I’m still here, and I’m still listening to music. Maybe posts are going to be picking up again soon. Maybe not. Only the Internet gods can know.
But whether I’m posting or not hardly matters. What you should be doing is listening to Outlaw Boogie. It’s hard to really know what the deal with this project is. It might be a YOOFS side project, which would be perplexing, because Hazed & Confused is easily as good or better than anything YOOFS has done to date. According to YOOFS’ Facebook, Outlaw Boogies is “a project that’s a bit less serious, we basically just write pop songs for fun.” Whatever, we take what we can get when it comes to delving to the depths of the underground. That means side projects from the newest and most transient of bands.
Whether it’s serious or not, Outlaw Boogie has churned out an EP of spectacular dream pop songs. My favorite tune is “Ten Years After.” Whether it’s a nod to the old ’60s and ’70s blues-psych band is up for debate. Okay fine, probably not. But the drums are driving, the vocals croon and coo, and the guitars chime gloriously. So it’s exactly what you want from you off the cuff dream pop.
Pay what you want for the EP over at Bandcamp. Trust me just listen to this. It’s so damn pleasant.
BAYY is a new band from Brighton, England, and they share a member with YRRS, another English band into not-quite-words and capital letters. Generally when a band first rears its head from the depths of the Internet, you expect them to flounder around a bit, searching for their sound on the first couple songs they post to their soundcloud or bandcamp or whatever. It seems BAYY has skipped this step, arriving with a fully formed vibe. “Aquarium” is blissful, extremely catchy, dream pop driven by a surprising level of bass, reverby guitars, and vocals that aren’t afraid to soar to the front of the mix. Basically the band already sounds tight, and according to their Facebook, they’ve already played a show with Ducktails. I, for one, am hoping this new band keeps on doing whatever they’re doing, and puts out some more music pronto.
For now you’ll have to settle with free-downloading “Aquarium” and checking out one other tune over on their soundcloud.
Adam Lempel and the Heartbeats are a pretty killer little band hailing from Baltimore. You can kind of get the gist of their aesthetic in looking at their cartoon artwork above. They are vaguely childish and twee, with cheery sounding female and male vocals calling back and forth on many songs. But if you move past the poppy exterior, you’ll discover these songs can also be pretty fucking heavy. Take “B-Train”, and hear the driving base line, clattering drums, cathartic chorus, and hyper angular guitars, and maybe you’ll start to remember why we all got into The Strokes, Bloc Party, or the Kaiser Chiefs all those years ago. And then maybe you’ll remember that this is probably what sent us skittering down the sides of the pit into musical obscurity. It was to find good old fashioned guitar centric pop tunes like these.
You can download the album for free over at bandcamp, and see some details regarding tapes and CDs up for sale while you’re at it.
First off, a round of applause for Big Red holding down the fort while I was occupied with sloth for the whole of January. The big guy’s been coming in hot with some killer jams over the past few weeks (Homeshake absolutely owns). But I guess it’s finally time that I start doing a lil’ heavy lifting of my own. Like, I know we’re influential Internet music tastemakers and everything, and that’s not gonna change anytime soon, but you gotta put in that work if you wanna take home the title belt. That’s what separates us from the rest of them jabronis.
Anyway, what I’ve got lined up for you kids today is Oh Boland’s new EP Oh!. It’s four songs of crunchy, DIY garage rock from a trio of Irish bros who get down with heavy guitars and lots of reverb. But it’s singer Simon McDonagh’s vocals that tie the EP together. It’s the perfect sound for that post-hangover feeling where you’re not feeling like complete shit, but you’re not ready to start drinking quite yet.
Some of you out there might recall my previous posts regarding Homeshake. I’ve featured their tunes “Sally,” “Northern Man,” and “Moon Woman,” and they all pop back up on this tape, which is cool, because all those songs are pretty killer. In keeping with the trend in bizarro lofi Canadian pop circles, there are strange interludes that sound like TV ads from Mars added between songs. So if that’s your thing, you know, check this out. The songs themselves are gently crooning guitar poppy affairs, the kinds of songs that have lately become my jam, so to speak. The aforeposted tracks are still the standouts in my mind, but my favorite new song would have to be the quasi-upbeat “Don’t Try.”
You can download the digital version for five bucks over at the bandcamp, or you can get a physical copy from Fixture Records right here.
Hey dudes, check out this band called Shady and the Vamp. They make pretty stellar garage punk, some of the best I’ve heard in some time. My knowledge of Continental European geography leaves something to be desired, but these guys hail from Lucerne, which I believe is in Switzerland. If I’m not mistaken, that makes Shady and the Vamp the first Swiss band to make the cut on BOMBS. If these cats are any indication, we all ought to be checking out the Lucernian scene.
