Saturday, August 18, 2018

"Rock The Deer" by Lulu Lewis steam rolls over you with a kind of kitsch horror movie intensity

The track Rock The Deer by Harlem, New York's Lulu Lewis steam rolls over you with a kind of kitsch horror movie intensity (think of the manic sensibility of the Evil Dead) filtered through proto punk tropes. Dylan Hundley's possessed vocal performance grabs you by the throat and the punk bravado of that Farfisa-esque organ / guitar sound musical break is mind blowingly fun. The punk brevity is a damn shame but then keeping it short will surely lessen the chance of a bruised cheek or poke in the eye during the mosh pit that surely must break out during live performances. 

Lulu Lewis are (at their core) Dylan Hundley (vox, songwriter) and Pablo Martin (multi-instrumentalist, songwriter) and with too many accomplishments to mention (Tom Tom Club- are you fucking kidding me??) they bring a myriad of artistic influences to their table which most likely is slightly tilted. Listening to them made me think of Devo and Butthole Surfers and like those bands between the experimental art punk happening there are diatribes, social and political commentary happening too.  Press notes below is a must read on this one. I am off to find more of their music. 

-
Robb Donker

PRESS NOTES:


The creators of Lulu Lewis are Dylan Hundley and Pablo Martin. They bring forth a multilayered approach to their music and visual art. Post punk, soul, psychedelia, garage and experimental film are the most easily identifiable markers as to their overall style.
Pablo Martin, from Buenos Aires, Argentina (multi instrumentalist, songwriting) is the producer of the music as well and plays guitar live. His numerous credits include lead guitar of the Tom Tom Club and the recently critically acclaimed funk outfit The Du-Rites. Dylan Hundley is from New York (lead vocals, songwriting), is the producer / director of the visuals and has an extensive background in film and production as an actress and producer. They are backed live by William Harvey on bass (Urban Verbs, Danger Painters) and Jay Mumford on drums (J-Zone, The Du-Rites). 
In the past 6 months they have been featured in numerous zines, blogs, podcasts and radio including Please Kill Me, Spill, Impose, The Devil has the Best Tuna, YabYum, Atwood Magazine, The Deli,Vanishing Ink, Vinyl Distict, WPKN with Chris Frantz, Bushwick Garage and Radio Free Brooklyn. The will be opening for Richard Lloyd of Television in April in NYC.
Music, Videos, Bios, Press Links can be found at - www.lululewismusic.com



Jailbox's track "Bird Rib" is a beautiful jigsaw puzzle

























Jailbox's new track Bird Rib feels deceptively simple and comfortable but is full of jigsaw puzzle pieces of sound that fit together making a picture that is fully clear from a distance. I love how certain notes are repeated as glue to hold this evocative piece of music together and the selection of whether those notes are on guitar or piano or something else feels more random and organic than planned. Beautifully dynamic production around a somber story drenched in longing inside the very sweet vocal performance.

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Robb


"Caveman" by Dean & the Dagumn Space Villains is a dreamy exploration

Caveman by Dean & the Dagumn Space Villains is a dreamy piece of music simply wrought but infinitely beautiful like space itself. I love the references to spaceman and caveman in the same passages as we are all on personal explorations after all. Not a lot of information on this artist and the track is very low in volume but definitely worth turning up. 

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Robb Donker


Calan Mai's "XO" is a chill piece of wanderlust with Polaroid experiences

Calan Mai hails from the Gold Coast, a small town in Queensland, Australia and his track XO bristles with movement, of covering terrain and having Polaroid experiences. Love Mai's voice which is just best bud cool and coupled with the addictive cadence and almost tropical chill vibe this song is an instant classic for summer and all year. No wonder that Rolling Stone praised it. 

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Robb Donker


"Shadowland" by Montreal artist Baby Fuzz is a self protest song






























Shadowland by Montreal artist Baby Fuzz is one of those songs that embraces you from the beginning but then starts holding you tighter. When singer songwriter Sterling Fox starts belting out the words passionately it feels like a cry for help. When audience screams are filtered into the mix it feels like art theater and whether those screams are directly tied to the song or an effect it works. Baby Fuzz aka Sterling Fox says that the song is a protest song but he is protesting against himself after moving back to the US from Canada as he says: 

 "In 2017 I moved to Canada for a year. Eventually, my passport ran out and I came back to the US. 'Shadowland' is a protest song about myself. I'm protesting my hypocrisy, my lack of empathy, my greed, my loneliness, and my complicitness to everything my taxes go toward. It's easy to protest other people or institutions. Look in the mirror and protest yourself. That's 'Shadowland.'"

