NEW MUSIC: Unwed Sailor – Ovid

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Math-rock, post-rock, call it what you will… The 90s and 00s were a goldmine for this kind of music. Knotty guitars wrestling and dancing in weird shapes, time signatures playing hopscotch and for the most part no vocals. From Slint, Pan Am and Tortoise through to Isis and Pelican the range of sonic detail and emotional outpouring and impact ran the gamut of intensity.

Unwed Sailor, from Tulsa, OK have been at it for a long time, particularly main man Johnathon Ford, a one-time member of Pedro the Lion and Roadside Monument. It’s been 11 years since their last album but they’re back with Heavy Age and this first taste of it, ‘Ovid’, digs into some wonderful guitar lines. Part shoegaze, part post-rock, you can hear similarities with a bunch of English bands including Swervedriver and Ride yet the lack of vocals means the focus is even more tightly fixed on the landscape painted by the guitars and their effects pedals as well as the gloriously contorting rhythm section.

Heavy Age is set for release on May 3rd.

NEW MUSIC: Japanese Television – Bloodworm

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Galloping ramalama psych rock hurtles straight out of the gates on this instrumental track from wild and eclectic London quartet Japanese Television. It’s like a manic sideshow ride with a streak of reverb-laden surf rock blasting out of battered amusement park speakers. The song careens along with patches of spiralling space rock sending bent organ notes exploding skyward. You think it’s over and it all kicks off again with a Krautrock urgency.

Head over to Spotify and you can also check out their 2016 self-titled EP.

‘Bloodworm’ was recorded in an old isolated village hall onto an 8 track tape by Kristian Bell of The Wytches who had set up the makeshift studio from scratch to manifest the live sound they were after. The band said; ‘’The track only had a working title when we started recording it, we’d played it out live for the first time the night before. The name comes from a book we found in a collection of second-hand novels in the corner of the village hall. The cover of the book has a giant worm wrapped around a ruined Big Ben, which seemed to fit pretty nicely with the mood we were trying to capture! Another weird fact is that a character in the book shares the name of our guitarist, Tim Jones. He is in the book for a single page, at which point he gets eaten by a Bloodworm.’’

 

NEW MUSIC: Theory Of Why – Wrapped Up In Snow

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Theory Of Why is a studio collaboration project between Anton Kropp and Julia Nova who met as college radio DJ’s at the University Of Maryland WMUC station where they continued to write and play music long after college, not stopping after they went separate ways.

‘Wrapped Up In Snow’  comes from their self-titled debut album and has a mix of Breeder’s 90s rock sounds and a darker, more exploratory psych and Krautrock drive. Their self-describe blend of influences such as Stereolab and Wooden Shjips is a pretty accurate one in terms of this track.

 

NEW MUSIC: Jackmann – The Wolf & The Hare

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Jackmann is the stage name of Kris Schroeder of The Basics and ‘The Wolf & The Hare’ is the first single from his forthcoming LP Low Key.

He mentions Warren Zevon as an influence and was one of the first reference points that came to mind on this track. That backbeat, the clipped chop of the rhythm and the vocal sound all combine to produce a great 70s sound, with some magical guitar playing. There’s a certain toughness to the sound that works well as the piano hammers out notes like a wired and poetically belligerent barfly. Great production courtesy of Sam Okell at Abbey Road Studios too.

According to Jackmann, “The song is both a plea of innocence and an admission of guilt, an exploration of mental health, power, predator and prey in the new world of internet relationships, emotional manipulation and sugar daddies. “I am not a criminal, I’m just as much a victim as her…” “Who is the Wolf? Who is the Hare?”

NEW MUSIC: Acrylic – Money From Home

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‘Money From Home’ is the latest single from Gaswegian group Acrylic and what we like about his piece of indie rock is how it dials into a shadowy post-punk melancholy while still retaining a lightness and grace on the surface. You can hear shades of The National, and Midlake in the harmonies and sparkling, interwoven guitars. It’s a sophisticated sound and one that really gets under the skin on repeat listens.

NEW MUSIC: Bollard – TSINA

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‘TSINA’ has an unsettling start, it feels off kilter and slightly disorientating. Then things fall into place as guitars drench the song in warm and fuzzy distortion. There’s a really nice blend of styles going on in Bollard’s music. Part, jangly rock, part post-rock and post-punk deconstruction and the verve and carefree noise of 90s rock pioneered by bands like Swervedriver and Sonic Youth.

The song follows their 2018 LP Trawlers and is set to appear on a new forthcoming EP.

Gathered round the soft light of the screen,

Talk until words such as these,

Leave no mark on the places they have gone,

In the darkness there remains a light on,

In a downtown apartment, in the coolest of scenes, where each morning they tell you what they saw in their dreams.

And all around you thoughts are endless, just as you speak they leave. Til it all just crumbles away

I’ll tell you something – they don’t know what it’s like. Come to think nor do I!

I answer your strange fascination for where the virtue goes with a smile for I don’t know.

Our desires they are twisted and they unwind in the breeze. It’s all just plastic you can shape it as you please.

Whenever I come round and no-ones there,

I wonder ‘why did evan dando cut his hair’?

In a downtown apartment, in the coolest of scenes, where each day is a reminder of what you could have been.

And it hangs around your neck, and in the doorways and in the things they just won’t say.

I’ll tell you something – they don’t know what it’s like. Come to think nor do I!

I answer your strange fascination for where the virtue goes with a smile for I don’t know.

And I’m looking out the curtain as I star across, they’ll never know. From the garden I peer into their vacant home.

A crowd is gathering up this road. It is nothing, it is nothing, it is just and empty sack of blood and bones.

NEW MUSIC: 100 – Just Us

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Crawling out of the Sydney underbelly is 100, a tension-laden quartet with a brand new song to follow-up their EP Cortisone and a split 7″ with Nick Nuisance & The Delinquents.

‘Just Us’ lurches and staggers across the speakers with the creeping malevolence of Jesus Lizard and Nirvana. It’s unhinged yet the band are in full control as they delivered these monolithic crashing post-punk chords that hang suspended in the air before dropping like free-falling asteroids.

NEW MUSIC: Engine Summer – Outside The Curtain

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There’s a strong LCD Soundsystem sound on this track from the Chicago band Engine Summer. It comes from their recently released EP Indiana. There’s more than just that particular influence going on here though. Bits of post-rock and post-punk are built into the DNA. Skronking guitar notes warble and scatter and the groove is of the utmost importance, much as it is with other contemporary acts such as Parquet Courts. There’s also a Kiwi connection here with the mastering of the new EP done by Dion Lunadon of A Place To Bury Strangers, The D4 and Nothing At All!