Lemuria’s Alex Kerns on their forthcoming LP, recording with J. Robbins, and more

Buffalo trio Lemuria have been purveying a strain of rocking indie pop for almost a decade now. With a slew of singles behind them, it’s surprising that they’ve only recently finished recording their third full-length. As yet untitled, the LP will be released later this year on Bridge 9 Records, following their second, Pebbles (also on Bridge 9) and their debut, Get Better, on Asian Man. We harrassed the hell out of drummer and vocalist Alex Kerns via Twitter and e-mail, and he was surprisingly willing to answer some questions for us.
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Listen to Wake, right now

In rare thing, we’re just going to tell you to go listen to this EP from Richmond’s Wake. We got the e-mail announcing the impending vinyl release of the self-titled 7-inch yesterday, and promptly started listening. It’s snotty hardcore, and while Rival Mob might be the big new in terms of hardcore releases this week, take a moment (quite literally, less than ten minutes) to listen to Wake. It’s almost better than a big cup of coffee to wake you up and get you moving. It kicks off with thirty seconds of gang vocals, so get your fist-pumping and finger-pointing skills up to snuff before you click play.

The vinyl is so newly-announced, Glass Nail Records doesn’t even know the colors yet. It’ll be out in July, though, and you can pre-order that sucker through the Glass Nail store. How’s that for being on the bleeding edge of news?

Late Bloomer, “Late Bloomer” LP

late bloomer
Charlotte, North Carolina’s Late Bloomer have crafted one of those albums that sneaks up on you and steals away unexpectedly. I was listening to it at work today, and when it ended, I immediately thought, “Wait, what? No … that’s not enough.” This trio does what it seems like every band I’ve enjoyed most in the past year does — digging into the not-so-distant past of the early ’90s and melding the disparate pop and rock influences into something new.
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The Young Leaves’ Christopher Chaisson talks digital releases

We posted the a latest single from Massachusetts trio the Young Leaves last week. In the interim, we spoke with guitarist and vocalist Christopher Chaisson via Facebook about the band’s sound and the pros and cons of releasing music digitally.
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Download the Young Leaves’ new single for free

cover-young-leaves-aliveWhile I’m only familiar with the Young Leaves because of their Art of the Underground single series release, their music is pretty much instantly recognizable. Like fellow Massachusetts trio Dinosaur Jr., there’s a drawling sneer to their songs that seems uncommonly suited for the powerful rock ‘n’ roll being purveyed.

However, where J Mascis and company work with big guitar, the Young Leaves are powered by strong basslines. “The Love Song” is streaked with fuzz and thud, and the drop D tuning at the start of “Alive and Well” gives you the fear that shit’s going to go grunge, but both tracks are amazingly tuneful and poppy. It’s date night music for people who might otherwise have destroyed their hearing at a metal show.
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New Peach Kelli Pop LP on Bachelor

cover-peach-kelli-popIf you’ve not had the opportunity to track down a copy of Peach Kelli Pop‘s debut LP, now might be the time to do so. That self-title release was original put out by a record label out of Ottawa (yes, Canada) called Going GaGa, then repressed by Infinity Cat Records, and I still can’t find a fucking copy to save my life. It’s a popular record amongst people who like their rock ‘n’ roll poppy and lo-fi. “Do the Eggroll” and “Knockout” are simple, fun, dance-party numbers perfect to get people bopping about your living room.
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The Pharmacy, “Stoned & Alone” LP

cover-stoned-and-alone-pharmacyEvery so often, an act writes a song so good, they’ll spend the rest of there career being judged by it. Think “Big Country” by Big Country — a song so superlative, so perfect, that nothing else — no matter how good — would ever measure up to it. Such is the case with the Pharmacy, whose “Dig Your Grave” has seen more play in the Nuthouse this year than any other song.

The single on which that song appeared, and from which it drew its name, came out earlier this year, and pretty much secured its position as my favorite thing to come out in 2012, with the EP-ending track, “Burn All Yr Bridges” coming in a close second as my favorite song for the better part of six months.
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Panda Kid, “Party Monster” 7-inch

cover-panda-kid-7-inchOh, Panda Kid. You do things so right. Following up a jangly party jam like “Party Monster” with a boss bit of snot-inflected surf guitar goodness like “I’m Gonna Spew” makes me appreciate you all the more. It’s like the group doesn’t even care whether there’s a tonal difference from one song to the next.

Or, fuck it — maybe they know, and they’re doing it for effect. It’s putting contrasting numbers one right after another that makes this single such an interesting listen. The other side of the record’s no different. “Ice Cream” is a slightly warped, warbly love song that comes after the rather lovely, almost totally instrumental “Abracadabra.”
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Andre Williams, “Life” LP

cover-andre-williams-life90% of Andre Williams‘ latest, Life, is stone-cold cool. Alive Records put the man with with a team of musicians who know how to rock that back-alley juke joint vibe. This is some after-hours shit. “Stuck In the Middle” and “Heels” groove and sway. Smooth. Not quite silky … more like a black cup of coffee, the way it warms with its heat and bites just enough at the end to let you know it’s working — not unlike a stiff shot of rye.

Yeah, I know Williams is 100% stone cold sober on Life, but these are the tales of a man who knows what it’s like to be blisteringly blasted past all sense. His voice shows its age, but the band knows how to work alongside it, and age brings knowledge and experience in this case, not wear and tear.
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Sample the new record from Be My Doppleganger

be-my-doppleganger-kickstarterIt’s poppy, it’s punky, but it’s not quite pop-punk. Be My Doppleganger hew close to the power pop end of the rock ‘n’ roll spectrum on these four songs from their forthcoming third LP. Tentatively titled Artless, the band is planning on self-releasing the record this fall.

If Be My Doppleganger is using these four tracks as a way to discern enthusiasm or interest in Artless, I’d like to add a hearty, “yes, please!” The bass work on these cuts is pretty extraordinary, and the production, vocals, and song structure all hearken back to the golden age of ’80s power pop. The Plimsouls, Replacements, Cheap Trick, Smithereens — this is what I’m hearing, especially on “Floor to Shoulder,” which I just want to listen to over and over and over again.

If you want to get behind Artless right fucking now, you can use the Kickstarter the group set up as a way to pre-order. $15 gets you a Kickstarter-only LP color. Seriously, they’ll only press as many as people pledged. You also get a digital download two weeks before the album comes out. And buttons. And stickers. Niiiiiiiice, right? This is Kickstarter done right. Good job, Be My Doppleganger. You got it goin’ on.