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Friday, December 28, 2018

CMM's 10 Favorite Albums of 2018

1. Courtney Barnett "Tell Me How You Really Feel"

I Probably played this album 1,000 times this year. So many amazing songs that really speak to you. The record really cements Courtney as one of the best new songwriters around.

2. Joan Of Arc "1984"

One of the bands best yet. Songs like "Real Punk Kid" and "Tiny Baby" combine experimental elements with traditional songwriting in the finest way possible.

3. Body/Head "The Switch"

This album is full of amazing hypnotic, mind bending noise and I can't get enough. The tracks really take you to another place with each and every listen.

4. Merzbow "Exoking"

Another masterpiece from the king of noise. Amazing tones and beautiful packaging as always.

5. Alles Club "Décollage"

This album is truly EPIC. I really can't say enough great things about it. Highly original and inspiring.

6. Statue "Casper"

Amazing guitar and drum tones fill this album alongside incredible musicianship and song arrangements. Top notch across the board.

7. Guided By Voices "Space Gun"

Another stellar album from the most prolific band in the world. Lead singles "Space Gun" and "See My Field" are instant GBV classics.

8. Frankie Teardrop Dead "All You Need Is Love And Fucking Peace"

One of the most colorful and uplifting psychedelic records of the year. Can't get enough of this one.

9. Netherlands "Black Gia"

Another skull crushing release from this NYC metal/sci-fi unit. Intense and menacing with a twist of new wave energy.

10. Casino Garden "Ride"

A brilliant blend of shoegaze and psychedelia. One of the most beautiful albums of 2018.

11.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

CMM's 10 Favorite Shows of 2018

1. Dead Boys - Bowery Electric - NYC - 1/28/18

This reformed line up of The Dead Boys has been tearing it up all over the world for the last few years and I've been happy to get to see them play a couple of times. This show was no exception as lead singer Jake Hout channeled the spirit of Stiv Bators in grand fashion while Cheetah Chrome blasted through the blistering riffs that make this band amazing. Can't wait to catch them again in 2019.

2. Desert Daze Festival (My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Mercury Rev, Kevin Morby and more) - Lake Perris California -10/12-10/14 2018

There are a lot of Festivals that offer unbelievable line ups these days but none were quite like this years Desert Daze Festival in Lake Perris California. Yes this festival was truly "STACKED" with performances from My Bloody Valentine, Sowdive, Mercury Rev, Kevin Morby, Earth and many many more. I must add that this festival had one of the most laid back feels to it which can be rare these days. Everyone was really respectful and watching the bands was comfortable while the sound and lighting were top notch.

3. Joan Of Arc - Elsewhere - NYC - 10/3/18

This show was a last minute surprise. I had not seen Joan Of Arc in about a year and a half and their latest album "1984" was one of my favorites of the year. I realized the morning of the show they were opening for mewithoutyou. Joan Of Arc performed as a three piece and the set included some amazing new material alongside some of my favorites from recent LP's. This was a really fun set to see.

4. Merzbow (at Hospital Festival) - Knockdown Center- NYC - 12/8/18

Hospital Fest was a tremendous event and I could go on and on about all of the acts that performed but I ain't gonna lie I was there to see Merzbow as I've been a fan for roughly 25 years and had never seen him perform before. His hour long set was intense, colorful and incredibly mind bending. Other highlights from his event included Jesu, Final (Justin Broadrick), and the Prurient/Power Trip collaboration.

5. "Sally Suicide" Suicide Tribute - Bowery Electric - NYC - 1/25/18

Incredible tribute evening to Alan Vega and Suicide which featured performances from Bob Bert, Cynthia Ross, Kid Congo Powers and more. The highlight for me was when The Car's Ric Ocasek joined Martin Rev for a performance of "Dream Baby Dream". A great evening indeed.

6. Turkish Delight (Reunion) - The Middle East - Cambridge MA - 7/20/18

It's not everyday that your favorite band gets back together to do a show after a 20 year hiatus but on July 20th 2018 Turkish Delight took the stage at the legendary Middle East in Cambridge MA. The band played tracks from their two albums "Tommy Bell" and "Howcha Magowcha" as well as a stunning rendition of "Damaged Goods" by Gang Of Four. They even let me join them onstage for a ripping rendition of their classic cut "Go Baby" which was a a real honor and thrill. Such an awesome time.

7. Nine Inch Nails, Jesus And Mary Chain - Kings Theater - Brooklyn NY - 10/16/18

First off Kings Theater might be the most beautiful venue in Brooklyn and one of the best places to see a large scale show. Jesus And Mary Chain put on a solid set of some of their most well known songs which was certainly an amazing way to start the evening. Then Nine Inch Nails put on one of the most breathtaking performances you will see and hear anywhere in the universe. I'm by no means a NIN fanatic but this show really floored me. The stage production, musicianship, sound an overall presentation where definitely next level.

8. Ministry - Irving Plaza - NYC - 12/6/18

Ministry put on a tremendous performance at Irving Plaza in NYC. It was amazing to hear "Stigmata", "N.W.O.", "So What" and "Just One Fix" in a live setting again. The crowd was super into it and the band played the tracks with "pinpoint accuracy". Menacing to say the least.

9. Netherlands - Brooklyn Bazaar - Brooklyn NY - 10/20/18

Simply put this band DESTROY everything in their path. The crushing guitar sound and sci-fi-psych vocals of Timo Ellis are relentless and this performance was one of the most intense I came across all year.

10. Men I Trust - Charlies American Cafe - Norfolk Virginia - 3/19/18

It was great to see Men I Trust in one of my favorite intimate venues. The band played a lot of songs from their recent album "Headroom" and their infectious bass lines and in the pocket drumming had the crowd dancing along while Emma's vocals sounded as beautiful as you can imagine.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

CMM's 18 Favorite Songs of 2018

This year was full of some truly incredible songs from new up and coming artists as well as established bands we already know and love . It was hard to narrow this down but here are 18 of my favorite songs from 2018.

1. Joan Of Arc "Real Punk Kid"

A true anthem. One of the most heartfelt and uplifting songs I've heard in years. Vibrant, intense and powerful.

2. Courtney Barnett "Charity"

Such a catchy track with some of the best lyrics I heard all year. Very uplifting yet melancholy at the same time. My favorite track from Courtney's latest album "Tell Me How You Really Feel".

3. Spiritualized "I'm Your Man"

Incredible dynamics, lyrics that hit home and one of the best guitar solos you will ever hear.

4. Witch Watch "Seconds"

A down right infectious song from this Minneapolis based band. Don't be surprised if you find yourself humming along to this halfway through the first listen. Golden.

5. Superchunk "Eraser"

What a hook. This band just gets better and better with age. Probably sang along to this 1,000 times this year. Sooooo good.

6. Guide By Voices "Space Gun"

Another classic from the most prolific band in rock n roll. Amazing video directed by the incredibly talented Hunter Christy.

7. Mayflower Madame "Premonition"

Another dark, mysterious and truly hypnotic number from Noway's premier psych/goth unit.

8. Jon Spencer "Do The Trash Can"

Pure rock n roll madness. What more would you expect from this garage rock mastermind.

9. Frankie Teardrop Dead "Joy In Division"

Psychedelic, uplifting, mind bending bliss from this London based Psychedelic rock unit. One of the many highlights from their album "All You Need Is Love And Fucking Peace".

10. Valita "Vines"

Powerfully haunting in the most amazing way possible.

11. Casino Garden "Ride"

This song radiates with a unique power and energy like no other. Can't wait to hear what this band does next.

12. Wet Dreams "Bad Boy"

It doesn't get much more rock n roll than this. Do yourself a favor and annihilate your speakers with this one

13. Body/Head "You Don't Need"

A droning, mind bending masterpiece from this experimental guitar duo made up of Kim Gordon and Bill Nace.

14. Deaf Wish "FFS"

So much energy. Killer guitar tones and tons of swagger. Play loudly.

15. Jess Williamson "I See The White"

One of the most well crafted and well performed tracks of 2018. Delightful in every way.

16. Cushing "Snow Angel"

Cushing bring the menace once again with this cagey dirty track from their latest release "Blood Of Cushing".

17. Forth Wanderers "Nevermine"

I love the pace and cadence of this song. A stunning vocal performance that stands over brilliant layers of melodic guitars.

