The Matinee October 6th edition has a few rockers and a few songs that will either crush your soul or take your breath away. A few artists were previously featured in this space, so you might recognize the names. There are, of course, some new names to remember.
Chasms – “Beyond Flesh” (San Francisco, USA)
RIYL: Cocteau Twins, Wytches, Savages
An exhilarating quality lurks beneath the music of Jess Labrador and Shannon Sky Madden, the duo behind post-rock / shoegaze band Chasms. Their earlier single, “Black Ice”, was ghostly yet a mind bender. Their new single, “Beyond Flesh”, takes on a more bone-chilling, haunting approach that is gripping yet exciting. Labrador’s vocals are distant, as if calling from another dimension. The dissonant shoegaze that is emitted from her guitar is hypnotic like the second hand ticking away on a grandfather clock. Madden’s bass lines are stark and piercing with each note pounding away at your chest. “Beyond Flesh”, as such, achieves exactly what its title suggest – to take the listener on an existential journey which you will not soon forget.
“Beyond Flesh” is from Chasms’ forthcoming, debut album, On The Legs Of Love Purified. It arrives October 14th on felte.
Forth Wanderers – “Know Better” (Montclair, NJ, USA)
RIYL: Slothrust, Diet Cig, Built to Spill
Every generation has a band that represents its angst and big, little problems. Pink Floyd, Joy Division, and The Velvet Underground ruled the ’70s. Nirvana, Rage Against The Machine, Soundgarden, and Pearl Jam dominated the ’90s. Forth Wanderers could be the answer to the 2010s.
The quintet from Montclair, New Jersey are creating gritty but melodic indie rock. Their stories focus on the issues faced by younger people today, often told with a thoughtfulness and with some wit. Their last single, “Slop”, dealt with isolation and loneliness. Their latest single, “Know Better”, deals with the aftermath of the ending of a relationship. Whereas other songs would focus on one area – often either focusing on longing for someone or how the other person was an ass – frontwoman Ava Trilling deals with the conflicting emotions of a breakup. There is the desire to reunite but the excitement of independence. There is a realization that time is needed to recover, but an urge to find love again. Relationships are complex, and it only took several decades and five twentysomethings to tell it as it is.
Forth Wanderers are Ava Trilling (vocals), Ben Guterl (guitar), Zach Lorelli (drums), Duke Greene (guitar), and Noah Schifrin (bass).
Golden Suits – “Don’t Let Love Go By” (Brooklyn, USA)
RIYL: The National, Frightened Rabbit, Foals
The National made gloomy subjects like death sound exciting with their brooding yet anthemic brand of indie rock. Golden Suits is doing the same thing for self-destruction.
The project of Fred Nicolaus (who is the co-founder of Department of Eagles), Golden Suits’ new single, “Don’t Let Love Go By” is a brilliant indie rocker. The song channels the best of the best in indie rock – The National, Frightened Rabbit, and Foals – to create a song that is more than just infectious and anthemic – it’s a sound that reaches deep inside your body and wraps around your soul. Nicolaus’ vocals even have a Matt Berninger tone.
Lyrically, Nicolaus has crafted a bizarre but frighteningly real story. There’s a bit of Quentin Tarantino in the story about a down-on-his-luck individual who has committed mistake after mistake but is now seeking salvation. While we generally avoid sharing quotes by the artists, Nicolaus’ description about the song is too good to pass up.
“I grew up going to punk shows in the Bay Area and I’ve always loved loud cathartic music like Queens of the Stone Age or The Walkmen’s more ragey moments. I always wanted to do an angry kind of song but it never felt right for me until this one. I think the reason why it panned out is that the anger is self-directed.”
We’ll soon find out how much anger is in Golden Suits’ new album, Kubla Khan, which will be released October 7th on Hit City U.S.A. The very name, Kubla Khan, already incites fear and loathing.
Hey Bulldog – “Divide And Conquer” (Manchester, England)
RIYL: Ty Segall, Mikal Cronin, The Black Angels
One of the reasons why The Revue was created was to provide an opportunity to share the music of the little indie bands we loved years ago, such as Hey Bulldog. Based out of the great music city of Manchester, this trio has been creating some superb psychedelic and garage rock for nearly five years. They, however, still remain a hidden gem not just in all of the UK but also within Manchester. Their luck may be starting to turn, however, as they recently were featured RadioX DJ and present John Kennedy’s Xposure program. The song that was shared was “Divide and Conquer”.
Compared to their earlier songs, “Divide and Conquer” is much more refined with the guitar riffs and bass lines cleaner. The raw energy, however, remains on this awesome garage rock tune. Throughout its 6 1/2-minute duration, Hey Bulldog channel everyone from Ty Segall to Thee Oh Sees to Reignwolf to The Black Angels. These multiple influences and styles, though, are masterfully merged into this one track. Consequently, “Divide and Conquer” is a flawless and absolute epic rocker. It is one of those “F*** yeah!” songs.
