The US alt-rock quartet The Slants – released the EP The Band Who Must Not Be Named earlier in the month.
The Slants – The Band Who Must Not Be Named – artwork
Those who are not familiar with the back story will not readily appreciate the title of the release.
Back in 2010 The Slants applied for a trademark for their band name to the United States Patent and Trademark Office – a common enough process for bands, normally resulting in either a straight rejection or acceptance based on other Trademark registrations. However the trademark was rejected on the basis that ‘The Slants‘ was a disparaging term – since when there have been various court judgements – predominately overturning the reasons for the rejection – each appealed and as I type today the 19th The Slants are awaiting a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States in regards to: re Tam (Lee V. Tam) due for pronouncement on the 20th – so by the time you read this – an answer will have arrived. As Simon Tam – the founder and bassist puts it ‘I’ve spent almost 8 years in court – almost a quarter of my life – so that I could fight for marginalised communities to have their voices protected…’.
The first track of the five on the EP The Band Who Must Not Be Named – From The Heart.
The US rock & soul sextet Seventeen Sisters are set to release the LP Simplex Vita on the 27th.
An engaging ten track album (available on bandcamp) grinds its way through the speakers in gritty Southern blues rooted compositions, to which they infuse elements of classic rock and intriguingly soul – delivering a soundscape that the listener feels obliged to be drawing from a glass of whiskey whilst listening.
Rather than filling the room with excess, as one may instinctively anticipate from so many players, Seventeen Sisters strip away the extraneous leaving a rawness and honesty to the sound to which the audience feels they too are an intrinsic part of the music.
My sympathy extends to the Manager of Seventeen Sisters as they are all siblings – and you know how often those relationships can suddenly explode in to a battle of wits and full credit to the six of them too – Sarah, Gracie, Angel, Faith, Hannah and Cecil – for being able to allow their sisters and brother to shine through each of the tracks.
My pick of the release is the sixth – Don’t Mess This Up.
Frisson is a US arithmetical-jazz octet due to release their début eponymous EP on the 1st of February.
Having had the opportunity to wander through the five tracks on the EP, I was struck by the starkness of the binary coding through the compositions and the listener is left intrigued by the contrast betwixt the numbers of players and the manner by which Frisson are able to deliver in their ideas, which surface through minuets of duets akin to semaphore flags, containing so much information and consideration.
In similar vein that all digital material, including this article and the rest of the internet which is delivered via binary coding, Frisson slice to ones and zeros in a manner which reconstitutes as comprehensible.
The US rock’n’roll quartet, Mon Freres Amigos, released the three track single Whistle Stop on the 19th.
Mon Freres Amigos
There is a gritty earthiness to the roughly ten minutes release that takes the mind to a run-down outback bar with split floorboards, broken stools and a floor strewn with sawdust to blunt the splinters, yet the audience would be hard pressed to find a more comfortable spot in which spend time.
The opener and title track of the single (available on bandcamp) has boots immediately tapping along with the classic sounds of rock ‘n’ roll.
The US moody-rock quartet Walk By Sea are set to release their début LP on the 24th of February.
Walk By Sea
Within the past twenty-four hours the first track from the album – Moratorium – surfaced.
Having had the opportunity to wander through their previous two EPs, Moratorium marks a shift in parameters for Walk By Sea. Whilst still retaining their roots in alternative folk the quartet have added more depth and resonance to their material affording the output a darker over-coat with which to wrap the listener, while adding elements of maths-rock to the delivery.
For those who already know Walk By Sea, in Moratorium, they will discover ideas familiar to their last release, As The Night, back in 2015. For those new to their music they will find themselves met by a group of musicians who have used their experiences well, delivering highly textured music in which to tarry and dwell.