+ Pre-order will ship on May 1, 2015
+ First 150 pre-orders come with a folded 11x17 poster
With Darling? It’s Too Late, Guantanamo Baywatch sought to harness and manipulate the sparkling sounds from yesteryear, all while staying true to the tape hiss and rough takes of analog recording. “We really wanted a mixtape compilation sound to the record,” says Powell, and that approach can be heard in both the songwriting and the production. According to Powell, each individual song was approached with all the amps and the EQs on the recording console zeroed out. That meant that every song was recorded with a new template. The title track and lead single, “Too Late”, perfectly captures this new aesthetic. With Burger Records soul singer Curtis Harding contributing backing vocals and rounding out the classic Motown ballad vibe of the track, “Too Late” is an enormous departure from the trashy Mummies-esque ruckus of their earlier recordings. Of course, the band hasn’t completely abandoned the rowdy surf rock of their previous releases—Powell put the finishing touches on the album back at his Jungle Muscles Studio in Portland to keep that rough-hewn feel intact. But even when he and his bandmates Chevelle Wiseman (bass) and Chris Scott (drums) tread on their familiar territory with songs like “Raunch Stomp” or their cover of Eddie & The Showmen’s “Mr. Rebel”, there’s a newfound clarity, punch, and swagger to their sound. Throughout the course of Darling? It’s Too Late the trio continues to fuck with various subgenres, from the dusty Western twang of “Corey Baum’s Theme” to the straight-outta-Sun Studios rocker “Do What You Want.”
The LP is available in a limited pressing of 1,000 copies on Peaches-and-Cream color vinyl. A digital download card for MP3 is included.
Back in 2009, Suicide Squeeze Records labelmates These Arms Are Snakes and The Coathangers teamed up for a series of tour dates on the East Coast. It was a perfect pairing: The Coathangers’ jagged catabolic garage rock and These Arms Are Snakes bleary and blighted artcore made for an evening of celebratory chaos. But These Arms Are Snakes’ seven-year run came to an abrupt end a few months later, leaving a final unfinished recording—a cover of Lost Sounds’ “Energy Drink & The Long Walk Home”—gathering dust in the vaults. In the five years since the Snakes’ dissolution, The Coathangers have toured relentlessly on their three albums for Suicide Squeeze; releasing a slew of split 7”s with various road comrades along the way. Though These Arms Are Snakes remain broken up, the finishing touches on “Energy Drink” were finally wrapped up in 2014, and it seemed only appropriate to pair the song with a track from their old tourmates. The Coathangers are still hard at work touring on their highly lauded album from earlier this year, Suck My Shirt, but they found the time to counterbalance the Snakes’ Lost Sounds cover with their take on The Gun Club’s “Sex Beat”. Suicide Squeeze is proud to release the split single worldwide on a limited vinyl run of 1,000 (clear w/ red and black splatter) 7”s with an accompanying download code. The songs are also available digitally.
If you’ve lived anywhere near Fullerton, California over the last decade, or if you’ve paid any attention to the recent flux of sun-baked, surf-soaked power pop proliferating along the Western coastline of the U.S. in recent years, chances are high you’ve taken notice of Orange County’s rambunctious guitar pop mavens Audacity. And if you’ve taken in Fullerton’s pride-and-joy both in a sweaty, dingy live environment and on your turntable, you’re undoubtedly aware that there is a certain unbridled quality to the band that can’t quite be replicated on record. While last year’s Butter Knife LP came pretty damn close to capturing Audacity in all their wild and ecstatic splendor, they’ve finally captured the triumphant bedlam of their live show with their latest 7”, “Counting the Days” b/w “Mind Your Own Business”. The A-side is Audacity in all their ragged glory—righteous guitar leads, buoyant choruses, and unhinged energy. For the flipside, the OC boys pay tribute to British post-punkers Delta 5 with an explosive cover of their debut single from 1979. “Counting the Days” b/w “Mind Your Own Business” is available worldwide on vinyl and digital formats courtesy of Suicide Squeeze Records. The vinyl version is limited to 750 copies (250 on fluorescent pink, 500 on black) and includes a download coupon.
