Friday, October 31, 2008

Iran - "Buddy" EP


Iran consists of singer/multi-instrumentalist Aaron Aites, guitarist Kyp Malone of TV on the Radio, guitarist Aaron Romanello (Grand Mal) and guitarist/bassist Peter Hoffman (The Mendoza Line). Their third full length "Dissolver" will be released in Feb. 2009 on Narnack Records. In the meantime, Nov. 4th will see the release of the "Buddy" EP that includes the song, "Buddy", also on "Dissolver" and a cover of the John Lennon song, "Isolation" as well as "Airport 77" which is the prelude to a song on Dissolver" called "Airport 79".

Showing a range of influences such as XTC, Brian Wilson, early Sebadoh, and similarities to Kyp's work in TV On The Radio, Aaron Aites and Iran create very catchy, skewed noise-pop...imagine a sticky bubblegum ball rolling under the couch, picking up dust and grime. Though prior output was more of the lo-fi variety, this time around producer David Andrew Sitek has added his famous touch to flesh out Iran's brand of bedroom pop. Check out "Buddy" below and look for "Dissolver" in early '09.

The Republic Tigers - Daytrotter Session

You may have heard songs from The Republic Tigers on such TV shows as Gossip Girl and Chuck. Or maybe you picked up their song "Buildings & Mountains" as the Single Of The Week on iTunes. Well, now you can check them out with free downloads of their live session on Daytrotter. Their album, "Keep Color" out now on Chop Shop Records blends a style of organic, poppy indie rock with electronic flourishes and near perfect harmonies.

Two of the five live in-studio songs from the Daytrotter session include, "Buildings & Mountains" and "Fight Song", which can also be found on the Gossip Girl Season 1 Soundtrack.

Check out the Daytrotter session here: http://daytrotter.com/article/1470/the-republic-tigers

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Status - "So This Is Progress"

"So This Is Progress" is the debut album from The Status, recently released by Doghouse Records. The Status is from Atlanta but are clearly influenced by the Long Island, NY sound. Friend and band manager, Anthony Raneri of Bayside makes a guest appearance on a track as does Adam Lazzarra of Taking Back Sunday. Similar to those two bands, The Status possess a tight and moody melodic indie rock sound with emotional vocals and introspective lyrics. The theme of searching for progress in your love life and in your abilities propels "So This Is Progress" and gives it a positive outlook not always adhered to in the "woe is me" emo rock scene.
The title track, "So This Is Progress" the song Anthony of Bayside appears on, undeniably rivals Bayside's most poppiest moments. "Why Are You So Sad" has a chugging guitar riff and an instantly catchy soaring chorus. While "Perfect Day" which first appeared on their self released EP, is the most radio friendly track and has already garnered airplay on 99X in Atlanta even before they were signed.
The Status are out on tour now with Bayside converting new fans and making new friends. Check out http://www.doghouserecords.com/ for tour dates and to order the album.
Check out their purevolume page to stream the whole album here: http://www.purevolume.com/thestatus

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ryan Adams & The Cardinals - "Cardinolology"

The ever prolific Ryan Adams has released his tenth album overall and fourth full length with The Cardinals as his backing band. "Cardinology" is the most cohesive and complete set of songs Ryan has done with The Cardinals. Many of the songs are written in the same Grateful Dead-like alt country vein, though Ryan still indulges in some U2-like arena rock, like on "Magick" and "Cobwebs", the latter features his best Bono wail. Most of the polished production that gave last year's "Easy Tiger" an adult alternative feel are replaced with more twang and rougher edges, sounding closer to his work with Whiskeytown than any of his solo albums.

Everything seems to work on this new record. Fans of the 70's rock of "Gold", the dirtier side of "Rock N' Roll" and the rambling twang of "Jacksonville City Nights" will be pleased as "Cardinology" delivers on all facets of Ryan Adam's songwriting strengths as a whole.
"Fix It" sounds like it was chosen by the label as the lead single as it's more in line with the mellow mood of "Easy Tiger". The next track on the album, "Magick" is the most straight-forward rock song on the album with distorted guitars, pounding drums and an anthemic chorus. "Natural Ghost" is true to its title with unearthly steel guitar and background vocals. And "Born Into A Light" is steeped in the vintage harmonies of The Band.

Critically, Ryan Adams is one of the more polarizing artists in rock but in "Cardinology", he and The Cardinals have an undeniably great record and one of the best of the year.

Listen to song clips here:

Born Into A Light:
http://losthighway.edgeboss.net/wmedia/losthighway/ryanadams/cardinology/90secclips/born_into_a_light_clip.wax

Fix It: http://losthighway.edgeboss.net/wmedia/losthighway/ryanadams/cardinology/90secclips/01_fix_it.wax

Magick: http://losthighway.edgeboss.net/wmedia/losthighway/ryanadams/cardinology/90secclips/magick_clip.wax

See more here: www.cardinology.com and www.myspace.com/ryanadams

Monday, October 27, 2008

It's A Musical - "The Music Makes Me Sick"


On October 28th, Berlin's Morr Music will release, "The Music Makes Me Sick", the full length debut from Sweden's It's A Musical. Ella Blixt and Robert Kretzschmar create fun and colorful indie pop with keyboards, drums and dual vocals, similar to early Mates Of State. As their name suggests; horns, vibraphones, winds and embracing harmonies flesh out the sound and give some of the songs a sincere, show tunes quality.

"Pain Song" and its joyful horns, open the album with a giddy sing along, ironically asking, "Why is it so hard to come up with some art?" because they make it seem so easy. I have left this song on repeat for days. "Ball Of Joy" sounds exactly like it's title, loading the front half of the album with more immediate and upbeat songs and allowing for a more melancholy and introspective second half. "Bad Day" sounds like St. Etienne and Stereolab met in a coffee shop for a quick chat about their day. I am not a doctor but I am sure that "The Music Makes Me Sick" will not make you sick, in fact, It's A Musical's infectious indie pop might even make you feel better. So give it a shot!

Download "Bad Day" here: http://www.toolshed-media.com/ts/its-a-musical-bad-day.mp3

Hear and see more here: http://www.itsamusical.com/ and http://www.morrmusic.com/artist/It´s%20a%20Musical

Also check out Ella's other project Bobby & Blumm: http://toolshed.biz/projects/show/www.myspace.com/bobbyandblumm

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Dears - "Missiles"


They say life imitates art but in this case, art imitates life. The Dears have been through as much drama in the last two years as their music conjures up. Creative differences led to the departure of every band member except for Dears founder Murray Lightburn and wife, Natalia Yanchak and the search for a new label provided the drama...and The Dears delivered the soundtrack.

Following the stripped down "Gang Of Losers"; their first release for Dangerbird Records, "Missiles", is a return to form. Their dramatic post-apocalyptic orchestral rock includes everything from a children's choir on the eleven minute closer, "Saviour", to 70's style Santana-like guitar solos, and the smooth saxophone that provides the intro to the opener, "Disclaimer"; making for an engaging listen even without flashy choruses. "Missiles" sounds like a sonic cousin to OK Computer-era Radiohead, TV On The Radio and even Stars and Arcade Fire. Written and played by only Murray and Natalia and a few skilled session musicians, "Missiles" is an atmospheric album of grandiose sonic rock that will grow on you more with every listen.

To hear the first single, "Money Babies" click here: http://www.dangerbirdrecords.com/public/mp3/stream/audio/thedears_moneybabies.wmv

To see the video click here: http://www.dangerbirdrecords.com/videos/watch/dears-money-babies-video

www.myspace.com/thedears.com

To win your own copy of "Missiles", just send an email to: atlasandtheanchor@hotmail.com. One winner will be selected at random on October 30th. Good luck and thanks for reading!

These Arms Are Snakes - "Tail Swallower And Dove"

Suicide Squeeze Records has released the new These Arms Are Snakes album, "Tail Swallower And Dove". Just like the wolves on the cover, the new album is ferocious and powerful and proves to be the tightest and most focused of their three albums. Even after touring with bands like Pelican, much of the atmospherics of the last album, "Easter", are kept in check; being replaced with a propelling groove that drives the songs with minimal synth parts and vocal tricks. Their sound remains as abrasive and raw as ever and Steve Snere's vocals are both relentless and emotional.

I have always likened These Arms Are Snakes to The Blood Brothers because of their sonic similarities, except for the vocals, of course. With the disbandment of The Blood Brothers, TAAS remain as the lone torch bearers for the post-hardcore, math-rock scene, as they have since they were members of Botch and Kill Sadie.
The monstrous, "Red Line Season", and it's higher pitched background screams give a nod to The Blood Brothers, possibly as a tribute. The jittery opening track, "Woolen Heirs", buzzes like Steady Diet-era Fugazi. "Ethric Double" and the album closer, "Briggs" are more textural and longer in length, providing some space to the rest of the album's straight-forward fury.
These Arms Are Snakes have created an engaging, tight and furious album that will find it's way onto many year end top ten lists, including mine.

Hear and see more here: http://www.myspace.com/thesearmsaresnakes
Order "Tail Swallower And Dove" here: www.suicidesqueeze.net

Friday, October 17, 2008

Portugal. The Man - "Censored Colors"

Vice President hopeful Sarah Palin may be Alaska's favorite daughter, but Portugal. The Man are their prodigal sons. On their third album, and first for Equal Vision Records, Portugal. The Man continue to color outside of the lines of classification with, "Censored Colors". The album is split into two halves with the first half centering more on disparate, Gospel fueled folk and psych-pop than the Mars Volta-like art rock of their past. While the second half is a seamless suite of the freaked out prog, jazz, and metal they are known for.

"Lay Me Back Down" opens the album on a rush of thick vintage 70's organ and a Jack White-like guitar riff with Gospel tinged background vocals, signaling the shift in style. Though the music, ever changing and abstract, one constant remains in the falsetto vocals of John Baldwin Gourley. Those vocals are showcased in the up-lifting classic soul of "Created".
The rock remains, but is more in line with the stomp and pomp of Led Zeppelin and the hazy trippiness of Pink Floyd. To highlight the strangeness of the second half, "1989", a spacey, country-esque ballad about Gourley's childhood recollection of the Gulf War, ends in a reggae-like sing along.

Setting them apart from everyone else is Portugal. The Man's ability to change with every album, each year and to surprise their fans with a curveball every time.

Download "And I" here: http://media.equalvision.com/evr153/audio/and_i.mp3

Download "Out and In and In and Out" here: http://media.equalvision.com/evr153/audio/out_and_in_and_in_and_out.mp3

Order the album here: http://www.equalvision.com/

Show Review: The Little Ones at Southgate House

The Little Ones are out on tour to support their new album, "Morning Tide". On October 14th, they brought their bright, indie-pop to the Southgate House in Newport, KY. As the last night of their tour with The Walkmen, they made it a memorable show; each band reflecting their own brand of indie rock. The shiny, happy sounds of The Little Ones contrasted with The Walkmen's emotional, brooding music and made for an interesting night.

The Little Ones put on a show that reflects their music. They looked like they were having as much fun playing their songs as we were watching them.
Starting off with two favorites from their first EP, "Oh, MJ" and "Cha Cha Cha", they got the crowd singing along right away. They followed that up with four songs from "Morning Tide". "Ordinary Song" was anything but, with its breezy chorus, into the "Oh, Oh..." chanting of "Gregory's Chant". Then came my favorite song from the new album, "Tangerine Visions" followed by the title track. Then it was time to "Face The Facts". I was glad they played a song from their self released EP, "Terry Tales & Fallen Gates" when they offered up "Forgive Yourself". The bouncy, "Everybody's Up To Something" (Brian was bouncing right along with his bass line) and "Rise & Shine" were the last two new songs played before they closed with their most popular song, "Lovers Who Uncover" that electrified the audience, fueling them to clap and sing along.
The Little Ones never disappoint with a live show, playing crowd favorites, a good mix of old and new songs and leave you wanting more. Don't miss them when they come to your town. Here are their remaining fall tour dates:

The Little Ones
Sun
10/19/08
Washington, DC
DC9
Tue
10/21/08
Chicago, IL
Schubas Tavern
Wed
10/22/08
Minneapolis, MN
7th Street Entry
Thu
10/23/08
Omaha, NE
The Waiting Room
Sat
10/25/08
Denver, CO
Hi-Dive
Mon
11/10/08
Seattle, WA
Chop Suey
Tue
11/11/08
Portland, OR
Doug Fir Lounge
Fri
11/14/08
Los Angeles, CA
Echo
Sat
11/15/08
Costa Mesa, CA
Detroit Bar

Check out more pictures from the show of here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/31499139@N07/

Atlas and the Anchor would like to thank Angela at Filter for the tickets, Lee from The Little Ones for taking the time to talk and write out the set list and Jenna Kreitzer for taking the photos.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Little Ones - "Morning Tide"

Finally...after a critically acclaimed EP, a recent self-released EP, and over two years of label woes and waiting, The Little Ones have released their first full-length, "Morning Tide". You would think that all of these complications would bring a band down, well if so, their music doesn't show it. Brimming with quirky, upbeat, infectiously catchy indie-pop, the new songs practically beg you to sing and dance along. Although comparable to 60's pop legends, The Beach Boys, Kinks, and Zombies and modern day acts such as The Shins and Death Cab For Cutie, they put their own sunny spin on pop with enough hand-claps, "Oh, Oh's" and harmonies to spoil your sweet tooth!

"Tangerine Visions" builds off of a giddy Mellotron line before giving way to the lifting, atmospheric pop of the chorus. "Everybody's Up To Something" bounces along on a bass line with an anthemic sing along that is already becoming a live favorite. The chamber pop of album closer, "Farm Song", would make Jon Brion proud with it's gorgeous orchestral arrangement and sweet harmonies.

"Morning Tide", released 10/7 on Chop Shop Records will find it's way into your home whether you know it or not. Chop Shop is headed up by Alexandra Patsavas, who is known for supervising the music heard on many of your favorite TV shows, like O.C., Grey's Anatomy, and Gossip Girl, which has already featured the song "Morning Tide" in an episode. The Little Ones are poised to become much bigger than their name suggests.

Download the title track here: http://streaming.edgeboss.net/download/streaming/the_little_ones/audio/01_morning_tide.mp3

See and hear more here: www.wearethelittleones.com and www.chopshoprecords.com

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dear And The Headlights - "Drunk Like Bible Times"

After emerging like a phoenix from...Phoenix last year with their debut, "Small Steps, Heavy Hooves", Dear And The Headlights have just released their second album on Equal Vision Records, titled, "Drunk Like Bible Times". Much like The Counting Crows in their prime, they create dusty, piano laden alt. country-indie rock with great appeal. Fans of Okkervil River and Bright Eyes will find comfort in singer, Ian Metzger's wavering, almost painfully emotional soft/loud vocal style.

Five years in the making, the songs on the last release were much more lived in and demo-ed to death before finding their way on the album. The new batch of songs were written after touring and fully coming together as a band, with an emphasis on capturing the energy of their live show. Not much is different between the two albums, which is a great thing. Why try to fix something that is not broken? And it shows on tracks like, "Bad News" with its instantly catchy sing-along chorus and driving guitar line. And the emotionally charged "Talk About" which doesn't so much talk as scream about the way journalists try to interpret or over analyze the lyrics to his songs. DATH prefers to let their music speak for itself and for the fan to interpret the lyrics and have an emotional connection to call their own.
So raise your glass and sing along to one of this years best releases!

