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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Six Records CMM Wants You To Know

Bokonon "Atlast" E.P. (bokononband.bandcamp.com)

Los Angeles based Bokonon make swagger filled hypnotic rock n roll that's down right infectious. From the first notes of "Wayside" you can tell you are in for a wild ride as the music seems to levitate and glow as it pumps through your speakers. The cinematic tones of "Anomaly" have an undeniable haunting feel to that make the track perfect for late night drives down an open highway. The melodic, mysterious flair of "Fade" makes it one of the E.P.'s standout tracks while the rolling bass lines and pin point drumming that flow throughout "Voices" and "Relapse" sound absolutely stellar. Another thing I have to say about this record is just how well recorded it is as the production really captures all of the magic, power and underlying nuances that make this band great in the best way possible. A++++.

Calvin Heights "Talented Sun" E.P. (calvinheights.bandcamp.com)

Made up of Minneapolis musicians Brett Carey and Jordan Wipf, Calvin Heights new album "Talented Sun" is one of the best and most complete albums I've heard in a long long time. Many times a reader will see a review of a record that's talked about in a really positive way and ask the question "Is it really as good as this person says it is" and the answer is YES. The songs are so well crafted and so well produced to the most minor detail it's fascinating. Beginning with the psychedelic fueled "Man Of Your Dreams" the duo channel what sounds like haunting spirits throughout the track as it's hypnotic bass line and matter of fact vocal delivery draw you into an otherworldly experience. "Clouds" incorporates aspects of shoegaze along with indie folk to create a beautiful blend of sounds that are blissful and lush. The song is also full of toe tapping hooks that make it stand out even more before the track dives into a wash of ominous sounds leading to the tripped out darkness of "Seasons Change". "Wasted Sun" is a delightful track with a light pop sensibility that wouldn't sound out of place on something like The Beatles "White Album" while the percussive guitar tones of "Cold As Your Flowers" really adds a cool aspect to things. There's an evil, tense style attached to " Era Vernacular" that showcases some much appreciated "tension" in the album. It's simple riffs are played out in such a way that it really makes you feel like the moment in a horror film where something crazy is going to happen. This gives way to the uplifting spirit of "When You Think Of Me" which radiates with elegance and beauty. It's powerful chord structure and soothing vocals really make it an amazing song. In the end what you have is a landmark album that showcases a band at the top of their game. This is a complete album that's focused and even though it's got all kinds of different moods and sounds going on it really works as one piece and gives the listener a full album experience as the songs really gel together in the most perfect cohesive way. Do yourself a favor and take the time to immerse yourself in this truly amazing listening experience.

Girl Werewolf "Classical Exorcisms" E.P. (girlwerewolf.bandcamp.com)

Raleigh, North Carolina's Girl Werewolf blast through six tracks of high energy, high grit, riff driven rock n roll. Opening number "Burning Knee" is full of high gain, distorted guitars, galloping drums and a gruff yet soulful vocal stance. "Kobald" has more of a garage rock feel that's backed by a rich psychedelic groove, while "Null Elemental" adds in a twist of sludge like, sonic doom. The menace continues with the absolutely relentless "Tasty Rigor". It literally sounds like the vocals are ripping out of the speakers and coming to attack you. Next thing you know the band switch gears into the surf/garage rock feel of "Covenold" before slamming the door shut on this E.P. with the spacey psychedelic sounds of "Morlock". Overall this is a pretty spectacular collection of heavy sounds with some 60's garage rock tones thrown in for good measure. It's dark, it's aggressive and intense and comes highly recommended.

