Saturday, March 31, 2018

Twin Ritual sparkle on "You Talk" from their "Hand Through The Mist" EP

The track You Talk from Twin Ritual's debut EP "Hand Through The Mist" instantly pulsates with heavy bass, drums and Laura Levenhagen's vocal attack. Synth sounds and staccato guitar flourishes enhance the dance punk dynamics like filling in missing puzzle pieces. The production is so exquisite creating a lush thick indie rock / pop sway that drives the night and while the sound sparkles, the glitter has a jagged edge.

Twin Ritual is an indie rock band from San Diego, California and I have been a fan of Anthony Spells' whose bass sound is so fuzz based and formidable in his previous incarnation as the founder of Glass Spells. This new artful, dance punk, indie rock affair feels similar but the sound is, well, fiercely a step up from before. The band is filled out with Levenhagen on vocals and synth, Nathan Leutzinger on guitar and Lionel Hernandez on drums.  "Hand Through The Mist" was produced by Dave Trumfio who is know for producing the likes of Ok Go, Jesus and the Mary Chain, Wilco and Built to Spill. More on the entire EP on a later post but for now take on You Talk.
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Robb Donker



Dumaresq- Joe Kneipp's solo project and debut single "Be Pretty"

Listen to the massive attack of Be Pretty by "Dumaresq" which is the solo project of 23 year old Brisbane, Austrailia based multi-instrumentalist Joe Kneipp. The big guitars, potent beat and hooky melodies are infectious.
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Robb Donker

this is a strange simulation we're in
where one line ends and no others can begin
aniseed forests and soulless drones
automatons and their mobile phones
sepia, clenbuterol, horticulture, and birth control
into a strange simulation we go
sharing avatars, binary homes
it only exists when you look at it
impermanent perfect: imperfect bliss
foundation, silicon, roaccutane, and human growth hormone
sycophant, anxious wreck, misanthropic projectionist
plastic, plastic, plastic beings
they don't want love
they don't want love
they just want to be pretty
get anything you want
anything you want

NingaCartel's "EllaFuera" off the "OGmariachi" album like a ghostly Shakespearean tragedy

NinjaCartel is a mystery but a lovely one although a bit twisted and askew but I like that in my bands and people I know. The slowly captivating track EllaFuera off the "OGmariachi" album is a haunting Gothic ballad on a barbiturate drip. The forlorn vocal performance has supernatural tendencies feeling as possessed as they are pretty. Part Hammer B movie and part ghostly Shakespearean tragedy in a Central American jungle Ninja Cartel pushes all the right buttons.

You lucky boys and girls, NinjaCartel is offering a free download of "OGmariachi" here.
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Robb


"Be Yourself" by Owoso - be prepared to have your heart sweet talked to and then your face melted off

Owoso are Jon, Driver, Dustin Ketterman, Ethan Evans and Matt Seelye out of Louisville, Kentucky  and what make these guys so interesting is their unmitigated blend of folk and psychedelic rock music all pushed through a mid 70's filter.
Listen to the slightly bi-polar Be Yourself and be prepared to have your heart sweet talked to and then your face melted off.
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Robb Donker



Proto Punk, art rock, new old wave hybrid sounds of BRNDA - "Five Dollar Shake"

Five Dollar Shake is a special, special piece of art. It is something to behold and hold in your hand like a rare near extinct bird or the best goddamn piece of apple pie you have ever eaten. Any entity who has the raw natural ability to make this sort of art are themselves rare beings so the folks in BRNDA have alien like abilities. They are another breed who somehow have tapped into the exquisite proto punk / punk meets new wave hybrid sound of bands like Pavement, Talking Heads, Lou Reed and the Flesheaters. From Washingon DC.

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Robb Donker


Bold Forbes- "Light of the Room" from the album "High Time" will flood over you

Light of the Room by Bold Forbes builds slowly on top of alt folk guitar and earnest story telling with a vocal performance full of hope and scars. Spartan and dirty and pristine at the same time it feels rough around the edges but with a crystal clear core. When a dirge of sound and a chorus of vocals float in like a dense fog the song takes on a celestial tone, earthbound yet thoroughly heavenly.

Light of the Room is from the just released album High Time by Bold Forbes.
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Robb Donker


A slow-building track from our just released album High Time"

Readership- distill "that" sound on "Pet Ghost"

Readership out of Philadelphia craft indie rock that harken back to the 80's strains of bands like R.E.M and The Smithereens. Maybe it is the power pop tones, strident guitar work or the passion of Adrian Morse's vocal performance. Whatever it is, there is something about that time and Readership has distilled the aesthetic perfectly. Listen to Pet Ghost and hear it for yourself.
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Robb Donker






PRESS NOTES:

Adrian Morse and Matt Lee started performing together in various Philadelphia bands in 2012 after Matt inexplicably responded to Adrian's internet ad seeking a female collaborator to write coffee shop folk music. West Chester, PA-based musician Gregory Matthew joined with Adrian and Matt in 2014, having spent most of his formative years drag racing cars and baking many delicious cookies. The band released their debut LP New Ways to Make the Same Mistakes in 2016. Since the release of that record, the band has added new member Gabe McCall on bass guitar.




