Accepted Double Standards

9 Oct

What Tyrants

“4’s and 5’s”

Photo By Light The Underground Photography

Photo By Light The Underground Photography

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There was a time when the bands in Austin weren’t jaded by self-importance, the output recently from Minneapolis reminds me in a big way of how perfect that once felt; What Tyrants help me put a face on the entire sentiment, albeit less grit, less loose, less present than their predecessors, still the heartbeat drives on angst, their sound delves for expression rather than a rote business model, they feel alive…. there doesn’t seem to be much of that going around lately.

What Tyrants have made one hell of a great record with No Luck (Forged Artifacts). It’s hard to believe this is their first full length, coming off discernibly similar to the glory days of In The Red Records, the first listen may be as magnetizing from some place of unrequited nostalgia as new kid on the block shine.

Forged Artifacts put this album out, if you happen to be unfamiliar it wouldn’t be time lost to place some focus in their direction.

Also worth digging:

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What Tyrants – Bandcamp | Facebook | Forged Artifacts

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The Manhattan Love Suicides

“Nowhere Bound”

The Manhattan Love Suicides-Optimized

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I’m not sure if “Nowhere Bound” is my favorite song on this week’s mix from how great it is or how for whatever reason when it comes on in the background I consistently mistake the opening for being “First Time” from The Boys and once the mistake is realized I’m still cool with the similarity. Of course, the vocals with The Manhattan Love Suicides prove closer to a youthful Beach House  than a seventies English pop throwback.

The Manhattan Love Suicides feel like John Hughes films, pulling threads on all the feelings of loss and acceptance as if Nikki Sudden had kept a diary and requested someone who were obsessed with new-wave created an album from it. The entire More Heat! More Panic! (Odd Box Records / Squirrel Records) is an album meant for long drives on hooded sweatshirt nights, taking stake in nostalgia, loss, acceptance. A passive record giving only what you want from it, never forcing more, full of songs you might hear a thousand times and only enjoy in its ambiance; then that moment comes, alone, churning over some gnawing sentiment you could not shake while at the party and without warning POW some friend shows up in the speakers saying those things you need to hear, strong enough to speak boldly of their own flaws while embracing yours in all their beautiful imperfection.

As if enveloped in the holy ghost herself, songs such as “Nowhere Bound” bring an escapist’s redemption so strong, when the track ends and the silence of this huge daunting world creeps in you switch the stereo off and bathe in it, losing yourself in a warm glow of lonely vilifying existence. The New Manhattan Love Suicides help you appreciate the silence… and yourself.

The New Manhattan Love SuicidesBandcamp | Facebook | Odd Box Records | Squirrell Records

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Sauna Youth

“Modern Living”

Sauna Youth.

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“Modern Living” is intelligent far beyond the surface demeanor. The experience frantic, tensely aggressive, nihilistic even,  floored to the very end. Behind that veil though a complex architecture building upon itself every few measures, mirroring the structure with one more piece factored in. In theory the bridge where Lindsay Corstorphine‘s vocals take the form of space should be chill, calming, instead we experience our ex’s day three of being off their meds all over again, things are off and pointed directly at each of us individually, that momentary pause and suddenly it’s six AM at the end of an all night coke bender; can’t stop can’t slow down gotta keep positive. The ending arriving in pure Gandalf fashion, not late, nor early, just exactly how it was meant to.

Sauna Youth have been keeping my attention for some time, “Modern Living” is the one to stamp a place in my personal life though. I hope things continue to stay solid, I’d really like to see them make it stateside sooner than later.

Sauna Youth – Bandcamp | Facebook | Website

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The Bombshells

“No More”

The Bombshells

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Ruling with sweat and disgust The Bombeshells have just enough pop seniority to remind you why women always trump boys at being catchy without feeling contrived.

There is a special place in my heart between Thee Tsunamis and Bratmobile I hadn’t even realized needed to be filled until The Bombshells came along. This is yet one more band brought to us via Forged Artifacts. At the moment there are only sixteen copies of the Bake Sale Hotties cassette left, it is digitally available at name-your-price on Bandcamp, I’d recommend both.

The Bombshells – Bandcamp | Facebook

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Bottomfeeders

“Sitting in the Dark” (Demo)

Bottomfeeders.

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These New Orleans homies gave us the demo for “Sitting in the Dark” back in January, the hope was that waiting for the album before writing about it would benefit Bottomfeeders more, it has been nine months so who knows what’s going on.

Their previous album Neon Night (self-released Nov 2014) was exciting yet not entirely satisfying. The songs full of potential, listenable, though start to finish left us asking, “where are Bottomfeeders in all of this?” It remained void of grit, without statement of who they are or what they are trying to do outside of just being a band worth booking alongside other local bands with mutual friends. “Sitting in the Dark” on the other hand has their own mark placed with absolute dominance.

The fact Bottomfeeders put this demo out two months after their previous album was released leaves the impression of the band themselves possessing an acute awareness of how much they have grown both in ability as well as in presence, so now we wait I guess. The future is coming.

Psych leaning music became the long-haired stepchild of EDM over the past two years; no matter where the eyes of the herd stray, no matter which bands they prop up for instant gratification, it always comes back to igne natura renovatur integra; great bands have no choice where they align with the ebb and flow of trends, they simply evolve, develop, become something bigger than themselves, all of which is and will continue to make Bottomfeeders owning our attention and eliciting our praise. These dudes are on the path.

Bottomfeeders – Bandcamp | Facebook

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John Jack Joseph

“Runaway”

John Jack Joseph-Optimized.

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In case you missed the recent HCK! RADnotBAD feature on John Jack Joseph, here is a sample from one of the more under the radar albums this year.

John Jack Joseph – Bandcamp | Instagram

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RÜSTY DEAL

“The Thing”

Rusty Deal-Optimized.

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The Thing” is the closing track on Rüsty Deal’s latest Scaphandre (self-released) and the most relaxed sounding of the batch. Showing up in true stoner fashion, shoulders slumped with disaffection, guitars loosely hanging from the hip, vocalist probably taking two smoke breaks before the second verse even comes in, that solo at 4:30 where both guitars take their sweet-ass time coming into themselves just enough to prove they could rip the speakers up if they were in more of the mood, the vocals cutting them off seconds before liftoff, chilling the entire thing on ice for three eternities, we know where it is going though, us and the band both having one of those close eyed head nodding breaks, I at least know one of us is having that kind of moment anyway, the drummer comes in kicking the shit out of existence and for the last minute it is a damn Mt. Dew commercial or something, just all cliff diving and strip club brawls.

Every other song on Scaphandre touches on those elements but none comes close to balancing it all out nearly as well as “The Thing” does. This is Spooky Tooth’s “Evil Woman,” Flower Travelin Band‘s “Satori Part II,”  this is a band taking forty minutes showing you what they can do and then taking eight more just to prove what they can do with it.

These dudes are out outta west France, currently they only have this in digital.

RÜSTY DEAL – Bandcamp | Facebook | Website

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Cherry Glazerr

“Sip ‘O Poison”

Cherry Glazerr

If this wasn’t the toughest song of the summer I am geeking to hear what has been missed. Cherry Glazerr has built a reputation around some Mac DeMarco/Ty Segall charismatic anti-hero attraction. As with their predecessors I’ve closely watched with skepticism as to whether the sheep’s adornment would be fruitful (as happened with Ty Segall) or yet another case study in herd mentality(as with Mac DeMarco; who is basically a modern day hipstier Sufjan Stevens….. I’m a War On Drugs fan so don’t get holier-than-thou on me if we don’t agree…. who am I to judge someone for occasionally having generic tastes?).

Sip ‘O Poison” is “College” era Feral Future (before feminism became their platform instead of a subconscious thread woven into their art) and the ego of Sailor Poon all mixed to perfection; a damn fine message written personally, pointedly, artistically, there is grit and vehemence, the overwhelming frustration aimed at the absurd accepted double-standards of late night culture, slut-shaming “this is your fault” male-mentality of party guidelines. In what amounts to maybe ten lines of lyrics these three manage to solidify the entire boiling undertone of intelligent twenty-somethings everywhere. This is a battle cry to the psyche, a rallying of anger from the voice of common sense. This is how bands make believers, how critics are silenced, this is where sexism and bullshit double-standards get defeated.

Sip ‘O Poison” is the second output of Adult Swim Singles series which has been on point all year.

Cherry Glazerr – Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter | Website

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The Dizzease

“Stix N Stones”

The Dizzease.

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I know it’s waaaay too soon to be sharing anything from these dudes. They have only a single demo up and played their first show just a few weeks ago. But it has been love at first site and I’m digging them in a huge way.