Any discussion of Cherry Glazerr is going to have a few obvious bullet points. First and foremost, the band is astonishingly young, with frontwoman/guitarist Clementine Creevy and drummer Hannah Uribe still not old enough to vote and bassist Sean Redman just barely above the drinking age. And then there's the fact that the band's debut cassette was released by California's current kings of DIY power pop and garage rock, Burger Records. So even if you know nothing else about the LA trio, you know that they're young and that they're a part of the thriving underground community of stripped-down jubilant rock n' roll. But if you're envisioning a bunch of awkward, hyperactive kids bouncing around in their parent's basement, consider the fact that the band has been championed and photographed by French fashion designer Hedi Slimane of Saint Laurent Paris. Slimane even commissioned the band to score his fall/winter 2014 Paris show. The result was "Had Ten Dollaz", a song that captures Cherry Glazerr's knack for dualities: sultry and virulent, sophisticated and casual, laid back and bombastic, playful and deliberate. Suicide Squeeze Records is pairing up "Had Ten Dollaz" with the equally intoxicating b-side "Nurse Ratched" as a limited edition 7”.
“Pop” is a tag that’s been assigned to Minus The Bear throughout their career. It’s been used to set a distinction between the unique brand of complex indie rock they introduced on their first EP and the more angular and aggravated sounds of their previous bands Botch, Kill Sadie, and Sharks Keep Moving. It’s also a tag that was thrown around frequently in the wake of their streamlined fourth album, OMNI. And it’s a descriptor that immediately comes to mind within the first few seconds of their classic second formal EP, They Make Beer Commercials Like This. Now celebrating its 10-year anniversary and first time in print since 2011, Beer Commercials is the evolutionary step between Minus The Bear’s first two landmark albums, Highly Refined Pirates and Menos El Oso. Opening track “Fine + 2 Points” remains one of the band’s strongest opening tracks in their discography, charging out of the gates with a syncopated stomp that comes across as a more agitated take on Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Outta My Head”. If Minus The Bear were looking to make pop music without any of its major-scale bubblegum trappings, they nailed it here. The band follows it with “Let’s Play Clowns” and “Dog Park”—nods to Highly Refined Pirates’ formula of frenetic clean guitar work, bombastic choruses, and Jake Snider’s lyrics of detached romantic nostalgia. These tracks may represent Minus The Bear’s original trademark version of pop, but on songs like “I’m Totally Not Down With Rob’s Alien” the band eschews it’s restless energy for atmosphere and dynamics, creating a sound that’s inspired more than a handful of contemporary melodic post-rock bands. By the time the band belts out “Pony Up!” the listener has watched the three-year sonic transition between Minus The Bear’s first two full-lengths transpire within under half-an-hour, with the their earlier math rock predilections yielding to the tightly wound club-banging pedalboard trickery that defined their sophomore album. Even if Beer Commercials doesn’t fit within your definition of pop music, the unorthodox energetic charm of this relatively low-profile release serves as an exciting reminder of why Minus The Bear became one of the most important and influential indie rock bands of the new century.
The LP is available in a limited pressing of 3,000 copies (1k each) and includes a download card for MP3s and an 11x11 insert. T-Shirt printed on American Apparel.
Following the success of Highly Refined Pirates’ forward-thinking guitar gymnastics and Menos El Oso’s groundbreaking glitch rock, Seattle’s premier pop revisionists Minus The Bear dug into some of rock music’s most ostentatious years for inspiration for their 2007 album, Planet of Ice. While their earlier material found the band absorbing and repurposing the virtuosic dexterity of math rock, the airtight sonic manipulations of turn-of-the-century IDM, the drum and bass groove of contemporary R&B, and the cerebral pop foundations of Television and The Police, the band prepped for their third full-length by immersing themselves in prog legends, jazz rock mavericks, and other audiophile heroes of the ‘70s. The title alone conjures images of Yes’s Relayer album art, and the influence of the elder statesmen’s symphonic scope can be felt throughout Planet of Ice’s lush and intricate arrangements. You can also hear the band channel the ominous instrumental interplay of Lamb-era Genesis on “Dr. L’Ling”, the deceptively savvy musicianship and pristine production of Steely Dan on “White Mystery”, and the tightrope walk between ethereal space and pre-metal riffage of Pink Floyd’s “Echoes” on “Lotus”. Not that Minus The Bear completely abandoned their earlier style—elements of Menos El Oso‘s sample-driven technique can be heard on the lead single “Knights”. But the heart of the song ultimately belongs to the haunting Fripp-esque guitar lines spliced between verses. After being out of print on record since 2010, Suicide Squeeze is proud to reintroduce Planet of Ice’s creative marriage of classic motifs and modern musical wizardry with a vinyl remaster courtesy of Bernie Grundman.