The Landmarks- "Spring Time (Is Here) from the "Mythological Future(s)" EP

Spring Time (Is Here) by The Landmarks (a five piece psyche indie pop band out of Seattle, WA by way of Ann Arbor, Michigan)  off of their upcoming EP "Mythological Future(s)" starts off in a whimsical Casio-fied distressed way but soon gives away to a lush indie pop sound with thick bass and guitars supporting an art rockish performance. The production is dynamically rich with too many sounds to mention and I have to used the much cliche'd descriptor "soaring" but it is the right word here. Shit, I want to take on the world right now.

"Mythological Future(s)" drops on May 4th.
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Robb Donker



"Tincture" from the "Portmanteau" album- Psychedelic acid washed sounds out of Leeds, UK

Don't underestimate the ability of a lone musician, a sole survivor making sounds that will transport you to unknown places. The artist Scrambled Limbs out of Leeds, UK is a bit of a mystery to me but my introduction, the track Tincture from the "Portmanteau" album, is awash in psychedelic sounds that appeal to me. Some of the guitar lines and vocal walkie talkie sound feel a bit like acid washed Beatle-esque sounds and certainly Lennon-esque in a good satisfying way. As Tincture flows into Juggler's Despair (amazing) which then moves to forlorn Plasterboard I am finding out I need to delve into the entire album but for now do me a favor and trip out gleefully to Tincture.
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Robb Donker



"Can't Cut Loose" by Erin Rae - "an evocative vocal performance cast in big eyed sad tones that is as intoxicating as hugs from long lost friends"

Listen (really listen) to Can't Cut Loose by Erin Rae and you will almost certainly be transported somewhere. It might be to another place or another time but it will move you. It is this nature of her sound and music steeped in a sort of Western roots / meets porch rock / meets alt country that is so utterly intoxicating and it is her voice. She has an evocative vocal performance cast in big eyed sad tones that is as intoxicating as hugs from long lost friends.

Robb Donker








PRESS NOTES:


Erin Rae is fast becoming the new indie voice of the south and will soon announce the release of her new album (out via Single Lock on June 8 ) and dropping a track called ‘Cant Cut Loose’ - think timeless sounding folk meets indie-rock meets 1960s psych-rock production all with her amazing vocals and personal lyrics exploring her experiences of addiction and understanding her sexuality in relation to her childhood in the south. Album has a unique and amazing sound - recorded in a monastery in Wisconsin in the dead of winter. Getting compared to acts like Big Thief, Angel Olson, Twaine, Wilco etc

She is already known for her collaborations with artist from Margo Price to His Golden Messenger (joining them onstage at SXSW this year). Fans including John Paul White (personally signed her to single lock) and she’s supporting Margo price on tour AND doing a Nashville Session for World Cafe.

"Gravity" by Caspar Leopard - futuristic yet classic blending so many aesthetics




















London based composer, producer and filmmaker Caspar Leopard is brimming with creativity that needs to be expressed. The track Gravity awash in dreamy sounds some distant and some over modulated in such a way that you feel the depth and expanse of the story contained within. In one respect there is a futuristic apocalyptic thing happening but I feel the classic rock leanings seep into the sounds in a wonderful 'Pink Floydian' sort of way. Blending this retro thing with the fractured modern sounds often times associated with hip hop tracks and industrial rock feels like such a heady sensory mix it pulls you into the sounds and makes you see images. It is no wonder Caspar is a filmmaker as well.
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Robb Donker

PRESS NOTES:


Caspar Leopard is a London based composer, producer and filmmaker.
Having spent the last few years composing music for independent film, in 2016 Caspar set about the ambitious task of writing, directing and scoring a surreal drama of his own. After composing a number of pieces for this project, it became apparent that the compositions had evolved beyond their supporting role for the film. The music was developing a more personal, autobiographical essence, and Caspar came to the realisation that he had inadvertently made the beginnings of an album.
Inspired to explore this new direction, Caspar enlisted producers Luke Smith (Clor, Depeche Mode, Foals) and Orlando Leopard – his brother (Arthur Beatrice, Florence & The Machine, Thurston Moore) to help realise his eponymous debut. Together, the three of them are currently co-producing a series of tracks at the Leopard brothers’ East London Studio, No.1 Baltic Place.
The cinematic and reflective Expire Pt I is a first glimpse into these recording sessions. The track is a glistening and brooding meld of electronics, Leopard’s own cutting, intimate vocals, alongside echoes of his filmic orchestral past – undoubtedly it’s an ambitious statement of intent.
To accompany the music, Leopard, in his directorial debut, has created a beautiful improvised modern dance video for Expire Pt I – the first in a series of short films he is making to accompany the album. The video is a collaboration with filmmaker Hannah Mckibbin, set in the British seaside town of Camber, featuring acclaimed Rambert dancer Kirill Burlov. The maturity of the film shows Leopard to be an already accomplished director, and brings him full circle, back to the moment of departure from his original intentions.

