The JangleBox

Indie, Noise, Shoegaze… Music

The Underground Youth: Delirium (2011)

Delirium Cover Art

No es fácil acercarse al sonido de The Underground Youth. Genéricamente podríamos considerar su música como Pop-Psicodélico o Space-Rock. Su música fluye parsimoniosa entre distorsiones y reverberación cavernosa. Mucha reverberación. Una especie de cruce entre los Jesus & Mary Chain más oscuros,  Sonic Youth (interesante juego de palabras con el nombre de la banda), The Raveonettes y sí, digo bien, algunos sonidos Dylanianos (Dystopia). La mezcla es algo rocambolesca, pero en el ambiente de The Underground Youth funciona más o menos bien. Con todo, es demasiado arduo acercarse a los temas de la banda liderada por Craig Dyer, pero seguro que este Delirium consigue un montón de adeptos.

The Underground Youth – Delirium (2011)

“The Underground Youth is a UK based psychedelic band led by Craig Dyer. Influenced by The Velvet Underground, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, the ballads of Bob Dylan and the noise of The Jesus and Mary Chain” (Facebook)

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31 diciembre, 2011 Posted by | The Underground Youth | 1 comentario

Joaquín Pascual: Presentación nuevo álbum, La Frontera (Febrero, 2012)

Con una estensa carrera a sus espaldas (Surfin Bichos, Mercromina, Travolta…), Joaquín ha hecho su mejor colección de canciones hasta la fecha. Brillante producción (Paco Loco) y brillante diseño gráfico (Joaquín Reyes). Aquí tenéis un avance-presentación; que lo degustéis cual cabeza de gamba en Nochebuena/vieja

31 diciembre, 2011 Posted by | Joaquín Pascual | Deja un comentario

Big Troubles: Romantic Comedy (2011)

Este año desgraciadamente no puedo hacer el mismo anuncio que realicé el año pasado con el primer disco de Big Troubles.  Por entonces, los de New Jersey se alzaban con el primer puesto en mi lista de preferencias personales del 2010.
Romantic Comedy, sin ser en absoluto un mal disco, no es Worry (2010). Big Troubles han querido darle un giro a su sonido, alcanzando un grado de madurez que todavía no les pertenecía. Personalmente, hubiera soñado porque su sonido sucio de guitarras continuase al menos durante un disco más, porque su furia afilada hubiera surcado las ondas de los temas de Romantic Comedy, pero no ha sido así.
Como digo, este segundo álbum no es un mal disco, en absoluto, y es muchísimo mejor que bastante de la producción Noise-Pop de este año, pero echo mucho de menos la distorsión, la urgencia, el nervio de aquel. Romantic Comedy convierte a Big Troubles en algo así como los nuevos Teenage Fanclub, pero a los TFC de  Grand Prix, y no a los de los comienzos. A golpe de producción, toda aquella distorsión, todo aquel Fuzz-Lo-Fi da paso a distorsiones más que contenidas, a golpes de batería engrandecidos gracias a los efectos de la mesa de mezclas, a voces mucho más limpias. A un trabajo de limpieza en el estudio, en definitiva. Y que conste, reitero, que el resultado final es notable, pero no sobresaliente, como en Worry.
Uno de los grandes responsables de este giro copernicano en su sonido ha sido el productor Mitch Easter (Rem, Pavement, Let´s Active), aunque intuyo que no el único. Las huestes de Alex Craig e Ian Drennan han limpiado absolutamente de distorsión todo su sonido, dándole un nuevo lustre a sus canciones, quedando un disco muy coqueto con bastantes arreglitos, aunque los temas ya tienen carácter propio para mantener en pie un gran disco. En un álbum donde nos encontramos con cortes como She smiles for pictures, Misery, Make it worse, Minor keys, Bad girls, Softer than science, Time bomb o Engine, evidentemente nunca vamos a salir defraudados. Tan sólo con escuchar los primeros acordes de She smiles for pictures, el tema más Teenagefanclubiano de todo el disco, ya nos conformamos.
El problema es que al estar tan alto el nivel con Worry, esperábamos un poco más de este nuevo disco de Alex e Ian. Con todo, el resultado es de notable. Y estará en nuestra lista de favoritos.

Big Troubles – Romantic Comedy (2011)

“There’s a great bit in Patton Oswalt‘s latest special that begins with him auditioning for the role of “gay best friend” and ends with a monkey explosively defecating on camera. Obviously, he got from Point A to Point B explaining how romantic comedy isn’t even really an artistic genre so much as a strict format whose monetary success is predicated on telling people what they’re getting and then giving them exactly what they want. While Romantic Comedy is too scrappy and bummed-out for usage in cute montages anytime soon, Big Troubles’ sophomore LP and first for Slumberland is still every bit as beholden to an overt sense of values: If 1990s indie revivalism gets you going like seeing Jennifer Aniston and some other dude find true love does, it’s easy to imagine a tagline saying “from the people who brought you the Pains of Being Pure at Heart and the producers from Brighten the Corners…” doing its risk-free aspirations justice.
Those familiar with last year’s super-lo-fi Worry will certainly be taken aback by Big Troubles’ spruced-up presentation, but it’s hardly surprising: It’s not like they could go much further into the red than they did on their self-produced fuzzbomb of a debut. For the most part, they err on the bookish side of the Slumberland sound, dabbling in both U.S. and UK varietals of mope-pop while producer Mitch Easter (Murmur, Let’s Active) shows a steady hand letting the ringing guitar leads and Alex Craig and Ian Drennan’s hushed vocals exist in a soft and appealing glow.
But while I don’t blame Big Troubles for reaching out to Easter, together they overshoot the mark and ultimately Romantic Comedy often feels like it’s uncomfortable using language and volume more suitable for the library. Single “Misery” is certainly the pluckiest of the bunch and has inspired a few mentions of the Smashing Pumpkins, which is on point if you can find me the pre-Adore singles without the searing guitar work, cathartic lyrics, studio polish, or Jimmy Chamberlin on the drums. A nice major-thirds riff complementing a boyish, breathy vocal only gets you to the point of Silversun Pickups.
It’s a rare record of this sort that makes you think, “If only they raged as hard as Belong does,” but Romantic Comedy innocuously charms instead of breaking hearts or breaking anything really– even the feedback-laced, vaguely glammy “Time Bomb” can’t achieve the kind of escape velocity required to get them out of sounding like a rock band that doesn’t actually rock. Still, they’re precocious songwriters who know from a good hook: If you can get past its title rhyming with “bad world,” “Sad Girls” is a exceedingly catchy Britpop genre exercise, though the big key change sounds like them pressing too hard for extra credit. Likewise, “Softer Than Science” and “Never Mine” have a gorgeous shimmer and propulsion that similarly gets over some remarkably rudimentary “mine”/”mind” rhyme schemes. I suppose you can find the economy of the lyrics to be endearing, but it makes their awkward attempt at purple social critique on “Make It Work”– “such little relevance in the perfumes of high culture”– sound like they might be making fun of the National or something.
More typically, Romantic Comedy earns its title from Craig and Drennan’s narrators mostly dealing with relationships that are ultimately doomed if they even get past the point of premature negation. It’s perfectly fine for a half hour of commiseration or wish fulfillment for romantics who take their loneliness as evidence of their humanity: a treatise on the utter futility of heterosexual relations stems from a glossy magazine ad on “She Smiles for Pictures” (sort of a simplified, non-academic version of Jawbox‘s “Savory“), “Engine” wistfully reminisces of after-school heavy petting (sort of a simplified version of Death Cab‘s “We Looked Like Giants“), and “Minor Keys” goes metacritical in its study of pop’s emotional manipulation (very much a simplified version of the Smiths‘ “Rubber Ring“). Of course, it’s a bouncy piece of jangle pop referencing something other than itself, and that’s Romantic Comedy writ small, appealing and in tune with admirable influences but ultimately lacking the sort of unpredictability or drama that can make these the songs that saved your life rather than reminiscent of ones that can” (pitchfork.com)

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30 diciembre, 2011 Posted by | Big Troubles | 1 comentario

Big Troubles: Daytrotter session (Dec.1,2011)

Big Troubles

The relationships that come out of the Big Troubles album, “Romantic Comedy,” are those that we place in our past. We not only think that they couldn’t be anything like we’d get ourselves into right now, being of a certain age, as well as being of the elements that one thinks of as somewhat easy to discard away. They feel as if they’re of a different personal era, one that we’ve completely forgotten about, or are willing to erase immediately. It’s not to say that the endings of such things aren’t still capable of bringing us aggravation and disappointment/sadness, but it gets applied to us in the tiniest, most fleeting doses. We can see these interactions playing out in a non-descript diner or restaurant in a nowheresville or everyplace town, with another whose face is universally thought of as fine, but not remarkable.

The relationship ends and she gets up and walks out, mildly hurt – but not for long – and we just pull the fries that she didn’t eat over and squirt a little more ketchup onto the plate. We just make sure that none of that food’s going to waste. Our mind is barely disturbed – only slightly. Others – perhaps even the members of this New Jersey band — might simply ask for the check, whistle their way home, smoke some weed and watch a movie they’ve seen a hundred times before. They’d be a tad sullen and contemplative, but everything would clear out by morning and they’d realize that it had to happen, that it was going to be okay in the long run. There would be a rush of the newness that could be and that there would be a blank page to scribble on, to hatch new plans of love. It could be that there’s an appreciation of the sometimes absurd ways that people treat one another – the petty jealousies and the weird possessive tendencies – that sink even the most hopeful of relationships.
Big Troubles co-lead singers Alex Craig and Ian Drennan dream up these very hazy songs about love that make it all seem like the best way to deal with any of it is to be the bystander you were born to be. Even when they sing the Go-Betweens cover of “Bachelor Kisses” here, it suggests that maybe a guy is not cut out to be anything more than a single man, grabbing kisses, sex and the occasional companionship when it flops down in front of him, when the moonlight is touching just right. It might just be safer and less heartache-y if that was the way they were able to take it. Craig and Drennan sing about those – we’re assuming girls – with hooks for hands and that can get extraordinarily messy in a hurry. They warn, “You get hurt if you play with crooks,” and isn’t that all the more reason to try and see more of the comedic beats as they pertain to romance, than the sentimentality of it all? The “arcade lights are hanging down” and there are rarely winners, just ties, and you start to wonder if we’re men or if we’re marbles, just rolling to the next impediment, down the slopes, a race to the bottom of the pile” (Daytrotter.com)

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30 diciembre, 2011 Posted by | Big Troubles | Deja un comentario

Toby Goodshank: Truth jump fall (2011)

Toby Goodshank es un artista neoyorquino multidisciplinar. Lo mismo compone y toca acompañado de su guitarra acústica que ilustra y dibuja comics o pinta y diseña portadas o merchandising para otros artistas.
En su faceta como músico, su sonido es muy de raíces americanas. Vamos, lo que entendemos como el Pop-Folk de toda la vida, aderezado con instrumentaciones más acordes a los tiempos. Algo así como un Josh Rouse sin ninguna estridencia mezclado con ecos de Matthew Sweet. Bueno, se me ha ido un poco la mano con las comparaciones, pero este Truth jump fall ciertamente se deja oír muy bien y es un disco bastante sorprendente. Un disco eminentemente de aquellos de los que pensamos que “suena clásico” pero con temas interesantes como Truth jump fall, Prelude to fire, Wedding bells, Baby I feel like just cut in half…
Puedes oírlo en su Bandcamp y adquirirlo allí mismo a un precio de risa.

Toby Goodshank – Truth jump fall (2011)

“There is something about Toby Goodshank‘s EP Truth Jump Fall that makes me want to openly weep. It’s not that it is a necessarily sad album; I am not under a blanket with a bottle of pinot blubbering away. It is one of those cathartic cries that we all need from time to time to recalibrate the system and return to our humanity. It is the kind of cry where you take a deep breath afterwards, laugh a bit and cry some more. It is an awesome sensation.
Truth Jump Fall manages to capture the painful beauty that is existence. The bumbling collection of broken individuals hoping to find happiness amidst the pain and hurt we cause each other on a daily basis. Through this we are defined and formed, chiseled and hardened. We long for the ache because it lets us know we are living. Toby Goodshank delivers the ache, and that is why I can’t stop listening.
You probably know of Toby from his work as the guitarist with seminal indie band Moldy Peaches, who provided Juno with her quirky personality*. OnTruth Jump Fall, Toby (or Tobes as I like to call him) steps out from the shadows to crush us with an emotionally raw, delightfully glib, and epically popish album. In a lot of ways it shares a sensibility with Ben Folds’ best works, mixing all of the loneliness of life and our most raw moments, in a glowing orb of catchy melodies and explosive hooks. Toby’s voice and guitar work blend together and compliment each other so well, his voice soars over the intricate fingering** and the two melt into a fleshy sensual pile of warmth. It creates a sensation of familiarity without seeming contrived or plagiaristic.

*I loved Juno so that is in no way intended to be a diss.
**Intricate Fingering was the name of my first band.

Stand out tracks like Sarah and John, Wedding Bells and Prelude to Fire are perfect examples of what makes Truth Jump Fall so wonderful, there is an underlying hint of darkness but the music makes you think of Molly Ringwald and all that her, and her pouty lips, meant to the world. It is the beauty, the pain and the ultimate acceptance that everything is broken and ruined and that is what makes it all worthwhile. We are searching for broken pieces that might fit together making us a little more whole. Toby Goodshank helps us all get a little closer with Truth Jump Fall” (syfall.com)

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30 diciembre, 2011 Posted by | Toby Goodshank | Deja un comentario

Veronica Falls: Veronica falls (2011)

Para hablar de el debut homónimo de Veronica Falls (2011) he de reconocer dos cuestiones: La primera, que de entrada el disco me costó mucho digerirlo. Segunda, que una vez asimilado, Veronica Falls es un álbum que te engancha, especialmente la primera mitad del mismo. Su sencillez instrumental, un tanto machacona al principio, se convierte en una de sus virtudes. Con las primeras escuchas, las sensaciones además fueron algo encontradas, porque el disco combina de igual forma Lo-Fi (Stephen) que actitud Post-Punk (Beachy head) o sonidos más contemporáneos con gentes como The Pain of Being Pure at Heart (Misery, The box) con la vieja escuela C86 (Bad feeling). Pero todo ello se adereza con otras canciones que son mucho más conservadoras en sus planteamientos, y que me evocaban viejos sonidos de la Costa Oeste, gracias a las sublimes armonías vocales chica-chico, llevadas a un extremo de sutileza difícilmente imaginables en los tiempos que corren (The fountain). Y ésta es una de las mayores virtudes del álbum: las armonías vocales son impresionantes. No hay una sola canción del disco en el que no rayen a una altura más que notable. Los temas son, además, grandes composiciones en su mayoría, y elevan el nivel de Veronica Falls (2011) hasta una altura notable que roza el sobresaliente. Me diréis que no es un disco demasiado original, aunque la originalidad del álbum estriba precisamente en la inteligente mezcla de elementos, consiguiendo un sonido, dentro de sus limitaciones, bastante clásico.

Veronica Falls – Veronica falls (2011)

“At the end of the video for Veronica Falls’ “Bad Feeling“, Roxanne Clifford, the group’s bob-haired singer/guitarist, clad in a dashingly fey polka-dot blouse, picks up an antique book– the ultimate twee signifier– and lights it on fire. Given indie rock’s recent jangle-pop overload, and the comments that Veronica Falls have made in the press (“people like to romanticize about C86 [but] there were lots of rubbish bands associated with it…”), it’s tempting to wonder aloud: is “Bad Feeling” the C86 version of that video where George Michael goes iconoclastic on us and sets his own leather jacket ablaze?
Well, maybe not, but at the very least it’s a decent visual metaphor for the band’s sound: expertly stagy revivalism with the slightest hint of mutiny. You could have said the same thing of Slumberland labelmates and fellow fresh-faced indie poppers the Pains of Being Pure at Heart when they first burst out the gates with Pastels badges on their sleeves– the quartet’s self-titled debut hits with the same sort of immediacy that that first Pains LP did. Both records do familiar things so well that, occasionally, momentarily, they actually trick you into thinking you’ve never heard anything like them before.
But, of course, you have. In fact, if you’ve been paying any attention to Glasgow/London hybrid Veronica Falls, you’ve actually heard some of these very songs before: The single “Found Love in a Graveyard” made the rounds almost two years ago, and then came “Beachy Head”, “Bad Feeling“, and “Come on Over” earlier this year. But after a run of strong 7″‘s, their self-titled debut finally confirms that Veronica Falls are more than a singles band. Though they operate with a pretty limited sonic palette (boy/girl harmonies; dueling, reverb-drenched guitars; lots of tambourine), there’s a sustained momentum over these 12 tracks that even manages to bring in some unexpected influences– “Beachy Head” sounds like a zombified Mamas and the Papas thrashing at surf-punk guitars with shards of glass.
Given the group’s penchant for ghosts and reverb, it’s tempting to grab for a familiar collection of low-hanging adjectives: dreamy, ethereal, haunting– except that, actually, Veronica Falls is none of these things. There’s a striking physicality to these songs, and Guy Fixsen and Ash Workman’s production makes every tambourine beat hit with the clarity of a shattering window. The guitar sound is immaculate: Clifford and James Hoare’s strings don’t jangle so much as bristle– taut chords that dart restlessly in and out of each other’s way. There’s a clarity of texture– a specificity even– to every element of the band’s sound. Which makes it something of an anomaly: shoegaze that looks you square in the eye.
Thematically speaking, shit’s dark. There’s a song called “Misery”, there are not one but two songs in which the narrator’s lover might be a ghost (“Graveyard”, “Bad Feeling”), and though “Beachy Head” might sound like a carefree postcard from indie rock’s current backdrop of choice, it’s actually about jumping off a cliff and drowning yourself. Thankfully, the record ends on a high in every sense: “Come on Over” is perhaps the most hopeful– and best– track the band’s got to their name. “Crimson and clover, I’ll touch your shoulder,” Clifford sings over the mounting tension of a furiously strummed guitar. It’s the Veronica Falls aesthetic in miniature: the ghosts of pop past conjured convincingly and intimately enough to feel like flesh and blood” (pitchfork.com)

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29 diciembre, 2011 Posted by | Veronica Falls | 1 comentario

Cassie: Something you always wanted to hear (Ep, 2011)

Something You Always Wanted To Hear Cover Art

Una de los últimos discos llegados a nuestra bandeja de entrada es el debut de estos finlandeses llamados Cassie: Something you always wanted to hear (Ep, 2011). El quinteto canta en inglés y factura una suerte de Dream-Pop de tintes Post-Rock, auras etéreas y ambientes gélidos. Utilizan toda la instrumentación Shoegazer al uso, guitarras incluidas, aunque en su disco éstas dan más bien el contrapunto al ambiente que los teclados se encargan de construir. Un Ep a descubrir y que además ofrecen para compartir con todo el mundo que quiera interesarse por su música. Puedes conseguirlo desde su Bandcamp gratuita y legalmente.

Cassie – Something you always wanted to hear (Ep, 2011)

“Something You Always Wanted To Hear is the aptly titled debut EP from Finnish quintet Cassie. Simply stated, the EP is definately something you want to hear. The three expertly crafted tracks showcase diverse influences ranging from Evanescence to Robyn. This EP is a must have, shoegaze virtuoso offering, led by the beautiful vocals of Sofia Thuren. It doesn’t stop there though. Cassie’s debut is great music, great performances and a great band. Much, much more is needed from Cassie” (floorshimezipperboots.blogspot.com)

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27 diciembre, 2011 Posted by | Cassie | Deja un comentario

Ghost of Chance: A simple beast (2011)

A Simple Beast Cover Art

Con el título de A simple beast (2011) se presenta el segundo álbum de Ghost of Chance, una banda de New Haven, Conneticut, difícil de encasillar, clasificar o etiquetar. Su sonido parte de presupuestos algo intelectuales (el nombre de la banda proviene de una novela de William S. Burroughs). Sus letras tienen mucho que ver con el surrealismo, y su música, aun partiendo de presupuestos digamos que Post-Rock, navega algo difusamente entre el Folk, el Pop o el Dream-Pop.
Este A simple beast (2011) es algo así como una obra conceptual basada en el desastre nuclear de Chernobyl y todas sus consecuencias.
Todo un universo musical por descubrir por parte de oídos inquietos que busquen un paso más allá de los estrictos cánones del Pop.

Ghost of Chance – A simple beast (2011)

“The group’s second album, A Simple Beast, began as an effort by Munro to write a series of songs about the wild desolation of Chernobyl after the tragic 1986 nuclear disaster. As time went on, Munro adhered less directly to the specific concept but continued to write songs that conveyed the eerie combination of vacancy and unchecked wilderness found in Chernobyl today. Moore, working in his own modest home studio, wrote two songs that similarly capture this aura. The album’s title, A Simple Beast, references the inscrutable animal beings that have adapted themselves to Chernobyl’s poisoned landscape” (Press)

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27 diciembre, 2011 Posted by | Ghost of Chance | Deja un comentario

Peopling: Peopling (Ep, 2011)

peopling EP Cover Art

En The JangleBox no somos degustadores asiduos de música electrónica, ni de lejos. Con todo, si algún artista como en el caso de Ronnie Gonzalez nos envía su música, evidentemente, tenemos que hacer un hueco en el blog para poder ofrecerosla a todos vosotros.
Poder describir su música es difícil. ¿Power-Electronic? ¿Electronic-Jams? ¿Electronic-Punk? Nos tomamos al pie de la letra su propia descripción: “Noise-Jams”. Algo de éso hay, porque durante los seis temas del disco, la distorsión, y el ruido a sierra eléctica son ampliamente protagonistas más que absolutos.
Puedes echarle un oído en su Bandcamp, y si te apetece colaborar con él, comprar el disco a un precio del siglo pasado.

Peopling – Peopling (Ep, 2011)

“Ok, some harsher sounds now from Brooklyn from peopling. Sounds like a mixture of soften power-electronics. Does this make sense? Soft Power Electronics? I don’t think so. But – the stuff that I know as Power Electronics – Feedbacks, Megaphone voices, simple sequencers, sounds always harsher – this is more on a lower level. Anyway – it sounds good. I like it somehow. No martial Nazi-Power-Electronic shit – instead – garage punk meets weird noise. Maybe it’s good to mention the good old CHROME as reference.
Not for free, but listen and buy the CD EP. Some more words on weedtemple (dyingforbadmusic.com

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26 diciembre, 2011 Posted by | Peopling | Deja un comentario

Stellarscope: Stellarscope (2011)

Stellarscope es otra de las vías de escape de Tom Lugo, el artífice del sello Patetico Recordings, con sede en Philadelphia. Una etiqueta especializada en sonidos algo más crudos y rasgados, que con Stellarscope ofrecen su punto de vista sobre la Psicodelia tamizada por el cristal del Space-Rock y las capas de guitarras saturadas. En sus propias palabras: “The intent of this record is the blending of indiepop textures and throw back sounds of the 80s & 90s”.
Un grupo de amplia y larga trayectoria que acaba de editar su último disco, este Stellarscope (2011). Puedes conseguir el álbum directamente desde la página del sello.

