NEW TRACKS: Hercules and Love Affair - ‘Do You Feel The Same’
As we approach the end of this goddamn winter, which threatens to hemorrhage well into March, treat yourself to a listen of the debut track off Hercules and Love Affair’s new album, “The Feast of the Broken Heart,” slated for release in May. This is the third record from the eclectic group, which, again, features multiple vocalists; namely, Belgium’s Gustaph – who belts the lyrics of “Do You Feel the Same?” audaciously, liltingly. The song manages to maintain a throwback-feel, despite sounding totally fresh. That provocative bass line is surely liable. And the build up to the chorus will certainly cause a slight and much-needed skip of your tired heart. (Projecting a bit, here…) As this fun, post-disco group continues to evolve, it is a pleasure to hear the results. Hopefully, Gustaph and his counterpart – Rogue Mary – will join Andy Butler and his crew on their upcoming European tour. Hopefully, the whole gang will tour elsewhere, too. For example - oh, I don’t know - WASHINGTON, D.C.?
Holychild is a duo that we need to keep tabs on because their quiet beginning is moving towards something much bigger. “Every Time I Fall,” from the upcoming EP Mindspeak, is a track I can imagine hearing both on GIRLS and remixed by all of the hottest DJs within the next year. Just think CHVRCHES, but more upbeat, or Sleigh Bells but not quite as loud. Holychild recently scored a record deal with Glassnote, which will undoubtedly give this song and Mindspeak great exposure. The magic that is Holychild actually started out in DC when the two musicians met at a GWU dance class. Hopefully, they will be back in the District soon enough and we can witness this developing talent live.
The latest track from Brooklyn duo Japanther is a great one. The sound of “Do It (Don’t Try)” is squarely in the recent post-punk/garage punk revival wave, and it’ll get you dancing along to the beat. Even sitting here at my desk I found myself swaying my head back and forth and barely being able to control the urge to sway my body. The overdrive bass is divine, as is whatever that strange xylophone-esque instrument that appears during the chorus. I have no idea what you are, but I love you, just like I love this track.
Finally, a reason to hang out in Detroit! I thought that I had encountered the ultimate quirky Radiohead fanatics when I saw Tradiohead, which included Radiohead covers with Irish traditional instruments and a terrible Thom Yorke impression. But no, that was child’s play compared to Kyle Hanley, a Detroit chef who has designed an entire 10 course menu based on Radiohead’s Kid A. Each course corresponds to a track on the album. Some of the desserts look the best to me: “Morning Bell” is paired with lemon sorbet and a gin & tonic. Nearly all of Hanley’s culinary/music combinations seem to inexplicably make sense. The tasting took place at Detroit’s Elizabeth Theater last week and rumor has it that this idea could evolve into a monthly event, featuring a new album every time. I wonder which band he’ll choose next? My vote is for a Phoenix album inspired menu with lots of French deliciousness.
In case you’ve ever been angry about anything ever, you should probably listen to Death Grips. Death Grips is an experimental punk hip hop group from California. This song, No Love, comes from their controversial (and, in this reviewer’s humble opinion, freaking fantastic) 2012 album No Love Deep Web. When I say controversial, I mean it. Try looking up the cover (nsfw!!!). This song and video are a perfect introduction to the band if you’ve never heard them before. The lyrics are dark and intense; the sound is heavy. One of the best things about this band is the pure raw energy of their shows. The video plays on that strength, flashing some savagely manipulated live footage while a very characteristic message from the band cuts across the screen. “On the first day I gave a fuck. On the second day, I did not give a fuck.” Yes.
SKATERS is releasing their first full length album on February 25th, but you don’t have to wait because you can stream it online now. I first heard this group when they played at Lollapalooza and a festival after show with The Orwells out in Chicago. So I was lucky enough to see SKATERS twice in 24 hours. I was struck instantly when everyone began dancing to “I Want to Dance (But I Don’t Know How).” These guys bring are a little more on the punk side and very catchy, but far from annoying.
The four band members aren’t all from New York City, but they currently live there and mainly write about their life in the city. “Miss Teen Massachusetts” is their newest single with a brand new (odd and captivating) video. The lyrics are easy to associate with, about wanting that girl who you just can’t have. Another favorite track is “This Much I Care,” its loud, has a great beat to start the song and is followed by the catchiest guitar riffs. Not only is the CD full of tracks that are easy to dance to at a show, but complete with relatable lyrics for any 20-something out there, from young love to city life and a little bit of everything in between. SKATERS first full-length album is sure to please and the album launch is a kick off to their spring North American & UK tour, don’t miss their stop in DC in April!
Drake’s “Started from the Bottom” should be Saintseneca’s theme song because, boy, have they worked their asses off over the past few years to “make it” in the music world.
