Friday, January 24, 2014

REVIEW: Holy Wave - Relax (Reverberation Appreciation Society)

I haven't been able to hear the whole album yet, but the song "Star Stamp" on the latest LP by Holy Wave on Reverb Appreciation Society (Austin Psych Fest's record label) explores the big and beautiful side of modern psych.  Organs meander, guitars jangle, bass and drums plod away while the vocals echo throughout the track's murky space.  Its the kind of song that makes me want to put on a tailored suit, Beatle boots and over-sized sunglasses, let my hair fall over my face and dance with myself.  Get it here.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

DOUBLE WPOM? RELEASE: Why Pick On Me? Mixtape Vol. 2 + Son of a Gun - Take EP

WPOM? - 006 - Why Pick On Me? Mixtape Vol. 2

Oh yeah!  That's right!  We got two brand spankin' new tapes for you bruisers and we're thoroughly stoked!!!  First up we have our latest compilation...Why Pick On Me? Mixtape Vol. 2.  Touting an international line-up of some of the baddest DIY bands around, its a no-brainer (as in it will completely melt your brain).  The tape features tracks from The Yolks (Chicago), The Raw Nerves (New Zealand), ScotDrakula (Australia), Primitive Hearts (Oakland), Slushy (Chicago), Native America (New Orleans), 2 Ton Bug (NYC), Los Cripis (Argentina), Catholic Spray (France), The Sueves (Chicago), The Bingers (Chicago), Vaguess (CA), The Sulphur Lights (Australia), Make Overs (South Africa). Get it here.

WPOM? - 007 - Son of a Gun - Take EP

We're proud to offer up yet another release by one of our favorite Chicago bands....Son of a Gun!  The first tape we put out was basically just Garrett playing and recording everything (which was freakin' sweet), but this latest EP is cool cuz it features a full band with Sammy and Chris helping out on the rhythm section.  These tunes are ferocious and damn catchy so you better snatch one up before this limited edition sells out.  Get it here.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

REVIEW: Faux Ferocious - Right on Track b/w Vicious Grin digital single (self-released)

I'm way late on this one, but here's a sick digital single from Nashville's Faux Ferocious.  Their name is sort of a misnomer cuz this band actually is ferocious.  They've got a driving garage sound with some Chuck Berry licks sprinkled over the top.  Its a great blend of the old and the new.  I think we're due for another release from these dudes (to be fair I have done ZERO research on whether they actually have a new release out or not, but this is the last one on the band's bandcamp page).  Rumor has it they're playing in Chicago at Wally's World on 2/6.  I'll be there.  Get it here.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

REVIEW: Primitive Parts - Open Heads b/w Signals 7" (Sexbeat)

Here's a band with a sound that's fresh and familiar at the same time (at least to my ears).  Primitive Part's latest, a 7" out on London's Sexbeat Records, has a driving sound that's tough with an irresistible pop sensibility.  Their tune "Open Heads" will certainly draw more than a few comparisons to The Velvet Underground however they pull it of with a natural immediacy that dispels any notions of it being merely an homage or tribute.  I'm very excited to hear more from these Brits.  Get it here.

REVIEW: Today's Hits - Today's 2013 Hits digital release (Burger)

So you like Todays Hits, but you've been struggling to keep up with front-man James Swanbergs's relentless prolific-ness?  Fear not, last years best of T.H. has been whittled down to a mere 50 tracks and is available on Burger Record's bandcamp page.  For those who aren't hip to the band's sound will immediately notice the uniformity of style (both the songwriting and the production value).  James's formulaic approach "hits" the mark more often than not though.  That is, of course, if you're into sugary sweet, lo-fi, acoustic, catchy-as-fuck, doo-wop music...which everyone pretty much is.  Get it here.

