Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

MP3s: Up Up

April 10, 2015

Up Up

Without A Care” – Turn to Crime. The insistent arpeggiator, the squawking guitar, pushing drums, and repetitive nature of the song make this perfect road rock’n’roll. Also the topical matter, now that you mention it.

Killer Flamingo Báy” – Flamingo Bay. Manages to be raw and snarling while still also conveying droll boredom with the subject matter. In essence, the most rock’n’roll stance you could take, according to the Vines and Cage the Elephant.

Loose People” – Sans Parents. This feels like a garage rock song jammed together with a melancholy Beach Boys track, but as if those two things have been waiting to be put together forever.

Get It Out” – Two Sheds. Lumbering, towering, yet oddly good-natured rock that seems to be trying to engulf its lead singer entirely.

Struck Matches” – Bop English. It says “English” on the tin, but this cross between roots-rock and Styx is about as American as classic rock stylings can get.

The Devil Got to Go” – The Through & Through Gospel Review. If Of Montreal ever got conscripted for a prison chain gang work crew…

All the Time” – Nai Harvest. You look like you need some good, straight-ahead power-pop in your life.

City Livin’” – Round Eye. Frantic, zinging, careening punk from China. What’s not interesting about that?

One More Life” – Shy For Shore. I suppose if you hate electro-pop, it’s this sort of thing that you rail against. But I don’t know what’s wrong with high drama, big synths, and yearning vocals–if you’re looking for subtlety, just turn away. If you’re looking for that big moment: feast on, friends.

Holy Fire (Radio Edit)” – Many Things. Due to its hypnotic ostinato piano line, U2-level bombastic production, and demands to “throw up your hands now,” this thumping-beat pop anthem is contractually obligated to be played only in stadiums and at least 10 feet above the heads of the floor audience.

Build a Sun” – Wartime Blues. This outfit is trying to cram gleeful abandon into a tastefully restrained orchestral folk-pop band. The results are like Josh Ritter with old-school Arcade Fire creeping out from around the edges.

All Through the Fire, All Through the Rain” – Rosenblume. Isn’t a clean-cut, well-sung adult alternative love song a great thing? Check yes or no by clicking this song link.

Trying Man” – Emilio. There’s more than a little Simon & Garfunkel tucked into this track; the British accent gives it a unique spin. The vocalists at the end also add to the tune.

Phratry Week: Mad Anthony

July 21, 2011

Out of all the releases in Phratry Week, the most surprising one is Mad Anthony‘s …I Spent All My Money on Speed Metal, which is actually not speed metal. That would have been somewhat inside Phratry’s considerably varied oeuvre, but instead they throw listeners a loop and release an album by a four-on-the-floor garage rock outfit.

Honestly, the most outsidery thing on the album is the demonic picture on the cover, which is another reason I thought it might actually be Slayer-inspired. Nope. This is every rock band you like. Jim Morrison, Danzig, Toadies, Misfits, Fugazi, Electric Six, The Clash, The Police, new wave, lo-fi, and garage rock all get shout-outs in the press quotes. I have no idea what half of these people are hearing, but that’s the beauty of Mad Anthony (and of rock in general): people hear different parts.

I mostly hear the connections to early 2000s garage rock revivalism, as “Naugahyde” is pretty much a song by The Vines (man, what happened to them?). “Uphill Both Ways” has early Strokes connections, while “Soul” and “Strangest Dream” have a First Impressions of Earth-era sound going on. The roaring, low vocals are chock full of attitude, which only lends credibility to the sound.

These songs are fist-pounding, headbanging rock’n’roll. The melodies are great, the band is tight, and the overall cool is top-notch. Each of these songs stand on their own, but “Beautiful Daughter” and “The Solution to the Indian Problem” rank high in my book. Mad Anthony’s …I Spent All My Money on Speed Metal does have one thing in common with the rest of the Phratry releases: it’s written by guys who did their homework and are subsequently on top of their game.

Quick Hits: The Workaholics

June 2, 2011

I admire The Workaholics. While I’ve reviewed bands from Greece before, I’ve never received an e-mail entirely in Greek until the Workaholics sent me their self-titled EP. The only words in the entire (lengthy) e-mail that I can read are EP, download, 272 Records, Amazon, and a download link. I’ve done the whole self-promo thing before, but I’ve never done it in another language. While The Workaholics’ method may not be the most effective method, it did get them this review.

The four songs of their self-titled EP compose a release a lot like Fountains of Wayne’s Welcome Interstate Managers. The four songs each inhabit a different subgenre of pop, and rock the heck out of it. They don’t quite have the melodic touch of the “Stacy’s Mom” hitmakers yet, but they do have the deft touch and easy-going moods. The songs are all quite well produced, as well. The vintage garage-rocker “The Secret” is my favorite, as it calls up early 2000s revivalists like The Hives and The Vines.

The band is on the right path, but they’re not there yet. Put the name in the back of your mind and watch for it. If they’re true to their name, there should be more music soon.

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

Recent Posts

Categories

Independent Clauses Monthly E-mail

Get updates and information about IC, plus opportunities for bands.
Band name? PR company? Business?
* = required field

powered by MailChimp!

Archives