Antwon’s latest EP comes courtesy of indie stalwart Suicide Squeeze. Mixed by Lars Stalfors, producer and engineer behind multiple Mars Volta and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez albums, “Dying in the Pussy” marries an MC’s traditional sexual bravado with a signature style of smoked-out fatalism over ominous interweaving synth lines. In contrast to the A-side’s sinister swagger, “Life Is What You Make It” is Antwon’s summer jam. A stylistic continuation of last year’s collaboration with Pictureplane, this b-side gem is a perfect blend of chilled-out West Coast hip-hop set against the backdrop of glitchy, warbling electropop. Th.e two-song EP is available worldwide both digitally and as a limited edition 7” (250 copies on white w/ black marble, 500 on black) with a download coupon.
From the opening bedlam of barnburner "Counting The Days", Audacity demonstrate that while their songwriting has become more nuanced, their delivery has gotten more savagely precise. With recording duties handled by longtime friend and tourmate Ty Segall, Audacity sound like they've finally found someone who can capture the frenetic drive of a song like "Hypo", the off-kilter hook of "Riot Train", the undeniable melodic appeal of "Fire", and the cowpunk influence of "Previous Cast". It can be tricky to juggle the bubblegum with the piss-and-vinegar, but it's a duality Audacity embraces, "I feel like we get portrayed a lot as a sunshine-y, carefree California band," Gibson says "But lots of our songs deal with melodramatic subject matter. The fact we've all lived in Fullerton pretty much the whole time we've been in the band has some effect on the music. Driving around town, there's a memory or a ghost on every street. People die or move away or get in trouble, or groups of friends drift apart and start hating each other and get in fights. It's not demoralizing; it's a part of life, but of course it affects the music." That frustration manifests itself on songs like "Overrated", where you can almost hear the spit and sweat hitting the microphone. But then they turn around and bask in the unapologetically gratuitous pop swagger of album closer "Lock On The Door". By the time Hyper Vessels comes to close, you're convinced that Audacity can get away with whatever they damn well please, it's going to have it's adrenaline-fueled charm regardless.
There’s a common-held notion that great rock music only comes out of big cities, as if the grime and struggle of life in urban spaces is the essential fuel for truly passionate rock n roll. But this was a belief when cities were emptying out and the suburbs were growing. Now we’re witnessing the repopulation of major metropolitan areas. Suburbs are becoming the new wasteland. Perhaps that’s the reason why the Orange County suburb of Fullerton was finally able to birth a band like Audacity. Nurtured by local garage rock havens like record store/label Burger Records, the young brash power pop of Audacity kick out jams that are both aptly sunny and gritty—a perfect blend of SoCal’s good weather and endless concrete. With two LPs under the young four-piece’s belt, they’ve set aside two songs for a 7” on Suicide Squeeze before they unleash another full-length later this year. For the uninitiated, “Finders Keepers” b/w “Onomatopoeia” is the perfect introduction to Audacity’s potent combination of pop melodies and roughly hewn energy. The first pressing of this 7” is limited to 500 copies on translucent green vinyl with a free download code as well as being available digitally worldwide.
Audacity’s latest full-length Butter Knife is still, at its core, a garage rock record. The economic instrumentation, grit-tinged guitar jangle, pogo-prompting tempos, and sing-along choruses can all be traced back to the seminal Nuggets collections. But ultimately, Butter Knife doesn’t sound so much like an homage to The Sonics as it sounds like a young band striving to make the most ebullient and jubilant noise possible. Album opener “Couldn’t Hold A Candle” is a perfect introduction to Audacity’s battle plan—a balanced blend of pop sensibility and ribald power. “Hole In The Sky” showcases the band’s gift for the on-the-dime changes, sophisticated melodies, and clever instrumental interplay. “Red Wine” demonstrates a Robert Pollard-like knack for turning an unexpected chord combination into a remarkably punchy chorus. And album closer “Autumn” harkens back to the balladry of power pop kings Big Star. All of which is to say, Audacity are tighter and more clever than your average suburban band, and consequently they’re one of the strongest acts in the Southern Californian garage rock scene.
