Cheri Cheri Jaguar – ‘Collapsing Vapor’

cheri-cheri-jaguar-collapsing-vapor-album-cover-artwork

‘Collapsing Vapor’ the debut EP from Cheri Cheri Jaguar is out now via Pillow Talk on Bandcamp / iTunes! Last month we heard the propulsive single ‘Walk/Don’t Walk‘ and now it’s time to delve into the six track EP. The French four piece formed in 2012, and teamed up with Haus Of Pins for their first single ‘Jaguar/Ice’ the following year. This time round, Cheri Cheri Jaguar descended on Brooklyn to record at Strange Weather Studio (DIIV, Teen, The Men, Friends). It’s paid off, the production balances well between studio sparkle and the kind of grit you want in a post punk record.

‘Collapsing Vapor’ captures the live energy of the band, it’s immediate and commanding. This is not background music. Songs like ‘Shosho’ have a timeless punk appeal, almost like you’ve heard it before but it still sounds fresh. With a powerful front woman at the fore, Cheri Cheri Jaguar could be seen as France’s answer to Savages. However, there’s also a new wave influence that adds to the depth of the EP, like the soaring vocal melodies of ‘To Darkness’.

This is a brilliant EP for fans of the genre. Best suited to lovers of the Dum Dum Girls, Savages and September Girls. A small criticism I can make is that the songs ‘Spiel 1 & 2’ feel a little tacked on, they’re instrumental filler that’s not really in the spirit of the EP. Having said that, they’re also little moments of respite between the reverb rocking onslaught! Judge for yourself and stream ‘Collapsing Vapor’ below…
 
Cheri Cheri Jaguar – ‘Collapsing Vapor’ [EP Stream]

Visit Cheri Cheri Jaguar / ‘Collapsing Vapor’ online @ Bandcamp @ iTunes @ Soundcloud @ Facebook.

Cheri Cheri Jaguar – 'Collapsing Vapor'
SONGWRITING
SOUND & PRODUCTION
REVERB RATING
PRO'S
  • Exciting female fronted post punk!
  • Reverb heavy live sound
CON'S
  • 'Spiel 1 & 2' sound like filler
3.8Overall Score
Reader Rating: (16 Votes)

Elastic Sleep – ‘Leave You’

elastic-sleep-leave-you-ep-artwork

Elastic Sleep deliver their debut EP ‘Leave You’ this week, six tracks of sublime dream pop with extra bite. It’s not all whimsical vocal harmonies, there’s plenty of darker, heavier moments to enjoy as well. In fact, it’s really a rock record at heart. It arrives following their first single ‘Anywhere‘ and a cover of Nancy Sinatra’s ‘You Only Live Twice‘.

The five-piece from Cork (Ireland) is a collective of talent pooled from local acts including Grave Lanterns, Une Pipe, Great Balloon Race, Superblondes and Terror Pop (among others). So despite the fact that this is a “debut” EP, it comes from experience. But has it paid off?

Lead single (and EP opener) ‘Leave You‘ is an absolute gem, it sums up everything that’s great about this band. There’s strong guy/girl vocals, interesting song writing, big melodies and a contrast between the dream pop styled verses and the crunchier, shoegazey outbursts. It’s Elastic Sleep’s best song to date and a brilliant start to the EP.

‘I Found Love’ instantly takes you somewhere else, it’s tortured and menacing. It’s a surprise that switches up the mood, this time with male vocals at the fore. This is the trend throughout, rock with male vocal lead, then dream pop with female vocal lead. However, the EP works best when these two approaches come together in one song (as in the single). When they’re split, it’s a little less effective. Personally, I found the female fronted moments more compelling.

‘Deep And Blue’ is a real stand out, with it’s windswept atmosphere and icy, suspenseful opening. It builds and breaks with a cacophony of percussion and reverb heavy vocals. It sounds like its coming from the depths of a castle. It has the beautiful female vocals and the male-centric brute force of ‘Tzar Bomba (No More Tears)’, this contrast makes it engrossing. But overall, it’s a fantastic debut offering. The songs ‘Leave You’ and ‘Deep And Blue’ are worth the price of admission alone. ‘Leave You’ is available on 10inch vinyl and digitally through the UK’s Big Tea Records and Fifa Records (Ireland) from April 28.
 
