Vol. 10 Issue 117 June 2015


June. It’s already June. One minute you’re complaining about the snow, and the next minute the Mets are 5 games over .500. Wait, can that be right? I think that means we are in for a weird summer. I mean, that’s some “cats and dogs, living together” style weirdness we should be on the lookout for. So before Zuul and Gozer start raining ectoplasm down on our fair city, take a minute to listen to some new tunes from Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Wild Yaks, Kinski and more!


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Click to see:
Barsuk
Ernest Jenning
Caldo Verde
Kill Rock Stars

Barsuk

www.barsuk.com/

Mates Of State picture

Mates Of State

"You’re Going To Make It EP"

Who’s the cutest indie rock band out there? That’s right, Mates of State. I just want to pinch their cheeks like Aunt Mabel likes to do, they’re so adorable. For those of you who don’t know (and there are very few – MoS has been around since 1997!), cute girl Kori Gardner is married to cute boy Jason Hammel, and together they are super cute together, and their particular brand of indie pop is created with guitars and keyboards (and good vibes). Their newest EP, You’re Going to Make It (Barsuk), is like the most adorable record I’ve ever heard. It’s filled with would-be pop hits, because Gardner and Hammel are great at writing them. And its title speaks the truth, because we ARE all going to make it! One listen to this record and you will believe every one of us is going to be friends and we’ll all laugh and sing and fall in love over and over again. So grab your balloons and ride that rainbow through the clouds to the tune of the Pomplamoose-meets-Karmin pop ecstasy of “Beautiful Kids.”

Trails And Ways picture

Trails And Ways

"Pathology"

I don’t know about you, but every summer I say to myself “Okay self, it’s summer.” I know, that’s pretty boring. Good news, I say other things, like “how much beer can we drink this summer. I bet a lot.” I also say “what’s the super-summer-y sound that’s gonna be my humid soundtrack this year.” I always need a breezy, poppy cali-album to help me feel like a kid again. My guess is that the one this year is gonna be Pathology (Barsuk) from Trails and Ways. Warm and inviting like the best kind of friends, poppy and literate simultaneously, somewhere between late-era Talking Heads and Vampire Weekend at their least Graceland moments. With a bit of neo-beach thrown in for good measure, get ready to sweat through all your shirts to this one. Check out the hook-heavy synth-shimmer of the first single, “Skeletons.”

Ernest Jenning

www.ernestjenning.com

Wild Yaks picture

Wild Yaks

"Rejoice! God Loves Wild Yak"

Don’t they always tell you never to judge a book by its cover? (And you know who “they” are: hateful, murderous librarians bent on world domination, that’s who – why do you think they need your social security number before giving you a library card?) Well, sometimes “they” are actually wrong. Case in point, this Wild Yaks album, Rejoice! God Loves Wild Yaks (Ernest Jenning Record Co.), has the best name (and Wild Yaks is a pretty good band name too). I’d listen to it based on the title alone, and I usually don’t do that unless there’s a killer joke in the title. (That’s how I got my copy of Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! That’s a joke, right?) Good thing the Yaks back up their talk with a ripping song cycle at times recalling Olivia Tremor Control, Rogue Wave, and even labelmates Trummors and O’Death.  New, and improved, with a horn section! (The horn section sounds totally rad.) Imagine Here We Go Magic and Olivia Tremor Control battling for supremacy on the standout “Paradise.”

Caldo Verde

www.caldoverderecords.com

Corrina Repp picture

Corrina Repp

"The Pattern Of Electricity"

For the first time since 2006, Corrina Repp is releasing a solo album. In the time between then and now, she has mostly been concentrating on her work with Joe Haege as Tu Fawning. before that group disbanded in 2013. This time around, ear ear for melody is the star. Also starring her swift grasp of vibe, The Pattern Of Electricity (Caldo Verde) is a moody, low-key beauty. It also stars (what can I say, it’s a star-studded event) her gorgeous, husky voice. Basically, it stars all things Corrina. Songs are in soft-focus, just out of reach. It’s like every song would be the last tune on someone else’s album. You know, when bands feel like they can be as sleepy and sparse as they want to be? Yup. Whole album of that marvelousness. Like a collaboration of The Sea And Cake (at their sleepiest) fronted by Cat Power. Yeah. You’re right. That does sound awesome. So does “Set Fire,” so check it out.

Kill Rock Stars

www.killrockstars.com

Kinski picture

Kinski

"7 (or 8)"

You know how most bands mellow with age? Well, whatever you do, please don’t tell that to Kinski. The years have been kinder to this band than they were to Dick Clark. Formed in ’98 due to a bar conversation about analog recording, they have dropped all of the prefixes to their rock, and just straight up rock now! Blistering, fuzzed-out, full-blown assault-riffage right up the nasty bits! (ouch!) Maybe having Phil Manely of Trans Am record and engineer the album has something to do with this, but I don’t think that’s the case. They have been getting louder and faster for albums, and it’s like 7 (or 8) (Kill Rock Stars) finds the band hatching out of their spacey cocoon and emerging as a bad-ass heavy metal butterfly! Ok, it’s not really heavy metal (unless you call Trans Am heavy metal. In which case, I bet you drew some interesting band names on your folders back in the day). Check out the joyous riff-blitz of “Flight Risk.”

