It’s the last day of September, which means cooler weather, plenty of pumpkin-infused treats, and stores beginning to bombard us with holiday promotions. But you can overcome all of this with the Saturday Sampler September 30th edition. It features nine blustery songs to welcome the weekend. There’s a bit of everything, but as a whole the mini-playlist is as vibrant as the autumn colors that dot the landscape.
The Crack Pipes – “Sexy Pepsy” (Austin, USA)
RIYL: Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, Red Hot Chili Peppers
“Sexy Pepsy gonna blow your top right off.” Those words from The Crack Pipes‘ 2005 song ring just as true today. So why are we sharing a song originally released 12 years ago? Because the Texas band’s acclaimed album Beauty School is only now available on vinyl for the first time. And let’s face it: you need some great music in your life, even if it isn’t exactly new. Tunes as funky as this one are timeless.
What is the secret to the “Sexy Pepsy” sonic inferno? Is it because the song was written while “The Godfather of Soul” James Brown was still alive? Or is it the expert musicianship from these garage rockers that makes the sparks fly? Have all five musicians sold their souls, Robert Johnson-style, in exchange for mad skills? Whatever the reason, all you need to know is this: there is a special blend of voodoo magic happening on this track. It’s fresh, funky, groovy, and smoldering – all the things your perfect weekend soundtrack calls for.
The Crack Pipes are Ray Colgan (vocals), Billy Steve Korpi (guitar), Nick Moulos (bass), Coby Cardosa (keys), and Mike Corwin (drums).
Dahlia Sleeps – “Lost & Found” (London, England)
RIYL: London Grammar, Maribou State, Pr0files
We’re going to pat ourselves on the back for a moment because in November 2015 we were praising the talents of Dahlia Sleeps. At the time, the band was comprised solely of Lucy Hill and Luke Hester, but they have since expanded to a four-piece that includes Spencer Buckley and Callum Sharp. Those additions have expanded Dahlia Sleeps’ sound and allowed them to take their sensual music to cinematic and bone-chilling places, such as on “Lost & Found”.
Dim the lights, stand in a place with plenty of room, and allow yourself to be taken away by this song. It is lush and stunning at one moment, but a few seconds later it becomes a driving, pulsating, electro-disco number. The multiple transitions and subtle production demonstrate a band who have made enormous strides in perfecting their art. The two things that have not changed, however, are Hill’s soothing, seductive vocals and her ability to take a familiar storyline (in this case, love) and turn it into a modern-day fairy tale.
Dahlia Sleeps are on the verge of a major breakthrough, so get to know them now. The song is available on Olympia Records.
Down and Outlaws – “Imposter” (San Francisco, USA)
RIYL: The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Dandy Warhols, Spiritualized
If you have a cowboy hat and the outfit to go with it, put it on. If you don’t, pretend for a moment. Now wear the face of an outlaw walking into a quaint little town where all eyes are fixed on you. You can can feel the intense glares, but you don’t care because you’re one badass villain. You are untouchable. They think they know your name and who you are, but they really don’t. They have no clue who this “Imposter” is, but Down and Outlaws surely do.
The San Francisco-based band have delivered a fantastic, brooding number that resonates with the cinematic flair of the great Westerns or a Quentin Tarantino film. The gradual build of the song develops the drama, and Peter Danzig’s urgent vocals heighten his tremendous storytelling. He assumes the role of the Imposter who breaks any mirror in his way, who lives in the shadows, and who is not who you think he is. Deep inside is a dark secret, but no one will ever come close to finding out what it is.
Someone call Tarantino and tell him Down and Outlaws have an idea for his next film, and they have just the song for it.
The band is comprised of Peter Danzig, Kyle Luck, Chris Danzig, and Jon Carr.
