Mad Mackerel Recommends…Indian Wars

Mad Mackerel Recommends Indian Wars We may be a little late to the party as far as this one is concerned, but what a cracking track it is so we don’t care!

Indian Wars are the band and 8 Feet High is the track – it is a swaggering, rolling, undeniably catchy track that somehow, and seemingly effortlessly, marries a rollicking country twang with the lip curling sonics of the Black Lips and comes up smiling.

This one is heading straight for our Best Of list…

It comes from their debut album Walk Around The Park which came out recently. You can order a copy from Norman Records here.

Download Indian Wars – 8 Feet High mp3 (from Walk Around The Park)

Introducing…The Dirty Nil

Introducing The Dirty Nil The Dirty Nil just released their first 7” vinyl single called Fuckin’ Up Young.

They are a band that tells us they like: fuzz, pizza, vinyl, bad habits, beer, power chords, stompin’ tom, feedback, fuzz, anything with big knobs and blinking lights, dogs, coffee, haters, beer, fuzz bass, not remembering the night before, Quentin Tarantino, tube amps, waffles, analog, swearing, distorted anything, Willie Nelson, bacon, soda pop, french fries, and noise.

This gives you a better idea than we ever could of what they sound like. It’s good stuff!

Buy the vinyl for $5 from their Bandcamp here – download the mp3s below.

Download The Dirty Nil – Fuckin’ Up Young mp3 (from Fuckin’ Up Young 7″)

Download The Dirty Nil – Verona Lung mp3 (from Fuckin’ Up Young 7″)

Introducing…Elle King

Introducing...Elle KingWe received a short e-mail from Steven at Big Hassle suggesting we check out a new artist by the name of Elle King.

We’re glad we did.

Although background info is pretty scarce we did discover she was born in Ohio and raised in Brooklyn by her mother. She retains her roots in a style that blends those two worlds of both grit and mid-western charm. Apparently she often draws comparisons to Billie Holiday, Regina Spektor and similar, and we would certainly add a couple of MM faves Jessica Lea Mayfield and Caitlin Rose to the list too. She cites old blues, rock n’ roll, and greats like Johnny Cash as her biggest influences.

Watch No One Can Save You. Listen to Broken Vow. Download Good To Be A Man – all outstanding tracks and you can see exactly what we mean. Elle King is certainly someone to keep an eye and an ear out for – authentic, compelling and wonderful.

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Visit her MySpace here or Facebook here.

Download Elle King – Good To Be A Man mp3

Introducing…Sleeping Bag

Introducing Sleeping BagThe music of Sleeping Bag is an addictive amalgamation of simple melodies, deadpan delivery, jaunts of balls-out rocking, and minimalist tact. These are songs that, for as streamlined and basic as they seem, gain value with each repeated listen. Simplicity is their asset, and they use it well.

Nostalgia might be at work here, but the songs can’t be pigeonholed as throwback. They really sink in around the third or fourth spin, and it’s easy to get there. Want proof – take a listen to lead single Slime.

The band’s self titled debut album is released August 9th on the wonderfully oddball, but ever reliable Joyful Noise – you can grab a version on CD, blue vinyl, black vinyl, and sleeping bag. Yes, they are releasing the album in the format of a sleeping bag – screen-printed by the band, and packaged with a digital download code.

More information and pre-order options from the label here.

Download Sleeping Bag – Slime mp3 (from Sleeping Bag)

New Album From Howling Bells

New Album from Howling BellsHowling Bells will release their new album on September 12th on Cooking Vinyl. The Loudest Engine will be preceded by a clutch of live shows, including a London date at the Electric Ballroom on September 15th.

A raw, psychedelic third studio album, and the sequel to 2009’s Radio Wars, the recording of The Loudest Engine saw the band get sonic inspiration from Nevada’s expansive surroundings and Las Vegas’s street-soiled vibe.

Howling Bells’ desert sessions were the final part of a year-long writing adventure that saw the band, while on tour, wander through strange American outposts and seedy European back streets in their downtime. Their travels provided endless lyrical inspiration; much of The Loudest Engine was written on the road.

The result is 12 songs that burn with a ferocious intensity, clipping garage blues (Charlatan) to end of the world freak outs (The Wilderness) and heart-bruised laments (Into The Sky). This is the record that may well change people’s perceptions of the band.

Listen to the title track and check out the UK tour dates below.

Visit their Facebook page here.

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UK Tour Dates:

Weds 14th SEPTEMBER – PORTSMOUTH, WEDGEWOOD ROOMS

Thurs 15th – LONDON, ELECTRIC BALLROOM

Fri 16th – SHEFFIELD, PLUG

Sun 18th – LEEDS, COCKPIT

Mon 19th – GLASGOW, ORAN MOR

Tues 20th – MANCHESTER, ACADEMY 3

More from Efren – Album Released Today

Efren Album Release TodayAt the end of last month we posted about the debut album from psych tinged folk band Efren, titled Rise On Up And Melt.

