Grave Flowers Bongo Band

Grave Flowers Bongo Band

Grave Flowers Bongo Band

(Los Angeles, USA // Castle Face Records)

“With a darkish, distorted sound, Grave Flowers Bongo Band blends the scuzzy psychedelia of the late 60s with the uncooked energy of the scene that birthed the primary punks, then washing it within the sun-kissed leather-based sheen of contemporary L.A.” Castle Face Records

Los Angeles’ Grave Flowers Bongo Band’s sophomore LP “Strength of Spring” is an inverted pyramid balanced on the headstock of an acoustic guitar, a rainbow painted in campfire smoke, an endless staircase circling into the clouds. That acoustic guitar, perfectly captured here by Ty Segall’s excellently sere and close mic’d production, plays skeleton to these conjurors woolly grooves, and singer Gabe Flores’ thousand-yard moan keeps us guessing as to exactly where this wildebeest is headed. He pinions these far out tunes, which burst generously with shit-hot guitar leads, Stoogeseque sax squalls, and a gaggle of great eight-armed drum fills, with a flinty wrist-flicking heartbeat as the band turns from whimsy to nimble riffery on a dime, following that pied-piper six string jangling down many lovely rabbit-holes of melody and exploration. It’s obvious these guys play together a lot (the lineup shares two members with acclaimed space rockers Hoover III to boot) and the telepathy on display here is synapse-snappy. Coursing throughout is that note-pad filling, lighter raising, undefinable black magic that feels so rare these days….we dig it mightily and we think you will too, it’s out on Castle Face Records April 30th.

Bandcamp

Cory Hanson

Cory Hanson

Cory Hanson

(Los Angeles, USA // Drag City Records)

Lingering at the remains of a campfire before dawn, with the politics of the personal burnt into ash, running his stick through what’s left, Wand singer/guitarist Cory Hanson is reflecting on a series of moments in which he steps farther into himself, finding the ultimate big sky country on the inside of his skull. It’s a combination of songs and sounds that journey through bleak and broken territory and places of sweet, lush remove, and it adds up to the best record he’s been involved in yet: his second solo album, Pale Horse Rider.

Cory’s first solo, The Unborn Capitalist From Limbo, was an intense affair, a grand experiment that pro- duced inspiring, unconven- tional music — but this time around, he wanted to breathe a bit easier, to feel that breath in the music as well. So he and his band drove out to the desert to record in a low-stress environment : Brian Harris’ Cactopia, a house surrounded by 6-foot tall sculptural psychotropic cacti.

They built a studio inside and then they made music and lived off pots of coffee and chili and cases of Miller High Life as they played guitars, bass, keyboards and drums in what seemed increasingly like a living biomech, their tech made out of fungal networks and cacti needles.
It was loose and flowed onto tape well. Recorded by Robbie Cody and Zac Hernandez (who assisted on Wand’s Laughing Matter), the sounds were great from the get-go. First takes were mostly best takes. Fueled with DNA lifted from country-rock cut with native psych and prog strands, Cory guided his craft toward the cosmic side of the high- way, a benevolent alien in ambient fields hazy with heat and synths, early morning fog and space echo spreading the harmonies wide.

Pale Horse Rider’s got a lot to get out of its mind, looking around and seeing that, on the surface, things don’t always look like much. A lifelong Californian, Cory’s naturally found himself standing to the left of most of the country. The west may be only what you make it; these days, the road- side view looks exceptionally sunbleached and left behind.
Pale Horse Rider eyes the city, the country and the fragile environment that holds them both in its hands — a record as much about Los Angeles as it can be with it’s back to the town and the sun in its eyes; as much about nostalgia as new music can be with the apocalypse over the next rise…
On Pale Horse Rider, Cory Hanson moves ceaselessly forward.

The old myths weave and waft, the shadows of tombstones flickering in the mirages and the light that lies dead ahead.

YoutubeBandcamp

 

LUMER

LUMER

LUMER

(Yorkshire, UK // Beast Records)

Upon the potholed streets, amongst the increasingly gentrified train stations and the suffering of the voiceless that surround them – purposefully and abhorrently disregarded by the ignorant – stand LUMER, surveying the stark reality of it all. 

