Monday, December 31, 2012

Best Albums of 2012

Welcome to the 6th (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 2012. 

 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. 

 4. There are plenty of full-lengths we never got a chance to listen to, forgot about, or never had time to fully digest, so don't freak out if you don't see your personal favorite in our list. 

 With that said, here are our honorable mentions for 2012:

The Mallard - Yes on Blood
Thee Oh Sees - Putrifiers II
Mind Spiders - Meltdown
Broken Water - Tempest
Strange Hands - Dead Flowers
Matthew E. White - Big Inner
Tame Impala - Lonerism
Goat - World Music

And now, without further ado, our top 10 records of 2012:

1. Parquet Courts - Light Up Gold

2. Moon Duo - Circles

3. Dreamtime - SUN

4. Ty Segall & White Fence/Ty Segall Band/Ty Segall - Hair/Slaughterhouse/Twins

5. Christian Bland & the Revelators - Pig Boat Blues

6. The Sufis - s/t

7. Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!

8. The Men - Open Your Heart

9. Death Grips - The Money Store

10. Spiritualized - Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Pows - Once With Snot & Blood

Nothing says "Merry Christmas" like a collection of short and snotty punk rock rock jams from Missouri. Released by Permanent Records (My favorite Chicago record store/label hybrid) Once With Snot & Blood is a career spanning retrospective of the now defunct band. While the songs are unquestionably simple they have a unique, intangible charm that elevates them above other similar bands. This release was limited to a pressing of 100 hand numbered copies, so if you can track this LP down make sure you snag a copy. If you dig Ongakubaka, I promise you'll dig this album. Cross your fingers for a repressing.

- Steve

Friday, December 21, 2012

Dusty Mush - Demos

Dusty Mush have a split tape with The Future Primitives coming on January 21, 2013 on the newly formed cassette label, Cheap Miami. Keep an eye out for that one. For now, check out this demo from earlier this year. Excellent French garage fuzz. Check out the presumably Thee Oh Sees-inspired video for "Brad Cruise" below.

- Dan

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Different Skeletons - Without Country

Pleased to find this cassette in the mail today. The Toronto garage/surf/punk threesome is back with a follow-up to 2011's Secret Jeers. Without Country is similar to their debut in many ways, with polished song structures and vocal hooks aplenty, but the increase in reverb, decrease in pace, and country leanings give this one an entirely different feel.  

- Dan

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Celestial Shore/Shopping Spree - Celestial Shore and Shopping Spree

Split cassette out on Prison Art. Both Brooklyn bands take a more dissonant approach to beach pop. Celestial Shore's transitions can be pretty jarring at times, but it make those straightforward head-nod-able sections all that more satisfying. Solid vocals. Definitely a band I'll be keeping an eye on. Shopping Spree sounds like a weirdo avant-garde contemporary version of something that could of been birthed from the E6 Collective. Bubbly electronics with varied, tumbling rhythms. $5 for a cassette and/or name your price download. 

- Dan

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Oil of Angels - s/t

This one came as a recommendation from a longtime reader and fellow psych-scavenger. Even though this EP is nearly 2 years old now, it's brand new to me, but by the looks of it, they're no longer active. Textbook psych out of Spokane, Washington. Download it for free @ bandcamp.

- Dan

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hotline Miami - OST

LINK FIXED 1/21/2013

The sign of a great video game is the ability to seamlessly fuse visuals, gameplay, and sound into one unified, fun experience. Most games hit two out of three but fail to present a soundtrack that not only elevates the experience, but also can stand on it's own as a legitimately entertaining collection of music. Hotline Miami doesn't fall under the "most games" category, and thanks in large part to its soundtrack, proves to be something very special. Bizarre psychedelic ambiance juxtaposed with ass grinding 80's inspired electro, creates a unique collection of tunes that complements the visceral violence and wacked out storyline perfectly. Hotline Miami is a neon strobe light illuminating a drug fueled William S. Burroughs wet dream, and these songs are the glue that holds it all together. Bump these jams for an instant dance party and then head over to the official website to pick up a copy of the game for the full experience. 

- Steve

VIDEO: Dead Skeletons - Kundalini Eyes (Dirty Artist Version)

Dead Skeleton's "Buddha Christ" is out today on Fuzz Club Records. It's a gorgeous 2 track 12" featuring a silkscreened B-side and gatefold cover. Limited to 300 copies and guaranteed to go fast. GET IT.

- Dan

Sunday, December 9, 2012


A pretty wild full-length video for "ESP EXP", the newest cassette from sound collage artist, Boyd Pro. Out on Symbol Heavy

- Dan

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Robin Parrent - Exorcism

Before taking a job in the armpit of California, I used to play in Robin Parrent's backing band.  Exorcism took two and a half years to complete since recording initially began. Hectic 24 hour recording window aside, I don't think we could have been plagued with more problems. The bassist was diagnosed with schizophrenia, the lead guitar player was dealing with agoraphobia, the drummer flipped his car and had to record his drum parts completely loaded on painkillers while wearing a sling. We were a fucking mess. After the band imploded, Robin wandered around the west coast until he went broke. He eventually returned to Detroit and tried to finish the record, constantly disliking every single draft of it until he gave it up as a relic of the past. A few months ago Exorcism was rescued and finished by Andy Catlin of Lasso/Double Phelix and found its way to me. I asked Robin to describe Exorcism to me and he called it "psychedelic demon blues" which I think is as fitting a description as you'll find. Check out Robin's Bandcamp page for a pay-what-you-want download for this record and an upcoming remastered version of his first album.

Recommended Tracks: Confession Bound, Boneville Break in Blues, I Did Wrong

- Steve

Each Other - Heavily Spaced

Finally got around to checking out the newest EP from Montreal's Each Other. If you enjoyed their Taking Trips cassette from earlier this year on Prison Art, there's plenty more post-punk-experimental-beach-pop to be had on Heavily Spaced. *Insert Women reference here*. Name your price over at bandcamp.

- Dan

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Zig Zags - Party at Dave's House

L.A. based Zig Zags manage to cover a ton of ground in this 5 song, 10 minute EP. A trio of Black Flag inspired punk/thrash tunes are bookended by a bone crushingly heavy psych opener and a melancholy, reverb drenched closing track. I seriously can't recommend this enough. Check out Zig Zags bandcamp page for upcoming shows, and tell these guys to hurry up and record a full length LP so I can throw that on repeat too.

- Steve

Monday, November 19, 2012

White Fangs - s/t

Excellent Belgian garage punk. Snotty slap-backed vocals and relentless guitar riffs. LP out now on Azbin Records/Frantic City and limited to only 300 copies. Don't let the other cool kids beat you to it.

- Dan

Sunday, November 18, 2012

VIDEO: Dreamtime - Centre of Mind

It's been a pretty great week for the Australian psychonauts. Not only did they release their sophomore album, SUN, yesterday, they were also one of the bands announced for Austin Psych Fest 2013 this upcoming April (which I'm taking all the credit for, btw....I'm just kidding, sort of). Feed your head by checking out the rest of SUN over at bandcamp, and start preparations now to ensure you're attendance of the festival. See you there? 

- Dan

Friday, November 16, 2012

Divine Intervention Now - Demo

Many many months ago, I received one of the coolest submissions ever in the mail: a USB flash drive made to look like an insect. Deep within the abdomen of this travelling bug was a 5-track demo from a solo artist from Philadelphia. Phillip Mahoney, under the moniker Divine Intervention Now, creates dark, lo-fi, psych folk tracks for the post-apocalypse. The 3rd and 4th tracks fucking rule. Grab a free download over at bandcamp, where you can also pick up one of your very bugs for 20 bones. Easily one of the more unique formats you'll ever come across.

- Dan

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

VIDEO: Then Comes Silence - Slowly Dragging You Down

Totally creepy shoegaze inspired jam from Sweden. Then Comes Silence's self-titled debut dropped last week. Head over to the Novoton Records website and snag a copy.

- Steve

Obnox - Rojo

Incredibly loud tunes out of Cleveland. Psychgaragepunknoise featuring thunderous percussion, squealing woodwinds, and wailing guitar that'll enter through your ears and rocket out your fucking asshole. Only 300 copies were pressed, with 100 on bone wax directly through Permanent Records (only a handful left). Get this shit ASAP.

- Dan

Friday, November 9, 2012

VIDEO: Dumbo Gets Mad - Radical Leap

Been digging this track/video. First single from the Italian psych-poppers sophomore effort due out in early '13. Download the track over at soundcloud.

- Dan

Friday, November 2, 2012

Birdfingers - Birdfingers II

Hailing from Kalamazoo, MI and featuring Andy Catlin of Lasso,  Birdfingers II is a gorgeous and delicate orchestral folk record. The music has a slow churning, ethereal quality to it punctuated by some of the deepest baritone vocals this side of a Beat Happening album. There's a lot going on in most of the songs--nearly a dozen musicians are credited with contributions and they all put their fair share of work in. Miraculously, nothing ever gets muddled amidst all the instrumentation, and the group's subtlety and quiet restraint create a warm and inviting record that rewards repeated listening. Truth be told, this sort of album normally isn't my thing and yet I still find myself coming back for more. Check out Birdfingers' bandcamp page for more downloads, or pick up a physical copy Birdfingers II which includes a handmade gatefold sleeve.

- Steve

Monday, October 29, 2012

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Haunted Leather - Red Road

Been looking forward to this one for months. Hypnotic psychedelic tunes out of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Listening to this digitally almost feels like sacrilege. Luckily, vinyl is coming in a few week and will be limited to only 250 copies. Stay updated.

- Dan

Sunday, October 21, 2012

VIDEO: Wild Moth - Patience

A great video for one of the tracks off of Wild Moth's debut release. If you haven't heard the rest of the record yet, do yourself a favor and check out my post from a couple months ago, then head over to Asian Man Records and buy yourself a copy.

- Steve

Saturday, October 20, 2012

VIDEO: The Lucid Dream - Hits Me Like I'm Stoned

The Lucid Dream is one of nineteen European bands to be featured on the upcoming compilation, The Reverb Conspiracy, to be released on November 10th. The limited edition vinyl 2xLP will be available in Europe at select stores and through and in North America through, with 25% of proceeds going to Child’s i Foundation. As if the compilation itself wasn't enough, there's a release party and subsequent European tour as well. Check out those details HERE. Killer artwork from Nonni Dead from The Dead Skeletons and complete tracklist below.

 - Dan

1. Black Market Karma (UK) - Weightless 
2. A Victim Of Society (GR) - You're Gonna Hate Me 
3. The Lucid Dream (UK) - Hits Me Like I'm Stoned 
4. The Electric Koolaid Company (UK)- Dreams 
 5. The Orange Revival (SE) - Ever 
6. The KVB (UK) - Never Enough 
7. Radar Men From The Moon (NL) - Heading For The Void 
8. Singapore Sling (IS) - Nothing Inside 
9. Oscar Suave (UK) - No Direction 
10. Dead Skeletons (IS) - Kundalini Eyes 
11. Lola Colt (UK) - Diamonds 
12. Sonic Jesus (IT) - Underground 
13. The Underground Youth (UK) - I Need You 
14. Black Lizard (FL) - Spirits 
15. Wall Of Death (FR) - Thunder Sky 
16. Get Your Gun (DK) - Staying For A While 
17. The Third Sound (IS) - Re-Elevation 
18. The Wands (DK) - Hello I Know The Blow You Grow Is Magic 
19. Dead Rabbits (UK) - When I'm Blue

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Black People - Red Eyes

A Black People's cassette release Red Eyes is one hell of a somber and brooding goth/punk amalgamation. The buzzsaw guitars, reverb drenched vocals, and 80's inspired production might make this seem easy to peg, but there's an absurd amount of depth to these songs and the band does a lot more than just lean on their influences. Start to finish, Red Eyes is great but track 2, The Fool, really stands out as a monumental singular achievement. Don't miss out on this record.

- Steve

Friday, October 5, 2012

Holy Wave - Evil Hits

Holy Wave's "Evil Hits" is now available through Burger Records, with vinyl coming this December through the Reverberation Appreciation Society. This release compiles 5 tracks from their 2011 release "Knife Hits" with 5 tracks from this year's "The Evil Has Landed" EP (both of which can be heard in full on bandcamp). Their fall tour kicks off TONIGHT in Austin, TX. Check out the rest of the dates over at Facebook.

- Dan

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Shark Week - EP

I think a lot of bands get too comfortable with the music they're playing and forget to actually do something interesting. It's easy to call Shark Week a garage rock band. It's easy to say "drrp drrp Replacements Brian Jonestown Eric Burdon drrrrrp" and throw up a link. For a minute I thought of just calling this a Strokes record that doesn't make you want to fucking shoot yourself. Shark Week deserves better than that though; Shark Week is really fucking interesting. There's only 3 songs on this EP but each stands as a catchy example of how versatile and gifted Shark Week is when it comes to crafting a good 60's inspired pop song. Everything just seems to click here-- a great rhythm section, guitar work that pays homage to past decades while still sounding fresh, and a singer whose powerful howl will stick with you long after you turn this EP off. Check out their bandcamp page for a pay-what-you-want download of this album, and a list of upcoming east coast shows.

- Steve

Saturday, September 29, 2012

VIDEO: Lil Daggers - Pair of Lives

A slow, haunting, psychedelic slab of holy fuck. This track is from their debut full-length from late last year, which is available for free over at bandcamp. Pick up the 12" at Limited Fanfare/Song, by Toad Records. They've also got a split 7" with The Underground Youth coming in November. Stay updated via Facebook.

- Dan

Thursday, September 27, 2012

No Monster Club - Posthumous Hits

A collection of solo material recorded by Irish songwriter, Bobby Aheme, who passed away earlier this year at age 24. Aheme churned out 11 records over the last 6 years, was eventually joined by two bandmates, recorded 4 more records, and embarked on a European tour that saw him sharing the stage with the likes of Sic Alps, HEALTH, Ariel Pink, Wavves, Jeff the Brotherhood, and others. This cassette contains 46 tracks that were uncovered after his death by his friends and family, most of which are sunny beachside pop tracks guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Pick up the cassete over at Already Dead Tapes or from the band's site.

- Dan

Monday, September 24, 2012

VIDEO: Dead Skeletons - Dead is God

Dead Skeletons are back with a new EP entitled "Orð", which is limited to 600 copies and will be available during their current European tour. It's a 4 track one-sided 12" with a silkscreened b-side, and if it's anything like their last release, Dead Magick, it's likely to be gone in a matter of days.

- Dan

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Strange Forces - I'd Rather Listen to the Bloody Birds

A swirling psychedelic German supernova heavy on the reverb and phaser that'll expel your mind at the speed of das light. Their shock wave of a 12" sees the light of day on October 10th. Order your copy HERE when the time comes, or email  with your pre-order inquiries. They've also got 2 previous name-your-price releases available over @ bandcamp.

- Dan

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Solids - Generic Dogs

Lately I've noticed a lot of fucking fantastic bands drawing heavily from early/mid 90's college rock. Enter The Solids and their latest EP, Generic Dogs. As soon as the second track kicks in you'll start thinking "Superchunk covering Sonic Youth's Teenage Riot" which turns out to be a microcosm of the entire record. My only complaint might be the sing-along style vocals, but the record is mixed so well it rarely irked me. Definitely worth checking out. Head over to The Solids' Bandcamp page for more tunes.

- Steve

Download Generic Dogs

Travel Check - Acid Beats

French indie/garage with a little psych/post-punk thrown in the mix. 4 track 7" EP drops soonish. For now, download if for free @ bandcamp.

- Dan

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

π - Till the Sun

Back in April when Steve and I were at Austin Psych Fest, one of the members of π handed Steve a CDR of their last release, You In Colour, which we were incredibly surprised to hear was not complete garbage when we gave it a first listen. Till the Sun is their new EP, and it sounds like they've picked up right where they left off. Pretty solid blues/garage/psych jams here. Name-your-price @ bandcamp. 

- Dan

Sunday, September 9, 2012

VIDEO: The UFO Club - Bo Diddley Was the 7th Son

 This collaboration between Christian Bland of The Black Angels and Lee Blackwell of Night Beats is a match made in heaven. I really enjoyed their set back at APF5, and I've been hooked on their debut LP since last month. A perfect mix of 50s pop and 60s psych. This rad fan-made video couldn't fit the Austin Psych Fest aesthetic any better. Thanks to Bret for both making it and sending it our way. Pick the LP from the Reverberation Appreciation Society or the cassette from Burger Records

- Dan

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

VIDEO: Sonic Jesus - Underground

Been looking forward to an official release from this Italian juggernaut. Apparently they're debut EP is finally dropping on vinyl sometime in October. Keep an eye on their Facebook for updates.

- Dan

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Radar Men From the Moon - Echo Forever

Instrumental space rocketeers from Eindhoven, NL. Take a few bong rips and send this one into orbit. Thanks to Charlie for bringing it to our attention.

- Dan

Monday, September 3, 2012

VIDEO: Bad Bibles - Nearsighted

The latest single from Brooklyn/San Francisco post punk weirdos, Bad Bibles. If the rest of their new record sounds even half as good as this single we're in for something spectacular. Head over to their Bandcamp page to download this track for free and get more info on future releases.

- Steve

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Billowing Australian psychedelic haze for all you psychonauts out there. Absolutely killer video. 5 track LP is available over at their bandcamp. LOOK AT THAT BEAUTIFUL ALBUM COVER.

- Dan

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Thick Shakes - French Dyppe

4 track cassingle featuring 2 hip-shaking organ-backed 60s garage pop anthems and their instrumentals.   Edition of 100 on Aurora 7 Records.

- Dan

Monday, August 20, 2012


+ JMBVM cover art
FOOTWORK cover art

FOOTWORK has built up reputation on the west coast for being a really talented and downright fucking weird band. Their songs are short, disjointed, and often abrasive; slowly finding a steady rhythm, riding out a groove for 90 seconds, and cutting out before you know what hits you. The major difference between these two releases is the addition of singer Jamey Braden Von Mooter on +JMBVM, whose distinct howl is pushed to the front of the mix adding another layer of complexity to all ready pretty fucking complex band. This is Kraut rock through the lens of a generation raised on heavy doses of Ritalin. Check out FOOTWORK's bandcamp for more tunes.

- Steve

Sunday, August 19, 2012

V/A - Michigan Meltdown: Post-garage Pandemonium And Pre-punk Fuzz Freaks From The Mitten State's Milken Era

Really great compilation of rare dark garage tunes out of The Mitten State in the 60s and 70s. A majority of these bands only put out one 7" during their existence and were never heard from again. Picked up this LP late last year, but I couldn't find any mp3s anywhere on the nets. Thankfully, my wife just got me a USB turntable as an early birthday gift, YOU LUCKY FUCKS, so I was able to rip the tracks myself. You're going to want to pick this one up before they're all gone, though. 500 pressed on Coney Dog Records, and available here, here, here, and google this shit yourself.

- Dan

Thursday, August 16, 2012

VIDEO: Turtlenecjk - Space Quest II


Hazy lo-fi psychedelic beach pop from the Land Down Under. Check out the rest of his/their cassette, Loop de Loop, over at Moontown Tapes' bandcamp.

- Dan

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Black Pus - Pus Mortem

Brian Chippendale of Lightning Bolt ROCKED THE TWITTER WORLD by announcing the release of this unexpected digital album yesterday afternoon. J.Biebs and Kanye are currently stewing in their own feces after shitting themselves to this hot slab of noise-meat. This is an absolutely relentless record that is most certainly not for the faint of testicles. It might even be the heaviest and most progressive solo material from Chippendale. Stream/Name-your-price over at bandcamp. Currently have the earbuds in, volume maxed out, and the last track on repeat.

- Dan

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wild Moth - Mourning Glow EP

One of the rules for our "Best of..." list at the end of the year is no singles/EPs/etc, which is a shame considering this little 4 song record is one of the most refreshing and accomplished things I've heard in months. Wild Moth is a self described post punk band, but a label that broad doesn't even begin to do their music justice. Imagine taking all of the old Jade Tree and Dischord records you listened to in the mid to late 90's and putting them through a filter. The end product is Wild Moth's Mourning Grow EP-- something old grumpy you and your younger self could enjoy together. Very highly recommended, and available for download (name your own price) on Bandcamp.

- Steve

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Jehosaphat Blow - Natural High for Low People

Excellent one-man lo-fi garagabilly that sounds like a trashier BBQ/Mark Sultan. Limited to 100 copies and available through Cold Slice Cassettes.  

- Dan

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

VIDEO: Haunted Leather - Indian Road

The second single from Haunted Leather's upcoming record, Red Road, which is still in need of a release date. Soonish? Certainly not soonish enough. Stay Tuned

- Dan

Monday, July 30, 2012

Black Bombaim - Titans

Heavy psych brought to you directly from the Golden Age of man. Or was it Portugal? I don't remember. Anyways, the four mountainous space jams, each taking a side of its own on this double LP, feature contributions from Steve Mackay (Stooges), Isaiah Mitchell (Earthless/Howlin Rain), Noel V. Harmonson (Comets on Fire), among others. Released back in May on Lovers & Lollypops. Head over to bandcamp to pick up the beautiful limited edition deluxe gatefold 2xLP. Thanks so much to Tojo for sending it our way. Also, if you didn't check out Saturdays and Space Travels when I posted it back in 2010, that shit is essential. 

- Dan

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Burglar Fucker - The Demonweb EP

Been meaning to give this one a listen for a few months now and had to bump them up the queue when I saw that they will be opening for Ty Segall/Thee Oh Sees here in Richmond this September. Completely fucked tunes out of North Carolina. Punk? Lo-fi? Metal? Doom? Noise? Garage? Psych? Even I don't fucking know. Honestly, you could label this as any one of those genres. Would easily fit in with Load Records' early discography. 

- Dan

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sarongs - s/t

Syracuse, NY female-led post-punk. You might recognize a few tracks from their self-titled cassette I posted last year. Dark, loud, abrasive, and downright catchy. Can't ask for more. LP out on Prison Art Tapes/Velidoxi, and only $10 through bandcamp.

- Dan

Monday, July 16, 2012

Broken Cups - Slaves of The Grave

Broken Cups are a Hungarian foursome that draw heavily from the dark synth punk of the late 1970's and early 1980's. Most songs are chaotic two minute bursts of fuzz guitar, distorted drum machines, glitching electronics, and distinct Ian Curtis inspired baritone vocals. Slaves of The Grave is an album where the band is clearly trying to find their bearings. Moments of Brilliance really do shine through and eclipse the obvious lack of refinement, specifically on some the more focused tracks like "Love". If any of the above description, sounds remotely enticing this one is worth a download. Shit, if you're just waiting for a new Blank Dogs record and need a stop gap, this will do the trick too. Broken Cups makes damn good music and has the potential to do something great. Check out their Bandcamp page for more releases and pay-what-you-want downloads.

- Steve

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Ocular Audio Experiment - The Witch's Whispering Tomes (Part 2)‏

Part 2 of The Ocular Audio Experiment's double album of 12 songs presented in two different styles dropped on Wednesday. Part 1 presented each track in a slow entrancing psychedelic bubble of droning guitars and tambourine dreams. Part 2, on the other hand, sounds far more sinister. Goblin-like Old West crooning, with the clip-clop of passing horses and an old-fashioned duel between acoustic and slide guitar happening just outside the swinging saloon doors. Great stuff. IF you haven't downloaded Part 1 yet, make sure to give that one a spin as well.

- Dan