i hate the sound of guitars

an expat dc punk in massachusetts

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Great Grandpa: Can Opener, Plastic Cough

20 May 2018 · No Comments

“Cheeto Lust” and “Ram” from the “Can Opener” EP struck me as really good attempts to craft Speedy Ortiz songs not actually by Speedy Ortiz – guitar lines that hop around and between chords instead of linear scale movement or arpeggiation, mid-chorus sideways lurches. It pushes my buttons, but seems a little too specifically imitative. Thankfully the band has more going on than ersatz Speedy (including but not limited to an equally precise early Weezer homage). The full-length Plastic Cough is mixed by John Goodmanson, who does a typically great job of making the guitars sound awesome.

Great Grandpa on bandcamp

→ No CommentsTags: g · indie rock

Dilly Dally – “Gender Role”

19 May 2018 · No Comments

I’m down for Dilly Dally in general, rough-voiced, grunge-inflected angry indie is fine with me, but I missed this tune, which was released between the lower-fi tunes that first caught my ear (like “Candy Mountain”) and the excellent, more polished, LP Sore. “Gender Role” does this thing where the last of the chorus guitar decays over a verse that’s bass and tom-heavy drums, and I am so often a total sucker for that move. Here, for sure.

“Gender Role” on bandcamp

→ No CommentsTags: d · indie rock

Dude York – Sincerely

19 May 2018 · No Comments

Riff-heavy tuneful indie rock with nice harmony work. I get a kinda 90s vibe from this, maybe just coz I’m old, but for instance, “Tonight” reminds me of Urge Overkill (in a good way). (Prolly would’ve bought this sooner if there’d been more than a few songs available to preview on the bandcamps.)

Dude York on bandcamp

→ No CommentsTags: d · indie rock

toe – The Book About My Idle Plot on a Vague Anxiety

19 May 2018 · No Comments

toe is kinda exactly why I’ve resurrected this blog: co-worker came to work in a cool shirt for this band toe, which I asked about, and he said they were kinda Japanese math rock. “Like Melt-Banana?” I asked hopefully. No, he said, not at all. Much mellower, crazy proficient instrumentally. “That sounds pretty cool,” I said, and listened to a couple records before realizing that I had listened to some toe 5 years ago. Lots of intricate burbly guitar work which reminds me, probably imprecisely but very specifically, of a song that Dan Littleton used to cover with Ida, which I am trying desperately to remember and being driven kinda crazy by.

Anyway, future summervillain, you like toe.

Update: Pretty sure it was a song by The Mommyheads. Now trying to remember which one. I don’t think it was Acorn.

toe on bandcamp

→ No CommentsTags: math rock · t

Juna: Marina Goes To Moon

19 May 2018 · No Comments

I’ve been impressed lately by the number of quality of Brazilian shogegaze/dreampop acts (most of which I found via The Blog That Celebrates Itself) and I love visual references to Georges Méliès’ “A Trip to the Moon,” so this one jumped to the top of the listen-to queue. Juna’s take on dreampop has a bit of a classic rock vibe, leans hard on vibrato, and borders on bluesy, none of which are usually positives for me, but they do help distinguish this band in a crowded field, and I do think this EP is a lot of fun.

“Marina Goes To Moon” on bandcamp

→ No CommentsTags: dream pop · j

Beach House: 7

19 May 2018 · No Comments

First spin through 7 left me impressed by a lot of the sonic detail, but craving something with a bit more bite (I went with Lush). Warming more to the record as I spend more time with it, but it’s still a bit languorous depending on my mood. Weird guitar bits pull me in hardest, especially the detuned little stabs in “Lemon Glow” (which for sure make me think of The Cranes”) and the overlapping solos in “Drunk in LA”

→ No CommentsTags: b · dream pop

Red Hare: Little Acts of Destruction

19 May 2018 · No Comments

In case it’s not obvious, I spend a fair amount of time on music discovery, and I’m pretty loyal to artists, labels, and producers associated with music I already like.

So it’s effin’ weird that I only found Red Hare in May 2018, cause it’s more or less a successor band to Bluetip (auto-buy) and they co-release with DisChord (auto-buy) and they record with J. Robbins (auto-buy).

I guess if I ever got to the bottom of my email I would find some 5-year-old message that I should check this stuff out.


If you loved the likes of Bluetip, Retisonic, Jawbox, or you still love Two Inch Astronaut (for instance) this that kind of stuff: nicely balanced between catchy/abrasive, and J. Robbins makes it sound so good. I’m especially fond of “Like Wire,” a bit slower and more spacious than some of this record, and which almost evokes The-Band-To-Which-Other-Bands-Shall-Not-Be-Compared

→ No CommentsTags: dischord · punk · r

Grave Babies: Gothdammit

19 May 2018 · No Comments

There’s no way I’m not going to listen to a record called “Gothdammit” when I find out about it. So much high end sizzle it’s literally almost painful, yet delightful. (Some folks reference JAMC but my lazycrit combo is the lovechild of a menage between New Order, The Cure, and Parts & Labor). I was a bit disappointed that “Bloodstains” wasn’t an Agent Orange cover, coz a gothed-up, blown-out speakers version of that tune sounds awesome, but a spin through this EP sold me on the whole dang catalogue. (The newest release Holographic Violence tames the treble a smidge, but cranks up some metallic guitar grit; I’m onboard.)

Grave Babies on bandcamp

→ No CommentsTags: g · goth · post-punk

Aura Noir: Aura Noire

06 May 2018 · No Comments

Thrashy black metal with an obvious debt to Motorhead and maybe early Metallica too. Sonically in my wheelhouse, but I’m not fully convinced by the songcraft. I tend to like it best when it slows down and breaths a little, as on “Hells Lost Chambers” or “Cold Bone Grasp,” although the terse and speedy “The Obscuration” is also a nice showcase.
Aura Noir on bandcamp

→ No CommentsTags: a · heavy metal

The Plurals: RIP Grant Hart, SWISH

05 May 2018 · No Comments

Stumbled into The Plurals via their lovely mostly acoustic rendition of “Green Eyes” on the “RIP Grant Hart” EP, more than enough to get me to check out their own stuff. Turns out they specialize in the sort of punk-influenced, slightly scruffy, but melodic, co-ed vocal featuring indie rock for which my appetite is boundless.
The Plurals on bandcamp

→ No CommentsTags: indie rock · p