18. Statue "E"

Amazing fuzz guitar sounds, great arrangement and energy. A true gem from the bands latest album "Casper".

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Six Records CMM Wants You To Know

Alles Club "Decollage" LP (allesclub.bandcamp.com)

Brazilian-Swiss shoegaze/post rock band Alles Club have released one of the most inspiring LP's I've heard in a long time. The galloping drums that kick off the title track welcome you to a colorful and inspirational world of sound. Soon a symphony of guitars and atmospheric textures fill the speakers while a wash of hypnotic samples round out the sound even more. The faster paced "Quanto Tempo" focuses on Nina Hübscher's incredible voice while "Libélula" is more laid back and psychedelic. "Voando" has a guitar sound reminiscent of "Daydream Nation" era Sonic Youth. It's a really uplifting and fun song to listen to and I find myself going back to this one again and again. "Madrugada" is pure shoegaze as it's layers of reverb drenched guitars and looming bass line are as haunting as they are beautiful. Eventually everything leads to the absolutely stellar sounds of "Canção da Volta" which is highlighted by Isabel Oliveira's stunning vocal delivery. This song explores aspects of jazz, trip-hop, ambient music, classical, experimental and rock all into one song and it's truly amazing. Overall a remarkable achievement for a band that deserves for their music to be heard, enjoyed and respected all over the world. Top LP of 2018.

Goldenaire "Modern Meltdown" E.P. (goldenaireband.bandcamp.com)

Goldenaire show off their amazing musicianship and song writing skills on this new four song E.P. The production, playing and energy levels are all top notch and the songs are all in the two to three minute range so it keeps things moving along swiftly. "Flip Side" is full of melodic, swirling guitars that combine shoegaze nuances with driving rock n roll riffs almost like MBV meets "Repeater" era Fugazi. "Laser Beam" is a hard hitting number that features the intensity of drummer Jeff Meyers alongside Derek Zglenski's rolling bass lines while "Golden Air" has an underlying 80's feel to it that I really enjoy. Vocalist/Guitarist Matt Hanemann shines throughout the entire E.P. but I think my favorite of the four songs is "Nor'Easter" as it channels the likes of The Replacements and Husker Du but with a more atmospheric approach which puts a refreshing spin on it all. I really can't say enough great things about this record. Get into it!!!

Holysun "Don't Care" Single (iamholysun.bandcamp.com)

Madrid's, Holysun recently dropped this amazing new single and I can't get enough. It's electronic beat, melodic base line and highly textured guitar riff blend together perfectly with the matter of fact style vocal delivery. Truly inspiring in every sense of the word and just as infectious. Hoping to hear an E.P. or LP from this project in the near future.

Oak Meadow "Afterall" E.P. (oakmeadow.bandcamp.com)

Oak Meadow is the brainchild of Boston musician Brian Hennessey. The beautiful guitar based "Concord" really gets things going with it's uplifting spirit and colorful presence. The marching pace of "Set Sail" has a very anthem like feel while the hook filled "Giants" showcases vibrant melodies and glistening undertones that radiate with beaming energy. Other highlights include the keyboard based "Moving On", the though provoking "Away We Go" and the breathtaking "Afterall" which ends with a sea of ambient vocals that really capture what Oak Meadow's sound is all about. High recommended.

RUNSDEEP "Return To Form" E.P. (runsdeep.bandcamp.com)

Oceanside, California shoegazers RUNSDEEP offer up an impressive batch of songs on their latest E.P. "Return To Form". Opening track "Traders" is driven by a gliding guitar riff and shuffling rhythm that creates a rich, hypnotic effect. "It Knows" also moves in a similar direction but with a little more swagger and hook. It's the type of song that has you humming along by the second verse and I really enjoy the dynamics and tempo changes they create here too. "Been Speeding" has a driving intensity to it while "Sing To Sleep" really mixes it up with an array of fuzzed out guitar sounds and lush atmospheric vocals. Everything winds down with the lulling sounds of "Letting Go" which closes things out in fine form. A truly brilliant E.P. that leaves me wanting more.