Stellarscope – Stellarscope (2011)

“Philadelphia’s trio Stellarscope have actually, for more than a decade, been recording music. Over that time they’ve built up an impressive number of releases -from albums and EPs to compilations and tributes. It’s a substantial list, and one that inflated my anticipation to hear their eponymous record tenfold! Unfortunately however the group just don’t deliver for me. An eleven track effort, there isn’t enough substance behind them to hold my interest and a plethora of reasons besides. The vocals from Tom Lugo aren’t terrible at all, but the aesthetic of the album is one of throwback sounds, circa 80s and 90s indie pop. A lo-fi sensibility is almost expected from such an ethos, but most of the time Stellarscope move away from charming low-fidelity and into the realm of a noisy and unrefined lack of quality. Muffled lyricism does nothing to elevate the band’s obvious writing ability either, and by the time you’ve reached the second half your attention has begun to wander. That’s not to say some tracks aren’t great, because they are, but as a shift in sound from Stellarscope I must admit it is a path I don’t wish to follow. My expectations were somewhat downtrodden!
 ‘Stellaracope’ opens with ‘You Always Know’ and immediately the vocals become lost in a strange space-age throb. The chorus doesn’t help, as voice upon voice accumulates in an almighty confusion. There are a few effects thrown in, from epic mechanical whirrs to a senseless, tension-fuelled drum beat, but they work surprisingly well. The next track ‘What Happened Here’ follows in the same manner, introduced by fantastically stark electronic phrases, but again it turns into incomprehensible noise. I know noise-pop is a hard genre to understand, but this just feels accidental, as though the noise was simply rushed and in a way just allowed to grow out of control. ‘Fight Another Day’ in its aggression falls short of the desired effect, but ‘Beauty Awaits’ goes some way in redeeming my lost attention. A six minute monster, the vocals have finally gained a subtly and understated presence that I was looking for. It takes two minutes of refined instrumental before they’re injected into the music, and it’s indeed a respite from the previous numbers in every sense of the word.
‘Tangled Web You Weave’ seems to work off the back of ‘Beauty Awaits’ and once again you can appreciate the track both lyrcially and vocally. The intricacy of the drums and nostalgic nature of the guitar shine through the lo-fi hum that for the most part is kept to a minimum. ‘Feel the Pain’ was the point at which I sat up, eager to see whether or not this three-track streak could continue. Prolonged notes work with the noise to amplify their passion and vocal exertion, and alien samples dapple its listen. ‘I Am So Alone’ sounds a lot like Joy Division singing-wise and ‘Is It So Sad To Say’s tempo changes make for a nice variation between verses. ‘She is No Angel’ follows ‘This We Know’s shoegaze sensibility. It’s a stunning penultimate number, its gritty guitars throbbing and pop-punk vocals apt in their anger. The final number hones back to the group’s space-rock roots and closes the album on a positive vibe, which is startling in its contrast to the beginning of ‘Stellarscope’!
This is an album of two halfs. The first and arguably the more important doesn’t live up to expectations. The second works a lot better, but still lacks the noticable refinement and polish that I was holding out for. It’s an uncertain effort, wobbling on legs obviously unused to the genre the trio have chosen to explore. As you know I like to listen to an album all the way through, as the artists intend, without skipping or missing out tracks. As it is these songs therefore don’t work. You shouldn’t have to listen through ten minutes of noise in order to reach the tracks that do away with such. In the end this record was an effort, and even those final tracks couldn’t dispell this rain-cloud of sighs and groans. Stream ‘Beauty Awaits’ down below, as its the best number here, and then find the full-length album here!” (musicdisection.blogspot.com)

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26 diciembre, 2011 Posted by | Stellarscope | Deja un comentario

When Nalda Became Punk: Xmas with You (Single, 2011)

Xmas with you Cover Art

Este año no hemos posteado ningún material musical navideño. Ciertamente, la cosecha de temas con el transfondo de la Navidad este año ha sido menor que la del año pasado, y no he creído conveniente reunir material que no tuviera calidad suficiente. 
No obstante, no he querido desaprovechar la ocasión, y publico el regalo navideño de Elena Sestelo, la cabeza pensante de When Nalda Became Punk, quien nos enviaba al mail este precioso villancico titulado Xmas with you. Un precioso caramelo de Twee-Punk cargado de buenas intenciones que podéis descargar desde su Bandcamp.
Desde aquí gracias a Elena, y que tus sueños se sigan cumpliendo, como en este 2011.
Evidentemente, las buenas intenciones las hago extensivas a todos los que leéis el blog, hacéis comentarios, los que no los hacéis, los que visitáis las páginas de la bitácora, a los que no… 

¡FELIZ NAVIDAD PARA TODOS! 

25 diciembre, 2011 Posted by | When Nalda became punk | Deja un comentario

Field Trips: Cards´n´Hearts (Single, 2011)

CARDS'n'HEARTS Cover Art

El último single de Field Trips (en realidad el proyecto de nuestro amigo alemán Basti), es otro bonito ejemplo de Sampler-Pop cocinado a fuego lento en su estudio casero. Se trata en realidad de un tercer sencillo y de un tema a incluir en su próximo disco, que, según nos anuncia, aparecerá este próximo año.
Sin duda uno de los proyectos más imaginativos, divertidos y hedonistas que han aparecido en los últimos tiempos, la música de Field Trips tiene mucho de Pop soleado pero también de ese Pop luminoso con ecos añejos. Como siempre, puedes descargarlo desde su Bandcamp. Esperamos con ansia su debut en largo.

Field Trips – Cards´n´Hearts (Single, 2011)

“Fuck yes a new one from Field Trips!  This jam is a mix of so many different styles.  Honestly there’s so much going on in “Cards’ n ‘Hearts” that at first it feels a bit overwhelming but after a few seconds it all makes sense.  Think MGMT’s“Kids,” well the kids in the beginning of the track meets Animal Collective meetsEdward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeros.  Yep it’s all that wackadoo amazingness rolled into one damn interesting package.  If you are smitten too you can download “Cards’ n ‘Hearts” for free over at Bandcamp!  Also while there if you haven’t heard “uUu” yet make sure to give that one a listen!” (danceyrselfclean.tumblr.com)

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24 diciembre, 2011 Posted by | Field Trips | Deja un comentario

Lunch: Dissapear (Single, 2011)

Disappear (Feat. DOM) Cover Art

El último single de Lunch es este Dissapear, un tema que contiene todos los elementos que pueden sublimar a cualquier buen aficionado al Pop más delicioso para degustar por un buen gourmet. Los ecos de The La´s y de Teenage Fanclub son excusa más que suficiente para echarle un oído a este precioso single, que está incluido en su primer Ep, editado por Mightier Than Sword Records.

Lunch – Dissapear (Single, 2011)

“Lunch recorded their first song somewhere in the midst of a bender in January 2011. Ben, Bill, and Rob did their best to wake Danny up of the floor of a friend’s bathroom to record his guitar parts, which he still does not remember. The band heard their song a few days later, and decided to keep the bender goin and the songs comin. They called in a few favors, banged out a few songs in their rudimentary practice space, and prepared their first EP. Cheap food, cheap beer, Lunch lives the pool life, and want nothing more than to compose the perfect soundtrack to their non stop party. “Chugga-chugga CHOO CHOO” hop aboard, hope you’re hungry!!! (Facebook)

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24 diciembre, 2011 Posted by | Lunch | Deja un comentario

Real Estate: Days (2011)

Sin lugar a dudas, Days (2011) es la banda sonora perfecta para el otoño, la época en que se editó, pero que toca a su fin. Como bien incide la crítica de Pitchfork, que acompaño, el concepto de Days (2011) es absolutamente homogéneo y unitario. Algo así como el single perfecto repetido una y otra vez, durante diez cortes. Tiene, además, la duración perfecta, ni corto ni largo. Y desde luego nada sobra. Ninguna nota, ningún acorde está de más en esta obra maestra del Lo-Fi brillante, del Pop intemporal, de bases de Dream-Pop etéreo. Sin virtuosismos, pero con todo un despliegue de guitarras cristalinas que nos evocan parajes idílicos. Un disco de tintes melancólicos, pero no tristes, de sonidos más limpios que su antecesor, Real Estate (2009) pero absolutamente embriagadores.
Un álbum del que poco nuevo se puede decir, ya lleva un cierto tiempo editado, pero que es justo incluir entre los mejores del año. Sabéis que en TJB no somos amantes de hacer listas, pero Days se merece un lugar más que destacado, sin lugar a dudas. Temas como Easy, Green aisles, It´s real, Kinder blumen, Out of tune, Municipality, Younger than yesterday o All the same (con un loop majestuoso) merecen estar en el pedestal de las mejores canciones publicadas en el curso 2011.
Sus orígenes musicales los podríamos rastrear entre lo mejorcito del C86, mezclado con notas de Pavement, de los primeros Rem, ecos de Aztec Camera y desde luego, con The Feelies. El proyecto de Matt Mondanille y Martin Courtney, chicos con pinta de provincianos universitarios es, sin embargo, absolutamente arrebatador, y desde luego, promete bastante. Además, un grupo que titula uno de sus temas Younger than yesterday ya tiene mucho ganado, al menos con quien escribe. Discazo.

Real Estate – Days (2011)

“For a mix of songs made at different times, Real Estate‘s self-titled 2009 debut was impressively consistent. Given how well the New Jersey band fused disparate moments, you had to figure they could reach even greater heights were they to craft their next set all at once. They did just that last winter, and the result is indeed a step forward. Cleaner, sharper, and just plain stronger, Days is like a single idea divided into simple statements– a suite of subtle variations on a theme.
Its coherence sounds remarkably effortless, as if stringing together catchy gems is as easy as, in the words of one song, “floating on an inner tube in the sun.” Interestingly, Real Estate actually acknowledge this sense of ease. The opener is bluntly titled “Easy”, and references to carefree simplicity abound. As singer/guitarist Martin Courtney puts it, “If it takes all summer long/ Just to write one simple song/ There’s too much to focus on/ Clearly there is something wrong.” But the band’s celebration of the uncomplicated is less about how Days was written than about the beauty of life seen in retrospect, especially young life in small towns.
Like the stirring scenes of suburban Texas in Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life, these songs find meaning in daily mundanities– in houses and gardens, phone lines and street lights, names carved in trees and leaves pressed by footsteps. “All those wasted miles/ All those aimless drives through green aisles,” sings Courtney wistfully. “Our careless lifestyle, it was not so unwise.” That sentiment was evident on the band’s debut, but here they’ve honed it to its essence.
The music bears a simplicity to match. These aren’t minimal songs by any means, but the layers of cycling guitar, rolling rhythm, and gentle echo are always understated, more about conveying feeling than showing off the band’s considerable chops. There’s also a smooth efficiency in these rich tunes. No note feels wasted, and nothing happens at the wrong time or in the wrong place. Much of this precision comes from guitarist Matt Mondanile, whose nimble playing adds color to each song’s shape. It’s most noticeable in the insistent “It’s Real”, but I’m even more taken with his sonic smoke rings in “Out of Tune”, and how his shimmering guitar evokes sunrays mingling through branches and sparkling off pools.
That idyllic tone permeates Days, and in lesser hands could deprive it of tension or variety. But Real Estate have such a knack for classic-sounding melody that every song quickly engages on a musical gut level. It’s a quality their music shares with the jangly hooks of early R.E.M., the breeziness of later Pavement, and the garage twang of the Fresh & Onlys. But their closest kin are New Jersey forefathers the Feelies. That group’s undying ability to mine repeated chords and Zen phrases is matched best by the album’s closer, “All the Same”, a looping study of how night and day are merely sides of the same coin. Lasting over seven minutes, it might be Real Estate’s first epic. But it’s as subtle and unassuming as anything on Days– more evidence from this band that great music doesn’t have to sound hard to make, even if it is”
(pitchfork.com)

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23 diciembre, 2011 Posted by | Real Estate | 1 comentario

The Wrong Words: The wrong words (2011)

El debut de los californianos The Wrong Words es un disco algo desconcertante. En el sentido de que el trío tan pronto se presenta como un Power-Pop-Punk-Trío que como un grupo de Pop-Surfero que lo mismo te salta con ínfulas garajeras.
Lo que debería ser una virtud se convierte, a mi entender, más bien en un defecto, porque The Wrong Words no presenta un álbum con sencillos claros ni hitazos de esos que se te clavan en la cabeza. La construcción de los temas adolece de esa chispa que enganche con el subconsciente del oyente, y ello, unido a esa diversificación de estilos, lastra finalmente al álbum.
Con todo, The wrong words se deja oír con cierta facilidad, es un disco grabado con poscas tomas (se oyen y se han mantenido varios defectillos de guitarras y baterías), y seguro que puedes encontrar varios temas que te alegren la tarde si te gusta la música directa y enérgica en una onda Buzzcocks o Young Fresh Fellows.

The Wrong Words – The wrong words (2011)

“The debut LP from San Franciscan trio The Wrong Words is available now on Trouble in Mind and is full of spiked power pop jams for an endless summer. Their myspace page lists the Turtles and legendary L.A. power pop/psych-garage rockers the Last as predominate influences; those are both definitely in there with that essential dash of California sunshine. The major selling point is Josh Miller’s jangling guitar work, which is solid all throughout the record. Just listen to “Wrong Again”, “Tonight, Tomorrow”, the hopelessly nostalgic “Summer’s Gone”… and, well, just about anything is inclined to please. Sure, this power pop formula generally doesn’t seem to allow much room for experimentation or stylistic variation, but it does the trick in making you feel all carefree and fine after a listen. I believe it’s just what the doctor ordered” (letsgetbend.tumblr.com)

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22 diciembre, 2011 Posted by | The Wrong Words | 1 comentario

Peter Kernel: Black death and white heart (2011)

White Death & Black Heart Cover Art

Peter Kernel es un trío formado a medias entre Canadá y Suiza. Musicalmente hablando, se mueven entre el Rock más primitivo y el Post-Punk. Entre el Bluesy y el Rock más experimental. En sus propias palabras:
Peter Kernel play music anyone can play in an attempt to’ satisfy man’s basic human instinct: a beat, something loud and a few words. Primary rock
Unas escuchas atentas a su disco nos demuestra que se trata de un álbum en el que domina el eclecticismo, como decimos, entre el Rock más primitivo (Panico! This is love,; Make, love, choose, take) y el toque más experimental, cercano a gentes como Sonic Youth (The peaceful, Hello my friend; Organizing, optimizing time). Una obra un tanto desconcertante y que requiere varias escuchas, pero del que puedes extraer momentos interesantes.

Peter Kernel – Black death and white heart (2011)

“The band Peter Kernel is an eclectic trio, rooting itself in Switzerland and Canada and not only music, but art, film and… well, the book seems pretty open.
Originating out of a need to create music for an experimental film directed by bassist and vocalist Barbara Lehnhoff  in 2005, Peter Kernel take Sonic Youth‘s best years and put them with Blonde Redhead circa the 90′s. Lehnhoff, a young Kim Gordon: a smart woman running around in the rock ‘n’ roll world, making it happen with film, with music, with people, with anything she can wrap her mind around. She’s got a charisma that is enchanting, to say the least (watch any of their videos!) and I want to be around her. All. The. Time.
All your favorite parts of “EVOL” and “In an Expression of the Inexpressible” are here, yet, as with the two indie supergroups previously mentioned, they pack a mean pop melody and every so often it rears its head – that’s why it all works. You have the art-punk elements, but you also have the sweetness of core pop music. The single of “Anthem of Hearts” off their upcoming release “White Death & Black Heart” (October 3rd on Africantape / On The Camperis a good intro to the band with a primitive opening that becomes textured and only touches on the surface what the group is capable of.
I love the mix of spoken word with the lonely, loud guitar, defiant. The song “Africa” in particular really got me hooked: the call-and-response of guitarist Aris Bassetti’s male vocals are a nice interruption to Lehnhoff’s deadpan chanting. The instruments play to serve whatever idea or idea of a sound they are aspiring to. You can hear that, truly.
I have to admit, I was tickled pink when I saw the press release list their other hobbies/professions in the same parentheses as their roles in the band: Bassetti, graphic designer; Lehnhoff, filmmaker; and Ema Matis, drums AND drummer. You can definitely see how this not only serves the group practically, but also the idea of  it. Peter Kernel was born out of the need to express an idea that could only be expressed in this particular medium.
That’s the way that art should be utilized: specifically. The group feels fluid in their capabilities.
Their song “Hello my friend” starts with the guitar being tuned into place with the rest of the  song – I think that’s a good summation of this band’s aesthetic in general: it’s a process and we are witnesses. If it’s not the process though, then they are doing a really phenomenal job of fabricating something organic” (listenbeforeyoubuy.net)

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21 diciembre, 2011 Posted by | Peter Kernel | 2 comentarios

Tashaki Miyaki: Tashaki Miyaki (Ep, 2011)

Tashaki Miyaki EP Cover Art

Otro de los debuts de este año fue el del artista californiano Tashaki Miyaki, ese perpetrador de mezclas diversas -y perversas- como The Everly Brothers y The Jesus and Mary Chain. Todo cabe en la coctelera de Tashaki, siempre bajo el manto de distorsiones, como denominador común. Algunos temas ya eran conocidos y otros son más recientes. Puedes encontrarlo en su Bandcamp a precio de la década pasada. Por cierto, la diversión está asegurada.

