Thursday, April 25, 2013

Play New Childhood Single Here: Solemn Skies

They're back!

(And still no word on when a full-length is gonna drop but...)

Childhood have dropped a new single "Solemn Skies" and it's a near-euphoric jam. Think that "soaring bit" in "Blue Velvet" stretched into its own tune. It's the sort of song Ashcroft and his Verve boys spent a lifetime trying to write but they just couldn't cut loose and nail it.

"Solemn Skies" is more direct than earlier Childhood cuts, like "Haltija", and it's all the more special for that.

It's a sign that the band is not just sticking to one trick.

And I dig that about them!

Play "Solemn Skies" below and follow the band on their Facebook page:

Monday, April 22, 2013

Play and Download New Manic Street Preachers Track: See It Like Sutherland

Last Friday (19 April 2013), was BBC Radio Wales' "Wales Music Day" and the Manic Street Preachers recorded a new tune especially for the event. Titled "See It Like Sutherland", the track is an instrumental with hints of early Cocteau Twins and Mogwai in the mix. Throw in a trace of the melodies on the 2nd half of the band's own unheralded masterpiece, Lifeblood, and you've got a wonderful new bit of music from these 3 lads and a clue as to the new direction they're heading into following their brief hiatus.

(And, like a lot of their stuff, I had to look up a reference in this Manic Street Preachers tune. If you don't know who this "Sutherland" is, check out this link:

Thanks to Soundcloud user Lazerquest15 for uploading the track (even if a few seconds are truncated at the end).

You can play and download the track below.

Or you can play the full thing via the YouTube link below.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Some Thoughts On The New David Grubbs Record

David Grubbs is dropping a new record on April 16. It's called The Plain Where The Palace Stood and it's on Drag City.

After working with Gastr del Sol and Squirrel Bait (among others), David went his own way. This, his 6th record on that label, is a must listen for his followers.

And it's a must listen for fans of challenging post-rock, or those who appreciate tunes that blur the lines between genres.

Additionally, it's a must listen because on this record David's working with Stefanio Pilia (guitar) and Andrea Belfi (drums) from that magnificent Mike Watt-associated record that I reviewed a few months ago.

The record veers from introspective vocal cuts (the wonderfully titled "I Started To Live When My Barber Died") to ambient noise ("Abracadabrant").

There's a sort of seriousness here that recalls The Durutti Column but Grubbs is aiming -- I think -- for a more visceral sort of music. When his vocals drop away, the guitar lines shimmer and slash -- Fripp meets Neil Young.

It's American music, a nod to free jazz from the past as well as a reminder of earlier noise rock pioneers on the U.S. East Coast.

Still, as the subtle "Ornamental Hermit" recalls for us, the music is rough folk. A hint of Americana colliding with quiet thrash.

"First Salutation" builds on sinister percussion elements -- ritual music for math rockers.

"Super-Adequate" is all Thurston Moore circa 1988, while "The Hesitation Waltz" is a vocal number of exquisite stillness -- the kind of music a lot of people tried to make at one time, when there was more of a market for this sort of music.

"A View of the Mesa" is Neil Young trying his hand at stoner rock -- like an old QOTSA riff pulled apart and slowed down.

As an album, this is a fairly consistent record. Grubbs has managed to get music that usually rests on the edges of mainstream music to fit into concise packages here. The record admirably melds the avant garde with the alt-rock and the fury in Grubbs' playing is controlled and focused.

The Plain Where The Palace Stood drops on April 16 from Drag City.

Follow David Grubbs there or on his official Tumblr page:

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Flick Of The Finger: Play New Beady Eye Single Here!

They're back in the studio and making music again. Liam and the boys in Beady Eye are at work on their second album, the follow-up to 2011's Different Gear, Still Speeding.

"Flick of the Finger" got an airing on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic and Stereogum then linked to the track.

You can play it here below as well.

The verdict? Surprisingly strong, lean, mean, and sinister. There's a hint of Oasis/Beady Eye axeman Gem Archer's earlier Heavy Stereo singles but the horns hearken back to classic Stones stuff --- the kind of tunes Scorsese pilfers for gangster films.

I don't know the spoken word bit -- anyone ID that yet? -- but it adds to the purring menace in the cut.

An especially mature bit of nasty business from Liam Gallagher.

Despite the fact that he never seems to get the respect that he deserves, he keeps pushing this Brit-rock beast in new directions.

Follow Beady Eye on their official website:

Or on their official Facebook page:

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Play New Track From Black Bananas Here

It's been about a year since they dropped their awesome debut and now Black Bananas are back with a new tune.

"Hey Rockin" showed up on the band's Facebook page and you can play it on the band's Soundcloud page below.

Here's hoping that Jennifer Herrema and her crew deliver another awesome slab of funky and snarly rock and roll. This first track is a good indication of things to come from Black Bananas.

You can follow Black Bananas on their Facebook page: