Late of The Pier construct amped up synthesizer weirdo pop that can really get you moving and and your heart racing. Their last album Fantasy Black Channel which was released on Parlophone Records, is loaded with heavily synthesized cuts drawing inspirations from such greats as Gary Numan (“Heartbeat” above is grand example), Brian Eno, and Thomas Dolby. This is off-kilter electro pop with a contagious underlying dance groove. Sweat with them when they play the Congress Theater in April with Deadmu5.
Chicago Tour Date:
Apr. 11. 09 @ Congress Theater (with The Whip, Crookers, Deadmu5)
Late of the Pier on Myspace | website | Buy Fantasy Black Channel LP
Faunts are a quintet of musicians from Edmonton, Alberta, they recently released their 2nd full-length album Feel.Love.Thinking.Of. on the Friendly Fire label. Feel.Love.Thinking.Of. is full of glistening electro-pop ballads and grandiose electronic orchestrations with enough depth and relevancy to entertain the fans of New Order and The Postal Service. The opening track “Feel.Love.Thinking.Of.” is refreshing rush to the heart of beeps and blips with simple gentle raspy vocals that floats along a sonic landscape. Another standout track is “It Hurts Me All The Time”, which feels as close to Joy Division and The Cure as you can get and still keep your creative freshness, the instrumentation entangles you and the heartbreak of the lyrics allows the emotional state of the music to ring through.
Download: Faunts – “Feel.Love.Thinking.Of.” – [MP3]
Download: Faunts – “It Hurts Me All The Time” – [MP3]
Faunts on Myspace | website | Buy Feel.Love.Thinking.Of. LP
Here is a great little video of Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band performing on the “One Shot at The Croc” series filmed during the construction of The Crocodile. This series was created to promote the re-opening of the renowned Seattle venue. “Going on A Hunt” is from Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band’s self-titled LP available now on Dead Oceans. There are pleasant vocal similarities between MSHVB’s band leader Benjamin Verdoes’ vocals and that of Nathan Willett. This is great low-key jangly pop for your pleasant digestion.
Chicago Tour Date:
Mar. 31 09. @ Subterranean (with Bishop Allen, Miniature Tigers)
Download: Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band – “Cheer For Fate” – [MP3]
Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band on Myspace | Buy their Self-Titled LP
The Sea Creatures invade U.S.! This out of this world 4-piece of space femme fatales based in Bristol, UK are setting their phasers to stun as they gear up to take over SXSW. Kitsch is palatable when the music is played this damn good! The only way to do a theme band justice is take it to the limit and go all out and The She Creatures, these purveyors of intergalactic rock, do just that.
Drawing inspirations from the 1960s outer space radio shows, they live and breathe their rock persona of go-go rock musicians from Venus set on taking over the human race. From their neon blue Nancy Sinatra wigs, mod dresses, and go-go boots to the riff-a-licious MC5 guitar licks and the sexy vocals of Nancy Raygun, they call to mind a more polished Detroit Cobras with sci-fi themed lyrics and sultry theremin. The music is fun and unabashed; I must say I have a proclivity for great garage rock and anything with theremin (Man or Astroman? anyone?). I can only image what an experience seeing them live can be. It must be mesmerizing, like being transported to a fantastic b-movie set! Let’s hope that a Chicago date is not to far off. You can pick up their nifty EP on their myspace page.
Do enjoy, Sexy Robot!
Download: The She Creatures – “She Creatures Invade” – [MP3]
The She Creatures on Myspace | website
I’ve definitely been on a C83/MBV kick lately and The Joy Formidable from North Wales have added some fuel to the flames. This tight 3-piece are composed of romantic couple Ritzy Bryan (guitar) and Rhydian Dafydd (bass) who share vocals and Matt Thomas on drums, together they pump out some fuzz-tastic, spacey pop that reaches epic stratospheres every now and then. They recently released an 8-song LP entitled A Balloon Called Moaning, which is a brisk journey through their formidable sound. You can test drive the LP for free, by visiting their Music Glue page. It is surprising to me that they remain unsigned!
Download: The Joy Formidable – “The Greatest Light is the Greatest Shade” – [MP3]
The Joy Formidable on Myspace | website | Buy A Balloon Called Moaning LP
Royal Bangs are a rad 5-piece from Tennessee. They are currently touring in support of their 2008 Audio Eagle Records release, We Breed Champions, which is a fantastic agressive pop album. It is loaded with a frenzy of guitars, electronic blips and beeps, sampling, a heavy dose of MOOG and warbly, urgent vocals. This is altogether rock and dance worthy, which will definitely perk up your ears. They will be bringing their frantic sound to Ronny’s on April 21st. Be sure to check out their recent Daytrotter Session for more free music!
A great studio performance of the single “Handcuff Killa”
Chicago Tour Date:
Apr. 21. 09 @ Ronny’s (with Balkans)
Download: Royal Bangs – “Brother” – [MP3]
Royal Bangs on Myspace | website | Buy We Breed Champions Lp
Now for a change of pace, this is a little harder than the previous posts, but all the same. Sometimes you need to turn up the volume and drown out the outside world, it’s one of those days for me. Here is the new video from Kentucky’s Young Widows new single “Old Skin” from their LP Old Wounds. It’s a dark, Fugazi-esque groove rush clocking in under 2 minutes and 15 seconds, filled with violent drum attacks and sweaty guitar solos and walls cracked by dual vocals. They are loud and unforgiving, the way real hard rock should be.
Download: Young Widows – “Old Skin” – [MP3]
Chicago Tour Date:
Mar. 25. 09 @ The Beat Kitchen (with My Disco)
Young Widows on Myspace | website | Buy Old Wounds LP