2xLP Gatefold jacket w/ printed inner sleeves. The 2xLP is available in a limited pressing of 3,000 copies (1k each) and includes a download card for MP3s. T-Shirt printed on American Apparel.
Since 2004, This Will Destroy You has been forging some of the world's most brutal, dynamic, and precariously visceral instrumental rock. In addition to a vigorous tour schedule, their celebrated discography and critically renowned soundtrack work for feature films and documentaries have earned them a sizable and fervent international following. Another Language, TWDY's fourth full length LP, marks their euphonious return from a prolonged vacuous dark period that threatened to break both the band and the members themselves. Rather than be stifled by their experience TWDY were atomized and subsequently made anew, emerging with a revived energy and reinforced sense of solidarity. As a result, Another Language captures the band at its most potent, honed, and utterly powerful form yet, displaying an edified unity and graduated sense of song-writing, tonal complexity, and studio prowess.
Wallet CD printed on uncoated stock w/ copper foil and printed inner sleeve. 2xLP Gatefold jacket printed on uncoated stock w/ copper foil and printed inner sleeves. The 2xLP is available in a limited second pressing of 1,000 copies on 180g black vinyl and includes a download card for MP3s.
Suck My Shirt is the fourth full-length for The Coathangers. "It's a balance between overthinking and just going for it," guitarist Crook Kid (Julia Kugel) says of their songwriting strategy. It's a duality immediately apparent with the album opener "Follow Me." It’s a classic Coathangers tune with Stephanie Luke's raspy vocals belted out over their signature ragged garage-rock. But the chorus opens into one of the most accessible hooks in the band's canon, just before segueing into the next verse with a squall of violent dissonant guitar. From there the band launches into "Shut Up," a title that harkens back to the brash sass of their first record. The song still has its spikey guitar riffs and shouted chorus, but here The Coathangers sound less like a jubilant version of Huggy Bear and more like the art-pop of late-era Minutemen. Dedicated Coathangers fans will recognize the re-worked versions of "Merry Go Round," "Smother," "Adderall," and "Derek's Song" from their run of limited edition split 7"s, and hearing them in the context of the album shows that these tracks weren't merely isolated examples of the band's more sophisticated side, but were actually demonstrative of the group's increasing capacity for nestling solid melodic hooks and rock heft into their repertoire. By the time the band wraps up the album with the humble pop perfection of "Drive," it's hard to believe this was the band that garnered their reputation off of raucous bombasts like "Don't Touch My Shit."
Music blogs are always desperate for an angle when it comes to covering a new artist. Is there a compelling backstory to the recording? Does the artist have an outlandish manifesto? What idiosyncrasies can we fixate on in lieu of talking about the actual music? Taken from this perspective, Atlanta trio Dasher’s origins and mission statement are relatively simple—Kylee Kimbrough wrote a handful of songs on bass, switched over to drums and vocals, enlisted friends Ian Deaton and Jon Allinson to round out the lineup, and documented the humble beginnings with a debut cassette, Yeah I Know. While that premise is simple enough, describing Dasher’s sound is a more complicated affair. Kimbrough cites Patti Smith as a major inspiration. Spin Magazine heard elements of Killing Joke and Wire. Band interviews mention the importance of local hardcore bands Manic and Ralph. Somehow all of these reference points work, yet none of them quite do the band justice. Granted, Kimbrough’s commanding vocal delivery would make Patti proud. The primitive urgency of punk pioneers certainly pulses throughout Dasher’s catalog. And the deliberate squall of basement hardcore permeates throughout their latest offering, a two-song 7” courtesy of Suicide Squeeze Records. Recorded by Jason Kingsland, “Soviet” b/w “Teeth” captures the no-frills energy of Atlanta’s most propulsive post-punk band without tagging on any of the unnecessary conceptual or historical talking points lazy music writers rely on. The 7” is available worldwide on a limited run of 750 copies (250 on fluorescent lemon lime colored vinyl, 500 on black) and includes a download coupon. The two songs are also available digitally.
