Eating Out: Burn
Eating Out is the crunchy, distorted, pop-oriented project of Nü Sensae drummer Daniel Pitout. The big distorted guitar riffs and heartfelt melodies of Pitout?s brainchild are a notable departure from Nü Sensae?s roaring assault. But Eating Out also has the proud distinction of being a Vancouver supergroup of sorts. While Pitout assumes the songwriting duties and the accompanying positions of guitarist and vocalist, fellow Sensae Brody McKnight rounds out the guitar department, White Lung vocalist Mish Way lends her bass skills, and Peace?s Geoff Dembicki fills in on drums. While vestiges of Nü Sensae?s brash tonalities, White Lung?s melodic treatment of hardcore, and Peace?s bold anglophile pop can all be heard in Eating Out, Pitout?s songs owe more to girl-grunge groups of the early nineties than to any of his co-conspirators? primary projects.
Natural Child / Guantanamo Baywatch: Surf ?N? Turf
There couldn?t be a better title than Surf N Turf for a split 7? between Portland, Oregon?s Guantanamo Baywatch and Nashville, Tennessee?s Natural Child. While Guantanamo Baywatch bask in the coastal traditions of surf rock, Natural Child deliver the backwoods boogie of the landlocked Southern interior. To be fair, there?s much more to GB than vibrato-soaked Mosrite guitars. The recent Suicide Squeeze signees offset their Dick Dale-styled twang with the trashy hybrid of garage punk and surf rock spewed out by The Mummies. Sure, ?Raunch Stomp? is in step with the Ventures? tremolo-picking tradition, but a song like ?Love This Time? explains why the band spent time on the boisterous Dirtnap Records roster. Neither is Natural Child to be mistaken for mere good ol? boy sons of Skynyrd. Though they?ve certainly got a knack for a country-fried ballad (as evidenced on ?Don?t Wake The Baby?) or a sweetly stoned fuzzed-out lead on guitar, the trio are better suited for sharing a beer-soaked bar stage with fellow Nashevillians JEFF the Brotherhood and Heavy Cream than headlining the mainstage at the state fair.
Audacity: Butter Knife
Audacity?s latest full-length Butter Knife is still, at its core, a garage rock record. The economic instrumentation, grit-tinged guitar jangle, pogo-prompting tempos, and sing-along choruses can all be traced back to the seminal Nuggets collections. But ultimately, Butter Knife doesn?t sound so much like an homage to The Sonics as it sounds like a young band striving to make the most ebullient and jubilant noise possible. Album opener ?Couldn?t Hold A Candle? is a perfect introduction to Audacity?s battle plan?a balanced blend of pop sensibility and ribald power. ?Hole In The Sky? showcases the band?s gift for the on-the-dime changes, sophisticated melodies, and clever instrumental interplay. ?Red Wine? demonstrates a Robert Pollard-like knack for turning an unexpected chord combination into a remarkably punchy chorus. And album closer ?Autumn? harkens back to the balladry of power pop kings Big Star. All of which is to say, Audacity are tighter and more clever than your average suburban band, and consequently they?re one of the strongest acts in the Southern Californian garage rock scene.
YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN: UZU
It is safe to say there is no other band like YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN on the planet. In a world that is increasingly homogenized, a record like UZU is all the more important for demonstrating how disparate cultural perspectives can merge into something entirely new while retaining their individual sovereign character. This meeting of East and West is perhaps most visible in UZU?s lead single ?One?. As the first YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN song to extend the songwriting credits beyond the core duo, ?One? incorporates the indigenous upbringings of the extended group by leading off with a traditional Iroquois song. The introductory chant is a social song calling all people together, and is performed by people of the Mohawk tribe. From there, the band kicks into a driving guitar line and a vocal hook as sweet as any J-pop hit. Metal riffing, free-jazz cacophony, and meditative Eastern percussion patterns accentuate the song. The hybridization is evident throughout UZU--you can hear it in the operatic piano-and-vocal opener ?Atalanta? segueing into the dynamic prog of ?Whalesong?, the Eastern melodies seamlessly melding into the synth arpeggio and guitar dirge of ?Windflower?, the musical storytelling tradition of ?Seasickness Pt. 1? juxtaposing with the Heart-like classic rock gallop of ?Seasickness Pt. 2?, and the closing choir passage of ?Saturn?s Return? descending into Merzbow-esque white noise.
