Exclusive Spin: Prom Queen’s ‘Blonde’ & interview with Leeni Ramadan

Exclusive Spin: Prom Queen’s ‘Blonde’ & interview with Leeni Ramadan

Prom Queen’s upcoming album, Doom-Wop, is a continuation of the sound the Seattle group has honed on their previous two releases. However, per the band, it’s different, and more of an album that “celebrates the ensemble that we’ve built over the last few years.” That camaraderie has been “built from the ground up,” they state, and it really shows. If you’ve enjoyed the darkly mysterious versions of the girl-group sound Prom Queen has explored on Night Sound and Midnight Veil, then you’ll likely adore Doom-Wop, an album to which I’ve returned again and again since it showed up in my inbox a couple of weeks ago.

Source: modern-vinyl.com/2017/08/31/exclusive-spin-prom-queens-blonde-interview-with-leeni-ramadan/

Interview: A Giant Dog

Interview: A Giant Dog

It seems like many articles on Austin’s A Giant Dog tend to focus on the band’s stage shows and the things which happen when vocalist Sabrina Ellis performs. What seems to get shunted to the side is the actual studio music, the band having released three very excellent albums – Fight, Bone, and Pile — with a fourth, Toy, out today on Merge Records. The music of A Giant Dog is driving, pulsating stuff, and it’s never been more apparent than on Toy‘s first single, “Bendover.” It’s a big — nay, huge — blast of punk rock with the power of a ’70s arena band. We’re so besotted with it that this where we started our phone conversation with Ellis and guitarist Andrew Cashen as they drove from Austin to Portland to play a show with their other band, Sweet Spirit.

Source: modern-vinyl.com/2017/08/25/interview-a-giant-dog/

Review of the Conquerors’ ‘Wyld Time’ at Modern Vinyl

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Every single song The Conquerors have turned out on their debut LP, Wyld Time, is a catchy, toe-tapping, hip-shaking bit of wonderful. After a year and a half of singles, we finally get a full-length from the rock ‘n’ roll sextet and it’s worth the wait, too — on Wyld Time, the band’s turned out a 10-song romp through the garage, but also through the decades.
Read the full review at Modern Vinyl. Published 9/30/16

Interview with Death Valley Girls’ Bonnie Bloomgarden at the Pitch

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Calling Death Valley Girls a garage-rock act undersells it. While the music on the Los Angeles quartet’s second full-length, Glow in the Dark, has a lo-fi aspect to it, there's definitely a whole lotta death rock goin' on. The band's video for “Disco” is a freaky pagan affair, featuring legendary L.A. DJ Rodney Bingenheimer, and directed by Troma ingenue Kansas Bowling, and will instantly drag you into Death Valley Girls' aesthetic. The Pitch spoke with the band's frontwoman, Bonnie Bloomgarden, by phone from L.A. about Death Valley Girls' cult appeal and the appeal of cults.
Read the full interview at the Pitch. Published 9/19/16

Review of ‘Start Your Own Fucking Show Space’ compilation at Modern Vinyl

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The idea of putting out a triple LP of bands playing live at Brooklyn’s Death By Audio is a pretty great one. But the truly historic thing about Start Your Own Fucking Show Space is it’s filled with performances recorded only during November of last year, their last month of existence. 1 Thankfully, the venue packed that last month with some astonishing performances. While definitely heavy on the lo-fi, fuzzy garage end of the rock ‘n’ roll spectrum — with the likes of Parquet Courts, Ty Segall, and Metz, there’s also furious avant-punk from Downtown Boys, Shellshag and Screaming Females, along with electronic experimentation from Dan Deacon.
Read the complete review at Modern Vinyl. Published 8/19/16

Review of Thee Oh Sees’ “Live In San Francisco” at Modern Vinyl

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"Okay, okay — I get it. I’ve been listening to the music of Thee Oh Sees, off and on, for six or seven years now, and every album has been hailed by friends as being the next best thing since their last. I’m always fairly ambivalent and don’t get the appeal. 'See them live,' say my friends. 'That’s the real deal.' I’ve been mostly disinclined, because if I don’t like an album I streamed for free, why in God’s name would I pay $15 and stand on a concrete floor to hear them play those same songs? Again, I get it now. Thee Oh Sees’ Live In San Francisco had me pretty much convinced as to the band’s live effectiveness with its four sides of intense rock ‘n’ roll, but then there’s a DVD which comes with the set, and you watch the band, and it’s another level of intensity."
Read the complete review at Modern Vinyl. Published 7/1/16