Somewhere in pre-dawn Cleveland, Gabe Fulvimar hunkers down in his bedroom with his laptop, a guitar, a drum machine, and a Fender Rhodes and records songs under the name Gap Dream. Before you groan over another “bedroom pop” artist, spend two seconds absorbing Fulvimar’s mystical, stoned-to-the-bone one-man garage rock. If Lou Reed and Jason Pierce had MacBooks back when they were starting out, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine them kicking out a jam like “A Little Past Midnight”. It’s almost tempting to claim Gap Dream’s ability to make such warm, wacked out, psychedelic grooves in such technologically-cold hermit-like conditions as Fulvimar’s crowning achievement. But the process behind the music doesn’t mean shit when you hear Fulvimar’s smooth harmonies, warbling tremolo guitar, and reverberating haze sewn together into a tune as beguiling as “Generator”.
7" single released on Suicide Squeeze in 2013 - neither side is available on Julianna's albums. "Pacing" features Barwick's voice and ethereal harmonies, "but it's a bit of a diversion from the vocal loop-based songs I tend to make" says Julianna. The B-side, "Call," is a frail and passionate solo piano piece.
Kevin Morby is still in the early stages of his solo venture, but his work carries that intensely personal power of the humble beginnings of many classic American folk and indie singers. Having established his musical foundation in the trippy roots rock of Woods and rough-hewn Brooklyn party pop of The Babies, Morby stepped out on his own to release his lauded debut album Harlem River in 2013. His next offering comes in the way of a two-song My Name 7" EP courtesy of Suicide Squeeze Records. Both the title track and b-side "We Did It All Wrong" simultaneously conjure the haunting heartache of an Anthology of American Folk Music ballad and the reverb-and-smoke-drenched haze of his contemporary indie peers. The My Name 7" is available worldwide in a limited pressing of 750 copies (250 on green vinyl, 500 on black) including a download card for mp3s.
Antwon’s latest EP comes courtesy of indie stalwart Suicide Squeeze. Mixed by Lars Stalfors, producer and engineer behind multiple Mars Volta and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez albums, “Dying in the Pussy” marries an MC’s traditional sexual bravado with a signature style of smoked-out fatalism over ominous interweaving synth lines. In contrast to the A-side’s sinister swagger, “Life Is What You Make It” is Antwon’s summer jam. A stylistic continuation of last year’s collaboration with Pictureplane, this b-side gem is a perfect blend of chilled-out West Coast hip-hop set against the backdrop of glitchy, warbling electropop. Th.e two-song EP is available worldwide both digitally and as a limited edition 7” (250 copies on white w/ black marble, 500 on black) with a download coupon.
Audacity’s latest full-length Butter Knife is still, at its core, a garage rock record. The economic instrumentation, grit-tinged guitar jangle, pogo-prompting tempos, and sing-along choruses can all be traced back to the seminal Nuggets collections. But ultimately, Butter Knife doesn’t sound so much like an homage to The Sonics as it sounds like a young band striving to make the most ebullient and jubilant noise possible. Album opener “Couldn’t Hold A Candle” is a perfect introduction to Audacity’s battle plan—a balanced blend of pop sensibility and ribald power. “Hole In The Sky” showcases the band’s gift for the on-the-dime changes, sophisticated melodies, and clever instrumental interplay. “Red Wine” demonstrates a Robert Pollard-like knack for turning an unexpected chord combination into a remarkably punchy chorus. And album closer “Autumn” harkens back to the balladry of power pop kings Big Star. All of which is to say, Audacity are tighter and more clever than your average suburban band, and consequently they’re one of the strongest acts in the Southern Californian garage rock scene.