Download "Talk About" here: http://media.equalvision.com/evr150/audio/talk_about.mp3

Order Dear and the Headlights music and merch here: http://equalvision.com/

Monday, October 13, 2008

Adagio Blue - "Ordovician Fission"



"Ordovician Fission", the debut studio release from Adagio Blue will be released by Alpha Dawg Records on October 25th. Adagio Blue is a post- modern instrumental, melodic jazz-funk fusion band from Ohio; the brainchild and side project of guitarist/songwriter Jay Brunner (of Johnny B and the Gravediggers) and bassist/songwriter Chris Rhoton with Matt Hall (keyboards) and Mark Becknell (drums).
All of the songs were recorded in a live band setting with no overdubs. Most songs were recorded in just one or two takes, which is a testament to the experience and talent these four members exude. They have more chops than a butcher shop! Comparable to the avant-garde jazz of Medeski, Martin & Wood, the retro funk of Lettuce and Soulive, with touches of prog-rock and blues, Adagio Blue blur the lines of classification.
"Second Of Six" starts out with a dueling guitar and bass race before giving way to a walking bass line and noodling guitar riff that should make every jam band envious.
"Laurentian Kid" is an organ drenched blues rock rave-up with funky slap bass and a stop/start rhythm. The title track, "Ordovician Fission" incorporates twinkling keys with a Primus-like guitar line into a dissonant distorted jazz freak out.

Click here to download the title track, "OrdovicianFission": http://www.alphadawgrecords.com/audio/ADAGIO_BLUE/Ordovician%20Fission.mp3

Adagio Blue will be playing a CD release show at the BBQ Connection in Middletown, OH on Saturday, October 25th. Don't miss their skilled, improvisational live show!
For more info click here: http://www.alphadawgrecords.com/
To hear and see more, click here: www.myspace.com/adagioblue

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Copeland - "You Are My Sunshine"

Copeland are set to release their fourth full-length, "You Are My Sunshine", October 14th on Tooth & Nail Records. Building on their last two releases, "In Motion" (2005) and "Eat, Sleep, Repeat" (2006), Aaron Marsh and company deliver more of their lush, introspective, and graceful indie rock. Although they have removed some of the emo-punk stylings of their past efforts, Aaron's voice is the spotlight again with his heartfelt, atmospheric delivery.
Produced by both Aaron Marsh and the acclaimed, Aaron Sprinkle (Anberlin, Eisley). They have created a laid back, more organic and less polished sounding record that reflects the lullaby the album is named after.
"Good Morning Fire Eater" burns with waves of synth and bending guitars over a loose beat with cooling vocals. "The Grey Man" is more piano driven with ringing guitars and soaring vocals. Both are great introductions to the new album and can be heard on their Myspace and Purevolume pages.
And then pre-order the album here: http://www.toothandnail.com/

Monday, October 06, 2008

Deerhoof - "Offend Maggie"

Today marks the release date for Deerhoof's latest offering on Kill Rock Stars, "Offend Maggie". Through the abrasiveness and dissonance--which with every new album there is less of--Deerhoof puts their "hoofprint" on pop. I am not saying they have totally went pop, but there is an undercurrent of melody, and fun that makes it an enjoyable listen. The last song on the album is titled, "Jagged Fruit" and that pretty much sums up the Deerhoof sound. Spiky and sweet.
With the addition of new guitarist, Edward Rodriguez, the contrast of Townshend-like power chords and nimble acoustic guitars makes the title track interesting before the vocals join in telling of a telemarketing love unrequited. On "Basket Ball Get Your Groove Back", Satomi sounds like a Japanese Kimya Dawson, as she sings from the basketball's perspective. It sounds strange and it is, but try not to sing along to lyrics like, "bunny jump, bunny jump".
"Fresh Born", with it's mountainous bass line shows off Deerhoof's brand of jittery dance-funk.
"Offend Maggie" is Deerhoof's most straightforward and accessible release. With that said, who knows what to expect next. And that's the best part.

