Posts Tagged ‘Guards’

Another cracking week of new tunes from the likes of Wand, Girl Band, Childbirth and Phil Cook amongst others.

  1. Wand – Dungeon Dropper
  2. Guards – Devil’s Haircut (Beck cover)
  3. Yung – God
  4. Childbirth – Since When Are You Gay?
  5. Girl Band – Pears For Lunch
  6. Rats On Rafts – Powder Monkeys
  7. Whalers – Death Drive
  8. Psychic Blood – Waves Will Kill You
  9. Phil Cook – Ain’t It Sweet
  10. The Big Moon – The Road

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Austin SXSW Day 2

Yesterday was not a great day.

It is the little things sometimes.

Things like when you wake up and realise that despite knowing I was away for 10 days in total, I had only bought clothes for 8 (except t-shirts which bizarrely could last me for 13) and the suncream tube is actually some kind of foaming face wash. Or all the eggs have gone at breakfast meaning as a non-meat eater the sausages and bacon are not great substitutes. And then some crappy news from work, and by the time all is sorted I am rushing for the bus with just enough time to get downtown to see Savages at the Brooklyn Vegan day party except the bus pulls into a stop and then just stops. For five, then ten, then fifteen minutes. And by the time it starts again and enters the slow crawl of traffic heading into the heart of the city there is no chance of getting there on time.

Akron Family

So I head for the Filter day party at the Clive Bar and do get there in time for The Guards who offer an energetic if somewhat formulaic take on muscular big-on-choruses-indie-rock. I manoeuvre my way to the front for the Akron Family who, despite starting late, good naturedly indulge in some of the loudest psych-folk freakout jams I have ever heard. They could have played twelve songs or two, but however many it was I enjoyed it. It is packed now for the party headliners Lord Huron, but they, or rather the sound guys, cannot get things set up properly. They hear one mic but not another, then no drums, then drums but no bass. It goes on and on and even the party going crowd start to get a bit fidgety in the sun. Eventually they start 35 minutes late and offer a tropically breezy set of folk that sounds at times uncomfortably close to Vampire Weekend for these ears. There is an absolutely majestic Time To Run which gets the crowd going, but the rest is a little bit of a disappointment. And of course they have to cut the set short because of the late start.

I head back into the mayhem of Sixth Street and the start of the evening showcases. Compared with my last visit in 2009, it seems twice as busy, twice as packed, twice as intense. My plan had been to aim for one of the two big hitting events, Nick Cave at Stubbs or Japandroids and Iggy Pop at Mohawk. They’re close to each other so it seemed reasonable to see which was easiest to get into. Being late from the Clive Bar meant the Stubbs line stretched at least a block and a half just for the wristband holders so on I went to the Mohawk. I found the back of the line, but that was for badge holders only, a nice SXSW volunteer cheerfully pointed me towards the wristband line…it writhed like a snake for what seemed miles. Pointless queuing.

Lord Huron

Plan B, head for Red 7 and see Blessed Feathers, surely that will be easier. But in complete contrast to my last visit, every single venue I pass en-route has enormous queues. I join the Red 7 queue and half an hour later I am in at the Patio Bar with a beer and waiting for the band. They come on. They are from Wisconsin and probably look like it; Donivan Berube’s garb makes him look wonderfully like the scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz. A partnership duo playing guitar and banjo they charm and delight for 25 minutes against the backdrop of chatter and the band next door with Hey All You Floridians and the wonderful Stinging Nettle, Honeysuckle particular stand outs.

A SXSW photographer tells me the queue is now even longer outside and they are at capacity inside, and it is much the same everywhere else. I abandon plans to try and go and see Murder By Death, Lily Hiatt or Salesman and decide to stay put to see up and coming English buzz band Peace.

I am glad I did. They come on stage, painfully skinny and good looking, a study in affected insouciance, and in attire that looks like a cross between Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’s Child Catcher, Alice In Wonderland and Richmal Compton’s Just William. Then they plug in and play a set of outstanding psychedelic indie rock that completely and utterly wins the crowd over and in California Daze and especially ten minute epic 1998 (Delicious) have songs that are destined to live long in the memory. For Peace the buzz is justified.

Outside it is busier than ever. The queues for the Black Angels at Buffalo Billiards and Phosphorescent at the Hype Hotel are ridiculous. I decide to call it quits and catch the last bus back towards my Interstate hotel and ask the driver to let me know when we get to my stop on Saint Elmo Road. “Sure” he says, so I am surprised a while later to see the bus fly past it without stopping. I ask him, he looks at me blankly and I get off at the next stop and start the walk back.

It is dark and no-one is around. A car stops. A police car. Politely they ask if I am OK, and slightly less politely, to see my ID. I show them my passport and they are satisfied. I explain I missed my stop and am walking back to the hotel. The policeman shakes his head, “bad luck sir” he says.

Round Up Time Again.

Time for another trawl through the in-box and round our favourite music sites to bring you a whole host of goodies to enjoy.

First up is a new free song from Bear Driver – layers of sound create a swooning dream pop song of chiming surfed up guitar lines, clattering drums, and melancholic synths. This newly built sound they have dubbed ‘patchwork-pop’!

