The Brown Bottle Flu from Bloomington in the USA is the New Wave trio of Alex Molica (Guitar / Vocals), Jared (Bass) and Sharlene (Percussion / Vocals).
The Brown Bottle Flu
A delight….. is how I will start of this review of The Brown Bottle Flu and well, this is going to take me some time to write as I have to take a minute or two away from the keyboard each sentence to wrap my head in the music. A perfect setting for early Friday evening as I type, sumptuous percussion and bass slither across the room, testing the very foundations of the building. A slightly distorted guitar splays across the material like a back spatter bloodstain, accompanied by underlying vocals which are delivered as a head-snapping double punch.
I could waffle about CBGBs for a while and even throw in Anti-Pasti, but to make comparisons is to declinate from the absolute joy and currency of it all. Smartly composed songs breathe of vitality and the listener is lifted on to their feet to join in with the music. I can even forgive them the odd cover here or there which they do manage to rework with some degree of originality.
The Brown Bottle Flu is absolute joy to discover and with a release Felt Up beginning to gain some traction I would anticipate will become far better known and a band I suggest is worth spending plenty of time with…. It has taken an hour for these 250 words and I will be heading back to replay the LP once again as soon as I finish.
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Nodigga from Los Angeles in the USA is the solo lo-fi electronica creator Nick Cardinal.
A fascinating conceptual idea which could only emerge out of the home of lo-fi – Los Angeles. On hitting play you will be convinced your speakers have broken, such is the distortion, but be assured all is well, this is the creativity of Nodigga.
By fusing what are normally crystal clear pitches with instrumental and earth tilling turns of the fork the listener is left in a space which captivates. Compositionally there is nothing out of the ordinary, it neither seeks to tear open the edges of the envelope, nor does it attempt to be user friendly from the off, but what we are left with is something of incredible value as the creativity of a lively mind which expresses the individuality and perspective in a surprising way.
The material demands concentration to gain maximum value and that is easy to give as Nick Cardinal offers the audience an opportunity to give it a moment or two to make sense, or reach for the off button in even less time. In my opinion, there is a fascinating journey to discover with Nodigga and certainly a concept that will remain on my watch list. The frayed edges of the notes which ripple across the room in broken fragments add a luxuriant psychedelic osmosis to the sounds being delivered to the ears.
I could and will spend many an hour in this space.
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Jayk Gallagher (Vocals / Guitar), Marie Bollinger (Vocals), Brendan Kelley (Bass), Luke Harvis (Lead Guitar) and Byron Pagdilao (Drums) make up the Los Angeles, USA based indie rock band Hobart W Fink.
Hobart W Fink
I wondered whether the switching between vocalist by Hobart W Fink mid-track would grate and become nothing more than a confusion after a while, but they use the changeover particularly well and the music gains perspective through it and the more you hear the better it becomes. Fairly lengthy tracks (well over four minutes typically) gain resonance and intrigue as the voices tell different parts of the story.
The accompanying instrumental, I just enjoy for its carefree attitude which complements the two voices with their more studied off key vicissitude and the whole sound in combination fully wraps the listener in tight grasp and joining in with the chorus.
There is undoubtedly a capable songwriter involved in the band as the stylised compositions have a tonality which keeps the audience in full focus and whilst easy for the ear to engage with, the tracks are far from easy to play as tempos switch up and down, along with keys, whilst retaining an animate flow.
I look forward to hearing more of Hobart W Fink who as an entity is just over a year old, as they have much to add to the world of music and with experience and confidence have the potential to be of even greater significance.
The name of the band is just a joy as don’t you like me, just need to do a wikipedia search to find out about this man- who must have been an eminent surgeon? In time I am hopeful we will find this entry is filled in with the details of these guys from Los Angeles, not, as I write – a void.
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Plus is Paul Hiller (Bass / Synth / Vocals), David Powell (Guitar / Synth / Vocals), Dave Farina (Drums / Synth / Samples / Vocals) and Cameron Gharaee (Synth / Guitar / Vocals) an electro-rock band from Los Angeles in the USA.
It is something of a surprise to find Plus emanates from Los Angeles and good on them for challenging the local mores, as importantly, regardless of their home base there are some smartly crafted tunes to be found.
On the surface this all sounds very clean and glossy, but there is an underlying current that scratches at the veins and the mind is forced to focus and finds there is a deftly able quartet at work as they deliver music which has a liveliness to it that belies the umpteen computers being used to generate the noises to accompany drums, guitar and vocal. Avoiding the trap of ever present loops Plus use the technology intelligently so that the synthesized sounds form a framework not a focal point which enables the listener to relate to the out-put.
I am not sure what is it about this I really enjoy. Is it I feel wish that Plus just get a little bit grittier and subsume themselves in the European scene, or is it because the frothiness is just a pleasure in its own right? Either way, the material serves its purpose admirably, as I just need to hear more to keep on scratching that itch and will keep playing their music on the playlist – ‘One more time please’.
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Inbellum is the rock metal band from Van Nuys in the USA comprising Hector Ochoa (Vocals), Milton Quintanilla (Guitar), Jonathan Paschall (Drums) and Andres Rodriguez Vahos (Bass).
Tentaverunt me ad scribere totum review patria lingua Inbellum sicut et habent originem a paucis titulos quoque Latinum carmen, but I won’t as the powerhouse lies within the sounds scouring their way across the room, not in the Latin derivations.
Heavy Metal when played well can be a beautiful and calming space in which to lay and Inbellum take us to this space. A plethora of influences sit within this Honduran, Columbian, American combination and the influences of Southern America are interspersed with trips to the Caribbean lifting the music to a level which totally absorbs the listener. La voz cambia entre el Español y el inglés puede ser un poco irritante para algunos but that is the real strength of the band as they combine so much in a short space of time.
Music which challenges preconceptions is always a pleasure to find and I am only sorry it has taken me me two months to get round to writing the review as I float around the room on a sublime melting pot of percussion, vocal and guitar work that can’t help but attract attention from anyone who enjoys bands who challenge the norm to come up with something truly original, but equally accessible.
website (be aware music will start playing immediately).
Are You Still With Me? – Inbellum is available on iTunes*
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