The vocals wail nicely, the guitars are crunchy and never miss an ear pleasing riff. Stand out track, “Piangi Con Me,” is a cover of the Italian tune sung by the British ’60s garage band The Rokes. The song was later covered in English by the American band called the Grassroots, and it was a huge hippy hit. You know like, “SHA LA LA LA LA LA LIVE FOR TODAY.” This has been your lesson in garage history.
You can get a free download of this on bandcamp for now, but according to their facebook, that’s only til the end of January. As in tomorrow. So hustle. Or if you’re really cool, just buy it on vinyl here.
I’m not dead and B.O.M.B.S. isn’t totally dead either. Let’s just credit my latest absence to my crumbling under the pressure to compile a transcendentally perfect AOTY list. So fuck it, you can check out Sean’s excellent list if you want, but I don’t expect you’ll get one from me. (I can promise that The Kramers and The You Are Minez would’ve been on it. Take that).
I return bearing news of always stellar DZ Tapes’ latest release. It’s from a Chicago band called POOL HOLOGRAPH. I credit the first track, “Spring Detox,” with rousing me from the deepest depths of internet saturated apathy and compelling me to write a blog post. It’s glorious post punk that’s been ripped from a dank garage, anachronistically set sometime in 1968, probably in Detroit or LA, and set to tape. The guitars seem to chime and roar all at once, and the vocals range from a near whisper to an impassioned war cry. “Spring Detox” is the rare song that these cynical ears insist on listening to with my iPod set to repeat at the maximum achievable volume. The rest of the EP is pretty cool too.
You can preorder the tape, set to ship January 29th, from DZ Tapes’ bandcamp. You should probably do that, because then you can check out the new social tweaks on bandcamp, which you pretty much have to be stoked about.
If you’ve ever suffered through one of my rappity-rap posts in the past, then you probably know that I’ a huge sample nerd (and an awesome producer, natch). And I’ve written a bunch of shit for HipHopDX about sampling. Oh! And I also made a movie on the subject earlier this year titled Renegades of Funk: The Art of Sampling in Hip Hop - again, you should probably already know that. Basically, I’m like, an Internets authority on sampling. No biggie, but yeah, kinda a biggie.
Anyway, it’s really been a while since I’ve been in the mood to make beats, but I’ve been in a really Portishead/Massive Attack kinda space as of late, which in turn has been pushing me back to making beats. Which leads me to the post: while on Bandcamp, I stumbled across the Jazz Jousters, a collective of producers hailing from the UK, France and South Africa. These dudes apparently have been putting out a steady stream mixtapes titled Take 5, in which the members all flip the same sample from a certain artist, which is absolutely a genius idea.
The crew’s latest release is Take 5 With Dave Brubeck, and while the producers flip an assortment of Brubeck samples, it’s nevertheless awesome.
It’s day three of my annual New Mexican X-Mas migration, and more than ever I can’t wait to get back to NYC. Not that spending time with the family is bad; I just can’t take New Mexico. Just fucking awful. Like, there’s so much cultural shit all over the place. Literally, I heard my sister say some shit like, “It’s a purer form of culture out here” - why? Because they don;t have normal shit like buffalo wings and sneaker stores and non-assholey people? Outta here with nonsense.
Anyway, while trolling through the ‘Nets yesterday, I stumbled across the little two-track EP from this cat named Jakob Bruno called I Blow My Brains Out For You. Fucked-up title, yeah, but that’s never stopped me. Anyway, turns out Jakob is a rockabilly singer/guitarist from Denmark, which is both awesome and surprising, ‘cus dude’s English is on-point.
On top of that, the lil’ EP that he dropped off on Bandcamp earlier this month, while short, definitely gives a good look at his type of tuneskis. The first song, “She’s On Her Way,” is a super lo-fi traditional rockabilly cut, while the second, “You Will Find Someone Too” adheres to more bluesy-folk leanings. Not the usual B.O.M.B.S. M-O, but a lil’ change never hurt anybody.
So about that whole, “me regularly contributing to the site” - yeah, that didn’t really actually happen…yeah. Not a surprise to anyone. But anyway, since I’m back home for Krampus for the next few days, it’s either fuck around on my computer or interact with my family, and I’m way too big a piece of shit to willingly talk to my kinfolk. Like, what are we gonna even talk about? All those times I got super drunk and did something stupid? Cheyah right.
Antisocial antics aside, it’s the end of the year, and that’s the time when Internet music tastemakers like ourselves get to making lists of our favorite shit from the previous 12 months. It’s kinda our way to fill a ridiculous amount of content quotas while still acting like opinionated music assholes.
So without further ado, here’s Wally Sean’s ten favorite LPs from 2012.