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Robb Donker



"10/6" by the dangerously enticing Meggie Brown feels like feral punk rock (London)



























10/6 by the dangerously enticing Meggie Brown feels like feral punk rock with serious proto punk bones. Love the lit fuse aesthetic and how the open spaces in the song make everything else sound so potent and on the edge. When this intimate punk song explodes the sound feels cavernous. Love this. Meggie Brown is based out of London and her debut physical release new single "10 Out Of 6" is available as a 7 in vinyl via Hate Hate Hate Records.

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Robb Donker


Dog In A Man Suit - "Shock Treatment" has bite and bark


























Shock Treatment from Dog In A Man Suit's self Titled EP is tight fisted bare bones rock and roll with post punk / garage rock tones offset by more alt folk meets blues rock girl / boy vocals. The double (or is that triple lead lines) add art rock flavors to the already super dense sounds. These guys hail from the Northeast, U.S.A (thinking NYC).

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Robb Donker



Django Haskins' dark evocative "So It Is Ever" from the album "Shadowlawn"

From the onset Django Haskins' So It Is Ever paints dark imagery over a kind of down home roots rock meets porch psych folk blues. The beautiful melodies both vocally and musically offset the dark center and the result take your mind away from whatever crushing weight is on your shoulders. So It Is Ever is from the trippily narcotic SHADOWLAWN album (see below).

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Robb Donker

PRESS NOTES:

A songwriter based in North Carolina, Django Haskins has fronted the pop-noir band, The Old Ceremony, since 2004. He also forms one half of the psych-folk duo Au Pair with the Jayhawks' Gary Louris. He has toured. He has been written about. In 2016 he received the NC Arts Council's Artist Grant in recognition of his extensive creative exertions. He has been a part of the traveling circus known as Big Star's Third since its inception in 2011. He has released a dozen albums of his songs in various guises.


SHADOWLAWN is his first solo record in 17 years. It began as a series of experimental recordings in his newly built studio, and eventually evolved into a kind of late-summer song cycle full of meditations on death, love, fear, wanderlust, and exploration of interior worlds. The 1966 Nancy Sinatra recording of "Bang Bang" and Angelo Badalamente's work with David Lynch provided sonic touchstones for the album, with their extensive use of negative space and simultaneously lush and spare atmospheres. As twenty-some songs were whittled down to eleven, banjo and baritone guitar alternated with piano in accompanying the unusually exposed vocals, leaving plenty of space for listeners to fill in the spaces with their own imagination.


Friday, August 17, 2018

Visc waxes poetic about Internet Trolls on "Merciless"

Feelings are sometimes hard to define and when I listen to the track Merciless by Visc that bounds like a Samurai horseman with sword raised my eyebrow raises and the sides of my lips edge up into a quizzical smile. Merciless is about "the relationship between an Internet troll and their revenge seeking prey" and between the addictive opening lead licks riding on a galloping beat and Visc's (the moniker of one Dylan Fellows) smooth vocal performance there is something off and ultimately unique about this whole aesthetic. At least, to me, it feels like art punk run through a pop filter with poetic lyrics that run dark but the darkness is hidden just like that Internet troll. The result feel almost kitschy in a sort of really good way. To me Fellows looks at the world with equal parts cynicism and romance (yes, romance) and I like it.

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Robb Donker


Thursday, August 16, 2018

Tar and Flowers ride the rails with "Ten Ton Heart"

Ten Ton Heart by Tar & Flowers out of Chatsworth, California has a wanderlust beat and folk country melodies. I thought of Beachwood Sparks, The Band and even Kris Kristofferson. 

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Robb Donker

The Sultry Rock Theater of M. Rivers' "Don't Drink The Water"

























M.Rivers' Don't Drink The Water has a seductive shuffle and feels like poised art rock with post punk / blues rock bones. River's vox is also is framed in such an art rock way with glam rock accoutrements for added allure.  Dripping with cool. It is no wonder that M.Rivers has amassed a huge and loyal fan base. From Ontario, Canada but currently based out of Los Angeles.

