Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Best Albums of 2009

Welcome to the 3rd (and hopefully not the last) OngakuBaka Top 10 albums of the year list. Before we jump right in to our picks, we’ll explain the guidelines for the selection process.

1. These records are in no particular order.
2. No live records, “Best of” collections, box sets, or re-issues. The albums chosen had to be material released in 2009.
3. This is a collaborative effort between the two of us, and if we didn’t agree that an album deserved to make the cut, it didn’t make the list. Please bear in mind that this has been subpar year for full-lengths. We struggled to find 5 records we loved this year let alone 10 that we were both enthusiastic about, so let it be known that we are not entirely comfortable with our final top 10, and many of our honorable mentions are equally as deserving as a few of the records that did make the cut.
4. Don't badger us because your personal favorite records may not be on the list. There are plenty of albums we never got a chance to listen to, forgot about, or never had time to fully digest.
5. If you missed out on any of these album reviews, check for an original post, or just google it.

With that said, here are our honorable mentions for 2009:

Sore Eros - Second Chants
Woods - Songs of Shame
Atlas Sound - Logos
Fuck Buttons - Tarot Sport
A Place to Bury Strangers - Exploding Head
Lightning Bolt - Earthly Delights
Health - Get Color
Monotonix - Where Were You When It Happened
Polvo - In Prism
Pains of Being Pure at Heart - s/t
Zu - Carboniferous
Ganglians - Monster Head Room
Part Chimp - Thriller
The Strange Boys - And Girls Club
RTFO Bandwagon - Dums Will Survive

…and now without further ado, our top 10 records of 2009:

1. Doom - Born Like This

2. Circulatory System - Signal Morning

3. Future of the Left - Travels With Myself and Another

Download Travels With Myself and Another

4. Amen Dunes - Dia

5. Pissed Jeans - King of Jeans

Download King of Jeans

6. Bibio - Ambivalence Avenue

Download Ambivalence Avenue

7. Thee Oh Sees - Help

8. Blank Dogs - Under and Under

Download Under and Under

9. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion

10. Pink Mountaintops - Outside Love

Friday, December 18, 2009

Doctor Octoroc - 8-Bit Jesus

Each of these chiptune versions of classic Christmas songs uses game-specific sounds from many of your favorite NES titles. Doctor Octoroc exercises his creative juices by limiting himself solely to each games' specific soundtrack, and strays pretty far at times from the classic version of the Christmas songs we hate. "Carol of the Belmonts" is my favorite at the moment, but each of the interpretations are equally enjoyable. The 9 track demo version of this release is all over the internet, but this is the 18 track final version. Two consecutive 8-bit posts? Weird.

- Dan

Download 8-Bit Jesus

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Disasterpeace - Atebite and the Warring Nations


Well-conceived and enjoyable 8-bit soundtrack to a game that doesn't exist.

"In an age that is not our own, a young boy lives a life of peace amongst his brethren in quaint Neutral Town. Little does he know that tragedy has already struck as he sleeps. Many important decisions lie ahead, and a young boy will become a man in the process. Beyond the gates of his humble life exist two mighty civilizations flying under opposing flags. They are dueling for the ultimate power: the means to emplace the order that they so choose. Atebite will have to make a decision. Will he choose Plaid, or Argyle? Which will you choose? Press Start."

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Reigning Sound - If Christmas Can't Bring You Home 7"

Fuck Christmas. Fuck snow, fuck gifts, and fuck all of the stupid fucking inescapable Christmas music from now until December 25th. You know why Thanksgiving is a better holiday? Nobody ever wrote an obnoxious song about eating a shit ton and then falling asleep on the couch while half-watching a football game. With that said, there is some tolerable music to play on our good sweet lord's day of birth. The Reigning Sound has beaten the odds with this 7". Two original tunes, and one cover that barely sounds like the original. This little record is definitely worth a download. If you need more Christmas jams to bump, I'd recommend sifting through the Ongakubaka archives for our Ongakubaka Christmas Extravaganza. I should also mention our best of 2009 list is coming soon. Dan and I are still digging through the audio dung heap to find all of the year's gems, so stay tuned.

