Category Archives: new music

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Incognito pick of the week: Off Orbit

Some people might classify me as a music snob, and they may have a point. There may be a bit of snobbery in my musical tastes, but…I don’t know. Think of it as quality control. In my defense, for a music snob, I sure do have a vast array of music in my collection. Also, it can be surprisingly easy to catch my attention if I am in fact a music snob.

Take Off Orbit (from Miami) for instance. This band reached out to me and pretty much had my attention by advertising itself as a rock-funk-jam-blues band. I’m a fan of all of those genres. “Transient” is a good example of the melange of sounds this band offers. It definitely has a funky rhythm – particularly noticeable at the beginning of the song. It turns pretty heavily toward the psychedelic jam-band sound. And there’s even a pretty good rock n roll guitar solo in this tune.

If that description sounds a bit like a musical gumbo…well, I’d say that’s a pretty good way to classify this band. After all, it takes a lot of things to make this band’s sound as great as it is…just like a good gumbo. Every song features layer upon layer of sound. Oh, and if you like that psychedelic jam-band sound, you’ll love the song “Perjury.”

If you’re like me, and you dig funky, bluesy jam bands, do yourself a favor and check out Off Orbit.

This is not the response you want when listeners hear the first song on your album.

Bands, your track listing is important

I know you’re expecting Trashy Tuesday. I also know that I don’t normally let anyting stand in the way of Trashy Tuesday. However, I have a couple deadline pieces due in a couple days, so I’ll just check in with this quick hitter.

I know that music has changed and people don’t always listen to songs in the order in which they appear on an album. That being said, even in a digital format, it’s important to have a real attention getter as your first track. I started listening to an album on Soundcloud last night, and was nearly ready to turn it off after about 20 seconds of the first song. Being the fair guy that I am, I decided to just skip the first song and move on to the second one. Ultimately, I found the album pretty good, but think about that previous sentence. I skipped the first song. Now maybe that’s just different strokes for different folks. Maybe lots of people really enjoy that first song. But here’s the thing. You don’t want to risk losing your audience with the first song on an album. There is an easy way to go about this. Lead with the one that gets the most consistently good response from people you play it for. If you need a good example of a great first song on an album, try this one on for size.

 

The Matadors - the evil powers of psychobilly

‘Billy Monday: The Matadors (Say You Love Satan)

Yes, it’s the day after Easter and I’m writing about an album called Say You Love Satan. No one ever said my timing was impeccable. Or is it? If The Matadors sounds like a familiar band, that tells me you are in fact, a loyal reader. I have featured this band once before on ‘Billy Monday.

I should say that this band earns points for kicking off its album with a song called “Shake Your Fornicator.” Hey, singing about fornication worked for Mojo Nixon. why not for The Matadors also? Besides, rock n roll has had songs about fornication forever.

 

If you had to describe “Three Wolf Moon” in just one word, rumbling (or rumble) would be a pretty good choice. The bass definitely gives the song its rumble. The overall feel is not unlike “Hot for Teacher.”

By now you know that one thing I like to include in my reviews is the perfect setting to listen to a given album. I would say the perfect setting for listening to this album is in a garage with a healthy supply of PBR tall boys and a hot rod. I should also say that in this setting, the spent tall boys would be thrown against the wall of the garage with no thought to pick them up until the effects of the PBR have worn off.

If you like rumbling psychobilly with a touch of evil, The Matadors will fit right into your collection. Say You Love Satan is available now.

Frames by Teenage Gluesniffers will be available soon

Trashy Tuesday: Teenage Gluesniffers

Teenage Gluesniffers is an Italian punk band (from Milan) that first made its introduction to me with its previous EP, which I reviewed in the 12th issue (March 2013) of the magazine. I liked the bands energy and the classic snotty punk sound that the band put out. Well, the band is back with another EP and the snotty sound is still there. So is the energy. This band isn’t interested in making pop-punk ballads, just songs played loudly and at a blistering tempo.

“The Raven” is an excellent song. It moves along at the tempo I’ve come to expect from this band, and then it reaches the bridge, in which the sound shifts a bit toward metal while someone narrates part of the poem by Edgar Allan Poe. At 4:10, this song is practically a marathon for Teenage Gluesniffers.

