Monday, September 17, 2018

Dominy and the country tinged indie rocker "Mary Don't Bury Me" is infectious

Dominy hails from Philadelphia and their latest Mary Don't Bury Me off their new EP "Dry Pleather" is a country tinged indie rocker that sits comfortably between Lou Reed, The Kinks, Van Morrison and Cracker. Love the sounds and hate (jealous) how effortlessly Dominy spews out earnest real rockers with charm, irreverent reflections and contagious hooks galore. 

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Robb Donker



The Arrogant Afterglow- multi-flavored big bad rock collabed from around the world - hear "Admission"

The Arrogant Afterglow are Loredana Ribera and Nathaniel Sokoll-Ward who write, record and produce their music apart from each other collaborating from different corners of the world from disparate locations like Bali, Doha, Melbourne, Seattle and Lisbon. 

From their website:


Nathaniel posted Craigslist ads to 60 music hubs around the world looking for a vocalist to team up with. Hundreds of responses and a handful of dick-pics later, he connected with Loredana on the Seattle Craigslist. Aside from being a kick-ass singer, Loredana was an experienced multi-instrumentalist and accomplished producer. 

Loredana and Nathaniel began writing music together as The Arrogant Afterglow in early 2018. The first single, Admission, dropped on September 14, 2018. Their debut EP ships late 2018.

Their debut single Admission while possessing post punk leanings is also very much a straight rocker with heavy metal /alternative rock bones. Loredana has the vocal prowess to get big and headbangingly bad and the agressive lead guitar work works well with any hard rock genre. I look forward to hearing more from these two. Rock on.

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Robb Donker

Montalban Quintet's - "Kisses" a shape shifting creation between alt folk, jazz pop and psychedelia





































The song Kisses by Montalban Quintet is a a kind of shape shifting creation that lies somewhere between alt folk and jazz pop, between folk fusion and psychedelia, between an intoxicating lost weekend and floating up to heaven. I thought of a strange hybrid of Ramin Djawadi, Radiohead, Sarah Jaffe, Pink Floyd and (even Judy Collins) coalesced together. Montalban Quintet is the avant classical, jazz and pop long running experiment put together by Pinback drummer Chris Prescott. It is from the new "Under The River" album. Kisses, somber yet beautiful and dark like bent reflections in black water.

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Robb Donker 

PRESS NOTES

Under the Riverthe forthcoming album from Pinback drummer Chris Prescott's Montalban Quintet will be released August 17 on  Belly of the Whale Records. For Prescott (touring drummer for Pinback since 2005 and performer/contributor with Jimmy Eat WorldRocket from the Crypt and more), completing the album after eight years of work caps a difficult and dark period resulting in a thrilling personal evolution.

"In 2014 had been chipping away at composing and working with the band," says Prescott. "But ended up putting everything on hold for two years as I uprooted my family to take care of my father who had become ill with Parkinson's disease. It was amazing to have that time with him, but it was also incredibly difficult. I no longer had a place to record music and work on the album completely halted. Sadly, a year later he passed and I decided it was time to begin anew. After months of work the new studio was done and the floodgates opened. I spent hundreds of hours working out the album, coaxing other members to record over a period of months. Finishing the album felt like the end of an extremely challenging period in my life."

For the Quintet, each time they take the stage is an element of risk. Yet the thrill of diving into landscapes where everything could as easily fall apart as coalesce remains the crucial spark that unites the longtime friends and collaborators. "Montalban Quintet is a place where I am completely honest in integrating the varied elements of my personality," says Prescott of the San Diego-based ensemble that is a spiritual center for the disparate elements of his career (student, sideman, leader, engineer/producer, punk rock fan, jazz enthusiast). 

Enlisted by Prescott to bring these slightly warped experimentations to life, Montalban members have chased the addictive freedom and creativity offered within the collaboration and its live shows. Performing and touring together at different points in Pinback over the past decade, Prescott (drums, vocals and additional guitar and piano) invited in Emmy award-winning composer Kenseth Thibideau (Sleeping PeopleHoward HelloTarentel) to hold down the bass and film and television composer Chris-Fulford-Brown to play keys. Next, having collaborated for almost 20 years with each of them, Julie Kitterman (percussion, vocals) and Greg Friedman (guitar, vocals) were natural additions.  Montalban’s heavily featured and pivotal horn section is a product of a lifetime of discovering, exploring and making music with brother Carl Prescott (trumpet) and Carl’s proclaimed telepathic musical relationship with Jim Weiss (saxophones). Carl has recorded with the Mattson 2 and various jazz groups and Weiss is the founding member of Big Time Operator and a jazz musician and educator. Finally,  Mike Stockalper (Mango Melody) was later pulled in to take on the majority of piano duties through a sustained connection while studying at the UCSD music school. Additional musicians on the album include Terrin Durfey (Bass, Vocals) of the iconic band Boilermaker and The Jade ShaderMarjorie Prescott (Cello), J.P. Hewett (Congas) and Pete Polansky (Violin).

