That’s right, loyal reader; it’s the return of Funk Friday…at least for this week. I’m not sure if this is a full reinstatement, but I’m bringing you a lot of the new music I get, and this album from The New Mastersounds is among the new music I’ve received recently. So it seemed like a natural thing to feature this and bring back Funk Friday at the same time.
This album begins with “Old Man Noises,” (something I am sad to admit I am growing accustomed to – creaks, cracks, etc.). This song will get you grooving immediately. It is seriously funky, but it has a bit of psychedelia in the guitar. Before you know it, this song will have you moving your backside.
If you like piano-oriented jazz funk, “Morning Fly” is the song for you. This brings Herbie Hancock – and no, not that cheesy song from Beverly Hills Cop – to mind.
If you’re a longtime reader of this blog (and why wouldn’t you be?), you’ll know that I’ve addressed baby-making music on several occasions. What is baby-making music? Well, one thing is for sure: I know it when I hear it. “Soul Sista” is some serious baby-making music. This is a slow-burning funky groove with amazing vocals, and it is such good baby-making music that it would make Tracy Morgan proud.
This album leans pretty heavily toward jazz funk although songs like “Slow Down” remind me a lot of James Brown. It is largely instrumental and it will get you grooving while you marvel at the talent of the musicians. If you want to get your groove on – and make some babies – pick up Therapy from The New Mastersounds.
Heavy Glow is a band that found and followed me on Twitter. I checked out the band’s profile and saw this desription, “Hard rock steeped in psyche-soaked proto-metal, gutbucket garage rock and bone-deep 70s blooze.” I know that description wasn’t written for me, but it sure is a good way to grab my attention. And you know something? That description is pretty sound. If this doesn’t sound like a 70s band, then at the very least it sounds like a band from one of the 70s tribute compilations on Small Stone Records.
If you don’t believe me, just listen to “Headhunter.” This is some serious groove rock with meaty guitar riffs. And that solo. Holy cow! That is a solo that begs to be blared from the windows of a tricked-out ’74 Ford Econoline. You know, the kind that has a name painted in some funky font on the side.
The other song on the 7″ with “Headhunter” is “Mine All Mine.” This is another seriously groovin’ tune with a bass line that vibrates deep in your gut. The spirit of 70s rock is alive and well and you can hear it loud and clear in the music of Heavy Glow. So here’s what you do. Check out this band’s tunes and enjoy. Oh, and get ready because the band will release a new album on 3 June.
Jehosaphat Blow is a musician I first encountered a couple years ago, and I was immediately drawn to his raw and downright crazy sound. Or as Jehosaphat himself describes it, “rockin’ rock n roll, garagey-garage with a little soul and punk kind of space caveman thing.” Precisely.
You know, Mojo Nixon has a song about how rock n roll will never die because there will always be some kid on the playground singing like Little Richard and grabbin’ his tallywhacker. Now, I don’t know about the whole tallywhacker thing, but it’s easy to imagine that Jehosaphat Blow was one of those kids on the playground singing like Little Richard while strumming a guitar from Sears and banging on a bucket. Now he’s doing the same thing…only in his living room. Truth be told, he doesn’t really sing like Little Richard. Les Sexareenos is probably a better comparison. Still, you get the idea.
You could pick any song on this album as a good example of the raw energy and sound of this guy, but if you want some rock n roll to shake your soul, check out “Do the Cumquat.”
I don’t know about you, loyal reader, but I love songs that are sheer madness. You know, like “Surfin’ Bird.” Yes, it’s utter nonsense, but it’s catchy as hell. Well, Jehosaphat Blow has a lot of madness in his music, but there may not be a song on this new album with more madness than “Toshi’s Girl.”
Far be it from me to argue with the artist’s description of his own music. Allow me to say this though: this is the musical equivalent of a house on fire. And I don’t know about you, but I think that’s a pretty cool thing. If you like raw howlin’ rock n roll, get this new album from Jehosaphat Blow.
Once upon a time, loyal reader, we had Surf Music Sundays here at Incognito HQ. Well, last week I featured a surf compilation and afterward received a message from Robert Huffman, organist of The High Fidelics. Now, I don’t know if this is a full reinstatement of a weekly surf music feature, but it does make two weeks in a row now. If you’re all for it, let me know in a comment.
