Tag Archives: Polyvinyl

New Beach Slang video: Bad Art and Weirdo Ideas

Video: Beach Slang – “Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas” [Quiet Slang]

Beach Slang – Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas [Quiet Slang] [OFFICIAL AUDIO]

From the We Were Babies & We Were Dirtbags EP, due October 20 on Polyvinyl.

An acoustic reworking of a song from A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings, rebranded as Quiet Slang. It’s pretty.

Beach Slang plays Riot Fest at 12:40 PM on Sunday, September 17.

Beach Slang: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Beach Slang video: Bad Art and Weirdo Ideas

New Of Montreal video: It’s Different For Girls

YouTube: Of Montreal – “It’s Different For Girls”

of Montreal – it's different for girls [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO]

Innocence Reaches is due August 12, 2016 on Polyvinyl. “It’s Different For Girls” sounds like Kevin Barnes is back to embracing electro-disco pop again, so that’s fun. But it’s also serious if you listen to the lyrics: “It’s different for girls. From when they are children they’re depersonalized, aggressively objectified.” And yet it’s still playful and silly. “They don’t spit on the street, they don’t piss on the seat.” Dude’s clearly never been to a music fest where girls hover over the porta-potty with uncontrollable aim…

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New Rentals video: It’s Time To Come Home

Video: The Rentals – “It’s Time To Come Home”

The Rentals – It's Time To Come Home [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO]

I love the Rentals. I still think Return of the Rentals is an underrated 90s classic. Maybe “Friends of P” had “one hit wonder” written all over it (one minor hit, of course: it peaked at No. 82 on the Hot 100), but it works great in the context of a perfectly conceptualized and executed album. Neither Return of the Rentals nor its 1999 follow-up Seven More Minutes charted on the Billboard 200 but they both rank pretty high on my personal all-time Top 200 Albums chart.

This site’s first real interview was with Cherielynn Westrich back in 2001, and we caught up with Matt Sharp himself in 2003 while he was doing his solo project. The Rentals released an EP in 2007 and some kind of multimedia project in 2009, but just last year they released their first full-length album since 1999: Lost in Alphavile on Polyvinyl. I pre-ordered it on Coke bottle colored vinyl.

And it’s good. None of the people from the first two albums other than Matt Sharp have anything to do with it, but the guy from the Black Keys plays the drums on it, so that’s kind of a big deal, right? It came out last August, but they finally got around to making a video for it, and it looks like a bunch of semi-futuristic, quasi-scientific mumbo jumbo, so it’s pretty much perfect!

Japandroids – Celebration Rock

JapandroidsCelebration Rock (Polyvinyl)

The most frustrating thing about Japandroids is that there is barely a hint of complexity, and within the first minute or so of any random song of theirs–be it from Post Nothing or their new sophomore effort Celebration Rock–you’ll have these guys completely figured out. Distorted guitars, driving drums, anthemic chorus, and repeat. There should be no reason within the band’s recorded grooves to cause much of an internal commotion.

Yet here I am, trying to put that surprise outburst to words, struggling to find the appropriate weight of just how good Japandroids second album is, particularly since this tasty apple doesn’t fall that far from the branches of their debut.

It’s better than Post Nothing because it’s a step further. Each song sounds epic enough that the fact they’re a duo doesn’t even enter the equation. They all tend to get louder the farther into the song you get and with each increase, the listener tends to get even more worked up. By the end of Celebration Rock, I had an uncontrollable urge to look for their tour schedule. Because if they can stir up that kind of adrenaline rush, sitting complacently on my couch, then being in the same room of other devotes would most certainly feel revolutionary.

It’s also better because they’re older. Droids Brian Smith (guitar) and David Prowse (drums) are getting ready to hit thirty soon, but they’ve thankfully seen what’s coming with their encroaching middle age and have decided to enter it kicking and screaming. Lucky for us, Celebration Rock lets us live vicariously through that realization, and best of all they’ve made the chord structures easy enough for all of us to learn.

Wanna know their trick? Great songs. Japandroids not only subscribe to the less is more formula in terms of membership, they’ve trimmed the fat so much that the record is a blast–both literally and figuratively–clocking in at a mere thirty-five minutes in Celebration Rock’s eight songs.

Celebration Rock marks the very rare occasion when the middle-age contrarians knee deep in their own nostalgic fog can co-mingle with the dwindling youth who still think rock and roll is worth a damn. It’s an exuberant reminder of the genre’s strength, particularly when it’s fueled with nothing more than a pair of young men with full hearts, a few drinks and some instruments to help translate their angst.

MP3: Japandroids – “The House That Heaven Built” (Via Epitonic)

New video from of Montreal: Coquet Coquette

Video: of Montreal – “Coquet Coquette”

Directed by Jason Miller, “Coquet Coquette” is the first single off False Priest, due September 14 on Polyvinyl. It’s difficult not to be distracted by the crazy video featuring excessive amounts of gore, cannibalism, and dry humping, but the song itself seems to be a return to more natural instrumentation. Definitely less dancey than the previous few albums, which is odd considering the fact that Kevin Barnes has claimed the new album is “a blend of ’70s soul” and “trunk rattling bass” music.

MP3: of Montreal – “Coquet Coquette” (courtesy of Spinner)

of Montreal: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki

Love Is All – Two Thousand And Ten Injuries

Love Is All - Two Thousand And Ten InjuriesLove Is AllTwo Thousand And Ten Injuries (Polyvinyl)

I’m a complete sucker for these guys, specifically the bi-polar projection of vocalist Josephine Olausson’s cutesy pop against the band’s art punk racket. I love how lyrically they don’t stray too far from the trials and tribulation of love in your late twenties. I love the artwork that each record presents; an old fashion cut and paste job with an X-Acto knife and retro fashion photography.