Sooner "Stranger" E.P. (soonermusic.bandcamp.com)

Led by Federica T's delightful vocal delivery, Brooklyn based band Sooner deliver six highly enjoyable tracks on their second E.P. "Stranger". Opening piece "Humid Air" is full of angular riffs that are backed by a pin point rhythm section. The shimmering sounds of "Notes From The Underground" and cinematic tones that make up "Mean" keep you on your toes while "Breathing" and "Lilly (Regrets)" are highlighted by the intricate and blissful guitar sounds that flow through them. At times the E.P. comes off like a soundtrack to a mini series, where each song would be featured in a specific episode. The songs all have their own unique personality but also mesh together to tell a cohesive story in the perfect way. Overall a very promising record that's colorful, hypnotic and warm.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Six Records CMM Wants You To Know

Another Heaven "IE" Single (anotherheaven.bandcamp.com)

"IE", the first single from the upcoming "FOR EVER FOR EVER FOR EVER FOR EVER FOR EVER FOR EVER " EP by Sludgegaze band Another Heaven is nothing short of stellar. It's well crafted song structure, dynamic guitars and lush vocal delivery will have you swooning along in no time and make you feel like you just took a tip through outer space and visited an unknown planet. B-side "(Entry Point to Recursive Loop)" is led by it's powerful bass line and galloping drums that accompany the modulated guitars and vocals well. Quite a nice pair of tracks that are sure to delight fans of effects driven shoegaze rock n roll.

Cupidcome "This Is Kenna's Song" Single (cupidcome.bandcamp.com)

This song is simply epic. I don't know specifically what the song is about or what the bands mindset was when it was written or recorded but it certainly speaks to me and takes me to a place that I like in my head. It's got a really gritty/filmy type vibe to it all that draws you in and makes you think. Psychedelic folk with a dirge driven, haunting like twist. A true beauty.

FINE CULT "White Glasses" E.P. (finecult.bandcamp.com)

FINE CULT is the brainchild of Illinois native Luke Woodson. The projects latest E.P. "White Glasses" is a hypnotic mix of dark psychedelic melodies, ambient soundscapes and rich shoegaze nuances. It's really the perfect blend of mind bending music. The title track and "Leave It At Home" really set the mood for things while "Your Loops" adds elements of pulsating synths to this ever evolving mix of vibrant sound. Closing piece "She Bends" serves as an amazing ending to everything as it's dark, haunting presence moves like swaying trees just before an unexpected thunderstorm. Highly recommended.

Megahaare "Powsy" LP (megahaare.bandcamp.com)

German rock n roll unit Megahaare blast through an eclectic collection of high energy yet quirky songs that come off like a mix between New York City No Wave, Devo and Ohio legends Boy in Love. Stand out pieces like "Sad Knightrider" and "Sunny Day In Antarctica" are both fun and frantic as the unpredictable vocal delivery of Marc Alongina compliments his jangling guitar sound in fine form. There's a deep underlying sense of relentless art that flows throughout this album that is sure to move you. It's that little touch of familiarity that counter acts all the chaos and colorfulness and molds everything together that makes it great.

No Hay Dolor "Laverdada" Single (nohaydolor.bandcamp.com)

Madrid is often described as the "Surf Music Capital Of The World". Now that surf type sound is certainly present on No Hay Dolor's latest single "Laverdada" however there is so much more than just that going on here as the band put together swirling seas of ambient textures and beautiful tones that loom underneath waves of reverb drenched riffs and powerful vocals. At times this has a Sonic Youth/Yo La Tengo feel which I obviously love and there's also a very primal almost tribal attitude to it too that really puts everything over the top. Do yourself a favor and blast this at full volume.

Sea, The Sun S/T E.P. (sea-thesun.bandcamp.com)

Loving this debut E.P. from London based post rock outfit Sea, The Sun. Opening track "Waves" starts with a section of bouncy, intricate and uplifting sounds before doing a total 180 into a sea of guttural darkness that eventually ends with a radiant swell of ambient bliss. "It Felt Like Drowning" combines a similar mood but also takes some drastic turns into more aggressive and angular territory while "Les Dents de la Mer" is a culmination of all of the bands sounds. The track ends with a sonic blast of electronic madness that's like an explosion of immense color. A fine debut from beginning to end. Can't wait to hear what they do next.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Six Records CMM Wants You To Know