"Going Steady" by Toronto based The Mooks - 50's rock and roll / doo wop punk jams

Toronto based Mookie Morris is at the heart of The Mooks, a power pop outfit whose aesthetic is steeped in 50's muscular Americana rock. Stripped down and blissfully basic thanks to Mookie on guitar and vox, Owen Norquay on bass and Luis Figueroa on drums, songs like Going Steady are fueled by Mookie's gritty vocal performance and tight jammy musicality. This blend of Americana rock and roll and a sort of doo wop punk works and is not done up in any kind of "tongue in cheek" way but with a sincere homage to sounds of the past. -
Robb Donker

PRESS NOTES:
Influences range from Roy Orbison, The Zombies, Velvet Underground, 70s Lennon, Talking Heads, Modern Lovers, Oasis, and Spoon.
In November 2017, the band was born from a handful of songs written and recorded by Morris in his home studio. From there, the band reworked the songs, and have performed locally in Toronto at venues such as The Drake Underground, Lee’s Palace, Smiling Buddha and The Cameron House.
The group has recently released their first two singles, "Going Steady" & "It's Not Easy" in March 2018, recorded with producer/engineer Ewan Kay at Candle Recording in Toronto.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Official Video for Ace of Wands - earthy and mystical "Grown From Good"

Grown From Good by Toronto's Ace of Wands floats sounds both earthy and mystical propelled by pearly guitars and blended vocals. The whole effect feels like musical branches of the same tree interweaving into each other. The song is taken from the band's EP setto be released April 6th.

Check out the trippy and beautiful official video for Grown For Good. Ace of Wands is Lee Rose plus Anna Mernieks and Jody Brumell.




Irish alt-folk singer songwriter Dessie Magee's track "Bandit" will shake you out of your numbness


























Irish Brighton based Dessie Magee is an alt folk-pop singer songwriter who pushes his heartfelt songs through rock, blues and soul filters and possesses a gritty soulful vocal performance that pretty much grabs you by the arms and shakes you... wakes you up from any numbness in your emotional existence like a splash of cold water on your face. The song Bandit tackles on the subject of mental health.
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Robb Donker


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

From the upcoming EP2- The Grinning Ghosts - "Don't Want Me (or My Rise to E-Glory)"






















The Grinning Ghosts (Andrew, Daryl and Thomas) out of areas of L.A. and Orange County in So Cal are working on releasing EP2 and this is a sneak peak called Don't Want Me (or My Rise to E-Glory) posted late last year. It is "unofficial" and I admit I love just listening to it and seeing the official video (or my version of it) in my head. Check it out, 2 - 3- 4.
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Robb Donker


Monday, March 26, 2018

Lost Beach from Los Angeles- and "Close Call" from their debut album "Marrakesh Gold" is something to behold

Lost Beach sounds like a movie by David Lynch with the story taking place in Los Angeles. I mean it fits since everyone who doesn't live in L.A. like to say "Lost" Angeles. Well, Lost Beach is a band from Los Angeles and the single Close Call from their debut album "Marrakesh Gold" (due to drop April 13th) is a multi-layered piece of indie pop that sounds as vast as a desert. The song built around tasty guitar progressions and self aware sultry vocals has dynamics galore as it runs, then struts, then runs and then even preens a little. Cool stuff from Lost Beach.
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Robb Donker





Sunday, March 25, 2018

Baby Ocho- and the whimsical love song "Penny Pebble" from the "Dumb Muscles" album

Baby Ocho is the musical project / private therapy sessions (I confess I threw the therapy line in) of singer songwriter Mateusz Serafin out of Indianapolis via Central Illinois. The little ditty Penny Pebble from his album "Dumb Muscles" moves like a quick but leisurely car ride through country roads. Told from the point of view of a stray penny with feelings it is in the end a love song. It is cool and adorable but more than that when in context of the entire album feels poetic and deep.  Mateusz says that the songs on "Dumb Muscles" draws it's themes from unreplied text messages, missing old friends, turning 30, trying to be a good husband and the crushing weight of responsibility. Oh, and I added the "crushing" part. Yes, this is all so easy to relate to and in that way totally endearing. Check out Baby Ocho and show him some love.
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Robb Donker



The darkly sweet, even blasphemous "Set Me On Fire" by Jon Magnusson

Out of Sweden, the song Set Me On Fire by Jon Magnusson is darkly sweet even blasphemous around the edges. Press notes reveal that the song was written to challenge the idea that there is an inherent meaning to life that can be found via religions or any other ideology but instead asks us to create meaningfulness to a life that can otherwise feel empty. Spartan electric guitars with cascading pearly notes, stoic drums and bass, a glockenspiel, a Juno-synth, a big swaying chorus and a lighter near by. What more can you ask for?

