Vol. 11 Issue 129 June 2016


Judging from the number of appeals to Lyle’s “No Dudes Shall Wear Shorts In The Office” decree, summer is in full swing. I don’t know about you, but my ring around the collar is in danger of taking over my entire shirt. I know, gross, right? Sometimes rock and roll ain’t pretty, right? But sometimes it is! Take, for instance, this excellent new music from Ladyhawke, William Tyler, and White Zombie. Yes. You read correctly. White Zombie. Dig in!


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Posted by John On Jun 23, 2016

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RT @SenSchumer: Did you know the @felicebrothers are from Palenville, a village in the Town of Catskill? Check out their new album! #Lifein
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Current Releases

Click to see:
Polyvinyl
Yep Roc
Temporary Residence
Numero Group
Sargent House

Polyvinyl

https://www.polyvinylrecords.com

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Ladyhawke

"Wild Things"

Hey, look! Ladyhawke is back! Not only is Pip Brown back with a new album, Wild Things - her first on Polyvinyl - but also back in the BRM fold. We couldn’t be more excited. Especially since her newest album is a shimmering, hi-fi, candy-coated pop party of a danceable good time. Big fun beats,  disco inspired dub-y bass lines, raved-up keyboards, new wave hints and an energy that falls somewhere between early Madonna, the angular pop of XTC, and the modern experimental pop sounds of Charli XCX. Prepare yourself though, because the first time you hear every song on the album you’re gonna think to yourself “oh yeah, this is the single” until you just realized that you’ve released every song as a single in your brain. What is this? The modern equivalent of The Cars debut album? Hmmm… Decide for yourself and check out the actual first single from the album, “A Love Song.”

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Deerhoof

"The Magic"

I can only assume that like me, you’ve spent the better part of 20 years obsessed with Deerhoof. The Magic (Polyvinyl) is in excellent company, along side a career of idiosyncratic albums. There is no mistaking Deerhoof for another band, their strange mix of avant-garde, art-rock, ear worm hookiness, funky beats, synth-y passages, dance-pop, hints of heavy metal, and everything else they are willing to throw into their recordings leaves them at the top of our BRM Singular Sounding Band list. They are nearly incomparable to the sounds of other bands, which makes it great to be a fan of them (and difficult to write a blurb about their record…). It’s like Cibo Mato and AC/DC formed a supergroup? Yeah, I guess that kind of works. You know what definitely works? The frenetic Sonic Youth-y “Dispossessor,” so check it out.

Yep Roc

www.yeproc.com

The Felice Brothers picture

The Felice Brothers

"Life In The Dark"

Few things in this world are as comforting as a new Felice Brothers record. Their sepia toned take on americana music is a soothing balm for an industry obsessed with pop producers and flash in the pan streaming service exclusives. While that stuff comes and goes, ramshackle acoustic folk perseveres. Songs persevere. And bob oh boy, do these Hudson, NY dudes write some songs. Life In The Dark (Yep Roc) finds the brothers further perfecting their sound. Conversational lyrics, jug band aesthetics, wistful smiles, and late night reveries. Get in your car, roll down all the windows, and drive a million miles with this record on repeat and you will see the world as it’s meant to be seen, with affection. Do they plug in for some of these tunes? They sure do, and the results are as much fun as anything the boys have ever released, as is evidenced by the track “Plunder.”

Temporary Residence

temporaryresidence.com

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Mogwai

"Atomic"

New Mogwai album alert !If you aren’t expecting to hear some of the most majestic, cinematic, other-worldly post-punk this side of Mars, then you don’t know Mogwai (remind me to tell you the story of my failed attempt at a You Don’t Know Mogwai board game sometime). Atomic (Temporary Residence) is a reworking of tunes they wrote for a documentary about the Atomic Age. This is a sci-fi movie for the brain, full of strange instrumentation and alien melodies. “Hey look outside your spaceship window! That thing is blowing up! But that other thing over there looks like a galaxy forming! Space is full of wonder!” are things you might think if you are listening to this album in the right frame of mind. What kind of frame of mind is that? Umm… a sci-fi liking frame of mind I guess? I don’t know. You shouldn’t dig too deep into these blurbs, they are mostly nonsense - but thanks for making it this far! What should you dig into? This Mogwai record. Check out the John Carpenter scoring the moon blowing up sounds of “U-235.”

Contact picture

Contact

"Zero Moment"

Some bands are very hard to describe. Other bands are not. Contact is not. The “cinematic synth-prog duo” (thanks for that accurate turn of phrase Temporary Residence press page!) sound very much like the scoring talents of John Carpenter mixed with a vocal-less version of Rush. You are either gonna love it or hate it before you hear one note of this sci-fi soundtrack to your mind space. Like you are wearing a very shiny space suit. But you aren’t in just any space. You are in a space imagined by a arcade-loving kid in the ‘80s, who most likely has his pockets filled with Rush cassettes already (Phillip J Fry, I am looking in your direction.) Give in to your love of dramatic sci-fi madness and dig in with the triumphant “Grand Detector.”

