Tag Archives: bandcamp

Nomad Stones – “Neighborhood Bird Dispute”

New England’s Nomad Stones have released a free, three-song EP on Brutal Panda records. “Neighborhood Bird Dispute” is a quick, eight minute blast of punk inflected indie rock. The EP features two brand new original tracks and closes out with a David Bowie cover.

The first track, the titular “Neighborhood Bird Dispute,” packs a lot into it’s barely two-minute track length. Forging ahead at break-neck speed, with fierce intensity, Nomad Stones pack a few verses and choruses as well as a blistering solo before the whole thing is over.

“Doom Whop” may slow the pace a little bit, but still manages to pack quite a punch. Across these two new original songs I’m hearing little elements that put their influences front and center. The cadence of the vocal phrases in this track   of The Misfits, while the Thermals are present in song construction and approach, and some of the vocal production sounds similar to that of Ted Leo. Everything mixes nicely to pack a powerful punch.

It’s a welcomed change that Nomad Stones chose to cover Bowie’s “Scary Monsters” rather than some of his more popular (and repeatedly covered) tracks. Bowie gets the punk treatment in Nomad Stones’ version of the track, without losing any of its sinister quality.
Get this EP and more by Nomad Stones:
“Neighborhood Bird Dispute” is available for free at Bandcamp, but that’s not all. Nomad Stones have a full-length album that came out earlier in 2016. The full-length a self-titled affair with eight songs that can be heard over on Soudcloud. On the full-length you can expect to hear more of the same power-punk energy as on the EP. Be sure to check out “Dirty Boots and a Friend Named Goo,” a track consisting entirely of lyrics made from Sonic Youth album and song titles. Definitely worth checking out. That full-length is available on vinyl over at the Brutal Panda site.

 

Snakes of Pennsylvania – “Snakes of Pennsylvania”

Snakes of Pennsylvania’s eponymous release was among Field Hymns’ final releases of 2016. It should be noted that last year was a fantastic year for the label, and it remains one of my favorites. Field Hymns is usually my go-to spot for analog synth jams, but I always like a good deviation from expectations.  The album remains in fairly subdued territory throughout, so maybe we aren’t too far afield after all.

Starting from the middle, with “Instrumental One,” we find a simply stated, spacious, analog synth-based track. There are a limited number of layers, which keeps the texture uncomplicated and focused. “Instrumental One” is based around a simple, descending minor third motive entering after a brief ambient introduction. A dissonant second line then begins to counter the motive, before fading into a lulling and bright coda.

The track that follows, “The Human,” may contrast arrangement-wise, but is agonizingly beautiful nonetheless. The hushed guitar melody comes from the same world as the quiet moments of any Explosions in the Sky song. However, here a single guitar fills the role of Explosions’ three while still managing to capture the ambiance in between the notes as they gather.

“Attack of Lyme” adds to the album’s already varied palette with a plucked steel string acoustic adding more presence to the sound. Synth sounds skitter across the landscape as fingers skid down guitar strings in the foreground. A similar acoustic guitar sound appears throughout “Kolbojnik,” which features an even more patient construction by taking long breaths between fragmented melodies within a minute long framework.

“Snakes of Pennsylvania” successfully melds ambient analog synth sounds with guitars that both compliment and contrast.  The synth sounds end up adding, surprisingly, to the Americana sounds generated by steel string guitars.
Find “Snakes of Pennsylvania”:
A limited number of cassettes are still available on the Field Hymns bandcamp page. As with any album on bandcamp, of course it is available as a download in any format you can imagine.

Coastal Car – “Lossless”

I’ve had Coastal Car’s “Lossless” on repeat for the past couple of weeks now and I don’t think that I’ll be getting sick of it any time soon. “Lossless” is an album full of perfect bedroom pop tunes. Think Yuck crossed with Carseat Headrest and that will put you pretty close to what is going on aesthetically here.

