Lab Coast? Lamb Coats? Lad Goats? As the days go by I find it increasingly difficult to remember the correct lettering for Calgary ‘junk-pop’ Lab Coast. These Canadians came to my attention after I caught them playing the Faux Discx showcase, part of the ‘alternative’ Great Escape Festival last year. (So impressed with their performance, I ventured to the teeny tiny The Betsy Trotwood to catch a glimpse for the second time.) On record, Lab Coast aren’t exactly cranking things in the hope of picking up readings on the richter scale, instead their lo-fi unruffled charm vibrates the furniture by other means. Walking on Ayr is the bands third release out on Mammoth Cave, you can hear the rest of their extensive catalog by clicking here.
I first was introduced to playlounge when they played a (then) zine & not heard show in London back in 2010. Half the original bill had pulled out and Sion from Saturday’s Kids (the only band left still standing) suggested them as an opener. Two-pieces weren’t as commonplace back then but should a historical pile had ever existed I’d have placed this guys at the top.
Following on from their 2011 debut EP Kitten Frenzy and 12″ EP Thrash Magic, playlounge return with new track ‘zero’ from their latest full-length pilot. Comparisons to troupes like Japandroids or No Age remain, albeit sitting in the background to what is undoubtedly the bands biggest sound recording to date.
Per-order from Dog Knights Productions now.
A new split from The Secret Audio Club’s Wax Packs collections – a “randomly assigned selection of records” that you by in packs of 1, 5, or 10. Smart idea. Can’t work out if it’s annoying or not, but I don’t have the money to find out anyway. YAY.
Crybaby’s 3 piece Energetic is some straightforward pop-mo from Pennsylvania with diy tinged vocals, reminding me of Watch Commander or Nai Harvest along with earlier Captain We’re Sinking. This split sticks the cross-pollination of American and UK Emo to the front of my brain as Crybaby bounce along with tough guitar riffs, group vocals dragged ragged across driving bass lines (in Whitey Tighty) matching a marching rhythm with resigned melancholia-tinged lyrics (I can’t complain/I’ll get over it/things could be much worse/It’s just how it is). In the opening Crybaby track there’s some real nice chunky imagery (is this city underwater?) and room for the guitar to break out and roll back in. The lyrics wash back and forth frustrated mostly by frustration.
New Jersey 4 piece Casual’s opener Poison Counter drips with passive aggression and more unequivocally emo lyrics – complete with neat college stoner philosophies (“is life death in its purest form”) an anxiety loop written into words, and vocals that sit back and thread through simple chunky chords. Changes as predictable as the next descent into another spiral of self-defeatism: “for each word there’s one forgotten/for each thought a memory rotten”. The riff in Ex-Quaterback Material is wistful and the vocals rougher, higher, angrier, more to hang off. Guitar stutters, drums circle – group vocals pull the sound together, layer, shift, and the sound winds down, like shoulders sagging.
Good if you like straightforward American pop-punky emo. Bouncy in rhythm, lyrics turned inwards, stories spiralling just out of grasp. Turn it up and shout it out. Probably throw beer around.
Get the record through the aforementioned deal from here.
I think it’s inappropriate for a Brit to give the lowdown on American culture, so here’s an extract from Ray Jackson explaining the background behind Philadelphia jolly-roger Radiator Hospital and Chicago’s washed-out Kyle Kaos split release on his label Already Dead Tapes.
“If you don’t remember what Total Request Live was, it was a fond memory of a TV show where there were lots of people cheering in Times Square when Carson Daly stepped by the window and waved down below from the MTV Studios. Everyone seemed to be young, having fun and had little care for most current events. Well now it’s 2014, and it’s of little concern as to whether or not the show is still airing, but yet both Kyle Kaos and Radiator Hospital bring out their own version of “Total Request.” It’s still the reckless feel of adolescence and even more importantly – it still wears it’s heart on it’s sleeve without a care for the vulnerability that can come.”