Monday, January 13, 2014

REVIEW: Verma - Coltan LP (Touble In Mind, Notes and Bolts)

Sometimes I'm asleep at the wheel and miss out on cool shit when its released....even when its right under my nose.  Verma's Coltan LP is one such release.  This Chicago band embodies the spirit of what I consider "new psychedelia".  Their sound is expansive, pensive, introspective, often dissonant, layered with texture and featuring long track times.  The latter certainly applies to this LP.  Its only got 2 tracks that clock in at around 20 minutes a pop.  I gotta be honest, if I was in your shoes and had just read that last sentence I would say to myself "oh, you mean its boring?"  In most cases I'd be right.  Coltan, however is so skillfully executed and sonically interesting that it is the exception to my "longer=boring" rule.  Its definitely a record that you gotta strap in for, but I think its worth the 40 minutes out of your day to do so.  I also like this band for the fact that they sound truly psychedelic and not just "weird" or "experimental".  Verma really make you believe that this music was created while on peyote out in a desert somewhere. It's like...far out, man.  If you're a fan of the more post-rockish Talk Talk records you'll probably dig this too.  Get it here.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

OLD SHIT: TONETTA (Black Tent Press)

The existence of this amazing artist came to my attention today via a facebook post from Florida's Dying/Total Punk's Rich Aroma.  TONETTA (aka Tony Jeffrey) is 63-year old Canadian man that makes some of the most amazing "homemade music" that I've ever heard.  His lo-fi sound is achieved via fuzzy guitars, synths, drum machines, his unique form of Gainsbourg-esque crooning and it's all wrapped up in a blown-out, analog bow.  His video's are delightfully low budget and usually feature the elderly Canuck dancing provocatively, brandishing a guitar, wearing stocking on his head  or little else except bikini underwear.  Its the sort of music/visuals that Hunx wishes he could create.  I usually steer clear of the electropop on WPOM? but I made a special exception in TONETTA's case.  These recordings are nothing short of incredible.  The song-writing, the sound, the 100% genuineness with which it is delivered...this dude is the real deal.  Get his whole catalog (at least what's left of it) from Black Tent Press here.

REVIEW: Volage - MADDIE EP (Howlin Banana)

Here's some top notch garage out on France's Howlin Banana Records.  Volage (Paris, FRA) offer up their latest, MADDIE- an EP that explores most facets of what one would label "garage rock".  From fun, party music to brain crushing psychedelia to sweet pop to quirky acoustic jams.  In this regard I think they share lot in common with The Black Lips- the band that has blazed the trail of garage eclecticism for so many young bands that have come up in the last few years.  However, Volage are not merely a French knock-off...far from it.  They bring their own unique melodic sensibility to the table and demonstrate a keen aptitude for arranging use of tones.  Also, I give top marks to the person(s) who recorded and mixed this record.  Good shit.  Can't wait to hear more from this band.  Get it here.

Friday, January 10, 2014

REVIEW: mtvghosts - Dystopio EP (self-released, Notes & Bolts)

by Steve Wichelecki

Harmonies, hooks and romantic peril abound on mtvghosts' Dystopio EP, a six-song offering out of Chicago that spills forth its delicious sonic nectar in a style that's '80s synth pop meets a more contemporary FM-friendly pop rock. Sugary melodies and massaging harmonies leap from a beautifully complex web of jaunty guitars, deftly applied synthesizer and a rhythm section taken straight out of '80s new wave. Thematically, the record seems to cohesively chronicle a doomed infatuation, one that goes from crushing on the girl to becoming a crash-and-burn spurned suitor. The Dream Girl is a powerful muse, and these songs are just the vehicle to tell that story.

Dystopio is available through the band's bandcamp and will be out on vinyl via Notes & Bolts Records and Tapes. Get it here.

REVIEW: Panda Kid - Summetry LP (Already Dead)

We did a review of Panda Kid's (Santa Monica) video for "Daltronic Eyes" a little while back and now the band is set to release a full LP on Chicago's prolific Already Dead Tapes...a label I regrettably was not familiar with until today, but who nonetheless have over 100 releases to date (I gotta get with it).  Summetry is blend of low-key punk, 60s psych/garage and what the group's bandcamp describes as "tropical beats".  The entire album has a irresistible quirkiness that is offset by a shrewd pop sensibility.  The result is a record that takes chances yet sounds familiar and easy-going.  A winning combo in my book.  I can already tell this one is a contender for WPOM?'s best of 2014.  Get it here.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

REVIEW: Big Black Cloud - Black Friday (Eolian Empire)