- Steve

Download If Christmas Can't Bring You Home 7"

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Monkey King - La Lune Se Cache Derriere Les Montagnes

"Monkey King is Philippe from Goa on voice/electronics and Will Glass from Dirty Projectors & The Octagons on drums. We have been playing together for ever. This our first release and it's called: La Lune Se Cache Derriere La Montagne. It sounds like Ash Ra Tempel playing an Atari 2600 in an animal spirit possession ceremony."

Much of this sounds like a more comfortable version of Mindflayer, and definitely sounds as if it could have been a product of Fort Thunder in the late 90s. The drums float along, continuously changing pace, keeping you slightly above the surface before occasionally dropping you into a rhythm you can actually nod your head to. The electronics/vocals add some atmosphere to help complete the natural patterns, and the results sound like a field recording from some sort of industrial jungle. If you're into the more free-form Boredoms, Ruins, or Lightning Bolt material, you'll like this. This is highly enjoyable stuff for myself, and a perfect example of the kind of music we had in mind when naming this blog.

- Dan

Download La Lune Se Cache Derriere Les Montagnes

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Restless Breed - Encounter at L-5

Relatively straight-forward instrumental post-rock from this three piece out of Kansas City, Kansas. This four track EP should come accompanied with some LSD and a laser lighting display of some sort. Bright-sounding synths, a little 8-bit buzz, and some sufficient drums make this a quick but enjoyable listen. For fans of Wizardzz, Trans Am, Psychic Ills, and whatnot.

- Dan

Download Encounter at L-5

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Florida - Haunted House 7"

Another solid 7" from Florida. Both tracks are more similar to the b-side of their last 7". Dark and atmospheric tunes with bass vocals that I can't seem to get out of my head. The band shows a little more instrumental and vocal range on these two tracks as well. "Haunted House" showcases a backing brass instrument and some well-utilized whistles, and "Love Inside of You" plays more like a dream sequence with some competent guitar at the forefront and mind-numbing chimes behind it all. Comes out Christmas day on Shdwply. Pre-orders start in two days. Get it here.

- Dan

Download Haunted House 7"

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Jesus Lizard - Live at Irving Plaza 11/16/2009

There's not much to say here, other than this is a fantastic live recording of one of the best bands of the last 20 years. If you've been living under a fucking rock and somehow haven't heard The Jesus Lizard, do yourself a favor and grab a copy of each of their recently remastered studio albums. That shit is essential son. The rest of you need to download this immediately and have your balls rocked off. These guys might be a little more gray haired and doughy these days but they're still the most bad ass live band on the planet.

- Steve

Download Live at Irving Plaza 11/16/2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Lunar Testing Lab - Space Program

This a very well-conceived album that happened to be one of Tobacco of Black Moth Super Rainbow's favorites of 2008. The album does an excellent job of absorbing your brain cells. Sounds like Boards of Canada IN SPACE. Casino Versus Japan IN SPACE. It's an obvious choice for my next journey through the cosmos because it's definitely not working well as a soundtrack to "Little Parents, Big Pregnancy" on TLC, which I'm currently watching on mute for some reason. Space Program and astronomical objects? Top notch. Space Program and the expulsion of placenta from a mesomelic dwarf? Not so much (although I'd love to create a playlist for such a thing. Where's some Gerogerigegege when you need it?). Be sure to check out the Seashore Blvd EP that I posted back in June if you missed it.

- Dan

Download Space Program

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Peppermint Lounge - Demo

The Peppermint Lounge is an electronic/acoustic duo from England/Switzerland both currently living in the UK (after having both spent most of their lives in Asia) that takes "acoustic, modern electronica, 50s-60s Jazz, African and American blues, classical impressionism, social commentary and folk forms to combine sampling with composition." Each track of this 3 song demo heads in a slightly different direction and I'm looking forward to hearing what else they're capable of creating in the future. Keep an eye out for their debut EP sometime next year.