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Robb Donker




The Hannah Barberas and "Girl Is Gone" from the EP "The Hannah Barberas Are Here At Last"

Thank God they found her!

As stripped down and kind of porch punk rock as The Violent Femmes I am liking this bands sound. All recorded at home on an 8 track.

The Hannah Barberas (UK outfit) and Our Girl Is Gone from the EP: The "Hannah Barberas Are Here At Last".
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Robb Donker


Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Emanuel Patterson a pop gospel lullaby in "Dreams" from the album "The Silver Story, A Starry Night"


























Emanuel Patterson is a visual and musical artist and pianist stirring up his own universe of songs in Minnesota. The track Dreams from his 15 track album "The Silver Story, A Starry Night" feels like a pop gospel lullaby. Like a fractured snow globe there is beauty to be held with the story clouded in a mysterious air. The perfectly imperfect cadence makes the song feel a bit child like which only adds to the whimsy. 

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Robb Donker


Dreaming Of Islands and the sonic cloud bank called "Dunes"

Dreaming Of Islands from Malmo, Sweden debut Dunes a song that swells with sounds and then lifts off. The organs, percussion, bottom heavy synth bass and pearly distorted guitar notes orbit around a pressing drum beat and what feel like sci-fi vox. 
Cool track. Band is a mystery.

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Robb Donker



Analog Saint punk rock with power pop bones - "Mexico (Lonely Man)" from the "New World" album

Los Angeles' Analog Saint churn out punk rock with power pop (even slightly glammy) bones. Their raw, dirty meets clean sound exists somewhere between the 70's punk of the Dictators and the 80's power pop of the Plimsouls. Paul Orea's sand paper voice sounds so perfect for this kind of stuff and while on their debut album "New World" they keep the songs pretty straight forward on songs like Messiah On Fire and Mexico (Lonely Man) they get more cagey and, in fact, I thought of Jane's Addiction a bit. Per their Facebook page, Analog Saint is Paul Orea (vox, guitar), Michael Orea (vox, drums) and Jarrod Moore (bass, comedian).

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Robb Donker

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Low River - "The Man That Death Forgot" feels like folk punk















The Man That Death Forgot sounds like a gritty novel, maybe a dark mystery or some illuminating revelation story. It is a song by UK's Low River (aka Paul Bardsley). The song feels like a punk folk song, down home, raw, a runaway beat and a glass cuts vocal performance. This song is the first release from Low River's third album "One Cat - Many Claws."
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Robb Donker


Animal Waves righteous rock sound on "WTF"

WTF by Animal Waves is saturated with the kind of basic rock and roll meets garage rock meets blues rock meets psychotropic drugs that makes teenagers head-bang in whatever decade they exist in. It is a familiar sound birthed by bands like Detroit's MC-5 infecting scads of bands like Led Zep, Black Sabbath, The Stooges, The Dictators, The Velvet Underground. That sounds has been reshaped and re-interpreted as of late by bands like Ty Segal, Jack White, Sic Alps and more. Animal Waves carries the whiskey infused torch and it sounds so fucking good.  

Animal Waves is the lovechild of Robert Wayne Davis, an underground LA session player and former guitarist of Lauryn Hill. Animal Waves released the thunderous contemplation, "WTF," the first track from debut EP1, set for release on September 28.

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Robb Donker

Bangladeshi musician, rapper, singer-songwriter, producer Dameer is only 17 - hear the tropical punk dream pop of "Easier"

17 year old Malaysia based, Bangladeshi producer, musician, rapper, singer-songwriter Dameer Khan has played with many hip hop / electronic flavors but his latest track Easier spins on indie tropical punk styles with a patina of dream pop too. The pearly guitars, floating bass sounds and that "move through a crowd while holding a beer" shuffle / sway has some Mac DeMarco-isms but only a little and, in fact, while Khan was inspired by the sounds he heard on DeMarco's 2014 "Salad Days" he exhibits a self assured and self aware vocal style (well beyond his years). About the track he says:

"Easier is actually my first ever indie track. I had mostly done jazzy hip-hop and various kinds of electronic music before that, but after hearing Mac Demarco’s 'Salad Days' album, I was compelled to incorporate guitar and vocals into my music. I began to play around with some riffs and eventually i came upon the melody for the song. The lyrics are unsurprisingly about my ex. I try to express the sheer frustration one can feel in a long term teenage relationship; wondering whether you did the right thing or not and questioning your own state of sanity. The chorus therefore begs the question, 'does it get easier?.'" 

