Tag Archives: Incognito pick of the week


Incognito pick of the week: Moonshine Millionaires

Bear with me for a moment, loyal reader. I know I mention my four-year-old son frequently when I write here. That is because he is often the first person I share new music with. No, I’m not kidding. He is a total sound hound, and he just devours music. He was with me when I picked up the Moonshine Millionaires EP from my PO box (sent to me by a former member of The Earps). Consequently, he wanted to hear it as soon as we got home (since the CD player in my car doesn’t work). Well, he took an immediate liking to it…to the point that he played it several times over the course of an entire weekend. I should note that he doesn’t like everything, so the fact that he played it as much as he did tells me he really found something in it.

And rightly so. This is good roots rock that brings two bands to mind: Georgia Satellites, and The Hideaways. The songs are pretty simple, but they showcase the skills (including songwriting) of the guys in the band. The title track in particular is the kind of song that makes you want to ask someone to slow-dance around a dark, beer-soaked barroom. The organ and the guitar give the band a sort of 70s southern rock sound. If you like old southern rock, check out Moonshine Millionaires.


Incognito pick of the week: The Wife Beaters

I know it’s been a while since I posted. I was on vacation, and then…blah blah blah. You don’t want excuses. You want music to rock that pretty little head of yours. Well, loyal reader, you are in luck. Now, if the name The Wife Beaters sounds familiar, then you certainly are a loyal reader. We featured this band (after an excellent introduction) on a Trashy Tuesday some months ago.

Before I get to writing about the music, allow me to say that the new album from The Wife Beaters also came with a good introduction that went like this, “Hey! We just woke up from a cactus-induced coma and released a new album…The Beat Goes On!”

I’ll tell you one thing: that cactus-induced coma produced some songs that are right up our alley here at Incognito HQ. Before even hearing a note of this album, I was hooked by song titles like “Scumbag Blues” and “Sleazy Places.” I’ll be honest. Part of me wants to make The Wife Beaters the house band at Incognito HQ.

So, what can you expect from the new album? More of the trashy sound you heard on the previous album. These boys are not afraid to make their sound down and dirty…and loud. To sum up this album, this song starts with a song about drag racing, and ends with a song about burgers. Seriously, what’s not to like about that? If that weren’t enough, you get some excellent trashy guitar sounds and some gut-rumbling bass. I could sit here and describe the album to you, but As always I invite you to judge for yourself. Just do yourself a favor and crank the volume on whatever you’re using to listen to these 17 tracks of wonderfully trashy goodness. And hey, if you feel like you need to go into a cactus-induced coma after listening to this, we’re not here to judge.



Incognito pick of the week: Chasing Mars

It’s a new world for musicians. They no longer need a label to put out their music. But beyond that, bands have to come up with new ways to market their music. Chasing Mars has come up with an ingenious idea for a good cause. For one week only, the band is offering t-shirt singles. Sounds unusual, right? Well, it is. The concept is simple. You buy one of the band’s t-shirts, and on that shirt is a code to download the band’s new single “Take You for Granted.” Which is cool for you, because now you’ve got a new shirt and a new song. However, it’s also good for the Ronald McDonald House, where all of the proceeds of the t-shirt sales will go.

If you’ve read this blog even once, you know we are all about supporting indie bands. In this case, you get to do more than that and support a good cause in the process. Everybody wins.


Incognito pick of the week: Borracho

Oculus is available now for download on Bandcamp (vinyl in November)

Oculus is available now for download on Bandcamp (vinyl in November)

Yes, I know, loyal reader. It’s supposed to be Funk Friday. Or maybe even Feel Good Friday. And here you see the pick of the week, which normally appears on Wednesday. Here’s what I can tell you. A wiser feller than myself once said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” I’ve planned to write about Borracho for at least three weeks, but let’s just say a whole lot of life happened. So, anyway…I do apologize for not delivering Funk or Feel Good Friday, but I think you’ll find this band worthwhile.

As I was randomly searching Bandcamp for fuzz rock (one of my biggest areas of exploration this year) one day, I came across this band. And you know something? These guys deliver the goods. LEt’s face it. One of the great things about fuzz rock (or stoner rock, or whatever you call it) is big, meaty guitar riffs. Well, you’ll certainly get your fill of those on this album. It doesn’t just sound like it was recorded in the 70s, it’s also formatted like a 70s rock LP with four songs longer than seven minutes long. I can see turning this over after the first two songs and playing Side 2 after enjoying the two songs on Side 1. All of the songs are a good example of the 70s sound, but “Know the Score” really grabs my attention with its wonderfully low, fuzzed-out sound. Just have a listen for yourself. And don’t miss the guitar solo in “Stockpile.”

If you’re a fan of Clutch, or anything on Small Stone Records, I have no doubt that you will thoroughly enjoy this album and the other offerings Borracho has available on Bandcamp. Do yourself a favor. Get this album, put it on, crank the volume, and share it with your neighbors. Who knows? This could be the new favorite band for everyone in your neighborhood.

