Tag Archives: London

Stream: The Microdance – “Moopy Moop b/w Skulduggery”

I can’t tell you why I’ve been sitting on this one for so long. I think that either my mind is slowly (or quickly) decaying or I’m just really disorganized, or maybe it’s a little from column A and a little from column B.

The Microdance is a band based out of London that is creating some really great, textured rock. Shoegaze elements play an important part, to be sure, and are combined with a heavy new wave influence. Think The Cure and MBV getting together to create an album. Really, it isn’t quite as simple as that, there is more to it, of course.

There are a few things that stick out to me in “Moopy Moop.” The first of these is the way that to vocal goes from gently pleading in breathy gasps, to a straight up blood-curdling scream that makes my own throat hurt in sympathy. The other thing is that there is one particular chord change that reminds me of something off of The Smashing Pumpkins’ “Machina II” album. The Microdance captures that really bombastic and expansive guitar drenched sound in a similar fashion to Corgan and Co., but as I mentioned before they tend a little more toward the shoegaze side of things. It only makes sense, though, one listen to Gish and you’ll hear some of the same new wave/shoegaze interminglings going on. It wasn’t until Siamese Dream that the wall of aggressive, distorted, metal-ish guitars came into play.

“Skulduggery,” has a bit more of a shape to it than it’s flip-side. Dynamics play a more important role, and the vocal delivery maintains its breathiness throughout.  The latter third of the track, before returning to the chorus, shows the band willing to play a little bit within formal song structure, stretching out the loud-soft-loud template.

This double-A side single is currently available for download from The Microdance’s bandcamp site. You can also find out more about them on Facebook and their soundcloud page.

Stream: Housewives s/t debut on Faux Discx

The noisier the better, in my opinion. And things don’t get much noisier than this.

Right out of the gate Housewives are throwing around dissonant strains of fragmented guitar lines, severed rhythms, distorted crunchy stabs standing in for harmony and a voice that is swallowed up by the whole beautiful mess.

The early 80’s no-wave scene most certainly plays an incredibly important role in Housewives’ songwriting approach, though with a consideration for a bit more clarity and complexity. Take, for example, “Almost Anything” with its drastic tempo shift that is perfectly, perhaps mathematically, executed. A subtle prog-ish sensibility starts to peek out from behind all the art-rock boundary destruction.

Prog rhythms don’t end with “Almost Anything,” but instead continue to carry the palindromic titled EP closer “62426.” I don’t want to focus too much on these elements though, because the most exciting parts are the blasts of screeching feedback and angular guitar noise that will rip through your speakers without warning.  Additionally, elements of minimalism are thrown into the mix with hypnotic cycles of rhythmic and melodic fragments.

While the guitars hold down the atmospheric swirling clusters of noise and chaos, the bass remains grounded in its thick, round tone that pulsates steadily underneath it all.

Housewives’ darkness tinged sound brings to mind Women, This Heat,  and DNA.  You can hear the release in its entirety at the Faux Discx bandcamp where you can also grab a physical copy on cassette, or simply as a download.

You can also check out the video for “Almost Anything” below.

New music from Jack Name and Yuri’s Accident

Jack Name - "Light Show"
Jack Name – “Light Show”

First thing’s first, I’ve got a couple tracks today from artists with albums that have just come out. The first is a video that comes to us from Jack Name, one of the guitarists currently working with (one of my personal favorites) White Fence. The album, “Light Show,” is out now on Drag City through Ty Segall’s “God?” imprint. There are samples of each of the songs over on the Drag City site, but over on Youtube there is a video for the track “Out of Sight.” The video is basically a collage of what seems to be part found footage, part Live-Leak videos and other such ephemera. The song matches the video in tone, or I suppose that it’s the other way around, but either way there is an air of darkness all over both. A monotonously repeated melodic pattern on a gritty sounding analog synth supports the entire track with a vocal that is haunting in its higher register. Everything about this track and the accompanying video is elegiac and hypnotic. For me, it called to mind the work of Paul A Rosales and Wonder Wheel. You can check out that video below.

Next up is a band from Athens, not Georgia, but the real Athens. Yuri’s Accident may not be dark in the same way that Jack Name’s tracks are, but there is an aura of 80’s dance-pop that comes off sounding a little darker. That the band has relocated to London before releasing these tunes explains them sounding a bit, maybe, like Depeche Mode with guitars, or earlier songs by The Cure; or maybe I’m picking up a little more on a post-punk/Interpol kind of vibe. Either way it’s kind of two heads from the same coin. Dark-ish, brooding guitar driven rock. This 2 track single was also released earlier this week, on January 20th and you can check it out below. There’s a video for A-side “Lights (on her eyes)” as well. The single is available for download from the Yuri’s Accident bandcamp, which can be found here.

Both albums are available now so check out the links in the post above and head over to Drag City to pick up Jack Name’s album on vinyl or as an MP3 or FLAC file. You can also head over to bandcamp to download the Yuri’s Accident tracks.