False Advertising – “Hey You” (Manchester, England)
RIYL: Elastica, Slothrust, Swearin’
It’s hard to believe that we’ve been rocking out to False Advertising‘s music since April 2015. The band was only formed in March of that same year. So besides their families and friends, we like to think we’re one of the original False Advertisers or False Adfans or whatever their fans call themselves. Our fandom stems from the trio’s ’90s grunge and alt-rock approach that reminds us of our younger days – a time when music rocked hard yet was also meaningful. False Advertising’s newest single builds upon their growing legacy.
“Hey You” is a melodic rocker, arguably the band’s mellowest. That said, it still rocks, just more gently and with a groovier vibe. The bass line sets the song’s tone, nonchalantly percolating in the background and then revving up as the song intensifies a bit. It provides the perfect complement to Jen Hingley’s assertive vocals and lyrics. Like Shirley Manson, Courtney Love, and Liz Phair, Hingley unhinges on the naysayers and those who choose to sit idly on the sidelines and feel sorry for themselves. Basically, “Hey You” is the slap in the face we all need.
False Advertising are Jen Hingley, Chris Warr, and Josh Sellers. They’re on a full-assault tour of the UK right now. Dates and information are available here.
Malihini – “Lose Everything” (London, England via Rome, Italy)
RIYL: Blonde Redhead, Grizzly Bear, QTY
There aren’t many bands like Blonde Redhead, the legendary New York City trio who have been pushing the proverbial musical boundaries for 24 years. They don’t make bands like them anymore, though Malihini may have disagree.
Yesterday, the London-via-Rome duo released their debut EP that offers a glimpse into their imaginative indie alt-rock approach. One song in particular demonstrates Federica Caiozzo’s and Giampaolo Speziale’s massive potential. That one is “Lose Everything”.
The stark and hypnotic opening bass line sets the tone for the entire track. A dark cloud hovers over every note while the militaristic-style drumming further accentuates the song’s haunting nature. Caiozzo’s and Speziale’s vocals, meanwhile, have an unexpected whispery and distant quality, and it sounds like they’re are stuck in the deep, grimy bowels of a condemned building. Their lyrics are few, but the message hits hard:
“We could lose everything,
These six words perfectly capture the world we live in today, where we are losing everything and people have unveiled their inner monsters.
Malihini’s EP, Lose Everything, is out now via Memphis Industries.
The Nickajack Men – “Can’t Take It Anymore” (Denny, Scotland)
RIYL: Phosphorescent, J. Roddy Walston & The Business, Deer Tick, Delta Spirit
One of our favorite discoveries of this year has been Scottish indie rockers The Nickajack Men. We won’t blame you for thinking they’re from Nashville since they’ve got a massive sound typically heard from bearded bands who frequent Music City’s famed Ryman Auditorium. Just give them time; with talent this undeniable, they will soon take America by storm and play that hallowed venue. Their single we shared in May (“Running“) was our first clue. Now their latest convinces us they are the verge of exploding on this side of the pond.
“Can’t Take It Anymore” is a scorching Americana anthem. It’s full of gritty truth built upon a rippling bass line and wailing guitars. Their debut EP (Wasting Away) that released in May had more of a Band of Horses or Phosphorescent feel. But this tune flexes more muscle and bares more teeth, much like Deer Tick, Delta Spirit, or J. Roddy Walston & The Business. You don’t just hear the urgent energy in frontman Lewis White’s soulful vocals; you feel it in your bones. So start placing your bets now on which U.S. festivals these guys will play in 2018. We can see them melting stages and audience faces all over Austin at SXSW. Their sound is just that powerful and authentic.
The Nickajack Men are Lewis White (guitar/vocals), Michael Garner (guitar/vocals), Jamie Burns (bass), Sean McNally (keys), and Matthew Mcalister (drums).
