The JangleBox

Indie, Noise, Shoegaze… Music

Glory Days – ECHO IN THE CANYON, OST (Clean Slate Entertainment, 2019)

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El merecido homenaje en forma de documental que la música de la costa oeste norteamericana se merecía se llevó a cabo este verano con la aparición de ECHO IN THE CANYON, una especie de obra magna-tributo-rendición a lo mejor de los sonidos de esa zona de los Estados Unidos. Una gozosa celebración a lo mejor del Folk-Rock, de los sonidos hippies y del Rock ácido
El jefe de expedición es Jakob Dylan, hijo de la leyenda, quien cogió a su banda de estudio y se puso a completar las trece versiones que componen este disco glorioso, pidiendo ayudas a colegas como Beck, Josh HommeFiona Apple, Regina Spektor, o Norah Jones. Un must en toda regla no sólo de este 2019, sino probablemente de los últimos tiempos.

“As a film and an album, Echo in the Canyon is designed to celebrate the glory days of Los Angeles’ Laurel Canyon. Those would be the years between 1964 and 1967, which encompass the prime of folk-rock, the music made when the Byrds played the songs of Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan with an electrified jangle. As it happens, Jakob Dylan, son of Bob, plays a pivotal role in Echo in the Canyon, acting as the guide in the film’s journey through the past and anchoring the 13 cover versions that comprise the film’s soundtrack. The soundtrack to Echo in the Canyon shows how the entire project tends to conflate the sound of Hollywood and the sound of the beach with the sound of the canyon — a perhaps inevitable move, as there was so much crossover between these specific L.A. scenes. That said, having the Beach Boys play such a prominent role on Echo in the Canyon feels just slightly off, and having “In My Room” and “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times” here alongside the Association‘s AM staple “Never My Love” and the Monkees‘ “She” ever so slightly turns the album into a good-hearted oldies revival, as Jakob Dylan, his crackerjack studio band, and a rotating cast of duet partners play with the gusto of a good bar band. Since everybody involved is a pro, this is tight, not loose, which means every cut feels a little too tidy and straight. Dylan proves to be an amiable host, coaxing out friendly harmonies from Beck and Josh Homme while happily ceding the spotlight to Fiona Apple,Regina Spektor, and Norah Jones and the mellow camaraderie is appealing and even ingratiating. It isn’t especially compelling, though. After a while, the album settles into a genial groove, generating good vibes but also the desire to put this CD away so you can dig out the old records and hear the originals” (All Music)

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23 diciembre, 2019 Posted by | Original Soundtrack | Deja un comentario

Ah! Le Musique! – STEREO TOTAL: Ah! Quel Cinéma! (Tapete Records, 2019)

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Stereo Total‘s audacious 2017 return Les Hormones was such a high that a comedown was almost inevitable. While Ah! Quel Cinema! is subdued by comparison, Brezel Göring and Françoise Cactustake the opportunity to explore the complexities of their music. The album gets off to a deceptively raucous start: “Einfach” is a reminder of just how easily they concoct an irresistible groove out of unlikely elements (a revving motor, wind chimes, a jackhammer, and a siren are all tossed into the mix). On “Mes Copines,” they trade vocals over synths and mechanical beats that bubble up like soda pop, while “Ich Bin Cool” is as raw and rinky-dink as their earliest albums — and that’s a good thing. However, it isn’t long before shadows creep into Ah! Quel Cinema! Sometimes, Stereo Total treats them with whimsy, as on “Die Dachkatze”‘s haunted-house organ melody or the nervous beat that urges “Cinemascope” forward. At other times, they let the darkness take over, whether on “Dancing with a Memory”‘s bitter undercurrents or the dissolution of “Methedrine,” which uses the album’s intentionally cheap sound to paint a seedy portrait of Andy Warhol‘s Factory scene that gives a vampiric quality to its imagery of prowling the streets of New York behind black sunglasses. The duo’s always-deft pop culture homages continue on “Brezel Says,” which pays tribute to the Velvet Underground andTrio‘s “Da Da Da” at the same time; later, Cactus quotes Little Richard‘s “Tutti Frutti” on the equally funky and punky “Keine Musik.” At times, the album’s more somber moments recall Do the Bambi, the last time Stereo Total peered into the void for longer than a second. Yet Ah! Quel Cinema! is more complex than most of the duo’s other work. Its ups (the bouncy French pop of “Sur Un Fil”), its downs (the disconcerting final track “Electroshocktherapie”), and its strangeness (the layered trippiness of “Le Spleen”) must be taken as a whole. This cohesive storytelling gives Ah! Quel Cinema! a fittingly cinematic scope — and proves that Stereo Total can still find unexpected and intriguing nuances in their music more than 20 years after they began” (All Music)

