Ballad Of Geraldine S/T E.P. (balladofgeraldine.bandcamp.com)
A fine debut from this Halle Germany based band who's sound mixes the best of Kill Rock Stars inspired punk and psychedelic pop. "I Want You" has a strong 60's girl group presence with it's simple chord structure and raspy vocals. It's catchy and cool and will sit well beside some of your favorite garage rock classics. "Mine" is a quick two minute rocker full of surf guitar sounds and underlying angst that brings to mind The Wipers, Huggy Bear and Wire. "What's The Deal" is more melodic and moody, highlighted by a climbing ethereal guitar riff that creates an element of mystic and intrigue. An excellent collection of smoke filled, stripped down enticing rock n roll.
Julius Earthling make songs full of unbelievable charm and originality and their latest E.P. "NFL Bliss" is catchy, quirky and complex as the band blend a healthy dose of absurdly technical math rock with an indie pop sensibility. "The Faint Stew" starts off with dream like vibes that quickly give way to a barrage of twists and turns pulling you into all kinds of directions before settling back into a driving climatic ending. "575" features a buzz saw power chord presence matched with twangy reverb filled leads and a bridge that has a tinge of alternative dance rock flair. "Mind Grind" really ups the ante filling the song with a powerful riff and multiple tricked out leads that come off like Jawbox doing an improvised jam with Robert Fripp while "Motorcycle Trix", "2Kool4Skool" and "Tripper" further fuel the fires of extraordinary technical magnitude. Behind all this intricate musical wizardry is an incredibly captivating voice that puts forward a sense of warmth and atmosphere making the songs even more unique. A stellar record to say the least.
Brooklyn alt-rock heavyweights Paper Apes, debut is a full on blast of crushingly atmospheric rock n roll. Opening track "One" pulls no punches with it's wall of distorted guitars and pounding drums capped off by the dynamic voice of singer guitarist Dan Boscov-Ellen. "Indian Summer" is quicker and a bit more catchy but much more twisted and psychedelic. It adds a college rock vibe to the mix that's sure to be embraced by fans of Pavement and Built To Spill. "Sekhmet" delves into more ambient territory and has a truly beautiful section that again showcases Boscov-Ellen's incredible voice while "Siren Song" captures Guitarist Justin Purtle's angular riffs and dark tones alongside an underlying feel of hope. The intricate playing of Bassist Will Castellucci and Drummer Josh Weinberg comes to the forefront on "Heatwave". It's a complex track that puts an abrasive twist on the sounds of classic NYC bands like Television and Talking Heads. Overall their top notch song writing is Paper Apes biggest attribute. They know how to set a mood and create wonderful sounds around it. Certainly a band to watch in 2015.
Silence Through The Rain E.P. 1 (silencethroughtherain.bandcamp.com)
Silence Through The Rain combine post rock and synth pop sounds that channel the spirits of New Order,The Shamen and Depeche Mode. "Forevermore" starts with a catchy guitar riff backed by a fluttering synth tone and desolate vocals. The layers of striking guitar melodies build towards a wave of distortion and darkness. The mid tempo "Equilibrium" is a moody track that features an almost orchestral feel full of haunting tones and shimmering nuances. "Post Everything" focuses on the work of the rhythm section with it's trance inducing drumming and dynamic bass runs. It harnesses all the elements of the bands sound as they lock into a droning trance like state. An impressive collection of gloom and doom full of infectious hooks sure to inspire repeated listening.
The Be Colony "Settling Down" Single (thebecolony.bandcamp.com)
"Settling Down" is a brilliant piece of psychedelic pop from Fort Wayne Indiana band The Be Colony. It's go go beat and laid back bass line set the tone while the spaced out vocals show off a dynamic range and top notch quality in the vein of Tommy James & The Shondells. The guitar leads only add more favorable textures with their bursts of blistering fuzz and shimmering echo. Think ?Mark & The Mysterians, Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels and The Delta 72. One of those songs that just feels great to sing along to.
Long Island instrumental band To Sail Beyond The Sun impress on this brand new six song E.P. Opening track "Reflections" begins with a very delicate slow moving chime filled riff that eventually explodes into a huge wall of sound that's like diving off a hundred foot cliff into the ocean. "Wanderers" has a more abrasive side that's backed by a thunderous beat, enhancing the cinematic vibes throughout the track. "Nazare" is fast and intricate and possibly the most spacey sounding of all the songs. The different movements flow very well together taking you on a hypnotic roller coaster ride. The pulsating bass line that drifts in mid track adds a really nice touch. "Stargazer" travels further into uncharted territory with it's other worldly guitar tones, while "Godspeed" closes out the E.P. in crushing fashion delivering a knock out blast of menace and power. A sonic journey through beautifully crafted ambient landscapes.