Tag Archives: Alternative

Introducing…Mall Walk

Though just starting less than a year ago, the upcoming Mall Walk EP reveals the band to already be compulsively listenable and exceptionally sophisticated. Just a few months after the band’s inception, the trio started working with producer-engineer Monte Vallier (Weekend, The Soft Moon, Terry Malts) at San Francisco’s Ruminator Audio Studio to create an EP that is alternately infectious and gritty, spare and expansive, world-weary and inspired. The collaborative self-titled Mall Walk EP will be released tomorrow (October 14) via singer-guitarist Rob I. Miller’s small label Vacant Stare Records. My Old Kentucky Blog premiered the first track, Teen Missing.

Drummer Nicholas Clark and bassist Daniel Brown represent the muscle behind the EP, whereas Miller takes a deliberately restrained, tactical approach to guitar playing. On Teen Missing, the cyclical exchange between bass and drums promises something surfy and rollicking, only for the song to conclude with two minutes of anarchic guitar that subverts expectations considerably. With Treadmill, the band constructs a huge, immersive space with as little as possible while Miller describes life as a boring slog through semi-comical disappointments. Yet the repeated refrain, Life is just grand, I know, conceivably becomes less sarcastic as the band finds release within the song’s repetitive phrasing. The track that best represents Mall Walk’s maturity, the concluding Pales in Comparison possesses a simplicity and apparent effortlessness you typically expect from a band that is many, many years old.

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Whilk & Misky Release Video For Clap Your Hands And Announce Their Second Single, Darkhands

Welcome to the hazy world of London’s Nima and Charlie AKA Whilk & Misky.

Nima likes cold industrial techno whilst Charlie likes angst infused soul which places them in a mystical highway somewhere between Chet Faker and Flume.

From a chance meeting at a restaurant where Charlie was working to posting demos online to finally causing a budding war between a gaggle of labels – the duo have just glazed the finishing touches over the debut EP, The First Sip.

Following their Next Hype kudos from Zane Lowe for their debut single Clap Your Hands and the release of its sublime Miami-backlit video last week, Whilk & Miksy have now revealed the next track from the EP – the stripped back deep-electronica slab that is Darklands. The track first surfaced online last year as a demo and now the final edit can be heard for the first time.

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Introducing…The Dirty Jacks

Following up on recent buzz generated in the live arena, Maryland-based alt/prog outfit The Dirty Jacks are gearing up to release their latest studio EP, All Part of the Plan.

The technically skilled quintet of Colin Ball (lead vocals, guitar), Billy Rommal (lead guitar), Bobby Scott (bass, vocals), Erik Hildebrant (drums) and Ian Hildebrant (keys, vocals) came together after various jam sessions inspired by acts like Mute Math, Tool and Minus the Bear. Tirelessly touring and working on their sound, The Dirty Jacks have evolved towards more dynamic song compositions including three part harmonies and complex rhythms.

Along with their internal build, the band has grown out on the road playing some of Maryland’s largest venues including The Fillmore, Jammin Java, The Recher Theatre and Rams Head Live. Their success on tour includes winning the 2012 Washington Auto Show’s Battle of the Bands and Jammin’ Java’s Mid-Atlantic Band Battle Six leading to The Dirty Jacks being voted band of the month, April 2012, on The Deli Magazine. With these accolades in the rearview, the appropriately titled All Part of the Plan EP will look to continue The Dirty Jacks’ steady rise when it’s released later this fall.

For now though, they have revealed their latest single, From The Ashes To Attack which you can hear here.

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Introducing…Stroamata

With backgrounds in music and performance ranging from self-taught to classical and theater to conservatory training, Stroamata translate their skills into an edgy sound. Stroamata has been coming into their own and absorbing new vibes and inspirations since their start in 2008. Originally backing MCs and performing as a triphop/psychedelic soul band in Boston, MA, Stroamata delved into writing original material with an indie rock edge when Dorothy (Dara) Eagle (lead vocals, rhythm guitar) joined Robert (Rob) Morrison (lead guitar, vocals), Akil Marshall (bass) and Alexander Markowitz (drums/backing vocals).

After releasing their EP The Phoenix in 2010, the quartet made the move to New York in 2011, continuing to gig heavily at notable venues such as The Bowery Electric (NY), TT the Bear’s (Boston) and Church (Boston). Stroamata began releasing monthly singles starting in 2012, catching the attention of fans and press alike, receiving an  Honorable Mention on Adam’s World Blog for “Best Live Band 2013” and taking the title as Harpoon Brewery’s “Best Unfiltered Band.” The future holds an upward trajectory as Stroamata continues to innovate their sound and audiences revel in the band’s newest single, Get You Good.

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The Physics House Band Produce Soundtrack For Original Gangster Film, Mafia

Following their debut release Horizons/Rapture via Blood & Biscuits last year, Brighton psychedelic math-rock three piece The Physics House Band have scored the whole production of Mafia, a play by Sleeping Trees which was performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival tonight.