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Robb Donker

Sunday, August 12, 2018

The Mosaics - Los Angeles chill psyche rock of "Wait"

Wait by LA psyche rock band The Mosaics might be the ultimate California come on. Duel leads almost sound like Mariachi horns and the rhythms feel like chill Chicano rock. The lyrics suggest that chill vibe too, "If the leaves haven't turned to brown....wait.... wait. If the snow won't stop falling down, wait.... wait..." and later, "it's alright!" The swaying sleepy bass line and pearly guitars feel a bit like tropical punk too and psychedelic flavors are stirred in as well in a trippy musical break. The blendo rock shifts into art pop as well. It is a dizzy mix of things that never does not compliment each style. Very cool stuff.
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Robb Donker

UK: SPOTLIGHT: Grace Gillespie Single- "Lady Make Believe" / "England" - China Tanks - "Smoke and Mirrors" - Simon D. James - "Burn The Man"

UK:
China Tanks alternative rock sound has late 80's early 90's post rock tones to me. Big with driving beats and active jammy guitars and David Poole's vocal performance that has that commanding presence of that bud who is worn and torn and has experienced everything before you. His sandpaper vox is offset by cool background vocals on Smoke and Mirrors.
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Robb Donker







Simon D. James hails from Brighton (UK) and the track Burn The Man from his Debut EP "Dream From A Long Forgotten Dream" is a mid-tempo dreamy affair with an elegant pop feel. At once it feels spartan but has big moments as well. James vocal performance is tender and pulls you immediately into the song. 

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Robb Donker


Saturday, August 11, 2018

Singer-songwriter Jesse Rosenthal changes emotional shapes on the track "Party Dress"





















The track Party Dress by Jesse Rosenthal is like a card from a Rorschach test where the ink blot never dries but, instead, flows and slowly changes shape and so what we see changes too. Blending indie, alt country and Americana flavors it shifts from feeling like a somber drink yourself to death song to a romantic slow dance in some honky-tonk. The revealing lyrics can be interpreted in many ways as metaphor as real as dreams or a hybrid of all. There are allusions to things or people in transition and at every emotional, artful turn Rosenthal's affinity for marrying melody to lyric is apparent:

"So lift up my party dress and I'll show you what this heartbreaker really looks like... and it ain't pretty, but it'll show you that every heartbreaker has had their heart broken. So I can't hate you and you can't hate me so we lock eyes and we kiss on the balcony. I don't want sex. You don't want love. So what we're doing, I don't know, ask some god above."


Aesthetically, the start of every verse has classic pop flourishes, in fact when the song starts it felt like the 70's rock pop ballad tones of a band like Journey and later this double lead that happens later again made me think of classic rock pop tones but dancing around those pop subtleties is that alt country, Americana almost goth pop flavors where the stories are always about broken love and broken people. The way the emotional and musical tones are blended so successfully is amazing. I really love this song. Jesse Rosenthal is one singer-songwriter (from Seattle, Washington) who I will be keeping my eye on.


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Robb Donker


Sunday, August 5, 2018

Castle Pines "Cassiopeia" from the album "Por Vida" is a sweeping goosebumps inducing indie rocker

























Cassiopeia from Castle Pines latest love letter album called "Por Vida" is goosebumps inducing indie rocker with a beautifully sweeping feel. Guitar driven with big bold crescendos of sound it is not afraid to get quiet in spots which only make the full charge running up the hill parts feel even bigger and more passionate. The Corona, California band's musical flourishes feel organic as they shun a lot of indie rock cliche's. No over modulated vox (for example). When Leandro Barrientos sings emotional lines like "as seasons pass me by... we lay forgotten wonder why... what were they saying through their teeth... we were taught to grin through our grief... facades are meant to fade...living inside the walls we made" the words hit home. Real and relatable, Cassiopeia feels cinematic and inspirational. Castle Pines is Leandro Barrientos (guitar, vox), Ricky Garvey (lead guitar), Sterling Fairfield (percussion, drums) and Jesse Briseno (bass).

