Monday, July 22, 2013

Show Me The Wonder...Of The Manic Street Preachers (Again)! Play The New Single Here! [Updated With The Video!]

In anticipation of their new album, Rewind The Film, which drops on September 16, the Manic Street Preachers today unveiled the wondrous and nearly-rapturous "Show Me The Wonder" on the BBC and their website.

Just when I think that this band can't surprise or inspire me again, they somehow manage to re-invent themselves one more time. In the span of just a few years they've gone from "Indian Summer" to the Richey Edwards semi-written "She Bathed Herself In A Bath Of Bleach" to this Talking Heads-quoting folk-y -- !!! -- strum-along-jam!

Are my beloved Manics turning into a taffy Rusted Root!?!

Dear Lord, I hope not!

There's no shame in penning a song this seemingly happy. They've earned it over the course of their two decades in the industry.

(And, yes, that is Craig Roberts from the sublime Submarine in the video!)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Best Band You Haven't Heard Yet: Radkey

I'll admit that I only heard about these guys thanks to the NME but so what? That's how I heard about The Stone Roses 24 years ago and those guys were just as good as the hype in that mag made them sound.

Radkey is made up of 3 brothers from Missouri. They sound like The Misfits and early Nirvana but spikier and less whiny, if that makes any sense.

"Out Here In My Head" is like Glen Danzig wailing over an early Dischord release.

This is pretty invigorating stuff, frankly. The tracks rocket by without a lot of wasted bits. Somehow bridging various fantastic influences, these guys are cranking out something loud and oddly fun. There's a hint here of what punk was always supposed to be: a punch in the solar plexus as a riff and a snarl rocket out of your earphones or speakers or from a speaker on a stage.

I can only imagine how tight these guys are live.

Follow Radkey on their Facebook page:

And you can also check out their Bandcamp page via that link below.

A Quick Review Of The New Holograms Album

It's been barely a year since their self-titled debut dropped but Sweden's Holograms are back with a new record. It's called Forever and it's out on September 3 on Captured Tracks.

When I listened to Forever I could tell that Holograms had a lot of records in their collection. Unfortunately, they were all by either Killing Joke or Red Lorry Yellow Lorry.

Wait, I think I see a Joy Division single back there!

I'm being a smart-ass but the truth is the truth. Holograms are not going to win any awards for taking risks. They do one or two things very well and they stick to them like glue.

Spin "Meditations" below. It's those bands I mentioned with a hint of early Bauhaus...not that that's a bad thing, mind you.

Then give "Flesh and Bone" a listen. It's more Joy Division with a nod in the direction of "Spellbound" by Siouxsie and the Banshees. Does the world need more of this stuff? I am not so sure.

"Wolves" is slow and morose and almost brooding but its pounding tribal beat gives it a nice feel which contrasts with the guitar-buzz of the rest of this record (and the last one).

Forever as a whole is less punk-y than the first album but the leap made by Holograms has hardly been comparable to the leap between Unknown Pleasures and Closer.

No. Holograms have only stripped out things. Made their sound sleeker, more mechanical. Fans of Tubeway Army would be wise to check out this record, for instance.

"Luminous" and "Rush" both have propulsive charms but back-to-back on the record and they sort of blend into each other. These tracks are best served by being dropped down into an iPod mix at random.

In that context, something like "Attestupa" will sound positively anthemic and almost catchy.

Holograms are never going to capture the magic spark of something like "Digital" by Joy Division but they are going to keep trying. You can't re-invent the wheel, can you?

Taken in small doses, the tracks on Forever have a potent fury and do sound quite ferocious -- Thank Christ they are not doing shoegaze stuff! -- but all at once the album could be a bit of a chore to sit through.

You can follow Holograms on their official website:

Saturday, July 13, 2013

New Video From The Tuts: Dump Your Boyfriend

Those London ladies are back. By way of, we've got the fizzy pop delights of "Dump Your Boyfriend" and you can play the video or song below.

The song recalls Kenickie (a tiny bit) and a sort of revved up Heavenly, for lack of a better comparison. It's a fun song and I urge to check out this band's Facebook page.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Yet Another Cranking New Superchunk Tune: Play It Here!

What a week!

First, there's a new single and news of a new album from my favorite band and now there's yet another new track other favorite band. Ahem.

Well, the Manics are the Manics and the 'Chunk is the 'Chunk.

Superchunk will drop their new album, I Hate Music, on August 20 via Merge Records but you can get another taste of the record here by playing "Me & You & Jackie Mittoo" via the link below.

(And, in case you're wondering, this is who Jackie Mittoo was.)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Thank God For The Manics: Rewind The Film Single Drops

I've been listening to the Manic Street Preachers for about 15 years now as a serious fan. I had heard stuff before that but it never clicked. For some reason, I latched onto the lyrics of the Everything Must Go album before the melodies did it for me -- crazy, I know.

And that brings us to "Rewind The Film", the new single which debuted on the BBC this morning. Featuring Richard Hawley -- sounding very much like Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy, I might add! -- the track is elegiac and stately, the sound of adults -- the rock version of Sinatra's The September Of My Years (the track and the album).

It's breathtakingly simple -- apart from James Dean Bradfield's Greg Lake-isms there! -- and it's perfect for that.

Thank you Misters Bradfield, Moore, Wire, and Hawley. You've made my bloody day with this one.

And there's a version up on Soundcloud here.

The NME has all the details on the new album which drops in September.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Go Violets Drop New Song And Video So Play 'Em Here!

Brisbane's Go Violets do not disappoint. This is a burst of summer sunshine in audio form.

It's like this: Heavenly and The Primitives from England influenced Maryland's own Velocity Girl and the way VG mixed that stuff up into an even fuzzier pop concoction is on display in this quartet from Brisbane, Australia.

Go Violets promise an EP before the end of 2013 so keep your fingers crossed and your ears (and eyes) open. Now go play "Josie" and then play it a few more times like I did.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Quick Mini-Review Of The New Medicine Record (Plus Free Download)

It's been 18 years since Brad Laner, Beth Thompson, and Jim Goodall recorded as Medicine and their fuzzy shadow has haunted some musicians and fans in those years. Shoegaze -- or whatever the hell you call what Medicine did on this side of the Atlantic -- went out of favor but there were a few acolytes out there who loved and remembered this stuff.

Then along came Captured Tracks and some reissues of those earlier Medicine albums and finally this new record.

To The Happy Few is out on August 5 and the record's a lively affair. Frankly, it's a good deal warmer than that much ballyhooed MBV reunion record. "The End of the Line" cranks like a garage band and not a bunch of shoegazers and closer "Daylight" brings a hint of Bonham-stomp to the proceedings.

This style of music was never going to last, let's be honest about that. But Medicine attack the form with some vigor and liveliness and for that I'm thankful. Like eating a big wad of cotton candy, To The Happy Few won't fill you up for a long time but when it goes down it's just a delicious bit of business.

Download single "Long As The Sun" below.