Posts Tagged ‘Wharf Cat’

Weak Signal – “Rolex”

A little while back I posted up the other side of this great split from Wharf Cat Records – a seismic cut from NY’s Endless Boogie. Splitting the flip with the Boogie is NY trio Weak Signal. The band, led by Mike Bones (Soldiers of Fortune, Endless Boogie), proves adept at carving memorable matter from minimal hooks. Their sound glows with a dark neon pull, strobing in blacklight brilliance and rendering everything around it in an inverted glow. There’s an aloofness to their sound, but it’s hardly affected with ill intentions, rather it just seems to crop up around them effortlessly like a miasma hung with the intangible vapor of cities at night.

“Rolex,” in this spirit, centers on the story of a con man who steals instinctively, his disgust at a rich mark translating to an impulse to strip the person of property punitively. He is the night and the street and the interloper barely registers save his offense of wealth and banal obliviousness. Karmic collection is brought down and the balance returns. The single follows the band’s sorely overlooked, but quite necessary album from last year, LP1, and a follow-up EP that solidified their status in quick succession. Check the new cut and if you’re unfamiliar, walk back through their works. You won’t be disappointed.

Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

Continue Reading
0 Comments

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.




Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Gong Gong Gong

Beijing duo Gong Gong Gong root their songs in a minimalist blues that incorporates traditional Chinese structures, but come out feeling like desolate, havok-wreaked tunes for the coming collapse. There’s tension at every corner of Phantom Rhythm and the pair aim it at the listener in waves of dustbowl devastation. With only two players (guitar and bass) it seems like they couldn’t keep the propulsion kicking with the kind of intensity they court for a whole album, but with the guitars scratching away a galloped gait and the bass fuzzing at the seams, the songs are breathless and biting. They leave room for nuance, though. While they always seem to wind up at a stomping gallop by the time the tracks close, along the way they prove themselves limber players who can snake through any musical opening.

On the slightly pedal-paced “Moonshadows” there’s still an urgency, but the band also finds themselves slinking through the shadows, quiet on their feet but keeping their hearts thudding hard in their chest as they weave through the wilds of rhythm. The fuzz if forever hungry in the heart of Phantom Rhythm and bassist Joshua Frank often lets his instrument act as the radical element in their dynamic, vaulting off of guitarist Tom Ng’s steady strut a low-end howl through the caverns of the mind. Though they’re packed into a Bo Diddly swagger sack on the surface, the record updates the folk-blues model for a thornier, more furious world. This is sweat-lodge high-vision choogle, a groove that slices between past and future. The future ate the past and only the dry scrape of Gong Gong Gong hangs ominously in the distance.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Gong Gong Gong – “Ride A Horse”

An absolute pounder from Chinese rhythm merchants Gong Gong Gong up today. The band’s debut for Wharf Cat is on the way next week and “Ride Your Horse” is a prime argument as to why it should be on your radar. The band’s stripped-down sound – just guitar and bass – is as primal as ever here, pulsing with menace and urgency. The song is split into sections take startling turns, based on Chinese classical structures, but feeling far from buttoned up or traditional. The pair are always riding the sharpened edge of groove, using it to slice through the dense morning air. Despite the breathless beat of the song, the accompanying video, co-directed by bassist Joshua Frank, is calm – featuring swordplay, but purely in an exercise setting alongside other forms of meditative sport. The contrast adds to the tension of the throbbing beat and the ozone charged air that wafts around the band. Check the clip above.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Gong Gong Gong – “Siren b/w Something’s Happening”

Beijing’s Gong Gong Gong tap into the tradition of bomb-bare psych blues. There’s not a drum in sight but the band is pounding that pulse as hard as Lightnin’ and John Lee. The pair herald the swell of a storm on lead single “Siren,” culminating in a feedback squall that’s not unhinged, but at the very least, unsettling. On the flip they let the floodwaters rip from the getgo, boiling their strings in a bath of fuzz and foam that’s thick as molten honey. Still the rhythm pulses and there’s a sense that Gong Gong Gong are either running from something sinister or running with it, bringing a deluge of doom to all who crowd their path.


Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Wet Hair

If it feels like a stretch since Wet Hair turned up here, or anywhere in fact, that’s because the band hasn’t released a record since 2012’s Spill Into Atmosphere. At the time they’d shucked a great deal of their noise cloud and begun polishing their lo-fi pop into something a bit more grand. Before they’d shared groove space with Merchandise, they were everywhere in the small cadre of noise-rock safe harbors – from Shawn Reed’s own Night People to Not Not Fun, De Stijl, and Bathetic. Now they land their post-breakup LP on Wharf Cat and pull back the curtain on what could have been if the band hadn’t faded into the horizon.

The Floating World is definitely the band’s most accessible take to date, besting even their previous two nudges towards a sparkling Krautrock-laden pop. Still couched in a cloud of haze, though not so thick that the edges become indiscernible, the record is glowing with the same electricity that’s always pushed Wet Hair. The percussion tumbles like violent waters below bright, beckoning synths but while that Krautrock tag is certainly still applicable, this is a pop record first and foremost. The best contemporary comparison would be the later work of Cloudland Canyon, who found themselves traversing similar territory and pulling it off with a deft hand. Ultimately the record is a great nugget of noise-pop that’s shelved on the ‘coulda-been, shoulda-been’ pile of bands that get overlooked too often amid changing tastes. Still, there’s no reason not to dip into this gem for a spin or six.




Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments