Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Quick Hits: A Day in The Life of a Traveling Shoelace Salesman – Aglets, not Ferrules, Ma’am.

March 5, 2014

goldlight

Gold Light sits at the altar, fists bored to its chin, waiting for the hymn to end, so it can get to the real songs… the ones waiting at the fellowship hour to follow.

There’s an obvious throwback vibe on this self-titled record to Velvet Underground or more modernly The Tyde. Joe Chang, Gold Light himself, has a distinct voice, though. The lyrics are rife with simple wisdom, bent clichés, and plenty of baby-you-better-believe-its. The vocals (swathed in hall reverb) with just a Pixies bass line supporting–like Jonathan Richman with a story-time, Springsteen flow–on the song “Gold” say, “Well, darling, don’t you know that your heart of made of gold? How come you set the price so low?” Memorable and classic. “True Love Never Dies,” the album closer, has a Phil Spector shimmer and a da doo ron clippy clop, arpeggiated beauty.

Cool that it’s a cassette, but here’s what Gold Light should do. Tour the US really quickly supporting this release. Only Joe can drive the van, so he can focus on the lights and the destination, his delivery and the maddening lines–upon the highway and furrowed brow alike. Meanwhile, the other band members get to really tour the nation, burping up ethanol-boiled pizza slices, watching deer play on the side of the highway. Put out another full-length really soon after this one…like start recording it the day they get back. Then, put the new one and Gold Light out on vinyl. Lou Reed said, “There’s only X amount of time. You can do whatever you want with that time. It’s your time.”

Thirteen words on watching the sun rise to this album: I am not still drunk. I can run my hands over iridescent clouds.

mathmajor

Math Major by Art Contest is a catapult crock completely crammed with cottage cheese. Now, where are we going to aim it, and who gets to release the ropes?

I picture seeing this band live and remarking, “Wow, they were different than every other band on this bill.” Hyper, stand-out fun is tangible with every soaring guitar overture. Then, the rhythm section crashes in, swoops with emphasis showing the backbone and the corners of each song. RIYL Truman’s Water (yet not as musically reckless–“Banana Boat”), The Wicked Farleys (in frenetic vibe “Sugar Bay”), Weekends (but with bass guitar–“Riff Raff”). On “Tripp Pants” the words are, “I was kissing my dad, and I didn’t even know it. I was crashing my car, and no one ever told me.” Five gold stars.

Thirteen words on sun-tanning & eating lunch to this album:  Pass me the gigantic Christmas tin of Cracker Jack. The peanuts are disgusting.

wecamefromexplodingstars

We Come From Exploding Stars is a reflective, hopeful dream of light… a reach from despair for the young and the restless. We just stayed right out there under the pines… a beach in the air for the dumb and thus tentless. Moonlit Sailor comes from Boras, Sweden where they often experience weeks without sunlight*.

The Sailors do epic, instrumental, ambient, triumphant post-rock. I think they sound like a tight band that does what they do very well: putting space between swells and sinking boats by the end of a song. It sounds like they have an Ibanez AD999, an Akai Head Rush, a tube bass head, and a great drummer. The tunes are well composed. They swell up and duck down, crushing you into a ball of foil. Unball that foil to reveal an imprint of a fossilized fish. Give it to your nephew on his 7th birthday. Watch him grow. Be proud when he becomes an archaeologist and finds all the dinosaurs the way they really looked. This band has grown up over the course of four albums, all on Deep Elm Records*. Their uncles should be proud.

Thirteen words on watching the sun set to this album: Time was once the decider; now, the Universe has sent space to me.–Gary Lee Barrett

*These were all words from a press kit.

The Haunted Continents love power-pop and the '50s and kaboom! an album

February 25, 2011

The Haunted Continents‘ debut album is The Loudest Year Ever. For a band with the word “Haunted” in the album title, they engage in a surprisingly small amount of creepiness or subtlety. This is a heart-on-sleeve guitar-rock album through and through. It’s not the type of album that’s trying to convince anyone to come over to the genre; it’s a love letter to the genre for people who already love it.

There’s ten songs that take up 31 minutes here, for roughly three minutes a song. The vocals are alternately brash and wounded (see opener “2nd Ave. Blues” for best example). There’s tons of ooo’s, whoa-ohs and doo-wop references (they love their ’50s). If Teenage Fanclub was the power-pop revival, The Haunted Continents is the revival of the revival.

The good-naturedly distorted first half of the album smacks strongly of the Bandwagonesque creators, while the back half is softer, like Jonathan Richman’s solo work or even the great Paul Simon (“Played Me Like a Drum”). The whole thing is an excellent summer album that’s hard to dislike. Table The Loudest Year Ever till you can roll down your windows comfortably, then rock out at will.

Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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