Of Two Minds S/T E.P. (oftwomindsband.bandcamp.com)

Loving this debut four song E.P. from Of Two Minds out of Columbus Ohio. The record is full of insane "chops" as these guys really shine out with top levels of musicianship from beginning to end. "Never Went" starts things off with it's insane drumming attack and jazz like guitar and bass structures. It literally keeps you guessing as to what will come next as this track has multiple moods and modes that jump at you out of nowhere. "Snowset" has a few more pop elements to it that give it a nice catchy feel that reminds me a little of Minus The Bear while "Paint By Numbers" brings elements of angst and grit to the mix and gives even more diversity to the bands sound. Everything winds down with the sonic array known as "Sunny Duality". It's like a complete collection of all of the bands best aspects rolled into one as it really shows off just how brilliant this group is. I really can't say enough great things about this record and I can't wait to hear more from this amazing new band.

Slemenda "Eyelids" E.P. (slemenda.bandcamp.com)

Based in Portland, Slemenda have just released one of the most impressive ambient/experimental E.P.'s I've heard in quite some time. Starting out with a lulling four minute intro things quickly move into the deep, rich cosmic tones of the E.P.'s title track. It sounds like a space explorer who has just reached a new undiscovered planet and is floating elegantly over top of it's atmosphere. "Dreamer" has a more hypnotic effect and brings in layers of whispering voices, peaceful yet metallic sounds and an array of subliminal tones that are inspiring, introspective and warm.This brings us to the dream like presence of "Reprise" which is a hazy mix of low frequencies, distant ghost like melodies and underlying voices that eventually give way to the errie "Outro" that sends this record off in fine form. A truly remarkable achievement.

Tiny City "Tiny City" E.P. (tinycitymusic.bandcamp.com)

Charlotte North Carolina's Tiny City blast through this hard hitting four song E.P. of no frills rock n roll songs with authority. You will hear elements of Big Star, The Replacements and Wilco here as there's also an underlying country/folk feel to much of these songs. "Oh My" is impactful and to the point and has a fun rock n roll shuffle to it. I could see this song being a good fit for Stiff Records back in the late 70's. "Cinnamon" has all of the aspects of an anthem as it's energetic chorus and infectious guitar leads are simply second to none. "Vision Is Real" and "Tiny City" have a very distinct 80's feel to them that also echoes the spirit of classic Roxy Music. Overall a very refreshing release that's as hard hitting and relentless as it is catchy. Get into it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Six Records CMM Wants You To Know

Lunar Gateway "Near And Far" LP (lunargateway.bandcamp.com)

Lunar Gateway combine elements of post rock, shoegaze, 60's psych rock and folk music to create this tremendously beautiful album known as "Near and Far". "Instinct Devolve" sets the pace for things with it's tom tom beat and intricate guitar attack which leads us to the upbeat and rather jazzy track "Goodbye" which is backed by a free feeling rhythm and a mix of jangling and shimmering guitars. The matter of fact vocal style that flows throughout the record is as inviting as it is mysterious and I'd say this is felt most throughout the extremely dark tone of "Sometimes". The math rock structure of "Poynting" adds a nice touch to the mix and shows off the diversity the band has to offer. Other highlights include the lush, rich tones found in "Deal With It" and the almost goth feel of "We're Lost". Overall "Near and Far" is a brilliant balance of incredible songwriting that's full of imagination and knows when to push the boundaries of traditional music in new directions. Inspiring, innovative and intense.

Oats "Candle Fingers" E.P. (oatssounds.bandcamp.com)

Based in London, Oats make some of the most refreshing music I've heard in some time. Opening number "The Scourge" combines spacey synth sounds with a driving beat and hypnotic vocals that make for an absolutely perfect combination. "My Ristica" is equally as atmospheric but also has a bit of a folk element to it while "Drippy Wizard" has a quirky, wavering psychedelic swing that surrounds it. Think MGMT at a tea party with Syd Barret. The rhythm of closing piece "Floating" is so full of swagger it's sure to get the biggest square in the venue out on the dance floor. It's down right infectious to say the least. I really can't say enough great things about this E.P. GET INTO IT.