Whoa!  What the heck is this??  Portland's Big Black Cloud occupy a strange music universe caught somewhere between punk, doom metal and like...I dunno...Captain Beefheart?  Anyways, if I caught your attention with that last sentence then these guys are probably worth a listen.  This band is incredibly tight and impeccably produced (they let the filth come from their tone and their arrangements as opposed to the recording technique).  I must say upon listening to the entire LP all the way through I feel somewhat disoriented, but I like it...Like going to a Lars Von Trier film or something.  This is definitely not a band for the faint-eared, but if you feel like gettin' a little obtuse whist banging your head resolutely crank this bitch up and blow your brains out!  Get it here.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

REVIEW: Bad Trouble - Lack of Funs 7" (Fone Records)

Here's some sick punk rock n' roll out of Akron, OH.  Bad Trouble take things back to first wave basics playing simple tunes delivered with fast-paced energy and production that's just the right amount of dirty.  This four-song 7" released on Fone Records (also out of Akron) delivers the goods via filthy guitar tone, snotty vocals and frantic rhythms.  Its the perfect soundtrack for spitting up in the air and catching it in your mouth.  Get it here.

REVIEW: Fat White Family / Taman Shud split 10" (Trash Mouth)

This is weird.  Its two bands weirdering you the fuck out.  Do you like The Butthole Surfers?  Fat White Family's side is weird.  Taman Shud's side is weird.  Its weird, okay?  Weird in a good way.  Check out the weird cover art.  Get weird.  Get it here.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

REVIEW: The Young Sinclairs - Engineer Man b/w Problems 7" (Market Square)

This latest 7" by The Young Sinclairs is a near perfect recreation of the early Who sound.  Complete with interesting falsetto-ridden backup vocals and frantic-in-the-pocket drumming.  The only thing that gives them away is the only-slightly-more-modern production value.  The songs are fantastic and embody the early British invasion sound...a time when so many bands were decidedly modern and forwarding thinking yet nostalgic for an era long gone.  I, for one, am nostalgic for those days and wholly endorse bands like The Young Sinclairs that strive to make it relevant and modern once again (and do it well).  But timeless shit is always modern by its very definition, right?  So what are we waiting for?  Unfortunately, the vinyl is all gone but there's plenty-o-digital to go around. Get it here.

Friday, January 3, 2014

REVIEW: Massenger - Girl Glass EP (self-released)

Massenger's lead singer, Sasha Green, is least she sounds tough...either way I wouldn't mess with her.  This EP, recorded at Abbey Road West in Los Angeles (never knew there was such a place), blasts out of the speakers with beautifully mixed/mastered sound.  Don't let that fool you though...this record kitty still has claws.  Massenger has a great knack for putting together songs that are simple yet still interesting.  All the while the rhythms plod away, the bled-out guitar tone fills all the gaps and Sasha's tough-girl growlings float over the top of everything.  Its a similar dynamic to Cincinnati's Tweens (I know, I know...I'll stop comparing every band to Tweens...but...I like Tweens).  Overall this is a very impressive release...well worth your time.  Get it here.

REVIEW: The Love Triangle - Clever Clever 12" (Static Shock, Sorry State)

Wow!!  Cool, vintage UK punk sounds abound on this Oct 2013 release by The Love Triangle.  The songs are fast, clean and full of hooks with some noisy tweeking thrown in for good measure.  This album really sounds like it could have come out in the late 70s/early 80s.  The drums are tight, the guitar is concise with just a little bit of crunch and the bass has a ballsy, rubberband tone.  I really wanna see these dudes live now!  Get it here or here.

REVIEW: The Yolks - Two Dollars Out The Door b/w Pretty Thing 7" (Randy)

Chicago's favorite frat-punk band, The Yolks, are back and better than ever!  Their latest single, out on Randy Records, gives you a taste of this band's dual nature.  The A-side is a rippin' pop-punk jam about girls, beer and partying with an infectious refrain that begs the ultimate question "why do birds sing so gay?"  The world may never know, but who cares?..this song kicks ass.  The flip side is a lo-fi, scatchy, garage punk cover of Bo Diddley's "Pretty Thing".  Add buying this 7" to your 2014 resolutions list.  I expect to be working both of these jams into my next DJ set in between "The Rats Revenge" (The Rats) and "Paper Dolls" (The Nerves).  Get it here.