- Dan

Download The Peppermint Lounge Demo

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pregnant - Liquidation On Swans

We received this submission from Life's Blood, a new and extremely promising label out of California that vows to only put good into the world.

"Pregnant is called so because it is so: it is the audible rendering of the reflective, kaleidoscopic ideas ceaselessly gestating in the mind of Daniel Trudeau. Two plus decades of living amongst the legions of chattering old folks, teen-age juggalos, and ramshackle junkies that fill the hill-lined recesses of Central Northeast California have led to a weirdly acute understanding of the full spectrum of human expressive possibility. Pregnant is the re-arranged refraction of this sensory input, a beautifully fucked-up tapestry stitched together from scraps of dormant inklings and theories. “Liquidation On Swans” is an immaculate conception, sonically birthed from the agile hands and emotions of Daniel, his friends and collaborators, and the innate strangeness of the people who color our everyday perception."

This cassette is definitely one of the better overall releases that has been submitted to us. It's refreshingly buoyant, consistently interesting, and is guaranteed to be a favorite for a large portion of our readers/listeners. I won't even weigh this down with comparisons or try to place it in any particular genre. You're better off just reading the description above and clicking the link below.

- Dan

Download Liquidation On Swans

Monday, November 9, 2009

Thee Oh Sees - Blood in Your Ear b/w Friends Defined 7"


The quadrillionth Thee Oh Sees release of 2009. These tracks would fit well on their Dog Poison LP from earlier this year. Acoustic fuzzy goodness.

- Dan

Download Blood in Your Ear b/w Friends Defined

Monday, November 2, 2009

Mark Tucker - Batstew + In the Sack

LINK FIXED 12/8/09

The guys over at De Stijl get a big fat gold star for releasing and reissuing some awesome shit lately, including these two long lost classics. Back in the 70's Mark Tucker unknowingly recorded the music that would later pave the way for the likes of Daniel Johnston and The Elephant Six Collective. His most famous release, Batstew, is a mishmash of lo-fi bedroom recordings and ambient sounds that has been sought after by record collecting nerds for decades (seriously, the original pressing goes for as much a shitty used car on ebay). If the measure of a great album is how emotionally affecting it is, consider this one a home run. Batstew won't grab you in any sort of typical fashion though. I've honestly never had an album make me feel more uncomfortable in my entire life. The left-field dialogue quips and the overall feel of the record really drive home the fact that ol' Mark was probably a pretty mentally unstable dude back in the day. During the course of the record, Mark eventually takes us for a ride in his car. So now as a listener, it seems like you're trapped in the trunk of this crackpot's hearse while he drives around and serenades you with man-on-man love songs and moaning analog synth lines.

I might be in the minority, but I have to say In The Sack is actually the better of Mark's most famous releases. While 90 pound aging white hipsters with Pitchfork contributing writer aspirations might turn their noses up at this remark (both to scoff at me and to keep their black plastic frame glasses from sliding off of their faces) I have to stick to my guns on this one. Start to finish, In The Sack trades an ounce of "What the fuck?" for a pound of damn good songwriting. Track to track the record flows better, and Mark has the opportunity to showcase his musical chops while retaining a healthy amount of average joe listener alienating weirdness. I can see how both of these albums could be incredibly polarizing, but if you have any interest in one of the pioneers of bizarre American underground music, you owe it to yourself to download these LPs.

- Steve

Download Batstew

Download In the Sack

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bent Leg Fatima - s/t

Released in 2000, this is the only full length from this relatively short-lived band from Philly. Three of its members went on to form Need New Body (which I've just released it's been far too long since I've listened to them). Influenced by Soft Machine, Neu!, Syd Barrett, and the 1970s prog/psych/kraut movements in general. It also sounds like a mixture of old Elf Power and Circulatory System if you're looking for more modern similar artists. A few of the tracks feel like extended interludes, but there's a general entrancing quality to them that will keep you listening. I used to jam out to "Mousey/Lone Gunner" on repeat my freshman year of college. In retrospect, this was a very impressive debut.