Sci-Fi Sleep Cycles "On High" E.P. (scifisleepcycles.bandcamp.com)

Chicago three piece unit, Sci-Fi Sleep Cycles bring a lot of angst on this new two song E.P. The angular guitars and lo-fi dynamics reference the likes of Sonic Youth and Guided By Voices while also paying homage to bands like Slint and Fugazi. "You" is really an amazing number as it's got some really interesting time changes and a nice quiet/loud/quiet/loud dynamic to it. I've had it on repeat for the last several days and truly can't get enough of it. "On High" is also pretty amazing as it's sea of saturated guitars and catchy melodies give it a really charming feel. A remarkable effort from a really awesome new band.

Serpent Rainbow "The Way" E.P. (serpentrainbow.bandcamp.com)

Serpent Rainbow create a mix of mysterious, atmospheric sounds that are mostly centered around the guitar. The delicate layers of ominous and full bodied chords that ring out during "The Way" are the perfect match for the heartfelt vocals and underlying nuances that really make this track top notch. "Another Way To Misbehave" features lulling layers of hypnotic guitars that channel the spirits of ambient masters like Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois. The rich modulated tones are comforting and warm before giving way to an outbreak of classic rock power chords that round out the track in fine form. An excellent E.P. from beginning to end that leaves me wanting more.

The Angel Makers "Never Going Back Again" Single (theangelmakers.bandcamp.com)

Colchester, UK based band The Angel Makers return with this delightful cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Never Going Back Again". The band put a hazy lazy spin on the track that sounds like a cool breeze flowing on a hot summer day. Shauna Kelly's stunning vocal delivery has an innocence that feels uplifting and free. She puts her own stamp on the track without drifting too far away from the original. The band also recently released a brand new four song E.P. of original songs called "Sam and Sara" which has quickly become a favorite of mine. Highly recommended.

Valita "Nerezza" E.P. (valita.bandcamp.com)

I am truly blown away by this debut E.P. from Brighton's Valita. It's intense cinematic flair and over all eeriness draws you in and never lets you go. Lead off track "Vines" has a dark, slow mysterious presence that's full of rich psychedelic undertones. It's the kind of track that really cements a band for what they truly are and it's nearly seven minutes of stunning intensity. "Wide Eyed" has a similar feel but might be even more cunning. It's haunting guitars and crawling bass line really take the eeriness to another level while "Paint My Skin" has a more uplifting, psychedelic feel that's colorful and dreamy. "Solstice" just might be the most intense track of the batch as it's moody mix of darkness and doom serves as the perfect ending to this truly amazing collection of songs. This record will give you chills and keep you guessing as to what's coming next. Truly beautiful and one of a kind.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Six Records CMM Wants You To Know

Charm "Living Room" E.P. (charmnc.bandcamp.com)

Greensboro, North Carolina's Charm impress on their latest E.P. "Living Room". The lo-fi slack rock style of "Window Shopping" echoes the spirits of Pavement and Superchunk while "Bad Energy" harnesses a guitar sound reminiscent of "Marquee Moon" style Television. I'm loving the upbeat pace and jangle filled riffs of "Gaze" as it's uplifting approach makes it the perfect song for summer. "Glue" is backed by an amazing energy and driving riffs that will have you singing along in no time as I've had this one on repeat since my first listen. I really can't say enough great things about this record. So many amazing riffs, so much energy and just an overall fun band to enjoy. Get into it.

Forever Blond "Algún día todo lo que sentí, me será útil" E.P. (foreverblond.bandcamp.com)

Based in Leon, Mexico, Forever Blond create an incredible blend of upbeat indie pop and slowed down dream driven shoegaze throughout this six song debut E.P. Opening number "Dices que si" is a hook filled "thrill ride" that's infectious rhythm and nasty guitar sound sets things off in fine form, while "No Somos Amigos" has a more lulling approach that's backed by an ethereal vocal delivery that's as soothing as it is mysterious. "See You Again" is filled with warm heart felt melodies and rich soundscapes making it one of the releases best moments. It's the type of track that really shows the diversity this band is capable of when it comes to song writing and approach. Overall "Algún día todo lo que sentí, me será útil" is a most excellent debut that's sure to delight fans of well crafted, catchy atmospheric rock n roll. Highly recommended.