Elastic Sleep – ‘Leave You’ [EP Stream]

More of Elastic Sleep’s ‘Leave You’ @ Big Tea RecordsBandcamp @ Soundcloud @ Facebook.

Elastic Sleep - 'Leave You'
SONGWRITING
SOUND & PRODUCTION
REVERB RATING
PRO'S
  • 'Leave You' & 'Deep And Blue' Are Amazing
  • Varied styles of Dream Pop and Rock
CON'S
  • Lacks some cohesion
3.7Overall Score
Reader Rating: (11 Votes)

Aerofall – ‘Aerofall’

aerofall-album

Aerofall delivered their self-titled album this month via Hands And Moment and it’s well worth checking out. The Russian shoegaze outfit already impressed with ‘Alien Dance’ and ‘Fear For Everyone‘, thankfully the rest of the record doesn’t disappoint. The five piece don’t rely on face melting noise or in-your-face vocal melodies. That’s not to say there’s not a little of both, but instead the album is a sum of parts. The key being strong song writing which makes ‘Aerofall’ an effortless sounding record.  Perhaps a few curve balls could have been added to mix it up, but that’s a small complaint. Some select album cuts are available to stream below…

 
Aerofall – ‘Aerofall’

Visit Aerofall @ Bandcamp @ Hands And Moment @ Facebook.

Aerofall - 'Aerofall'
Songwriting
Sound & Production
Reverb Rating
PRO'S
  • Brilliant singles
  • Reverb heavy!
CON'S
  • Variation
3.8Overall Score
Reader Rating: (10 Votes)

Thee Oh Sees – ‘Drop’

The Oh Sees

This time last year fans of Thee Oh Sees were salivating over the release of their dark n’ fuzzy LP ‘Floating Coffin’. John Dwyer’s psych rockers were critically praised, with instant love for the lead songs ‘Minotaur’ and ‘Toe Cutter-Thumb Buster’. Less than twelve months on, we have another nine tracks to pour over and review. Dwyer’s own label Castle Face will deliver the new album ‘Drop’ on April 19 (Record Store Day). The initial announcement was a surprise to many given that the band announced a hiatus last December after relocating from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Plus Dwyer’s solo project (Damaged Bug) released a new record in February. After more than fifteen years in the game, Thee Oh Sees aren’t afraid of hard work.

Album opener ‘Penetrating Eye’ is a raucous party starter with over the top rock riffage and a playful vocal delivery of doomsayer lyrics. That sets the tone for ‘Drop’, it’s maniac rock and it’s so much fun. ‘Encrypted Bounce’ kicks off with a danceable bassline, that’s interrupted by disjointed guitars and a crescendo that leads to, more disjointed guitars. Song writing like this doesn’t usually work but the Thee Oh Sees pull it off. The odd song structures are generally punctuated by instrumental breaks with some really trippy guitar work (‘Savage Victory’). While ‘Put Some Reverb On My Brother’ delves deep into the psychedelic 60s, like a lost hippy commune theme song.

The title track ‘Drop’ is not only a stand out but works as a summary, squashing all of the ideas and mixed up rock madness of the album into less than three minutes. Take a look at the recent video below (as premiered by Spin).  The tail end of the album is a little less vivid, ‘Kings Noise’ almost pushes the quirkiness too far with its off timed, stops and starts. But the bold and progressive ‘Transparent World’ quickly lures you back with its minimal vocals and free flowing fuzz! Closing track ‘The Lens’ is the most subdued song and rounds out a memorable record. Guitarists are going to love it, so are existing fans. ‘Drop’ is colourful, inventive and lots of fun. Is it worth picking up on Record Store Day? Yup.
 

More of the Thee Oh Sees and ‘Drop’ online @ Castle Face Records @ Facebook.

Thee Oh Sees - 'Drop'
Songwriting
Sound & Production
Reverb Rating
PRO'S
  • The Guitars!
  • Inventive & Fun
CON'S
  • Overtly Quirky At Times
  • Just 9 Songs
4.0Overall Score
Reader Rating: (3 Votes)