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Friday, April 29, 2011

Mirror Face: Slouse EP

Slouse EP Cover Art

Those of us in the States remain pretty isolated to the music scene in Russia. So, finding Mirror Face was a very nice surprise. This duo from  Novosibirsk, Russia play shoegazy post-punk that would be at home anywhere. The four tracks on this second EP from the pair deliver catchy pop songs with fuzzy guitars, barely there vocals and wonderful minimalist production. Nothing pretentious to be found here. Just great pop songs served up the way they should be. There are many influences to be heard in Mirror Face's music from Deerhunter to Guided By Voices. Hopefully we will get to hear and see much more from these guys in the future. Stream and download their EP's at the link below.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Lexie Trip: Cain and Abel

Cain and Abel Cover Art

Cain and Abel, the debut album from Chicago's Lexie Trip is a hard edged no nonsense rock record. Stradling post-punk, hardcore and shoegaze, with an slight influence of blues thrown in Lexie Trip surpises with the format. While there are many duos plying their wares in indie music, Lexie Trip has a unique twist in that they are a drummer and a bassist. Obvious limitations of this setup aside, Lexie Trip put out solid tracks that sound complete. There is nothing missing. Heavy fuzz and effects on the bass give it the edge to replace a guitar, while still providing a bottom to keep the tracks together. The music is true to minimalist hardcore and just drives ahead without gimicks. One can envision that this music will just kick complete ass live, because it certainly does on record. Lexie Trip are everything good about heavy hard driving punk sensibilities. Stream and download Cain and Abel at the link below.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Esque: Tonightmares

Tonightmares Cover Art
After a couple of EP's, Esque's debut full length, Tonightmares,  is the realization of what an art rock album can be. The Brooklyn trio employees a cast of thousands including keyboards from former Psychedelic Fur Joe McGinty and production by former Fiery Furnace Toshi Yano. Right from the start the tracks evoke the ghost of Roxy Music and spring forth with a dark pattern of serious musicality masquerading as power pop. The production is sterling and the guitars weave intricate patterns that draw the listener into the heart of the music. Esque get it right in every way, vocally, lyrically and musically. Stream and download Tonightmares at the link below or risk waking up in the middle of the night with visions of Bryan Ferry asking you why.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mod Gun: Mod Gun

Mod Gun Cover Art

All dressed up and no place to shoegaze. That just sounds wrong on so many levels. Can they even see their shoes? No matter, despite appearing as the new poster children for nerd rock, Mod Gun deliver straight ahead shoegaze that spans the range of influences from fuzzed out to lo-fi to power pop. This self-titled debut album, by the Boston based quartet, gives us 11 tracks of catchy songs with their own unique form and no hooks. That's right, no hooks. This band is not afraid to write what they feel and to present it in a genre breaking format.This is not your parent's rock radio drivel. Light and airy to heavy and in your face, this album makes a statement that Mod Gun are to be taken seriously. Stream and download the album for free at the link below. You'll be happy you did.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Daria Takes the Stairs: Trees​/​Portugal EP

Trees/Portugal EP Cover Art

The saying goes, from the mouths of babes...blah, blah, blah. Well 17 years old isn't really babes, but it isn't seasoned pros either. Daria Takes the Stairs is a Connecticut trio of 17 year olds making music well past their years. The two tracks, Trees and Portugal, offer simple pop songs with all the best qualities. Unpretenious, well produced and catchy, the tracks are all the more impressive knowing that these teens only did these as demos and are in the process of writing and recording their debut full length. If they are this good at 17, one can only imagine how good the music will be when they are actually old enough to get into a bar to play. This is a band that should be listened to, watched and expected to live up to the potential shown with these first tracks. Stream and download Trees/Portugal at the link below. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Sun Glitters: Cosmic Oceans (feat. Steffaloo)

cosmic oceans (feat. Steffaloo) Cover Art

When I think of Luxembourg I think of...well actually I don't think of anything. So it is a pleasant opportunity to present the music of electronic beat master Victor Ferreira aka Sun Glitters. His latest EP, Cosmic Oceans, is a sample heavy, fuzzy psych instrumental work comprising 3 tracks, with ethereal backing vocals and lyrics by Los Angeles' Steffaloo. This is shoegaze at the edge of the electric frontier with minimalist beats, mashed up samples coming straight from the blender on the bar and an overall edge that is ever so softly sharp. Stream and download Cosmic Oceans and the rest of Sun Glitters' offerings at the link below.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fura: Mustela Putorius