- Dan

Download Bent Leg Fatima

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Shatterproof - Rare Basement Demos

We received an email a while back from Kevin of Solar Coaster informing us of a band he was once in with Mike, the drummer of Thee Oh Sees in Kingsport, TN back in the early nineties. He had come across some old cassettes, and was in the process of transferring them over to digital format. He shared these three tracks, which had not been heard by anyone else but the band in almost 17 years. A very cool thought. Their sound, and as you can see in the photo above, their wardrobe, are pretty much what you would expect from the early nineties. Containing mostly elements of shoegaze and indie, there are moments that took me back to my Heatmiser-loving emo days. I'm not sure how often you or I will come back to these tracks, but it's interesting to hear the lo-fi/basement beginnings of musicians who went on to make bigger and better things, and we're honored that Kevin chose to share these with this blog specifically.

- Dan

Download Shatterproof Basement Demos

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Golden Triangle - s/t

These guys/gals opened for Thee Oh Sees up in DC last week. An appropriate opening act for them, and they'll suffer the same B-52s comparisons as well. Seemed to have a genuinely good time on stage. Tambourine-heavy with double female vocals, but it's the male vocals, which are slurred and exasperated and accompany the initial pop of the female vocals quite well, that keep me interested. A quick but fun EP to get your party started.

- Dan

Download Golden Triangle

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Broadcast - Mother Is the Milky Way

This limited edition CD is available on their current tour with Atlas Sound, which I was able to catch last night in DC. Although it's disappointing Broadcast is no longer the same band I had once seen back in Detroit years ago, they're still still going strong as a duo. Their set was incredibly interesting with some amazing visuals and intense looping synths. If drugs had been involved, I think my head would have exploded. I could, however, sense a good portion of the crowd growing restless with their new sound, but I was loving it. I picked up this CD hoping to delve deeper into the rabbit hole they created during their set, but the material found here isn't quite what I was expecting. This is some of their most relaxed material to date. Atmospheric samples (including a completely random Kurt Schwitters sample?), splicing, and the standard Broadcast sound you've grown to love. I desperately want to hear a release showcasing the newest material, but this is a quick and interesting listen that even a newborn child would enjoy.

- Dan

Download Mother Is the Milky Way

Friday, October 16, 2009

Robin Parrent - Beauty Damaged

A few weeks ago, I received care package of sorts from OngakubakaSteve which included one can of Beer 30 Ice, a watered down and hideous disgrace to alcoholic beverages that Steve was incredibly excited for me to try, one can of Vernors, a barrel aged ginger ale born out of Michigan and not available down here in Richmond, a 7", some various snacks, and this album/demo/CD from Robin Parrent. Steve has been providing floor tom abuse, backing vocals, and overall sex appeal for the last year or so in Robin Parrent & the Revenants. This album is a mix of solo tracks from Robin and tracks that the band has made as a collective, and the most promising thing about this release is that it's incredibly difficult to find a comparison. You can certainly hear Robin's influences, as one of the first things I thought to myself when listening to it was "hmm Robin must listen to Scott Walker". The haunting and strained vocals will bring bands like Joy Division, Bauhaus, or The Smiths to mind, but musically this is more so an acid folk record, reminding me of bands like Comus, Pearls Before Swine, or Pentangle. Many of the tracks are dark and looming, and can even be a bit taxing on your emotions, but there's a beauty buried beneath it all (a damaged beauty perhaps? see what i did there? that's right). The most enjoyable moments on the record are when Robin is supported by the female backing vocals, giving the record a bit more variety. After a few spins through, "First Pain-Then Joy" is my personal favorite. There's a more collaborative album from Robin Parrent & the Revenants in the works, which I'm sure you'll be seeing here in the future.

