The JangleBox

Indie, Noise, Shoegaze… Music

Reencuentros – STEPHEN MALKMUS & THE JICKS: Sparkle Hard (Matador, 2018)

Sparkle Hard

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DISCAZO. No tiene otra definición: Discazo. Un reencuentro feliz con lo mejor de Malkmus, de Pavement, de la Americana o incluso del Country. SM se niega a dejarnos de lado sin al menos un gran disco cada cierto tiempo. Aquí está lo mejor que podríamos esperar de él desde los tiempos más gloriosos de Pavement, con canciones irrepetibles y atemporales, con esa mezcla de melancolía y cierta mala baba, con sentimentalismo y también con sentido del humor. No deberíais dejarlo pasar por nada del mundo. Los amantes del Alternativo noventero y de las nuevas generaciones lo disfrutarán. A buen seguro.

“Sparkle Hard comes into focus slowly and stately, coalescing around crawling piano chords that soon get blown to bits by guitars — thereby offering a neat encapsulation of how this, the seventh albumStephen Malkmus has made since disbanding Pavement in 1999, walks a fine line between the familiar and the unexpected. Upon the first spin, Sparkle Hard seems to veer all over the place, bouncing from the finely etched pop of “Future Suite” to the Teutonic jam of “Bike Lane,” eventually winding up on the country-rock ramble of “Refute,” a duet with Kim Gordon, who has never before been heard with anything resembling a twang (and likely never will again). The diversity dazzles, particularly as it’s filled with elegant new accents to make familiar settings seem fresh, even when they’re firmly within Malkmus‘ laconic wheelhouse; witness his pitch-shifted vocals on “Rattler,” which give the song’s robotic rhythms a woozy sway, or how the pastoral beginnings of “Kite” get blown out with psychedelic wah-wahs and rushed rhythms. Such flair suggests that Malkmus designed Sparkle Hard as a way to flex his musical muscles, but for as alluring as the album’s sound is — and the record lives up to its title, glistening brightly with its panoramic guitars and coiled rhythms — it remains compelling upon repeated plays because, beneath the shimmering surface, this is not only one of his best collections of songs, but a record that acts like a casual summation of his enduring obsessions. His youthful sneer has mellowed so much that he now sounds sincere, which helps cast his willful weirdness in a different light. Malkmus may still stand on the outside smirking, poaching different elements of the underground and mainstream, assembling them in a fashion that’s undeniably unique, but the craft and cleverness of Sparkle Hard can’t disguise the simple fact that he means this music, man” (All Music)

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17 septiembre, 2018 Posted by | Stephen Malkmus | Deja un comentario

Conexiones – THE DAYOFFS: The Dayoffs (Emerald & Doreen Records, 2017)

Conexiones a Teenage Fanclub a todo trapo con pedales de fuzz a volumen elevado. Si te gusta el BritPop vía Boo Radleys, te gustará este dúo.

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14 septiembre, 2018 Posted by | The Dayoffs | Deja un comentario

HATER: Fall off (Single, Fire Records, 2018)

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“One of the best, most underappreciated bands in the world (…) “Fall Off” finds Hater at their most softly devastating, wistful and full of hope, and it’s one of our favorite tracks from the group’s beautiful new LP Siesta” (Gorilla Vs Bear)

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12 septiembre, 2018 Posted by | Hater | Deja un comentario

Weirdo – DAYSEE: Airbag (2017)

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Por fin un disco realmente epatante, un trabajo iniciático que marca un momento cumbre probablemente en la carrera de esta banda debutante. DAYSEE han sabido manejar los hilos de la Psicodelia, del Pop Experimental y el Shoegaze para darle una vuelta de tuerca al sonido de los dosmil. Toda una sensación gozosa de álbum, una obra altamente disfrutable y recomendable. 

“Between their great EP “Splash” and now “Airbag,” there’s plenty to explore and keep on repeat. “Airbag” keeps you on your toes from start to finish, from the Sgt. Pepper-esque melodies in lead single “Indigo,” and the world music vibes of “Bali,” to the waves of energy in “Dizzy,” where dissonance and distortion build up into dramatic pauses before pummeling you with sound, and the more vocal-centric “I Am” and “You Decide” — it’s a tasty sonic collage for your ears that will keep those winter blues at bay.
I’m also not supposed to call them “shoegaze,” which is probably for the best as I’m not well-versed in what that genre specifically entails. But at any rate, they call themselves “experimental,” which fits easily, albeit generally —so far the best description I can come up with is that they’re like if Sonic Youth took a bunch of acid. They also remind me of experimental musician Julian Lynch, synthesizing world music, bedroom DIY pop, and a combination of machine loops and live music into a multi-layered wave of sound. I like them because their take on psychedelia is in the vein of George Harrison circa ’68, heavy on the pop melodies, meeting a 90s-era vibe of noise, vocal harmonies, and grunge styles” (Medium.Com)

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10 septiembre, 2018 Posted by | Daysee | Deja un comentario

Love is all around – THE LOVE-BIRDS: In the lover´s corner (Trouble in Mind Recordings, 2018)

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“San Francisco’s The Love-Birds have been tearing up their local scene, breaking hearts and making fans across the city’s disappearing DIY spaces and proper venues alike since 2016. After releasing a 7-inch EP in early 2017 via local label Empty Cellar Records, they’re ready to unveil In The Lover’s Corner, their debut album & first release on their new home, Trouble In Mind Records.
The album eases into view with the first track, “Again”; it’s gentle acoustic strum augmented by guitarist Eli Wald’s chiming electric twelve-string. From there the listener is treated to dynamic, life-affirming power-pop; bell-ringing, fuzz stompers (”River Jordan”), warm, carefully crafted fragile pop (”Clear The Air”, “Failure and Disgrace”), and urgent, crystalline rockers (”Hit My Head”, “Weak Riff”). The Love-Birds approach their craft with a classicist’s ear; with nods to their Seventies originators as well as Nineties torch-bearers, composing near-perfect future classics that ooze with subtle, interesting melodic twists and hummable, finger-pricking hooks that are instantly memorable. Aside from mastering by Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub), In The Lover’s Corner is a decidedly local affair, with album art by Shayde Sartin (Fresh & Onlys, Sonny and the Sunsets) and recorded in two sessions, one with engineer Glenn Donaldson (Art Museums, Skygreen Leopards) and another with Kelley Stoltz” (Press Note)

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5 septiembre, 2018 Posted by | The Love-Birds | Deja un comentario

Pinkshinyultrablast: Find your saint (Club AC30; Single, 2017)

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Algunas pistas Dreamgaze, que nunca conviene olvidarlas…

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4 septiembre, 2018 Posted by | Pinkshinyultrablast | Deja un comentario

GORGEOUS BULLY: Patience (Breakfast Records; Single, 2018)

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“We’re well excited to finally announce pre-orders for Closure, the brand new album by Manchester’s Gorgeous Bully. A masterpiece of indie punk, this new LP points Gorgeous Bully in a new direction lyrically, sonically, and thematically, and has been on repeat in the Breakfast HQ since we first stuffed it into our ear canals a few months back” (Press Notes)

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3 septiembre, 2018 Posted by | Gorgeous Bully | Deja un comentario

Emooorrr !! – HOLY MONITOR: Ghost (Single, 2017)

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‘Ghost’ shuffles into audible range on a glistening instrumental drone accompanied by the throb of synth and the fizz of effected electronics. It builds meticulously into a pulsating organism with the arrival of humming bass frequencies before tumbling headlong into a metronomic percussive beast. Plinking synth lines and waves of reverberation arrive adding lysergic atmosphere to the mix with every single chord change, allowing magnificent guitar progressions to lick and harass the piece to within an inch of it’s life. Organ lines howl pulling clandestine vocalisations with them as they meander through layers of reverberation collectively merging with every other piece of the sonic jigsaw to bring us a mesmerising ten minutes of music” (Primal Music Blog)