Tashaki Miyaki – Tashaki Miyaki (Ep, 2011)

“This is the debut EP by Californian act Tashaki Miyaki, they first caught our attention with their ingenious cover the Everly Brothers ‘All I Have To Do Is Dream’ at the beginning of the summer. A few months and an NME radar piece later and we’re now ready to announce the release of their debut 4 tracks EP matching the harmonies and harmonics of yesteryear contemporaries such as Karen Carpenter, John Lennon and Jesus and The Mary Chain” (Bandcamp)

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20 diciembre, 2011 Posted by | Tashaki Miyaki | Deja un comentario

Stereo Soul Future: Ghost in the night (2011)

Ghost in the Night Cover Art

Stereo Soul Future es una banda de Boston. Uno de esos grupos que se toman las cosas con auténtica calma y relajo: han grabado tres discos en ocho años. Su forma de entender la música tiene mucho que ver también con ésto de lo que estamos hablando. Toman el sonido Americana a rajatabla, tan sólo añadiéndole ciertos toques digamos que “foráneos” con dejes muy cercanos a Superfurry Animals (The freeze, If I…), temas que, dicho sea de paso, son los mejores cortes del disco.
Quiero decir con esto que personalmente tiraría más bien por esa onda ya que la onda Americana de Wilco (Sunday morning, Sinking stone, Unmake the oddity, Psychics), además de tener una ferocísima competencia, no creo que sus temas destaquen especialmente sobre los de sus compatriotas norteamericanos.
En cualquier caso, músicos más que competentes (emplean además tres solistas diferentes para cantar sus temas) y disco de fácil escucha y digestión, lo que lo puede convertir en admirable para los seguidores -numerosísimos- del género y que aunque no levantará a nadie de sus asientos, su escucha sí que puede representar un agradable entretenimiento.

Stereo Soul Future – Ghost in the night (2011)

“The record kicks off with “If I,” a pleasant, fairly straightforward, and laid back song that sets the tone for the album. The piano intro and strings are a nice touch to give the song a kind of old school feel which is a nice change of pace from electronic bleeps that populate the modern musical world.
The album’s first six or seven tracks share this very folk pop sound, highlighted by the use of acoustic guitars, strings, and a steady back beat. These tracks alone would have been a nice entry in the genre. However, with the arrival of the B side, the distortion is turned on, and the guitars get their time to shine.
“A Whisperer” serves as a good transition to the indie rock style that makes up most of the remainder of the album. Songs like “Killer Klown,” “Watching Circles,” and “Faith in Me” are riddled with catchy, bluesy minor pentatonic riffs.
The creative instrumentation is one of the strong points of Stereo Soul Future’s release. The variety of sounds on the album keeps it from sounding stale, and the use of 3 different vocalists is a welcome sound to the ears. Each vocalist is well selected for the song and helps give the band its own distinct sound.
Ghost in The Night is a strong display of quality songwriting and catchy melodies which makes it a worthy addition to the genre. Sit back, relax, and soak in the smooth sound that Stereo Soul Future has created. This new release from an indie band is a solid find in a world of music that can be so hard to navigate. Enjoy!” (putabirdonitmusic.wordpress.com)

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20 diciembre, 2011 Posted by | Stereo Soul Future | Deja un comentario

El Hombre Percha: Malestar de un homínido (Vídeo-Single, 2011)

El Hombre Percha es un joven proyecto musical que a base de autobombo y publicidad “subliminal, con el permiso de usted y de su señora”, se van haciendo un hueco en el panorama musical patrio, mientras que continúan terminando de pulir los detalles del que será su primer disco.
En una primera escucha, la referencia que se me vino enseguida a la cabeza fue la del inefable Poch, con sus geniales Derribos Arias, además de aquel movimiento que dieron a llamar Las Hornadas Irritantes: Buen humor, sentimiento ácido de la existencia, letras algo surrealistas y un cierto tono ácido en general. La instrumentación, pues algo así como un Electro-Pop con algunas aristas.
El Hombre Percha se confiesa seguidor de Family,  Meteosat, La casa Azul, Los Punsetes, La monja Enana… todas referencias nacionales. ¡Haciendo país!
Te dejo con un par de vídeos que gentilmente me han enviado a la bandeja de entrada del mail y con el enlace a una entrevista realizada para AstrudePOP. Volveremos a hablar de ellos en cuanto tengamos nuevas noticias.

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19 diciembre, 2011 Posted by | El Hombre Percha | Deja un comentario

Joakim Fritzner: Thoughts on us 23-3 (Single, 2011)

Otro single disponible en descarga gratuita cortesía de Birds Will Sing for You, el interesante sello sueco. En esta ocasión, el protagonista es Joakim Fritzner, quien comparte algo de estilo con Maybe Canada, ya que en su música aparecen bastantes rasgos de un Folk-Pop con reminiscencias de Fleet Foxes o Bon Iver.
Puedes descargar su single desde su Soundcloud.

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19 diciembre, 2011 Posted by | Joakim Fritzner | 1 comentario

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