- Dan

Download Beauty Damaged

Friday, October 9, 2009

Pageants - Forbidden Delicious

Ben sent us this link to the final remastered mp3ified version of their EP I posted back in June. It now has a name, but no official cover yet, and...yup it's still fucking cool. Here's what I said about it before: I'm not sure what's in the water in "Melbz", Australia, but I want some. This is some gritty good ol' fashioned garage goodness, with some elements of surf and shoegaze mixed in. This EP would make an appropriate soundtrack for a dirty and sweaty high school prom in the middle of the desert.

- Dan

Download Forbidden Delicious

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Velvet Davenport - Lemon Drop Square Box

As you may recall, a few months ago I had posted this band's debut release after months of trying to track it down. A playful lo-fi psych throwback record that has been getting a good amount of attention on my ipod. Well, they've released a new incredibly awesome cassette through Moon Glyph Tape that might be one of my favorite things I've heard this year. Lemon Drop Square Box is a quick listen and will have you craving more, but the band accomplishes quite a bit in a short amount of time. The usage of the sitar (or sitar effect, I can't tell) and organ in "Drop", or the slow moving melodies of "Lemon" will have you closing your eyes watching the universe unfold on the back of your eyelids.

- Dan

Download Lemon Drop Square Box

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Netherfriends - Calling You Out EP

While I was out in Chicago last year, an acquaintance of mine played the Netherfriends' Feathers and Dots single for me while drunkenly screaming "THIS IS THE CUTEST FUCKING SHIT EVER! I WANT TO GIVE THESE MOTEHRFUCKERS A HUG THEY'RE SO FUCKING CUTE!"
I know what you're thinking, and yeah, I don't generally like my music to fall into the cute/hug category either. Just trust me on this one. Netherfriends manage too succeed where 99% of indie pop groups drop the ball. The music is upbeat and poppy, the lyrics light and occasionally tongue-in-cheek, but without that kitschy fluff element to ruin it all. While the tracks on this EP are undoubtedly pop tunes, there aren't many other albums out there with so many layers of sound in such a short running time. That's what really makes this album special-- the bursts of horns, plinking keyboards, and percussion that create beautiful and musically dense songs. This had to be a real labor of love for the band, and the effort definitely paid off. Still not sold? Parts of this EP remind me a lot of Animal Collective. Now I know you'll download it.

- Steve

Download Calling You Out EP

Baalte - Auto

I received this submission in the mail all the way from Madrid last week. It was an overwhelming listen the first time through, but with a little patience and an attentive ear you'll find some pretty infectious moments on this record. A good majority of the samples used are aurally illegible, the SNES-inspired synths are deeply buried beneath the somewhat afrobeat basslines, and all the other various noises are so heavily layered that much of this album comes across as pure noise. In other words, this is highly entertaining release for those who enjoy a challenging listen. For fans of Black Dice, Wolf Eyes, and all the other noisies out there.

- Dan

Download Auto

Monday, October 5, 2009

Lee Marvin Computer Arm - s/t

I'm not sure why I haven't yet shared this one with all of you over the last few years. I first saw these guys about 7 years ago at a Halloween show in Holly, Michigan. They had grown a pretty strong reputation in and around Detroit and have been the opening act for countless of solid touring bands. They've gone through a breakup or two over the last few years, but I believe they're back to making tunes and touring once again. The band has been making rowdy good ol' fashion sweaty rock and roll before it was the cool thing to do. Wailing vocals, blaring trumpet, and the ever-essential tambourine makes Lee Marvin Computer Arm one of the more energetic bands to come out of Detroit in recent years. I think this 5 track CD EP from 2004, a 7 inch from a few years ago on Cass Records, and another 7 inch from Italy Records pressed this year, which I have yet to hear, are the only actual releases they have. Hopefully a full-length someday?