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Robb Donker


Elemantra from Salamanca, New York. The track "Dose of Irony" is jammy jagged indie post punk wonderfulness


From Salamanca, New York, Elemantra is a self described "creamy and dreamy" alternative noise rock band and the song Low Dose of Irony is this piece of jammy jagged indie post punk wonderfulness. The obvious young vocals strains add to the appeal and the guitar lead breaks longer than your average indie rock fare give it a kind of proggy tone. When the guitar break happens two thirds in and the bass mirrors the notes it feels like a pivotal scene in a teen movie. Love, love the aesthetic here and want to see the sequel.
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Robb Donker





PRESS NOTES:

Elemantra is a 4 piece Dream Pop/Post Punk/Alternative Rock band formed in Salamanca, NY in 2013. They have released 2 full length albums titled "You Feel Bad About You" and "Foreign Breath", with a third album to be released shortly. Additionally they have released two EPs titled "Kelly" and "Nature Trash". Playing shows frequently, they have completed 2 east coast tours with the hopes of doing many more which cover more than just the eastern US. Everything they have ever done, was and is completely DIY. They draw influences from a wide variety of artists and backgrounds from Prince to the Appleseed Cast, but have been most frequently compared to: The Smashing Pumpkins, The Cure, Slowdive, Built To Spill, Pinback, and Hum.

Elemantra is:
Justin Woodmancy - Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
Brent Bergstrom - Guitar, Additional Noises
Nick Beiling - Bass
Jonah Rosel - Drums & Percussion

Ollie Thorpe's - "Wonder" is not hyphenated rock but just... rock and that is a good thing

From Sydney, Australia- Ollie Thorpe's track Wonder is the kind of full flushed rock with sounds that could of been wrought in 1979 or 1995 or 2018 because it is basic potent rock with a heady cool guitar lead. It doesn't follow any trends it just is rock. Check it out and tell me if you disagree.
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Robb Donker




Cloud from LA by way NYC -- float away with "Heartfluttered"

From the "Plays with Fire" album- Heartfluttered by Cloud out of NYC- is instantly beautiful with it's almost 50's western guitar strains and slow dance beat. Cloud is Tyler Taormina and friends making what he still calls bedroom pop (I beg to differ it sounds to good) and the Playing with Fire album contain 9 songs and 32 minutes of "quiet optimism and greying nostalgia" which I can't wait to hear.

For now float away with Heartfluttered.
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Robb Donker


Official Video for Flaccid Ashbacks' "An Egg" featuring a dark basement, fantastical guitar kick and naked drumming

An Egg, the single from Faccid Ashbacks' album "Hark!" bristles with the youthful exuberance of being stuck in Middletown, Connecticut. I am kidding of course but it is bristling with something that manifests itself in sounds built on jangly proto punk infused indie sounds with proggy jazz filtered guitar lines and all the while percolating beneath is that angsty / charming / funny / self deprecating stuff of youth and growing up.

By the way, I love the album (more on that in a future post) and thought of Mac DeMarco and early Buttertones a bit while I enjoyed these songs.

The Official Video for An Egg takes place in a dark basement and that is all I need to say except it will make you smile and even laugh (maybe).
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Robb Donker



Yeti Tactics big blendo song "Christof" and it's sharp hook

Christof by Yeti Tactics is a hybrid song blending big rock walls of sound, funk guitar, hip hop flavors and deeply melodic dance pop. This vast net is cast and it's universality is it's biggest allure. 

Yeti Tactic are best buds Jordan Sherman (keys, guitar, vocals) and Sean Saley (bass and guitar) formed the "band" in their East Hollywood apartment. 

Take the bait but watch out for that sharp hook.
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Robb Donker






PRESS NOTES:

By way of D.C. and Florida, two buddies Jordan Sherman (keys, guitar, vocals) and Sean Saley (bass and guitar), formed the LA-based, alternative duo “Yeti Tactics” right out of their East Hollywood apartment. Prior to their separate moves to Los Angeles, the two best friends from high school kept in touch daily, constantly brainstorming music and leaving their day jobs.

Previously known as “Olympic," the two released an EP and dozens of music videos; self-producing everything. Since their re-vamp as Yeti Tactics, they’ve been filling local venues and working diligently on their first full-length LP to be released early in the new year.

The tone of the upcoming album is mostly narrative, with Jordan portraying a different character, sometimes multiple, throughout certain tracks. Lyrics cover issues from the present and the near future—technology running our lives, "sovereign" rulers, non-existent safety (and ever-impending death), to heart-felt modern-day love songs. The two have drawn inspiration from artists Jack Garratt, Gorillaz, and John Mayer while keeping their sound and style completely fresh and unique.

“Being in this band has been a way for us to truly express ourselves. Our goal is to inspire, entertain, and encourage people that anything is possible. Let’s face it, it’s also a way that the two of us can hang out all the time too,” Jordan shares.
Their fans and those to come, have much to look forward to when it comes to Sherman and Saley’s current and future creations.


