Search This Blog

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.

"Here With You" an interview with Shoegaze/Post Rock band Reveries

Started in Walla Walla, WA in 2016 shoegaze/post punk unit Reveries just released their debut E.P. on cassette through CMM. I sat down with members Jonthan Avila and Jesse Flores to talk about their early musical experiences, the making of the E.P. and the current music scene in the Pacific North West. Pick up a copy of the cassette here.

CMM-What were you all's first musical memories and what bands/artists made the biggest impact on you all as musicians.

Jonathan Avila: When I was a child, my father had a KROQ compilation CD that included many Alternative Rock bands. The bands that stood out to me were The Cure, Berlin, and The Smiths. I always enjoyed the way they combined existentialism and love. Johnny Marr made a huge impact on me. I feel like every time I revisit The Smiths’ albums there’s always one riff that I didn’t catch the first few times around because of how layered his guitar work is. He’s very inspiring. Chino Moreno constantly inspires me to challenge sound. I think that’s why I navigate through different styles of music, mainly Alternative, and create a concoction of different “post-” elements.

Jesse Flores: My dad was always playing oldies on repeat growing up. We’re talking Earth, Wind, and Fire, The Temptations, Chicago, Tower of Power, stuff like that. Every trip in the car, every family gathering, every DIY home improvement weekend, there was ALWAYS music playing at my house. While under-appreciated at the time, it drove the household nuts but in retrospect, probably planted the love for music in me subconsciously. I started out like a lot of kids did, worshiping Blink 182 and trying to learn all the songs on guitar. I was a Pop-Punk kid at heart (still am) but when I discovered the textures, and different sounds guitars could make after discovering This Will Destroy You, my lust for effect pedals began and I become more interested in different kinds of gear. This led me to a more experimental writing style.

CMM-How did the band form and what took you all into the musical direction that makes up the bands sound?

JF: Jonathan and I had been in a project together years prior to Reveries and since have been “on-and-off-again” jam buddies. Jonathan had 2-3 songs he had in the works and hit me up to jam them. Once we fine-tuned the sound we were trying to go for, we brought on Ryan via Craigslist, who fortunately, was not a Craigslist Killer. He’s a rather nice guy, in fact. Once we had 4 songs somewhat formulated, Jonathan booked us a local house show gig and we had to phone-in a bassist. So we reached out to Jose, who was also in the old project with us (and others with Jonathan) because we knew he could learn and write bass parts quick. We all meshed well, musically, so we became an “official” band naturally. We never really had the discussion though, so maybe I shouldn't be so comfortable with my position. (Haha). JA: We wanted to create a sound that would appeal to our local community, which is mostly a retirement community. We’re the Florida of Washington State. After writing three songs, and practicing them, they became very tiring. Jesse and I weren’t thrilled about it anymore. Eventually, the sound began to take a different shape when we started adding lots of reverb, delay, chorus, and other effects.

CMM-What was the writing and recording process for the E.P. recordings like?

JF: Basically, a lot of tracking, not liking it, adjusting tone and trying different fx, and then re-tracking. We had the luxury of having our own recording gear at our disposal so we had the time to be picky about every little.part. We had recorded drums with a fellow Walla Walla musician, Bryan Henry, but everything else we recorded in a piecemeal fashion at my place. During the recording, is where we were really able to nail our vocal melodies and style that we wanted to go for as well as totally rewriting sections of my guitar parts on “Existential Anxiety” last-minute. With 1⁄2 the band living an hour away, it is not always easy to get all members together to write so we really do most of our writing in-studio and our practices take the form of live shows. Not the most ideal method, but I like to think it has sufficed thus far.

CMM-Any particular gear you used in the making of it?

