Letting Up Despite Great Faults – ‘Wrapped’

letting up despite great faults - neon

Letting Up Despite Great Faults have premiered their latest single ‘Wrapped’ over at Under The Radar. The Texas foursome released their dream pop debut in 2009, followed by the ‘Paper Crush’ EP in 2011 – remember ‘Teenage Tide‘? However, their newer material sounds far more synth pop focused. We’ll find out more when ‘Neon‘ is released on August 12.

 
Letting Up Despite Great Faults – ‘Wrapped’

Visit Letting Up Despite Great Faults @ Soundcloud @ Bandcamp @ Facebook.

Whirr – ‘Mumble’

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Graveface Records have dished the news on Whirr‘s second album ‘Sway’, out September 23. Since the release of Whirr’s ‘Around’ EP, the band have toured extensively while making a sport of social media confrontations. That’s putting it diplomatically! Now the five piece are split between coasts, Nick Bassett in Philly, while the remainder are in Oakland. The lead single ‘Mumble’ is just a short blast of what’s to come. While it only runs at two and a half minutes, it doesn’t lack the kind of progressive song writing that made ‘Around’ so great. Producer Jack Shirley has done a fantastic job containing it all. Pre-orders on colored vinyl, CD, cassette and digital are available here. And lastly, Whirr have also announced Stateside shows this September, details and tickets here.

 
Whirr – ‘Mumble’

Visit Whirr @ Graveface Records @ Facebook.

Highlands – ‘Dark Matter Traveler’

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Long Beach rock act Highlands deliver their second album ‘Dark Matter Traveler‘ on July 15. The four piece share their love of classic Creation Records artists by drenching themselves in reverb and noise, just the way we like it! The result is a dense whirlwind of epic riffs, hushed vocals and psychedelic grooves. And yet Highlands deliver it in such a smooth way. That’s partly due to the relaxed vocal performances which are placed louder in the mix than most records of the genre. In terms of comparisons, it reminded me a little of Nothing’s ‘Guilty Of Everything’ but without the punk edge.

‘Show Me’, ‘Onto You’ and ‘Beauty’ open the album strong, an introduction to the distant sound and sonic swirls throughout. Mid album is ‘Connections’, a monster fit to rock a stadium that draws influence from Brit rockers (a la Ride). Highlands also make good use of vocal harmonies, shown in ‘Your Let Down’. This track also lets fly with an almighty wall of guitars toward the end, one of the highlights… which also scared the s**t outta me (thanks headphones)!

‘Dark Matter Traveler’ is a solid record but could’ve benefited from a little more variation. The audio nerd in me would also like to hear the unmastered version, before the dynamics got smoothed out. That said, this album is a big step up from 2012′s ‘Singularity’. It’s got something for all manner of rock lovers, if you liked the singles then don’t sleep on this. It’s the kind of record that would sound amazing live. If you get the chance, remember to pack your earplugs.

Visit Highlands @ Soundcloud @ Bandcamp @ Facebook.

Highlands - 'Dark Matter Traveler'
Songwriting
Sound & Production
Reverb Rating
PRO'S
  • Big guitar sounds!
  • Great vocal harmonies
CON'S
  • Lacks some variation
3.7Overall Score
Reader Rating: (13 Votes)

Lightfoils – ‘Hierarchy’

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Lightfoils first full length ‘Hierarchy’ arrives this week via Saint Marie (vinyl / digital) and wow what an album! The Chicago-based five piece have taken the time to get it right (since the release of their 2012 debut EP). This is a much more expansive outfit, that was clear from the lead single ‘Diastolic‘.

‘Hierarchy’ shines the spotlight on Jane Zabeth’s vocals which cover a lot of melodic ground. It’s not a straight up shoegaze record but guitarists Neil and Zeeshan create the kind of textural backdrop you’d normally associate with the genre. It’s inventive work, especially on the stand outs ‘Addict’ and ‘Mock Sun’. Together they’ve crafted a mature album, intricate but not over polished. It sits somewhere in dream pop land and should appeal to indie pop/rock lovers in general.

‘Passage’ is a slow motion rocker with lovely warm reverb, the opening is a little reminiscent of The Smiths ‘How Soon Is Now’. It arrives at a point in the album where something different is needed and Lightfoils don’t drop the ball. ‘Track 7 (no title)’ opens with angelic sounds that blend into drone, a perfect interlude for the later half of the LP. ‘Alovetodestroy’ kicks the energy level right back up before rounding out with ‘Hideaway’ and ‘Track 10 (no title)’. It’s a great mix of energy levels and breaks for air, an album in the traditional sense. If you’re a fan of big swooning vocals and guitar haze then ‘Hierarchy’ is a no-brainer, one of the better dream pop/shoegaze records of the year so far.
 
Lightfoils – ‘Hierarchy’

Visit Lightfoils @ Saint Marie Records @ Bandcamp @ Soundcloud @ Facebook.

Lightfoils - 'Hierarchy'
Songwriting
Sound & Production
Reverb Rating
PRO'S
  • Diverse LP with wide appeal
  • Loads of melodic dream pop on offer!
3.9Overall Score
Reader Rating: (14 Votes)

LSD And The Search For God – ‘Heaven’

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Believe it or not but LSD And The Search For God have unveiled their new video ‘Heaven’! The California psych meets shoegaze outfit (with more members than I can keep track of) have announced that a new EP is imminent, titled ‘Heaven Is A Place’. It’s been almost a decade since they first formed, and many years since their debut EP. In fact, this video was first announced last July during an interview with The Big Takeover! But LSD And The Search For God haven’t exactly been idle, they’ve played a number of shows throughout 2013. Not to mention previous tours alongside Colm O’Coissoig (My Bloody Valentine), The Telescopes, Nick Jago (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club) and DJs Anton Newcombe (Brian Jonestown Massacre). Hit up Facebook for more updates.

 
LSD And The Search For God – ‘Heaven’

Visit LSD And The Search For God @ Bandcamp @ Facebook.

The Bilinda Butchers Feat. Sarah Psalti – ‘Golden House’

the bilinda butchers - heaven

Sarah Psalti (former vocalist of Keep Shelly In Athens) joins forces with The Bilinda Butchers on ‘Golden House’. It’s the second single from their forthcoming LP ‘Heaven’ (out July 15 via Orchid Tapes (Vinyl) / Fastcut Records (CD) and follows the lead tune ‘Edo Method‘. The trio dip their toes in 80s new wave this time round, with a dash of M83 inspiration for good measure! ‘Heaven’ is likely to cover a lot of ground stylistically, given it’s a concept record. Definitely one to look out for. Pre-order the limited white vinyl here.

 
The Bilinda Butchers Feat. Sarah Psalti – ‘Golden House’

Visit The Bilinda Butchers @ Orchid Tapes @ Bandcamp @ Facebook.