The US garage-rock band Brat Sounds released the EP Gatorade on the 16th.
The opening track – Sinking Feeling – on the four track release (available on bandcamp) compresses the scowl upon which Brat Sounds sneers at the world of social anxiety in a just over two minute mining of the self-serving fragility of – ‘but, I am offended’ with an acidic repost.
Rarely do a music combo sum up a declination of the pathetic bleatings of the ‘I am all that matters’ generation with such humour or good grace. Even those of the ‘Millennial generation’ which this track pours vitriol may look inside their plastic lives and laugh at their own self-righteousness, though I tend to think they will take a listen and comment ‘This is a nasty track – I matter most, stop laughing at me’.
Able to fish between rough and tumble waves of foundation rattling vitriol as well as cast into eddies of burbling agitation Calm & Crisis is a trio with much to offer the world of music.
Formed in latter part of 2014 the trio emerged with a quick four track EP It Always Rains On Wednesdays in January 2015 before heading back out on the road to hone their craft. Bright and chirpy as their earlier material was, the eleven track LP – In A Good Place which surfaced a few days ago finds a tighter and more optimised space as they turn ideas to considered compositions.
Fusillades of pulverising percussion are mellowed betwixt acoustic and electronic guitar through which bass is given reign to blow valves or calmly net the catch as the vocal sets the theme of the disparity of tracks on In A Good Place, which they use to showcase their repertoire, even introducing a piano for the final track – Barely Here.
Whilst I am fully supportive of what is in essence a ‘concept album’ as a first major release, I look forward to future material, when I hope to discover the defining engine room of Calm & Crisis as despite having spent forty minutes in their company with In A Good Place and another quarter of an hour with It Always Rains On Wednesdays, I am still unclear as to the essence of the trio, other than I am glad I have been in their company.
Though perhaps the name of the band is, in itself, the explanation of the conundrum of the boisterous and the equable.
The US surf-merseybeat quintet Mrs. Magician are planning to release the LP Bermuda on the 20th of May.
There is something enamouring of the Corondo Bridge and the Queensway Tunnel meeting at some point and Mrs. Magician are that moment of architectural illusion as they bring North West Coast England and South Western coastal USA together as though merely a lock away.
From the forthcoming album – Forgiveness, which was released as a single on the 19th, conjoins spangly dampened guitar with extended synths in a sound that is something special. Their ability to unify the unimaginable is a testament to their creative thought processes and the world of music is better for it.
I had the option of asking to hear the rest of the LP and delaying an article or running with what I had and decided it would be better if I ran with this and come back to a band who had the perspicacity to release as their first LP – the seventeen track B Sides, which is precisely what it says on the tin – things forgotten, yet made a mastery of the release.
I hope to be able to come back to you nearer the time with some thoughts on Bermuda.
The US blues-rock trio Safe Secrets released the five track EP Snakes And Spiders on the 14th.
Opening with Intro – an eighty-five second track that sets up the confabulation of distorted ideas which sit inside Snakes And Spiders and by the very presence of this number the listener is immediately aware Safe Secrets is a band of far greater confidence than that introduced in February of last year, as with no hesitancy they throw in a curve-ball for the ears.
On hitting Toe Tagged, time to turn up the volume and scatter the furniture in a track which features dropping scales with a hefty bass note to conclude the progressions of bars giving the piece a sense of the downtrodden, which is suddenly torn asunder by screaming guitar.
Not Alone Part II is next on Snakes And Spiders and sadly already marks the half-way point. Finding some connection with Not Alone Part I which was the opening track on the LP Let Em’ Hear It, in that it too is a blousy guitar number, here Safe Secrets have tightened the sails with double time drums thwacks in a number that featured in the 2016 New Year Ninety.
The penultimate track – Sugar is marked by a scorched earth flame-thrower that blisters the speakers and is my pick of the release as the trio let their hair down in an all guns firing piece that demands immediate replay.
Concluding Snakes And Spiders (available on bandcamp) is Liars And Lions which discovers Safe Secrets in introspective acoustic opening moment. Their most self challenging piece with sharp clefts demanding of clean edged syncopation and they are able to deliver the precipices of tempo change and unexpected full-stops with alacrity. Perhaps the track that defines their coming of age and sets the bar for future releases.