Sisters of the moon, Jennifer and Jessica Clavin make up the Los Angeles band, Bleached. The songwriting-duo return with the follow-up to their Carter 7-inch, holding the rare soul of rock and roll for all to witness. The two new songs “Searching Through The Past” & “Electric Chair,” burn clear with energy and sly beauty. They embody the mutinous spirit of The Misfits or early Stones, married to the style of Stevie Nicks. Nothing wasted, and nothing else wanted. The a-side, especially, plays like something you’ve never heard before - impossibly catchy - it walks off with a sly smile, straight out of the aftermath of some social whirl. This EP, out December 6th, 2011, on Suicide Squeeze Records, is an affair limited to 750 copies (250 opaque red, and 500 black vinyl) worldwide. It is not something to be missed.
Childbirth is a "supergroup" in the sense its members are all in other hit bands (Julia Shapiro of Chastity Belt, Bree McKenna of Tacocat, Stacy Peck of Pony Time) and also that they do good for the world while in costume.
Childbirth's forthcoming album, Women's Rights, is piss-your-pants funny - subject matter includes a trashy friend bringing coke to a baby shower ("Baby Bump") characteristics that warrant an instant "swipe left" on Tinder ("Siri, Open Tinder") and dating vapid IT douches ("Tech Bro."). Lyrics on Women's Rights are highly quotable - from "Tech Bro": "I'll let you explain feminism to me/If I can use your HD TV."
Like the majority of effective political art, Women's Rights shows rather than telling. The songs describe what is fucked up in the world so evocatively that it needs no commentary, and always with a biting sense of humor.
Chin Up Chin Up possesses a palpable energy. Guitars trade melodies as conversations on "Water Planes In Snow" and if the vocal melody of "Mansioned" isn't stuck in your head instantly, well, you're not listening hard enough. The record kicks off with a loving homage to Minnesota, as Jeremy Bolen croons on about dry humping the abyss. "This Harness Can't Ride Anything" thus sets the tone for the record; a distinct and singular vision of adulthood, Chin Up Chin Up is all post-pubescent heartache and broken barstools. The album searches for beauty in places where no beauty exist and as the album closes with "Trophies For Hire", you can literally feel the mileage of looking for too much, in a land where there is too little. Recorded by Brian Deck (Modest Mouse) at his Engine Studios, the tracks are a joyful mix of shifting dynamics, stuttering riffs, and buoyant arrangements all held together by Bolen's scratched up discourse on breasts, beavers and Minnesota.
Cotton Jones “Tall Hours In the Glowstream” marks an exciting new chapter in the bands young career. While “Paranoid Cocoon” found the band lending itself to the occasional lengthy jam, Tall Hoursâ€¦ finds Cotton Jones reigning in the songs, for a more succinct pop feel. The resulting sounds are rich and charmingly lo-fi, full of vivid imagery, gorgeous vocal harmonies and makes “Tall Hours in The Glowstream” the band’s most accessible album yet.
Here we are, in 2011, again approaching the simple, understated perfection that marks the music of Cotton Jones. Yes, Michael Nau and Whitney McGraw have recorded some new songs â€“ four of them, to be exact â€“ that fall sonically between the duo's last album, "Tall Hours In the Glowstream," and their next... The new EP is titled, "Sit Beside Your Vegetables." It's a digital-only valentine â€“ with a February 22nd release date! These are the sounds to herald spring, to call your friends along outside, racing the warmer weather...
Paranoid Cocoon is an album full of quiet, wooden psychedelia reflecting Cotton Jones' casual pursuit of comfort and freedom. Under the mountains of Cumberland, Maryland, where creeks zigzag in the lonesome dark of the forest and a red moon hangs overhead, these songs were born of leaving, of dreams both good and bad, sung from surroundings the band has known their whole lives. Paranoid Cocoon is simple, understated perfection: they sound timeless from singing together forever.
At its debut, Michael Nau noted the presence (and absence) of time’s influence on Paranoid Cocoon. "Cocoon didn't span a lengthy duration of time, so head-space and moods tended to remain thread-like throughout. I believe there's a familiar mood from start to finish...the lyrics work like visuals of such moods." The 10-year anniversary reissue of Paranoid Cocoon celebrates this mood, which remains peacefully untouched and seamlessly woven into the hearts of long-time listeners and new fans alike.
Just one year ago, Crystal Skulls released their debut, "Blocked Numbers," to enthusiastic praise from critics, along with a warm and welcoming embrace from lovers of pop music. Listeners discovered a band touting smart and stylish songs nestled comfortably into the folds and corners of various timeframes and musical movements. The band toured heavily supporting the Wedding Present, Black Mountain and Headphones winning fans as they cris-crossed the nation.