Psychic Heat signs with High Dive Records

psychic heat Oh, shit. Lawrence's premiere psychedelic garage-rockers (we have enough of them for that to be a thing) Psychic Heat signed with Kansas City label High Dive Records. The label and band both announced that info today via their respective social media pages, along with this tasty jam called "Stargazer." The track's not new: you've been hearing it in promos for KJHK all semester, and it comes from last year's Brighter and Lighter EP, but it's definitely a solid taste of what you can expect from their debut full-length, out later this year. [embed]https://soundcloud.com/high-dive/psychic-heat-stargazer[/embed] That full-length, by the way, was recorded by Kid Congo and the Pink Money Birds' Ron Miller, and mixed and mastered by Kliph Scurlock, so I've no doubt it's going to sound bonkers. High Dive's been signing every local band worth knowing lately -- we're eagerly awaiting Bummer's Spank EP -- so here's to hoping for some kind of label showcase soon. I'm sure it's warp minds and melt faces. Speaking of shows, Oh! Snap! Photography shot some video of Psychic Heat at the Replay Lounge in Lawrence this past weekend, and you should totally watch it. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVdh69Fhd84[/embed]

Windian Records’ Subscription Series Number 3 is bonkers cool

windian subscription header Let us discuss the amazingness that is the new Subscription Series from Windian Records. We really enjoyed the singles we heard from the last round, with music from the Ettes and Mrs. Magician, but those were just solo copies, not as part of the whole collection. In other words, how do you talk about a box set when you have neither the box, nor the set? Well, we've the third installment sitting here in the Nuthouse basement, and it is the bee's knees. It's six 7-inch, bog hole, 45rpm singles in a custom box with a big, glossy booklet that showcases the sleeves these singles would have, were they to be purchased individually (which you can, with the art for an additional 79 cents). There's even a download code, and a glow in the dark 45 adapter. The cardboard shipping container the set came in was custom-stamped with the Windian logo, and the pieces of cardboard inside the box, holding everything tight were stampd with the logo of the Subscription Series on the top piece, with another on the bottom saying "Thank You, Come Again." That is devotion to an aesthetic ideal far beyond anything I can remotely conceive of. How's that for vinyl fetishism? This is beyond fetish object into full-on totemic territory. As a bonus, you can get two versions, on black and clear vinyl, limited to 150 and 100 copies, respectively. However, for $6 a single, I'm assuming you want some quality music, too, unless you're just one of those peopel who buys things and sticks them on a shelf to stare at. It's a bit of a mixed bag, as are all single series. In this case, I wasn't familiar with any of the artists being featured, so it was rather like getting a label sampler and hoping for the best. Norfolk, Virginia's the Seeers do a rather nice straight-ahead garage power pop. It's a little muddy and midtempo, but I can really see myself getting into those harmonies come springtime, while DD Owen (aka Drew Owen of Sick Thoughts) rocks dirty electronic punk with enough reverb to drive you mad. Platinum Boys hail from Wisconsin and certainly do have the guitar chops of Thin Lizzy, if a bit skinnier in terms of tone. "Candy" is pure pop sugar, while "Wild Child" has an underlying scuzzy fuzz. NYC's Church Bats could be accused of worshipping a little too devotedly at the feet of cavestomp artists. The way they ape that whole lo-fi, hollow recording aesthetic on "Foreign Man" could come across as fake, were it not for the fact that the song's a genuine rave-up, excellently contrasted by the perfect fuzzed-out instrumental "Half Man, Half Shellfish" that does Link Wray's grinding strip club undertones in a way I've not heard in ages. War Party's a-side is absolutely perfect psychedelic pop, but the b-side is another garage song about being drunk, and if you're not going to bring anything new, find something else to write about. Finally, John Wesley Coleman III's a-side is the cut that really doesn't grab me. "I Feel Like A Sad Clown" is fine enough power-pop, but "I Found A Home" is so absolutely off-kilter musically (that keyboard really goes freaky at points), but absolutely touching lyrically. It sounds like nothing so much as the Troggs covering "Care of Cell 44," and I can't get enough of it. You can listen to 8 out of the 12 tracks below, via Soundcloud. [embed]https://soundcloud.com/windian-records/sets/windian-subscription-series-3[/embed] The Windian Subscriptions Series #3 is available for order through the Windian Records store