ICEBEING "WONKY BOY / COURTING" Single (icebeing.bandcamp.com)

I've been a fan of Luke Phillips AKA ICEBEING for a few years now and have been anticipating new music from the project for quite some time, so I was really excited to see Phillips drop this new two song E.P. "Wonky Boy" is a fast, infectious number full of modulated and fuzzy guitars, a toe tapping beat and an uplifting vocal delivery. It's psychedelic, colorful and hypnotic and simply put it's down right amazing. "Courting" has a more electronic approach but also retains the lush psychedelic flair that flows through these two songs. It's happy and warm yet incredibly vivid and mysterious at the same time as the song radiates an energy that's truly second to none. Another remarkable release from one of my favorite new artists.

Lofi Legs "Sonic Century" E.P. (lofilegs.bandcamp.com)

Wasn't sure what to expect from a band named Lofi Legs but then again what's in a name? What you get is a fine blend of breezy indie rock n roll fueled but jangling guitars, swinging beats and swagger like vocals that don't try to do too much.The chiming guitar attack of "Ground" makes it one of the releases best tracks as it's oozing with melodies and captures an underlying surf rock appeal that I just can't get enough of. The shuffling beat of "Lo-Tide" and it's stop and start riff gives the song a care free feel while "Orange Sunshine" features some really awesome "guitar moves" that make for some incredible dynamics. I must say "Sonic Century" is a highly pleasurable listening experience and I can't wait to hear what this band does next.

Mothers "Pink" Single (ANTI-Records)

Mother's are set to release their second album "Render Another Ugly Method" via Anti-Records on September 7th. The records latest single "Pink" is a bouncy blast of infectious rock n roll that caries a slightly hypnotic feel and mysterious presence. It's layers of angular guitars and lush atmospheric vocals create an intricate formula that also harnesses just enough menace and grit to push things over the top. Can't wait to take in the full album. Highly recommended.

Voyage In Solitude "Last Train From The Hill" E.P. (voyageinsolitude.bandcamp.com)

Voyage In Solitude combine aspects of post rock, shoegaze and underground metal to create a sound that's all their own. This latest E.P. "Last Train From The Hill" is a truly beautiful creation as all of the songs mesh together perfectly. The shimmering gliding feel of "Noisy Train" brings an elegance to the record that's absolutely breathtaking. "Abyss" continues in an ethereal direction but adds some heavier aspects to the sound, while "Ticket To The Other World" shows an even more cinematic side to the record as the intensity seems to build and build throughout the song. This all leads up to the climactic sounds of "Never Look Back" as it's pounding drums and other worldly presence really send the album off on a high note. It's hopeful and grey at the same time as it feels like it's breathing new life into an old and jaded body, allowing it to fully live again. A tremendous release that leaves me wanting more.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

"Underground City" : An Interview with Sam Nicholas of Corrections

Corrections is the brainchild of musician/songwriter Sam Nicholas. Born and raised in Australia Nicholas is now based in London and his latest album "Birdsong" features nine stellar tracks that incorporate lush ambient soundscapes , pulsating synths and angular guitar tones alongside Nicholas incredible songwriting. We sat down with Sam to talk about his earliest musical discoveries, the scene in London, his love for Luca Guadagnino films and the making of the album.

CMM-What were your first musical memories and what bands/artists made the biggest impact on you as a musician?

Sam-Waking up in the morning when Napster was at its height and listening to ‘Into the Void’ with visualizations through Windows Media Player. Interpol are a huge influence, especially Paul Banks’ lyricism and delivery. Also a massive Fleetwood Mac fan, which always helps.

CMM-When did you start making music and what drove you into the musical direction that makes up your sound?