The album is released today and the band have made available a second track from the album – grab yourself some melancholy Moonshine below.

Get a copy of the album here.

Download Efren – Moonshine mp3 (from Rise On Up And Melt)

Download Efren – Like A Coat mp3 (from Rise On Up And Melt)

Vivian Girls: Take It As It Comes mp3

Vivian Girls: Take It As It Comes mp3Share The Joy by The Vivian Girls is an album of charming, ramshackle indie mixed with a sparkling pop sensibility that owes as much to the beachfronts and rock’n’roll diners of the 50s as it does the jangle pop heyday of the 80s.

Take It As It Comes sits firmly in the former camp with a plaintive “all alone on a Saturday night” voiceover and a Shangri Las style refrain. Hands down the cutest song we’ve posted in a while!

Buy the album from Amazon here.

Download The Vivian Girls – Take It As It Comes mp3 (from Share The Joy)

Small Sur – New Album Released Today

Small Sur - New Album Released TodaySmall Sur is the primary musical alias of South Dakota-born, now-Baltimore-based songwriter Bob Keal and current collaborators Austin Stahl and Andy Abelow. The project was born during the spring of 2005 in a friend’s Southern California bedroom, where Keal recorded the self-titled Small Sur EP shortly before relocating to Baltimore. 2008 marked the release of the band’s full-length debut, We Live in Houses Made of Wood, which garnered critical praise and picked up new fans.

With last year’s Bare Black EP and the release of new album Tones today, Small Sur’s gracefully growing discography emerges as the next great discovery to spring forth from the lauded and active Baltimore scene—refining the band’s singular, understated ability to capture and extend life’s fleeting moments of breathtaking beauty.

The album was recorded throughout 2010 and features contributions from members of Wye Oak and Lower Dens. The resulting eleven songs are warm, satisfying and absorbing. They swirl and embrace and seduce in a way that is hard to resist – the way love brings out the most beautiful and the darkest parts of our nature.

Order from their Bandcamp page here.

Download Small Sur – Prettyboy mp3 (from Tones)

Download Small Sur – The Woods mp3 (from Tones)

Free Summer Mixtape from Bridgetown Records

Bridgetown Records is one of those wonderful labels quietly putting out release after release covering a whole range of styles and genres from psych to ambient to experimental, and pretty much all points in between.

They’ve been in touch to remind us there are 15 new releases on Bridgetown, including the label’s first DVD, and a video album by Former Selves. The rest of the albums are by Vehicle Blues, Kevin Greenspon, Sea Oleena, Jon Barba, Chicken Sandwich, Grizzel Toe/Hermit Convention, Sundrips, Brahms, Sky Stadium, Hollow Sunshine, A.V.R., Derek Rogers, Lee Noble and Hedia.

Not only that  there is also a 21 song compilation mixtape available for free made up of selections from each of the 15 new releases. We’ve posted three of our favourites below and you can grab the whole thing for nothing just by clicking here.

Order releases from the label here.

Download Sea Oleena – Swimming Story mp3 (from Summer Mixtape 2011)

Download Vehicle Blues – Oscar Bought A Boat mp3 (from Summer Mixtape 2011)

Download Kevin Greenspon – City Breeze mp3 (from Summer Mixtape 2011)

Introducing…A Scribe Amidst The Lions

"Introducing...A Scribe Amidst The Lions"Formed in 2005, A Scribe Amidst the Lions (or simply, “Scribe”, to many friends and fans) are a San Diego-based band, specializing in a strain of psych-rock that aims at imagination and wide narrative. Lyrics are cryptic, themes expansive, songs structured progressively, instruments swapped at will. In addition to the core band at the center of their songs, Scribe utilizes a second drummer/percussionist, along with studio collaborations with string sections and horns. Thematically ambitious in the vein of Pink Floyd, with the haunting restraint of Radiohead, A Scribe Amidst the Lions reside in a world of their own telling, where politics leaves a mark both inside and out.

With the Lidless Kind (to be released 7/1/2011 via Bandcamp), the band employ a direct, contained song format, while maintaining the sonic ambition that has brought them to this point. Simple melodies and sparse arrangements carry with them complex themes.

At first approach, Backdoor Betty, with its raucous, vaudevillian rhythm, sounds like a light ode to a peep show. But a more careful listen yields a more nuanced theme – behind a fun beat, thoughtful minds are at work.

Within the EP’s short span, the band’s sonic capabilities are displayed: haunting, textured (Hot Chameleon and Rest Gentlemen), fully charged superhero rock (Listening In), thoughtful ballad, (Neckwell).

Watch and download below.

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Download A Scribe Amidst The Lions – Backdoor Betty mp3 (from the Lidless Kind)