Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

February Singles: Garage Rock and Such

March 12, 2015

Garage Rock and Such

1. “Away” – Heart Beach. Heart Beach is out-Pixie-ing the Pixies with this churning slice of plodding bass, washed-out guitar and yearning vocals. A+.

2. “Cavity” – Kuzin. Sometimes the vocal hook that seals it is in the verse, and so it goes with the yearning killer line of this track. You’ll be humming this one for a while.

3. “Gone Past” – Lore City. A lot of people want to invoke shoegaze, but few bands really inhabit the idea of the sound overwhelming a person in their entirety the way that Lore City does here. Slow movement, pounding drums, howling vocals, synth sheen over everything: this is how you create a wall of sound in 2015.

4. “He’s Not Real and He Ain’t Coming Back” – Twin River. The synth-laden, reverb-heavy soundscapes on this track recall the slow motion of the band’s titular geographical features. Let it wash over you.

5. “Wasting Time” – The Phantoms. The alt-rock drama of Anberlin meets Blur influences in vocal delivery for this high-contrast track.

6. “Dotted Line” – Bombay Harambee. Guitar rock with demonstrative, impassioned front men will always have a home. This particular brand makes me think of a slowed-down Arctic Monkeys.

7. “Fourth Quarter Funeral” – Velcro Mary. The thick, bassy guitars in this power-pop song fill up the track, but they never make the song feel leaden. Instead, the track moves sprightly along on a Foo Fighters backline and a snarly vocal line that never explodes.

8. “Universe” – Faith Healer. Some perky garage-rock with a mumbly female lead vocal creates a very cool vibe.

9. “Actual Alien” – American Culture. Scuzzy guitars; gated ’80s drums; distorted, nasally vocals. Sounds like a great entry into American garage rock culture to me.

10. “Time For Us to Move” – Full Trunk. We really should thank the Black Keys for re-popularizing blues rock. There are few ways to vibe harder than on a good blues-rock riff, like the one here.

February Video Recap, pt 1

March 9, 2015

The “Get It Right” video from San Francisco folk outfit Hunters. depicts the various stages of a relationship in scenes, including a literally fiery dissolution. The narrative fits neatly with the dramatic, staccato arrangement from the band and Rosa del Duca’s impassioned vocal delivery. The track comes from their 2014 album Treeline, which I reviewed.

Hippo Campus, here with a chase scene that resolves in some serious deep thoughts.

Twin River, here with a chase scene that resolves in some serious feels. I hope this isn’t what it’s like to be a dad.

Mad props to Lily & Madeleine for making their icy, watery video look like the how the despondent, detached “Blue Blades” sounds.

Stephen Carradini and Lisa Whealy write reviews of instrumental, folk, and singer/songwriter music. We write about those trying to make the next step in their careers and established artists.

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