Click to see:
Polyvinyl
Mexican Summer
Summer Fiction
DFA
Sargent House

Polyvinyl

https://www.polyvinylrecords.com

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin picture

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin

"The High Country"

Somewhere between Spoon at their most snappy, Weezer at their most Pinkerton-y, and Cheap Trick at their most melodic comes the sound-redefining sound of the new album from Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved what these boys do, but The High Country (Polyvinyl) is a special kind of awesome. Capturing the energy of their live performances perfectly (which, btw, if you’ve never seen them live, you are missing out. These dudes know how to rock) and building on everything they’ve done before, this is the one that makes all the people take notice. Seriously, it’s that good. We rarely gush, gushing isn’t cool, and we are cool. But damn if this album isn’t cooler that our ability to maintain our cool. Guess you could say someone still loves Someone Still Loves Boris Yeltsin, and that someone is all of us. Really. Dig into the Weezer covering The Strokes sound of the first single, “Step Brother City.”

Mexican Summer

www.mexicansummer.com

No Joy picture

No Joy

"More Faithful"

“When I’m down in the dumps and I got no joy / I howl at the moon.” So begins the blues song I just wrote about the band No Joy, because what better way to express your anger and frustration than with a sweet blues tune? Uh, how about a sweet SHOEGAZE tune there, buddy? Oh right – that’ll do too. (I’ll quit talking to myself now – and writing blues songs.) No Joy’s new record More Faithful (Mexican Summer) hits the sweet spot that moody teens worldwide will totally latch onto. Part Isn’t Anything-era MBV, part Spooky-era Lush, all glossy and mascara’d vibes, More Faithful will remind you of every nail-hit-on-head 1980s teen movie, and every 1990s teen movie that tried to do the same thing with a cool soundtrack, but worse (like, uh, subUrbia, I guess). And remember that time when Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino called No Joy “the best band ever” on Twitter? We all know she was totally wrong (because there’s NO ONE BETTER than Wham!), but people like Bethany Cosentino would probably think that about No Joy. Call it a superb endorsement. Enjoy the Cocteau Twins/Lush action of “Everything New.”

Summer Fiction

summerfiction.com

Summer Fiction picture

Summer Fiction

"Himalaya"

Sometimes it’s hard to ignore a bands hardships when writing blurbs. You may have noticed, but we try to keep these things light. But when 2 of your family members are lost due to illness and your parents 40 year marriage dissolves, it’s tough to skip that over. Kinda needed for context, right? I mean, that’s like all the bad stuff that happened to Arcade Fire during the Funeral recording happened all to just one man. That man, Bill Ricchini, known better to you as Summer Fiction, is back with his sophomore album. But man, these tunes are so good it’s tough to call it merely an album. It’s more like a song cycle or something, on par with Brian Wilson’s Smile-era mastery. Pop bliss. ELO meets Beach Boys meets Roy Orbison. Harmonies, chamber-pop accents, and Ricchini’s apparent unflappable positiveness. I mean, as he pleads with Genevieve to not murder him in the song of that name, it feels like he is totally gonna charm his way out of being stabbed. Now that’s charisma! Check out the Petty-esque classic rockness of “Perfume Paper.”

DFA

dfarecords.com

Prinzhorn Dance School picture

Prinzhorn Dance School

"Home Economics"

I get what this band is doing – when I was young, my parents signed me up for the prestigious Prinzhorn Dance School too, much to my dismay. The instructors demanded the utmost devotion, and only accepted the most promising students. I was kicked out when they realized I was no good at lassoing, shoeing horses, or staying in my saddle very long. …You said Prinzhorn Rodeo School, right? Oh! My bad. Prinzhorn Dance School is the duo comprised of Tobin Prinz and Suzi Horn (I get their name now!) who crank out ultra-cool minimal post punk. Their new record, Home Economics (DFA) is a tight ball of no-frills intensity, six tracks of spindly excellence. Wait, these guys are from the UK? They’re not even American? Great – that rodeo stuff’s gonna go right over their heads. Don’t let PDS go over yours – crank the Raveonettes-meets-Yacht sweetness of “Reign” at top volume in your headphones until you go deaf-ish.

Sargent House

sargenthouse.com

Mutoid Man picture

Mutoid Man

"Bleeder"

This is pretty weird – Mutoid Man axe-wielder Steve Brodsky fronted the seminal genre jumpers Cave In for, like, ever. And drummer Ben Koller has drummed in seminal hardcore heroes Converge for, like, ever. Guess what else? Brodsky played in Converge in the 1990s! And Koller played in Cave In in the 1990s! Mind = blown. It’s like there’s this little incestuous Cave In/Converge relationship that’s heavy on the DNA sharing. Before you say “Ew, gross,” hear me out – Cave In was hardcore at one point, and Converge got a little proggier following Brodsky flitting through their ranks. Just saying. (Poor bassist Nick Cageao of Bröhammer doesn’t really figure into the narrative, but his band DOES have an umlaut in its name, so there’s that.) So the unholy Brodsky/Koller relationship has blossomed, grotesquely, into Mutoid Man, a quirky metal outfit that’s long on the chops and short on patience for posers. (Probably.) Their new record Bleeder (Sargent House) is all over the place – fast, loud, exciting, and a lot less screamy than you might expect. In a totally good way. Check out the Cave In/Converge mashup (duh) of “Bridgeburner.”