Sam-I wrote my first ‘proper’ songs in 2017 after listening to Beach Fossils too much. Before that I was writing and recording a song a month. Most of these tracks have thankfully disappeared.

I’d certainly consider myself a bit of an auteur. All elements of the music should have something in common, visually and sonically, and nothing should seem out-of-place. I never switch off, and I document most of my experiences in some way or another. ‘Birdsong’ is the first time I’ve produced something with a clear purpose, which I attribute to my desire to cultivate a more solid aesthetic, and treat it more like a job rather than a hobby.

CMM-What was the writing and recording process of "Birdsong"  like?

Sam-I started writing ‘Idolatry’ when I was recording my first album. I haven’t stopped writing since ‘Idolatry’, so the recording process has been much more streamlined. The sounds and ideas that have been floating around in my head for the last year have been carefully chosen instead of instinctively thought of as ‘complete’. I did a lot of cutting, which is what all the great artists do. If you’re not being hard on yourself, you’re doing it wrong.

CMM-Any particular gear you used in the making of it? (guitars, pedals, amps, recording gear etc)

Sam-Too much to name. I focused mainly on recording techniques instead of purchasing more gear. If I had to choose, I’d say the most important pedal was my Sansamp GT2, which allowed me to create a more authentic guitar sounds without bothering my neighbors. My iSK DM58 microphone would be a close second, for sentimental reasons.

CMM-If you could score a soundtrack for any film director who would it be and what would the film be about?

Sam-It would be a Luca Guadagnino film set in rural Australia during the 1980s about a solitary and often misunderstood man who discovers meaning in the mundane, and the importance of remaining open-minded as you age. A hybrid of ‘Amour’ and ‘Wake In Fright’, only more vivid.

CMM-How do you see the state of the music and art scenes in London these days? Who are your favorite local bands and what venues do you enjoy performing in and seeing shows most? 

Sam-East London is certainly the place to be. There are tonnes of great acts coming out at the moment. Comte St. Gemain is up and coming, along with Slowcoaches and The Agnes Circle. The Shaklewell Arms is my favorite place to hang out, along with the George Tavern and The Victoria Dalston. All cracking venues.

CMM-What direction do you see your new recordings moving in and what do you have planned for a follow up release?

Sam-More visceral and energetic. Already gotten to work on a few tracks, which are sounding much dirtier.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Six Records CMM Wants You To Know

Casino Garden "Slide" LP (casinogarden.bandcamp.com)

German shoegaze band Casino Garden carve out one of the most inspiring and well written releases of the year with their debut album "Slide". Starting off with the breathtakingly beautiful "Mind-Blowing Voices" the band take you on a dream like journey through sonic soundscapes that are full of ambient nuances and highly modulated guitar tones. "Colorblind" has a more indie pop stance with it's upbeat feel and catchy hooks while the acoustic based "Placebo" quickly shows off the bands vast diversity. Other highlights of the album include the shimmering and moody feel of "Ride", jangle pop based "Moths" and the slow lulling pace of "Uncanny Valley". Don't miss out on this spectacularly impactful debut.

Late Bloomer "Sleeve" Single (6131 Records)

Killer indie rock/punk rock n roll out of Charlotte, North Carolina that echoes the spirits of The Replacements, Husker Du and Weezer. "Sleeve" is a true modern day anthem that's full of sing along type hooks and an over all "half smile but feeling kinda good" attitude. It's the kind of track that gets you singing along in no time and it's got the perfect feel for summer. The bands new album "Waiting" is out now courtesy of 6131 Records.