Enough already—I love these guys completely.

Love is all, indeed.

Continue reading Love Is All – Two Thousand And Ten Injuries

New Of Montreal video: Mingusings

Video: of Montreal – “Mingusings”

Directed by Nick Gould, wherein our hero is a fencing mime who runs around stealing televisions, chopping wood, and visiting Australia. Why not? I love that Of Montreal refuses to tone down the goofiness no matter how “successful” they become. From Skeletal Lamping, out now on Polyvinyl.

MP3: Of Montreal – “Id Engager”

Of Montreal: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki, web, MySpace.

Japandroids – Post-Nothing

Japandroids - Post-NothingJapandroidsPost-Nothing (Polyvinyl)

One would think that the rock and roll duo is creatively tapped out. From the Everly Brothers to the Carpenters, from the White Stripes to Hella, it seems that every nuance should be explored by now, every conceivable idea exploited.

I suppose that you could further break down bands with only two members into two distinctive categories: duos that are so talented that they really don’t need any additional members because they’re already awesome enough and duos that are just so excited to play as soon as they can that they couldn’t be bother with bass player auditions.

Japandroids fit in the latter category, with such infectious enthusiasm that you can understand why they laid down a few tracks and said, “I think we’re good here,” thereby keeping the door take at an even fifty/fifty.

Continue reading Japandroids – Post-Nothing

Of Montreal – The Sunlandic Twins

Of MontrealThe Sunlandic Twins (Polyvinyl)

There’s something so sweetly vintage about Of Montreal–they release albums as much as Mother Nature releases solstices, it seems. And not only have they never failed to deliver, their artwork (long decried dead with the birth of the CD by hardcore audiophiles) is enough to purchase the album alone, just like those gigantic 45’s you explore in the night under your desk-lamp while you rock those gigantic headphones. And, what else to be expected from an E6 collective, they’re all blissful pop passages, only recently coalescing their Zombies pop with any semblance of modern technology on last year’s Satanic Panic in the Attic, a breakthrough masterpiece of manic pop, disco, and world beat. Panic was so energetic and detailed that its disorienting dizziness was an acquired taste–once you worked through the initial shock of hearing it, it became 2004’s most pleasant surprise.

So, it’s a bit odd that in the wake of the success Panic received for its chaotic nature, its follow-up The Sunlandic Twins comes with a composed, direct opener–the charming “Requiem for O.M.M,” with which Barnes puts his boyish heart on the line “I never ever stop wondering / Wondering if you still think of us / I don’t need a photograph / ‘Cause you never left my mind.” But it’s no indicator of a return to the simpler Of Montreal–The Sunlandic Twins furthers the exploration begun on Panic, concentrating its abstract energy in more tightly knit arrangements, still finding time to take the frequent left turns that brought them such recognition last year. Welcome to the alternate universe of Kevin Barnes, a veritable candyland of sweet harmonies and idiosyncratic arrangements. “Forecast Fascist Future” begins something like Bowie’s “Queen Bitch,” before working its way into a delayed, multi-harmonious frenzy where exactly 10,000 Barnes’ revel in their psychosis together, finally ending with the mantra “May we never go-go mental / May we always stay-stay gentle.”

And though the further development the band takes occasionally veers into awkward territory, Barnes for the most part hits his mark admirably. “The Party’s Crashing Us” is a wonderful beach bash, balancing angular new wave rhythmics until everything settles in the chorus, where Barnes declares “Well I only feel alright when the view is flashing / Alarms going off in my head.” The album begins strong, spinning wondrously creative party anthems but takes an odd twist, closing with a questionably dark slew of songs while leaving four true gems for a bonus disc to accompany it. Replacing the last four songs with the tracks on the bonus disc would benefit The Sunlandic Twins greatly, but the sudden drop of energy the album suffers hurts its overall atmosphere and detracts from its pervading energy. The band crashes under their recent sugar-binge, falling into a slow, methodical groove that accents the bands weaknesses rather then their strengths.

Of Montreal’s abstract creativity and playfullness is still addictive, and though they never reach the sublime heights of “Lysergic Bliss,” credit Kevin Barnes–creating not just an album, or niche, or even genre of their own; but an alternate world of Wonka-esque proportions. Where, on Friday nights, you can go to the local club and find all the kids on the dance floor, immersed in shades of blue flashing light with their arms up, all waiting for the beat to drop before singing in unison, “Let’s pretend we don’t exist / Let’s pretend we’re in Antarctica.”

Download “So Begins Our Alabee” courtesy of Polyvinyl. And be sure to read the Glorious Noise Interview with Kevin Barnes.

Owen – The EP

OwenThe EP (Polyvinyl)

Twee. It’s an indy rock buzzword, usually applied to bands like Travis, or Belle & Sebastian. But what exactly does it mean? I found this definition in the dictionary:

twee {ital}

adj : Affectedly dainty or refined. Overly precious.

The two afore-mentioned bands are twee indeed, but they have an advantage over other, lesser twee rockers – they’re actually interesting and have more to say than what they’re feeling the day they wrote that song.

Not so with Owen. This is high-octane navel-gazing. The trouble is, we don’t find the singer’s heartfelt, sensitive warblings (over repititous, accoustical dronings) about his twee life very interesting or insightful because, being extremely twee, there’s no room for anything else. A sample of the lyrics:

“We’re two bicycles. Ridden, too tired to know which of us two was dumb enough to choose the other as a lover.” Zuh?

If you’re an achingly sensitive art student or aspiring twee rocker, this is for you (mp3). You’ll commiserate nicely with Owen over your painful, yearning existence. For the rest of us, I’d recommend Prefab Sprout, Lloyd Cole or Billie Holiday. In fact, I’d recommend almost anything else.