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.