Mustela Putorius Cover Art

Spain is a country that blends many cultural influences into what is immediately recognized as uniquely Spanish. The same can be said of the Spanish instrumental quartet Fura. Taking influences from classical music, post-rock, metal and shoegaze, the band crafts the 3 songs on their debut EP, Mustela Putorius, into a sound unique to them. The music is heavy, with a dark patina that creates nothing less than a tone poem for the listener to traverse. The tracks conjure a comparison to Tool in that they are musically both simple and complex at the same time, begging for the mindful participation of the listener. Mustela Putorius is a virtuosic journey into music that is distinctly Fura. Stream and download the EP at the link below.  

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Corita: Memento Mori

Memento Mori Cover Art

I love the Dum Dum Girls, The Vivian Girls and all things post-punk, especially when it comes from NYC. Brooklyn has given us many good bands and now delivers another, Corita. Cut from the same mold as the afore mentioned bands (except for their token male drummer), their latest EP, Memento Mori is full of fuzzy pop tunes, with understated vocals and harmonies. This EP is compelling on many levels, the songs are compelling, the arrangements work flawlessly and the harmonies draw you into the full impact of the semi lo-fi production. This is a band that I certainly want to hear more from. Stream and download their EP's at the link below.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pet Milk: Demo

Demo Cover Art

Pet Milk is a quartet from Philadephia, PA. Their music is from the garage side of shoegaze. Heavy guitars, lo-fi vocals, (too) out front drums and uneven production dominate this debut release. The six demos have a somewhat tentative feel to them, like the band is not quite ready to put their all into the tracks. There are flashes of what could be in every track, but no one track seems to put it all together. That's a shame, because the promise of this band certainly shows through. Of course, that is exactly what one would expect with demos, tentative versions of what will become fully crafted recordings. We look forward to hearing what will come next from Pet Milk. They are definately worth a listen. Stream and download their Demo for free at the link below.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Lucy Dreams: The BeachP

The BeachP Cover Art

The BeachP is the latest EP from shoegaze band Lucy Dreams. This Atlanta band serves up 6 songs of straight ahead dream pop music with a small side order of lo-fi. Synths and guitars weave together to form a base from which expansive arrangements grow. The vocals are understated but work in the overall context, though they could benefit from being more prominent. From the instrumental side, the musicianship is strong and the parts are compelling while at the same time unpretentious. Stream and download The BeachP for free at the link below.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Special Saturday Update - Boring Girls Release Debut Full Length Album

Boring Girls Cover Art

The Wednesday review this week was of the debut EP by Cambridge, UK's Boring Girls. Thankfully we didn't have to wait long for more. On April 15, Boring Girls released the self titled debut full length album. Twelve tracks of pure punk (including remastered versions from the EP) worthy of the title of holders to the keys to the punk castle. As I said in the previous review, Boring Girls are the real thing and they deliver nothing less on this album. What you'll get is everything that was good about punk in the 70's, served up to the new millennium true to the roots, but uncompromised for the future. Stream and download Boring Girls at the link below, or be forever banished to a land of banality. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Youth Castles: Sight Seeing

Sight Seeing Cover Art
Youth Castles are a new band/solo project based out of Brooklyn, NY. Not much information to be had on the "band" except a vague reference to this being a solo bedroom DIY project. Youth Castles have posted 5 tracks to their Bandcamp site since January. The latest is Sight Seeing. What is served up is a heady mix of out there vocals and dream pop instruments that mesh together well with a light lo-fi production. Psychedelic and warm, the song lofts along while at the same time managing to challenge sonically. There are hints of a 6 song EP coming soon. Keep your fingers crossed, Youth Castles should deliver some more music to eagerly waiting ears. You can stream and download Sight Seing for free at the link below, as well as being able to download the rest of Youth Castles music.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Adah: The Convalescent EP