For Prescott and the band, The Montalban Quintet is a culmination of interests and musical studies, a chance to combine musical talents but also a continual reunion of old friends. "As a drummer working on many projects, I’ve had to adapt into what is required, but when free to create from true expression the thing I would play is this,” confirms Prescott. "This is a joy."



Charlie Lane - a shiny indie pop package holds somber revelations in "The Darkest Time"

The song The Darkest Time by Melbourne (Au) singer-songwriter  Charlie Lane percolates on tight rhythms, pearly guitar lines and Lane's evocative vocals. The sound is open and feels live really which I love. It bounces and sways on indie rock / Brit pop bones but has a proto punk heart. It feels like it could of come out in the early 80's or now. The melodic sway feels easy and timeless but as is often the case with shiny packages they can hold dark secrets. The lyrics draw somber lines and Lane points out that The Darkest Time is inspired by PTSD and is dedicated to all those who have it.

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Robb Donker 



"Leaving Song" intimate revelations in this collaboration from Andrew Goldring and June Pastel

Born from a spontaneous recording session, "Leaving Song" is a collaboration between Salt Lake City songwriter Andrew Goldring & Baltimore's June Pastel. This single follows June Pastel's summer debut LP "Collages" - released through The Native Sound (6/29) and prefaces Goldring's upcoming full length, "Fluorescent Memories" due next spring.

The sound is laid back and chill built around guitar, bass, drums, ambient synths flourishes, lead lines and intimate vocal performances, hushed tones whispered in your ear. Leaving Song feels like alt folk pushed through pop and light jazz filters. So very cool. 

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Robb Donker



Sunday, September 16, 2018

The Washboard Abs' broken hearted dreamy lullaby "Never Finds You"

From Olympia, Washington (but currently in Pennsylvania, PA) The Washboard Abs' latest track Never Finds You from their 3rd album "Lowlight Visions" feels a bit like a lullaby. Bell like keys percolate with the spritely drum beat while elegant string sounds and melodic bass lines make it all soar. The vocal performance feels somber and self aware but sweetly beautiful too like a broken hearted kiss on the cheek. Lovely stuff. Just lovely.

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Robb Donker

Gringo Star pumps out deep post punk psyche rock hooks in "Back To The City"






















Gringo Star's latest single (and title track of their 5th album) Back To The City begins with a kick heavy drum beat and syncopated punchy dirty guitar pumping out a G# E B F# prog that sounds as comfortable as it sounds ultra cool. When a kind of sleepy aloof (almost barbiturate laden) vocal performance floats on top you will be fully invested, fully hooked in and start to head bop. The iconic Atlanta based band recorded, self-produced and mixed at Peter Furgiule's (vocals, guitar, keys, percussion) ATL Studio 234. Brother Nick Furgiule (vocals, bass, guitar, percussion) says: "Of all the songs on the album, this one felt the most collaborative." Peter adds, We thought it was a really suiting title for the current culture we live in. There’s been a huge ‘migration’ in U.S. cities from the suburbs back to the city.” The band is rounded out by Josh Longino (guitar, bass), and Mario Colangelo (drums).

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Robb Donker


Saturday, September 15, 2018

NYC's Black Suit Youth - single "Capitol Offense" from the upcoming "False South" album

NYC's Black Suit Youth cut deep garage rock punk tones on their latest single Capitol Offense. They hail from Long Island and this is the first single off their upcoming album"False South" on 59X Records.
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Robb Donker








"Age Of Distraction" waxes poetic on politics, social strife and the fragility of life and nature by Simon Lynge

Age of Distraction by Greenlandic/ Scandinavian singer songwriter Simon Lynge and from the album "Deep Snow" has a lightness to the musical bed but the lyrical content holds heavy issues. Lynge's vocal performance is smooth and passionate as he sings about the fragility of life, nature and the loss of the connective tissue that bonds us all together: 

“I just wanted to acknowledge the underlying anxiety of existence in this age and the longing for connection that I believe is so pervasive in modern humans... We have instant access to information, but our knowledge of the source of a meaningful life is at an all-time low. We look out of our eyes and forget to observe with our heart."

Now residing in America's Pacific Northwest, "Deep Snow" drops on November 23rd. 

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Robb Donker


Isolated Corners - "Detox" perfectly sad in a beautiful way

On Isolated Corners' Facebook page it states "I write sad and bittersweet indie songs to lay on the floor to"
which made me instantly recall when my youngest daughter was about 6 years old. The house was nearly empty as we were moving out and all that was left was a TV and one glass and brass end table. I had a boom box playing OK Computer upstairs and the songs echoed throughout the entire small but two story home. I hadn't seen her for a while and then found her silently laying underneath the glass top end table and in tears. "No Surprises" was playing at the moment and I could only surmise that the sad melodies brought her to tears even if she didn't understand the meaning of the song. 

The song Detox by UK artist Isolated Corners is one of those songs and does have a decidedly Radiohead / Thom York-esque vibe. You will have to decide for yourself if that (for whatever reason) bother you. It does not me. I am content to lay on the floor and listen to it. 

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Robb Donker