i hate the sound of guitars

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29 Feb 2016

29 Feb 2016 · No Comments

29 Feb 2016

  1. Flowers – On the new “Everybody’s Dying to Meet You,” Flowers crash back and forth — often several times in the same song — between wispy, semi-acoustic indie/twee pop and fully electrified buzz that often reminds me forcefully both of JAMC’s Lou Reedisms on “Darklands” and The Primitives (Rachel Kenedy’s soprano is airier than Tracy Tracy’s but the resemblance is still powerful on certain phrases). That description basically sounds like somebody followed a recipe for making an an album I ought to love — and maybe that’s the problem. It’s easy to listen to, but it also kinda makes me want to queue up “April Skies” or “Stop Killing Me” instead. And I didn’t have that problem with Burnt Palms.
  2. Holly – OK, so this is the “Holly” who’s released 3 albums to date, “Maps and Lists,” “#2 Record,” and the one I was listening to last week, “The Record.” I assume she’s uninterested in having search engine users as part of her fanbase, but she numbers folks like Ken Stringfellow and John Vanderslice as collaborators, which certainly piqued my interest. “The Record” is inspired by Nelson’s “Redheaded Stranger,” an album I should probably know better than I do, and I need to spend more time with “The Record” before I have anything useful to say about it.
  3. The Lillingtons – What’s that you say? You’ve got song titles like 50’s sci-fi horror flicks, and you sound about as much like the Ramones as you can manage? Yeah, I’m okay with that.
  4. Criaturas – balance melody and ferocity, spiced with metallic but admirably terse solos. One of my favorite hxc bands right now.
  5. High – gonna go out on a limb and guess these dudes like both their cannabis and their post-Lou dino junior. Recent “Bummer Burner” was right on the edge of persuading me I’d want to hear it more than once or twice. Won over by songs mostly not overstaying their welcome, unpretentious vibe, and some great guitar tone. “Canker Kid” is a definite highlight.
  6. Kitten – slicker than what I usually go for, but definitively put together well (Gavin MacKillop has a production credit on some of this, and while I don’t love everything he’s worked on, I do like quite a bit of it.) Seems like a perfect fit for Grey’s Anatomy featured music (but hasn’t been, so far). The cover of The Smith’s “Panic” is well worth tracking down, too.
  7. Yr First Crush Zine – another badly tagged compilation, sigh. Found it trying to exorcise completist impulses re: Burnt Palms, also features Hinds, and plenty more bands/tundes in assorted indie/pop/garage/punk flavors. Free to stream or download.
  8. Hussalonia – The Hussalonia Founder dropped a hint that legendary lost album “Dogdammit” might be released. Unless that was like one of those dreams where Fugazi invites me to watch new rehearsal sessions.
  9. Madison Bloodbath – I’m favorably disposed to gruff pop punk, but jeez, there’s a lot of it, and I struggle to keep all these bands straight. A couple of Madison Bloodbath’s tunes suggest they might have the stuff to pull ahead of the pack — a singer who sometimes sounds a bit like Bob Mould doesn’t hurt. “Sail In, Stumble Out” has some chord voicings that are almost Sugar-y, which is even better.
  10. Clocks – a little too specifically in debt to the early Cars albums, and the lead single “She Looks a Lot Like You,” has a keyboard flurry that’s uncomfortably close to Styx’s “Foolin’ Yourself.” But if you liked the Cars, Split Enz’s “True Colours,” and the thought of a lower-energy take on The Romantics isn’t off-putting, you could do a lot worse. If I’d heard this back then I woulda been all over it, and I’m happy to make the acquaintance now.

Tags: 2016 · weekly top