The JangleBox

Indie, Noise, Shoegaze… Music

It´s not a Surprise – SEBADOH: Act Surprised (Fire, 2019)

act surprised

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Pues SEBADOH protagonizan este 2019 un nuevo regreso. Aunque, si somos realistas, las huestes de LOU BARLOW nunca se han ido del todo. Sus numerosos proyectos paralelos les permiten ocupar su tiempo en otras cosas, pero la banda matriz vuelve a publicar otro de esos trabajos que les reconectan, como siempre, con sus seguidores que desde los noventa les vamos adorando un poquito más a cada disco.
Act Surprised supone un regreso a sus tiempos de Bakesale o Harmacy, un disco más directo y grueso, donde no se atisba ni una sola concesión a ningún tipo de artilugio que emita sonidos sintetizados o ritmos programados. Un trabajo compuesto en la parte de Barlow tras una ruptura emocional y en el lado de Rowestein que incluso suaviza su tradicional visión más iracunda del Pop eléctrico de SEBADOH. Estarán en España en breve, y seguro que será un buen momento para comprobar su excelente estado de forma actual.

“It’s fairly remarkable that Sebadoh still has a trademark sound, given how much they’ve changed over the years. Lou Barlow‘s days as a nerdy, introspective guy playing with a four-track cassette machine are ancient history in 2019, the year they released Act Surprised, but to this day that’s what many folks think of first when they hear the group’s name. The 2010s edition of SebadohBarlow on guitar,Jason Loewenstein on bass, and drummer Bob D’Amico — has matured into a tight and confident rock band with an impressive amount of muscle, but there’s just enough skittery play in the guitar lines and the right amount of angst in Barlow‘s vocals that even this relatively chops-intensive and high-fidelity version of Sebadoh carries a germ of the satisfying chaos of their earliest work. Arriving six years after 2013’s Defend Yourself, Act Surprised melodically recalls the band’s mid-’90s salad days of 1994’s Bakesale and 1996’s Harmacy, with plenty of tunefulness and hooks running counter to the emotional awkwardness. But the performances are significantly brawnier in 2019; D’Amico hits a lot harder than Eric Gaffney or Bob Fay did in Sebadoh‘s earlier incarnations, and that has encouragedBarlow and Loewenstein to turn it up and rock out a bit. Justin Pizzoferrato‘s engineering sounds a bit buzzy in the low end, but the highs are clear, bright, and punchy, adding considerably to the impact of the performances, and though this is a long, long way from the resin-infused thunder of Dinosaur Jr., cuts like “Follow the Breath,” “Phantom,” and “Stunned” suggest Barlow is at long last bringing more of what he’s learned in his other band into Sebadoh. Emotionally, Act Surprised feels just likeSebadoh, but if you ever wished they’d make an album that would sound big, loud, and suitable for blasting on your car stereo, this is a sure step in that direction” (All Music)

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30 septiembre, 2019 Posted by | Sebadoh | Deja un comentario

LUNA is on fire – LUNA: Postscripts (Ep, Double Feauture Records, 2019)

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LUNA no se están quietos. Aunque no lo parezca, la banda de DAN WAREHAM se mantiene inquieta y productiva, y para celebrar la inminente gira que inician en octubre, han preparado un Ep digital, con algunas versiones y remezclas/retoques de temas antiguos.
Algunos incluso los mejoran (Inside your heart/The Monochrome Set), otros son rendiciones muy personales (Lonesome Cowboy Bill/Velvet Underground, California Blue/Roy Orbison). Material de primera para una banda encantadora.

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23 septiembre, 2019 Posted by | Luna | Deja un comentario

Marañas – SWERVEDRIVER: Future Ruins (Rock Action Records, 2019)

Resultado de imagen de swervedriver future ruins

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La intensidad que encontramos en I wasn´t born to lose you (2015) la volvemos a hallar en este nuevo trabajo de los “científicos de las guitarras” como les denomina All Music. Desde luego que es un buen apelativo. Swervedriver son especialistas precisamente en eso, en entretejer esa maraña de arpegios, de hooks y riffs que termina enganchando a cualquier amante del Shoegaze.
Quizás sea éste un disco más sesudo, algo más sentimental, pero no cabe duda de que no defrauda en ningún momento a los fieles de la banda de Oxford.