The Physics House Band

The Physics House Band

Mafia was previously showcased with two sold out performances, one as part of Brighton Fringe Festival and a separate London performance.

The Physics House Band are a progressive jazz-fusion band based in Brighton. Their latest record Horizons/Rapture catapulted them to success. The band have recently returned from a whirlwind European tour and Mafia is their first experience of creating theatre.

Sleeping Trees have been making work for the past four years, creating hilarious re-tellings of classic stories without bothering to reread them. They are currently performing The Sleeping Trees Treelogy in Pleasance Below at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

The two trios have known each other for over ten years and, having found individual success in theatre and music, are excited to join forces to celebrate a film genre they love. They wanted to see what would happen when you put a live score into a comedy theatre show. The result is a hilarious, action packed 50-minutes complete with live sound effects, lashings of hair gel and plenty of Marlon Brando impersonations.

Part gig, part comedy show, Sleeping Trees and The Physics House Band combine to make a truly unique show.

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Introducing…Foxsmith

Foxsmith have recently revealed their latest single, Pentimento.

Foxsmith

Foxsmith

Recorded and mixed by producer Yanto Browning (The Medics, Tara Simmons, The Jungle Giants), this second offering from the four-piece is laden with lush melodies, beginning quite intimately before snapping into catchy guitar and synth hooks. Stirring yet comforting, Pentimento explores existentialism and follows the bands new direction into darker, shimmering soundscapes and grooves.

The track is a greatly anticipated follow up to their first single Wake Up which was well-received, gaining airplay on local and online radio stations including Triple J Unearthed, 3RRR and 4ZZZ, where it was added to rotation and remained in 4ZZZ’s Top 10 for over a month in December/January. The video clip for Wake Up was premiered online through Groupie Magazine and featured on local and international music blogs including Mess+Noise, City & Sound and Ground Sound LA to name a few.

Accompanying their new track is an animation by local Brisbane artist Seana Seeto who takes the viewer through many worlds following the journey of a blob-shaped protagonist, a harbinger of mishaps. For the release of this new single and animation clip, Foxsmith are hosting a collaborative arts event featuring local Brisbane bands and an artshow on Saturday 16 August at The Zoo in Brisbane.

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To Rococo Rot – Instrument Album Review

Over the course of 18 years, Berlin-Duesseldorf trio To Rococo Rot have carved an identifiable niche for themselves and one which has crossed a variety of styles; neither wholly in the realms of ambient or pure electronics. The late 1990s albums of Veiculo and The Amateur View brought their fundamental and innovative landscapes of sound to the fore while 2001’s collaboration with I-Sound, Music is a Hungry Ghost, showed their ability to blend disparate influences into something cohesive. Remixed by Four Tet and Daniel Miller and heralded by the likes of Modeselektor, their influence extends as far as their unique approach deserves.

To Rococo Rot

To Rococo Rot Instrument artwork

The music of brothers Robert and Ronald Lippok and Stefan Schneider has always existed in its own world and Instrument is a landmark album for the group. The serenely soft melodies of No Wave pioneer Arto Lindsay (Lounge Lizards/Ambitious Lovers/DNA) adorn three tracks, offering up a new perspective. Though melodies have always been a big part of their sound, the inclusion of a human voice is a distinctive modification making it the most accessible introduction to their world of diverse electronics and experimentation.

Instrument starts with the single release, Many Descriptions, one of the three tracks on the record that features vocals while the latest single release, Classify, features later on the album.

Next comes Besides with its calming and ambient tones. This song has all those things that allow it to be the sort of background music everyone should have in their lives.

Down In The Traffic appears next with its jazz inspired ambience. The drum beat is heavily influenced by jazz and the whole song is mesmerising and interesting yet soothing. The melody is repetitive but it never becomes boring – there are so many other layers to this track that are brought in gradually which builds the song and allows it to expand and breathe, give it that pulsating effect. Similarly, Baritone has the same feel to it; it’s jazz with a distinct twist. In the background, there’s a synth used which creates the effect of distorted human voices. If you listen really carefully, it sounds like people talking in atmospheric places like cafes and coffee shops giving it that very real feel. There’s a sense of sophistication in this track – you imagine that those indecipherable conversations are of philosophy and poetry.

The last track on the album, Longest Escalator In The World is a little bit John Martyn influences on tracks of his such as Small Hours. It’s incredibly unusual and heavily synth based which all makes it entirely atmospheric and indulgent. There’s the recognisable spontaneous guitar twangs, lingering synths and randomness that make this song feel like Small Hours. There are also world influences heard in the drumming introducing a whole other level to Longest Escalator In The World.

Instrument may be a To Rococo Rot record unlike any other – and one that treads unfamiliar ground – but it also represents a return to the beginning. Instrument is out now via City Slang.

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