Before playing Black Cat’s backstage last month, the Ohio indie folkers frequented DC’s house show circuit, building a devoted fanbase with each basement (or attic) performance. Headlining the backstage at Black Cat to a packed, enthralled audience was a huge, deserved step up, and things will only skyrocket from here.
Saintseneca recently signed with Anti- Records, home to such greats as Wilco, Mavis Staples, Tom Waits, and Neko Case. Given Saintseneca’s raw talent, lyrical and instrumental prowess, and infectious, “give it your all” energy, it’s no wonder Anti- executives wanted the band to join the label’s roster.
Dark Arc, Saintseneca’s Anti- debut, drops Tuesday, April 1. Hold yourself over until then with theirlatestsingles, first album, previousEPs, and upcoming shows - we promise you won’t be disappointed. Above all, keep your eyes peeled and ears open, for Saintseneca is destined to jump from just-slightly-off-the-radar to one of 2014’s most buzzed about bands.
David Wax Museum is a sound for sore ears. Helmed by, you guessed it, David Wax, plus a roving cast of musically inclined characters, the group makes smart Mexican-and Cuban-influenced acoustapop. Between flamenco guitar, accordion, and the most rhythmic handclaps you’ll ever experience, a DWM show is an uber pleasant revue of world, roots, and southwestern flare. Picture an upbeat Breaking Bad soundtrack. Beyond the music, the band tours year round to support its entirely DIY self-released albums, and they put on a damn good live show to boot. Their upcoming 4/08 slot opening for Carolina Chocolate Drops is what we like to call a no-brainer.
You may have seen the Orwells in their high energy performance on the Late Show with David Letterman or opening for Arctic Monkeys and wondered who this band was. If you haven’t been paying attention to them then you need to start, because the Orwells are one of the up-and-coming bands in rock music today.
This writer had the distinct pleasure of seeing the band perform three times over the weekend on the Weezer Cruise at a few different size venues, and the best concert by far was the one pictured above. Packed in and standing a mere feet away from the band throughout, their raw power came through hard and the garage rock and punk roots of the band really took hold. The band was on point, and the crowd absolutely loved their performance; they were dancing and jumping around, singing along to every song. Their own songs were all performed with such energy and life, as were their covers of “Build Me Up Buttercup” and “I Wanna Be Your Dog.” Talking to the band throughout the Cruise, I could definitely tell that they bring that passion to each and every show they do.
At the intimate U Street Music Hall on March 8th, you should expect the same level of fun and high-energy atmosphere from both the band and the crowd. Tickets are on sale now via Ticketfly or at the U Hall box office when the venue is open for $15. Definitely get them now while they’re still available.
The title of this album really says it all. The supergroup’s (superduo?) second release has splashes of post-punk and space rock throughout, and it is a lot more locked-in on this sound throughout than their debut album.
The first two tracks, “Perfect World” and “After the Disco,” are great PPR-tinged rockers, but it’s the lead single, “Holding on for Life,” that really sets the space rock mood of the album. Another great track that will remind listeners of Mercer’s work with The Shins and Burton’s on Beck’s Modern Guilt is “Lazy Wonderland,” a nice slow, lyric-focused track on the album’s latter half. This is one of those albums that you need to sit back and experience and is definitely worth the listen.
Cheatahs’ new album is a potent combination of lo-fi garage rock post with shoegaze music but with a tone of teenage defiance. It instantly transports you back to early 90s grunge music to the likes of Nirvana, My Bloody Valentine, and others who made their way to fame through college radio. While the new album is receiving mediocre marks for being unoriginal, I think that the cohesive album concept is something that deserves praise. This UK band has decided on a sound and stuck to it, which is not always easy to do in this industry.
Cheatahs has a great sound full of steady drumbeats, flourishing guitar riffs and subtle vocals that complement the music without pulling your attention away. It’s clear that Cheatahs have pulled their influences from all over, taking a little of this and a little of that to create a sound that is uniquely their own in an already well-defined genre.
For a debut album, this new release has a very mature and refined sound. Each song is unique of one another, like the spunky “Get Tight” or the slow-building “IV,” while still maintaing the common thread that is Cheatahs. The four members obviously have a strong chemistry that intensifies and permeates their music. I’m really looking forward to seeing them perform at U Street Music Hall on March 6th.
The Hold Steady’s usual sonic space is the corner of the corner bar, playing messy beer-soaked pub rock. But their latest offering “Spinners”, from the forthcoming Teeth Dreams and RAGS is strangely pop-punk, more straight-ahead guitar focused than the joyous Billy Joel-esque piano numbers their past records have known. New guitarist Steve Selvidge, added in 2010, could explain this (along with the much-felt loss of solo-leaning keyboardist Franz Nicolay in the same year). But no matter how they spin it, the Hold Steady still does rock and roll better than most.