Plastic Pinks – “All’s Alright” (Miami, USA)
RIYL: Heaters, Meatbodies, early Ty Segall
Some bands are just meant to be seen live because they put their entire energy into the show and everyone has a fantastic time. Miami garage rockers Plastic Pinks are one of those groups. The thing with them, though, is that you don’t need to restrict yourself to seeing them in concert, because even from afar their songs will give you an adrenaline rush. Their slowest songs are equivalent to a double espresso while their most explosive are like downing five Red Bulls. So where does “All’s Alright” fall within this scale? Probably about three, maybe four Red Bulls.
This manic piece of dynamite is, pardon the ’90s expression, the bomb! It is wild, crazy, and like a hurtling meteorite about to strike the Earth. The result is massive devastation that comes in the melting faces, as people get exposed to the blistering guitars, the chest-pounding rhythms, and the cool surf-like vocals. Throughout the ordeal, you, me, and everyone will lose themselves over what they have discovered. Hopefully this will be the case in the days and months to come because Plastic Pinks are seriously underrated. If they were living on the West Coast, they probably would be a lot more popular.
The band consists of June Summer (vocals), Augie Pink (rhythm guitar/vocals), Rod Woolf (lead guitar/backup vocals), Dane Giordano (bass/backup vocals), and Trevor Mustoe (drums/backing vocals).
Weaves – “Scream” (feat. Tanya Tagaq) (Toronto, Canada)
RIYL: Deerhoof, tUnE-yArDs, Deerhunter
After releasing their self-titled debut album less than 18 months ago, Weaves‘ sophomore LP is only a few days away. They’ve released two songs to date from Wide Open, and both showcased a band reaching for new creative heights. Yesterday, however, they shared the best one yet with “Scream”, which features Polaris winner and Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq.
“Scream” is a fantastic, slow-building rocker, but one unlike you have heard all year. It commences methodically with tribal-like rhythms leading the way and the searing guitar subtly calling out in the background. Burke’s jazzy vocals take center stage at first, and her lyrics are sensational. She is a one-person revolution, standing up against the commercialism and sexism in today’s society while calling for people to celebrate who they are.
“And I’m sick to my stomach almost every day
I’m singing to the choir because my body can procreate
We are obsessed with prosperity, yet we don’t have no homes
I’m a child of commercials and body language and floating drones.”
Tagaq’s varied vocals, meanwhile, are the perfect complement to Burke’s approach. At times, her voice is harsh and heavy, acting like another propulsive, rhythmic layer. Other times it is the voice of a person losing her mind. Then another moment, she turns her voice into a piercing wail. She is the person who is screaming her own name for all to hear. That’s the biggest protest one can have – to let people know you’ve arrived and you don’t give a shit about what they think.
Weaves are Jasmyn Burke, Morgan Waters, Spencer Cole, and Zach Bines.
Who Is She? – “Seattle Freeze” (Seattle, USA)
RIYL: Lisa Prank, Tacocat, Chastity Belt
Who is this rocking new group? If you’re a fan of reigning Seattle indie punk-pop queens Chastity Belt, Lisa Prank, and Tacocat, then you already know their voices. So say hello to Who Is She? This new supergroup is already garnering attention for their amped-up, super jangly debut single, “Seattle Freeze,” and with one listen, you’ll understand why. The chemistry here is tighter than the hooks.
The project began when Lisa Prank’s Robin Edwards and Tacocat’s Bree McKenna were neighbors. The friendship led to a collaboration with Chastity Belt drummer Julia Shapiro, and the rest is history. It’s easy to say that Seattle is an incubator for musical talent. That’s a given. But just getting a few musicians together to jam doesn’t necessarily lead to quality creative output. Now when you add a hefty dose of talent (and a massive infusion of general badassery), you end up with insanely catchy offerings like they have created on debut album, Seattle Gossip. We have said it before and we’ll keep repeating it: the music industry needs to start paying more attention to women musicians. Bands like Who Is She? are proof that women are the future of music: powerful yet playful, smart yet sassy, and absolutely fierce.
Who Is She? is Robin Edwards (vocals/guitar), Bree McKenna (vocals/bass), and Julia Shapiro (vocals/drums).
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