- Dan

Download Lee Marvin Computer Arm

Friday, September 25, 2009

Desktop - s/t

As you can imagine, we get an overwhelming amount of bands and artists looking to be featured on this blog. Many are discouragingly terrible, and many are quite good. The good ones are downloaded and then seemingly disappear somewhere on my hard drive, but I'm now making a conscious effort to go back through them once again. Anyways, we were contacted by this Detroit duo a long time ago recommending we give their debut 3 track EP a listen. Desktop is an Electric Six/The Pop Project side-project that has been spreading like wildfire across blogs over the last month or so. This is some extremely accessible electro pop that will certainly pucker your assholes. The vocals exude some genuine soul, and the synth and bass lines will hook you in almost immediately. If you enjoyed that Brain Children EP I posted, you'll dig this. You can preorder the 12" @

- Dan

Download Desktop

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Florida - Icarus b/w Once Yr In It 7"

We received our copies of this one through the mail the other day, and I couldn't be more pleased. "Icarus" is an intense early-70s psych mindfuck with heavily reverbed In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida-esque monotone vocals. I momentarily played this track at 33⅓, encountered Satan, shat myself, and immediately turned it back to 45rpm. Great stuff. "Once Yr In It" is a dark acoustic track fitting for a midnight séance in a lantern-lit graveyard. Props to Gary War for production on this release. This is some incredibly genuine psych material, and one of the coolest things I've heard this year. Limited to 300, this 7" boasts a 3D cover with supporting 3D glasses and is already sold out through Shdwply, but can still be found through Norman Records, Juno Records, or possibly at your local shop.

- Dan

Download Icarus b/w Once Yr In It 7"

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Part Chimp - Thriller

(LINK REMOVED 09/22/2009)

Sorry, the Lullabye Arkestra post isn't going to happen. VICE is putting the new record out which means we get slapped with a cease and desist order if we try to post anything. Sharing awesome music with the masses has been #1 on the latter end of their "Do's and Don'ts" list for awhile now. Shitty, I know. Don't worry, you can still stream the album for free here. We would never advocate illegally downloading this record, so don't go and rip that shit to your computer or anything.

"Hey Steve why don't talk about the record you're actually posting"

Good idea.

I like Part Chimp a lot because I'm 100% convinced that they don't give a flying fuck if you, me, or anyone else in the world likes them at all. This band is on a mission to rock out and destroy ear drums-- a feat easily accomplished on Thriller. Their previous proper full-length I Am Come is one of my favorite records from 2005 primarily because of the way it balances monolithic riffs with just enough melody to keep your girlfriend from telling you to turn that shit down. With Thriller Part Chimp sounds bigger and louder than ever, and the byproduct of this is one hell of an ugly, sludgy, rock album. The intentionally raw production and distorted-distortion-on-top-of-distortion guitar tone is what really elevates this record. I love everything about this band/album, right down to the ridiculous Ronnie James Dio meets Asia cover. Buy a few dozen copies of this thing and give them out to all of your friends in wimpy indie pop bands. Make the world a better place.

- Steve

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Monotonix - Where Were You When It Happened?


Montonix's Drag City debut Body Language was a solid release, but a poor representation of the energy of their live show. The EP vanished from my personal playlist almost immediately after seeing them live the first time. Listening to Where Were You When It Happened? is a far more enjoyable experience and confirms that this band is legit and not just a sweaty, hairy, and sexual live spectacle. It's the same riff-heavy sound you would expect from them, but recorded at a much more appropriate volume. The vocals accompany the grooves quite nicely, keeping them fresh and somewhat progressive throughout. There are a few tracks on the record that I can already imagine myself skipping over on my ipod in anticipation for the incredibly badass moments on other tracks, but the last 60 seconds of "As Noise" are perfection for my ears. They finally have recorded material that sounds like the uncaged animals they are. I'm a huge fan of the rock-out-with-your-hairy-cock-out cover as well, and I am incredibly excited to hold a 12" x 12" version of it.

