pop music

David Lynch * The Big Dream (2013)

Recently Lynch is more active as a musician than as filmmaker, “Crazy Clown Time” is hardly two years old and in between he rereleased the “Mullholland Drive” soundtrack and released a live cd. “The Big Dream” is (even) more tranquil than its predecessor. It opens with some nice, bluesy tracks, but the larger part is soft, sometimes electronic, somewhat jazzy or just a simple rhythm on the drum with minimalistic guitar playing and Lynch´s voice.
“The Big Dream” is another nice album. I do not like it as much as “Crazy Clown Time” and the Bluebob project is even better, but this latest release is certainly a very nice album to play.
Links: David Lynch, Sunday Best Recordings

The Cult Of Dom Keller * s/t (lp 2013)

In Leipzig I found a card of Mannequin Label and Mailorder. They have “cold wave”, “minimal synth”, “post punk”, “dark wave”, “experimental” and “industrial”. I did not see these cards at the minimal wave/synth night, but it would have been more fitting there. Anyways, since I like some of that minimal wave/synth stuff, I decided to check out the label. They have a Bandcamp with a lot of music on so that is good. One band did not sound like minimal wave/synth at all, but more something like shoegaze, another genre that I have been looking through recently. The band with the weird name “The Cult Of Dom Kellar” makes a nice piece of slow shoegaze, or perhaps better: psychedelic rock. There are some of the feedback sounds, but not all that much. This self-titled debut album is not the first release of this British band, there have been several 7″s.
This debut is available only through the Bandcamp of the label. You can either get one of the 500 lps and a digital download or just a digital download.
Links: The Cult Of Dom Kellar (Facebook), Mannequin

Wolf Eyes * No Answer: Lower Floors (cd 2013)

According to Last.fm I know Wolf Eyes and they recommended me the latest album of this weird US band. They are listed as (among other genres) noise rock, so I suppose they sometimes come by when I am playing nowave, since Last.fm, but more especially Deezer easily connect bands that have only the smallest thing incommon. However I use the tag “nowave” myself, this term does not really describe the sound of Wolf Eyes (but I cannot make a new tag for every band). Nowave is usually chaotic, noisy punk without much structure, rhythm or melody. “No Answer” is rather tranquil and very experimental music. Guitars, electronics and sometimes vocals making a weird style of… noise rock? Perhaps yes, but the guitars are not ‘rocky’ at all and the noise is nothing much when you compare it to what I call noise, nor even when you compare it to some nowave. Wolf Eyes is an extremely active band. Their first release on Discogs is from 1998 and Discogs has 67 (!) albums listed and does not even have this one yet. Add 30 eps and over a hundred splits and I am beginning to understand that somewhere along the line I must definately have come accross this band. So, if you are looking for something different, something experimental, perhaps slightly psychedelic and certainly soundscapish, but then made with guitars and some electronics, have a listen to Wolf Eyes. I personally find this a bit too unstructured, but I would not turn it off would it come along in some Last.fm or Deezer “radio”.
Links: Wolf Eyes, De Stijl Recs

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club * Specter At The Feast (cd 2013)

BRMC may not be my favourite popband, but I got to know them as a rock’n’roll popband with several great songs. Curious about their latest effort, I listened to “Specter At The Feast”. Most songs are much softer than I am used of this band and the real ballads have high-pitched Coldplay-like vocals. There are also a few nice more rocky songs and more psychedelic and folky songs, but it is all far less interesting than what I remember of other albums. There are a few nice tracks though and I like the variety of styles, but I guess I will have to make my own BRMC compilation some time.
Link: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Bang Bang Eche * Ur The Best (mp3 ep 2013)

I got to know Bang! Bang! Eche! a couple of years ago when on a P2P network I was looking through someones “nowave or whatever the kids call it this week” folder. This was a pretty big folder, so I just picked out a couple of things based on bandnames. Bang! Bang! Eche! do not make nowave though, more something like electropunk, or actually not even that, it is weird, uptempo popmusic with electronic influences. The band released two eps, rereleased them as online eps and the self-titled 2008 ep and “Sonic Death Cunttt” 2009 ep are now again available from the band’s Bandcamp as “Ep I” (2009) and “Ep II” (2010) with a different order of the tracks and a video for the first ep and an 8-bit “original version” of a track on the second ep.
A while ago the band announced that they had an album ready and a label to release it. When the label said something critical, the band reacted with their usual strong language on their Facebook and the label decided to not release the album at all. Now after quite some silence there is a new online ep with only three tracks and a different, more mature sound. “Ur The Best” opens with a nowavey fast noisy track that is really great. The second track is more punky and more poppy at the same time and however nice, not as good as earlier material. The last track is even more poppy, a bit of the popsound with electronics that you hear more nowadays. It is a very easy-listening track compared to the madness of the first two eps. But, the songs sound good and might very well bring the band under the attention of a wider audience. Also the new ep is a ‘name your price’ Bandcamp release, so nothing should hold you back to try some nice electropop/-punk.
Links: Bang Bang Eche, The Underground Management

Tweak Bird ‎* Under Cover Crops (cd 2012)

Last weekend we spent in Brussel, Belgium and checking Last.fm if there would be anything musically interesting in these days I ran into a club with the great name “Madame Moustache et son Freakshow” which had a psychedelic stonerband on friday. I looked up the music, indeed “psychedelic stoner” is the only possible description, but I was not convinced by the high-pitched vocals. We went nonetheless and after the sometimes interesting weird electropunk band Shiko Shiko two young (?) hippies entered the stage, a singer guitarist and singer drummer. Accompanied by some electronics the duo gave a great performance of stoner rock music with psychedelic long solos, strange electronics and Beatles (or something)-like vocals. A nice party indeed. The album sounds well too, the mixing gave the band more possibilities with the sound than on stage, but basically live and on cd the sound is the same. I bought me the cd, but Discogs only lists the album as 12″. Know that there is a cd version too!
Links: Tweak Bird, Volcom Entertainment