Shrimp Eyes from Peckham, UK do not move in a straight line-- hear "Agree To Disagree"

Shrimp Eyes is from Peckham, UK and Agree To Disagree (their second release) does not move in a straight line. The boys aesthetic involves bright sparkly guitars, walking (and running) bass lines and dodgy drum patterns. It is all these unexpected turns that make songs like Agree To Disagree so utterly engaging apart from the dreamy vocal performance.
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Robb Donker

See and Hear the Psych Effervescence of Raindrop -- on the Official Video for "Another World"
























Raindrop out of Sydney, Australia hovers around the dreamy lo-fi psych goodness of Miles Divine (guitarist for the now defunct psych-rock band "Regular John") who in 2013 put out a spacey EP with his friends just for fun. His alien creations spawned more music with more musicians and working with SPOD to beautifully tweak his songs for Raindrop's debut album "Mild Meltdowns".  The single Another World is beautifully dreamy as is the Official Video showing Miles in his pjs sitting on the edge of coastal cliffs eventually descending into complete psychedelia. The track blends psychedelic dream pop and tropical punk sounds and I love it.

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Robb Donker



No Volcano- and their track "Sad Generator" is not sad at all

Crank up Sad Generator by No Volcano (out of Phoenix, Arizona) you might find you bowing your knees out, pretend to be playing guitar and do that John Lennon head bob thing or maybe that is just me. It is because the bass line is McCartney-esque ie Beatle-esque and I don't think that the boys in No Volcano would deny that there is something very British in their American rock sound.

Tightly done boys-- and so awesome. Sad Generator is of their third album "Envy in the Valley".
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Robb Donker



Stephen Babcock-- "Atlanta" - Single full of wanderlust from the upcoming "Fiction" album

As someone who likes to steep themselves in those strange hallucinogenic musical teas I sometimes forget that there are songs and songwriters out there who pen catchy heartfelt tunes with mass appeal that, yes, may not be appeal to that askew gene in me but that I still love a whole lot.

One such artist is Stephen Babcock out of New York whose brand of Americana and southern pop has a sense of wanderlust. Listen to his latest track Atlanta from the upcoming "Fiction" album due to drop in April.

- Robb Donker


Hawk- "Keeps Me Out" -- Heavenly but Grounded

Keeps Me Out, the new track by London's Hawk (who count Berlin as their second home as well) is big in sound and emotion. Julie Hough's vocal performance feels at once heavenly but also grounded as the slight stray into more of a soundgaze aesthetic is not over taken by a hazy mix. Keeps Me Out feels like anthemic dream pop.
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Robb Donker

PRESS NOTES:

Explaining the meaning behind the track, Julie expands: “We’d been on tour doing a lot of long drives listening to Loveless and Souvlaki, and when we got back, we felt a real urge to go full shoe-gaze. The lyrics are Inspired by those days when the most tempting decision is to do nothing and immerse yourself in distractions from your inner demons. Deciding to make a change in your life – whatever that may be - means setting a new bar that feels unattainable; that can feel like a failure waiting to happen.”


HAWK originally formed in London in 2014, spending spells of time in their adopted second home in Berlin. They now produce all music themselves and have also recently started working with Rocky O’Reilly (And So I Watch You From Afar) to help develop their post-rock sound. In addition to their musical endeavours, front woman Julie is also a skilled illustrator and has recently launched Female Fronted Drawn Together - a project through which she has created a playlist of admirable female bands/musicians and created an illustration to accompany each song.

The Intoxicating Swagger of RETINA by False Heads

Listen to RETINA by False Heads out of East London and Essex haunts and your face may contort to an upside down grin as your eyes squint and your pupils turn red as your grab for that half drank bottle of Jack Daniels and swagger down back allies looking for a fight. Ok, maybe that's just me. But seriously between Luke Griffiths' snarling very British vocal performance and grunge laden guitar lines, Barney Nash's heavy handed drumming and Jake Elliott's potent bass lines the aesthetic feels darkly intoxicating.
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Robb Donker

PRESS NOTES:

 FALSE HEADS formed in 2016, rising from the ashes of previous bands. Behind the energy of their live shows, the trio quickly thrust themselves into punk-rock limelight, catching the attention of Punk’n’Roll legend Iggy Pop, ex Ramones manager Danny Fields and music tastemaker Rodney Bingenheimer.

Having quickly graduated from playing half empty rooms in London and across the South, to supporting The Libertines, Josh Homme & Band Of Skulls, the band emerge this spring for their own headline tour and debut shows in Europe. Culminating in launching the single at a packed out headline show at the iconic Dingwalls in Camden.

New single ‘Retina’ combines jagged riffs, a hum-along chorus with a ballistic crescendo bold enough to announce their intentions from a low earth orbit. ‘Retina’ was produced by Jonathan Hacks at Grand Cru studios, Pete Townsend’s converted barge moored on The Thames, London.
FALSE HEADS are Barney Nash (Vocals & Drums), Luke Griffiths (Vocals & Guitar) and Jake Elliott (Bass).