- Dan

Download Where Were You When It Happened?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Heavy Hills - Demo

Just wanted to pop in and let you all know that I'm not dead, just living in my mom's basement and using a decade old computer with no speakers. LIVIN' THE DREAM! I've actually got a few things lined up to post, but I generally like to listen to shit all the way through a couple of times before I toss it up on the blog. With the aforementioned computer setup, that's been a bit of a problem. Heavy Hills is a psych rock band from sunny California and judging by the sound of their recently released free demo, they probably own more Spaceman 3 records than you do. This band has a real knack for locking into a fuzzed out groove and riding it to the point where it's nearly hypnotic. Definitely one of the better things I've heard this year, which is a big surprise considering this a demo from an unsigned band. If you work for a record label, hurry up and ink a deal with these guys and book 'em on a tour with Dead Meadow.

- Steve

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Circulatory System - Signal Morning

This one is already all over the blogosphere, but I was so incredibly pleased with the record that I had to post it anyways. We've all been waiting years for something from Olivia Tremor Control or Circulatory System to surface, and "long-awaited sophomore album" is an understatement for this one. This is an album comprised of numerous moments of genius from Will Cullen Hart from the past eight years spliced together in a Major Organ and the Adding Machine fashion. It's louder and fuzzier and definitely on par with their material from 2001. Pre-order it from Cloud Recording.

- Dan

Download Signal Morning

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Brain Children - s/t

I would hope that the cover art alone would be enough to get you to click the download link below, but I suppose a slightly more detailed description wouldn't hurt. This is a side project from Mikey of Eddy Current Suppression Ring, but I'd imagine that this project may take center stage eventually. This is some incredibly catchy and danceable electro-pop with krautrock leanings. Brain Children's debut EP certainly has the potential to be the next big thing. Their falsetto vocals and smooth synths will please the ears of Black Moth Super Rainbow, Of Montreal, Neu!, and even MGMT (shudder) fans. I highly suggest bumping "Future Flights" or "D.O.J." at your next house party.

- Dan

Download Brain Children

Monday, August 17, 2009

Boogie Boarder - Pizza Hero

While you can't always judge a book by its cover (unless you're dealing with shit like this) I have to admit, the album artwork/layout for Boogie Boarder's sophomore release is what initially piqued my interest. Unlike a lot of stuff I see floating around at the radio station, Pizza Hero came packaged in a bizarre coloring book/art zine that looked like it was penned by a demented child. And hey, with an album title like that, how can you go wrong? Thankfully the music here proved to be just as interesting as the CD case--if you could call it that. Boogie Boarder is a self-described Surf Rock band, but really this record plays out more like a low-fi garage rock slap in the face to bloated math rock groups. Fun music that is well composed and incredibly unique sounding: a surefire favorite for readers of this blog.

- Steve

Pizza Hero

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Lava Children - s/t

(Link Fixed 09/15/09)

Apparently I'm a few months behind on this five track mini-lp, but I now know why people having been blowing some loads over it. Incredibly surreal and completely captivating acoustic tunes from this Tulsa, Oklahoma duo (and couple I believe). Fifty Foot Hose meets Deerhoof meets Broadcast meets...Boards of Canada?, and "Troll" is one of the more stoned and enjoyable tracks I've heard in a long time. I immediately ordered it from Graveface Records after giving it the once through. Gorgeous vinyl. There's also a Black Moth Super Rainbow remix that's included in the download but not available on the 12".

- Dan

Download The Lava Children

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The G - Hold My Gold

It took a little bit for this LP to grow on me for some reason. I think I was more shocked to hear this on Shdwply Records more than anything. Certainly the loudest and, in its own way, most accessible release on the label thus far. This hard-hitting Philly foursome seems to be mostly concerned with blowing your speakers. The tracks vary from a louder early to mid-90s shoegaze/indie to straight up post-punk. Turn this one up loud. Released in May and limited to 200 copies. If they're still available, get 'em here.

- Dan

Download Hold My Gold

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Terminal 11 - Kaleidoscope Eyes

We received an email from Mike/Terminal 11 a week ago informing us of his new FREE mp3 release via Cockrockdisco, and, if we enjoyed it, requested we inform all of you as well. Well of course we fucking enjoy it. It's Terminal 11 and the dude is money. Kaleidoscope Eyes is so incredibly smooth that it's possible you won't even notice many of his samples as the pass you by. It's an album fit for deep space or the deep sea, and an overwhelmingly complex and unexplored mass for your brain. Thoroughly enjoyable. Mike has also started a label called Sunwarped Records which features artists out of Arizona and provides plenty of free music for your ears. Some good stuff there as well.