Meave S/T E.P. (meave.bandcamp.com)

This debut E.P. from Montreal based post punk unit Meave is absolutely crushing. Opening number "Éthérée" has a dark, eerie almost sinister crawl to it that is so mysterious and subliminally heavy. It's pounding drums and angular guitar attack stand out alongside it's almost chanted vocal delivery. "Skeleton Woman" is a little more melodic and radiates with a glowing energy while "Flowers On The Stage" is a psychedelic, hypnotic masterpiece. The sea of intrigue and darkness continues as an ominous drone flutters at the beginning of "Lost Rivers" before giving way to an infectious beat and sea of psyched out guitar sounds. It's got an epic feel all around that harnesses a primal yet modern take on riff driven rock n roll. "No Boredom" closes out this amazing E.P. with it's dirge driven mood and rich ambient vocals. It's the perfect ending to what may truly be one of the most impressive debuts I've ever heard.

Notches "Telephone Wire" Single (notchesnh.bandcamp.com)

Taken from their new full length album "Almost Ruined Everything" out August 10th, Notches create an amazing post punk/hardcore sound that reminds me of Dinosaur Jr. and Buffalo Tom mixed with traces of Black Flag and The Minutemen. "Telephone Wire" is wired for power and captures just the right amount of meanness to go along with it's feel good chorus and energetic attitude. Another promising effort from one of the best new bands out.

Point Decster "Chino Moreno / Sugarcoat" E.P. (pointdecster.bandcamp.com)

Based in Ciudad De México, Point Decster create a whirlwind of sonic rock n roll sounds that blur the lines between mid 90's screamo, post rock, shoegaze and post hardcore. "Chino Moreno" has an undeniable spirit to it as it's driving beat and melodic guitar riffs mesh perfectly with it's passionate uplifting vocals. There's also a fast "pick me up" style part at the end that caps off the track in grand fashion. "Sugarcoat" is done in a similar style but with a little more "chaos" so to speak. The end section has some of the most beautiful dynamics you will hear anywhere as it's gliding guitars create a type of tension, energy and attitude that stands above most of the other bands tying to capture this type of emotion and sound. Highly recommended.

The Mountain Goats "Song For Sasha Banks" Single (themountaingoats.bandcamp.com)

After the release of The Mountain Goats 2015 album "Beat The Champ" WWE wrestler Sasha Banks tweated to the band “Where’s my song @mountain_goats”. According to Mountain Goats founder John Darnielle the album was based on wrestling from the “old territories days” but he agreed that at some point they would write a “Song for Sasha Banks.” Well now it's 2018 and that song has arrived as Darnielle released the track last week. As a long time wrestling fan I must say it's pretty interesting to hear lines that mention Chris Jerhico and reference wrestlers coming up through the independents to make their mark in the "business". Another exquisite creation from this long running indie pop project that's sure to delight longtime fans and make some new ones.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Six Records CMM Wants You To Know

Joan Of Arc "1984" LP (Joyful Noise Recordings)

At nearly 45 years old I think I've finally realized what life is most about to me and that's moments. Yes I am the type that does enjoy what many may consider the "mundane" aspects of life but I now consider those mundane periods to be preparations and build ups to the "moments" and experiences we will never forget. Joan Of Arc's new album "1984" seems to be one of these major moments for a band that has constantly been evolving over the last 20 plus years as founding member Tim Kinsella is joined by an incredible line up of musicians including Bobby Burg, Theo Katsaounis, Melina Ausikaitis and Jeremy Boyle. Opening piece "Tiny Baby" is a stunning combination of comfort, warmth and subliminal stimulation as the group combine elements of minimalist composition, ambient swells and mysterious sonic textures alongside Ausikaitis charming storytelling. This type of experimentation continues throughout "Vertigo" as long droning tones loom over layers of looped and delayed vocal treatments. All of this builds up into "Real Punk Kid" which carries a very anthem like feel to it. It's ominous piano sounds and pulsating bass line set the foundation for yet another incredible performance from Ausikaitis. This song works like a photo album in my mind. It will make you think back to your most fondest memories and some of the greatest hurdles you may have ever had to overcome. It's a true inspiration that radiates an energy I can fully get behind and seems to say "you are not alone". "People Pleaser" adds orchestral aspects to the mix and at this point the vocals move into an even more passionate and free form headspace. You get the feeling that Ausikaitis really enjoyed every minute of the making of this intensely cathartic track. The albums final piece is the spacey, dream like "Forever Jung" which is deeply psychedelic, meditative and insightful. It's beautifully lulling and closes out the album in grand fashion. Such an incredible moment for one of the most innovative bands of our time.