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Parlour 

"Parlour "

Temporary Residence is in the midst of some sort of post-rock renaissance. They just keep releasing amazing instrumental rock albums like it’s their job. Oh wait. It IS their job. Well, they excel at it. Someone give them a raise! Case in point? The new self-titled album from Parlour. Every tune like a mini rock symphony, this is the kind of music that can move you without ever uttering a word. Guitars and electronics and drums and horns and distortion and beauty and tension. Look, we all know that Twitter bios are never any good, right? Well, Parlour’s is fantastic, and goes to sum up the band’s sound better than what I’ve been doing here. “Rocktronic Instrumental Music for the Curious” Amazing, right? Yes. So is this record. Check out the Trans Am vibes of the tremendously titled “Fempire.”

Numero Group

www.numerogroup.com

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White Zombie

"It Came From NYC"

It is surprising that we are here to talk about White Zombie.  Bank Robber Music exists primarily to replace “More Human Than Human” in movie trailers. Ok. That might be an overstatement. But we do like to keep it relatively indie over here, and at a point White Zombie were one of the biggest bands in the world. But in the mid-80s they sure weren’t. Born from NYC’s vital noise-rock scene, White Zombie’s early music has more in common with Sonic Youth or the proto-punk of Death then their eventual tour mates on various Monsters Of Rock bills. Taking form from their art school meetings, they were like the anti-Talking Heads with essentially the same origin story. Thankfully, Numero is here to tell this story correctly. Check out the grimy metal sounds of “King Of Souls.”

Sargent House

www.sargenthouse.com

Empty Houses picture

Empty Houses

"Daydream"

Adam Mercer and David Mackinder of the rock band Fireworks announced last year that they had a new project called Empty Houses. So, we can assume rock band begets rock band, right? Wrong! Rock band begets Mowtown-y retro pop. The difference being the inclusion of vocalist Ali Shea. Ali brings a bold, brash voice not unlike the other modern-retro voices of Adele or Amy Winehouse, but voice is only gonna go so far if you don’t have any songs to sing, and boy oh boy is Daydream (Sargent House) full of good songs. As a place to start, check out the soulful, hook-heavy build of “Better of Me."

Click to see:
Merge
Rough Trade Publishing
Mute
Fat Cat
Thrill Jockey

Merge

www.mergerecords.com

William Tyler picture

William Tyler

"Modern Country"

When William Tyler said of his 2014 EP Lost Colony that he was exploring the space between Krautrock and country music, well… Let’s just say I was intrigued to say the least. In fact, that is the exact kind of thing you want to way about your music if you want me to notice. Notice I did, and I loved that EP. But of course I couldn’t wait to hear if his next LP would continue to explore the same area. Boy oh boy, does it ever. Mr. Tyler has been recording his unique brand of instrumental, guitar driven tunes for a few years now, and his melodic sense is always maturing, as is his keen sense of instrumental drama. Anyone can write a song without words. The trick is to write a voiceless song that still says something. William Tyler says loads on Modern Country (Merge), with a sound that is somewhere between Neu! and ‘70s singer-songwriter AM soft country acts like America, all mixed with a modern alt-country attitude and a surprisingly jazzy rhythm section. A conglomeration that mixes together for a gorgeous album. Check out the hopeful “Sunken Garden.”

Rough Trade Publishing

roughtradepublishing.com

The Shelters picture

The Shelters

"The Shelters"

For as often as I use Tom Petty in the role of “comparison band” for these blurbs, it’s kind of surreal to actually write a blurb about an album co-produced by Mr. Petty himself. The self-titled, full-length debut from The Shelters, the LA club scene’s worst kept secret have made the jump from local favorite to national draw. And who could blame the nation? With a Byrds-twang to the guitars, a Raspberries ear for melodic fun, some Wilco alt-country thrown in, this is a band like they don’t make anymore. But don’t be fooled into thinking this is some sort of vintage-aping sound. It just so happens that rock perfected it’s sound when it did, and these dudes know better than to mess with perfection. A little garage-y, surprisingly pop-y, it’s pretty impossible to not have a big dumb grin the whole time you listen. You’ll see as you check out the impossibly catchy first single from the album, “Rebel Heart.”

Mute

mute.com

Mick Harvey picture

Mick Harvey

"Delirium Tremens"

For the third time, Mick Harvey (Birthday Party, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, PJ Harvey) is releasing an album of interpretations/translations of Serge Gainsbourg. Maybe you already listen to lots of Serge’s albums, but don’t speak french and just assume that the reason the songs are so beguilingly weird is because they are sung in a language you don’t understand. Well here is proof that the songs are no less strange if you understand what is being said. Mick’s musical credits make this one easy to describe, sound wise. Imagine Serge Gainsbourg and the Bad Seeds were a thing, and there you go. Gloomy, atmospheric Lynchian rock all mixed with smokey, out of focus vocals. Check out the first single from the album, “Don’t Say A Thing (aka Ne Dis Rien),” featuring vocals from Xanthe Waite as well as Mick.