Listen to "Por Vida" on all digital platforms here- https://cpporvida.com/

-
Robb Donker 


PRESS NOTES:

Castle Pines is a four piece Alternative Rock Outfit from Corona, CA. Dutifully dedicated and charismatic members include Leandro Barrientos (vocalist) and Ricky Garvey (lead guitarist), Sterling Fairfield (percussionist) and Jesse Briseno (bassist) The band, likened to a fervent local movement, has relentlessly worked every aspect of their music, online presence and message over 10 years to garner international attention from radio stations, blogs and press. 
Castle Pines are somewhat of an anomaly in the independent music world. Basing the band off of a family home lost in the market crash of 2008 and crafting songs with emotive and frantic sensibilities, Castle Pines built a familial, passionate following and branded themselves as the “blue collar” indie-alternative heroes of their hometown, the “non-cool kids” that fell through cracks of Suburban America. 

Encompassing the many facets that new technology and the volatile music industry offers, Castle Pines founded a publishing company “CP Por Vida Music Publishing” in 2017, using the trended hashtag of their own creation #CPporVida. Their upcoming album “Por Vida” aptly titled from the Spanish “For Life” will be released as a collection of 7 singles alongside of music videos curated by different film makers to give the album a unique visual and sonic experience from the perspective of different auteurs. 

Recording for the “Por Vida” album was a monumental and arduous challenge for the members of the band. The Summer of 2017, as the band was doing preliminary recordings, founding member and drummer Sterling Fairfield was rushed to an emergency operation due to complications of Crohn’s Disease. An ailment that Sterling dealt with his entire time gigging, recording and playing with Castle Pines, he nearly died on several occasions and had his entire lower intestine removed. This left the band in an unsure place for the recording of their album. Sterling, being the diehard loyalist to the band and message, struggled through weeks of recording in a cottage in Southern California, stitches fresh from an incision down his chest, and performed beautifully for the album. An album, with all odds against it, was recorded through perseverance through adversity, dedication and in no small part to the accommodating and kind efforts of Matthew Faulkner of Beta Waves Records who moved his entire studio to a cottage near the home of Sterling, in case he suffered another medical emergency. 

The Castle Pines discography has been a testament to the bands ability to maneuver through changes and hardship. Their first release, “Bless this House EP” is a collection of 6 songs written in a dingy, rundown apartment in the summer of 2010. Songs like “I saw you on the Radio” and “I’m a Volcano” have not only become fan favorites at live shows and on streaming platforms, but reflect the extremely colorful musical palette and diversity of the scenes and genres each member was raised with. Punk, emo, hardcore, grind, indie and alternative meld into a sonic landscape that is completely Castle Pines own sound, developed in the now defunct, all-ages venue in Corona, CA “The Showcase Theater”. 

In 2014, Castle Pines released their full length album “Summer Blood”, focused on hypnotic textures, dynamic musical language and the narrative of growing up in the 90’s suburban sprawls of Southern California, it was released through a successful crowdfunding campaign and met with praise from both local fans and the international music, blog and arts community. The album features “Palm Springs” a driving and powerful journey through youthful family trips in a minivan to the aforementioned desert oasis in Southern California. It has been featured on radio stations in Brazil, the UK, New Zealand, South Africa and the US. 

Summer 2018 marks the release of “Por Vida” the album that almost never was is a testament to staying the course and faithful commitment to the art in the pangs of heartache, ailment and suffering. The band is grateful for the love and support it has received from the online community, their fans and family and is eagerly excited to premier their latest work. In an industry exploited for commercial and financial gain by juggernaut corporatism, a little garage band, from the suburbs of California, protesting the status quo and proclaiming the importance of art and music, loyalty, persistence and honesty is a fresh and needed voice in the stifling noise of the modern market. 
Thank you, and remember that Castle Pines is for life homie.


Belaver- deceptively deep track "Trash"

Belaver the moniker for singer-songwriter Ben Godfrey sings about trash, about one's perspective on what is what to each person. His turned phrase "trash is in the eye of the disposer" says it all. People, situations, art, music can all be referred to as trash, be marginalized by people and governments and whether you see the track Trash as metaphor, as social commentary or just a viciously cool track you can get as deep and dirty as you want. 
Get into the track or video below.

