Thursday, January 28, 2010

Shapes Have Fangs - 2008 SXSW EP

I came across this one on Soulseek, but it seems it doesn't exist anywhere else on the internets (that's not the real cover either). The first track I had heard from Shapes Have Fangs was a track (which is also included in this download) from the 2007 SXSW showcase. As you may already know, or will soon hear, they sounded more like a The Shins cover band than an actual band (BUT, they sounded like pre-shitty The Shins, so I never really minded). Anyways, although similarities are still there, it seems that they've been slowly developing their own sound, and sounds a little less like they're beating off on James Mercer's face. This EP from 2008 and the few tracks on their myspace will please the ears of many of you with their infectious vocal hooks and jangly guitar. They seem to genuinely have fun with what they do, and they're definitely in desperate need of a legitimate release other than that split 7" with Cavedweller. If anyone has any more info on this release or an actual cover, please do share.

- Dan

Monday, January 25, 2010

Niño - Deep Space Night

This is some very well produced "blip-blop" beats via Spain. Choppy future-sounds and smooth synths make this free digital EP from Pendrive Records worth your time. Keep this one on the back burner for your intergalactic travels.

- Dan

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Psychic Paramount - Live 2002: The Franco-Italian Tour

One of the largest and most obvious perks of volunteering at your local radio station is being able to rip the shit out of as many CDs as humanly possible while you're there. This one was released back in 2006, but I never got a chance to listen to it until I saw a light shining upon it while sitting among the WRIR collection. If you've listened to our two previous posts from this trio, it's likely that you have already clicked the download link below, but if you've been living under a rock of silence and psych-less despair, it's time to break free and have your mind simultaneously blown and melted, or as it's more commonly known as, "blelted". Recorded directly to cassette with only one mic, this is an incredibly loud moment in music, and it's shocking to hear the relatively leisurely claps and cheers from the 20 people in the crowd. My moist manties would have hit the stage within 2 seconds of their first sonic explosion. This is some shit to get excited about, and I can't wait for their upcoming album this Spring. Apparently, they began this tour less than one week after their conception. Pretty unbelievable.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Nerve City. - Red Tops 7"

Perhaps the lowest-fi release yet from Nerve City, and I'm not sure if I've ever heard such strong pop jams so deeply buried beneath filthy scuzz. The thick fuzz and low quality of the churning guitar gives this a hypnotizing quality that I haven't experienced since.....well, the last Nerve City release. This guy is the best thing to come out of Richmond, VA since Doug Funnie. Get it at HoZac.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Grass Widow - s/t

(LINK REMOVED 01/20/10)

Hey look, three girls recorded a lo-fi rock record. Cue obligatory Vivian Girls comparison, discard. Ok so I fucked up. I know, I thought I was perfect too but this does happen from time to time. Grass Widow doesn't sound like The Vivian Girls at all, but I'm lazy and didn't give this album the attention it deserved. Turns out this is one of the best things I forgot to listen to in 2009. Whoops. I'm sorry Grass Widow, I hope we can still be friends. I really like you. The reason Grass Widow was so easy for me to brush off after only one quick listen is because they are a pop band that demands your complete attention in order to appreciate all of the subtle nuances that make them so great. The songs on their self titled debut each clock in at under 3 minutes and still the band manages to slip in a dizzying array of pitch perfect harmonies, abrupt tempo changes and "hey that was rad, how the fuck did they think of sticking that in there?" guitar parts. Equal parts Slint, X-Ray Spex, and The Raincoats, Grass Widow is a band that will win you over with their modern take on post punk, assuming you give this band the attention they deserve. My only complaint? The entire record breezes by in just over 20 minutes. Don't tease me like this ladies, I need more.

- Steve

Snack Truck - Spacial Findings 1-7

I first came across Snack Truck's 2004 release Harpoon years back while living in Michigan. Solid release, but it was borderline screamo on a few tracks, and I eventually forgot about them. I happened to move to their hometown of Richmond, VA about a year and a half ago, and I caught their set when they opened for Monotonix last October. I was incredibly pleased by their new sound. Dueling drummers, calculated guitar noodling, epic progressions, and, most importantly, no more screaming. This is some highly entertaining instrumental goodness for fans of Battles, Don Caballero, or Hella. Spacial Findings 1-7 contains 4 tracks from a previously released 7" plus 3 previously unreleased tracks from the same recording session. It's a quick listen and will definitely have you looking forward to their next release. Quite easily one of the best bands from RVA. Below is a video for the track "Blake Jones in Space". Buy it here.

- Dan

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mira Belle - Blueprints

(Link Fixed 04/06/2010)

Sadly, this submission has been sitting in our inbox since early September, but I've been listening to it on and off since the moment we received it. From the Tarantino-esque track "A", to the Sesame Street-worthy beats of "K", to the looping carnival ride of "Z", this is a playful and experimental electronic record, and I apologize keeping it from you all for so long.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Divorce - s/t

Debut 10" EP from this five-piece from Glasgow, Scotland. Although four of the five members of the band are female, this is some incredibly abrasive, ugly, and testicular music. Imagine a more obnoxious Pissed Jeans or Flipper fronted by a woman that sounds like she really needs to clear her throat. Many of you won't make it further than 30 seconds into the first track, but there will be plenty of you, like me, who enjoy every second of it. So far, they've shared a stage with bands such as Part Chimp, HEALTH, Deerhoof, and Lovvers, and I've got a feeling it won't be too long until they're able to make it over to the States on a tour of their own. Unfortunately, this EP is only available in the UK. Get it here: Norman Records.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Ablehearts - The Flood

An intriguing record from this Brooklyn based sound and video artist. The combination of natural and effects-influenced cracking in the vocals makes this one of the more personal records I've ever heard, and it sounds as if this was never meant to be heard by anyone but the artist. Many of the arrangements are hidden behind the reverbed and distorted vocals, but it's the subtlety of it all that draws you in deeper. Although it's not the strongest track, the video below will give you an idea of what you'll experience while listening to this record. A record for the introvert in all of us, and definitely fitting for the winter season. Courtesy of Shinkoyo.

- Dan

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Fungi Girls - Seafaring Pyramids

(LINK REMOVED 01/12/10)

When you were a kid all of your friend's bands sucked, and if you were in a band, your band sucked too. It isn't an insult really, just the inevitable result of an undeniable fact: kids listen to shitty music. Nobody is to blame here, music just wasn't accessible. Either someone older than you dropped a record in your lap or you somehow beat the odds and accidentally came across something great while watching MTV at 4 a.m. This WAS the case at least, but now my age group seems to be the last of a dying breed. Growing up with a 56k modem in Napster's infancy, I was lucky enough to actually get a hold of some cool shit, but I spent most of my time just aimlessly downloading garbage. Now the floodgates have opened completely. File sharing is easier than it's ever been, and the internet has provided thousands of blogging and website running older brothers to drop records into the laps of impressionable children. So what's the payoff? Enter: Fungi Girls-- a trio of 14 year olds from Texas that write better songs than you and probably have a better record collection than you too. Their debut LP Seafaring Pyramids is a like sugar rush fueled rock rampage, covering everything they love from psychedelic pop freak outs, to shoegaze, to dream pop and back again. This isn't just a well crafted album for a bunch of kids-- this is a genuinely good album. So keep it up boys. There's a lot of good tunes and raunchy sex fueled by hard drugs in your future.

- Steve