There’s a common-held notion that great rock music only comes out of big cities, as if the grime and struggle of life in urban spaces is the essential fuel for truly passionate rock n roll. But this was a belief when cities were emptying out and the suburbs were growing. Now we’re witnessing the repopulation of major metropolitan areas. Suburbs are becoming the new wasteland. Perhaps that’s the reason why the Orange County suburb of Fullerton was finally able to birth a band like Audacity. Nurtured by local garage rock havens like record store/label Burger Records, the young brash power pop of Audacity kick out jams that are both aptly sunny and gritty—a perfect blend of SoCal’s good weather and endless concrete. With two LPs under the young four-piece’s belt, they’ve set aside two songs for a 7” on Suicide Squeeze before they unleash another full-length later this year. For the uninitiated, “Finders Keepers” b/w “Onomatopoeia” is the perfect introduction to Audacity’s potent combination of pop melodies and roughly hewn energy. The first pressing of this 7” is limited to 500 copies on translucent green vinyl with a free download code as well as being available digitally worldwide.
Sisters of the moon, Jennifer and Jessica Clavin make up the Los Angeles band, Bleached. The songwriting-duo return with the follow-up to their Carter 7-inch, holding the rare soul of rock and roll for all to witness. The two new songs “Searching Through The Past” & “Electric Chair,” burn clear with energy and sly beauty. They embody the mutinous spirit of The Misfits or early Stones, married to the style of Stevie Nicks. Nothing wasted, and nothing else wanted. The a-side, especially, plays like something you’ve never heard before - impossibly catchy - it walks off with a sly smile, straight out of the aftermath of some social whirl. This EP, out December 6th, 2011, on Suicide Squeeze Records, is an affair limited to 750 copies (250 opaque red, and 500 black vinyl) worldwide. It is not something to be missed.
Chin Up Chin Up possesses a palpable energy. Guitars trade melodies as conversations on "Water Planes In Snow" and if the vocal melody of "Mansioned" isn't stuck in your head instantly, well, you're not listening hard enough. The record kicks off with a loving homage to Minnesota, as Jeremy Bolen croons on about dry humping the abyss. "This Harness Can't Ride Anything" thus sets the tone for the record; a distinct and singular vision of adulthood, Chin Up Chin Up is all post-pubescent heartache and broken barstools. The album searches for beauty in places where no beauty exist and as the album closes with "Trophies For Hire", you can literally feel the mileage of looking for too much, in a land where there is too little. Recorded by Brian Deck (Modest Mouse) at his Engine Studios, the tracks are a joyful mix of shifting dynamics, stuttering riffs, and buoyant arrangements all held together by Bolen's scratched up discourse on breasts, beavers and Minnesota.
Here we are, in 2011, again approaching the simple, understated perfection that marks the music of Cotton Jones. Yes, Michael Nau and Whitney McGraw have recorded some new songs ? four of them, to be exact ? that fall sonically between the duo's last album, "Tall Hours In the Glowstream," and their next... The new EP is titled, "Sit Beside Your Vegetables." It's a digital-only valentine ? with a February 22nd release date! These are the sounds to herald spring, to call your friends along outside, racing the warmer weather...
Cotton Jones “Tall Hours In the Glowstream” marks an exciting new chapter in the bands young career. While “Paranoid Cocoon” found the band lending itself to the occasional lengthy jam, Tall Hours? finds Cotton Jones reigning in the songs, for a more succinct pop feel. The resulting sounds are rich and charmingly lo-fi, full of vivid imagery, gorgeous vocal harmonies and makes “Tall Hours in The Glowstream” the band’s most accessible album yet.
Paranoid Cocoon is an album full of quiet, wooden psychedelia reflecting Cotton Jones' casual pursuit of comfort and freedom. Under the mountains of Cumberland, Maryland, where creeks zigzag in the lonesome dark of the forest and a red moon hangs overhead, these songs were born of leaving, of dreams both good and bad, sung from surroundings the band has known their whole lives. Paranoid Cocoon is simple, understated perfection: they sound timeless from singing together forever.
Just one year ago, Crystal Skulls released their debut, "Blocked Numbers," to enthusiastic praise from critics, along with a warm and welcoming embrace from lovers of pop music. Listeners discovered a band touting smart and stylish songs nestled comfortably into the folds and corners of various timeframes and musical movements. The band toured heavily supporting the Wedding Present, Black Mountain and Headphones winning fans as they cris-crossed the nation.