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2 septiembre, 2018 Posted by | Holy Monitor | Deja un comentario

Endless Soundz – MAGIC POTION: Endless graffitti (PNKSLM Recordings, 2018)

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A todos nos suenan esos ritmos cadenciosos y esas guitarras… ¿Pero qué más nos da cuando aquel grupo nos dio tantísimos buenos momentos y aún hoy en día hay grupos que lo emulan…?

“Endless Graffiti retains the band’s trademark sound while finding the quartet both expanding their sonic palette and upping their songwriting game, arriving at what will undoubtedly be one of 2018’s strongest indie rock releases” (Press Notes)

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1 septiembre, 2018 Posted by | Magic Potion | Deja un comentario

Living in Colours – SOFT SCIENCE: Maps (Test Pattern, 2018)

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Pues otro pasito más. El tercer trabajo de SOFT SCIENCE es otra de esas coloridas paletas de color que tanto gustan por aquí. Un álbum en el que han superado sus inicios como banda más cercana al Dreamgaze para acercarse, a base de guitarras y melodías contundentes, al Pop de los noventa, vía Shoegaze o vía Emo. Un trabajo casi sin fisuras, de mensaje y disfrute inmediato; nada de extrañar teniendo en cuenta la nómina de influencias que mencionan en sus gustos personales: “Teenage Fanclub, Magnetic Fields, Smoking Popes, Lush, Ride, Buddy Holly, Ivy, Stereolab, Jesus & Mary Chain, The Zombies, My Bloody Valentine, The Ravonettes and many more…”

“Soft Science are following their celebrated release, Detour, with a new album titled Maps. The quintet’s third full-length release is their most polished to date as it captures more of the band’s raw live energy while still engaging the listener with the dreamy atmospheric reverberations that have become a hallmark of the band’s sound. The album features whirling guitars, airy vocals, and captivating melodies that will ring in your head long after your first listen. Maps is a complete work of 10 well-crafted songs, featuring a re-recording of the earworm track Breaking, and the albums first two singles, Undone and Sooner, that showcase the dream-gaze collective’s signature sound” (Press Note)

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30 agosto, 2018 Posted by | Soft Science | Deja un comentario

Postcards – THE CHILLS: Scarred (Single, Fire, 2018)

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“The latest postcard from The Chills’ epic journey is an album about “consolidation, re-grouping, acceptance and mortality,” claims the chief Chill.“Hopefully a kind of Carole King ‘Tapestry’ for ageing punks.
On ‘Snow Bound’ lost heroes are lamented, relationships are re-evaluated, atonement is sought, mortality is mulled over and fake news is undercut. It’s serious stuff, the thoughts of a dysfunctional 50-something wrestling with maturity and discovering that their post-punk DIY beliefs still have a real voice that resonates between the fans of their early years and which can now pass down to the next generation”
(Press)

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29 agosto, 2018 Posted by | The Chills, Uncategorized | Deja un comentario

Crossroads – ALEJANDRO ESCOVEDO: The crossing (Single, YepRoc, 2018)

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“The son of Mexican immigrants, Alejandro Escovedo mines his own backstory for “Sonica USA.” Featuring the MC5’s Wayne Kramer on lead guitar, the punky track finds him looking back on his childhood days as a Chicano punk-rocker in the American Southwest. Escovedo covers similar ground on his upcoming album, The Crossing, a concept record revolving around a pair of migrant musicians” (Rolling Stone Country)

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28 agosto, 2018 Posted by | Alejandro Escovedo | Deja un comentario

Menos Lobos – PABLO MATISSE: Rise/Wasting light (Single, Startracks, 2018)

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Miembros de otras bandas que poco tienen que ver con el género han formado PABLO MATISSE, un proyecto paralelo para divertirse un poco haciendo Punk-Pop y pegar cuatro voces. Cuando toman la vena más melódica tienen su gracia.

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27 agosto, 2018 Posted by | Pablo Matisse | Deja un comentario

Slowmotion – ELEPHANT MICAH: Genericana (Western Vinyl, 2018)

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ELEPHANT MICAH es el pseudónimo utilizado por Joseph O’Connell para engendrar trabajos como el que tenemos en nuestras manos en estos momentos. Un disco donde el Slow-Folk y las instrumentaciones básicas son las protagonistas. Una especie de Slowcore aderezado por instrumentos electrónicos analógicos bajo una densa capa de ambientes de óxido. Un disco estructurado en seis partes simétricas y que ofrecen una cuadratura del círculo finalizándolo tal y como comienza. Música y sonidos poco convencionales para surfear el verano menos tradicional:
“An elegant study of life’s circularity set against a backdrop of slowcore folk and woozy rock” (Pitchfork)

“In the place of “Americana,” the band offers Genericana.  Evoking genealogy, genre, generic brands (and perhaps a bottled genie), the album title points the way to a different theory of what binds our culture together.  
“I think Genericana just means ‘the stuff from which stuff generates,’” O’Connell explains.  “It’s a short hand way of shouting out to the stock elements that I’m mashing up in this music.  I wanted this project to be sort of like a lucky mutation, that could lead to a heartier version of Elephant Micah for the digital world” (J.O’Connell)

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25 agosto, 2018 Posted by | Elephant Micah | Deja un comentario

Malditos Bastardos – THE TELESCOPES: As light return (Tapete Records, 2017)

As Light Return

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Una auténtica patada a las entrañas del Indie es este último trabajo de la banda de Stephen Lawrie, THE TELESCOPES. Un disco en el que dan un giro de ciento ochenta grados a su poducción anterior, gestando un trabajo absolutamente epatador: una sinfonía de Noise y de guitarras a un sonido insano. Un gusto para oídos habituados a los sonidos del Noise y el Pop más oscuro. 

The Telescopes‘ 2017 album, As Light Return, is an almost 180-degree turn from their previous album, Hidden Fields. That record was their most song-based effort in years, with melodies and hooks poking out through the gnarly waves of guitar noise. In contrast, As Light Return is an almost unbroken wall of guitar noise, with nary a song to be found. Stephen Lawrie is joined by members of the band St Deluxe and together they craft an oppressive, claustrophobia-inducing album made up of tortured guitar drones and feedback, a rhythm section that sounds like it’s stripping its gears, deeply buried vocals, and an overall feeling that lands several stops past menacing. Four of the five tracks break the seven-minute mark and only the slightly shorter “You Can’t Reach What You Hunger” comes close to resembling a song. It’s a far cry from Hidden Fields, but it’s in line with things the Telescopes have done before. Lawrie has always been a restless musician with a need to experiment and push boundaries. When he wanted to make a pop album, it was the most shimmering and bright thing ever (1992’s self-titled album); when he wants to make something more abstract and stark, As Light Return is the result. It’s gloomy, bleak, forbidding, and not much fun to listen to, but it’s impressive all the same. The undulating white noise is off-putting at first, but once you surrender to the harsh reality of it, the effect can be soothing in a strange way. Listening to the four-part suite that makes up the bulk of the album is like crawling inside the shuddering hull of a giant piece of industrial machinery, being pummeled unmercifully, and then taking a long, dreamless nap. Not something one would want to do every day, but for when that experience seems like the best course to choose, Lawrie and his collaborators have you covered. As Light Return might not be the most inventive or exciting record the Telescopes have made over their long career of defying expectations, but it is the purest expression of their dark and twisted, noise-battered souls, and for that reason alone it is worth hearing at least once” (AllMusic)

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24 agosto, 2018 Posted by | The Telescopes, Uncategorized | Deja un comentario

Strangers – GLISS: Strange heaven (Kraftwood, 2018)

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En esta ya dilatada trayectoria, GLISS no se han bajado del carro, han continuado con sus planteamientos iniciales y han vuelto a facturar un disco preñado de Noise, de Dream-Pop lleno de aristas, poco cercano a oídos poco exigentes y decididamente nada comercial. Áspero y frío por igual, GLISS recogieron el testigo que The Raveonettes abandonaron hace ya tiempo.

