Band: Bent Shapes Release: 2012 Label: Cake Time Records
1. Boys To Men
2. Brat Poison
Comments: This is my first time listening to a Flexi Disc and let me say that it has been a positive experience! It’s a brief vinyl – less than 5 minutes of song – but Bent Shapes make me keep placing that needle back on #1. The first song “Boys To Men” is a magnificently catchy pop song — the melody reminds me of why I enjoyed Uninhabitable Mansions debut record so much (slower tempo rock ‘n roll with intriguing vocals). I’d safely say this has almost instantly become a favorite of mine from the Shapes. “Brat Poison” follows a more eclectic (yet still widely intriguing) road to the mind’s consciousness, sort of flowing like an old school hardcore number, but has me thinking “Rock Lobster” for whatever two word reason. Don’t let the repetitions at the end of the song fool ya, unless you are particularly fond of that sort of stuff. Not judging. Do yourself a favor and pop that needle back on #1 again and repeat. For however long you find fit. I’m curious about Bent Shapes after listening to this (and seeing them put on a great show last night as openers for Colleen Green) even more so after hearing a fellow KLYAMer profess his deep admiration for 2009 Girlfriends track “I Was Here, But I Disappear”. So yeah, great work Bent Shapes!
Comments: I recently rekindled my interest in a band called New Order. Coincidentally and whether they know it or not, Somerville’s own Bedfellows sound like a modern New Order with strong pop hooks, electronic drums and other effects, etc. These songs are immaculate sounding, which is pretty essential for music of this variety.
Grade: B+ (87)
Bedfellows play at P.A’s Lounge on Saturday Night [December 11] with Busy Arms, The Juvenals, and The Sounds That Machines Make.
1. “Recklessness” – A
2. “I Am The Father Of Myself” – B
Comment: Radical Dads, an ancestor to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Uninhabitable Mansions, has just put out this 7″ for the masses. Though the only connection to those aforementioned bands is drummer Robbie Guertin, it’s not hard to sense a similarity between all three bands. If I had to say, though, Radical Dads may be more susceptible to playing a kind of “stripped down” form of rock and roll music that always seem to feature an “epic” moment. On “Recklessness,” this moment starts from 0:01 and ends two minutes and twelve seconds later. “I Am The Father of Myself” might fool you. It’s a near 360 from “Recklessness” in that it is filled with noise and heavy guitar shredding. Vocals would have been nice! That’s just me, though.
Comments: Nobunny’s “Someone Else’s Brain” is very First Blood and very good. It fits in line with some of his retro power-pop/country-rock tunes on that record. Interesting subject matter! “Coral Girls” is a keeper as well. It’s a mainly fast number with a few slow parts and a very very sludge-y/heavy guitar solo part. Take a listen to both tunes.
Comments: This 7″ of leftover material from the Expo 86 sessions fits snug with what Expo gave to us. “Semi-Precious Stone” has the electronic elements — synthesizer, keyboard, distorted guitar — that we’ve gotten a taste of. It’s a larger than life, mythical tune sung by Spencer Krug. His vocal delivery is especially Sunset Rubdown-esque (in contrast to, say, his vocal delivery on “Cloud Shadow”). I’d say “Agents of Love” is one of the more passionate rockers I’ve heard from the group since maybe the Apologies days. It’s not especially heavy or anything like that, but all the instruments are very compact, for lack of a better word.
Band: Kurt Vile Release: 11/2010 Label: Matador Records
1. “In My Time” – B+ 2. “Sad Ghost” – B+
3. “Early Dawnin” – B
Comments: This is Vile’s second release of 2010. The first was Square Shells EP, a small collection of mellow tunes. “In My Time” is soft and pretty catchy. It’s not among Vile’s best tunes, but it fits right in line with what he’s done. Same goes for “Sad Ghost” and “Early Dawnin.” Vile is a great musician and a chill fit for most occasions. If you are looking for light acoustics and generally light instrumentation all around, try this out.
Comments: How did I not hear about this one? I don’t know! “LSD Saves” is a psychedelic (shocking for Harlem, I know!) rock and roller that sounds quite like a Brit invasion oldie or something. It’s quick and fun.. as driving fast on acid while getting your wing-wang squeezed. “Mood Ring” isn’t quite on the same level of “LSD,” but it’s vintage Harlem. You know? It’s cool.
Band: Wheels on Fire Release: 9/2010 Label: Kind Turkey Records
1. “Black Wave” – A 2. “Broken Up” – A 3. “Cherry Bomb” – A 4. “Go Give Yer Love Away” – B+
Comments: This 7″ is just another super fun garage pop nugget in a long line of 2000s/2010s era garage pop nuggets. I’m being constantly blown away by the sheer number of independent bands that are making catchy rock and roll music. It’s an amazing and great time to be a listener and reviewer of this stuff. “Black Wave” is an addictive primitive power-pop number. “Broken Up” has a sweet touch of organ and a flow that should put to shame whatever the hell is mainstream “pop rock” of today. “Cherry Bomb” is slower and bluesier. Good tune. “Go Give Yer Love” is even slower, but serves a solid closer to this fabulous 7″.
Grade: A- (92)
Wheels On Fire are on tour right now in the Netherlands and Germany! Word has it that they will be back in the U.S for a tour sometime soon.
Band: Mind Spiders Release: 2010 Label: Dirtnap Records
1. “Worlds Destroyed” – A 2. “Time Sucker” – A 3. “Ripped” – A 4. “Dirty Secrets” – A
Comment: The second I played this, I realized these guys have something special going on. It’s hard to describe, but they have “it,” a word that I’ve used to describe only a handful of garage/punk releases this year. I’d equate it with the first time I listened to Hippies [“Someday Soon”] or King of the Beach [“King of the Beach”]. Don’t get me wrong, having “it” can be a mere one song thing. This record is more than that. “Worlds Destroyed” is an in-your-face pop attack whereas “Time Sucker” is a more leveled adventure, really bringing to mind a mellowed version of the great No Age tune “Brain Burner.” Compare: “Go away. Leave me here. I’m better without you” to “I couldn’t make him made he’s useless and alone.” Okay, I’m maybe stretching it, but check it out for yourself. Flipping to the other side…”Ripped” has that beginning drum pattern that has “Friendly Ghost” written all over it, but I’m sure other songs have started out the same way in the history of music. This one might be this record’s most traditionally “power-pop” number. “Dirty Secrets” — if I’m still doing the comparison-to-bigger-acts kind of deal — earns Thee Oh Sees recognition. Nice drumming.