Crooner Christian Wargo along with bandmates Yuuki Matthews, Ryan Phillips, and Casey Foubert delivered a thoughtful, eloquent, and singular record. With a bite of George Harrison's guitar and a nip at Sterolab's rhythms, "Blocked Numbers" was a true pop pleasure with enough meat to keep fans well fed for decades to come.
But Crystal Skulls don't fuck around and a mere 12 months after "Blocked Numbers" their second full-length album, "Outgoing Behavior," finds the band forging full steam ahead. Channeling a cocky hint of Meat Is Murder era-Smiths and sitting on a treasure chest of songs that Todd Rungren would gladly "drop trou" for, the band has carved a distinct niche in the vibrant Pacific Northwest climate.
The debut full length "Blocked Numbers" introduces Seattle's Crystal Skulls. The album takes a snapshot of a band less than one year in the making, a preserved document of smart and stylish indie-pop music. Built on the strikingly mature singing and songwriting of frontman Christian Wargo, the group's sound is made whole by the dead-on instincts of his bandmates (Yuuki Matthews on bass guitar, Ryan Phillips on guitar and keyboard, Casey Foubert on drums). Recorded and produced at home by the Skulls, "Blocked Numbers" presents a wholly satisfying batch of songs undeniably refreshing yet immediately familiar.
Newly reborn out of the Ascetic House art collective, Destruction Unit emerges with “Two Strong Hits," a 7" single that will stick in your head for weeks, more and more echoed until you no longer hear it -- you LIVE it. It is organized, driving chaos, determined to break everything loose and free everybody from their imaginary prisons and phony leaders. In just under eight minutes, Destruction Unit's sonic repetition, feedback experimentation and pummeling drums make for two songs that go off like a machine gun in the trenches of your psyche, all without a note feeling out of place. This 7” is limited to 750 copies as well as being available digitally worldwide.
It's time to announce another installment in Suicide Squeeze's ongoing series of select 7-inch EPs. Dirty Beaches! Yeah, it's an easy leap to guess this would be a proper summer release. But, if you're already familiar with Alex Zhang Hungtai's music, you know it's got a special connection to the end of that season, and the beginning of autumn. And if not, this EP will offer a perfect introduction. The lead track "Lone Runner," is simple perfection: Handclaps lead off a vocal style locked in with both Nick Cave and Elvis, yet totally his own. A song that may drag you by hand to a place you've never been. And then you got "Stye Eye," on the flip: A stomping anthem with an insistent grind that seems to sway and swing, gaining in intensity as the track progresses. This release - like all in SSR's 7-inch series - is limited. 750 copies will be available worldwide (250 clear vinyl, 500 black). Both will come with a download coupon.
Eating Out is the crunchy, distorted, pop-oriented project of Nü Sensae drummer Daniel Pitout. The big distorted guitar riffs and heartfelt melodies of Pitout’s brainchild are a notable departure from Nü Sensae’s roaring assault. But Eating Out also has the proud distinction of being a Vancouver supergroup of sorts. While Pitout assumes the songwriting duties and the accompanying positions of guitarist and vocalist, fellow Sensae Brody McKnight rounds out the guitar department, White Lung vocalist Mish Way lends her bass skills, and Peace’s Geoff Dembicki fills in on drums. While vestiges of Nü Sensae’s brash tonalities, White Lung’s melodic treatment of hardcore, and Peace’s bold anglophile pop can all be heard in Eating Out, Pitout’s songs owe more to girl-grunge groups of the early nineties than to any of his co-conspirators’ primary projects.
Eugene Mirman is “always sharp and hilarious” (The Onion). A degree holder in “Comedy” from Hampshire College, this New York City favorite is a frequent guest on television shows such as Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central’s Premium Blend, NBC’s Late Friday, and more. This two-disc set includes a CD recorded in New York (Pianos) and Boston (the Middle East) and a DVD featuring cult hit videos “Gun,” “Art,” “Pot” and “Backdraft II.” This very special release features liner notes written by Eugene’s friend and co-conspirator David Cross.
