Freedom's Goblin flies us around the soundworld of Ty Segall in nineteen tracks, allowing him to do a bit everything for the free and the goblins of Freedom alike! Deep impact rock of all shapes and sizes and some of the most violent, passionate, funny and free pop songs of 2018.
Atlanta's beloved sons the Black Lips (Jared, Ian, Cole, and Joe) entered last year through a screaming cloud of sweat, smoke, blood, and beer mist. After a spring and summer of exciting audiences across the world, the Lips embarked on a month-long fall tour of the Middle East. They were tailed by Georgia rock-doc royalty Bill Cody, of Athens, GA - Inside/Out fame, who filmed the band playing for Egypt who had just overthrown their government, kids in Iraq who barely have a government, and kids in Dubai who finally get to see a band that isn't in the top 40. As Cody assembled his footage into the feature Kids Like You and Me, the band returned home from the New Year's maelstrom and began settling into album mode.
Recording for Underneath the Rainbow was split between New York with Thomas Brenneck, who was recommended by Arabia Mountain producer Mark Ronson, and Nashville with the the Black Keys' Patrick Carney, who offered to help produce in a Mexico city hotel room just before dawn.
"It was one of those super-late-night/super-early-morning drunk-talk sort of situations, so we weren't sure if he meant it," explains Jared. "People do that all the time."
Early internet conjecture pegged Underneath the Rainbow's sound as a blend of southern rock with throwback C&W and blues, based on the lead single 'Boys in the Wood', which is a weird description for a record containing the first Black Lips' song with a prominent synth ("Funny"), and even less apt for an overall album that owes just as much to the kiwi pop of New Zealand's South Island and the Chicago South Side's Crucial Conflict as it does the standard American South. It never strays far from the traditional roots music that has always found a comfortable home with the Black Lips, but invites enough curiosity with its approach to attract even the most unlikely listener.
'Underneath the Rainbow' can only guarantee one thing; that the kids will be Smiling, Waiting for the Dandelion Dust to make things Funny at the Dorner Party while the Boys in the Wood Make You Mine as they Do the Vibrate. The morning will break and the passenger will say, "Drive-By, Buddy… I don't wanna go home. Damn these dog years…"
Gang of Four is one of the most radical, and radically important, rock groups of the last 30 years.
“More than anything, Gang of Four were about visceral, high energy, maximum impact rock’n’roll. They made you dance and they made you sweat just as they made you think. That exclamation mark at the end of the title of their 1979 debut album Entertainment! – incidentally, one of the greatest debut albums ever made; in fact, one of the greatest long-playing records, period – was no accident or sleight of design. Economic, emotional, political, musical – and yet it remains as true, as resonant, as relevant, as universally applicable three decades on as it was the day it was released.” - Q Magazine
Andy Gill (guitar and vocals) continues to provide the anguished riffs and driving chords that send extraordinary singer and lyricist Gaoler diving and contorting across the stage. They are joined in the studio and on stage by bass player Thomas Mcneice and drummer Tobias Humble.
The band always sounded years ahead of their time and now this is their moment, with a host of new imitators and emulators, and a fanbase swelled by new adherents.
Cherry Glazerr released their explosive full-length album Apocalipstick on Inauguration Day in 2017. You might think the two tumultuous years since would have driven the band toward even more explicitly topical commentary. But as singer/guitarist/founder Clementine Creevy began writing the first of some thirty songs that would make up the new Stuffed & Ready, she found unexpected inspiration by turning inward. That meant leading her band somewhere new and writing songs that would reveal aspects of herself she realized she’d once concealed.
Apocalipstick sizzled with Creevy’s confidence, vision and fiercely idiosyncratic personality. Stuffed & Ready announces Creevy as a songwriter newly tempered and strengthened by coming to terms with her own uncertainty confusion and anger. It’s her go-for-broke honesty that gives Stuffed & Ready its power and gravity. “I am telling my story of how I feel and where I am in life,” she says. “I’m exploring my own self-doubt. I’m confused about what happiness is and I’m searching for my place in the world. With Apocalipstick, I was an over-confident teenager trying to solve the world’s problems. With Stuffed & Ready, I’m a much more weary and perhaps cynical woman who believes you need to figure your own self out first.”