Crooner Christian Wargo along with bandmates Yuuki Matthews, Ryan Phillips, and Casey Foubert delivered a thoughtful, eloquent, and singular record. With a bite of George Harrison's guitar and a nip at Sterolab's rhythms, "Blocked Numbers" was a true pop pleasure with enough meat to keep fans well fed for decades to come.
But Crystal Skulls don't fuck around and a mere 12 months after "Blocked Numbers" their second full-length album, "Outgoing Behavior," finds the band forging full steam ahead. Channeling a cocky hint of Meat Is Murder era-Smiths and sitting on a treasure chest of songs that Todd Rungren would gladly "drop trou" for, the band has carved a distinct niche in the vibrant Pacific Northwest climate.
The debut full length "Blocked Numbers" introduces Seattle's Crystal Skulls. The album takes a snapshot of a band less than one year in the making, a preserved document of smart and stylish indie-pop music. Built on the strikingly mature singing and songwriting of frontman Christian Wargo, the group's sound is made whole by the dead-on instincts of his bandmates (Yuuki Matthews on bass guitar, Ryan Phillips on guitar and keyboard, Casey Foubert on drums). Recorded and produced at home by the Skulls, "Blocked Numbers" presents a wholly satisfying batch of songs undeniably refreshing yet immediately familiar.
Atlanta trio Dasher's origins and mission statement are relatively simple - Kylee Kimbrough wrote a handful of songs on bass, switched over to drums and vocals, enlisted friends Ian Deaton and Jon Allinson to round out the lineup, and documented the humble beginnings with a debut cassette, Yeah I Know. While that premise is simple enough, describing Dasher's sound is a more complicated affair. Kimbrough cites Patti Smith as a major inspiration. Spin Magazine heard elements of Killing Joke and Wire. Band interviews mention the importance of local hardcore bands Manic and Ralph. Somehow all of these reference points work, yet none of them quite do the band justice. Granted, Kimbrough's commanding vocal delivery would make Patti proud. The primitive urgency of punk pioneers certainly pulses throughout Dasher's catalog. And the deliberate squall of basement hardcore permeates throughout their latest offering, a two-song 7" courtesy of Suicide Squeeze Records. Recorded by Jason Kingsland, "Soviet" b/w "Teeth" captures the no-frills energy of Atlanta's most propulsive post-punk band without tagging on any of the unnecessary conceptual or historical talking points lazy music writers rely on.
"There is something that is underrepresented in Christmas music, and that's just how uncomfortable the holidays can be for a lot of folks," David Bazan says about his collection of holiday songs Dark Sacred Night. Back in 2002, David Dickenson of Suicide Squeeze Records approached Bazan and asked if he would be interested in doing a 7" of Christmas carols. The result was the "I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day" b/w "Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel" single released under Bazan's Pedro the Lion moniker. He followed it up with "The First Noel" 7" in 2003 and "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" in 2005. Even after retiring the Pedro the Lion project, Bazan continued his run of Yuletide singles for Suicide Squeeze under his own name. These limited edition 7"s are all long out of print, but David Bazan and Suicide Squeeze have chosen ten of the fourteen tracks, remixed and remastered the material, and collected them on Dark Sacred Night.
At the core of Death Valley Girls, vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Bonnie Bloomgarden and guitarist Larry Schemel channel a modern spin on Funhouse's sonic exorcisms, ZZ Top's desert-blasted riffage, and Sabbath's occult menace. On their third album Darkness Rains, Death Valley Girls churn out the hypercharged scuzzy rock every generation yearns for, but there is a more subversive force percolating beneath the surface that imbues the band with an exhilarating cosmic energy. Album opener "More Dead" is a rousing wake up call, with a hypnotic guitar riff and an intoxicating blown-out solo underscoring Bloomgarden's proclamation that you're "more dead than alive." The pace builds with "(One Less Thing) Before I Die", a distillate of Detroit's proto-punk sound. At track three, Death Valley Girls hit their stride with "Disaster (Is What We’re After)", a rager that takes the most boisterous moments off Exile On Main Street and injects it with Zeppelin's devil's-note blues. Darkness Rains retains its intoxicating convocations across ten tracks, climaxing with the hypnotic guitar drones and cult-like chants of "TV In Jail On Mars."
