Scab Queen thrives off of the intersect of the beautiful and the grotesque when it comes to aural experimentation. The Athens, GA-based solo project, which has quietly released four EPs of confounding, minimal noise music this year, just dropped the briefly mystifying Bodies EP, Scab Queen's boldest and most high-minded outing yet. The five song suite opens with the titular track, a piece that sets the stage for the impressionistic sketches of sound that lie ahead. Ephemeral voices and guitar notes echo through space with the directionless vibe of a soundcheck. "Bird (A)" and "Bird (B)" continue the hazy trail, offering heady drones augmented with slightly industrial, almost psychedelic electronic flourishes. Closing pieces "Wind Torn (A)" and "Wind Torn (B)" host the most focused moments of the EP. The unpracticed vocal harmonies of "Wind Torn (A)" resemble the Dirty Projectors or early Animal Collective at their most unencumbered, venturing toward any impulse that arises. It's a surprisingly bright EP from an elusively perverse project. Stream Bodies below:
ATL rock guy Tedo Stone and his backing band the Cosmic Supermoon set out on Midwestern tour last week (Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and a recording session with Daytrotter) to commemorate the release of Stone's debut full-length Good Go Bad.
Stone has been playing around town for a few years, and started recording Good Go Bad two years ago. His soul-inspired vocals and fuzzy guitar rock are retro in a kinda sunny '70s vibe, but retro in a kinda early '00s vibe as well. Most of the tracks from Good Go Bad can be triangulated looking back at tunes recorded a decade ago, stuff like that of the Strokes (garagey, anthemic, and mid-tempo), Ted Leo (clearly enunciated vocals, strong rock underpinning), and Taylor Hollingsworth (guitar-focused and singer-songwritery).
Like those bands, Stone picks an emotional range and sticks with it for a song, though the mellow piano and organ on "Time" move things from a delicate waltz to a more rousing rocker. A tuneful songwriter, Stone never overloads his songs with too many effects, though he does heavily favor some vocal filters. Horns on the album opener "As Big as the Ocean" or the solid organ lines on "High" add punch. And "Circles," a vocals-and-ukelele tune, was recorded on Stone's cell phone - it's charmingly minimal and lightweight.
While working on songs for the forthcoming deadCAT LP, Transientualism, due out this fall via Psych Army, vocalist Britt Teusink found time to put together a solo number, titled "Get Tough." Stylistically speaking, the song is a bit of a departure from "Meat," which premiered back in February, as it's all composed and executed using just one keyboard. And even though the song's halcyon qualities don't exactly qualify as "tough," Teusink explains that it's all about keeping your chin up. "'Get Tough' is about maintaining positive vibes everyday," he explains. "Everyone has bad shit going on in their lives. Life still goes on. There's no sense in getting down on yourself for things you can't control. I struggle with this type shit every day - blow dope smoke in deaths face."
Having spent a fair amount of time on the road with Toro y Moi since the release of Velvet Changes, Dog Bite has continued to develop and record new material in makeshift and commandeered studios whenever possible. Phil Jones' post-chill wave project has used its downtime and is now queuing up an EP with a full-length to follow. The fittingly titled LA EP was recorded in Toro y Moi guitarist Jordan Blackmon's Los Angeles apartment while Blackmon's band was on tour in Australia, leaving Jones, bassist Woody Shortridge, and drummer Tak Takemura to their own devices. The resulting four tracks attempt to capture three East Coast shoegaze-pop enthusiasts jamming new sounds on a listless, West Coast afternoon. "Cold Weather," the first single released off the EP, drifts a darkly weightless course chartered by fluidly seductive bass lines, rippling reverb, and sedated percussion loops. The track reveals a dialed-down element that was all but avoided on Dog Bite's debut. Carpark will issue a limited vinyl pressing Sept. 17, also making the entire EP available for free online.
The Flail (guitars, vocals, effects, synthesizers) and the Wrathe (synthesizers, vocals, oscillators, samples) - Outer Gods' two anonymous members - return with another scorched torrent of soot and static, following March's Beneath the Marred and Blackened Hand cassette. Light Dims Eternal, the group's latest offering on Domestic Genocide, continues the duo's mirth and amplifier worship, extending the scope from three long-form tracks to a comfortably desolate five. Each piece perpetuates a world of pure feedback, as sustained dread pours out of maxed-out amps in guttural heaves, exorcising the demons from within. Set to release on July 30, Light Dims Eternal sets Outer Gods apart from various doom, ambient, and noise acts operating in Atlanta as the front-runner of noirish, power electronics.
