Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A few new 7”s

Let’s begin this all too brief column with some vinyl on UK label, Static Caravan. The Accidental is the duo of Stephen Cracknell (Memory Band and Gorodisch) and Sam Genders (Tunng) and this 7” proves to be quite worthwhile, including mixes of tracks that’ll appear on the band’s debut album later this year. “Knock Knock (Tunng Mix)” is somewhat scracthy and beat-based while the flip is quite stunning with spacey synth pop sounds that manage to also be mysterious and abstract. File somewhere along a line starting with Pram and ending with Four Tet.

The Ass/Blood Music split 7” on the same label is actually even better. Here we find two Swedish one-man bands sharing space and although I’ve heard them both before this nicely colored wax display what they’re capable of at their very best. My favorite side is Ass AKA Andreas Söderström whose two folk and conutry-induced tracks work like string mysteries that evoke a walk through seasons with streams of pictures, stories, moods, rhythms and colors that I’d love to here in the full-length format.


Saturday, March 08, 2008

After the Goldrush #44 – the sun is back

Bicester, Oxon, U.K. brings us Talking Trees, a relatively unknown name in the psychedelic pop/folk heavens. The sunny vibe present on their brand new Revolation (Wildshine) works eminently well on a lovely spring day like this. There’s something about these guys’ take on Byrdsian pop, folk-tinged harmonies and intricate guitar patterns that has me smiling. Most of the classic ‘60s pop ingredients are present, but it’s all peppered with some nicely baked jangly Flying Nun pop and delicate twee pop. The whole thing clocks in at just less than 25 minutes and when it comes to this sort of sparkling pop that’s certainly for the better.

More quality pop comes from the Puddle, NZ veterans that never have reached the same sort of recognition as most of their fellow Flying Nun companions. No Love – No Hate (Fishrider Records) is a comeback album of sorts, offering the first new recordings in over fifteen years. These ten songs employ the Puddle’s trademark homemade shambling pop formula to perfection. Clever and humorous lyrics find themselves riding on a wave of joyful bouncing pop that’s utterly hard to escape from. I wouldn’t place these cats quite on par with old-time Broken Face faves like the Clean or the Bats but that doesn’t mean that their simplistic, sing-along nuggets and psych-tinged guitar pop aren’t worthwhile. The opening “No Sequels” is particularly great and will find it’s way back into the stereo time after time.


Monday, March 03, 2008

Sun City Girls You’re Never Alone With A Cigarette (Abduction)

Even though I’ve been a dedicated follower of the always-fascinating Seattle combo Sun City Girls for a long time, there is still so much stuff from their back catalogue that I’ve missed out on. With that in perspective it’s indeed great news that the Bishop brothers have decided to kick off a singles compilation series. This disc is the first and focuses on the short format releases from around 89-90, the time of their undisputed masterwork, Torch of the Mystics. Actually the whole thing was originally intended as the other half of songs which were originally prepared as a 2LP demo version of said album for Placebo Records in 1989. Placebo went out of business shortly after this proposed 2LP idea was presented to them but luckily Majora Records quickly stepped in to begin releasing most of the material.

Included here are five tracks from early Majora singles, one short piece from the triple 7" box set Bruce Lee, Heroin, and the Punk Scene (from a Bay Area label Massacre at Central High) as well as three unreleased studio tracks recorded the same day as much of the Torch LP. As expected this is classic SCG material with a pronounced psych slant, guaranteed to appeal to fans of any of their seminal earlier works.

The latest offering to an already extensive Sun City Girls catalogue is as usual another slab of charred splendor; combining improvisation, avant rock, ethnic rhythms, cinematic guitar instrumentals, desert jazz and Eastern psychedelia. As a matter of fact I’d probably place this collection in the top five of my own SCG collection and that’s certainly saying something. I am sure this fantastic collection will go out of print rather fast so act accordingly.