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23 agosto, 2018 Posted by | Gliss | Deja un comentario

Regresión – WEED HOUNDS: Double life (Don Giovanni Records, 2017)

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Auténtica regresión a los noventa: muros de guitarras distorsionadas, voces angelicales, espíritu transgresor y cierta desidia. ¿Os resulta familiar? Pues la música de WEED HOUNDS es algo así, una auténtica bofetada (guitarrera) a las conciencias adocenadas.

“Referencing this unfulfilled quest for something – maturity, “cool,” responsibility, adulthood, love – has acted not only as a fixture of shoegaze music since its inception, but also as an access point for the listener. These songs seem geared, even on a musical level, for wistfulness and evoking memories of youth and free-spirited enterprise that only a backyard, a radio, and the post-school hours can bring. The Pumpkins by way of Cocteau Twins nocturnal grunge of “Undertow” and the punkier rave-up of the title track “Double Life” seem rife with the opportunity to simply be pinned as “throwbacks,” but the tunefulness and the gusto with which these songs are played more than rationalize their existence in a world already teeming with bands who are truly only “throwbacks.”
Another unique aspect of the record is the way in which it feels like the songs become more emotionally revealing as the record moves forward, a detail indebted to not just the haze of guitars growing more lucid, but also the vocals becoming more prominent. By the time final track and lone ballad “Wait” rolls around Catalano is near-bare – in shoegaze terms – and deadpanning a stark admission that “You know I’ll always wait for you, no matter what you’re going through.” What happens here is truly ingenious as, on its own, the sentiment almost feels rote, but bookending a collection of songs that begins with “Oxalis” takes on the poignant air of maturity. Where the protagonist of the first song is heard eyeing others in admiration, now it seems as if they has finally learned to grow up and be patient with those around them.  Now, it seems, that obscure object of desire is well within grasp and Catalano’s protagonist need only have the patience to wait for “you,” a definitive sign of maturity on this character’s part. And simply put, isn’t that what it’s all about, Alfie?  
Weed Hounds leave us on this note, matured, assured, and hopefully without making us wait so long for another slice of their unique, beautifully-rendered brand of rock” (Post Trash)

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22 agosto, 2018 Posted by | Weed Hounds | Deja un comentario

…And ever – SAM EVIAN: Forever You (Saddle Creek, 2018)

