Sitting in my inbox this morning was this lovely gem of an EP from Chiacgo’s Slack Armada. This project from James Hrabak shows a lot of potential. It manages to cover a lot of cinematic-inspired territory in its four songs — it flows from quiet introspection to stunningly loud — but does so naturally and fluidly. That said, dial your volume down when “Looper” pops up, because that guitar will damn near blow your head off. If you like what you hear, it’s a name-your-price download on Bandcamp. Personally, I like the first two cuts, which stick more towards the Boards of Canada / Four Tet side of things, as opposed to the latter two, which veer toward Nine Inch Nails / My Bloddy Valentine. but there’s really something for all instrumental electronic tastes.
Legendary psychedelic soul bluesman Swamp Dogg‘s first two albums, Total Destruction to Your Mind and Rat On! see reissue today via Alive Naturalsound. I’ve had a chance to listen to both, and they sound amazing. They’ve still got that swamp funk to them, but the remastering job is just absolutely stellar. For those used to vinyl rips and bootleg CDs, these brand-new LP reissues (and first-time official CD releases) will blow your mind.
Hopefully, this will lead to a new generation of folks getting into this somewhat lost musician. While Swamp Dogg’s songs have been covered by the likes of Galactic, it don’t mean shit to be known if folks can’t get your music. Now that’s the case. Both LPs are available from the Bomp! store. Check out two tracks from the reissues below.
It’s a rare occasion when I’ll suggest that you go watch shitty YouTube videos of a band to get an idea of their sound. Given the nature of China Rats‘ single, “Nip It In the Bud,” with its hooky refrain and artfully-placed stop-and-go aesthetic, I wanted to really like these boys from Leeds. However, its production is so clean, the whole “Buzzcocks meet Undertones with a hint of the Sonics” vibe their publicist is pushing just doesn’t work for me. But you watch a video of them doing “To Be Like I” live last year at London Calling, and you immediately go, “Oh — 100% Exploding Hearts. Fuck and yes.”
So, download “Nip It In the Bud,” because it’s free and all, then watch the video below, and start hoping they get a producer who understands how to not make them sound like a preening bunch of toffs.
Nothing makes me happier than music, most days. Really, the only thing that’s better than music is free music, and that’s what we have here. Michigan’s Tiger! Tiger! somehow ended up with a bunch of Bandcamp downloads, and decided to bestow them on fans or curious lookie-loos such as myself. So, now through February 22, you can hit their Bandcamp page and download anything you like, free of charge.
Formerly Lawrencian (now San Francsican) indie pop trio Mammoth Life debut the music video for their new single, “Being Young,” today. It’s a fun bit of stop-motion animation, which manages to capture the whimsy of a bunch of Kansas kids living by the bay. The single is also available for free download, and you can find that below.
While 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.
At some point, my excitement over the new mc chris mixtape, Apple Lung, just becomes a litany of the songs he uses to remix his tracks: “Ohmyfuckinggod — he takes ‘Hoodie Ninja’ and uses Sleigh Bells’ ‘Infinity Guitars’ and Devo’s ‘Whip It’ and ‘Hijack’ gets mixed with The Little Shop of Horrors theme and David Bowie!”
Bonus points for mc doing his second-ever cover. The first was Atom & His Package’s “Punk Rock Academy,” and now it’s “The Time Warp.” Those are a couple of serious, nerd-cred choices.
Honestly, having it drop the morning of Labor Day is perfect timing. There’s going to be people grilling, drinking, and partying all day today, and this is as good a soundtrack as any. Frankly, I’m rocking my ass off six ways from Sunday down here in the basement, wishing I had a reason to blast this sucker outside. That being said, it goes just as well with coffee and PJs as I imagine it does with cheap beer and cut-offs. Party time, bitches.
Download Apple Lung from mc chris’ site.
“Twin brothers Darin & Greg Bresnitz have a talent for bringing together the best of the food and music worlds. Hosts of the food-themed show Snacky Tunes on Heritage Radio, the brothers have seen some of NYC’s most exciting up-and-coming musicians and DJs perform live in their studio.”
If you’ve slept on getting Toxic Waste, the split from Municipal Waste and Toxic Holocaust on Tankcrimes, fear not! While the first pressing on picture disc and glow in the dark vinyl sold out in record time, the second pressing of 1000 is now available in 200 on striped, 350 on Toxic Spill (clear with green blob), and 450 on Highlighter Yellow.
In addition to being able to snag a physical copy, Tankcrimes has made the split a free download via Bandcamp. So, go get yourself from free thrash, then when you inevitably fall in love with it, snag a copy from the Tankcrimes webstore.
Much like Jay Reatard stepping away from the Reatards, Andrew Anderson of the Hipshakes’ solo work is stripped down to bare bones. The music he makes as Proto Idiot is the same lo-fi recording techniques as used by the Hipshakes. It sounds like it’s one mic placed in the middle of the room and then someone says, “go!”
Granted, this isn’t as fast or noisy as the Hipshakes, meaning Idiot Proto is an album that’s clearer — if not cleaner — than what Anderson’s done in the past.