“Oxford guitar scientists Swervedriver weren’t always the first name to come up in a conversation about ’90s shoegaze, but they were responsible for some of the more inspired sounds to come out of the era, with an ear for the meeting of jangle and noise that bested even the most decorated shoegaze groups. After a lengthy hiatus, the band re-formed in 2008 and offered up the bright and beaming I Wasn’t Born to Lose You in 2015, their first new material in over 15 years. Sixth album Future Ruinscontinues the renewed and awakened character of its predecessor, but finds the band sounding more at home in their reunited state. Swervedriver‘s early material was moody, vaporous guitar rock that felt like watching patches of heat lightning on a drive through the desert. That spirit is very much in tact here, if updated to reflect 30 years of experience and life lived. The grungy album opener “Mary Winter” stacks layers of contrasting guitar tones and drifts between keys in singer Adam Franklin‘s signature approach to off-kilter melodies. Other up-tempo tracks like “Spiked Flower” and “The Lonely Crowd Fades in the Air” highlight Franklin‘s gift for melancholy harmonies and unexpected songwriting turns. There’s an underlying theme of apocalypse running throughout Future Ruins, and it can be difficult to pinpoint if the dystopic collapse gestured at across many of the songs is societal or emotional. The dreamy pop of “Good Times Are So Hard to Follow” skips its gentle melody over lyrics about the end of a love affair before drowning the entire thing in a blanket of fuzz. The album tempers its moments of warm, familiar pop with experiments in dissonance that feel new to the Swervedriver sound. The mid-tempo title track comes on like a cavernous slowcore anthem, but soon introduces clanging processed notes that clash with more subdued tones. The push-pull instrumentation mirrors the song’s lyrics, which again paint a picture of dismal end times. “Everybody’s Going Somewhere and No-One’s Going Anywhere” plods along with jagged echo effects, haunted bells, and a distant spoken narrative hidden under the interlocking lines of electric piano and disruptive guitar outbursts. The ten tracks here are less optimistic than the last album, but also less temperamental than the band’s younger days. The songs feel removed from needing to fit into any overarching identity and take risks that wouldn’t happen if Swervedriver was trying to reinvent themselves or re-create a time long passed. Where I Wasn’t Born to Lose You was electric with the excitement of Swervedriver‘s rebirth,Future Ruins is the sound of a band that’s happy to be back and ready to get down to the business of pushing their sound forward” (All Music)

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15 septiembre, 2019 Posted by | Swervedriver | Deja un comentario

ALLAH LAS: Polar Onion (Mexican Summer, Single, 2019)

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“Polar Onion” takes us through the inevitable lows one encounters on a long journey, as Miles Michaud laments, “drown in the sea, I fill my cup – but it’s not enough” – a caricature of the lonesome cowboy seeking and occasionally glimpsing enlightenment. Commenting on the inspiration for the track, Michaud reveals that Polar Onion revolves around “the creeping paranoia that comes along with creating something that is inevitably valued based on the opinions of others” (Press)


13 septiembre, 2019 Posted by | Allah-Las | Deja un comentario

VERSUS: Ex Voto (Ernst Jenning Records, 2019)

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“A lot of the songs are about escape, maybe to another dimension or an alternate universe,” Richard concedes. He singles out “Moon Palace” in which Toups sings “I wanted something more/What’s on the other side of the door?,” the existential lyrics belying the song’s saccharine melody. “University” offers the hushed assurance that “paradise [was] lost but we are alive,” echoing Richard’s escape trope. “Atmosphere” has Toups desperately pleading “Did you find the clue I left for you?/Will you realize it was all true?” before whispering with disarming intimacy, “Have you ever felt that way before?/Someone just behind your door?”
The electro-ballad “Baby Green” pairs with “Mummified” at the album’s center and emotional fulcrum, and is the crown jewel, one of the finest songs the band have ever written. Inspired by the Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia, “the plot device is the rogue asteroid destroying your world,” Richard explains, “‘swallow[ing] the earth and everything in it.’ But in the end it’s okay, because she has to live her own life, and learn by living, without you or anyone. No matter how painful it is to lose her, her journey, happy or tragic, will be a beautiful one. And I’d wait forever for another glimpse of that beauty.” This newfound faith updates the disenchanted darkness that’s long imbued Versus’ music, an unexpected deluge of oxytocin from a man who in 2010 said, “Well I’m just a dark person, and I get more nihilistic the older I get.”
That may still be the case, but the nihilism is leavened now by an element of hope, more urgent than ever in these dark times. Versus haven’t gone shiny and happy on us, but they’ve matured and embraced themes of mortality and the passage of time with resigned dignity. Creation, the concept of god, and human-ness are all invoked on the metronomic, pulsating track “Re-Animator,” perhaps the most unabashed song the band have ever written, and an appropriate finale to an exhilarating journey.
“Does the story end the way you want it to?,” Baluyut asks on Ex Voto’s opening volley “Gravity,” easily the most anthemic song on the album. It’s also the record’s leitmotif, as there aren’t any simple answers offered here. Yet, in their embrace of spirituality, compassion, and exploration, Versus have never sounded so comfortable on their strange, beautiful, and uncertain path. And nearly 30 years since their inception, they’ve provided us with an album that could just as easily serve as an entry point into their beguiling world, or a brand new favorite for a long-time fan on the remarkable achievement they’ve offered us on Ex Voto” (Bandcamp Note)

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11 septiembre, 2019 Posted by | Versus | Deja un comentario

VANISHING TWIN: You are not an island (VideoSingle, Fire Records, 2019)

Evidentemente, este tema tiene tintes de Pop retrofuturista, pero a mí me suena muchísimo a la forma de componer y a las canciones de David Crosby con The Byrds y en su primera época en solitario. Preciosa canción, no obstante.

