Sunday, April 27, 2014

REVIEW: Landlines - Loserly cassette EP (Grabbing Clouds)

Every so often you hear a band that possesses the perfect ratio of DIY ruggedness to pop accessibility.  Unfortunately, its these sorts of bands that often jump the shark and upset this delicate balance in search of the green pastures of "audience-broadening".  Oftentimes this results in recordings that are too produced and over-thought...the music loses the raw, immediate, quirky elements that attracted you to the band in the first place.  Its an all-too-familiar story, am I right?  Portland's Landlines sound like they're right at that precipice and I hope- not only for their sake but for the sake of their potential devoted DIY fanbase- that they decide not to make the leap just yet.  Their latest, Loserly, is a near perfect EP.  The overall sound is eclectic yet focused, punk yet pop, nonchalant yet heartfelt and its all sewn together with a great home made production sound.  They're music surges forward over minimal changes flanked by chiming guitars, natural-sounding drums and lackadaisical vocals.  The song-writing is on point too...Malkmus level shit.  Its early 90s style filtered through a lo-fi modern garage approach.  Highly recommended!!  Get it here.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

REVIEW: The Monsieurs - Falun Gong (Remix) 12" (Macchio, Black Gladiator, Slovenly Recordings)

Can't get enough of this dude!  If its Andy MacBain's goal to be anointed the new king of trash pop he better polish his crown off soon cuz when this full-length drops so too with the proverbial panties of countless numbers of scuzz heads.  The Monsieurs play unashamedly classic, full-throttle rock n' roll (think Nobunny, Bare Wires) and they does so with and impressive level of mastery/giving-no-fucksery that really hits the spot.  Bubblegum hooks, mind-melting guitar tone, cute girl back up vocals, I mean...c' there more to life than that?  Get it here.

Friday, April 25, 2014

REVIEW: Wishgift - Pretty Jenny/Cream Acres 7" EP (self-released)

Guess where I was last night, gang?  Surprise!  Wally's World!!  (I'm gonna have to start giving those dudes some rent money...geez).  Anywho...caught the tail end of a great show.  Chicago's Wishgift closed out the evening with an extremely impressive and instrumentally superb set.  This band's sound is definitely not the typical WPOM? fare, but it stuck with me enough that the first thing I did today was wake up and type this review (ok...real talk...I actually sent like 7 dick pics out to random cell numbers first, but right after THAT I sat down at my computer).  Their sound is very difficult to classify.  If I were to try I would say "progcore".  Their riffs are wicked, their modalities obtuse, their time-signatures awkward, their breaks stop on a dime and they don't seem to be afraid to weave any sort of musical passage or nuance into any given song at any given moment.  The results are thrilling, delightful and bone-crushing all at once.  If Fugazi listened to nothing but King Crimson for like a year straight they would probably sound a lot like these dudes.  Catch them next time you see them on a bill...they're brutal and a ton-a-fun.  So is this 7".  Get it here.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

REVIEW: Andy California! - The Amazing Andy California! Live at the Bedroom (Macchio)

6 parts Delta Blues and 4 parts Hasil Atkins, Andy California! (aka Andy MacBain - Tunnel of Love, The Monsieurs) gives us the scuzz, snarl and soul we crave.  The entire release is just guitar and vocals.  Every, note and lyric crunches under the heavy weight of distortion and spring reverb as Andy delivers American folk blues with hardly any semblance of modern fusion.  This record is refreshingly straight up and too the point.  Get it here.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

REVIEW: Sick Hyenas S/T cassette (Dumpster Tapes)

After over 2 months Why Pick On Me? is back on the review wagon and we've found the perfect reason to do so.  Chicago's Dumpster Tapes is due to release a full-length from Hamburg's Sick Hyenas.  Its their first U.S. release to date and from the sounds of it they're gonna fit right in here.  In fact I would have never been able to tell these guys were German if it didn't say so on their bandcamp page.  This band brings the sort of trashy, surfy, verb'd out swag that American denim punks will never tire off.  No bass, two guitars, drums and country-twanged vocals fill the band's musical space artfully with no-frills arrangements and a tasteful application of pedal effects and timbre.  Sure...they're following the Black Lipsian formula, but they're doing it extremely well.  In short: deez Hyenas iz sick, son.  Get it (on May 1st) here.