It's time to announce another installment in Suicide Squeeze's ongoing series of select 7-inch EPs. Dirty Beaches! Yeah, it's an easy leap to guess this would be a proper summer release. But, if you're already familiar with Alex Zhang Hungtai's music, you know it's got a special connection to the end of that season, and the beginning of autumn. And if not, this EP will offer a perfect introduction. The lead track "Lone Runner," is simple perfection: Handclaps lead off a vocal style locked in with both Nick Cave and Elvis, yet totally his own. A song that may drag you by hand to a place you've never been. And then you got "Stye Eye," on the flip: A stomping anthem with an insistent grind that seems to sway and swing, gaining in intensity as the track progresses. This release - like all in SSR's 7-inch series - is limited. 750 copies will be available worldwide (250 clear vinyl, 500 black). Both will come with a download coupon.
Eating Out is the crunchy, distorted, pop-oriented project of NÃ¼ Sensae drummer Daniel Pitout. The big distorted guitar riffs and heartfelt melodies of Pitout’s brainchild are a notable departure from NÃ¼ Sensae’s roaring assault. But Eating Out also has the proud distinction of being a Vancouver supergroup of sorts. While Pitout assumes the songwriting duties and the accompanying positions of guitarist and vocalist, fellow Sensae Brody McKnight rounds out the guitar department, White Lung vocalist Mish Way lends her bass skills, and Peace’s Geoff Dembicki fills in on drums. While vestiges of NÃ¼ Sensae’s brash tonalities, White Lung’s melodic treatment of hardcore, and Peace’s bold anglophile pop can all be heard in Eating Out, Pitout’s songs owe more to girl-grunge groups of the early nineties than to any of his co-conspirators’ primary projects.
Elliott Smith's "Division Day" is not only one of the late artist's most beloved fan favorite songs, it's also one of Smith's first departures away from the soft-spoken melancholy of his first two albums and into the more sophisticated pop that led to his breakout success. B-side "No Name #6" is a classic in its own right, encapsulating the humble brilliance of one of our generation's greatest singer-songwriters. "Division Day" b/w "No Name #6" is now back in print with its first pressing on colored vinyl. Limited to 1000 copies on clear vinyl, this 7" single is a crucial document of Elliott Smith's musical evolution, and a vital piece of Suicide Squeeze history.
In 1994, Portland's idiosyncratic punk pop group Hazel and hushed indie band Heatmiser were providing a less aggravated alternative to the big riffs and howling frontmen of their grunge peers in Seattle. Both bands had strong albums that helped highlight the diversity of Northwest's rock scene, and both bands had guitarists that were dabbling in solo material. Heatmiser's Elliott Smith had just released his critically acclaimed album Roman Candle, and Hazel's Pete Krebs was preparing his debut for Cavity Search Records. It's no surprise that the tiny burgeoning indie label Slo-Mo Records pounced on the opportunity to release a split 7" by these developing talents. Smith's "No Confidence Man" is a classic example of his early, stripped-down heartbroken ballads while Krebs' "Shytown" is a gorgeous acoustic number that deftly navigates between somber passages and the buoyant melodies he was known for in his work with Hazel. Long out of print, it's Suicide Squeeze Records' proud honor to repress the 7" as part of their 20-year anniversary celebratory series. "No Confidence Man" b/w "Shytown" is limited to 500 copies on opaque blue vinyl and 500 copies on opaque yellow. Additionally, the 7" features all new artwork by Grammy nominated designer Jesse LeDoux and includes a download coupon.
Eugene Mirman is “always sharp and hilarious” (The Onion). A degree holder in “Comedy” from Hampshire College, this New York City favorite is a frequent guest on television shows such as Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central’s Premium Blend, NBC’s Late Friday, and more. This two-disc set includes a CD recorded in New York (Pianos) and Boston (the Middle East) and a DVD featuring cult hit videos “Gun,” “Art,” “Pot” and “Backdraft II.” This very special release features liner notes written by Eugene’s friend and co-conspirator David Cross.
Somewhere in pre-dawn Cleveland, Gabe Fulvimar hunkers down in his bedroom with his laptop, a guitar, a drum machine, and a Fender Rhodes and records songs under the name Gap Dream. Before you groan over another “bedroom pop” artist, spend two seconds absorbing Fulvimar’s mystical, stoned-to-the-bone one-man garage rock. If Lou Reed and Jason Pierce had MacBooks back when they were starting out, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine them kicking out a jam like “A Little Past Midnight”. It’s almost tempting to claim Gap Dream’s ability to make such warm, wacked out, psychedelic grooves in such technologically-cold hermit-like conditions as Fulvimar’s crowning achievement. But the process behind the music doesn’t mean shit when you hear Fulvimar’s smooth harmonies, warbling tremolo guitar, and reverberating haze sewn together into a tune as beguiling as “Generator”.