LUMER have this uncanny ability to evoke the gritty trauma of modern day society and channel such hurt and agony into wondrously affecting notions. Brimming with undeviating venom, their music veers from frothing with condemnation and dwelling in such stark clarity to personifying the increasingly traumatic state of the world with a certain poetical romance. It’s intensely isolated, brooding with a curious assuredness yet indelibly scorched by the very reality we are utterly consumed by. 

LUMER are startling in their anger and vulnerability. Their music battles with its own indignation, surging with unkempt fury before collapsing in fragile exhaustion from carrying the unheard, and crushing under its weight, utterly confounded by the normalcy in silence. It’s gut-wrenching, yet entirely vital – a pertinent voice that possesses more subtle gravitas and intelligence than many of their contemporaries. The very heart of LUMER is here on display. 

Written by Ross Jones (So Young)

 FacebookBandcamp

The Peacers

The Peacers

The Peacers

(San Francisco, USA // Drag City Records)

Combining a psychedelic aural wanderlust with lo-fi pop and a dash of garage punk grit, the Peacers were formed by Mike Donovan after the breakup of his influential garage band the Sic Alps. When the Sic Alps disbanded in 2013, Donovan initially pursued solo projects with guitarist Eric Park before deciding it was time to launch a new band. The initial lineup of the Peacers included Wendy Farina on drums and Ty Segall as producer and multi-instrumentalist, but as the personal relationship between Donovan and Farina splintered, former Oh Sees drummer Mike Shoun became the band’s new percussionist. (As Donovan said in an interview, “[Farina] wanted to take time to concentrate on not being my girlfriend.”) Donovan, Shoun, and Segall went into the studio to cut the Peacers’ self-titled debut album, which was released by Drag City Records in July 2015. The band set out on a joint tour with Elisa Ambrogio and played frequently in the San Francisco Bay Area, but in 2016 Segall dropped out of the Peacers’ lineup. Undaunted, Donovan reshaped the group into a quartet with the addition of Shayde Sartin and Bo Moore, and in June 2017 the Peacers returned with their second album, Introducing the Crimsmen, which was also released by Drag City.

FacebookBandcamp

 

The UV Race

The UV Race

The UV Race

(Melbourne, AUS // AARGHT, Future Folklore Records)

Describing their music as “avant-tard” and “idiot savant punk rock,” the UV Race are an Australian outfit whose music combines the structural trappings of garage punk with a purposefully off-kilter attack that fits somewhere between deliberate primitivism and art-damaged provocation. Formed in Melbourne in 2007, the UV Race features guitarist Alistair Montfort, singer Marcus Rechsteiner, Alex Glazov on keyboards, Georgia Rose on sax and harmonica, Moses Williams on bass, and drummer Dan Stewart. The group played its first show in July 2007 and released a demo on cassette later that same year, with the UV Race displaying a lasting affinity for the lo-fi analog format. After a handful of cassette-only releases, the UV Race moved up to vinyl in mid-2008 with their first 7″, “Lego Man,” issued by the Aussie indie label Aarght Records. Aarght also put out the band’s next release, a split-live cassette with Eddy Current Suppression RingMikey Young of ECSR was an early booster of UV Race and has produced most of their recordings. A second 7″, “Malaria,” was issued by American indie imprint SS Records in July 2009, and the group’s first full-length album appeared later the same year on Aarght; originally distributed only on cassette, it was later reissued on CD and LP. In 2010, UV Race toured the United States for the first time (the itinerary included a stop at that year’s Gonerfest in Memphis, Tennessee), and another 7″, “I Hate You,” appeared on the Fashionable Idiots label in the fall. In early 2011, yet another 7″, “Acid Trip,” hit the racks via Sweet Rot Records, and noted American garage punk label In the Red Records released UV Race‘s second album, Homo, in late March the same year. Their next project was filming and recording the soundtrack for a film, Autonomy and Deliberation. It was released in November of 2012, roughly the same time as their next studio album, Racism.

FacebookBandcamp