The Coathangers / Audacity: Adderall b/w Earthbot
The Coathangers are a relentless force. Not content to rest on their laurels with 2011?s sweaty summer classic Larceny & Old Lace, Atlanta?s roadwarrior daughters delivered a new split 7? every six months courtesy of Suicide Squeeze Records. Previous installments have paired their no-fucks-given badassery with Puerto Rican partiers Davila 666, Canadian bass-riff maestros Nu Sensae, and Nashville vintage-rockers Heavy Cream. The Coathangers? final chapter in the series has them sharing a slab of vinyl with recent Suicide Squeeze signees Audacity. Hailing from Orange County, Audacity perfectly embody Southern California?s polarizing elements of sunshine and urban density. While not exactly ?Good Vibrations? or ?Welcome To The Jungle?, Audacity?s split-exclusive ?Earthbot? shows both undeniable pop savvy and savage fretboard awareness. For their side, The Coathangers pay homage to driver?s-little-helper with ?Adderall?. Showcasing the grittier side of their sound while still maintaining all of their token swagger, ?Adderall? is a fitting cap on the split 7? series that carried through two years of relentless touring across North America and Europe. The Coathangers/Audacity split 7? is limited to 750 copies and is also available digitally worldwide on October 15, 2013.
Minus The Bear: Acoustics 2
In Winter 2008/2009, Minus the Bear released an EP called Acoustics featuring newly recorded acoustic versions of fan favorites from the quintet's prolific career along with one new track. Limited to 5000 copies of vinyl, Acoustics is now out of print. Acoustics 2, the second volume in the acoustic series, is a full LP containing eight newly recorded and reinterpreted standout tracks in addition to two brand new songs: "The Storm" and "Riddles." Acoustics 2 is sure to please longtime fans and welcome new fans to this critically acclaimed rock band.
Meat Market: Too Tired
Meat Market offers up two new songs via Suicide Squeeze. ?Too Tired? perfectly encapsulates their sound: a marriage of propulsive Stratocaster riffs with a big catchy chorus. B-side ?The Return of Prince Donathunn? is an even stronger nod to the wave-riding instrumental groups of the ?60s, with the steady 4/4 beat and dueling guitar leads belying the bands outspoken apathy towards surfing.
Antwon: Dying in the Pussy
Antwon?s latest EP comes courtesy of indie stalwart Suicide Squeeze. Mixed by Lars Stalfors, producer and engineer behind multiple Mars Volta and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez albums, ?Dying in the Pussy? marries an MC?s traditional sexual bravado with a signature style of smoked-out fatalism over ominous interweaving synth lines. In contrast to the A-side?s sinister swagger, ?Life Is What You Make It? is Antwon?s summer jam. A stylistic continuation of last year?s collaboration with Pictureplane, this b-side gem is a perfect blend of chilled-out West Coast hip-hop set against the backdrop of glitchy, warbling electropop. Th.e two-song EP is available worldwide both digitally and as a limited edition 7? (250 copies on white w/ black marble, 500 on black) with a download coupon.
Destruction Unit: Two Strong Hits
Newly reborn out of the Ascetic House art collective, Destruction Unit emerges with ?Two Strong Hits," a 7" single that will stick in your head for weeks, more and more echoed until you no longer hear it -- you LIVE it. It is organized, driving chaos, determined to break everything loose and free everybody from their imaginary prisons and phony leaders. In just under eight minutes, Destruction Unit's sonic repetition, feedback experimentation and pummeling drums make for two songs that go off like a machine gun in the trenches of your psyche, all without a note feeling out of place. This 7? is limited to 750 copies as well as being available digitally worldwide.
La Luz: Brainwash
Seattle quartet La Luz immediately brings to mind the girl groups of the ?50s and ?60s. The immaculate four-part harmonies, the luscious layers of reverb, the occasional choreographed dance move, even the band?s penchant for oldies-style artwork?it all conjures images of beehived ladies singing sweetly on grainy black-and-white television. But give the new ?Brainwash b/w T.V. Dream? single a spin and try to pin down a specific reference point from the past. You can?t. The dexterous but economic keyboard lines of Alice Sandhal and the stripped-down groove laid down by the rhythm section of Abbey Blackwell and Marian Li Pino don?t fit in with wall-of-sound icons like The Crystals or The Ronettes. The nimble surf rock twang of guitarist Shana Cleveland is at odds with classic Motown groups like The Marvelettes or The Supremes. Yes, the doo-wop nostalgia is certainly there, but the manufactured glamour and studio sheen is absent. ?Brainwash b/w T.V. Dream? is available worldwide both digitally and as a 7? on translucent yellow/gold vinyl with a download coupon.