. Everyone with enough bandwidth and time can adopt an expertise in most bands’ catalogs in a matter of days, but it takes a true love of form to really shine. For the past several years Natural Child have found their personal nexus in a mix of country strung rock and ’70s smooth players. Think the crossroads of The Dead, The Allman’s and JJ Cale and you’re getting into the right territory, pop some Byrds in their Graham Parsons phase into the mix, but subtract a touch of twang and you’re getting there. They explode out of that box though with their own additions of psych melt and some real groove-ridin’ swagger that feels wholly their own. They’ve come far with Okey Dokey, and despite what might be one of their worst cover images to date (this is in light of the fact that they have an album that’s simply an ass by the way) this stands as their most mature and serious feeling album to date.

The band always mixed the smooth delivery with a bit of winky humor, calling to mind late ’90s stalwarts The Tyde (who are back this year, hey Tyde) but now they seem to stow a few of the winks for a dichotomy that blends their tequila sunrise sounds with lyrics that feel paranoid, anxious and well, okay still a little flecked with levity to be honest, but that levity seems to be masking their unease. Its as if they’ve written music to act as the salve to their own jitters – a salve built on the soothing sounds of lightly marbled guitar and a shuffle of drum n’ groove. They do stray from their smoothe palette from time to time. On the title track and “It’s A Shame My Store Isn’t Open” the psychedelics seem to get the better of them and that “ease on down the road feeling” goes a bit sour, with the paranoia winning out handily. For the most part though, Natural Child will help you get through with a cracked smile and a drink in hand. They know that life’s blues are bearable, but not always wearable.

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Savoy Motel – “Sorry People”

Good news for all the moonbabies out there, the psych/soul/glam/funk barrage of Savoy Motel has found a home at What’s Your Rupture?, spinning their once obscure single into an upcoming album’s worth of sparkle sodden mutant handclap boogie that feels lived in and crinkly as a Twinkeyz single run through the woodchipper and neck-stomped by Slade. This new taste of the LP is a heavy hitter that sneers and holds our Angel of No Mercy, Jay Reatard as its inspiration. There’s less melted sun splatter than on that breakout “Hot One” but still plenty to love about the platform heel stomp, disco click ‘n shuffle and paint peeler of a solo that adorn “Sorry People.” Definitely psyched on Jeffery Novak and co. fleshing this project out into a true weirdo run backwards through the television tube memory of our childhoods.

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Savoy Motel – “Hot One”

This wasn’t quite what I was expecting when I’d heard that members of Cheap Time and Heavy Cream were teaming up for a new band. Both were RSTB faves and both traded in the sweaty crunch of garage punk with touches of glam floating in the mix. Savoy Motel have similar penchant for the late ’70s but they take their cues from a mutant strain of disco and funk that comes together in songs that are catchy and propulsive with melted wax twist. The addition of vocals sung through a mouth harp dips into just a bit of the wide open experimentalism that fueled the beginnings of disco, when anything was in play as long as the beat remained locked and you could find a way to dance to it. Sadly this single remains decidedly hard to actually obtain. There was a run of 50 promo 7″s that are long since gone. Though both sides can be found streaming as videos, neither can be purchased as of yet. Maybe they’ll show up on a full length or the band will get a Bandcamp running. Though for now, that elusiveness adds to the warbled charm of the single.

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