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13 diciembre, 2019 Posted by | Stereo Total | Deja un comentario

Yesterday and Today – THE RUBINOOS: From Home (Yep Roc, 2019)

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“This could be the last time/Better make it count!” So sing the Rubinoos on “Do You Remember,” the opening cut on From Home, suggesting that the group is seizing the opportunity a reunion offers. Of course, the power poppers reconvened many years ago, opening up a third act at the dawn of the 21st century. From Home arrived in 2019, many years into their reunion, and it plays like an album from a working band; it’s assured, comfortable, and doesn’t stretch the group’s limits. Since the Rubinoospositioned themselves as guitar-pop torchbearers from the start of their career, the adherence to pure power pop values doesn’t necessarily seem tired. The group value tightly written songs, performed with a punch and smile, not doing much to stand in the way of their big guitar and vocal hooks. Occasionally, the band stretches a bit: “Do I Love You” flirts with a disco beat, “Rocking in Spain” swaggers to a big swing, and the proceedings close with “Watching the Sun Go Down,” which shimmers as gently as a sunset. Like the gently self-aware lyrics, these are the grace notes to a collection of songs that would rather satisfy than surprise, and there are charms to this kind of dependability. The Rubinoos believe so fervently in their power pop gospel that if you find their sound appealing, it’s hard not to smile at From Home (All Music)

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11 diciembre, 2019 Posted by | The Rubinoos | Deja un comentario

Minus 5 Forever – THE MINUS FIVE: Stroke Manor (Yep Roc, 2019)

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Como si de una resurección avefinesca desde el más allá se tratara, Scott McCaughey concibió su decimotercer trabajo prácticamente desde la cama del hospital donde se reponía de un desgraciado ictus que casi le deja impedido para siempre. Pero se ve que cuando la enfermedad se topó con el gen creativo del músico, decidió que iba a ser benevolente con el de Seattle y le dio una nueva oportunidad de seguir adelante con su carrera musical, en la que siempre nos encontramos con momentos deliciosos como los que jalonan este trabajo tan especial. Todo un derroche de emotividad y buen hacer musical, lleno  por iguel tanto de guiños al Pop sesentero como al Pop más experimental de Elephant#6.

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9 diciembre, 2019 Posted by | The Minus 5 | Deja un comentario

Clouds – THE STARGAZER LILIES: Occabot (Rad Cult, 2019)

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Nubes (o nubarrones) de distorsiones y los clásicos muros de sonidos del Shoegaze más visceral son las que adornan los cielos sonoros de la música de THE STARGAZER LILIES, combo de Portland que iluminan su cuarto álbum desde su debut en 2013. Vaivenes sónicos que tienen como característica principal la densidad y esa oscuridad levemente iluminada por efectos que consiguen esa ensoñación profundamente shoegazer.