Goon Moon is the spooky and dirgy alignment of a sorted and celebrated bunch. The band features Twiggy Ramirez of Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails, Zach Hill of Hella and Death Grips, and Chris Goss from Masters of Reality, and concocts a startling bitches brew of outsider prog experimentalism and thrown back and twisted stoner jams in the tradition of no one.
Headphones is the new band featuring David Bazan (Pedro the Lion), Tim Walsh (Pedro the Lion, TW Walsh), and Frank Lenz. The self-titled album was engineered and mixed by Jared Hankins in Seattle in the early days of 2005. The band’s debut is built wholly from synthesizers (no guitars!), live drums, and the familiar warmth of Bazan’s syrupy vocal delivery. Headphones kindly tips their hat to modern stalwarts like Depeche Mode, The Flaming Lips, Kraftwerk, and Radiohead who seamlessly integrated electronics into the fabric of rock and pop music. But here, Bazan and company defy easy assumptions about music made electronically avoiding kitsch and cutesiness, delivering deft arrangements with timeless melodies and uncanny lyrical depth.
Limited to 2,000 copies! Los Angeles quartet HEALTH, seamlessly intertwine a noise rock pastiche with an element of ritualistic drone that is chalk full of raw synth, hauntingly gripping vocals and topped with drums that effortlessly build from monotonous dredging to spastic fills. Pressed on Translucent Blue vinyl.
The magic of Hella grows more mystifying and thrilling on this split personality offering. Zach Hill’s “Church Gone Wild” delivers a dark and menacing onslaught of aggression and guts (and vocals!), while Spencer Seim’s “Chirpin Hard” brings out a lighthearted but wholly technical and equally impressive spattering of pop and punk melded in the hotpot of the computer and video game age.
Sacramento’s noise rock heroes Hella follow in a long tradition (from Captain Beefheart to Don Caballero to Trans Am to Lightning Bolt) of music-making madness with their experimental blister rock. Abstract, chaotic, undeniably original?but make not mistake: Hella are fully in control. They know where they’re going, and they want to take you with them.
Hint Hint jerk their way through darkened melodies like a timed musical seizure. They layer haunting keyboard patches over robotic stops and starts and make taut guitars crash into propulsive drums. This is the sound of man shaking to the machine! Dance anthems for mischievous actions in the corner of the room.
Moody Motorcycle by Human Highway presents a sound reminiscent to that of 50's / 60's soul and doo-wop (i.e. the Everly Brothers); created by Islands member Nick Thorburn and Jim Guthrie.
While the world waits for King Tuff to whip out another full-length dose of righteous tunes, they can find temporary satiation with the two-song Wild Desire 7” on Suicide Squeeze. Both the title track and B-side “Hole In My Head” revel in the sound of guitar jangle and unmitigated stokedness cranked into the red. The vinyl version is limited to 750 (250 coke bottle clear, 500 black vinyl) copies worldwide.
Seattle quartet La Luz immediately brings to mind the girl groups of the ‘50s and ‘60s. The immaculate four-part harmonies, the luscious layers of reverb, the occasional choreographed dance move, even the band’s penchant for oldies-style artwork—it all conjures images of beehived ladies singing sweetly on grainy black-and-white television. But give the new “Brainwash b/w T.V. Dream” single a spin and try to pin down a specific reference point from the past. You can’t. The dexterous but economic keyboard lines of Alice Sandhal and the stripped-down groove laid down by the rhythm section of Abbey Blackwell and Marian Li Pino don’t fit in with wall-of-sound icons like The Crystals or The Ronettes. The nimble surf rock twang of guitarist Shana Cleveland is at odds with classic Motown groups like The Marvelettes or The Supremes. Yes, the doo-wop nostalgia is certainly there, but the manufactured glamour and studio sheen is absent. “Brainwash b/w T.V. Dream” is available worldwide both digitally and as a 7” on translucent yellow/gold vinyl with a download coupon.
Meat Market offers up two new songs via Suicide Squeeze. “Too Tired” perfectly encapsulates their sound: a marriage of propulsive Stratocaster riffs with a big catchy chorus. B-side “The Return of Prince Donathunn” is an even stronger nod to the wave-riding instrumental groups of the ‘60s, with the steady 4/4 beat and dueling guitar leads belying the bands outspoken apathy towards surfing.