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Robb Donker




If you lived in Central Arkansas what kind of music would you make? Couch Jackets - trippy ride on "Pillos N Rillos"
























If you lived in Central Arkansas what kind of music would burst out of your head. At least for Ben Eslick, (vox, bass), Brennan Leeds (vox, guitar), Huner Law (drums) and Harry Glaeser (keys) collectively know as Couch Jackets and judging by the track Pillos N Rillos it is dreamy stuff riding along on varied beats with cool melodies that fall head first into dramatic downbeats, dynamic sonic shifts and little and small explosions of sound. The post rock tones give way to elements of psychedelia, dream pop and glam all in a dream theater sort of way. It is a wild trippy trip providing multicolored twists and turns and so I ask you again, if you lived in Central Arkansas what kind of music would burst out of your head.
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Robb Donker


"Ticket" by Denmark based Bonnie Cried is part Americana, blues rock and Spaghetti Western

























The track Ticket by Denmark based Bonnie Cried slithers like a snake. Part (Gothic) Americana, part Spaghetti Western, part blues rock it is a track that (to me) pays homage to classic western musical motifs from the likes of Johnny Cash and Frankie Laine and Ennio Morricone who scored all those wonderful Sergio Leone movies (most notably The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Fistful of Dollars). The sound on Ticket is so clothed in that genre that I expected to hear the crack of a bull whip. Love the guitar lines, the plodding cadence and the strong / cool vocal performance. Ticket is the first single from the debut EP "Aarhus" you need to look out for. 

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Robb Donker


PRESS NOTES:
Bonnie Cried was formed in in the summer of 2013. Initially the band were brought together to perform compositions by co-frontman, Daniel Kittow (New Zealand) under his stage act “Daniel Dumont”. A decision was made however to use the strengths of Bobby McBride’s (USA) dark lyric writing and strong vocals paired with the group’s mutual love of 60s garage and R&B sounds. Jens Nørgaard (bass) and Raggi Gudmundsson (drums) rounded out the solid rhythm section. The new group was christened Bonnie Criedand Kittow and McBride shared lead vocals and guitar duties. The result of the partnership was a batch of songs with broad influences from early surf and garage (Link Wray, The Sonics), modern deep soul (Menahan Street band, Budos Band) to dashes of dark Americana and blues. 

The band chose to record their debut material in Lightning Recorders, a converted ammunition factory in East Berlin’s industrial district. The result was a self-titled e.p. that purveyed the bands influences – both modern and old from the dusty lens of Lightning’s authentic analogue environment, usually reserved for rockabilly and country sessions. 

A line-up shift saw fellow Icelander, Andrés Ben taking over behind the drums – tightening up the rhythm section and taking the band towards a slightly more punk (The Saints, Buzzcocks) and deep soul/blues territory (Junior Kimbrough, The Meters). The band are actively recording, gigging and plan on a steady release of singles in the near future.


Dead Sullivan's album "Season" the matter in the universe many of us have long lost

Dead Sullivan is a musical outfit surrounding or incarnation (of) one Boone Parello out of Denton, Texas. I expect the latter but really don't know because I just discovered this musical gem /crush and he or they are just a mystery to me. Dead Sullivan's latest offering is an album called "Season" and the aesthetic is intimate somewhat lo-fi bedroom somber pop that will illicit comparisons to the likes of Alex G. and Elliot Smith. Those are valid although I feel a sense of more experimentation with Parello and I thought more of Sparklehorse and maybe an embryonic strain of music in the Jason Lytle or Radiohead vein even. I could see Parello's simple sometimes obtuse concepts getting bigger in the future. Of course, I can be totally wrong or maybe I am just selfishly hoping and besides what he is doing is pretty perfect as it is here on this album. The 13 brief tracks while wonderfully spartan are varied. Many seem to flutter away before you can fully take them in like a butterfly you don't have time to study but they all contain a wonderful beauty with a pantina of that specific part of youth that feels everything intensely without having grown the armour needed to withstand what life doles out. The 8th track Drive feels the most like a band and maybe the most poised as (in a strange sort of way) a pop song. The cadence feels like a teenage zombie and the guitar mirroring the vox and then going sideways is so compelling. I hope you listen to the album from start to finish. The songs seem to melt into each other so nicely. 

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Robb Donker



Saturday, August 4, 2018

Exuberant retro rock from The Over Unders - from the album "One Fine Day"




























The Over Unders are brothers Sam and Mathew from Eau Claire, Wisconsin who cut their teeth playing covers in bars in during middle and high school. The track One Fine Day (from the album of the same name) plays like exuberant 90's post rock that feels like it could of been on Nickelodeon's The Adventures of Pete and Pete. Earnest organic sounding rock is always a good thing. 