Download the title track, "Offend Maggie" here: http://www.toolshed-media.com/ts/deerhoof-offend-maggie.mp3

Order the album and see more here: http://deerhoof.killrockstars.com/

Friday, October 03, 2008

only makebelieve - "Message From A Mockingbird"

Over five years in the making, unsigned Ohio band, Only Makebelieve, has finally released their ambitious debut, "Message From A Mockingbird". OMB consists of Samuel Atkinson and Wyatt Michael who wrote, recorded, produced and played everything on the album. They took the best parts of the great music from the last several decades and fused it with their own brand of artful, intelligent power-pop. Notable influences on the record are rich Beatlesesque harmonies, the prog-rock prowess of Rush, the 80's brit-pop of Tears For Fears, the skewed pop sense of XTC and Jellyfish, and Sloan's penchant for classic rock goodness.
In this digital age, they have created a soaring pop masterpiece, an album meant to be absorbed from start to finish. Not one track on the mixing board was spared, as you are wrapped in a wall of sound, texture and melody. The velvety slide guitar on "Sunflower" is the perfect complement to the horns and strings sections. "Chase" sounds like one of the best Sloan songs before it eases into a classic rock jam to the end. "Nuclear Reactor" explodes with crunch and spacey reverse guitars into one of the more straight forward rock numbers on the album.
"Message From A Mockingbird" is well worth the wait...as long as we don't have to wait another five years for the next record and they don't have to wait long before they are signed!

Download "Sunflower" here: http://audio.notlame.com/sounds08/cdonlymakebelieve104.mp3

You can buy it on iTunes, eMusic, and amazonmp3. For a physical copy including a limited edition poster or to hear more, go here: http://www.myspace.com/only1makebelieve

Thursday, October 02, 2008

TV On The Radio - "Dear Science"

Sometimes when a band creates a masterpiece ("Return To Cookie Mountain") the next record can fall short of expectations. Or sometimes they exceed those expectations and create another great record. Just as TV On The Radio has done with, the highly anticipated, "Dear Science".
A much brighter sounding record, "Science" is less dense than their previous output. Most of the gauze enshrouding the songs on "Cookie Mountain" is replaced with a cleaner sound, focusing the spotlight on the vocals of Tunde and Kyp. New sounds such as handclaps, horns courtesy of members of Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, funky Prince-like guitar riffs and even Tunde coming off as a battle rapping MC on "Dancing Choose" contrast their normally dark and gloomy soundscapes and lyrics.
TVOTR has made another record to immerse yourself in...so put on your headphones and your dancing shoes.
For more info go here: http://www.tvontheradio.com/ or here: http://www.interscope.com/

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Koufax - "Strugglers"

Doghouse Records released "Strugglers", the long awaited new Koufax record last week. Only one member from the original lineup remains, vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Robert Suchan, but his voice and "every-man" stories make Koufax what it is. Recruiting some friends to help record for this new record, including Dustin and John from White Whale, Koufax has both added and subtracted from their signature sound. For the new record, they have subtracted the pianos and synths just a little and have added some sleazy horns to the mix. The horns were played by enigmatic free-jazz legend Mark Southerland who made them himself.
Much of the biting political wit from their last release returns (see "Blind Faith" and "Colour Us Canadian") but is cloaked in the black humor Robert picked up from living in the Czech Republic and viewing the U.S. as an outsider. Even the title of the record, "Strugglers" is a nod to the economic landscape. Don't worry, the album is not a downer there are plenty of songs about the effects of partying too hard, like on "Drivers".
Koufax has returned with yet another great record of indie-pop that will please old fans (yours truly) and attract new ones.
Download "Any Moment Now" here: http://media.riverfronttimes.com/2470611.0.mp3
You can stream "Strugglers" at their purevolume page here: http://www.purevolume.com/koufax
Order it here: http://new.merchnow.com/catalogs/koufax