We've got another week of spanking new sounds here on TSC, with a clutch of records by bands from far and wide that, most likely, you've never heard of. Perhaps that's not totally true, as MV + EE have built themselves quite a reputation on the back of a ton of releases over the course of the past few years, but the rest of this group should be new faces to you lot. But enough of our incessant babbling, we'll let the tunes to the bulk of the talking this week.
Our first dollop this week is the debut single from NYC's Lemon Dots (aka Theresa from Home Blitz), and Labor of Love imprint. These are all pop songs/smashes in miniature, saccharine sweet sing-song melodies invaded by blasts of grotty guitar and wayward oscillations. “Hung Up on You” sounds like it was recorded on a shortwave radio, and is all the better for it, with an incredibly irresistible chorus and dour joyousness. Lesley Gore and Joanie Sommers comparisons are inevitable, what with the blossoming girl-group harmonies of “Girl in Motion”, but there's more going on here than they'd lead you to believe; each song here is bursting at the seams with odd pop construction an a plethora of ideas swirling around, so much so that you'd think it's all in danger of becoming muddled, yet sounds clean as a whistle and amazingly coherent. In the wrong hands, these songs could be twee nightmares, but in this group's capable mitts, they're spiky pop nuggets that simultaneously have you singing along and clamoring for more. Edition of 500 copies in gorgeous sleeves on, what else, lemon yellow colored wax. Buy now or weep later.
To follow that we've got an entirely different group of derelicts, the split single between Astral Social Club/Glockenspiel on Krayon Recordings. The Glockenspiel side, “Assorted PCP” (amazing name) is a lumbering post-industrial soundscape that continuously piles layers of sound atop each other to form a molasses paced slow crawl through the Sheffield countryside. Vocals occasionally peep through the cracks as the ambiance becomes darker and more foreboding before the whole thing implodes in on itself at the very end. On the flip, Astral Social Club</a> is another moniker of Neil Campbell, best known a a member of the Vibracathedral Orchestra. Campbell's side is a pulsating drone workout that picks up speed as it goes, with a mutated sound that oozes like a paramecium trying to squirm it's way out of a petri dish only to land in a puddle of hydrochloric acid and meet its untimely doom attempting to escape an uncertain one. Not the most exciting or dynamic thing he's laid to wax, but still quite intriguing in it's own right. Available direct from the label as well as good shops everywhere.
Due to our tardiness, we're giving you a bonus review absolutely free this week, and it comes in the paisley-hued guise of Vibravoid's What Colour is Pink? EP on Fruits de Mer. As if the title weren't a dead give-away, this single features three Pink Floyd covers done in the band's trademark deviant, heavily-grooving krautrock style, placing them somewhere between Carnaby Street '69, Berlin circa '74 and errr, Birmingham last week. On the A-Side, “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun” adds loads of ghastly echo and twirping FX to the original's brainmelting dynamics, and while it's definitely a head-trip, it's difficult say if they improve upon it or not; they are pulling from the Floyd canon, which isn't an easy task in the first place. On the flipside, their organ-heavy wig-out version of “A Saucerful of Secrets” is extraterrestrially great, as are the massively-effected grooves they pump into Roger Waters' “Let There be More Light”. There's no doubting that they do justice to the songs here, and they're more than adept from a technical perspective, but overall, it makes us wish they'd take on the Bread catalog and show their true chops by psychedelicizing a batch of otherwise ho-hum tunes. Sold out from the label, but try Norman Records who might still have a couple copies on the shelves.
Lastly this week, we've got the new single from MV + EE Sweetheart of the NASCAR EP on the newly-minted Electric Temple Records. While some might grouse about the sheer amount of material this duo releases, their hit ratio remains pretty damn spectacular, and this single could well be two of the best songs they've ever put to record. As they shake the rust off the opening chords of “Sweetheart of the NASCAR” there's a pronounced Crazy Horse vibe, subtle waves of distortion and tremolo creeking through the cracks as the whole thing explodes into an absolute wide screen epic, ramshackle dust bowl elegance leaking from every pore as its rough-hewn-yet-restrained vocals leave room for the rust belt beauty to shine through. B-side 'Crow Jane Variations' is spectral rural balladry, stripped back to only its basest elements (guitar/lap steel/vocals) it rings true with regret and the ghosts of a thousand dead soldiers that never made it home, with a harmonic squall of feedback at the tail end only further serving the mood. A pair of songs haunting & harrowing in the most gorgeous way possible. Limited to 500 copies and sure to disappear quickly, best to get it direct from the label if this is something you need, and trust us, it is.
That's it for us this week, but rest assured, we've got our timing (groove?) back, so we'll be around more frequently and with some of the most out-there sounds around.