Upon visiting the Soundcloud page for The High Fidelics, the first song I heard was “Lil’ Curfew Breaker.” This song has a very classic surf sound about it – I’m not kidding when I say it reminds me of The Ventures.
That song is followed by “New Killer Ray,” which is a real shift in gears from the song that precedes it. This one has a more spacey sound and while it doesn’t remind me exactly of Man or Astro-Man?, it does bring that band to mind.
Now, I have to say that it wasn’t my intention (and perhaps still isn’t) to catalog every song I heard by this band. However, the band is just so good at changing it up from one song to the next that I feel I have to give you my thoughts on it. “Dance of the Tiny Knives” might be my favorite song by the band because it sounds like what would happen if you mixed surf rock with Russian folk music. Oh, and “Mondo Rondo” has a real exotica feel to it. This is the kind of surf song you play while sipping Zombies in your beach bungalow whose patio is lit with Tiki torches.
If you’re looking for an album you can sing along to, you’ll have to keep looking. However, if you’re looking for some really cool surf music, get to know The High Fidelics. Oh, and word ’round the campfire is that the band is working on some new songs that hopefully we’ll all get to hear in the near future.
Loyal reader, put yourself in my position; you receive a music submission that is compared to Black Sabbath. What do you do? Well, if you’re anything like me, you share this track with as many people as you can.
And it doesn’t take long to notice that the comparison of Gunpowder Gray to Black Sabbath is a good one. This is certainly riff-driven guitar with vocals that can only be described as big. Seriously, when you listen to this song, it feels like vocalist Chris Heffernan is right in the room with you. Not to mention that the rest of the band will knock you out of your full lotus too. I could sit here and tell you how great this track is, but you’d be much better off just listening to it yourself.
“Cut Me Out” will be available on a seven-song EP on Boris Records that will be released on Record Store Day (April 20). If you’re a metalhead, this is one you’ll want to add to your collection.
Welcome to another day of our new music bonanza here at Incognito HQ. I know you’re probably expecting Take ‘Er Easy Thursday, but I am working my way through a host of new albums. As I’ve mentioned before, one of the great things about doing this as long as I have is that now some bands are coming back around for a second feature. Last year, I featured a split 7″ of Arliss Nancy and Those Crosstown Rivals. Now Those Crosstown Rivals is back with a full-length album Hell and Back.
The album opens with the title track, and it’s a pretty good track to hook you. It starts with some groovy organ and a beat that will get your head moving. Then you hear the lyrics and you realize that – like a lot of great rock n roll songs – this is a song about the devil. Frankly, it’s hard to go wrong with a rock n roll song about the devil.
The next song “Ugly Side” opens with a riff that has the same loud and nasty quality you expect from Nashville Pussy. The drums in this song are amazing. It’s the kind of sound you would expect to hear from the drummer at an arena show.
I’ll be honest. I have to put this album on my ongoing list of albums that I’ll consider for my favorite albums of 2014. This is just a great rock record. This album will get you pumping your fist (just try listen to “Be a Man” without pumping your fist) and playing some wicked air guitar. Raucous guitars, driving rhythms, and volume levels that will make parents everywhere cringe: what more do you want? Hell and Back is available now on iTunes.
Bands, let me address you for a moment before I get to my review of Parallel Play. You have a number of ways to catch the attention of me and other potential listeners before we even hear a note of your music You can have a good band name (I have commandments about this), or cool cover art. Or like Parallel Play from Dallas, you can have a provocative album title like Take Your Pants Off. Now, while that name is eye-catching in any case, it is particularly eye-catching because I have two boys (the older of which is almost five) who frequently think that pants are optional.
This album was introduced to me this way: “bluegrass instrumentation in a rock band formation produced by Salim Nourallah (The Old 97′s) and engineered by Brian Lucey (The Black Keys).” Is there any wonder why I was intrigued? The mention of Old 97s was particularly interesting when I heard the first song “When the Trail is Cold.” This certainly features bluegrass instrumentation, but the energy (and the drums) remind me of Old 97s.
Another band that comes to mind when I listen to this band is Yonder Mountain String Band. Yes, I realize this is not a string band. However, it’s not just the melodies but also the harmony vocals that remind me of Yonder Mountain. “Take These Hands” is a good example of a song that falls into this particular category.