Pick up “Divide and Conquer” on Hey Bulldog’s Bandcamp page. The trio of Rob Manton (vocals/guitar), Matt Parry (bass/vocals), and Ben Howarth-Lees (drums) will be releasing a new EP early in 2017.
House of Wolves – “Oh You Little One” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Roy Orbison, Destroyer, less satirical version of Father John Misty
Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Rey Villalobos has released three albums under the moniker House of Wolves. It begs the question, “With a voice this remarkable, how is he not a household name?” When Villalobos says, “Falling”, images of Roy Orbison are immediately evoked. The comparisons to the late great artist extends beyond the vocals, but also applies to Villalobos’ cinematic folk approach and songwriting. As heard on the single “Oh You Little One”, his music is rich, intimate, and absolutely breathtaking. The song is made for slow dancing, so grab your loved one’s hand and embrace for these three-plus minutes.
“Oh You Little One” is from House of Wolves’ self-titled album, which can be heard on SoundCloud. Villalobos took the name House of Wolves as it is a literal, English translation of his last name.
Mount Saint Leonard – “Blame Me” (Melbourne, Australia)
RIYL: Hope Sandoval, Angel Olsen, Patsy Cline
Australia is the undisputed champion of neo-psychedelia. It is home to genre of jangle-pop that has been popularized by several Melbourne-based bands. The country has one of the most dynamic roots and blues scenes on the planet. Now they are about to take on the crown as being an alt-country / folk-rock factory. The latest product is Mount Saint Leonard, a collaboration involving some of Melbourne’s finest musicians.
Last week, they released their debut single, “Blame Me”, which breathes of ’60s-era folk-rock but with a contemporary twist. It is like Hope Sandoval, Angel Olsen, Julia Jacklin, and Patsy Cline rolled up into one delicious treat. The first half is akin to the melodic folk-rock of that era, but as the song builds the quartet turn it a blistering rocker. What brings the different decades together, however, is frontwoman Kathleen Mary Lee’s vocals. Known for her intimate, acoustic folk leanings, Lee channels her inner Angel Olsen and adds a touch of grit to her sensational vocals. With this awesome sound, it won’t be long before Mount Saint Leonard will be performing at some of the country’ best festivals, such as Byron Bay Bluesfest and Splendour in the Grass.
Mount Saint Leonard are Lachlan O’Kane (bass), Justin Olsson (drums), Kathleen Mary Lee (vocals/nylon string), and Isaac Barter (lead guitar).
The Ramonas – “Speak Up” (London, England)
RIYL: female version of Ramones, The Runaways, Sleater-Kinney
The RIYL does not lie – The Ramonas are indeed an all-female, Ramones tribute band, and the most famous in the world at that. For that matter, they might among the most popular Ramones tribute bands on the planet regardless of gender, as they have nearly 150,000 followers on Facebook.
After twelve years of doing Ramones cover, the quartet are sharing their first original material and their debut album. One of the first new tracks is “Speak Up”. This blazing, punk rocker echoes more the frenetic punk rock of ’70s-era England. There is also a riot grrrl undertone in the lyrics, as the quartet holler for people to standup and be heard. The song is a timely one given events in the UK (Brexit), the US (election, gun violence, police brutality), and many places around the world. These four women aren’t just making music for the heck of it – they’re making a loud political statement, just like the punk rock gods did four decades ago.
The Ramonas’ debut album, You Asked For It, will be released early in 2017. The band is comprised of Cloey (vocals), Rohnny (guitar), Pee Pee (bass), and Cammy (drums) (pretty clever if you ask me).
SOON – “Change” (Poland)
RIYL: Archive, Portishead, Sigur Rós
As autumn settles in and the nights grow longer, there are more moments to contemplate our existence. To consider what it is to come and reflect upon what has occurred. The soundtrack for such occasions can be found in indietronica newcomers SOON‘s second single, “Change”.
The song is stark and harrowing yet immersive and fascinating. The haunting, dual harmonies of sisters Marta and Weronika Nowaczyńska set the stage, lulling our minds into a dream-like state. The instrumentation is sublime, intersecting between Archive’s symphonic electronica and Sigur Rós’ post-rock aesthetics. The pace of the song is brilliant, beginning with a slow hum before escalating to its riveting climax. Unlike many songs within this genre, “Change” is one that cannot be heard; it can only be experienced.
SOON are Marta Nowaczyńska (guitar/vocals), Weronika Nowaczyńska (vocals), Filip Rojek (drums/sampler), Jakub Kozak (guitar), and Marcin Lewandowski (bass guitar).
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