“My Armageddon” is another great example of the furious energy of the band. This song doesn’t slow down for a second. It is just 2:57 of rock that will make you pump your fist and sing along.

Frames is not available yet, but you can hear some tunes by this band on Bandcamp. If you’re a fan of punk, you will love this band.

 

Sing along if you don't wnat to do your job anymore.

Take ‘Er Easy Thursday: Hot Shorts

Welcome to another edition of Take ‘Er Easy Thursday, loyal reader. You’ve almost made it through another work week and your reward is a tribute to a man who doesn’t believe in work. An’ I’m talkin’ about The Dude here. The Dude…in Los Angeles. He’s high in the running for laziest worldwide, and that’s just one of the things we find so durned innerestin about him.

Now, if you’re a Dudeist, maybe you already live a life full of driving around, the occasional acid flashback…you know, the usual. However, if you’re not that lucky and you still have to go to a job every day, know that you’re not alone. There are many Dudeists out there who don’t have the necessary means for The Dude’s life of leisure. Still, we probably think every day about leaving our job and never going back.

 

Hot Shorts has written an anthem for us called ” I Don’t Want To Do My Job Anymore.” I mean the title says it all, but of course you can’t have a song that’s just a title. Then the band comes up with a line like “I’m not even that good at it.” Can I get an “Amen”? My only beef with this song is that it’s too short. But then, work – even when it’s recording a song – is hard. Which is why we celebrate The Dude. Who am I to blame the band for a short song about hating work when it says everything it needs to say? Because after all, any criticism I might have about the length of the song is just – like – my opinion, man.

Well, that about wraps ‘er up. Until next time, you take ‘er easy. I know that you will.

The Smokin' Burnouts: music for Hell's cocktail lounge

Trashy Tuesday: The Smokin’ Burnouts

The Smokin' Burnouts (pretty much) had me at hello

The Smokin’ Burnouts (pretty much) had me at hello

You know in Jerry Maguire when Renee Zellweger says “You had me at hello.” Well, The Smokin’ Burnouts (from Austin) came pretty close to that with the introductory email sent to me. Why? Frankly, because The Smokin’ Burnouts is a great name for a band. It brings to mind those miscreants from high school who would gather under a tree (or wherever) and smoke.

I went to the band’s ReverbNation page and was immediately greeted with the raucous sounds of “Hill Country Express.” This is a bit like a Johnny Cash song…if it were performed by some combination of Supersuckers and Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers. It’s kind of a menacing tune that is equal parts rock n roll and rockabilly.

http://www.reverbnation.com/thesmokinburnouts

And if you think that’s menacing (trust me when I say I mean nothing negative by that), just listen to “Route 666.” About two minutes into the song, the band borrows a riff from AC/DC’s version of “Baby, Please Don’t Go.” Aside from that, I’d say that this sounds like the perfect song for Hell’s cocktail lounge.

If you like your rock n roll loud and fast (and perhaps a little evil), check out The Smokin’ Burnouts.

 

The Lonely One is available now

Mondo Monday: The Volcanics

On a recent trip to my P.O. box, I found four surf CDs from the good folks at Double Crown Records. (If you’re a fan of surf music at all, Double Crown is a label you should get to know.)

One of the CDs I found is The Lonely One by The Volcanics. Now, a lot of surf music can be kind of mellow. If you’re expecting mellow at the beginning of this CD, prepare to be surprised. This album begins with an explosion of sound called “Kanack Attack.” The rumbling rhythm at the beginning of the song is a bit like a punch to the gut. Then comes the guitar, which is just amazing. This is the kind of thing that makes guys wish they could play surf guitar.

You know in those old beach movies where a surf band sets the tone for a beach party? Well, The Volcanics provide music for a different kind of party. If you were hosting a kegger and you wanted it to have a surf theme, “Keg Party” would be the song. To put it another way, just imagine if the guys of Delta Tau Chi hired a surf band instead of Otis Day and the Knights.

This album is filled with songs that will get your head moving (try “Del Rey” for instance), whether you’re sitting in your cubicle or driving to the beach to catch some waves. If you’re a fan of instrumental surf, this will be a welcome addition to your collection.

