Friday, August 27, 2010

Broken Water - Normal Never Happend 7" (2010)

No sleep, more posts. This is the newest 7" from this Olympian ex-Sisters threesome. Two more tracks of heavy Sonic Youth influenced punk from the hazy alternate universe of Broken Water. Like their preceding LP Whet, it's as catchy as it is dejected. Unlike the LP, it's a bit slower, although not without the band's signature distorted effervescence.

Broken Water - Normal Never Happened 7" MediaFire
Broken Water - Fan Death Records Buy the record

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Twin Stumps - Demos (2008/2009)

Managed to finish my collection of this now defunct band's music. These demos from 2008 and 2009 are the last of it. Lots of otherwise abandoned recordings on the second demo in particular. Very excited to finally get these and equally excited to share them. Punishing noise rock from New York that, in my opinion, transcended their peers during their short time together.

Twin Stumps - Demo #1 MediaFire
Twin Stumps - Demo #2 MediaFire
Twin Stumps - MySpace

Friday, August 20, 2010

Plutocracy - Off The Pigs 12" (2010)

Jumping from the reminiscing to share the new Plutocracy EP, which finally arrived at my doorstep this morning. Six cuts of anarcho grindcore the way only Plutocracy can do it. It's no Sniping Pigz, but it's still rad. Any fan of hardcore or grind at all will dig this, I'm 100% certain. I'm too exhausted to say much more. Enjoy.

Plutocracy - Off The Pigs 12" MediaFire

(To the one person who downloaded the previous file: sorry, download this again. I made a mistake on the track "Dank Upon a Time" and forgot to split it from the rest of the B-side. That's the last time I update at five in the morning.)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Company of Heroes - S/T (2006)

Per the previous entry, here is another oldie, and probably the only other instance of screamo discussion on this blog unless I dig up something else notable. A Company of Heroes passed through one fine summer evening in 2006 with (*the*) Kidcrash and Arse Moreira while those bands were on tour together. The notability of that alone is twofold: first, that Kidcrash passed through my tiny insignificant hamlet, and second, that they were at the top of their game back then. But I digress since that was the first and last time I saw/listened to them. I believe that A Company of Heroes opened the show, totally stealing the thunder from the locals' egos by being a remarkably tough act to follow.

I am halfway kidding, but in all seriousness, for being a band that continued to beat the still beaten horse, something I partook in myself for a time (hell, still do), they did a very good job. This was halfway through a decade that saw the rise of bands like Funeral Diner and Orchid, as well as people who were so earnest in their quest to educate the masses by spreading the word about "real screamo"... Wedged between the heaps of monotony and screachings of Half Moon Bayinite heavyweights were this little known quartet that stepped in for a moment then gradually faded away, leaving only this handsome package (pictured above) in their wake.

(Take note any bandanas and gym shorts in this video... mid-2000's, I do not miss you)

I haven't the slightest clue whether or not this band is still active. As far as how the album sounds... even speaking on it now I can say with confidence that it's a very firm work that can still hold its own four years later. The absolutely shrill, desperate vocals of Bryan Goss wrap together these nine standard, though sophisticated screamo compositions tightly; something about his voice alone does it for me, regardless of what he's saying. Besides the music, the CD was put in a hand made package with a taped-on photo, stamped label on the back, professionally printed CDs and a fancy insert on wax paper... all for $7, but I (or was it my brother?) paid $5 because I didn't have enough on me. Also, Final Fantasy-themed track titles.

A Company of Heroes - A Company of Heroes
A Company of Heroes - MySpace

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hijack The Disco - Working Is Easy (2004)

Switching back to sentimental feelings for a little while, and sharing some more little-known bands that passed through my town in the early 2000's. I'm cruising all the way back to 2004 or 2005 for this one. Hijack The Disco played a show at a now-defunct pizza shop in town that, if I'm not mistaken, presented about nine bands for $4. I tried looking for the flyer, but came up with nothing unfortunately. I'll keep looking.

Despite my blurry memory, I remember this band putting on a reasonable set. Although I was lost in a haze of oi! punk and screamo (more on that in a later update) back then and thus had a temporary disinterest in pop music at the time, I was nonetheless impressed with this Oakland threesome's (?) alternative rock-oriented pop tunes. I was also quite broke at the time, and I couldn't afford their new album, so I was only able to pick up this EP, Working Is Easy, for the cheap price of $3. A few bucks well spent, as this EP turned out to be a five-song gem of quality, imagery ridden pop music worthy of praise. Crisp, cleanly executed with catchy hooks and variegated moods.

Another popular band around this time was Panic! At The Disco. No, I am not a fan myself, but many other people were, so much so that Hijack The Disco apparently garnered some confusion regarding the name conflict. To dispel this, the band changed their name to HIJK, and thus they have been ever since. I have neither seen nor heard them since watching the aforementioned set many years ago, but I trust the band is doing well.

Hijack The Disco - Working Is Easy Mediafire
HIJK - MySpace

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Themes - War Over the Great Plains (2007)

All right, consider me back in action for a while. Summer is winding down, but the fall semester is on the horizon, so updates may dwindle in the coming weeks. Nevertheless, I enjoy writing these little diddys too much to pull myself away.

And GOOD NEWS: I managed to score a great low-end Sony turntable to replace my RCA warhorse that lasted me a decade. So, expect some new tunes from my record collection soon!

This one goes back to 2007, which wouldn't seem so long ago if I could remember half of it. I'm glad I kept this particular show's flyer because otherwise my photographic memory wouldn't be working overtime as I type this. I picked up this CD when I saw Themes at an Apgar House show in Oakland that year, a pitstop on what I assume was the band's first west coast tour. My friends and I arrived quite late but managed to catch half of Themes' set, the likes of which we could hear down the block; a very loud, eclectic band and sound, with two brilliant voices on top. What we saw was enough for us to hassle the vocalist and baritone guitarist (!) Jacy McIntosh for a copy of their album, War Over the Great Plains.

(Despite the omission, Loma Prieta also played this show. They were a three-piece at the time, and I believe that their EP had just come out.)

The album is about an hour long and rife with melancholy imagery and historical influence; very effective lyrics, too. War Over the Great Plains is truly all over the place: from creepy to longing, from psychotic to complacent, but absolutely beautiful and calculated 100% of the time. Some songs seem a little off in first half of the "sit down" (as the vocalist lovingly referred to the album as, if I'm not mistaken) but their already unstable foundations may be to blame for that. The songs switch off between piano and baritone guitar driven folk-influenced rock tunes, which is an interesting combination in itself. Haven't heard much like this band, although at moments throughout the album I am vaguely reminded of Black Heart Procession, as well as their friends The New Trust, due to similar emotions and themes (no pun intended.) I must say, though, the occasionally uncomfortable dual vocals of Jacy McIntosh and Kelsey Crawford are mostly what do it for me - honestly, what a pair these two make!

Per the artists' request, the links to this album have been removed.

Themes - MySpace

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hulaboy - Slip It Inside 7"

A limited edition single on Sticky Records by the Boyracer and Hula Hoop side-project, Hulaboy. Get it? Imagine my surprise, coming upon this in a hole in the wall shop for a quarter! I believe both of these songs are recorded live given the sound check (??? you'll see) and laughter from an audience at the beginning of the first song. This was released alongside their Mermaid Girl single which I admit I like a little bit more. Pop-oriented rock music. Signature Boyracer vocals on the second track. Apparently this project is still active. This is technically one sided; the record has two sides, but has the same songs on both.

Hulaboy - Slip It Inside 7" Mediafire