Now a three-piece with drummer Tabor Allen and bassist Devin O’Brien (synth player Sasami Ashworth has moved on to her own solo work), the band made a first version of Stuffed early in 2018 with much-loved engineer and musician John Vanderslice, who they “adore deeply as a human and friend.” Together they concocted a “very live sounding, self-produced album, which was a very cool experience, but wasn’t exactly what I wanted to put into the ether at this time,” says Creevy. “So I put that aside and called up Carlos (de la Garza, who co-produced Apocalipstick).” I decided that I wanted a producer to push me, I wanted to be questioned, to rip my songs apart and look at their guts and pour myself open again. And I wanted it to sound massive.”
For six full months, they’d be at the studio by 9:01am, ready to write and record all day and sometimes into the night. Each song had to speak for itself, and if it didn’t, they’d scrap it or change it, says Creevy: “Sometimes I’d lay on the floor for like an hour and then pop up like, ‘I got it! I GOT IT!’” She’d named the album on a solo drive through the California desert, inspired once she was free from all distraction. She made the album the same way, eliminating anything that couldn’t answer a single simple question: is this really me? It was exhausting, but somehow joyful, too, and the result is Cherry Glazerr’s most daring and intimate music yet.
“It felt like I was being more vulnerable than I wanted to be at times,” she says. “I’ve been feeling the need to explain my feelings … not just state them, but search for why I feel the way I do in the most honest way possible. This is what separates this album from its predecessor. I’m trying to stop myself from obfuscation, which I used to hide behind, but not anymore. I’m writing with intent.”
It's that clarity of intent that makes Stuffed such a raw and resonant listen where Creevy has never sounded more powerful. In “Ohio,” she attacks feelings of isolation and despair with Trompe Le Monde Pixies guitar and an arctic Laetitia Sadier deadpan: “I wish myself the best but I’m broken / the light inside my head went dead and I turned off.” On the searing and satirical “Daddi,” she’s asking the straight cis men of the world for the permission that they so adamantly demand in every aspect of her life, writing : “Where should I go Daddi / what should I say / where should I go / is it okay with you ?” On the furious Sleater-Kinney-style “Wasted Nun,” she’s erupting against the way society constantly pressures her to be perfect, showing that she’s too stubborn to calmly cooperate. “People want girls to be strong, but I’m angry, and those are two very different things,” she says. “I’m enraged because I feel like America’s mindset sees women as less capable beings, and that social mainframe feels impenetrable and that enrages me. That’s why the song is so intense and loud.” And on the seething grunge-pop track “Stupid Fish,” she sings about how it’s okay to not have all the answers, and how some questions might not even have answers: “I used to think adults knew better, but now I think adults are just better at pretending to know things,” she says. “There’s nothing wrong with ‘I don’t know.’”
The point has always been the same, all the way back to those first guitar demos she taped in her bedroom years ago. Clementine Creevy always wanted to make music that connects with people, she says. On Apocalipstick, she did that by telling them what she thought. On Stuffed & Ready, she’s showing them who she is: “I’m putting out these songs and sharing them to make people happy and to make people feel less alone,” she says. “I want this album to evoke a freedom, or you could even say a recklessness in people. I want to allow people to let out all of the fear and anger and confusion that all of us carry around. I want to make people dance, and really fucking mean it.”
Psych-punk psychic warrior, ear worm-farmer, and possessor of many stamped passport pages John Dwyer does not let up. His group Oh Sees (aka Thee Oh Sees, OCS, The Oh Sees, etc) have transmogrified to fit many a moment – from hushed druggy folk to groovy demonic pop chants to science fictional krautrock expanse and beyond – to suit his omnivorous whims. It’s common knowledge however, that at their shows, you’re there asking for a beating. 20 years going and the shows keep getting more and more intense, as many a soupy swarm can attest. The locked-in Rincon/Quattrone drum cops propel masses of strangers to froth and lean into each other as the insistent and repetitive underpinning tumbles nimbly from Tim Hellman’s bass. Meanwhile John ricochets breathy yips and snippets of synth and all manner of guitar heroics around your brain canyons while your reptile instincts yell “move”. Brain-stem body rock meets cerebral expanses, and their now du jour prolifically feeds a labyrinthine garden of well-hewn tunes.