Incognito pick of the week: Witching Waves

A couple days ago, I posted about the new release from The Creeping Ivies. That same day, an introductory message came from Witching Waves. The band introduced itself as “great, noisy indie punk.” Oh, and it’s a duo. And if you have read this blog at all, you know that a noisy indie punk duo is going to catch my attention more often than not.

And sure enough, I was hooked immediately on hearing the primitive rhythm at the beginning of “Concrete.” Add a fuzzy guitar part and really cool harmony vocals, and let’s just say that resistance on my part was futile.

This band really brings to mind 80s bands like Killing Joke. This has the same sort of dark mood although Witching Waves leans a lot more toward garage punk than Killing Joke. This band is noisy, fuzzy, loud, and primitive. I ask you: what’s not to like?

Oh, and for all you other bands out there…we are always accepting submissions. I’ll never know if I like your music if you don’t give me the chance to hear it. Take a lesson from Witching Waves, who reached out to me and ended up as our pick of the week.

Primitive...that's how The Creeping Ivies live

Trashy Tuesday: The Creeping Ivies (Ghost World)

If you’re at all familiar with this blog, you know that Scottish duo The Creeping Ivies is one of my favorite bands. Well, loyal reader, I’m happy to announce that the band has a new full-length album entitled Ghost World. And you know something? This band just keeps getting better.

What is it about this band that attracts me so much? The first thing is the raw energy of this band. In every song, Duncan pounds out a primitive rhythm on the drums while Becca Bomb attacks the guitar and sings with a voice that is soulful and a bit spooky at times (which is fitting for an album called Ghost World). The new album has the energy and sound I’ve come to expect from The Creeping Ivies, but it also has a couple twists from previous albums. The title track includes some harmonica, which is very much in the background but provides another welcome layer to the song.

If you’re unfamiliar with this band and want to get a good sense for the sound, check out “The Bridge.” This song is psychedelic (a little), trashy (a lot), and features the howling vocals I’ve come to expect from Becca. And if you think howling is a bad thing, then you probably don’t like rock n roll.

The other curveball comes in “Dream Baby Dream,” a song that features some excellently greasy saxophone. It is an excellent compliment to the psychedelic guitar and primitive rhythm.

If I come across as a fanboy when I write about this band, it’s because I am. The first time I encountered The Creeping Ivies was on a Garage Punk compilation, and I’ve been hooked since then. The thing is, when I saw that the band had a new album, I was excited not only for me but also for my five-year-old son, who is also a big fan of the band. If you like your rock n roll raw, Ghost World will fit really nicely into your collection.

Intergalactic Freedom Fighter is available now on Spotify

Incognito pick of the week: The Grasstronauts (Intergalactic Freedom Fighter)

Once upon a time, loyal reader, (December, 2012 to be precise) The Grasstronauts was one of our featured bands in the magazine. So when I heard that the band has a new EP available, I was anxious to check it out. Not just because the band is that rare musical breed – a string band – but also because it is a really good band.

It doesn’t take long to figure out that everyone in this band knows how to pick with the best of them. Focus on any one of the instruments in this song and you’ll hear that these guys are impressive. The mandolin and banjo move the song along at a good pace, while the guitar is a bit more like a rhythm instrument in this song. Then it’s all wrapped up with a bass line that is sure to get your toes tapping.

The sound of this band reminds me a lot of Yonder Mountain String Band. It is a sound that is both traditional and modern. Also on this album, the band sings about a theme sometimes visited by YMSB (like “Holdin’”) with the song “Reefer Roach Blues.”

Now, if you’ve ever read this blog before, you know that I am a sucker for a song with a good message. On this EP, that song is “Tiny Pebbles.” Just dig these righteous lyrics.

Realize with life there is no winner of the race

There’s no need to worry on and on

Time will fly on by before you know it is gone.

See what I mean? Righteous. It’s a message we probably all need to hear repeatedly. After all, a message like that never gets old, and we humans frequently forget messages like this one.

Intergalactic Freedom Fighter is a great example of what an EP should do. It gives you a good taste of the band, but still leaves you wanting more. If you’re a fan of string bands, and Yonder Mountain in particular, this EP will fit perfectly in your collection.

http://youtu.be/2gImzjRLHmA