“Occabot is the fourth album of The Stargazer Lilies, a heavy shoegaze and psychedelic pop ensemble formed in Portland from the ashes of a band called Soundpool by husband and wife John Ceperino and Kim Field, along with drummer Tammy Hirata. Six years away from their debut in 2013 with We are the Dreamers, the sound of the Lilies haven’t essentially changed, floating in that ever-reliable magic carpet of ethereal and distorted melodies led by the delightful vocal dubs of Kim Field, while gliding over a furious sea of saturated guitars and infinite echoes. If anything, the Lilies’ latest release improves the formula, culminating a long quest in search of a defining sound that now belongs to the band, even if that means drawing heavily from the holy grail of the genre, that album that some of you would have already guessed, is called Loveless.
Occabot feels like looking at a beautiful portrait while it melts. One can easily visualize the painting running down the canvas as it drips to the floor yet forming another piece of abstract art on the ground almost by accident. These casually formed layers of melody and noise are a carefully curated exercise of substance, a sound that is not easily achieved. And the Lilies have made their homework, giving the knots that extra turn and letting the songs slide into a slightly different sonic spectrum, resulting in something that is both familiar and satisfying.
“Magenta Sunrise” opens the album majestically. Field sings shrouded in distortion and echo, backed by a distant organ until the drums kick in with a psychedelic rock beat. In a few minutes, the Lilies already have made their case. If you have ever waked up in a hospital bed in the arms of morphine after being sucker punched in a drunk disco brawl, you are already well equipped for Occabot.
David Lynch comes to mind when “Monsters of Your Thought” follows up. It’s a sort of deformed ballad where melodies struggle to chain with each other, constantly coming in and out of pitch, while the tune peaks at a very inspired Floydian guitar solo courtesy of John Cep. “Foreverless” strangely sounds like Mötley Crüe with an overdose riding down Sunset Strip and crashing into Slowdive’s touring van. The hoarse guitar riff marries Field’s vocals beautifully, while Hirata’s simple but effective drumming supports the sonic storm as it cruises with extremely dense tempo.
The B side of Occabot is a bit less eventful albeit solid, mostly commanded by the six minutes of “Dizzying Heights” and the closing drone wonder of “Icarus Sun”. While Occabotmanages to ignite the flame that The Stargazer Lilies had in their first two albums, and that arguably went dim with the release of Lost 2 years ago, it is safe to say that the band is back to a comfortable spot in the shoegaze map. Aware of their influence, they simply amplify it, making you feel like you are sinking in a bed of electrified feathers, which in the end, it is all that one longs for in this, the land of noise and dreams” (Sputnik Music)

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4 diciembre, 2019 Posted by | The Stargazer Lilies | Deja un comentario

Segall not Segall – TY SEGALL: First taste (Drag City, 2019)

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“Segall has a catholic definition of psychedelia, opening the door to prog freak-outs, a bit of fractured folk, cascading vocal harmonies, and spooky synths. None of these accents change his basic architecture. He’s still working from a common vernacular—a bit ofLed Zeppelin here, a bit of T. Rex there—not intending to recreate the past as much as to give his flights of fancy some context. It’s hard to sound weird without a baseline for normality.
The new additions brighten First Taste, giving it a bold and intense sheen. But make no mistake: To a garage rocker, every instrument looks like a guitar. A Greek bouzouki and a Japanese koto can still make a racket if they’re strummed like a Fender Telecaster, and double-tracked drums don’t hurt, either. Consequently, First Taste is sometimes just as frenetic as Deforming Lobes. But as a producer, Segall is intent on leaning into empty spaces and absences—to play with the elements of light and shade that Jimmy Page brought to Zeppelin.
Segall, though, remains a patron of low-rent scuzz-rock, so First Taste can sound cheap—intentionally so. He pushes levels into the red on “The Fall” to accentuate its breathless velocity, and he uses schoolyard recorders to bring unruly circus energy to “I Sing Them.” This elevated trash isn’t the only trick in his toolbox. First Taste is sharply paced, sequenced for maximum impact as two separate vinyl sides but also effective as a seamless 41-minute listen. The over-saturated “Taste” serves as a frenzied fanfare for the entire affair, while the malevolent, tarry grind of “I Worship the Dog” is paired with the sweet, steady-rolling “The Arms.” “Lone Cowboys,” an epic suite crammed into four and a half minutes, concludes the album with the suggestion of more music lurking around the corner.
Leaving the crowd wanting for more has never exactly been Segall’s style, so the album’s sudden end isn’t merely bracing—it’s a source of perspective. Abandoning the guitar has sharpened his senses as a record maker, making him cognizant of his excesses. By trimming slack and channeling indulgences into bursts of pandemonium, he comes away with an unusually focused album. If the songs don’t linger as long as the sound, chalk that up to Segall being a “first idea, best idea” kind of guy. This time, he concentrated on production. Maybe next time around, he’ll turn his attention to the tunes” (Pitchfork)

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2 diciembre, 2019 Posted by | Ty Segall | Deja un comentario

   

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