Daniel Wade Monaghan "The Escapist. The Witch. The Dreamer" E.P. (octobersunn.bandcamp.com)

Tupelo, Mississippi's Daniel Wade Monaghan offers up an incredible new three song E.P. made up of dark, hypnotic songs that carry a cagey left of center stance. "The Escapist" is a guitar driven piece that's backed by pounding and at times tribal like drums that eventually give way to a more soundscape type feel that accompanies it's overall rock n roll presence well. Monaghan's vocals have a comforting yet haunting appeal to them that really gives the track a unique presence. "The Witch" has an even more sinister element to it that also delves into more shoegaze like territory which I really enjoy while "The Dreamer" might be the most intense track of the three as it's dark guitar riffs and dirge like rhythm offer the perfect balance between heavy and abstract. Highly recommended.

Evening Gown "Lakes Of Harmony" LP (eveninggown.bandcamp.com)

EPIC is the first word I'll use to describe this Berlin based duo's debut album "Lakes Of Harmony". There's a lot of Phil Spector style production and song structures here mixed with Cocteau Twins like ambiance, and it's the perfect combination. There are also some really rugged, dirge driven rhythms that loom underneath everything and give the songs a nice dose of grit. "Surprisingly" has a blissful glow to it that's like a light coming out of the shadows of an eerie landscape. "Mother's Womb" has a more hypnotic feel to it as it's shuffling beat and psychedelic tones make for a very colorful mix while "Spyglass" and "Karkunka" offer even more mind bending aspects to the record. Overall "Lakes Of Harmony" is an incredible debut sure to appeal to fans of dark, experimental sounds with a focus on songwriting. Excited to hear what this duo does next.

Netherlands "Black Gia" LP (www.thenetherlands1.bandcamp.com)

GOOD LORD. This album is truly devastating. Timo Ellis and company never let up through these 11 songs.This is stacked with riff after riff after riff that are sure to floor you. -Ton is the musical equivalent of being hit by a bulldozer if you were on a mixture of steroids, acid and speed as the song literally runs you over but in an amazingly colorful and artistic way as apposed to just sheer brutality. Tracks like "FANGORN" really let loose with some of the most insane song structures you will hear anywhere and I must add the drumming on this piece is off the charts. Title track "Black Gaia" carries a meditative stance that's both intriguing and intense as it builds and builds into an ambient flourish of percussion and drones before lulling back into hypnotic regions. Hands down one of my favorite records of the year.

Piramides "Desprender" LP (piramidespiramides.bandcamp.com)

Based in Santiago, Chile, Piramides deliver yet another beautifully well produced album, that's full of rich atmospheric tones and blissful soundscapes. Songs like "Caíste al Suelo", "Vicoria' and "Rastros" show off the bands incredible songwriting abilities and refined musicianship. These pieces are filled with catchy hooks and uplifting dynamics that make them all come off like individual anthems tied together in one album. "Refugio" is another stand out track that glides along with it's chiming guitars and infectious beat. It takes you through multiple moods and shows off a little more of the bands experimental side while the crawling pace of "León" adds a blast of intensity to everything that closes out the album in grand fashion. I really can't say enough great things about this record. Do yourself a favor and GET INTO IT.

Star Horse "Albatross" single (starhorse.bandcamp.com)

I can't get enough of this truly delightful new single from Swedish indie pop/shoegaze unit Star Horse. Maja's breathtakingly beautiful vocals mesh well with the bright atmospheric guitar tones and spot on rhythm section. The song has an angular, cinematic presence that makes you feel like you are floating in space with no return in site. Uplifting, comforting and warm. I can't wait to hear the bands new album "You Said Forever" which will be released February 15th via Startracks.

The Veins S/T E.P. (theveins.bandcamp.com)

From the opening guitar chord of "Harrowing" I was instantly hooked on this new E.P. from Australia's The Veins. It's "Mary Chain" like stance and undeniable swagger give it one of the coolest vibes you could ever ask for. After the lulling tones of "Swimming Pool Interlude" things give way to the infectious number know as "Razorblade Blues". It's reverb drenched vocals and distorted bass line are nothing less than perfect while the wavering shoegaze driven "Rockabye" is full of catchy hooks and subliminal nuances that make it anotehr top notch number from this ultra impressive release.

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.