And hey, if you look at the track list, you’ll see a familiar song title: “Found out about You.” That’s right. This band covered a song by Gin Blossoms, and it did a fine job. Also, I have to give the band points for vocabulary in “She Smiles Upside Down.” I don’t think I’ve ever heard a band use the words philander and odious in the same song.
There is really a lot to like on this album. It’s a bluegrass sound with a rock n roll beat. It features some really solid musicians and amazing harmony vocals. If you like any of those things, give Parallel Play a try. Take Your Pants Off is available now on Bandcamp.
Just yesterday I said that I was going to try some freeform posts for the next couple weeks. That generally will be the case. It just so happened that I received some new music that is perfect for Trashy Tuesday.
These songs from The Urgent Kicks were included as part of a compilation of releases from FOLC Records in Madrid. The first song by the band on the compilation is “Life Goes On.” I’ll tell you what, loyal reader; this ain’t no “Ob-La-Di-Ob-La-Da.” This is honest-to-goodness garage rock n roll that serves as a punch to the gut (followed by an elbow to the ear) of all that boring pop music out there.
But wait! There’s more! That song is followed by “In the Wrong Place,” which reminds me of Ramones and – to a lesser extent – Jarvis Humby. And hey, if you think “Life Goes On” is a sonic punch, just wait until you hear “Nerd Row.” This one greets you with an uppercut when you’re doubled over from the punch to the gut. The band displays a furious energy and a dangerous volume level in this song.
This EP definitely leaves you wanting more. Not just because of the energy and volume, but also because it’s only five songs…and the longest song is 2:43. Yes, you read that correctly. If you want some songs to shake up your neighbors, get to know The Urgent Kicks.
Yes, loyal reader, I know you’re expecting ‘Billy Monday, but here’s the thing. I get a lot of new music all the time, and I feel like I need to do a better job of sharing it with you. This could be just a temporary thing where the posts are more freeform depending on the kind of music sent to me. Or it could be the birth of some new weekly themes. We will see.
Speaking of themes, you’ll recall that Sundays used to be dedicated to surf music. Well, whether or not the good folks at Ding Dong Records knew about that, they were good enough to send an amazing compilation of surf music. My first WOW! moment of this compilation came in just the second track “Old Man Summer” by This Machine Kills Robots. Some surf albums are great for playing in the car as you drive to the beach to surf. Other surf albums are good for playing at night in your beachside bungalow lit up by tiki torches. This song is perfect for a video montage of surfers wiping out. The guitar in this song sounds like what would happen if Dick Dale took a handful of uppers before he played.
I’m not going to go over each of the 22 songs on this compilation, but here are some definite highlights.
- Band names: Diablo Pussycat, The Mullet Monster Mafia, Surflamingo
- It includes favorites such as Insect Surfers, The Mystery Men?, and Kill, Baby…Kill
- And if you want a real highlight, just know that you can pick any song on this compilation and know that it is an absolute destroyer. Seriously, how many times do you get a compilation and you like maybe half of it? Well, you don’t have to worry about that with this compilation. This is great surf music from top to bottom.
Monsters of Surf is 22 songs (each by a different artist) of surf music that makes you want to get in your Woody, drive to the beach and “catch some tasty waves.” Or maybe make some Zombie cocktails. This is the perfect compliment to either.
Welcome to another edition of Feel-Good Friday, where we hope to sort of put a ribbon on your week of work and send you into the weekend feeling good. That is what Friday is all about.
And this song by Great American Taxi is just perfect for Feel-Good Friday for a couple reasons. First, just listen to the groove of this song. That alone should be enough to boost your mood. Then take a listen to the righteous lyrics like “I should be going to work, but I’d rather stay here with you instead.” Can I get an AMEN? Brothers, sisters, friends of the revolution, that is a commendable thing to do: skip work to spend the day with someone special. Oh, and those aren’t the only righteous lyrics. “It was a perfect day for a dalliance and a picnic.” I ask you, loyal reader, what day is not perfect for a dalliance, a picnic, or both? Frankly, if you can have a dalliance and a picnic, I’d say that’s a pretty tough day to beat.
But whether you have a dalliance or not, check out “Get No Better.” Hopefully, it will get you to forget about the work week behind you and to look ahead to the weekend…and maybe even start the weekend a little early.