A Place To Bury Strangers * Worship (cd 2012)

When I was just a little Roy, I found a tape in my father’s collection with the “Psychocandy” debut album (1985) of The Jesus And Mary Chain. I liked the strange and noisy sound, but my musical tastes drifted elsewhere and I never really followed the band. Recently I am listening more to popmusic using Last.fm and since recently Deezer. I have listened to “shoegaze” a bit, but not that much. Then Last.fm recommended a new release of A Place To Bury Strangers. With a bandname as great as that I decided to find out what it is and APTBS proves to be the ultimate shoegaze band. “Worship” is a magnificent album! In case you are wondering, try to imagine the old style of wave with the screaming guitars, ‘flat vocals’ and drumcomputers or drumcomputer like drumming, then add a little distortion and here and there a bit of tempo and you are pretty close to the sound of shoegaze. APTBS seems to have taken things a step further and their sound is sometimes downright noisy and dirty and especially the uptempo tracks are brilliant. I am now working my way backwords in their large discography and so far it seems that this is going to be one of my favourite popbands.
Links: A Place To Bury Strangers, Dead Oceans

These New Puritans * Hidden (cd 2010)

  • pop

DiscogsSo you wanted to hear something different? My brother took a shot, not entirely in the dark, but our musical tastes do not have all that much incommon. These New Puritans (or TNPS) is a very strange “indie” band, very strange indeed. “Hidden” opens with chamber music, nice and soothing. After a while couple of loud beats disturb the peace and George Barnett’s experimentational mind sets in. Initially I have to think of In The Nursery with drumming over orchestral music, but later the IDM-electronics take the lead some more and in combination with the orchestral music, memories of Venetian Snares’ masterpiece “Rossz Csillag Alatt Született” bubble up in my mind. Still the music is basically “indie rock” (somehow) and the poppy music and electronics make me think of Dream Into Dust more than once. Sometimes there are disproportionate loud beats, a corny choir-sampple as if you are listening to some old electro album, but there are also real choirs. The music is mostly slow, but sometimes a bit more lively. It is all hard to describe. Weird popmusic with (seeming) references to music that we know and one of these cds that I do not have a definate opinion on after one listening. Interesting, certainly!
Links: These New Puritans, Domino USA

We Are The Physics * Your Friend, The Atom (cd 2012)

Indeed, I do not only listen to musical violence, I also have a growing likeness for weird and punky pop music. I discovered this Scotish band a while ago. In 2008 they released their excellent debut cd “Are OK At Music”, however album… it is only half an hour, or as the cover says: “Guaranteed to fit on ONE SIDE of a C60 Tape!”. This also shows the humour of this band. The new album (41 minutes) has a song title that I cannot retype without my software turning the html code into an accent. Also in the music there is plenty room for humour. The music is often fast, guitar oriented popmusic with catchy rhythms and electronics. The vocals are nicely strange and especially the use of ‘choirs’ on the new album is very amusing. The music can be described as somewhat of a mix between nowave weirdness and experimentalism and electropunk. The energy and approach reminds of great bands such as Duchess Says, We Are Wolves and Bang! Bang! Eche!, but each band certainly has a distinctive sound. It is not like I like each and every of these ‘electropunk’ bands, but with two great cds We Are The Physics definately make a wonderfull addition to my discovery so I can play some lighter stuff every now and then.
Links: We Are The Physics, This Is Fake DIY Records

Swans * The Seer (2cd 2012)

Swans is one of those bands I have known about for decades, but never got to listen to them. In my head Swans is an old industrial band that was around before I started to listen to industrial music and since everybody says that they Swans are the hardest live band they ever saw, I took them for probably being a noise band. Actually Swans were there before there was industrial and since Michael Gira is also in the “nowave” documentary “Kill Your Idols!” that would probably mean a guitar-oriented noise outfit. Another reason that I probably never heard them is that they seem to have quit after the 1998 album “Swans Are Dead” and released nothing until 12 years after. I, at least not consciously, did not hear about the 2010 album “My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky”, but Last.fm did recommend me “The Seer”. Since they are also coming to my country to play, I decided to try this new album and I noticed that there are actually two new albums, “The Seer” and “We Rose From Your Bed With The Sun In Our Head”. The latter appears to be somewhat how I expected Swans to sound, but not as loud as I thought, guitar-oriented noisy music. Fortunately I heard “The Seer” before “We Rose…” otherwise I might not have heard it. Not that “We Rose…” is a boring album, but “The Seer” is a lot more interesting. It opens with a brilliant song called “Lunacy”, a soft track with constantly repeating singing of the song title. The next track is more a long, epic rock song with softer and louder parts, completely with organs. After a short soundscape comes the over half hour title track epic which goes from soundscapes to jazzy music to noisy rock, heck, this is almost what you nowadays call “sludge” or “stoner doom” and not bad either. The next track is almost poppy as are some other tracks on the second disc. There is folk, classical nowave/artpunk, popmusic. Not every track is brilliant, but most are good to very good and the variety of styles makes “The Seer” very interesting and very listenable. I might need to find me more music of Swans! Would this be a new sound for the band or did I mistakingly ignore them all these years? You probably know the band for a long time, so perhaps this review will tell you if Swans changed and if you still want to hear the new album, but for people like me, who somehow managed to miss this band, “The Seer” could be a good introduction to start exploring the massive discography.
Swans, Young God Records