Jesse’s pedals used for the EP include: EHX-Pitchfork + Deluxe Memory Boy, JHS Morning Glory, ZVEX Fuzz Factory, Strymon- BlueSky/Mobius/Timeline, and Walrus Audio’s Iron Horse (used for some of Jonathan’s rhythm parts). Jonathan’s pedals include: Fulltone OCD, DOD Turbo Chorus, EHX Cathedral, and BOSS Super Chorus Amps: Vox AC30C2 with channels jumped to get that “space rock” sound for Jonathan. Jesse recorded through his Fender Twin Reverb. Bass was recorded direct-in into a Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 using a Darkglass B7K Guitars: Squier J Mascis Signature Jazzmaster, Squier Classic Vibe Thinline Telecaster, and Fender Jazz Bass with Darkglass Tone Capsule.

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

JA: I think scoring a soundtrack for Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu would be amazing! The film would be about an immigrant dealing with mental illnesses: depression, anxiety, and paranoia that the universe is not on their side. This person coexists with people who feel the same way and have mental illness as well, but they’re too proud to admit it due to an image they’re trying to uphold. The film puts you in the two different pair of shoes. The film surrounds the immigrant with imagery of destruction, and the things that keep this person living (which would be up to interpretation).

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

JA-Right now the musical and artistic state of the Pacific Northwest is very dog-eat-dog. It’s very egotistical. There’s little to no support, and maybe that’s why we don’t see many PNW acts making it big out there. My current favorite local band is Hibou; a great dream pop act that’s underrated. We enjoy seeing shows at El Corazon.

JF-From what we personally experience, its hurting a bit. In our hometown, the favored scene consists of cover bands, blues/jazz, bar bands and country acts (around County Fair time). Which are all great in their own rite but the alternative scene has always suffered. There’s no venues or clubs for the alt scene so it falls on people putting on house shows which always run the risk of getting shutdown. We hope this will change someday. As far as other areas in the PNW, we’ve had a hell of a time getting on shows in the Seattle and Portland area. Venues seem to only be booking weekday shows which conflicts with our 9-5 lives and schooling, bands are unable to commit to show dates or ignore contact entirely, and other bands Jonathan had helped to get shows in Seattle ended up having a garbage turnout. It’s discouraging to say the least. But thanks to David Gross and his band The Lost Echoes, we will be playing in Portland for the first time on July 20th at Lovecraft Bar. We are playing with a band from Bellingham, Washington called Tetrachromat on July 6th and I just started listening to them. They are sweet. Go check them out! Some venues I enjoy visiting in the PNW are Wonder Ballroom and The Hawthorne Theatre in Portland. In Seattle, I like The Showbox

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

JA: For the most part we have found our sound, but there’s always new ideas inspiring us to challenge that sound. We want to explore different sounds. We hope to release a few singles following up to our LP release. We’re still unsure how many tracks we’ll have on it.

JF: This band came to be by heavy experimentation, so expect new content to be similar but hopefully fresh and not fitting into just one pigeon hole.

Monday, June 18, 2018

CMM's Twenty Favoriite Songs of 2018 (So Far)

2018 has already been a phenomenal year for new music. Here's 20 of my favorite songs from this year (So Far)...

1. Joan Of Arc "Real Punk Kid" (Joyful Noise Recordings)

A brilliant song that's as comforting as it is beautiful. Melina Ausikaitis voice is truly unique while founding member Tim Kinsella and the the rest of the band continue to explore new territories throughout the track. Absolutely inspiring.

2. Reveries "Existential Anxiety" reveriespnw.bandcamp.com

Seattle shoegaze/post rock unit Reveries offer up one of the most promising E.P.'s of 2018 as their self titled debut release is full of huge sounding guitars, underlying pop melodies and relentless drumming. Lead track "Existential Anxiety" is absolutely punishing and breathtaking.

3. Mayflower Madame "Premonition" (mayflowermadame.bandcamp.com)

This band never disappoint when it comes to creating dark and eerie music that is very reflective of the settings in their native Norway. "Premonition" continues down that dark path adding in layers of new nuances and curiosities.