Opener "Future Decay" suggests the scope of Outer Gods' new approach, meditating on seething anxiety and impending doom. Undulating between two chords with frayed edges, the duo reduces its melodic assault to primal resonance. Hosting the album's only sense of true rhythm, "Beyond the Crimson Gate" marches on in a spiteful procession. The solemn sonics survey a ravaged landscape of desertion, tossing in fragments of spoken dialogue and found sounds. The track dissolves into an introspective guitar line that opens "Blessed Be the Host of Sorrow," a vaguely post-rock movement of squalling static and meditative texture. Album closer "From Behind The Walls, She Heard a Voice Like an Angel" wallows in a 20-minute dirge that focuses the various approaches of each prior track. Feedback and distortion unfurls for minutes on end, reveling in its sinister sprawl.
Stream Light Dims Eternal below.
On paper, Joy and Revolution would be just another boyfriend-girlfriend synth pop project that's heavy on sing-along melodies, cheesy lyrics and a coy demeanor. But the template shifts when you dig in to any of Sierra Hanken (vocals) and Jonathan Hartley's (synthesizers, vocals, mastering) digital and cassette releases issued since first forming in 2009. The twee-leaning pop cues keep things light and airy while the production and delivery buries the overall vibe in a sedated state. Digging even deeper into the J&R's discography reveals influences of early no wave and synth wave heroes, most notably with a cover of Suicide's "Dream Baby Dream." As the band explains, "Much like Martin Rev and Alan Vega of Suicide, we can create any feeling through music without using mainstream methods and we will always stay true to our passion to create this."
Synthophonic Lush is the group's latest offering and first release with Russian tape label Singapore Sling. The tape's 45 minutes chart a dimly lit, woozy path through cheap keyboards and thrift store drum machines. Chords and melodies shift in and out of focus as though the tape is physically warped or running off track, best seen on opening tracks "Is it Me" and "We got Sad." At times, Joy and Revolution dial it back for near-unconscious revelry and lethargic synth pop. Elsewhere, the scene brightens up for a dreary drift of bubbly percussion loops and danceable (read: head-nodding) flair. It's a refreshing suite of dark, summer-ready pop. Stream Synthophonic Lush below.
Due out this October, the self-titled debut from Atlanta duo RRest comes together with a thick after-hours ambiance that settles on the atmospheric side of post-punk. "Recycle Bin" is a fitting entry point into Wes Ables (vocals, guitar, synth, and bass) and Andrew Teems' (lead guitar) shared chemistry. For this number, the lineup was filled out by Ables and Teems along with Warm In the Wake's James Taylor Jr (drums) and Daniel Barker (keys). The real brilliance here, though, comes across in the various guitar textures - some of which even bear a telltale din that sounds an awful lot like iPhone fidelity. And check out that backward guitar solo. Gorgeous.
The mix is a playful run through New York (Bobby Basqui) and Atlanta (Trinidad Jame$, Grip Plyaz, and Scotty ATL) hip-hop blended with a couple of throwback cuts and indie pop excursions. It's also the first in a series of like-minded mixtapes that Speakerfoxxx plans to release throughout the coming year, underscoring her place within the fashion world just as distinctive as the niche she's carved out in the hip-hop world. Keep an eye out for future collaborations with Oak, Patricia Field, Joyrich, Boy London/Long Clothing, FRESH.i.AM, Dee & Ricky, Givenchy, Chanel, and more.
Describing a band's sound as "hard to define" usually serves as a catchall for dabbling in more than two or three genres at a time, taking the most superficial qualities of each and checking the interesting ideas at the door. But as Cloudeater has shown in the past, those cues can be synthesized into a compelling, sincere love letter to those original ideas and sounds. The Atlanta quintet who recently dissolved as a functioning entity, just dropped Purge, Cloudeater's third LP and first produced by Guillermo Scott Herren (Prefuse 73, Delarosa & Asora, Piano Overlord, Savath & Savalas, et. al.). Previously, the group fared in '90s-happy rock anthems and electronica's studio sheen, seen best on tracks like "Hardly Wait" from Sun and Sidearm.
This time around, Cloudeater has returned with a set of songs that reveal the band's comfort in its own sound, jamming out on its own vibes. "Hedron" and the album's title track flow with a mid-tempo pulse of processed rhythms and natural melodies that are both dark and uplifting. "Hollow" drives a murk of funky post-trip hop that would feel right at home alongside Anticon's "pop" experimenters like Why? and 13 & God. Herren's refined production techniques let each track breathe with a breezy modernism normally reserved for his own non-Prefuse material. In the end, Purge is Cloudeater's shining moment and a strong final chapter in the band's narrative. As Chris Hunt explains, "At this point we have no shows booked and we aren't working on music. Our singer departed a couple of months ago but we wanted release the album but other than that, Cloudeater is on ice. The four of us are open to considering the possibility of starting back up at some point in the future but we don't have any plans except for releasing Purge."
Cloudeater's swansong is available now for name-your-own-price download at Cloudeater's Bandcamp.
ooooohhhh, I'm so excited!! I can't wait to see them together!
come on man you know you got a bromance. you probably still rock that OutKast…
Yes, 14 is the correct answer. I'll pass your info along to the group's manager,…
That was January of 2007, and they are 21 now, so I'm guessing 14?