Eternal Summers are readying their third record ‘The Drop Beneath’ (out via Kanine on March 4). The lead single ‘Gouge‘ received a lot of praise, and yesterday the second serving ‘Never Enough’ was premiered at COS (pre-order at Pledge Music). So far the trio’s singles are sounding a little less hazy and shoegazey than their 2012 LP ‘Correct Behavior’ but still with a 90s bent. It’s working for them, it’s sounding fresh. Meanwhile, Total Slacker’s ‘Slip Away’ LP has been given a battering this week for being a 90s throwback. It’s a tough line to walk but I can’t judge, my head is so far up the arse of the 90s it’d be like throwing stones in the dark! *grin*
Eternal Summers – ‘Never Enough’
Visit Eternal Summers @ Kanine Records @ Facebook.
‘All Right‘ is the latest single from San Francisco’s Balms, taken from the trio’s forthcoming EP (due this Spring). Balms once again weave their melodies in a casual fashion, which will appeal to fans of lo-fi slacker rock and shoegaze alike. The release follows a string of new tunes including ‘Surface / Over My Head‘ and ‘Sidewalk / Grave‘.
Balms – ‘All Right’
Visit Balms @ Bandcamp @ Soundcloud @ Facebook.
Omega Vague returns with his fifth album, the self-titled full length is available now at Bandcamp featuring the opener ‘Release’. It’s the work of Connecticut-based multi-instrumentalist Craig Douglas, who recorded the album during a difficult 2013. The depths are evident, this is a dark and ambient collection that rarely breaks for light – stream the rest here.
Omega Vague – ‘Release’
Trances, acid dropping and ESP connections, there’s a lot of stories floating around about The Casket Girls. Whether you believe they met in a Savannah field with an autoharp is irrelevant, turning it all into a great album is what matters. And this week we find out, The Casket Girls second album ‘True Love Kills The Fairy Tale’ is released February 11 through Graveface Records (shop or stream via COS). The electronic dream pop trio (sisters Phaedra and Else Greene with Ryan Graveface) have opened themselves up to a larger audience since their 2012 debut ‘Sleepwalking’. It’s a more controlled album and far more pop, built upon the lush vocal choruses of Phaedra and Else. Ryan’s well polished production work takes a backseat. At times they work well together, but occasionally the vocals feel displaced, like they could be placed over a different musical backing entirely. Perhaps this is the feel they were after. But it makes for a mixed experience, that said, stand outs ‘Holding You Back’, ‘Day To Day’ and ‘Same Side’ hold it above water.
The Casket Girls – ‘Holding You Back’
Visit The Casket Girls online @ Graveface Records @ Facebook.
Brisbane-based shoegazers Roku Music have posted their second single ‘Reflector‘ from the forthcoming LP ‘Collider’ (out March 3 via Sonic Masala Records). Grab a free download via the Triple J Unearthed website here. Needless to say ‘Reflector’ is an exciting track, it sounds like it’s been squashed, pushed and pulled and then run through a blender. If you missed the lead title track, have a listen here.
Roku Music – ‘Reflector’
‘Sun Structures’ has been a long time coming but the Brit rockers officially release it this week via Heavenly/Fat Possum. For fans, the singles ‘Shelter Song’ and ‘Colours To Life’ are already well lived in and a familiar live staple. Along with early EP cuts like ‘The Golden Throne’ that were reworked for the LP. Despite its late arrival ‘Sun Structures’ isn’t lacking punchy melodies or groovy rhythms. As far as psych rock revivals go, it doesn’t get much better. Temples have the songs to back it up… and the afros!
Temples – ‘A Question Isn’t Answered’
There’s head nods to the 60s and 70s all over this, which may repulse some but for those of us that never saw Marc Bolan strut his stuff, it’s a welcome alternative. There’s also a strong Beatles influence, album cut ‘A Question Isn’t Answered’ features Lennon/McCartney inspired vocal harmonies against proggy rock riffs. ‘Sun Structures’ establishes Temples sound but the real challenge is adding something new to the formula next full length. In the meantime, Temples have the best shot of getting psych rock back on the radio amongst a pool of other vintage rock acts.