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“This is you, forever,” he says. “It’s about accepting that you are responsible for you, that you’re in charge of your actions. Everything you do affects others and yourself, so, no matter what you choose to do, be there and learn from it.”
It’s a mantra that powers self-starter Owens, a producer and sound engineer by trade who entered the scene with his debut Sam Evian full-length, Premium, in the fall of 2016. The notion takes on a dual meaning that is echoed across You,Forever.
“There’s a ton of romance on the record,” he says. “Maybe it’s all romance.”
You, Foreveris Owens’s first foray into a more soul-baring sensibility and places the artist directly in the sightlines and heartlines of his listeners. The album (as well as 2017’s “Need You,” a collaboration with the multi-hyphenate musician Chris Cohen) was written on the heels of his experience touring Premiumwith his band and was recorded across the latter half of last year. The tours—which included opening shows for bands like Whitney, Teenage Fanclub, Luna, Nick Hakim and Lucius—taught him much about feel and interaction. Further fueled by a desire to escape from the glow of screens and to embrace a sense of limitation, he quickly developed a new set of instrumental songs written for a band rather than just himself and recorded them on a Tascam four-track cassette recorder in his parents’ house in North Carolina.“Just like most people, my recording studio day job had me staring at a computer eight hours a day,” he says. “I just needed to get away from the glowing rectangle. The only way to do that was to work on tape. The four-track is so limiting; you’re forced to get only the bones of the song down. You can’t do any overdubs, so it was fun to work on that with the experience of the live band behind me. And something about playing my family’s instruments in the garage where I grew up spurred a set of songs that became the new record.”
Inspired by these limiting techniques, Owens borrowed an eight-track reel-to-reel tape recorder from a friend, rented a house in upstate New York, and took his band – Brian Betancourt (bass), Austin Vaughn (drums), Adam Brisbin (guitar), and Hannah Cohen (backup vocals) – there to record the new album in July of 2017. Focusing on instrumental grooves and the vibe he had achieved on the original four-track recordings, Owens found the process so enlightening he decided to up the ante yet again by banning tuning pedals from the house.
“Tuning pedals make it so easy to sound good together, so when you eliminate them it takes everything back to the ’60s, which is when all my favorite records were born,” he says. “It makes everything more questionable, weird, and unruly in a really simple way.”
Dreamy album opener “IDGAF” explores the notion of embracing one’s passions and pursuing one’s goals no matter the impositions in their path. On one hand a subtle stand against the current political climate and on another a call to be responsible, Owens calls it a romantic song that embodies his act of self-mixing his record: “I had to put myself aside and let the music happen.”
“Health Machine” is a crunchy, slow-burning but deliberate stomper glowing with warm electric guitar noodling, saxophone wailing, and Owens’s reverb-laden lyrics that he says detail an abstract version of how he relates to his own physical form. “It’s about the unattainable health that I would like to imagine for myself on tour. The line ‘We slither out on a Tuesday feeling tired and hopeless’ is such a hilarious picture: four people in a minivan slithering out of Atlanta, Georgia, stopping at a CVS and getting a bunch of Zicam. Health is your job if you’re touring as a musician, although it’s a job I don’t do so well.”
“Country” is a fleet, nimble driving song written after Owens and his girlfriend (Hannah Cohen, who also sings throughout the album) took a cross-country road trip and encountered what they perceived to be a dust storm in rural Nevada. “For a hundred miles we didn’t see a person or even a tree, then all of a sudden this giant dust cloud appeared which turned out to be ten cowboys on horses lassoing cows. It was the most real thing I’ve ever seen.” In fact, Owens wrote every song on the album with the act of driving-while-listening in mind, and says many of the lyrics came together following that life-changing road trip—the only time he has ever driven across America without anyone waiting on him to show up for a soundcheck. But despite the allure of the transient life, his heart belongs to one place.
“The record is about romance, and about my love for living in New York and trying to separate myself from any idea I had previously of living in New York,” he says. “I’ve kind of designed my own world there.”
Whether behind the wheel in the dust bowls of America, navigating the bustle of his adopted home, playing festival stages with rock legends, or getting back to basics in his parents’ garage, no matter where Sam Evian goes, there he is…forever” (Saddle Creek)

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21 agosto, 2018 Posted by | Sam Evian | Deja un comentario

Pecados de Juventud – GAMES NIGHT

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Nula información (ni un triste Facebook) para este proyecto unipersonal de Jonas Nicolls basado en el Indie acelerado y de espíritu guitarrero. Canciones muy intensas y un aire a ese Brit-Pop tardío de bandas como Splashh. Recomendable…

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20 agosto, 2018 Posted by | Games Night | Deja un comentario

Deep Cuts – TRANSMITTENS: Lost songs 2007-2010, (2018)

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Deep cuts, cortes olvidados del dúo de Twee-Pop de Seattle TRANSMITTENS.

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19 agosto, 2018 Posted by | Transmittens | Deja un comentario

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