My Great Blue Cadillac "Violent Therapy" (Chapter 1) LP (mygreatbluecadillac.bandcamp.com)

"Violent therapy", the latest release from French goth/post punk duo My Great Blue Cadillac is a thunderous blast of emotional intensity. The bass driven attack of "Falling To You" echoes the spirits of Rozz Williams era Christian Death and is an absolutely relentless piece of music. The melodic but stern approach of "Possessed" shows off the tremendous song writing abilities of the pair while "Rebirth" is a dirge based wall of sonic mayhem that's as primal as it is experimental. The experimentation continues during the infectious cadence of "Hope". It's underlying industrial tones and nontraditional structure make it one of the albums most intense tracks of all. "Pain In Love" teeters on the edge of post punk and metal as it really melts elements of both together in the perfect way. Overall "Violent Therapy" is a phenomenal collection of some of the darkest material I've heard in a long time. Get into it.

Pure Ghost "There Is No Heaven Left In Me" E.P. (pureghostband.bandcamp.com)

Greenville South Carolina's Pure Ghost offer a brilliant balance of heavy riffs and captivating atmospherics throughout "There's No Heaven Left In Me". Opening number "Grey Type" is full of ethereal tones that sway around it's pounding beat and radiant vocals. It's the perfect blend of shoegaze and post hardcore that also shows off their incredible musicianship. The high energy of "Violet Rot" keeps things moving along in fine form while "To Disappear" showcases some of the most inspiring guitar work you will hear anywhere. At last we come to the impeccably well put together title track, as swells of colorful sound rain down everywhere offering the perfect balance of darkness and light. A highly recommended release from one of my favorite new bands.

Savannah Lee "Spectroscope for Sanity" LP (savannahlee.bandcamp.com)

Boston singer songwriter Savannah Lee impresses on her debut full length LP "Spectroscope Of Sanity". One thing is clear about Lee's performance throughout the album...She sings from the heart and plays from the heart. Everything is about feel and passion and being in the moment. Songs like "Theater" and "Seahaven" combine her strong, confident vocal presence with mysterious and atmospheric twists and turns that are quite introspective. "Lilac Smoke" has a lush elegance to it while "Dist. from Being" balances traditional folk with more spacey elements. Other stand out pieces include the wandering flair of "Blinders", cinematic presence of "To Say" and the psychedelic traces that flow throughout "What Would You Say". Overall a remarkable effort that showcases an up and coming artist in their truest form.

Sweam "Drift Aside // Point of Reference" E.P. (sweam.bandcamp.com)

It must be something about the incredibly beautiful scenery that brings out the best in bands from Oslo, Norway. This is the first release I've heard from Swean and the rich, looming soundscapes that make up this latest E.P. made me an instant fan. The other worldly tones that make up "Drift Aside" are inspiring to say the least. It's layers of modulated guitar leads and tight, in the pocket drumming set the foundation for it's dream driven vocals. "Point Of Reference" sounds even more epic and emotional and adds a slight touch of mid 90's emo to the mix, as underlying seas of noise create a sonic frenzy that's absolutely stunning. I can't wait to hear more from this powerfully engaging band.