Visit Temples @ Heavenly Recordings @ Fat Possum @ Facebook.
Treat yourself to the ambient haze of ‘Dancing With A Ghost’, the first public track from Doorbells forthcoming EP ‘Afterlife’ (available from March 4). It’s the work of Ohio native Nic Berlin, who collaborated with producer Adam Korbesmeyer for the EP. Together they recorded ‘Afterlife’ over ten days in Adam’s studio (Whiteout Audio) in Cleveland. During recording, Nic was going through a break up (always a great songwriting catalyst), he explains it was like “feeling as if you were playing hide and seek. I was writing these songs as a form of closure and didn’t want her to hear or see anything I was working on. It was bizarre that I had a secret living in my own home, being with someone for so long and not sharing your art or music with them because it would unsettle them in some way, is daunting.” The emotional tone is evident on ‘Dancing With A Ghost’, Nic’s melodies push through the multi-layered texture of the song, somehow remaining delicate and bold at the same time. If you’re a fan of dreamy jangle pop, this is one to check out!
Doorbells – ‘Dancing With A Ghost’ [Premiere]
Visit Doorbells online @ Soundcloud @ Facebook.
Overdose on Cocteau Twins, Mojave 3, Should, Cleaners From Venus, plus lots of Flying Nun bands and out pops the blissful ‘Emmi’! This is fresh from Austin’s Mini Dresses, pick it up later this year on 7inch through Box Bedroom Rebels. In the meantime, grab a digital copy at Bandcamp or listen to more at Soundcloud.
Mini Dresses – ‘Emmi’
Visit Mini Dresses @ Box Bedroom Rebels @ Soundcloud @ Facebook.
Cheatahs debut self-titled album is out this week *cue tears of joy* via Wichita Recordings (CD/LP, iTunes or stream at Pitchfork Advance). Regular readers will know I’ve spammed written a lot about these guys over the past twelve months, so it’s a relief when an album meets high expectations. With the release of the singles ‘The Swan’, ‘Kenworth’, ‘Cut The Grass’ and ‘Get Tight’, a large portion of the record was already available going in, but the remaining album cuts are no less impressive. The London-based rock act previously released the EP’s ‘Coared’ and ‘Sans’ (available as the ‘Extended Plays’ album) but this is a step up. The four piece put more emphasis on vocal harmonies, and aren’t afraid to make dramatic shifts in their sound to keep it fresh. Album cut ‘Leave To Remain’ is an example of this, where you can hear the multiple stomp boxes being kicked on and off.
Cheatahs – ‘Leave To Remain’
The 90s rock influence is explicit, from the Dinosaur Jr. sounding ‘Northern Exposure’ to the Ride meets MBV feel of ‘Fall’, pretty sure these guys love Swervedriver too! Despite the shoegaze overtones and noisy wash, it’s an upbeat record overall. ‘Cheatahs’ avoids being self-deprecating, it’s got plenty of party pleasers and no doubt is great for the stage.
Cheatahs – ‘IV’
What began eight years ago between frontman Nathan Hewitt and guitarist James Wignall has matured into a strong creative partnership. The Brits (and a Canadian) started recording in a Cornwall cottage before moving to Dropout studios in Camberwell, and they didn’t leave a stone unturned. I’m not sure where Cheatahs can go from here but I’m glad we’ve got this album. A must listen for rock fans. Enough said, I’ll quit gushing!
Cheatahs – ‘Geographic’ [Live At Dropout]
Visit Cheatahs online @ Wichita Recordings @ Facebook.
Dust off your silver jumpsuit and get set for some vintage sci-fi, courtesy of psych/gaze outfit Cull. ‘The Sacred Burial Urn’ is taken from the Sydney foursome’s debut EP ‘Bà Nội‘ (grabbit)! Which is awesome, the only downside is the title is real tricky to type! Apparently it means ‘grandmother’ in Vietnamese. Thanks Google, but you’re probably wrong.
Cull – ‘The Sacred Burial Urn’ [VIDEO]