Reviews of No Love and Davidians’ entries in Sorry State’s North Carolina Singles Series

sorry state north carolina singles series Sorry State Records recently launched their first single series, dedicated to releasing bands from North Carolina, and the first two installments are now out. The singles come in identical sleeves, and the design asthetic is clean, with a color scheme that calls back to the North Carolina flag, without directly referencing it. With hand-stamped center labels on the vinyl, the packaging combines thoughtful with the slight sloppiness of DIY, making for a cool look. But looks aren't everything. What of the music? Davidians' release is thrashy, but not in the metal sense -- it's more like the "throw yourself around the room, twitching arhythmically." The beat and melodies on the b-side, "Gimme All Yo' Dope," are off-kilter and disjointed, but infectious. It's a song constructed to throw the listener off-balance, especially as it slowly builds to a passionate middle, which then slows, only to abruptly blast through its final seconds. The a-side, "Night Terrors," is a blast of energy, start to finish, filled with the same shrieking energy to be found on the flip, but it's bit more sonically straight-ahead. While good, it's "Gimme All Yo' Dope" that's the solid jam. No Love's "Dogs//Wolves" does that thing where it starts out with a lo-fi, distorted guitar all alone before just exploding into rock 'n' roll. If there's not a term for it, there should be. Dead smack in the middle, there's a simple three-note bridge that takes the tone down for just a second, before blowing everything up with more short, punchy riffs that leave you breathless and curious as to why the song's suddenly over. The only answer is to put the needle back to start, and go at it again. "Bad Things" has the vocals buried way down in the mix, so it's not quite as much fun. The energy's there, but straining to hear what's being sung makes it hard to enjoy cut, especially the crazy build during the last half. You want to be able to shout along, but straining to hear the words just takes away from the whole experience. Still -- good, just not as great as it could be. Both singles are limited to 250 copies each, and come with download codes. They're available now from the Sorry State store. You can get No Love's single by clicking here and Davidians' single by clicking here.

The Nevermores, “Lock Your Doors” LP

cover - nevermoresBig thanks are due Magnetic South for resurrecting these 14 cuts from wherever they've been hidden the last 25 years. Honestly, at this point, I'd thought all the lost recordings worth hearing had been collected by Pebbles, Nuggets, Back From the Grave, Killed By Death, Bloodstains, et al, and that we were at the end of the road for quality dirtying rock 'n' roll. It's nice to be surprised. From the unlikely town of Bloomington, Indiana, comes the Nevermores: this great, strange, organ-fueled garage rock from the early '90s. This a band for which little information exists, and as the history on the back over was written with a eye to whimsey, it's difficult to parse what's fact and what's fantasy. That said, Gretchen Holtz is your most famous alumnus, having gone on to found the all-woman trash power trio the Smears, and you can hear a little of the dirt and filth in these songs. Not lyrically -- this is typical garage rock innocence, down to the point that the group turns "Auld Lang Syne" into a twistin' and turnin' masterpiece. The whole thing is ramshackle as hell, and to more sophisticated ears, this might sound like garbage. The absolute joy in these recordings has made it a favorite this past month or so, and while there's not a lot that really rises up and makes you wonder why the Nevermores weren't ever previously comped (the brilliant "Auld Lang Syne" notwithstanding), Lock Your Doors is way more fun than usually comes across the turntable these days. [embed]https://soundcloud.com/magnetic-south-recordings/nevermores-theme-from-nevermore[/embed] The Nevermores' Lock Your Doors is available from the Magnetic South store on black vinyl. It's limited to 300 copies, and comes with a fanastic-looking screenprinted jacket. There's no download code, but you should be spinning this on a turntable, anyway.