I could easily go into all the boyfriend/girlfriend start a band, call up friends, blah blah whatever. Who really cares to hear that tired song once more? Not me, it’s too early and I’m terribly hungover. All that cute heartwarming mess, you can read all about that in Pitchfork someday, until they get there you will just have to hear my perspective on what matters more.

I caught these dudes first show over at Dozen Street, a dive that feels way more like the Austin I fell in love with than say Beerland does which represents clearly just how pretentious and curmudgeos this city has become. Maybe it was parking with the gut feeling at least one of my windows wouldn’t still be intact when I got back, the fact the homeless dudes were flocking across the street to shake me down for smokes and change, no cops, no gentrification, it was as if I’d time traveled five years back to a world I once loved yet no longer exists, I imagine Hilly Kristal in 1980 having similar sentiments about Brooklyn. Change is real, time is real, no reason to be bitter. 

When I first saw The Bad Lovers play it was at the Sahara Lounge for twenty people, it is easily in my top five favorite experiences I’ve ever had, seeing The Dizzease at Dozen Street felt just like that. The expectations are that the band will be sloppy, hell I’m fairly certain the drummer/vocalist hasn’t even been in a band or had even played an instrument at all before this year (Snopes that shit, let’s both find out if I’m right). So assuming it would be one of those sets where maybe there will be a germ of a positive future present, maybe there wouldn’t be, but none of us walking through the door that night had any clue what we were getting into.

I’d been expecting something garage heavy, more Japanther leaning, and from the very first note it was obvious this was something different…. something important. Four songs in, the place felt crowded, electric, everyone fell under this spell of ‘together,’ people were dancing, the cool kids were collectively having one of those foot tapping eyes closed moments of zen, it felt as if the room itself danced for these babes.

Every song built upon the previous, the vocals could be led by any member at any moment, without warning the lead guitar would lift off into the ether with no sign of ever coming back down, swim with eternity until you almost forgot there was anything else left in existence, peak then transcend into a new shape completely. I haven’t cared to sit through a full set of a band in years, even my favorite bands coming through on tour bore me after twenty, I still dig going to shows as much as ever, I just lose focus, the last ten years feel like one perpetual show, these guys shook me out of it momentarily and for forty immortal minutes I remembered what it was like to be thirteen again, draining AA batteries with my Walkmen on blast, jumping up and down on my bed with excitement, The Dizzease remind how to love music again.

Stix N Stones” does well at demonstrating the pop element to their songs but the surf and new-wave which more or less stamps them in my memory remains absent. What I’m saying is, if this is a bit more sugar than you like in your tea, don’t be a burnout and blow it, check these dudes out live the first chance you get, they rule completely, you’ll see.

The Dizzease – Bandcamp | Facebook

 

Betrayers

“Tombstone Salesman”

betrayers.

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It’s not an album but dammit it is Betrayers giving us something new which is rad enough.

Tombstone Salesman” is part of the split 7″ they just put out with The Lad Mags. It would be impossible to take anything from this song as being prophetic towards their future sound, it still falls safely in the realm of Let The Good Times Die (Shake! Records ), that album was rounded as hell though so it would take quite a stroll to get far enough away from the foundation they laid on that one.

The offering from The Lad Mags side of the split is a shiny-pop, guitar-heavy, track that can’t help but make me think of how the new Annabelle Chairlegs record could possibly sound.  Once I ditch this hangover enough to try figuring out where the hell I put my wallet, I’ll definitely be gifting this record to myself.

Bonus:

Betrayers – Bandcamp | Facebook | Shake! Records

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Baby Jesus

“Haven’t Seen The Light”

Baby Jesus

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Baby Jesus are it, from summer vintage nostalgia to analog leather cool these Swedish messiahs of rock n’ roll put out an album (S/T Ongakubaka Records) earlier this summer of single-take tracks played tight, with such transcendence, to be so solid makes it damn near arrogant.

Haven’t Seen The Light” is an aggressive take-off of all the warm fuzzy layers riding shotgun on the rest of the album. Early going into this track Baby Jesus seem to give a collective nod signalling for everyone in the band to try taking this train off the rails, from then forward everything is loose, keyed up, and on fire, by the last thirty seconds it seems almost certain someone is going to lose it and bring the whole thing down.

Their cassette release just sold out on the initial batch. For the love of god let me get this on vinyl.

Bonus:

Baby Jesus – Bandcamp | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Ongakubaka Records

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Holly Arrowsmith

“Voices of Youth”

Holly Arrowsmith.

