Nick Tolar and his Herzog boys crept up on all of us with a new album. The new album, Cartoon Violence, got its release to Cleveland last Wednesday at their record release show at the Happy Dog with Shoreway. Listen and download the fantastic power-pop opener, “Fuck This Year,” and try your hardest to not get those double guitar riffs stuck in your head. Tolar is already one of the best songwriters in Cleveland, and when you put a regular band behind him, things get really nice for us. Head over to fellow Cleveland blog I Rock Cleveland for their great review of Cartoon Violence and another MP3 from the record.
The title says it all! If you missed out on the super-limited Transparent pressing, head over to Exit Stencil to pick up one of the 300 copies on random colored vinyl. If you haven’t heard the album yet, take a few listens below.
Great news for us Americans! Herzog is the garage-rock project of Clevelander Nick Tolar, who’s debut Search has been a big hit both in the US and UK, after being the first full-album release from UK label Transparent. Only pressed on 200 copies of black vinyl, sales in the UK have been strong and Nick sold out of every copy sent to him at the release show in Cleveland. In order to meet the growing demand for this album, Cleveland/Brooklyn-based label Exit Stencil Recordings, with releases this year from Like Bells,HotChaCha, and the New Lou Reeds, are going to be picking up Search for a US release. The post on their website says to stay tuned for more info, but I can guarantee some crazy-looking vinyl from Gotta Groove Records (HotChaCha, Like Bells, The New Lou Reeds)!
Last night, a big crowd packed into the famed Cleveland hot dog establishment for local heroes The New Lou Reeds’ record release show and first show in three years. For certain reasons, I found myself back in Cleveland for the weekend and decided is was not acceptable for me to miss this show. I headed over a little bit early to grab a loaded dog before the bands started. First up was Madame & the Moist Toilettes, a bluesy garage duo with a set full of simple riff-rock anthems that I found quite enjoyable. Quickly after the end of the Toilettes, my personal favorites Herzog took the stage for the third time ever. Since the first time I saw them at the Grog Shop, which was also their first time ever playing live, Nick Tolar and his crew have gained a full, big, and confident sound. They were, without a doubt, arena-ready, like they should opening for Weezer for a few dates. Their set was scattered with tracks from their debut, Search, and a few new ones. The highlight was the seamless transition from the alt-rock climax of “Town to Town” immediately into the huge ending of “Static Shock.” It was especially nice seeing a few faces in the bigger-than-usual crowd singing along to the beginning of “Living Alone,” or the “ooh ooh ooh”s of “Static Shock.” Herzog finished, but people were demanding more with “one more song” chants, to which Nick answered with, “The New Lou Reeds are playing for the first time in three fucking years!” After more people crowded into the Dog, The New Lou Reeds anxiously took the stage with little rust on their backs. They ran threw songs from their new album Hit Songs, as their sleazy blues-rock seemingly answered the prayers of a big group of people, some of which probably saw them three years ago. Check out videos of Herzog’s “Living Alone,” and The New Lou Reeds’ “Headed For A Felony” after the jump, along with some rockin’ photos.
P.S. I apologize in advance for the low amount of light in the videos and that my camera ran out of battery at the end of “Felony.”
Add Herzog to the growing list of Cleveland bands having an incredible year! Native Clevelander Nick Tolar solo bedroom project, Herzog, is set for 90s indie rock stardom. His debut album, Search, is also the debut album release of UK blog turned label Transparent, and that definitely hasn’t hurt him in terms of internet buzz. Here’s a few tracks from the debut, including the best opening ten seconds of any song ever in “Silence,” the Dinosaur Jr.-loving mega-epic ”Town To Town,” and the über-1990s grungy anthem “Paul Blart And The Death Of Art.” You can buy the whole album via BandCamp for a mere $6.50, or order the 12″ LP from Pure Groove (for UKers). For us Americans, we should see some copies via Leftist Nautical Antiques or you can pick one up at his record release show on Sept. 10th at the Happy Dog with openers Megachurch and Wombs!
On a night of so many shows going on, it was tough to decide where to go! I finally chose to get myself over to the Grog Shop for the retro-country Phosphorescent, indie-folkers Lowly, The Tree Ghost, and indie rocksters Herzog. Before I had got there, I expected Fleet Foxes’ member J.Tillman to be opening for Phosphorescent, but learned that his grandfather had just past away, so he jumped off the Cleveland date and Herzog got added. Although the situation wasn’t ideal, I was really excited to see Herzog perform hheaving downloaded their new album off BandCamp a few weeks ago. And since Herzog is the one man project of Clevelander Nick Tolar, I think last night could have been his first show with a full band, having Brian and Dan from Megachurch on bass and drums. When they took the stage, you could tell that Tolar was a bit nervous to play these songs for the first time, but they came out super strong and got a great response from the crowd, especially in 90s throwback indie-rock anthem “Paul Blart And The Death Of Art.” Shortly after Tolar and his dudes ended their set, six-piece indie-folk group Lowly, The Tree Ghost took the stage. Ever since they sent me their double-EP booklet a few weeks ago, their songs have been running around my head. Lowly definitely proved their talent through their lively and warm tracks, above all in their quick country tune “Jeremy Fisher.” The trump factor for them is definitely their violinist Laura Simna, she stood out like a shining star within the pretty folk tunes. Acting as a perfect opener for Matthew Houck and his band, Phosphorescent soon after took the stage. I was plainly exhausted from a full day of driving, and wasn’t feeling too well, so I only said for a few songs. Houck led off with 9-minute Here’s to Taking it Easy-closer ”Los Angeles,” and then preceded with opening track “It’s Hard to Be Humble (When You’re From Alabama).” Just from watching for about ten-minute, it was easy to tell that Houck has this charismatic stage presence that most people dream of. And add that with the ultra-retro vibe onstage, from the 50s and 60s era Gibson guitars, to the steel slide guitar. Right as I was leaving, Phosphorescent broke into “Nothing Was Stolen (Love Me Foolishly),” which was a bit ironic considering all of their stuff was stolen in New York, but thankfully everything was recovered a few days later. I brought my camera to the show, but forgot my memory card in my computer so I didn’t get any videos, but the pictures didn’t turn out so bad (thanks internal memory). I’ll update this post later with a few from KingOfTheCastle7′sYoutube channel, as he was there taking video of everything.