- Dan

Download Kaleidoscope Eyes

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Ganglians - Monster Head Room

Channeling Brian Wilson at his most experimental and psychotic, Ganglians have produced an incredibly fun and melodic psychedelic pop record that fits in well with their fellow Woodsist label mates. The songs are relatively standard for the genre, but the vocals really put this record over the top. Imagine if those guys in Fleet Foxes stopped focusing on growing huge beards and used all of their free time to consume as many hard drugs as possible. Standout tracks like "Voodoo" and "Lost Words" will grab you immediately, while the second half of the record will likely take some time to grow on you. Well worth the investment I'd say. They're on tour right now with Wavves, so check them out and buy some shit when they come through your town. Also make sure you ask the guy from Wavves as many pressing questions about Barcelona as you can. I hear he really loves it when people do that.

- Steve

Download Monster Head Room

Monday, August 3, 2009

The History of Michigan Garage Bands in the '60s - Volume 1: The Wheels 4 Label Story

60 tracks over 3 discs, this compilation features many lesser known Michigan garage acts who released material through The Wheels 4 label out of Detroit/Dearborn in the 1960s. An incredibly interesting and mildly depressing collection of songs for anyone from the Metro Detroit area. Although the Detroit music scene is obviously still going strong, the sheer number of garage pop acts is a reminder of how vibrant of a city Detroit once was. And no, there isn't a volume 2.

- Dan

Download The History of Michigan Garage Bands in the '60s Disc 1

Download The History of Michigan Garage Bands in the '60s Disc 2

Download The History of Michigan Garage Bands in the '60s Disc 3

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Blevin Blectum - Gular Flutter

It seems like it's been a long time since I've posted any crazy electronic shit on here. I was able to catch Wobbly and Blevin Blectum @ Ghostprint Gallery here in Richmond, VA on Sunday. Easily my favorite show in Richmond since moving here one year ago. Very chill. Everyone sat on the gallery floor, some lying on their backs, but all watching the video projection on the ceiling that perfectly accompanied their sets. Gular Flutter is a solid album with quite a bit of variety. Processed yet organic, danceable yet strangely meditative, your enjoyment of this album is completely dependent upon how much you're willing to give back to it. "Foyer Fire" is a highly suggested track.

- Dan

Download Gular Flutter

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sugar Sugar Sugar - Live at Cap Hansen's Bar September 6, 2008

Rock 'n roll that's absolutely drenched in sex. That alone should get you to click the link below, but it's the hot and heavy guitar lines, breathy vocals, saxophone, and squealing women in the background that makes this live recording better than many studio recordings, and gives you an idea of their sweaty and sexually charged live show. It's a sound specifically created for your local hot, humid, and smoky bars. According to bassist/vocalist Andy Piper, “People seem to concern themselves about being so original that they miss the point. Making music that makes the audience like deer in the headlights for the sake of being original is not what we do. We make the music that we would want to go out and see, drink and dance to.” Sold. They released this CDR earlier in the year, but they've got a full-length studio album coming up in August, as well as a supporting tour. Keep your eyes and ears peeled, and for Christ's sake support the band.

- Dan

Download Live at Cap Hansen's Bar

Bee Eyes - Who Does?

Unfortunately this is only a single, and the only track sent to me from these dudes from the Philippines, but it's so incredibly catchy that this single track alone deserves a post of its own. It seems like everything I've been coming across in 2009 sounds like a variation of this sound. Cheery but noisy bedroom pop. Bee Eyes sounds like a mix of The Beach Boys, Wavves, and Thee Oh Sees, with some pretty pubescent vocals. There's a few more tracks on the myspace page that sound very promising. Want to hear more.

- Dan

Download Who Does?