4. Black Light White Light "King Kong" (blacklightwhitelight.bandcamp.com)

An excellent blend of shoegaze, 60's psych and 90's alternative rock. Just one of many top notch numbers from their latest album "Horizons".

5. Superchunk "Erasure" (Merge)

I can't get enough of this track. Super catchy, well delivered and sure to have you humming along in no time.

6. Guided By Voices "Space Gun" (GBV Inc)

Another stand out track from the always prolific GBV. "Space Gun" has quickly become one of my favorite GBV records.

7. Cushing "Little Devil" (cushingsound.bandcamp.com)

An amazing new track from this raging noise rock trio from Portland Maine. Their sound absolutely huge and the level of musicianship is off the charts.

8. Body Head "You Don't Need" (Matador)

Angular, menacing and dirge driven "You Don't Need" is pretty spectacular. Kim Gordan and Bill Nance create a haunted yet colorful dual guitar attack that's enhanced even more by the incredible production work of Justin Pizzoferrato.

9. Spiritualized "I'm Your Man" (Fat Possum)

This track is pretty much perfect. Can't wait to take in the entire new album.

10. I Need A Plastic Face "Debris" (ineedaplasticface.bandcamp.com)

So happy that this band reached out to me about there amazing music. Possibly the most original band I've come across in years.

11. Today Junior "Skate Punx" (todayjunior.bandcamp.com)

I've loved listening to all the Today Junior tracks that they have been releasing recently but this one is my favorite. Fun, catchy, uplifting and warm.

12. Whisper Suite "Sun" (whispersuite.bandcamp.com)

Canadian husband and wife duo Whisper Suite offer up this glowing track that showcases their incredible song writing abilities and rich vocal delivery and I've kept this one on repeat the last few months.

13. Get Up Kids "Maybe" (Polyvinyl)

Get Up Kids are back. Enough said haha

14. Forth Wanderers Nevermine" (Sub Pop)

Been loving on this band for a minute. So into this new record. Delicate, soothing and a little bit grey.

15. Guided By Voices "See My Field" (GBV Inc)

Another brilliant cut from their latest album "Space Gun". Incredible video too.

16. Sick Shit "Wet Lung (sickshit.bandcamp.com)

Blistering track off this New Jersey hardcore/punk outfits latest 7" "Thick Spit". The best hardcore band going today in my opinion.

17. Jon Spencer "Trash Can" (In The Red)

Unreal groove, unreal guitars. Just an overall bad ass track from the legendary Jon Spencer's first solo album out soon on In The Red.

18. Twilight Fields "When I Saw You" (twilightfields.bandcamp.com)

A touching and absolutely stunning track from Canadian recording project Twilight Fields aka Allister Thompson.

19. Deaf Wish "FFS" (Sub Pop)

Another inspiring stand out track from Deaf Wish. I can't get enough of the guitar sounds and the overall menace this band brings.

20. Yo La Tengo "For You Too" (Matador)

Such a comforting piece of music from these long running indie rock legends.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

"Blood Of Cushing" : Cushing vocalists/guitarist Serge Vladimiroff talks about the bands new record

Cushing is made up of three human beings, though in some cases there are four. All 3 or 4 members currently reside in Portland Maine, though none are actually from the city. The band utilizes 805.82 square inches of high quality audio drivers spread across three speaker cabinets positioned strategically on either side of the rather large drum kit (specs are a closely guarded secret). Here Vocalist/Guitarist Serge Vladimiroff gives us a little insight on the making of their new record "Blood Of Cushing" which is available now at from Custom Made Music.

CMM - So your new record "Blood Of Cushing" is out now on CD with vinyl to follow soon. What was the making of the record like and what is different about it compared to the first two releases?

Serge - "On Blood of Cushing we’ve expanded our sound a little but we’re still pulling from the same post-punk and noise rock roots that spawned the first two EPs. Lyrically there’s a lot of free association, sometimes I can’t help but be a little topical but I try not be too specific about anything so hopefully there’s room for people to bring in their own interpretations."