There’s more than that though. The harmonies and guitar work on “all i wanna do” shows a hint of Pixies, while the guitar harmonies on that track and “trade centre way” are reminiscent of Rogue Wave. Every song really captures a relaxed approach to songwriting; with one part flowing seamlessly into the next, effortlessly.

The latter half of “Lossless” moves from the folk-ish “halfway” to the layered, delicate guitar work of instrumental “belong reprise,” one of the album’s highlights. That track seems to beg for lyrics, while simultaneously sounding like a song that you can’t quite place. It’s like the interwoven melodies are lodged in the collective unconscious, begging to be let out yet not being able to quite come to fruition.

Album closer “f u n” perfectly encapsulates everything presented throughout the album. It’s another perfectly crafted, and catchy-as-hell bedroom pop song. Like the words that don’t exist on “belong reprise,” I can’t quite put my finger on what images are being conjured up in my mind as I listen, but they do seem like fond remembrances. I’m just going to have to continue listening until I figure it out.

Lossless” is available digitally, with a limited number of cassettes still available from Already Dead Tapes & Records. You can check their bandcamp for this and a whole slew of other great albums.

 

 

Stream – Bam Spacey – “1998”

Released last month, Bam Spacey’s “1998” is an album of layered synths and minimal textures. One moment we’re left floating in a hazy realm emerging from warm extended tones, for example in the opening introduction. Other moments are much more clearly built around pop structures with clear harmonies sung over top of those layers of ambience. A track like “Markbildning (II)” floats lazily between these two worlds; it’s ambient and minimal, while the vocal melody holds to its own regular phrasing, tracing strophes, spaced out with ambient interludes.

Echoes of Tim Hecker, from a timbral standpoint, pop up through the texture from time to time, such as on “Markbildning (II).” That dark ambience is, however, mostly left behind on “Upplyst,” a track featuring prominent drums and a pulsation that approaches traditional electronic dance music. This is also the case with “Ropar Från En Avgrund;” it actually breaches the line straight into more dance oriented territory.

Most of the album drifts across slowly, enveloping the listener in pure sound that languishes for extensive periods nearly undisturbed. The layers of synths are ripples on the water and Bam Spacey uses a delicate hand to slowly add more to those ripples while making sure that they don’t turn into overbearing waves. The ethereal quality of the atmospherics is maintained throughout the album, forming a cohesive whole that manages to straddle the boundaries of synth-driven ambience and dance music.

“1998” is available now as a download from the Ceremony Recordings bandcamp page, and is also available as a limited vinyl release. There will only be 300 copies in the first pressing, so head over to the Ceremony Recordings website to pick up a copy.

Stream: Nate Henricks – “Apple Juice”

You may remember Nate Henricks from a post that I did back in June. That album, “Neon for No One,” remains one of my favorite finds from scouring the internet obsessively for new unknown stuff. I bought the tape and have been listening to it fairly regularly ever since. “Sometimes I Die” from that album is definitely one of the standout tracks of the year, and will most likely (read: definitely be going on my end of year mix).

Now, the ever prolific Henricks has a new album that is every bit as affecting. It’s actually quite astounding the amount of really top shelf music that he’s able to put out in a year. Counting up everything on his bandcamp page there are 14 releases including this one for you to enjoy.

“Apple Juice” brings us even more of the collage-as-song writing and arranging style that “Neon For No One” is full of. Right out of the gate “Alligator in the Toilet” moves from fairly straight ahead rock into a hardcore punk/metal hybrid and finally to Casio keyboard drum machine weirdness at the end. Yet, as I’m sure I mentioned before, it all holds together so well that each section works like a song within a song.

“Vegetarian Dog” and “Your Arcade Prize” are two “live” tracks that, for more than a minute, had me seriously considering if he actually did play in Tokyo. I mean, I like his music well enough, why wouldn’t there be a ton of people in Japan that are way into his music?  “Your Arcade Prize” is full of catchy hooks and a strangely fitting nod to doo-wop, the end morphing into a blues rock freak out that continues to manages to draw a straight line of 60s influence all the way from beginning to end.