Goon Moon is the spooky and dirgy alignment of a sorted and celebrated bunch. The band features Twiggy Ramirez of Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails, Zach Hill of Hella and Death Grips, and Chris Goss from Masters of Reality, and concocts a startling bitches brew of outsider prog experimentalism and thrown back and twisted stoner jams in the tradition of no one.
Guantanamo Baywatch's new album Desert Center opens with "Conquistador", an instrumental track displaying enough fretboard savvy and fiery twang to make The Challengers proud. But any notion that Guantanamo Baywatch is strictly adhering to one facet of rock n' roll's classic era is dispelled by the soulful swagger and unabashed pop of "Neglect". It’s an inadvertent juxtaposition maintained through the entirety of Desert Center, with blazing instrumental nuggets like "The Scavenger" alternating with the proto-grunge and golden oldies mash-up of a track like "Blame Myself." Like their 2015 album Darlingâ€¦ It's Too Late, Desert Center was primarily tracked in Atlanta at Living Room Recording with Justin McNeight and Ed Rawls, with Jason Powell doing the bulk of the guitar tracks on his own at Jungle Muscle Studios. While Guantanamo Baywatch initially made a name for themselves with their early blown-out recordings, Desert Center retains the raw aesthetics of a Hasil Adkins single, but has the added heft and thump afforded by a modern studio. This balance is perhaps best captured on their lead single "Video", where bassist Chevelle Wiseman drives the tune with a thick, throbbing riff while drummer Chris Scott ruthlessly pounds his kit with a crashing clarity guaranteed to please even the most snobby analog audiophile.
With Darlingâ€¦ It’s Too Late, Guantanamo Baywatch sought to harness and manipulate the sparkling sounds from yesteryear, all while staying true to the tape hiss and rough takes of analog recording. “We really wanted a mixtape compilation sound to the record,” says Powell, and that approach can be heard in both the songwriting and the production. According to Powell, each individual song was approached with all the amps and the EQs on the recording console zeroed out. That meant that every song was recorded with a new template. The title track and lead single, “Too Late”, perfectly captures this new aesthetic. With Burger Records soul singer Curtis Harding contributing backing vocals and rounding out the classic Motown ballad vibe of the track, “Too Late” is an enormous departure from the trashy Mummies-esque ruckus of their earlier recordings. Of course, the band hasn’t completely abandoned the rowdy surf rock of their previous releases—Powell put the finishing touches on the album back at his Jungle Muscles Studio in Portland to keep that rough-hewn feel intact. But even when he and his bandmates Chevelle Wiseman (bass) and Chris Scott (drums) tread on their familiar territory with songs like “Raunch Stomp” or their cover of Eddie & The Showmen’s “Mr. Rebel”, there’s a newfound clarity, punch, and swagger to their sound. Throughout the course of Darlingâ€¦ It’s Too Late the trio continues to fuck with various subgenres, from the dusty Western twang of “Corey Baum’s Theme” to the straight-outta-Sun Studios rocker “Do What You Want.”
The LP is available in a limited pressing of 1,000 copies on Peaches-and-Cream color vinyl. A digital download card for MP3 is included.
+ Pre-order will ship on May 22, 2015
+ Limited edition pressing of 1k copies on white vinyl
+ Double sided insert w/ lyrics
+ Download card includes “Five Chord” as a bonus track
+ 3-color 18” x 24" silkscreened poster was designed by Jesse LeDoux
+ Poster bundle is limited to 200 copies
10-year anniversary LP pressing! Headphones is the new band featuring David Bazan (Pedro the Lion), Tim Walsh (Pedro the Lion, TW Walsh), and Frank Lenz. The self-titled album was engineered and mixed by Jared Hankins in Seattle in the early days of 2005. The band's debut is built wholly from synthesizers (no guitars!), live drums, and the familiar warmth of Bazan's syrupy vocal delivery. Headphones kindly tips their hat to modern stalwarts like Depeche Mode, The Flaming Lips, Kraftwerk, and Radiohead who seamlessly integrated electronics into the fabric of rock and pop music. But here, Bazan and company defy easy assumptions about music made electronically avoiding kitsch and cutesiness, delivering deft arrangements with timeless melodies and uncanny lyrical depth.