Last year’s Orc was a muscular and darkly inventive turn for the group, stretching out further into space while simultaneously sharpening their heaviest inclinations to a rusty point. After a re-visitation of the softer side of the genesis of the group with “Memory of a Cut Off Head”, all signs point to another banger on the horizon as the group decamps this March back to the dusty pecan farm where Orc was spawned for another go-round.
Twenty year-old identical twins who have been stirring the lively guitar scene in Orange County, California, with their rebelliously innovative blend of electronic punk conjured from, mostly, a bass guitar and a drum kit. They play three headline UK dates in December before going on tour with all-female rock band Warpaint in March.
The Garden emerged in 2011, but Fletcher and Wyatt have been playing together for a decade. Their father, who was in OC punk bands Final Conflict and Shattered Faith, played The Prodigy, Fatboy Slim and The Normal on the pre-school run. “It was an array of different bands that I thought were the weirdest thing ever as a kindergartner”, says Fletcher. “Those were my earliest memories.” The duo formed out of the ashes of another band, MHV, and were signed to prolific punk label Burger Records swiftly after. An 18 minute-long album, The Life and Times of a Paperclip, was released in summer 2013, after fashion designer Hedi Slimane invited the twins to walk the catwalk for Yves Saint Laurent – an event Fletcher is amused people still discuss nearly two years later. They have continued to release EPs despite their increasingly “crazy” travel demands over the past year.
Although The Garden’s hypnotic music shares a Lo-Fi, garage-punk sound, few songs sound distinctly alike. Fletcher’s arch, precise vocals on Open Abyss recall a scuzzier Edwyn Collins, but have the nasal edge of label-mate Ty Segall on I’m A Woman. The infectiously catchy We Be Grindin’ has a more familiarly punk three-chord structure which is interrupted by minimalist electronic beats. The sparse, drum and bass urgency of Cloak, meanwhile, is reminiscent of early Prodigy. Their latest single, Suprise!, has the propellant, gothic basslines and shuddering vocals of The Horrors’ debut album.
Aside from a childhood soundtrack of post-punk – from Killing Joke and Political Crap – the Shears twins have diverse interests: including Japanese video game composer Manabu Namiki, to Nineties American rapper E-40 and the late country singer Johnny Paycheck.
To avoid being pigeonholed, The Garden have invented the term "Vada-Vada" to describe their sound. “I can break the rules because I made up this universe and this thing,” says Fletcher. “That’s the whole beauty behind it. We don’t claim to be a punk band and we don’t claim to be a rock band. If we did that we’d have to stay inside boundaries that someone else made years and years ago.”
Oxford, Mississippi native John Barrett traded up the leisurely pace of a musician’s life in the Deep South for the crush-and-grind pace of the New York City. Not surprisingly, Just Business, Barrett’s fourth record under the Bass Drum of Death banner is anything but kicked-back. “There’s a certain kind of trouble that you’re able to get into in New York that you’re not able to get in anywhere else,” laughs Barrett. Recorded over the space of a year in a studio space overlooking the congestion and hustle of Times Square, Just Business packs every bit the feedback-soaked, garage wallop of past BDOD fare, both live and on (what else?) vinyl.
Like The Big Apple itself, Just Business is just plain bigger and deeper in scope than anything Bass Drum of Death has done before. A product of his newfound urban digs, perhaps? “It’s definitely more of a New York record than a Mississippi record,” Barrett slyly admits. “But some of these songs pre-date me moving here, but even on those ones, there’s an influence. There are certain situations that can only come through living [in New York] and taking some time off to have a life here; that are what I wrote about this time. That said, it’s certainly not a Strokes record or a Television record.”
Sat Mar 28 2015 12:00 PM - Sun Mar 29 2015
(Doors 11:30 AM)