Austin rock outfit The Cuckoos recently released their latest song “Get It On” reminiscent of ’60s garage-rock and psychedelia. The fuzzy, atmospheric track is anchored by a moody organ and lead singer Kenneth Frost’s Jim Morrison-esque growl. “Get It On” isn’t a mere throwback, but rather updates an old sound and reminds you why that particular style was exciting in the first place.
Their self-titled EP will be released on April 14th. For more information on The Cuckoos check out their Facebook and Twitter and take a listen to “Get It On” below.
Psychedelic outfit Strange Lot recently released the first track,”Have It Your Way” from their forthcoming album Gods and Clods due out this Friday (March 3rd.) The laid-back track begins with a soft bass intro, before sliding into a relaxed and hazy groove. With hints of Tame Impala and My Morning Jacket’s softer explorations, “Have It Your Way” sounds right at home as Winter transitions into the upcoming Spring.
Boston’s Slothrust will be releasing their third album, Everyone Else on October 28th. The band’s trademarks sounds of 90’s Alternative meets blues-y undertones is well evident on the single, “Like a Child Hiding Behind Your Tombstone”. The verses contain some intricate bluesy leads with tons of distorted guitars for the chorus. Comparisons have been made to Nirvana and Dinosaur Jr., but Slothrust are clearly carving their own path with lead singer Leah Wellbaum’s dynamic vocals at the helm.
Take a listen to “Like a Child Hiding Behind Your Tombstone” via NPR Music. The band will be starting a fall tour next week on October 13. For info and dates, check out the band’s Facebook and Twitter.
“Everyone’s Talking” the latest song from Los Angeles indie rock outfit contains elements of garage rock, psychedelia and contemporary indie rock. The sparse but cutting chords provide a harsher contrast to the moody vocals and rhythm section.
On their debut EP Younger Days, the Texas Alt-rock band Bronco Simmons recalls the heyday of 90’s Alt-Rock. The songs on Younger Days rock out, but never veer into faster paced territory. Instead, they move along at an unhurried pace that give the band plenty of room to showcase the dexterity of their playing whether it’s the anchoring bass of Dom Garcia (who really shines on the EP) or the interplay between guitarists Jorge Hinojosa and Brendan Freeman. As a lead singer Hinojosa lets the music move around him, rather than push himself upfront, making the band’s choruses seem effortless rather than forced.
Highlights include the slow-burn of “Away She Goes” and the rollicking “Heavy Chandeliers”. For more info on Bronco Simmons, take a visit to their Facebook page.
An explosive song that clocks in at just under two minutes, “Fell In Love With a Girl” just might be the coolest song to be released this century. Everything about the song – its violent riff, Meg White’s anarchic drumming, Jack White’s insane “ahhhhh-ahhhh-ahhhhh-ah!” screams – blasts out of the speakers and pummels everything in its path.
“Fell In Love With a Girl” just might be the best thing Jack White ever recorded in illustrious career. Inside those chaotic two minutes is a culmination of rock itself: blues chord progressions played at Zeppelin-esque volume; the DIY ethos of garage-rock and punk; the unbridled energy of The Who and the fierce attack of The Stooges; the power-pop sensibility of The Beatles.
A lot was made of the garage-rock revival at the beginning of the century. Some bands were really good (see The Strokes’ Is This It), others I thought were decent at the time but eventually realized were terrible (see The Vines) and some were fashion statements with instruments (The Hives). And then there were the ones whose music you heard before back when they were called Joy Division. (Interpol, I’m looking at you.)
But The White Stripes established themselves above the rest with one single swoop. Whereas other bands felt like they were trying too had, “Fell In Love With a Girl” seemed spontaneous and off the cuff. (For the record, I do think Jack White does try too hard sometimes. Remember Get Behind Me Satan?)
The rest of White Blood Cells didn’t reach the height of “Fell In Love With a Girl”. The rest of the songs found on the album were very strong, but “Fell In Love with a Girl” was and too intense and too badass to be pushed by the wayside. The only way for White to eclipse or circumvent the song’s power was to create something more repetitive and simple sounding and double-down on it. “Seven Nation Army” might be on its way to becoming the most famous guitar riff of all time, if thousands of sports fans have their way.
But I’ll never get tired of hearing “Fell In Love With a Girl” in all its glory. To quote Bob Dylan, “Play fuckin’ loud.”
Minnesota’s Goldfeather offer up the banjo-driven “Cave Museum” as the first single from their upcoming LP, Patchwork Quilt. The single captures the feeling of a late night campfire side jam. Over fast-paced banjo riff and Depression-era sounding violin, singer Sarah Goldfeather lets her sultry and dreamy voice glide like a watery stream. Clearly, the song is fully formed and arranged, but you get the idea that it could have been made up on the spot, reveling in its own performance and feeling.
Goldfeather is made up of members Sarah Goldfeather (vocals, violin), Dylan Mckinstry (vocals, mandolin, banjo), Katie Martucci (vocals, guitar), Nathan Koci (vocals, accordion, banjo) and Pat Swoboda (double bass).
Patchwork Quilt will be released in September 2016. In the meantime, check out the band’s web-site for more details, music videos and song clips.
Florida’s Sweet Cambodia brings the warm vibe of The Sunshine State to their newest single, “Sky”. The funky track is full of a collage of musical sounds: slap-bass, guitars that alternate between psychedelic pop and reggae and rock beats. The musical interplay between the band members is a thing of beauty: its the sound of a group who not only plays well together but also listens to each other.
“Sky” can be found on the band’s Tasty EP. Check out their Facebook page for additional info and shows and listen to “Sky” below.
The War on Drugs’ “Under the Pressure” is one of those songs that sounds best during a late night drive. Its warm and layered texture captures the heat of a late summer evening when the humid night air is actually worse than the day’s hot sun.
At the heart of the song is a hypnotic piano chord that repeats throughout the song. It’s the anchor of the song, but it’s not the driving force. There’s enough space between the repeating notes for the drums and bass to weave their way through. Over this, lead singer Adam Granduciel gives a vocal performance that is reminiscent of Bob Dylan circa Infidels ala “Jokerman”. Listen to the way he twists his voice the word “wasted” around when he sings, “but a dream like this gets wasted with you.”
To me “Under the Pressure” sounds like what would come if you mixed Dire Straits and Dylan up in a blender. If that’s the sound that Granduciel was going for, I’m almost certain that the Dylan-esque voice wasn’t coincidental. After all, Mark Knopfler was the producer of Infidels which included “Jokerman”.
There’s a a bit of pop classicism in The Blondies’ latest single “Your Eyes”. “Pop” in this sense being more of The Beatle-esque variety than what’s currently on the popular radio. The songwriting here is sharp and crisp, a perfect accompaniment for the sunny vibe of the song. Lead singer and songwriter Simon Lunche’s vocals are affectionate and sentimental without being disgustingly sweet.
“Your Eyes” precedes the group’s newest album, due out June 2016. For more info on the band, check out their site and listen to “Your Eyes” below.