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It is that time of year again when acoustic leaning music steals my heart in the quietest moments. Enter Holly Arrowsmith with her vocals so passive it might as well be your neighbor singing with her window open while chilling with her cats instead of the debut single from some album so accessible we will all eventually be forced to hate it. I almost scrapped putting this up just because of how obvious Arrowsmith’s trajectory is.

This New Zealander’s songs carry the understanding of Angel Olsen, her lyrics crafted far closer to Nikki Lane, while remaining on the Regina Spektor level of subtle clever pop-sensibility. Those aren’t stretches of comparison, they are laid out clearly within fifteen seconds of any song from her debut album For The Weary Traveler (self-released), and they shouldn’t be seen as anchors to devalue her craft, she is as legit as someone singing about their feelings in a hushed tone can get.

Voices of Truth” is an important song to digest, how to talk about it without just posting every single lyric is quite the conundrum. Most artists throw lines together and use their vocals to embellish the highs, bouncing along syllables to make the verses dance right into the arms of some ambiguous slightly inflecting chorus, wash, rinse, repeat and it’s over. There is a danger to this song of experiencing it in such a fashion. She knows all of the tricks, embodies them with a confident delivery boldly stating she is not selling out but rather buying in but that is merely a ruse, this is a song of age written to oneself in their youth, a romantic longing to bring back all that love and hope we lit the world with just a short time ago.

How have we become so jaded? Where have all the real conversations gone? Why have we given up on the big WOW of life to fall at the feet of our own limitations as if they define us? We use to know all of the answers, all of the secrets, the world, our world, was mystical, small, connected, now we just look in the mirror and count the years of weary and waste and we remember; we remember who we once were, we remember those feelings, yet the disconnect grows stronger, we fool ourselves to believe we are outside of the machine, that we are still seekers on a path to forever, we look around and can see it is all dying; our youth, our bonds, our dreams as dreams, our ambitions all withering in the tired sun of fate. That is what this song is about, Holly Arrowsmith remains optimistic but sees it just the same, spending four minutes holding our hand and walking us through it all.

In two years when she becomes so big I’ve got that pretentious hipster forty-five degree head tilt anytime someone speaks of her music, know that secretly in the back of my heart, all the arrogance in the world, the passive hate for all things mainstream, can never take away how this song made me feel the first time I heard it.

 

Holly Arrowsmith – Bandcamp | Facebook | Website

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Fuzz Evil

“Born of Iron”

Fuzz Evil-Optimized

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Mother of sludge, “Born of Iron” is as back-patch close-fist eyes-closed hair smacking around your face as it gets. Hell, even the solos on this one carry that stoner passivity of someone having eaten two brownies without allowing enough time to play the entire set before they kicked in. Which seems to be the core principal Fuzz Evil are built upon.

These dudes are set for an album release through Battleground Records, no release date has been set.

Fuzz Evil – Bandcamp | Facebook | Battleground Records

 

 

Ecstatic Visions

“Don’t Kill The Vibe”

Ecstatic Vision

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Ecstatic Vision are what happens when ambition and skill kick it together. These dudes make me want to pull out my Hawkwind and Pink Fairies records, take a couple peyote buttons, and call it a day. It’s nice to find a band swashing around in psychedelia without having some crutch to define them. Anyone can come up with some droning bass, reverbed out mess of noise, these dudes show up start to finish on “Don’t Kill The Vibe” the way they do on every single song they’ve given us thus far, on a mission to convert nerds into believers.

These dudes are just about to wrap up a tour around the states, most of which has been with the always rad Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats. They were in Austin two nights ago at Hotel Vegas, money sucks so I couldn’t go, I hope the rest of you haven’t been screwing up equally.

Ectatic Vision – Bandcamp | Facebook

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GØGGS

“She Got Harder”

GØGGS-Optimized

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Ty Segall has created yet another band. This time around it’s GØGGS with Charles Moothart who worked with him on Fuzz and Chris Shaw from Ex-Cult who without a doubt has to be the most influential piece of the “She Got Harder” puzzle sounding more like Ex-Cult transformed into something more threatening and drenched in gold. There’s talk of Mikal Cronin making noise with Segall once more at some point on this project which gets me the most stoked, that dude is beyond underrated.

No surprise, In The Red Records will be putting out both this 7″ (Featuring an Iggy Pop cover on the b-side) along with the full length next year.

GØGGS – In The Red Records

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