For the forthcoming Berwanger album, Exorcism Rock — the second for the band, and first for label Doghouse Records — frontman Josh Berwanger has more in mind than just 11 tracks of exceedingly catchy rock ‘n’ roll. As if four different vinyl variants weren’t enough, there’s going to be an action figure variant.
Yes, indeed. An action figure tied to a new album isn’t new, obviously — Major Lazer and Less Than Jake have both released vinyl toys to tie in with records — but this might be the first to be blister-carded to the front of an LP. It’s such a crazy and cool idea, we reached out to Berwanger, as well as the man making it, Aaron of indie toymaker, Retroband. Not only did we get to hear about the new collaboration, but we have the exclusive first look at the Exorcism Rock toy.
More dirge-like than the Spits, less poppy than Devo, and more abrasive than Digital Leather is Stalins of Sound. Their Tank Tracks LP — out next week on Slovenly — took a few listens to really grab me. However, despite the slow build up to acceptance, some tracks immediately interested upon first listen.
“Monkeys Attack” is insistently metronomic in its rhythm, and the guitar just buzzsaws along. I featured it on the podcast a few weeks back, and the more I listen to it, the more I get what Stalins of Sound are trying to do. Granted, it’s pretty indicative of what Tank Tracks sounds like. The earlier tracks follow that pattern, and if you’re only half-listening, it’s difficult to tell some songs from others. Continue reading →
Hobocop‘s Half Man, Half Cop is just the right amount of lo-fi. It’s not quite as rudimentary as Apache Dropout, but it’s fuzzy and dirty. The fuzz and distortion works with the music, though, rather than obscuring good songwriting. “Stench of Death” especially benefits from some extra dirt on its sludged-out garage guitar. The whole lo-fi aesthetic gives everything a sense of mystery — is that keyboard or a weird guitar effect? Is that an acoustic bass or a weird guitar effect?
The element of mystery makes the whole Hobocop thing entertainingly strange. You’ll accept the fact that “Fairweather Scum” is remarkably catchy, despite the fact you’ve little-to-no idea what’s being sung. Just lock onto “yeah yeah”s and “whoo-hoo”s whenever possible, and use those as your guideposts to take you from mumbled guesses to enthusiastic and confident sing-along. Continue reading →
Due out next week from Sickroom Records is the debut release from Italian trio Kippi’s, entitled Semplice Como Nuvole. It’s a fascinating combination of motorik post-punk rhythms and psychedelic influences. The whole album is frankly hypnotic. Coming as it does right as the weather’s warming up, we can see this getting a lot of windows down, volume up play around the house, and especially in the car. We were lucky enough to get to ask frontman Daniel Mana a few questions about the band and their album via e-mail. Continue reading →
Potpourri of Pearls‘ We Went to Heaven has been playing down here in the basement, in the living room, at work, and various places over the past week. I’ve been trying to figure out if my initial impressions of it being amazing and weird have held up to repeated listens.
Honestly, the first time I listened to We Went to Heaven, the whole ’80s worship thing was a fun angle — especially the fact they were lifting Erasure, making this a refreshing switch from bands who’ve been swiping New Order’s sound for the better part of two decades. Continue reading →
Alex Cuervo is best known as the frontman and guitarist for Austin’s fine purveyors of garage rock ‘n’ roll, the Hex Dispensers. However, his new project might throw you for a loop. Espectrostatic‘s self-titled LP, out today through Trouble in Mind, is 13 tracks of Carpenter-inspired electronic creepiness. I enjoyed the preview on Bloody Disgusting so much that I bought all three of Trouble in Mind’s newest releases to get the limited color version of Cuervo’s album.
Cuervo (legal name: Alex Sargent) spoke with us via e-mail about the difference between Espectrostatic and the Hex Dispensers, and why it’s not as much of a change as you might think. Continue reading →
There are times where I wish I’d just use all of the outtakes to the show, just so you can see how utterly amused I am by myself. It gets a little silly down here in the basement sometimes — there are things I say and do that leave me utterly in stitches. Additionally, I feel Like I should let you know what i listen to as I type up these previews as the podcast encodes. Currently: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ Damn the Torpedoes. I’ve not had a copy on vinyl in the decade I’ve been in possession of a decent turntable, and it’s astonishing how much better it sounds than any of the innumerable singles when they’re on the radio.
All ranting aside, we’ve some great music from Slovenly Recordings, amongst others, to say nothing of an interview with Rick Miller of Southern Culture on the Skids about the upcoming three-way split double LP they have with Los Straightjackets and the Fleshtones. It comes out October 1 on Yep Roc, and is entitled Mondo Zombie Boogaloo. You can find tour dates and order the record at Yep Roc’s site.
Deafheaven‘s newest album, Sunbather, comes out tomorrow via Deathwish. It’s a record that Stereogum describes as “expansive, melodic, blinding, textured, dynamic, and moving.” For those who’ve followed the band since their arrival in 2010, the new album will come as no surprise, but for people discovering Deafheaven’s music for the first time, it will seem like a revelation, mixing as it does shoegaze, doom, and black metal for a hypnotic listen. We were lucky enough to be able to ask vocalist George Clarke a few questions via e-mail about Sunbather. Continue reading →
With their third full-length LP, The Distance Is So Big, Buffalo’s Lemuria have finally won me over completely.
Given the amount of attention we’ve given the band here at Rock Star Journalist, and the fact that my Lemuria t-shirt is one of the few band shirts I care enough to wear to my office day job, that might come a surprise. Continue reading →
We’ve been big backers of Big Eyes for a good long while, going back to their debut 7-inch on Evil Weevil. Since they first released that collection of demos, the garage-pop trio has toured the country, released a slew of amazing split releases, and are now getting ready to release their second full-length LP on Grave Mistake Records, entitled Almost Famous. Frontwoman and guitarist Kate Eldridge spoke with us via e-mail about the new LP, touring, and more. Continue reading →