There’s just so much creative energy and so many great musical moments across the 21 minutes of “Apple Juice” that it would be difficult to recount them all. From the rock, pop, blues, metal, punk, and sound collage’s that have found their way into these tracks, those 21 minutes are incredibly substantial. Best thing would be to just listen to the thing a few times in a sitting. Don’t even worry about which track is which, it’s almost beside the point, just take the entire release in as one long idea, as it seems that is the way it was created.

You can check out the album in its entirety above, or head to Nate’s bandcamp page to check out everything else that he’s created. He’s also created a bunch of videos and art that can be found on his website. Speaking of videos here’s one he made for “Vegetarian Dog” below. Now go buy his music, and help support Nate Henricks.

Stream: Nicholas Nicholas – “Cave”

Today we’ve got here a mellow, shoegazey two parter from Nicholas Nicholas’ upcoming sophomore album, “Wrong,” which is set for an August 19th release.

At the very opening of the track we hear a bellowing low note from which the music will soon blossom. We’re given all the instruments at once after only about a second, but the way that they grow out of that initial low note is so organic that it feels more like a warmth washing over you than it does anything drastic or jarring. A guitar enters, its echoes bouncing off every available surface and ringing across the the track. Backed by a wash of synth patches that leave trails in the distance and a steady drumbeat, the song isn’t treading on unknown territory. “Cave” traces a path through shoe gaze and chillwave, something that makes complete sense, but I don’t think has been much explored before. It’s as if the wall of sound was stripped away from a My Bloody Valentine song, leaving only the vocal technique and the idea of creating a sound that encourages some sort of contemplation.

The vocals are maybe the most interesting element of the song. Drawled out from a register well below any of the other instruments it sounds to be slowed down significantly, in essence really drawing out that effect of stretching time and laying so far back in the beat that the rest of the track seems almost resistant to the pulse. The music seems to pull the voice through the track, despite its desire to stay behind.

The piece more or less does away with a traditional verse/chorus/verse structure, instead choosing to sidestep via an extended coda. In some ways it sounds as though we have two different songs going on back to back here, the way the first dies out completely before the coda comes in. There is just enough contrast between the first and last half of the track to consider them as contrasts, but not so much contrast that they don’t go together.

“Wrong” is available as a cassette for pre-order right now through the Miscreant Records bandcamp for $5.

Stream tracks from new Le Rug compilation “Press Start: The Collection”

Le Rug has got pretty good timing, coming at us with a track like “Jailbait,” just in time for the Summer. This track is sure to end up on more than a few playlists designed to accompany roadtrips down a sunny highway to nowhere in particular in the coming months. It’s just one of those carefree and energetic rockers that’s catchy as hell from start to finish.

Of course, being that it is only one track from a 32 track compilation that spans several years, it is by no means representative. “Harold Camping” is a bit more varied in its approach, with the same wild vocal but a guitar sound that is more restrained. Each song throughout the compilation sounds new and familiar at the same time, and though I usually prohibit myself from saying such meaningless-sounding wordfiller type things, it’s really true. Though “Godstar” reminds me of maybe The Burdocks, in the sound of the vocals, and some of the melodies. The rhythms here are less angular, that is for sure, but the melodic sensibility is pretty similar.

Other tracks, like “Get it Over With” and “Dead in a Hole” explore a synthier side that isn’t necessarily any colder timbrally than the other guitar driven tracks, but certainly explore a whole other sound in general. The guitar is ever present, at varying levels of grit. The songs always have the ability to soar and find a way to pull the listener in.

The good news is that there is a whole lot more where this came from. These songs are coming off a 32 track compilation that is set for release June 17th, and can be pre-ordered right now on cassette (recommended) or as a download from Austin’s Fleeting Youth records. According to the press release:
Press Start: The Collection features 5 magnetic and pulsing post-punk releases from Brooklyn’s Le Rug (32 tracks overall)– 3 albums from when Le Rug was more active years ago and 2 new recent EPs released earlier this year.
For now though you can download the tracks above for free. Take some time to ruminate with them. No doubt you will find yourself wanting to listen more and more.

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