‘Retina’ follows their previous releases ‘Twentynothing’, ‘Weigh In’, ‘Thick Skin’ and ‘Steal And Cheat’.
Airplay includes Huw Stephens, Ollie Winiberg, BBC Radio 1; Iggy Pop, Steve Lamacq, BBC 6 Music; Gary Crowley, BBC Introducing London; Ollie Winiberg, BBC Introducing Essex; Melita Dennett, BBC Introducing South; John Kennedy, Gordon Smart - This Feeling Track Of The Week, Radio X; Johnny Doom, Evening Playlisting, Kerrang! Radio, Charlie Ashcroft, Amazing Radio; The Rodney Bingenheimer Show, Sirius XM.


Max Garcia Conover - and his folk stories - "One Good Morning"

Max Garcia Conover writes folk stories  that are like little movies so dense with imagery that you may have to listen to them multiple times to get every detail. He grew up in rural New York and began crafting his own tales while he was making a living as a busker in Puerto Rico. This propensity for writing songs that you want to listen to has had him share stages in North America and Europe with the likes of Justin Townes Earle, Lake Street Dive, The Ghost of Paul Revere, The Weather Station, 10,000 Maniacs, Dustbowl Revival, Rising Appalachia, Jim Lauderdale, and more.

Get lost in One Good Morning.
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Robb Donker

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Nedelle Torrisi's "Rich Kid's World" is Pop Personified

Rich Kid's World is not about the Kardashians, NO it is not that vapid but it is kinda shiny and carefree. It is, I suppose, pop personified and that is alright with me. The track is not the kind of song I swim in a lot but it's pop squared melodies and Nedelle's whimsical girl in the great big world vocals sucked me in.

The synth and spun pop double leads are enticing too.
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Robb Donker




Listen to Gris-de-Lin's BIG SOUND in "Muhammad Ali" -- from the album "Sprung"






























I don't know much about Gris-de-Lin except that she has a luscious voice and in Muhammad Ali creates big walls of sound. She is a singer / songwriter from Dorset, UK who describes her style in terms of alt folk, alt rock with the blues and warped electronics thrown in for good measure. At least from this track there is a deep theatrical tone too- so maybe she is an art rocker. However you describe this lady, my spidey senses are tingling and I want more and I want to see her perform live with a band. Her debut album, Sprung, comes out on BB Island records in April (2018).

PRESS NOTES:
Gris about the song:
"Inspired by a true story – a patient escaped from a local hospital and broke into my old flat overnight, leaving behind a pile of clothes and a nametag that read ‘Muhammad Ali’. This got me thinking about incarceration, whether physical or mental, and the idea that ‘whatever you do to me I will still have freedom of thought’."

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Robb Donker


"NO" this garage punk out of Dortmund/ Cologne Germany by "Drens" has plastered a big smile on my face

Yes surf punk / punk is, of course, alive and well but over the last ten years with all the layers of punk band putting stuff out there can be a sameness to it all. 

Drens out of Germany does mine some of that sameness YES but with such a jubilant spark that they make it all sound new again.  The track No has got me smiling and wanting to delve into this type of punk once more.....

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Robb Donker

Friday, March 23, 2018

Palm Ghosts- track "Love In Winter" will stir chilly images in your brain and heart

"Love In Winter"- those three words just sound so lovely together. They stir chilly images in your brain and heart. 

Palm Ghosts is a 5 pieces indie / alternative band from East Nashville, Tennessee and Love In Winter is a glimpse into their soon to be released album. This track is deep. Deep in it's almost 80's synth heart and swimming in emotions. I love the aesthetic here, love the boy/ girl vox.
-
Robb Donker








PRESS NOTES:

Palm Ghosts is the nom de plume of songwriter / producer Joseph Lekkas. A Philadelphia native, Joseph relocated to East Nashville in the winter of 2014 and has since self released 2 records, Palm Ghosts and Greenland, self produced and recorded in his home studio.

In May of 2017, Joseph began work on his most ambitious record, a cinematic dream pop / dark indie LP celebrating his favorite sounds from the most colorful of musical decades, the 1980s.

Influenced by groups such as Cocteau Twins, Peter Gabriel, Dead Can Dance, New Order and The Cure, he began sketching song ideas to create the lush, cinematic arrangements he was hearing in his head. The fruit of his labors, Architecture, is nearing completion.

Also, for the first time since 2014, Palm Ghosts is a performing band, featuring Joseph Lekkas on Bass and Vocals, Erica Whitney Wilkes on Vocals and Keyboards, Ben Douglas on Guitars and Keyboards, Jason Springman on Guitars and Rene Lambert on Drums. Look for upcoming tour dates in 2018 and beyond.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Ben Leiper out of Oslo, Norway dreams of West Virginia in "Weston FTW"

When you listen to the indie rock/pop track Weston FTW by the band Ben Leiper you would think these guys reside maybe in North Carolina or Maryland or Brooklyn, New York and have names like Kyle or Jack but no, these guys are from Oslo, Norway. 