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Widowspeak have a new album due via Captured Tracks and Ballad Of The Golden Hour is the first free single – the Mazzy Star style jangle and psych-folk has been given an uneasy twist that makes this a real gem.

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Guards are due to release their debut LP, In Guards We Trust, in the early part of 2013. Just the riff on new single Coming True means we are looking forward to February already.


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Melbourne’s Woollen Kits unashamedly immerse themselves in the proto-punk sounds of Detroit and classic garage rock, and new single Be You (taken from album Four Girls) is another top notch example of their prowess in this area.

Download Woollen Kits – Be You mp3 (from Four Girls)

Keeping the garage rock flag flying high are Philadelphia’s The Eeries and their debut full length Home Alone from which Should’ve Stayed Home is a mighty fine example of their seamless and infectious melding of 50s rock’n’roll and 60s pop.

Download The Eeries – Should’ve Stayed Home mp3 (from Home Alone)

Already perfectly described elsewhere as “like Dinosaur Jr. and Guided By Voices in an airplane explosion”, the minimally monikered Dirt have made their first single {Ø} (Empty Sets) available for free (head to their Bandcamp here to pick up the b-side Daggers for free too).

Download Dirt – {Ø} (Empty Sets) mp3 (from {Ø} (Empty Sets) Single)

The Money Go-Round also hail from Down Under, from Sydney to be precise, but their music is anchored in the no-frills swampy, sleazy blues and psychedelia that inspired everyone from The Kinks to the Black Keys. Check the energy and spark of Yayaya.

Download The Merry Go Round – Yayaya mp3 (from Yayaya)

Our Aussie hat-trick is completed by Adelaide band The Aves. More catchy garage pop in the shape of In Vogue from new EP Anywhere Else.

Download The Aves – In Vogue mp3 (from Anywhere Else EP)

Staying on a theme, The Dead Heads are Australian (of course) but play an eclectc mix of 60s hippie flip to 90s scrungy grunge with a bit of shoegazey pyrotechnics and a dab of drone too. Intrigued? Grab yourself When I’m Dead, the first single from their album Go Ape Shit!.

Download The Dead Heads – When I’m Dead mp3 (from Go Ape Shit!)

Bloomington’s LEGS have a sound that is best described as a distillation of krautrock and post-punk rhythms, new wave synth, garage guitar work, and vocals that fluctuate erratically between a kind of demented 50s rock, post-punk, no wave, and something like a country-and-western lounge croon. They recently issued their first self-titled EP via Bandcamp and this excellent track Voids has more than tickled our eardrums recently.

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We posted earlier this week about Joshua James as part of our Round Up of some great freebies via Noisetrade et al, and this is the first taste of his long-awaited new album From The Top Of Williamette Mountain.

Download Joshua James – Queen Of The City mp3 (from From The Top Of Williamette Mountain)

Being a dweller of Burlington, Vermont, Tyler Daniel Bean is well acquainted with cold and barren landscapes and that influence is evident on his new solo album Longing. Check out the gritty Heather Lane.

Download Tyler Daniel Bean – Heather Lane mp3 (from Longing)

The debut single from Wirral based twin-vocal five piece The Sundowners is a shimmering, melodic slice of indie-pop that is as dreamy as it is sweet.

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The solo debut from from singer, songwriter and former Girls frontman Christopher Owens has been confirmed for a January 14th release. Lysandre will be released on Turnstile Records. Here We Go is the first single to be taken from it.

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Our latest discovery in one of our favourite genres – spooked out Southern gothic – is Some Dark Holler and their fiery debut Hollow Chest. Combining equal parts Steve Earle, the Civil Wars, and Breaking Bad, straightforward, uncomplicated, and unpolished, these songs resonate like the old Appalachian ballads from which they are clearly inspired. Check out Pills And Kerosene.

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Portland, Oregon-based post-punk-indie-pop-dande act Pictorials are celebrating the release of their debut EP, Learning, on the band’s own Deja View Records. Inspired by the likes of XTC, the Wake, Felt, and Factory and Creation Records, we have Sense Of Vanity from the EP for your listening pleasure.

Download Pictorials – Sense Of Vanity mp3 (from Learning EP)

Eight Knives is a band from Chattanooga, TN. Their debut album Maiden Names sits somewhere between Jack White and Vampire Weekend.

Download Eight Knives – Levels And Lovers mp3 (from Maiden Names)

Rising indie rockers and janglemeisters Veronica Falls have a sweet new track streaming from forthcoming sophomore album Waiting For Something To Happen.

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Lo-fi outsiders, Noun Verb Adjective have a new digital single through Odd Box Records! It contains two tracks, Everything’s Not Perfect and Feynman Lectures on Physics: Vol. One. It is a crunchy, grimy lo-fi wall of sound, like Psychedelic Horseshit incorporating more of a Phil Spector influence. Listen below and both tracks can be downloaded for free through Odd Box’s website.

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Lastly Midway In Wake have made the excellently titled Urban Vermin available from new album We Will Remain Sedate available for free. It is introspective, minimalist bedroom pop!

Download Midway In Wake – Urban Vermin mp3 (from We Will Remain Sedate)