The Convalescent Cover Art

Adah is a band from Richmond, VA, who's MySpace lists about 16 different members. This makes some sense after listening to their debut, The Convalescent EP. The music is lush. Layer after layer of instruments and voices, both male and female. Lush melodies, lush arrangements and overall beautiful music. At once remaniscent of many other bands, but also unique in its own right. This is music with a purpose, with structure, with dynamics and not to be taken lightly. The four songs on the EP are certainly not enough and I for one cannot wait to hear more. Adah is a must listen. Their EP can be stream and downloaded for free at the link below.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Boring Girls: Boring Girls Mixtape (Side A )

Boring Girls Mixtape (Side A) Cover Art
Punk is a word overused in today’s musical vernacular. Punk was an attitude, an ethic, a lifestyle. That was the late 70’s, but what is punk today. The answer to that question is…Boring Girls. Unlike many bands today that wear their punk label like so many posers at a political ball, Boring Girls is the real thing. Angry, loud, in your face music that is lo-fi even for lo-fi.  Boring Girls are Ollie Kane, Dan Smith and Maxwell Tait from Cambridge, UK. These three serve up a sound that is true to the memory of the punks that went before them. Raw, compelling and evocative, this is music that is meant to be heard and preferably at a decibel level that brings pain. Boring Girls Mixtape (Side A) is the debut EP from a band destined to take punk into the future, while staying true to the past. Stream the EP and download it at the link below, or we’ll all come to your house and kick your arse:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

[aftersun]: Pain Sounds EP

Pain Sounds EP Cover Art

[aftersun] is the solo project of Brooklyn native and ex-Telltale member Stephan Cherkashin. Pain Sounds is [aftersun]’s debut EP and the follow up to the Goodbye single released in January. This EP provides an abundance of fine musicianship, weaving strands of heavy guitars with darkwave and ambient textures into a shoegaze journey through  cavernous tracks. The barely there vocals set the mood, with minimalist drums serving to provide just enough movement to keep the tracks going forward. Balancing all of this is no minor feat and Cherkashin makes it seem effortless. Each track reaches out to the listener to become more compelling than the last, until the EP is finished and one feels compelled to go to the beginning and start the journey all over again. This is very simply shoegaze at its best. Stream and download Pain Sounds at the link below:

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hot Molasses: Frankly

Frankly Cover Art
Frankly is the sophomore EP from Somerville, MA natives Hot Molasses.  The music is fun, infectious power pop. Imagine the unnatural offspring of a union between The B-52s and Modest Mouse, with Gary Moore playing lead guitar and you have Hot Molasses. Light hearted arrangements and vocals do little to mask the serious heavy rock hiding beneath. Melding elements of shoegaze, pop and classic rock, Hot Molasses delivers an album of unique music worthy of anyone’s record collection. Stream and download Frankly and their first EP, Molassachusetts, for free at the link below.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Deep Heaven Now 3 Compilation

deep heaven now 3 compilation Cover Art
Here's a Friday bonus for FSB readers. On April 14th and 15th, the Deep Heaven Now 3 Festival will be held in Somerville, MA, Union Square Plaza at Pa's Lounge and Precinct. They have posted a compilation album on Bandcamp featuring tracks from the 27 bands playing. The compilation is a great way to get a view into Boston's thriving psychedelic/shoegaze scene. If you're in the Boston area try to go and hear some fine music. Stream and downlaod the compilation for free at the link below:

Para Siempre: Hysteria

Hysteria Cover Art
Hysteria is the third album from Para Siempre, another mysterious musical entity. Through some Google searching managed to come up with an email address and made a request for info. Got an equally cryptic response. Para Siempre is the solo project of an 18 year old named John, who lives in San Ramon, CA. To quote John, "Super boring place. So i make music to entertain myself. uh. I mean. i guess thats all there really is to say. I play guitar and bass on the songs and use a drum machine." We'll that's not really all there is to say. The music is the best of the lo-fi aesthetic. Muffled, distorted, pop songs that work track after track. The music is mature beyond John’s years and are just fine on every level. Hope others pick up on this music as it deserves a wide audience. Would love to see him at the Scion Garage Fest, or opening for Wavves or Times New Viking. Stream the music and download Hysteria and the other Para Siempre albums for free at the link below:

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Arctic Flow: There Will Never Be Another Night Like Tonight

There Will Never Be Another Night Like Tonight Cover Art

There Will Never Be Another Night Like Tonight is the latest 3 song single from The Arctic Flow, the alter ego of prolific artist Brian Hancheck.  Since first appearing in 2009, The Arctic Flow have released almost a dozen singles and albums. All this music has one thing in common, it is absolutely wonderful.  The Arctic Flow have in this time become one of my favorite bands and possibly the best band you have never heard of. Which is truly a shame, as the songs are shoegaze greatness with sterling musicianship and vocals that keep one wanting more. You can download There Will Never Be Another Night Like Tonight for free at the link below. Do it now or be frozen out of great music.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Telewire: The Telewire

The Telewire Cover Art

We are not alone in the Universe. Scientists have detected a strong shoegaze signal emanating directly from the center of….……Austin, TX. The Telewire is the self-titled debut album from what is purported to be a solo project from Stephen Thurman. We say purported because we know nothing about Stephen Thurman except his name from the songwriting credits. The Telewire are as mysterious as their music, which is heavy spacerock worthy of a Buck Rogers remake. No Facebook, no MySpace, no bio or contact info, just fuzzy, buzzy, echoey and delightful shoegaze music. Download The Telewire album for free at the link below.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Phantom Vibrations: Kids EP

KIDS EP Cover Art
Dreamy is the one word to describe the Kids EP, the debut from St Paul’s Phantom Vibration. The trio make very dreamy music with the organ as a lead instrument. This works for them. The songs are well constructed and don’t fall neatly into some formula. Rather they span an array of influences from the 60’s to the present. The sound is beautiful, with vocals that float effortlessly over the bed made by the minimal instrumentation. Though a mere 4 songs, the EP is a sonic journey through shoegaze with a pop band married to a church organ. Nothing heavy here. Just wonderfully dreamy music to bring peace to the head and joy to the spirit. Sidle up to the organ and download the Kids EP for free at the link below.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Tashaki Miyaki: Tashak It To Me

tashak it to me Cover Art

No who, no what, no when, only why isn’t there more music.  Tashaki Miyaki are a complete mystery. A Google search finds nothing. There is no information on their Bandcamp site, except that they are from the Planet Earth. All we have is the debut 2 song EP Tashak It To Me. The two tracks, Somethin Is Better Than Nothin and All I Have To Do Is Dream, immediately invoke a comparison to Best Coast. Stylistically the bands are very similar, almost too much so. Tashaki Miyaki try to muffle that similarity in a harder edged lo-fi sound. This esthetic works for the tracks mainly because, just like Best Coast, they are pure pop goodness. I love Best Coast and I also love these two tracks from Tashaki Miyaki. The true test for this band, however, will be if they can forge their own musical identity and break that inevitable comparison. Planet Earth already has Best Coast and, regardless of how good, doesn’t need a doppelganger.  The Tashak It To Me EP is available for free download at the link below.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Wails: Wails EP

Wails EP Cover Art
Wails’ self titled debut EP is everything that one could ask for in a post-punk, shoegaze record. The Houston trio puts it all together with strong songs, strong playing, strong vocals and production that perfectly frames the delivery of the music.  I find myself listening to this EP over and over. The songs range from hard edged to softer power pop.  Breathy vocals deliver lyrics which have something to say on every track. This record is very easy to sum up…Love It, Love It, Love It. What else is there to say. Go get this one now on Wails’ Bandcamp site. The link below will take you to the demo Next Time Around that the band recently posted and also to the stream and download for the Wails EP.