New Orleans duo Caddywhompus have followed up their 2010 colossal Remainder, with a brand new EP, The Weight. Check out the big title track above, or head over to their label, Community Records, to download the whole EP for free. Caddywhompus will be making a stop in Cleveland at the Happy Dog with fellow labelmates A Billion Ernies on Tuesday (tomorrow), and I’ll be DJing before the bands from 8-10. So come out, eat a hot dog, and see these fun out-of-towners!
Stream the new Pains of Being Pure at Heart track “Belong” from their upcoming album of the same name. Pains teamed up with famed producer Flood to help give the new album a big punch, and judging by the :15 mark, he did exactly that. It’s also extremely great to still hear Kip Berman’s innocence pouring through the lyrics and that big fuzz that made me fall in love with Pains back in 2009. And look at the beautiful art for Belong below. Preorder is up on Insound.
Recorded last year, Cleveland noise-makers Swindlella are using the time of the year to release a special Christmas album called Purr rump pum pum pum. In comparison to their last release, the Titanic concept album A Woman’s Heart Is An Ocean of Secrets, these Xmas tracks are low-key for Swindlella’s standards, and you might even call them catchy at times. They still take the opportunity to go into noise frenzies in opener “Rudolf Hitler” and standout “Jingle Bells.” In between those fits, Swindlella shows a love for the jazz on their piano-and-bells cover of Vince Guaraldi Trio’s “Christmas Time Is Here.” Other Christmas songs represented are “Frosty The Snowman,” “First Noel,” “Silent Night,” and the album closer “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” Check out a few of the tracks above, and download the full album by clicking on the album art above!
Emerging from the dark suburbs, Ethiopians are another young set of kids furthering the already booming Cleveland music scene. Ethiopians is the duo of guitarist Marty Brass and drummer Paul Ryan, and they play a foxy pop sound covered with 60s-esque garage in a lo-fi mindset. Above are tracks from their new cassette, Beautiful Marmalade, via the UK’s Tye Die Tapes, that can be ordered from Rough Trade right here.
This Colorado two-piece is furthering itself as one of 2010′s best new bands. Seriously, they only have five songs recorded and they all are incredible, that has to amount for something. Here it there newest maximalist-dream single, “Out, Don’t…,” out now on Mexican Summer on clear gold/yellow vinyl. Buy it here. And if you haven’t already, check out huge track “I Was Thinking…” from an earlier 7″ on Forest Family Records.
In a state music scene where indie folk usually rules, a band like We Are Hex is bound to stand out. We Are Hex is a quartet from Indianapolis, making big, loud, and noisy post-punk. They released their second full-length, Hail The Goer, back in the summer, but the music has hit me nicely in the fall months. ”Birthplace of the Mystics” and “We Are The Goer” are the opening tracks on the album, filled from beginning to end with dark pop melodies, haunting girl vocals, and nasty post-punk climaxes. You can order the LP directly from Roaring Colonel, or you can head over to BandCamp and get the album for $6. We Are Hex is going to be playing my DIY space, Jurassic Park, tomorrow night with fellow Indy friends Learner Dancer and Lafayette locals Why I Like Robins, so you Indianans should definitely stop by!
Here’s the newest installment in the five 7″ singles series from fuzz-rockers Japandroids this year! “Heavenward Grand Prix” is an ominous wrecking ball filled with Brian’s scuzzy guitar, Dave’s forceful drumming, and shouts of, “We don’t have to be like there are!” This will be coming out on November 17th, which is also 7″ Day! You can preorder it by itself right HERE, or you can get it HERE with a few other Polyvinyl 7″ releases that day for a lower price! Also, check their MySpace for a bunch of upcoming dates with The Walkmen!
Swindlella is made of two young Cleveland kids, Jayson and Chris, who love to get down to business and make real noise. They’ve been playing around the area for a few months, including a recent out-store at Music Saves. A Woman’s Heart is an Ocean of Secrets is their newest EP, which is a 10-minute concept album about the movie Titanic. So get the woman and children and put on some goddamn life-vests, cause this is one hell of a ride. If you got nothing to do tonight and wanna see some crazy bands, get over to the Happy Dog! Swindlella is going to be opening for Good For Cows, who is basically the drummer from Xiu Xiu, Ches Smith. And from what I hear, he is incredible, so make sure you don’t miss this one! And check out this sweet John G poster for the show!
I am a little late on the rush, but any time is a good time for Gauntlet Hair! I had the music a while back, but “I Was Thinking…” didn’t hit me until recently, and it hit big. I feel like every “witty comparison to something abstract” has been already written, so go read those for yourself. In the meantime, check out this incredible 7″ released by Forest Family Records. If you were cooler than me and caught onto this earlier, you should have or did order the “cloudy” 7″, because at this point it has sold out. Rumor has it that they are have or are going to begin recording a full-length soon.
“Say No To Love” is the newest single from cutesy indie poppers The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. The A-side is a near-perfect pop track, within the clean-cut twee riffs and Kip Berman’s wannabe-Brit vocals, and a bridge that’s about as heavy as Pains will ever get. B-side, “Lost Saint”, is a nice acoustic ballad, floating around with starry synths and a glittering guitar solo. This seems like a drift away from their noise pop sound on their 2009 self-titled, but it’s not bad at all. They are going for a more elegant pop sound, much like tracks on their Higher Than The Stars EP, and it sounds better than ever. I got to see The Pains of Being Pure at Heart last night at Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland, and picked up a copy of this 7″ on seafoam green vinyl! If you can’t catch them on their tour with Surfer Blood, you can order a copy from Slumberland when this release on June 8th (tomorrow!).
Genre: Experimental, Noise, Drone, Drum n Bass
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Label: Kanine Records Myspace
01. East German Western
02. Electric Car, Gas Guitar
04. I Hate Letters
05. I Hate Numbers
06. Cage Those Pythons
07. Haze on the Mobius Strip
08. Nuke Duke ’Em
10. BEAD (flashback)
Dinowalrus are certainly an interestingly odd trio of guys of Brooklyn, NY. A few of their songs have been floating around the internet, like the track “Electric Car, Gas Guitar” I posted a while back, but their full album was no where to be found. So I had to resort to using gift card money on iTunes to get their debut album (not recommended at all). After a few full listens, % is any or all of these: spastic, noisy, inconsistent, groovy, loud, fun, nonsensical, and lovable. Big reverb echoes heavily through the entire record, on top of loads of bass grooves and freaky drones. Any fan of the LA noise scene (HEALTH, No Age, Liars) will appreciate and love this album, so check it out! % was released earlier this year on Kanine Records, and you can pick up the CD/LP from them or the band on their website.
P.S. A bonus of getting the album from iTunes is the music video for “BEAD” including the file! Enjoy!
Genre: Experimental, Noise, Indie Rock
Location: Houston TX / New Orleans LA
Label: Community Records Myspace Website
01. Let The Water Hit The Floor
02. Big Fun
04. Balloon Knot
05. At Bay
07. Congo Half-Mask
08. Same Difference
Earlier this year, bedroom noise droner Chris Rehm sent me his album, Salivary Stones, which still stands as one of the most awing artist submissions I’ve gotten to date. After I had posted that, I told Chris to keep in contact with new music he’s involved with, and I really didn’t expect Caddywhompus to be that next thing. Caddywhompus, out of the Texas and Louisiana, is made up of Chris Rehm on guitar and vocals, and Sean Hart on drums. After a couple EPs, Remainder is their debut album being released by New Orleans-based small label Community Records. As for Caddywhompus’ sound, it’s part Japandroids, part Fang Island, part No Age, and part This Town Needs Guns. Opening track “Let The Water Hit The Floor”, shoots off like a steamroller with an off-tempo barrage of guitar and drums. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of this song is how it ends, in typically Chris Rehm ambient-fashion. Things get deliciously noisy at the towards the end of the album with “Golden” and “Congo Half-Mask”, but last track “Same Difference” triumphantly brings this grand record together in a delicate way. Remainder gets it official release on May 11th, which happens to be today! This will be out on a run of 500 vinyl and 500 hand-made CDs, which you can order HERE. Caddywhompus will be a long trek around the country supporting their debut, so look out for the dates.
Genre: Noise Pop, Garage
Location: Chicago, IL
Label: Hozac Records MySpace
01. My Heart
02. Boys Are Fine
03. Girls In Love
05. Imagine, Pt 3
06. New Song 1
07. New Song 2
08. New Song 3
09. Be Me Girl
On April 10th of the year 2010, I had the utmost privilege of seeing the teenage Smith Westerns in concert at Schubas in Chicago. They lived up to their reputation, filling the room with girl-loving pop tunes and their laughable snottiness. Overall, it was a damn fun and enjoyable show, just a bunch of people having a good time including myself. I found this bootleg on NPR’s SXSW coverage, taken from their SXSW Day Party with some other sweet bands, including Sleigh Bells, Local Natives, and Surfer Blood. The Smith Westerns opened with album-ending “My Heart”, blazing into soft song turned heavy glam jam, “Boys Are Fine”. They played three new songs, which don’t differ too much from their songs on self-titled, but do reflect these teens getting older. If you are a Smith Westerns fan, you will enjoy listening to this. And especially hearing lead singer Cullen Omori in the beginning of “Tonight” say, “Uh can we get some fog? Yeah?” Oh these kids.
P.S. If anyone knows the name of the new songs, please comment!
Genre: Noise, Garage, Indie Rock, Punk
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Label: Polyvinyl Myspace
01. Darkness on the Edge of Gastown
02. No Allegiance to the Queen
03. Sexual Aerosol
05. Lucifer’s Symphony
06. Couture Suicide
07. Avant Sleepwalk
08. Coma Complacency
09. To Hell With Good Intentions
10. Press Corps
My extreme love for Japandroids is only growing. My buddy and I drove to Champaign, IL, also the home of Polyvinyl Records, to see Japandroids with label-mates Love Is All opening (who were incredible). Of course Japandroids ruled, and I picked up a shirt and this just-picked-up-from-the-label record. So as were about to get in the car and leave, we see the guitarist Brian out near their van. My friend and I probably talked with him for about 15-20 minutes, honestly one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. So when I post this album, I expect a bunch of you guys to give back to Japandroids! If you haven’t heard about No Singles, Polyvinyl is compiling Japandroids’ first two EPs, 2007′s All Lies and 2008′s Lullaby Death Jams, into a single official release. The biggest difference between No Singles and 2009′s Post-Nothing is that Post-Nothing definitely leaned more towards a indie rock sound, and No Singles boasts a sound full and full of punk. Opener, “Darkness on the Edge of Gastown”, will tell you that in the first 20 seconds. Pre-order this from Polyvinyl Records on either white or black vinyl, and it also comes with a sweet 32-page booklet with photos from the 2006-2008 Japandroids!
Japandroids have a very very busy 2010 planned, and those plans actually don’t include recording or releasing a follow-up to 2009′s Post-Nothing. But there’s no reason to be sad, Japandroids have some big reasons for you to be super happy this year. They are going to be releasing five 7″s throughout the year with a leftover Post-Nothing jam and a cover. So here is the first installment of the 7″ series, “Art Czars”, a garage-punk anthem alongside a heart-racing cover of Big Black’s “Racer-X”. You can order this 7″ over at Polyvinyl Records on sweet clear vinyl!!! But get on it quick, I hear they are close to running out.
Genre: Electronic, Drone, Noise
Location: New York/New Jersey
Label: Kimberly Dawn Records Website
04. Things I Saw
Last year, one of the best artist submissions I got was Endless Endless Endless, with their Black Talisman tape/CDR. I’m glad they kept in touch with me, as this is their first effort of 2010. Here is a quick bio of the Things I Saw 3″ that they sent me, “The new Endless Endless Endless release is now available on Kimberly Dawn Recordings. This new recording captures the energy of the band’s recording process of gameboy, guitar, and go, two musicians performing on a single take. All 4 of the tracks on this cdr were improvised and recorded at a single session. The first 3 songs (“North”, “South” and “West”) are all sections of a single jam while the last song, “Things I Saw”, revisits the thematic ideas of the first three songs as a hypnotic rhythmic cycle.” All of this is pretty unbelievable, especially the single session part. Listening to this, you would never get any idea that it took them one session to record this. The music is fluid and never sounds out of place for a second. “North” and “South” are short and quick, “West” ends with beautiful glitches all around, and the title track, “Things I Saw” is the noisy gloomy end-all to an excellent release from this duo. This EP was released on 50 hand-stamped CDRs from Kimberly Dawn Records, but those have since sold-out. From their most recent post, it looks like they will be getting more in at some point, so keep checking.