Listen to Øystein, Eirik, Gjermund, Anders.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

From Concepción, Chile Adolescentes Sin Edad sweet sounds of "Olas y Tiburones"

From Concepción, Chile Adolescentes Sin Edad sweet sounds of "Olas y Tiburones"

Feeling a bit of a Cure vibe - Robb Donker

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Approachable Members of Your Local Community are up to their lips with their musical tricks on their amazingly addictive track "Semiotic Vision"

























The Approachable Members of Your Local Community are up to their lips with their musical tricks on their amazingly addictive track Semiotic Vision. The track feel like MGMT and Modest Mouse and happy dust kind of squished together. Love it. These guys are from Australia and why does that not surprise me.
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Robb Donker



Ossa March Tour 2018 Dates and their Shape Shifty "Echoes"

I don't know much about Ossa out of Providence, Rhode Island except that they are a four piece band (but maybe at times a 3 piece band). Holy shit I am a great detective. Anyway, it really doesn't matter at this time. What matters is that there track Echoes has got such a cool shape shifty sound with both almost tropical punk tones that veer into prog rock tendencies. Love the way the musical elements puzzle piece together and love the guitar sounds.

Their March Tour will take them into New york, Quebec, Vermont and Connecticut. Check out the cool poster below and if you go to one of the shows count how many people are in the band and let me know!
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Robb Donker

LYD- "Alone In The Dark" is Raw and Telling

Some artists are content to just put their music out in the world without offering much about their story. LYD (Dillon Scott Olney) for now let's his songs do all the necessary storytelling. The track Alone In The Dark does reveal a killer vocal performance and a knack for writing commercial sounds. Check it out.
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Robb Donker


Group Photos : Listen to the artful haze of the "Open District" EP

The album art for Group Photos' "Open District" EP shows a city shrouded in fog. It is a perfect image for this collection of short songs that are all stitched together with driving bass lines pumping through reverbed guitars and distant vox. Songs like Infirmary and In The Morning evoke a sad almost nostalgic noise laden wash of sound with hints of Joy Division and Interpol lingering in the edges of Pilot. The opening Safety is a song that make me feel like running. I am not sure from something or to someone.
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Robb Donker


Eddie Angel's sweet Ode to Pavement "Spaceship" from the "Clear As Crystal" EP

Eddie Angel's ode to the band Pavement called Spaceship (from his Clear As Crystal EP) starts "isn't it cool, I brought a Pavement record home" and immediately I smiled but then I find myself smiling often when I listen to Eddie's music. Often times stripped down to guitar, bass and drums and Eddie's smooth beautifully sad vocal performance his songs kind of make you levitate and think about emotional moments in your life, wins and losses and hope.

His vocal tone is his secret weapon and in this past post I spoke of Eddie being one of the artists I gravitate to when I am jonesing for Elliot Smith vibes (see that post here). In Spaceship which appropriately doesn't follow the normal verse chorus verse motif moves in a tempo changing direction content to turn corners and tell it's stories in an unconventional way and no one, no one sounds as cool as Eddie singing the word cool. Listen to Spaceship, stay for the other songs (more on the full EP in a later post) and dream on.
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Robb Donker


London's Burnt Pixels - Mine Deep on "Tropes" the Second Single from their forthcoming album "Tropisms"

























In February ,London's Burnt Pixels gave us a musical glimpse into their forthcoming album "Tropisms" which is due to drop on May 1st by releasing the beautifully cinematic Cathexis and today they release the "B" side Tropes (as well as a "blurb" about the album on their Twitter account). On the new album Ian Brzozowski (vocals, guitars, bass) wrote and recorded primary tracks and Ben Hooper (backing vox, drums, bass) recorded, engineered, produced the entire very personal affair within a tight schedule. The duo mined deep emotional content and utilized an arsenal of sounds courtesy of early 80's vintage guitar pedals giving the album their aesthetic (more on that on the full album review). 



Tropes with it's runaway beat, guitar sounds that fold in on themselves and Ian's pained vox give the track a harried sense like you are chasing something while emotions are imploding around you. It also feels like a track that will tie into the songs before and after it. Again, "Tropisms" drops on May 1st.

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Robb Donker


Sunday, March 18, 2018

Banzai Cliff- Mines Teenage Journals on The Lo-Fi Moody Punk Pop on "Hypothetical Love"

When the first track Too Young To Die from Banzai Cliff's album "Hypothetical Love" erupts you feel the rush of a 1972 supercharged Chevelle SS barreling down a Brooklyn neighborhood (or how you imagine that would be) and all the while the Ramones are blaring out of the big knobbed radio. The track has that big retro Phil Spector-ish 60's wall of sound.  Roshambo perfectly blends surfy punk sounds and makes you feel high if you listen to it and watch surf videos especially for me as I was a certified surf rat all throughout high school. I felt the Ramone's chugging in the track Man Of God.