- Ray Jackson, Already Dead Tapes, 2014
Gold Codes describe themselves as sitting “somewhere between Texas, Lagos, 1960s London, and the Congo”.
Think what you like about soundbites for they’re often just precursors for dull comparisons or would-you-rathers. Gold Codes style goes far beyond that of quirky percussion and psychedelic metronomic drum-beats, weaving itself into the workings of a larger genre by the name Afrobeat. Sharing similarities with Sheffield’s Blood Sport, this Derby four-piece know exactly what sort of frivolous weirdo beats stimulate the body. Fix yourself up with debut single Feverfew below.
Brothers in arms Space Junkie Press and Reeks of Effort come together on this latest mixtape to celebrate the release of their new comic The Gutter II. Filled to the rim with outlandish strips, pics and interviews from pen heads Hitsville and John Riordian, this second in the series is destined to be the fullest yet. Celebrating its launch, SPJ are hosting an electic party tonight at Birthdays in Dalston (there’s free comix for the first 50 people in!)
As if that’s not all, purchasing the comic also gets you a free mixtape featuring brand new tracks by post-punks Saturday’s Kids, Dirty Vampires (Plaids guitarist Matthew Green spooky solo project) and more familiar numbers by Joanna Gruesome, Carson Wells, DOE & Playlounge. A dream Z&NH lineup essentially.
Posted in New Music
Tagged birthdays, carson wells, dalston, dirty vampires, DOE, hitsville, joanna gruesome, John Riordian, playlounge, reeks of effort, saturdays kids, Space Junkie Press, the gutter
When Human Hands guitarist decided to move a thousand miles away you’d think that might throw a spanner in the works. Glancing at the world map, members Chaz, Rob and Clyde couldn’t be further apart: two live in Birmingham and the other fronts a hotel in Iceland. There’s some clear geographical distances to overcome, but clearly nothing the internet, cheap flights and perseverance can put a stop to.
The latest LP by Human Hands required a certain tenacity to deal with all that. Recorded and mastered by Phil at JT Soar, the band have been given a much needed boost in the sound department. In the foreground, now even crisper are those epic Indian Summer/Yaphett Kotto vocals that switch from desperate screams to weary cries, and working like clockwork under the hood, clean, plodding basslines throttling alongside some extraordinary, technical guitar work. This is polished true-to-it’s-word emo that feels not one bit contrived. Make room for this, it’s truly something else.
Pick this up from the lowercase fiends at strictly no capital letters, time as a color, cross your heart and hope to d.i.y. Expect a split with Carson Wells later this year (why us (Vested Interest) are helping release it).
Hakobune aka Takahiro Yorifuji is an ambient producer from Tokyo, Japan. Born and raised in Kasai, a small town in the Hyogo district, Yorifuji thirst for open spaces is encaptured in his expansive guitar based drone, destined to make even those obscure hair strands stand on end. Not shy of taking this to physical with tapes and CD-R’s, you can hear nearly all related Hakobune material over on Bandcamp.
The below release looping around the forest i thought i remembered can be picked up on cassette via US label Constellation Tatsu.
I’ve been waiting a very long time for these guys to record something solid. In amongst the stalling I’ve hard a long hard think and come to the conclusion that London’s Video Days share something in common with two bands that are quite some distance apart, one is Australia’s infamous Eddy Current Suppression Ring – particularly those vocal-repetitions along, and another is that ‘all hail-America’ ferocity that you’d find in only someone like Pissed Jeans. A match made in heaven some may say! If you’re a bit of ‘member CV’ nerd, you might be interested to know this foursome used to play in bands such as Sports Day (you can understand the progression that went on here) and Fast Point (other members now play in Eagulls). Make sure you seem them live, they’re a menace.
My handy telephone just reminded me that this band are playing their release show at the Mascara Bar in marmite district Stoke Newington tonight. Formed from members of Male Bonding and Sauna Youth, London’s Primitive Parts happy-go-lucky foot-tapping debut comes in the form of indie shimmer Open Heads, taken from their debut 7″ out via Sexbeat on 10th Feb.