Europe Dates:
21 Sep: Lévitation Festival, Angers, France
22 Sep: BAM Festival, Barcelona, Spain
10 Oct: Deaf & Hard of Hearing Centre, Oxford, UK
11 Oct: Glorious Traces, The Glad Café, Glasgow, UK
12 Oct: Lost Map All-dayer, Bellfield, Edinburgh, UK
20 Nov: Paradiso, Amsterdam, Netherlands
22 Nov: Festival Invisible, Brest, France
27 Nov: Bad Bonn, Düdingen, Germany
28 Nov: Import Export, Münich, Germany
29 Nov: Kantine am Berghain, Berlin, Germany
30 Nov: Ideal Bar, Copenhagen, Denmark
01 Dec : Aalhaus, Hamburg, Germany
04 Dec: Biko Club, Milan, Italy
05 Dec: Cinema Zenith, Perugia, Italy
06 Dec: Astro Club, Pordenone, Italy
07 Dec: Covo Club, Bologna, Italy
14 Dec: Outer Limits Showcase, Studio 9294, London, UK
28 Jan: The Cube, Bristol, UK
12 Feb: Portland Arms, Cambridge, UK

“London band tilts its psychedelic pop toward a utopian future” Pitchfork 

“A marvel of psych-pop futurism” Bandcamp 

“The Age of Immunology is, simply, a masterpiece” The Line Of Best Fit 


9 septiembre, 2019 Posted by | Vanishing Twin | Deja un comentario

Hey Major: The Station (Video-Single, Indica Records, 2019)

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“This song is an introspective track describing a moment between two people and what they could have been, but knowing deep inside that they will never be. It’s a journey of change and enlightenment through love stories, struggles, encounters and wishes for humanity. That was the inspiration” (Press Promotional)


7 septiembre, 2019 Posted by | Hey Major | Deja un comentario

FROG: Count Bateman (Tapewormies, 2019)

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‘Count Bateman’ is the fourth release from Frog, the acclaimed cult Wyrd-Americana Indie band from Queens, NYC. Their music has found over one million streams on Spotify, they’ve received support from the BBC, GoldFlakePaint, NPR Music, DIY Mag, CLASH, TLOBF, The Skinny, London in Stereo, The Alternative, The Grey Estates, Various Small Flames and many more.
On their latest eclectic and emotional outing, there’s hints of the Carole King’s ‘70s pop, Jonathan Richman’s earnest eccentricity, Ned Doheny’s white boy funk, Greg Dulli’s lust, the Meat Puppets’ bastardized Americana and the wild wit and narrow self-control of The Silver Jews” (Press Notes)

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5 septiembre, 2019 Posted by | Frog | Deja un comentario

COLLEEN GREEN: Blink 182´s Dude Ranch as played by Colleen Green (Hardly Art, 2019)

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Yo no sé qué pensarán en su discográfica, pero este experimento de reproducir un álbum entero de Blind 182 en el bajo es, cuanto menos, raruno raruno. Además, el resultado final no es para nada alentador. Pero bueno, supongo que a sus fieles les encantará. Aquí queda el enlace…

“I don’t remember where or when I got the idea to cover my favorite album of all time. Tbh, I don’t remember much of 2011. All I know is that sometime about 7/8 years ago, I decided that I was going to cover Blink 182’s “Dude Ranch” in its entirety…on bass. I borrowed a short scale from my friend Sandy Vu and gave myself 2 weeks to complete the project. 13 days later as I was applying the finishing touches, my computer started acting funny. I thought to myself, “Gee, I sure hope my computer doesn’t crash.” 14 days later, my computer crashed. I had no back ups because I always fly by the seat of my pants! I tried to recover my work to no avail. I was heartbroken, so much so that I was unable to revisit the project in earnest until October 2018. Today I can say with much pride, happiness, and relief that “Blink 182’s Dude Ranch as played by Colleen Green” is finally real and ready to be enjoyed by fans of Colleen Green and/or Blink 182. This was truly a labor of love and I hope that those fans can recognize and appreciate that. And to the band who has influenced me and my life in so many ways: Thank you” (Bandcamp Promotional Notes)

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3 septiembre, 2019 Posted by | Colleen Green | Deja un comentario

THE HANNAH BARBERAS: Dial H for Hannah Barberas (Fake Fir, 2019)

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Sólamente por ese nombre, creo que ya merecen la atención. Un grupo de lo que en los ochenta algunos llamaron, no sin cierta carga de mala baba: Happy Pop. Un combo festivo, sí, pero que hacen de ese hedonismo bandera y que crean una serie de pequeños himnos Pop como The sound of happiness o It´s not over for the heartache. Divertidos.

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1 septiembre, 2019 Posted by | The Hannah Barberas | Deja un comentario


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