A lot of the retro sound on this album has to do not only the tortured melodies but the tortured yelp wail of Nicky Koch who is the man behind Banzai Cliff and for Hypothetical Love specifically he has mined his teenage journals for these personal songs. In Danielle he sings of losing his virginity while listening to Modest Mouse. The lo-fi sounds feeling deliciously garage rockish and steps right into tempos more befitting of 60's girl groups and it all works so well because Koch knows how to let his songs breathe when they have to. In Strange Things Are Afoot (which made me think a bit of the Cure's Close To Me) Koch infuses some darker vocal tones in the dance.

If Banzai Cliff is creating a teen motif then it feels like it might be a unique universe that at once feels Americana (80's through a 60's British filter) and if this is the case then it has to have a high school dance song and that song would be Sorta Stupid. It is the perfect wanna fall in love slow dance of a song full of close lips and hushed breaths sprinkled with disco ball lighting. The refrain "Sometime love just makes you sorta stupid" is, will always, be true. I really love this song. The track Boy Afraid burst with hyper spurts of lyrics that are mournfully beautiful. I thought of the 2008 song Lust for Life by Girls who were also inspired by sounds of the 50's, 60's, and 70's. In Boy Afraid all the insecurities that feel as deep as a hole to China when you are a teen are fully exposed. I love the line "I think I'm gonna reign it in, I don't feel comfortable in my own skin, thank god for the small talk, baby... I'll try to keep up."

While just released on March of 2018, this body of work was recorded in the winter of 2016 at Caveboy Studios in Philadephia, PA. All songs written and arranged by Koch, his creative accomplice is multi-instrumentalist David Ulrich who recorded, mixed, produced as well as played guitars, drums, bass, background vocals, percussion, drum machine, bells and whistles. Nicky Koch besides supplying the songs, those journals and poignant lead vox played guitar and synth

The last track Everything is Asinine feels like those teenage times when the whole world is imploding and you hate everything except that one girl or boy who is all that makes live bearable. Koch says his music is lo-fi pop about fucking up and it is but in between the dirty guitar lines and introspective prose exist all the bloody bruises that end up making us who we are and, yes, that one girl or boy (and other loved ones) who makes it all worth it.

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Robb Donker



Saturday, March 17, 2018

Gut Derby - Hear "RoadKill" -- High Wire Art Rock out of Madrid, Spain






































Gut Derby is a self described crooner out of Madrid but oh, he is so much more. After listening to hours of new music bereft of creative sparks of any sort I heard RoadKill. Gut Derby's kind of underhanded battery acid tinged vocal performance has the same sort of derisive scouling tone of the bitterest 90's Thom York or maybe a better example would be PJ Harvey. Both artists (in iconic songs) exude this kind of deadly intent in their singing style, their inflections tinged with the deepest hate and self loathing too but mostly sardonic and utter insane hatred of stupid people and evil things that need to be struck down. The hate can be internalized and is expressed it in a way that seeps out of them.

I hear this gritty teeth clenching emotion in Gut Derby's rendition of Road Kill and (like Yorke and Harvey) this embodiment and expression feels taught, high strung and very, very theatrical. That's the thing, it is, afterall, theater. It doesn't mean that, at it's core, the emotions aren't real but it is high art... high theater. PJ Harvey (in exercising all her demons) does it so well that writers and her audience thought that her most caustic of songs were autobiographical but they weren't. She is just one hell of an actor. I have a feeling that Gut Derby is as well.

RoadKill written by Gut Derby. Produced by Manuel Cabezali and Gut Derby. Gut Derby (vox, acoustic guitar and programming), Javi Otero (drums, Electric guitar), Manuel Cabezali (bass and electric guitars and Gerard Toal (cello). Recorded at Estudios Satelite- Oviedo. Mixed and Mastered by Manuel Cabezali.

I was in need of high art, of great music that moves me to the core and I found it. Gut Derby is currently working on his first album "Business From Scar City" to be released in October (2018).
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Robb Donker


James V- is not lieing- "Tired Of Woman" is (indeed) T I G H T




















James V's debut EP San Narcisco was first released in December 2016 via Marriage Records on Gnar Tapes-- hear his super TIGHT track Tired Of Woman and see the official video which is just hilarious, truly. -

Robb Donker

PRESS NOTES:  In 2017, James enlisted the skills of Grammy award-winning producer John Congleton to remix the album for its re-release, leading LA Record to describe single "Tired of Woman" as a "lurching mutant monster that lives somewhere between no wave and new wave." Live he is joined by Daniel Seman (guitar), Kirby Ditto (guitar, keyboards), Shannon Cain (bass) and Eric Werner (drums). Look for San Narciso out now on Marriage Records/Gnar Tapes at jamesv.bandcamp.com.