Incognito pick of the week: Red Desert

Get your air guitar ready for the heavy groove rock of Red Desert

Get your air guitar ready for the heavy groove rock of Red Desert

What can I tell you, loyal reader? I’ve been listening to a lot of heavy groove rock recently. So I entered the term groove rock on Bandcamp and one of the bands I found was Red Desert from Minneapolis. This band definitely fits the groove rock category. If I had to describe this album with one word, it would be meaty. These are not ethereal guitar riffs. From the beginning of Damned by Fate, this band lives up to its motto: “Tune Down. Turn Up. Riff Out.”

The album begins with “Older No Wiser” and will immediately get your head moving up and down and your fist pumping.  Oh, and it will probably get you playing your best air guitar. In fact, you’ll probably want to have your air guitar muscles ready for this entire album. “Slow Kill” is one in particular that will have you slinging that air guitar. This song has a two-minute intro that is heavy on the guitar and drums.

In addition to tuning down, turning up, and riffing out, this band also believes in writing songs that are not three-minute songs that sound like they were made with a template. The shortest song on the album is “Blind Crossing” at 3:49 while most of the other songs are in the five- to six-minute range.

I’ll make this real simple. Instead of sitting here and telling you about the fat grooves produced by Red Desert, I will invite you to listen to the album in its entirety. I’ll tell you one thing for sure. Listening to this at work will definitely help drown out all the claptrap you don’t want to hear anyway.


Incognito pick of the week: Dreamers Dose

David Painter is the founder of The Mixtape Group in Los Angeles. I asked him to be our guest here at Incognito for the pick of the week about a Los Angeles band called Dreamers Dose. I expect this won’t be the last time David is a guest blogger here. Be sure to leave your comments and let him know you like his style.

At Least We're Happy will be available soon

At Least We’re Happy will be available soon

Nowadays, everyone is an artist or musician. There’s always that one guy (more like 4 or 5, but who’s counting?) who bring his fancy guitar to a party and attempts to play covers just to impress the ladies. The problem is there is no heart in what or how they’re playing! They don’t feel the song, they’re not giving you a glimpse into their soul. In the end it’s just some dude at a party with a guitar. The world needs true musicians, musicians who play because that’s how they express themselves, musicians like Dreamers Dose.

I won’t insult anyone by classifying the art created by these four young men. I’m not sure they even have a true formula when they’re writing songs, but I’d love to be a fly on the wall in their Los Angeles studio. The best description I could come up with is post-grunge, pop rock, indie new wave with a overflow of raw emotion.

Take for example their song “She Is Good.” It’s the modern man’s description for being an addict to toxic environments. A theme that’s been done over and over, yet Andrew Stoge’s takes you on a journey of an internal battle. It reminds me of a bipolar argument I’ve had in my head regarding an ex. Jesse Perlman’s guitar playing is a great example of channeling those sometimes overwhelming emotions into an overdriven crunchy tone with memorable licks.

Dreamers Dose recently released a single,  “Pray for Me, Fragile”, off of their anticipated forthcoming album, At Least We’re Happy ,set to release this summer. This song really showcases the vocal range of Andrew, as well as the talented, driven rhythm section comprised of drummer Josh Conway and bassist Levi Dylan. “Pray For Me, Fragile” was produced by Alain Johannes (Queens of the Stone Age) is a tribute to the musicianship of Dreamers Dose and their ability to tell stories using music. This song starts off with a more psychedelic arena rock sound before bringing it home to the hard hitting grunge rock heard on past tracks. If this is any indication to the songs on their upcoming record, I will definitely be checking out. You should as well, you’ll be happy you did.

David Painter (theheadphonechronicles.tumblr.com)

Incognito pick of the week: Lexington Field

Lexington Field: American fiddle rock

Lexington Field: American fiddle rock

I’m not going to lie to you, loyal reader. One of the great things about doing this is the steady stream of new music that comes my way. This one arrived in my PO box and my first impression of this San Diego band was the sticker inside the envelope declaring this “American fiddle rock.” That is a perfect description of the sound of Lexington Field. The second thing that caught my attention is that Incognito Guest List writer Matt Maulding plays the accordion on this album.

Now when you think of a fiddle in a rock band, what sort of music comes to mind? Probably Celtic rock. There is some heavy Celtic influence in this band, but while a lot of Celtic rock bands go heavier on the Celtic, this one goes heavier on the rock. First off, this is a rock n roll fiddle if I’ve ever heard one. Secondly, these guitarists are not afraid to show off their chops. Just listen to the song “Fireworks” and “The Chemical Worker’s Song” and see if you disagree. Also, there is some real anger in the vocals. All that being said, Lexington Field also has some amazing harmonies in its tunes. “Daniel Plainview Has a Drinking Problem” is a great example of the harmonies you’ll hear from this band.