Genre: Noise, Psychedelic
Location: Seattle, WA
Label: Sub Pop Myspace
01. Black Mark
02. Two Legged Dog
04. New Punk 27
05. Reasonably Nautical
06. New Punk
07. Slide 9
One month into 2010, and it’s easy to say that Sub Pop is already having a stellar year. AFCGT is an odd five-piece band hailing from Seattle, formed from the bands A-Frames and Climax Golden Twin. I saw this record in a local record store and I picked it up and stared at it for a while. Something about it really intrigued me, and I couldn’t figure out why. The music fared no different. I listened to the first track, “Black Mark”, and just stared at a wall and couldn’t say anything. “Two Legged Dog”, the following 10-minute epic, just left my mind in an absolute state of bewilderment. AFCGT has managed to release one of those few albums a year that puts your jaw on the ground. Another one of the more interesting things about AFCGT is how it was released on vinyl and digital, no compact disc. Although you can’t pick up your precious 3.5″ disc, the 12″ LP comes with a bonus 7″. Lord knows how much madness can fit on that.
P.S. I made a Facebook page for The Noise Is. I’ve been contemplating it for a while and I think it’s a good way to complement the Twitter page, plus I can post other links that I don’t necessarily want to post. Become a fan! FACEBOOK FACEBOOK FACEBOOK
UPDATE: I re-uploaded this in 320, and included the two 7″ bonus tracks, “Korin” and “Niche”!
01. Salivary Stones
02. Don’t Leave Me Blue
03. Up Blazes The Hot Lust For Having
04. (Not Thinking About The Future)
05. Summer, Part II
I’ve gotten a bunch of artist submissions lately, so I’ll probably be posting all of those in the next few days. I’m gonna start off with one of the best bedroom projects I’ve heard in a while. Chris Rehm, out of Houston TX, plays noise/ambient/drone, with a result that’s disturbingly beautiful. From the first seconds of the opening title track, the sound fills your ears like an explosion. Perhaps the most impressive part of Salivary Stones is how Rehm does so much in only six songs. He jumps across the spectrum of frightening drone (“Up Blazes The Hot Lust For Having”) to a beautifully created atmosphere (“(Not Thinking About The Future)”), and even an acoustic ballad (“Soggy”). I couldn’t pick a favorite from these songs, because the whole thing has stuck with me. The tracks flow together so well that there is no need for a specific favorite. Salivary Stones was originally released on January 16th on cassette, but now is up for digital download on his Band Camp site. I can only hope if you’ve read this that you’ll give it a deep listen, and please do what Chris Rehm asks, “Play this album very loud.”
Genre: Indie Rock, Post-Punk, Noise, Lo-fi
Location: Portland, OR
Label: Woodsist Records MySpace
01. Never Been To Church
02. World Is Going To End Soon
03. This Is Not My Home
04. Unemployment Forever
05. I Was Wrong
06. False Summer
07. People Will Say Anything
08. A Thousand Regrets
09. Failures Selected By God
10. My Heart’s Heart
Back in my Real Estate post, I mentioned how Woodsist Records was a loaded lo-fi label. Well it only gets better with Meth Teeth, making Woodsist one of my favorite labels this year. These Portland, OR natives bump out some noisy lo-fi, with fuzzy post-punk, and a nice touch of indie pop in the mix. I loved the way their album review from their label put it, “Ultra catchy summertime rockers keep you sad and lonely, and upbeat and hopeful all at once.” I wouldn’t expect something really poppy, but Everything Went Wrong is quite an unmatched record this year.
Genre: Electronic, Drone, Noise
Location: New York/New Jersey
Label: Unsigned Main Site
A1. I Remember
B1. A Way
I’m not even going to try to write about these guys, the description they sent me does much better. Read carefully:
Black Talisman is the debut recording from the New York/Jersey duo of Brett Renfer (Brooklyn: guitar, vocals, and pedals) and James Tichenor (Jersey: Korg Gameboy DS). Splitting their time between triumphant post-noise and stretched out bummer-wave, Endless Endless Endless creates music from the sounds of shimmering guitars, squiggly synth lines, filter sweep synth washes, slow-mo 8-bit drums, and infinite layered vocal harmonies all mushed together into a psychedelic, blissed-out smoothie. With no overdubs and minimal editing, Black Talisman captures Endless Endless Endless riffing as songs and ideas build, blur, loop and die. This is music for (and from) pretzel rods and Miller highlife. Hand-made, numbered edition of 100 (53 tapes) (47 cdrs) comes with large laser etched Talisman and (secret) mp3 download link. Wear the Talisman and it will bring you infinite power.