Witch Watch "Seconds" Single (witchwatch.bandcamp.com)

From the first few seconds I heard "Seconds" I was hooked on Witch Watch. This is the first single from the Minneapolis based indie pop units upcoming album "Underground/Overground" and it's an incredibly catchy song that will have you singing along in no time. It's swinging beat, rumbling bass line and delicate guitar leads blend perfectly with Anna Neighbors soothing vocals. The best part about this digital single is that it includes 3 bonus tracks that are also top notch. "Feral Fountains" is a rich dreamy number full of beautiful atmospherics. "Blood Orange Curfew" and "Discarded Rituals" are also very appealing acoustic based pieces that infuse the stunning ambient elements that make this band great. Highly recommended.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Six Records CMM Wants You To Know

Angel Aura "Sensum" E.P. (angelaura.bandcamp.com)

Houston Texas based shoegaze group Angel Aura certainly put their own spin on the genre with this debut four song E.P. The delicate yet powerful vocals and heavily modulated guitar work has an other worldly vibe but there's also a lot of ruggedness to this bands delivery and I think that's a quality that gets lost with bands way too often. The swirling, ambient sounds that flow through "Blisshaus" really make it one of the E.P.'s stand out tracks while "Crystal Inn" adds an even more distant feeling to the mix. "Outpouring" is a little more uptempo but also captures the perfect "underwater" tone and cements Angel Aura as one of the best new bands I've heard in a while.

Blist Her "Glimmer" E.P. (blisther.bandcamp.com)

Inspiring new project out of Burlington Iowa that mixes 90's alterna-rock with UK shoegaze and brit-pop influences. "Glimmer" is a down tempo piece full of raw, lush ethereal guitars and laid back vocals that remind me of a primitive MBV or Pastels. "Broken Stem" has a nice bit of chime to it before breaking into a sea of distorted guitars. It's as abrasive as it is warm. My favorite track of the three is the final number "Spill". It's moody, beautiful shimmer really shows off what this project is made of as the group touch on other aspects outside of the realms of shoegaze and show hints of bands like Antioch Arrow and Heroin. Can't wait to hear what comes.

Captain Kuzdu "Squares // Lydia" E.P. (captainkudzu.bandcamp.com)

I'm loving this new two song E.P. from the incredible Captain Kuzdu. "Squares" gives an undeniable nod to "Daydream Nation" era Sonic Youth which I absolutely love. It's highly textured guitar sounds and driving beat work well with the matter of fact vocal delivery. "Lydia" has a nice dreamy intro that eventually gives way to a slow dirge like pace that makes me wonder what it be like to sky dive in slow motion. It's breezy psychedelic flair is welcomed with open arms. Highly recommended.

Mogwai “We’re Not Done (End Title)” (Rock Action/Temporary Residence LTD)

Mogwai are doing the score for the upcoming science fiction/action film "Kin", which stars Jack Reynor, Zoë Kravitz, Carrie Coon, Dennis Quaid, and James Franco and the band has released the first preview track "We're Not Done (End Title). It's almost apocalyptic mood and rich beautiful melodies are nothing short of spectacular but then again what else would you expect from these long running post rock masters. "Kin" is due for release on 8/31 courtesy of Rock Action Records / Temporary Residence.

Oh Sees "Overthrow" (ohsees.bandcamp.com)

This new Oh Sees track absolutely slays as it's 1,000 MPH beat and frantic guitars are sure to melt faces around the globe. There are a few minimal laid back moments but they are only there to serve as dynamics to the rest of the mayhem that's about to be blasted upon you. Possibly one of the best Oh Sees tracks to date that can certainly hang with any other classic barn burners that have come before it.

Small Planets (Demo) (smallplanets.bandcamp.com)

Based in Los Angeles Small Planets offer up this highly enjoyable four song demo that channels the spirits of the 120 minutes generation. Think of the early days of bands like Cocteau Twins and The Cure but with a modern twist and and a little more aggression from the guitar department from time to time. Stand out piece "Window" is truly beautiful and charming as the vocals and overall mood draw you in like a warm blanket on a cold winters night. "Blue" has a swinging beat and catchy pop under tone while "Drowning" blends just the right amount of tension across the atmospheric layers of infectious sound. A truly remarkable effort from beginning to end.