One thing this band has in common with a lot of Celtic rock bands is that it is not afraid to put a heavy message into its songs. Take “The Chemical Worker’s Song” for instance. In this song, Beau Gray sings about how every day as a chemical worker brings you two days closer to death. “Cursing The Man” is another good example, but more than that it is also easily relatable. After all, most of us probably curse The Man every day.

No Man’s War is an album filled with emotional rocking songs. Fourteen of them, so you certainly won’t feel cheated. If you like Celtic rock, I have no doubt that you will like this band also. No Man’s War is available now.

Incognito pick of the week: The Vandon Arms

No Loyalty Among Thieves: early consideration for the best of 2013

No Loyalty Among Thieves: early consideration for the best of 2013

If you are thinking the name of this band sounds familiar, you are right and you are one loyal reader. Around the time of the Euro Cup, I wrote about the song “My Football Team’s Got Me Drinkin’”. Well, the boys are back with their first full-length album and it is a good one.

The album begins with “One Hell of a Night.” This song is similar in both energy and theme to The Mahones, particularly “A Great Night on the Lash.” I like not only that this song recounts a great night on the town, but also laments the tastes of people who load up the jukebox with unbearable music.

Like a lot of Celtic punk bands, this band has a lot of songs about drinking. (Don’t try to tell me that you don’t like songs about drinking. I see the stats for this blog, loyal reader.) My favorite song about drinking on this album is “Tie One On.” This rallying cry to a night of drinking features some really good work on the mandolin. The band also covers a couple classic Irish tunes like “Waxie’s Dargle” and “The Moonshiner.” Also like other Celtic punk bands, The Vandon Arms puts its own stamp on these classic Irish drinking tunes.

No Loyalty Among Thieves is a really good album. It is 13 songs of hard-driving Celtic punk that will get you stomping your boots and calling for your favorite Irish whiskey (it’s not just for St. Paddy’s Day, you know). It also has to get some early consideration for one of my favorite albums of the year.  If you like Celtic punk – especially The Mahones – I have no doubt that you will love the new album from The Vandon Arms.

The Vandon Arms on Facebook

Twitter: @thevandonarms


Incognito pick of the week: Piñata Protest

El Valiente is available now

El Valiente is available now

OK, loyal reader. Let’s play a little word association. Just blurt out the first thing that comes to your mind. Ready? Accordion. Was punk rock the first thing that popped into your head? Well, it might be after you hear Piñata Protest. How to explain this band. Well imagine if you took the Tex-Mex sounds of Texas Tornados, and made them louder and faster. That’s a good start to getting a feel for this band.

“Life on the Border” is an interesting song. This one sounds more like the Celtic punk of The Mahones than the Tex-Mex sounds of “Vato Perron.”

Did you ever have one of those days or nights that you knew you would regret, but you didn’t care? Pinata Protest wrote a song about that. In fact, the song includes the lyrics, “tomorrow we’ll regret today.” The next time you’re going to have a tomorrow to regret, make this your anthem.

The band has two interesting cover songs on this album: “Volver Volver” and “Cucaracha.” “Volver Volver” is not quite the ballad done by Vicente Fernandez. Mind you, the tempo is slower than some of the other songs on the album…until the end where the song takes on a tempo that would make Three Bad Jacks proud. As for “Cucaracha,” I’m willing to bet you’ve never heard a version of the song quite like this one. It has the familiar horns, but it’s also loud both in the melody and the vocals, and like a lot of punk songs, it’s very short. It’s about as much fun as a one-minute song can be.

El Valiente (Cosmica Records, 2013) is available now.

Incognito pick of the week: Here Come the Mummies

Cryptic is available now

Cryptic is available now

Loyal reader, I hope you don’t mind that I’m doubling up on the funk this week. Yes, I have the weekly Funk Friday feature, but what am I supposed to do when a new album from Here Come the Mummies is available this week? Besides, can anyone legitimately complain about too much funk?

The album kicks off with “You Know the Drill.” This song begins with some funk that brings Average White Band to mind. It will get your head and your hips moving. Then it breaks into the sort of guitar solo you’d expect from Living Colour. It’s an interesting blend of funk, hard rock, and psychedelia.

Funk is the meat and potatoes of this band, but it does a good job varying the sound from one song to the next. “Chaperone” is a blend of 70s R&B with some hard rock guitar. “Devil Better Run” sounds like it should be the anthem for some underdog movie. It has that sound that would go perfectly with the underdog overcoming all odds to accomplish what seems impossible. “Cruel Old Sun” has a good funk base, but it also has a good reggae groove. So, just to recap, this band covers funk, hard rock, psychedelia, anthemic rock, and reggae. Did I mention that’s all in the first five songs of the album?

If you asked me to pick one favorite song on the album, I’d say “Petting Zoo.”  As you might imagine, it’s not about a place you take the kids. The lyrics in this song are genius. Rather than detail the lyrics for you, I’ll just invite you to listen for yourself.

If you like to get funky, Cryptic from Here Come the Mummies is a must to add to your collection.