CMM - What was it like working with Todd Hutchisen AGAIN?

SERGE- "We had a great experience recording with Todd Hutchisen at Acadia Recording Company last time so it was a no-brainer to use him again for Bood of Cushing. Todd is great, he gets what we’re trying to do without us having to say much. And he’s always up for trying new things. We tried to give ourselves a little more time in the studio this time but in reality it was probably two and half days as opposed to one and a half days. Plus several nights of mixing."

CMM - Any exciting gear you all got to use during the sessions?

Serge - "We were able to play with a bunch of different amps and guitars. I’m pretty happy with the guitar sound. I split my signal between a Marshall JCM 800 in one room and a Carr Lincoln combo in the bathroom. I also doubled a few parts on a Fender Stat which I generally never play. Evan used a 70’s Orange OR120 and Gallien-Kreuger 800RB with his Kramer 450B aluminum neck for most of the bass parts. We also added some extra textures and sound with some piano, timpani and some vintage synths that Todd had on hand in the studio."

CMM- How about the song writing process. What was that experience like this go round?

Serge - "Evan contributed more to the songwriting here which was refreshing and added a new dimension to our sound. His riffs are the basis for both Super 16 and Little Devil. He also brought in all the found sound stuff you hear at the beginning of Industry. We ran those sounds into an Akai Headrush driving four combo amps, so that each of the four faux tape heads was routed to a different amp, creating a crazy, swirling sound cloud."

Friday, June 1, 2018

"Open and Shout" an interview with I Need A Plastic Face

I Need a Plastic Face is a band from Turin (Italy). By the end of 2017 they set up a basement studio and bought an electric organ - a Farfisa Matador - and started writing the songs that make up their debut album "Knick Knacks", which was recorded and mixed in 48 hours. Their main influence comes from The Velvet Underground in terms of coexistence between dissonance and pop harmonies, however the band is also heavily influenced by electronic music, shoegaze and noise rock. I got together with band members Paul Mellor and Massimiliano Alf to talk about their early musical experiences, the music and art scenes in Italy and the making of their debut album "Kick Knacks" which will be available as a cassette from CMM this summer.

CMM - What were you all's first musical memories and what's the first music each of you heard that made a major impact on you?

INAPF - Our first musical memories are respectively footage of a Slipknot's live show and an actual live show by Franco Battiato witnessed as a spectator at the age of four. These are also the first musical encounters that respectively had a major impact on us.

CMM - How did the band form and what took you all into the musical direction that makes up the bands sound?

INAPF- We met in Turin shortly after we both moved here. A common friend really wanted us to meet and since the first moment we were totally willing to form a band. In the first days we struggled hard to find a drummer, nonetheless we figured out that we were doing fine on our own and came into buying a sampler and an electric organ, which led I Need a Plastic Face to exist.

CMM - What was the writing and recording process for the recordings like?

INAPF - Our songs were born by playing along with each other. We had no idea what was going to happen each time. For what is concerned about the lyrics, they were written together and were rather written instinctively. The recording time took two nights of live sessions.

CMM - Any particular gear you used in the making of it?

INAPF - Our album is mainly made by the combination between the bass and the organ, which we found peculiar in the way they worked out together. The only exception is the leading melody of "Somehow you're Happy", which is played by a traditional chinese flute called "hulusi".

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

INAPF - We actually worked on the soundtrack of a film that we cannot speak about yet. Anyway we really hope to be working on a film about Tarkovskij's life, one day.

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

INAPF - The music in Italy is in a very crucial phase. There are plenty of interesting and special artistic realities throughout the whole nation. The only inconvenient is found in the lack of interest by the audience. Italian art is amazing. Our favorite local bands are too many to be mentioned, even though we would really like to endorse all of them. The same goes for many venues that work in a passionate and marvelous way.

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

INAPF - We only look to be sure that nobody will make any horrible jazz cover of one of our songs.