Fat Cat

www.fatcat-usa.com

Big Deal picture

Big Deal

"Say Yes"

Ok. This is a big deal. Make sure you say yes to Say Yes, Big Deal’s 3rd album, and the first released on FatCat. As per the band, this newest record is sort of the final installment to what has turned into a 3 record concept album about young love and relationships in your 20s. But I am willing to admit that I’m having trouble discerning the songs meaning over the huge guitars, the echoing drums, the driving bass. But don’t forget the equally intoxicating ballads. After all, young love needs tender moments to. It’s like a stadium filling supergroup made up of members of Queens of the Stone Age, Titus Andronicus, The Cure, and every other mysterious rock band that gave you the feels. Am I too old to say things like “the feels”? Probably. But this record has me feeling young. Chances are it’s gonna have you feeling young too. Unless of course you are, in fact, young. In that case, if will just have you feeling normal. Check out the ‘90s alt-rock vibes of the cavernous “Avalanche.”

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Paws 

"No Grace"

From the first time we heard Cokefloat!, the 2012 full-length debut of PAWS, we have been smitten. Their ability to combine their alternative pop-punk sounds with heartfelt lyrics that never feel sappy made us fans from day one. So when we heard that they brought on Blink 182’s Mark Hoppus to produce No Grace (FatCat), their third studio album, we were champing at the bit to hear what Mark’s pop-punk instincts would bring to the rough around edges sound of the the Glasgow trio. Not surprisingly, Mark help bring their sound into focus. The results definitely sound bigger than anything they’ve done before, in the best possible way imaginable. Punk-y, alternative jams that almost sound like a distorted, sped-up Full Moon Fever-era Tom Petty. Yeah. That good. Check out the first single from the album, the title track  “No Grace.”

Thrill Jockey

www.thrilljockey.com

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Sumac

"What One Becomes"

If ambient heavy metal is a thing that is allowed to exist, then SUMAC are at the forefront of that genre. No, their music isn’t being written for airports or anything (however their tension filled-doom sound would augment the tension filled-doom a trip to Laguardia might fill you with). This trio is obsessed with the timbre and the texture of their music, much like the best artists in the ambient field are. This is the kind of music that demands a group of uber-talented musicians perform it. Thankfully, that is the case, as the dudes all seem to be an extension of one head bashing monster. Syncopated drums, guitars, and bass, all squelching and feeding back; strings tuned down lower than Les Paul ever thought possible. Punishing vocals from Aaron Turner of Isis, Old Man Gloom, and Mamiffer. Sludgy, stoner metal vibes a la Sleep. What One Becomes (Thrill Jockey) is the kind of record your mom would be scared of if she heard you listening to it (unless your mom is cooler than is even possible). Check out the operatic changes of “Clutch Of Oblivion.”

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Throws

" Throws"

Throws(Thrill Jockey) is the self-titled debut from (wait for it) Throws. Crazy, I know. The duo, comprised of Mike Lindsay and Sam Genders from the band Tunng, recorded in Reykjavik, and features Icelandic guest turns from Sigur Rós and múm. The nordic setting can be felt throughout the glitchy, soulful pop, with wave after wave of synths alongside echo-fiddled vocals and soothing choral elements. It’s like an analog version of Thom Yorke’s solo stuff paired up with Matthew E. White’s neo-soul sounds, all combined with modern classical arrangements and some old ’60s folk thrown in to boot. The result is a surprising, easy to love, hook-filled record, with songs running the gambit from ballads to bangers (and all the other b words in between). Really, you’re about to find out just how easy it is to love when you check out the addictive bass-filled build of the ballad-y “Bask.”

Jackie Lynn picture

Jackie Lynn

"Jackie Lynn"

Anyone that has heard Circuit des Yeux sing even one note while passing a boombox in a moving car isn’t going to be fooled by Jackie Lynn’s strange backstory. Having one of the most singular voices in modern music makes it hard hide, so maybe the only place to do it is in public. Maybe that’s the point of the Chris Gaines-like persona games she is playing on her newest release. The story is that this album is all that was found in Jackie’s former Chicago apartment near a pile of cocaine. Perhaps the real story isn’t far off? But the impetus behind this record because secondary (at least. Maybe tertiary? Or perhaps whatever the real word for fourtiary is?) Her strange, deep, warbled voice reminding the listener of Anohni of Antony & the Johnsons, and the music here sounding sometimes like a memory of psych-folk and sometimes like a collaboration between Harmonia and Philip Glass (can you imagine!?!). For the krautrockiest jam on the record, check out the paranoid energy of “Alien Love.”