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Robb Donker


Grizzly Budha rocking back to the garden on "Simple World" from the album "It'll Be Too Late When You're Dead"

Simple World by Grizzly Budha feels like 70's garden rock inspired sounds. There are big crescendos of glam painted psychedelia wrapped around what just feels like hippie rock for lack of a better term. The melodies are hooky and the big walls of sound are intoxicating. In some ways it feels like Grizzly Budha is guzzling the same retro inspired Kool-Aid that artists like Ty Segall and Sic Alps have been drinking from. I likee. 

Grizzly Buddha is a musical project supported by a community of musicians, which started with Brandan Pineda and Nick Moya. Look out for their new album "It'll Be Too Late When You're Dead" on Spotify and other digital platforms. 

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Robb Donker

Spiller slice and dice up indie rock and jazz tones on their EP "Plant House"

Spiller are a quartet based out of Eugene, Oregon that fuse rock and jazz into a dynamic, proggy blend of sounds that ebb and flow and chill and erupt in such interesting ways. They call this blend of genres "plant rock" and the song Nine (the second track off their recently released 5 track EP "Plant House") is the perfect introduction to their sounds, their aesthetic. 

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Robb Donker




United Ghosts move forward by taking us back on "Waves"

United Ghosts hail from Silverlake, California and the track Waves carries synth lines, steely bass driven drum beats, back alley guitars and girl / guy vocals laced with all black cool and sexual allure. The sound is now but also feels fused in the past, maybe circa early eighties when L.A.'s X, Uk's The Psychedelic Furs and the Cure ruled the night. I can hear elements of all these bands in United Ghosts and that makes me so damn happy. Look out for an upcoming album on Cleopatra Records.

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Robb

Swedish musical treat Weaver and the multicolored "Whatever Seems Less Wrong"

























This Swedish treat Weaver (the moniker of Johan Weber) hails from the city of Gothenburg and his latest offering Whatever Seems Less Wrong has a decidedly dense 80's vibe. In fact, as I listened I imagined the characters from Stranger Things running away from the scary entities from "the Upside Down". The beat almost gallops while synths sounds sweep from side to side. Weber has a cool vocal sound tinged with passion and poised in a thoughtful way. This earnest vocal take against a new wave-esque vibe gives an otherwise just multicolored poppy sound more emotional weight. 

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Robb Donker

You're Sister - Megan Braaten's musical incarnation and the dreamy "I Think About You"

I Think About You feels like a dream. Guitar notes float in a sea of ambiance as Megan Braaten's vox float and sometimes bounce along. This all happens under the guise of her musical incarnation You're Sister. I Think About You exists in her "Keepsake" album available digitally or on cassette. Songs coalesced over five years in Asheville, North Carolina and finally recorded in a home space after she moved to Queens, New York after graduating college. Lucky for us.
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Robb Donker



Friday, August 3, 2018

Dead Painters' title track "Endless Idle" from their full length that drops TODAY feels like a hand written letter set to music

Endless Idle by Brooklyn based Dead Painters feels like hand written thoughts, a letter sent to a loved one detailing remembrances, maybe even reasons why things are as they are set to evocative music. I am feeling a post rock (90's vibe) with the translucent sounding guitars, tender introspective vocals and mid tempo cadence. Love the bass runs and spaces in the songs that hang in the air as the drums glue it all together. The guitar work is both elegant and fills in the mood so sweetly. Love the sound and the lead guitar dancing about. In fact when the musical break happens I actually thought of a more mellow version of Dinosaur Jr. Dead Painters have that great organic rock feel drenched with emotions (I also thought of Miracle Legion). 

Dead Painters are TC Brownell (bass, vocals, keys), Marlene Bowles (guitar), Japeth Mennes (vocals, guitar, bass) and Oliver Beardsley (percussion). Endless Idle is the title track Dead Painters' sophomore album and it drops today. Look for it on all digital platforms.

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Robb Donker




Thursday, August 2, 2018

Jesse Jo Stark's hyper reality of "Dandelion"

The track Dandelion by rock and roll femme fatale Jesse Jo Stark feels like a torch song trilogy. The song wears three skins. It exists as a 50's tender lullaby ala Patsy Cline as well as a glam ballad with dramatic downbeats ala Freddie Mercury and on the fringes (underneath it all) is dusted with Gothic darkwaves ala Lebanon Hanover. Put it all together and there is a kind of hyper reality happening. Melodrama on high, death and love as shiny and romantic trophies colored blood red. I apologize for my excesses on this review but Jesse Jo Stark just pulls it out of me. This trippy L.A. singer songwriter will be casting out her dark tales touring in support of Sunflower Bean soon (see poster below).
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Robb Donker


TOUR::

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Sharkmuffin's "glam grunge" and classic punk brevity on the track "Liz Taylor"

When I pushed play on Sharkmuffin's track Liz Taylor a big smile appeared on my face. Sure the glammy cadence (which made me think of Potty Mouth) was captivating enough but when Tarra Thiessen (guitar, vox) and Natalie Kirch's (bass, vox) vocals came in at around 8 seconds in an all nonchalant  kind of barbiturate monotone (which made me think of the iconic The Waitresses) the captivation turned into a head long deep crush. Jordyn Blakely's fills (drums, vox) fall on top of the bass with such a cool flair and the sonic guitar is tasty wailing in a kind of John Dwyer-esque (Thee Oh Sees) way. Just a cool, fun track with cheeky lyrics and classic punk brevity. Sharkmuffin are based out of Brooklyn via the Jersey Shore.

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Robb Donker

PRESS NOTES:
Sharkmuffin adds a unique jagged edge onto ‘60s beach pop meets ‘90s alt sound, a genre lovingly dubbed by NPR as “glam-grunge.” With several cross-country tours & no shortage of EPs, Sharkmuffin has been creating a veritable whirlpool of musical chaos. Their debut LP Chartreuse (featuring Patty Schemel of Upset/Hole) is a vicious lure, featuring 10 tracks that bleed heavily with feminine rage & cheeky sass alike. In 2017, Sharkmuffin released their sophomore LP Tsuki (feat. Kim Deuss), followed by their first international tour to the U.K. Tsuki was re-released on cassette, CD, and a limited vinyl pressing via Little Dickman Records on July 13th, 2018, featuring bonus tracks "Liz Taylor" and "Your Stupid Life" (feat the current line-up). Sharkmuffin will be celebrating the re-release by embarking on their second tour of the United Kingdom and homecoming shows upon their return to the States. A European Tour is planned for 2019.

Mootwin - the official video for "Your Sun" - barbed wire and blooming flowers exist together

Your Sun the latest offering from Mootwin blends heavy and light with dark elegant nuances throughout. Besides the engaging vocal performance that is rough and light blending XRaydio founder Zac Kusmanov low gravel tones with Maple Bee's (aka Melanie Garside) lilting higher register, the track (as hybrid as it is) spews out a very pretty melody with pop hooks (or twisted barbed wire). 

The two creative spirits write and record their songs 1700 miles apart between Bulgaria and London using videophones as their portal of sorts. Zac lost the full use of his hands a few years ago to a degenerative muscular disorder but manages still to find a way to record and edit their audio and visual creations. 

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Robb Donker



"Hard To Know" - talks about heartbreak in a beautiful way- from Vancouver's Blue J

Hard To Know is the 4th single from the Vancouver, BC based band Blue J. The mid tempo song rides on a steady bass and drum rhythm as guitar picking fills in the spaces. The vocal performance feels serious, sad and begs you to listen to the story which you might shed your own light on but, to me, it will be a tragedy of some size, large or small filled with ups and downs and broken things or people and heartbreak. Love the tones here, the aesthetic, the earnest feelings the songs brings up and out. Awesome. Their debut EP will come out any day now, scheduled for this August (2018).

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Robb Donker


NEW ME- Look for their 7 Inch- hear the trippy pop sound of "Something Green"



























Something Green by California indie pop band New Me feels all retro with synthy hooks on top of happy go lucky meets proto punky meets 80's new wave sounds. There is a cool tinge here that feels dark too but also has a bit of whimsy like I could play the more acid trippy scenes of Never Ending Story and Something Green and it would totally fit. Look out for their debut 7 inch on Bleeding Gold Records. The group has members of well know San Diego bands including Spooky Cigarette centered around singer-songwriter Barnabuss Chump whose stile is off kilter in a good way. I love the sounds. 

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Robb Donker