Wednesday, June 30, 2010

3 Songs: On Repeat

1. Wilson's Reservoir - "Bullets" (Passionate punk-informed Americana with swelling horns and a foot both in the past and the present for a timeless mix of styles beyond comparisons.)

2. Hooray For Earth - "Surrounded By Your Friends (Twin Shadow Remix)" (Twin Shadow surrounds the already awesome track with twinkling keys and a new wave 80's soundtrack vibe.)

3. Friendo - "Counter/Time" (New project from Michael of the band Women; their two-guitar/no bass attack mixes 90's indie rock and noise damaged art rock with 60's pop on their debut out now on St. Ives through Secretly Canadian Records.)

BONUS: Delphic - "Doubt" (Futuristic anthmic indie-electro synth-pop transmissions from across the pond. Stateside debut out now on Dangerbird Records.)

Download (via RCRD LBL): (click thru)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Stars - "The Five Ghosts"

Stars returned last week with The Five Ghosts, their fifth album and first on their own record label, Soft Revolution Records. The new album remains true to their signature theatrical style but this time they move in a more compact, gloomy and gauzey synth-heavy direction.

“Dead Hearts” opens the album with a question and answer/call and response verse between Torquil and Amy before they join together on the chorus over a hauntingly dreamy soundscape. “Wasted Daylight” features a muffled Postal Service-like beat and a bright, catchy chorus sung by Amy. “I Died So I Could Haunt You” stands out, sounding like a synth-driven Smiths as they trade vocal duties with twinkling keys and a driving guitar riff. The first single, “Fixed” is effervescent with steady keys and lilting vocals. “We Don’t Want Your Body” is made for the dance floor with squelching synths and a thick beat as Amy makes like a pop star with a chorus that if auto-tuned would be all over the radio. And if that song is the party, the next song, “He Dreams He’s Awake” plays like the morning after with a soft and solemn slow churn. Other standout tracks are “Changes” with its girl-group melodies and soaring strings provided by The Secret Strings and the bouncy “The Passenger” with its infectious synth line during the chorus that is just as catchy as the vocal melody. And “Winter Bones” is a plodding, dramatic album closer, hewn to the hem of their signature style.

The Five Ghosts may not be as embellished and grandiose as we have come to expect from the band but the hooks are sharp and their lyrical themes of love and death, and the death of love are more than enough.

Download "Fixed" here:

For more info click here: and and

Friday, June 25, 2010

Dream Concert: Love Of Everything

Over the years I have seen many of my favorite bands live but there is a growing list of bands I want to see. With the Dream Concert feature, I usually list the set list and venue of my choice for one of my favorite bands that I have yet to experience live. My current selection is Love of Everything. I have been a fan since I reviewed their latest album this past April and I am happy that I don't have to wait long for the chance to see them live. On Thursday July 8th, Love of Everything is coming to Blind Bob's in Dayton and I will be there and you should too!

Bobby Burg of Love Of Everything a busy man. He runs his own record label called ‘Record Label’ and plays or has played in many great Chicago bands such as Vacations, Make Believe, Chin Up Chin Up and Joan of Arc. The album Best in Tensions debuted in April and features Bobby’s short and sweet, quirky bedroom-pop songs and includes his wife, Elisse La Roche on drums.
I hope they play "Fear of Missing Out" and bring the tennis balls! (see the video below)

Watch the video for "Fear of Missing Out" here:

Atlas and the Anchor review of Best In Tensions:

For more info about Love Of Everything click here: and

For directions to the show or more info click here:

Blind Bob's 430 E. Fifth St. Dayton, OH 45402 (In the Oregon District)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

3 Songs: On Repeat

1. Free Energy - "Something In Common" (B-side from their debut album of care-free and irony-free 70's bubblegum-pop and arena rock produced by James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem. Currently on tour with Mates of State.)


2. Chris Shiflett & The Dead Peasants - "Get Along" (Best known as the guitarist for the Foo Fighters, with the Dead Peasants, he takes a roots-rock approach with classic country adornments such as honeyed harmonies and pedal steel on the first single from his promising debut album out July 13th.)

3. No Surrender - "Godda Get It" (Mixing hip-hop, synth-pop and indie rock, this genre-spanning NY group features Eddie Steeples who starred on My Name Is Earl as Crabman. For fans of TV On The Radio and Anti-Pop Consortium.)

BONUS: Here We Go Magic - "Casual" (I have both this song and album on continous repeat!)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

22-20's - "Shake/Shiver/Moan"

Today marks the long-awaited return of the reformed British blues-rock band the 22-20's; with their sophomore album, Shake/Shiver/Moan, on tbd Records. If you have been following the band and this blog, you would know that they gave their fans a glimpse of their highly anticipated new music by releasing a live EP for free download on their website earlier this year as a teaser for the new album. The studio versions of those four tracks as well as six others are presented here with a blues-inflected indie rock sound improved upon during the group’s demise and subsequent return.

The album opens with the propulsive and hypnotic “Heart On A String” with its arena-sized chorus. “Bitter Pills” mixes early 90’s Brit-pop with their brooding bluesy sound on the stand out track from which they took their alias when they first reformed and played secret shows. “Talk To Me” bristles with a raucous riff, blazing solo and a shuffling beat along with a super catchy chorus just begging for airplay. The psychedelic “Ocean” features waves of twangy sitar-like guitar and breezy Yardbirds-esque harmonies, proving they are more than just a one trick pony. The first single, “Latest Heartbreak”, is a hard-charging, uptempo blues-rock song with bittersweet harmonies that captures the band’s live energy. The title track, “Shake, Shiver and Moan” slithers in with acoustic guitars and excellent harmonies but stomps its way out with electric fury. The poppy, uptempo “4th Floor” is a time machine back to the Brit-pop heyday. And “Morning Train” is introspective and slower-paced, closing out the album with hymn-like harmonies, acoustic guitars and a steady beat.

With almost five years between releases, some may have forgotten about the 22-20’s but with Shake/Shiver/Moan, frontman Martin Trimble and company have made sure they won’t be forgotten again!

For more info and to download the free Latest Heartbreak Live EP click here: and

Friday, June 18, 2010

Free Friday: Thrillage - "Thrill 'em All"

Thrillage is the new band rising from the ashes of Chicago's pop-punk champs Spitalfield. The band features T.J Milici and J.D. Romero of Spitalfield and makes a left turn down a back alley, focusing on a heavier, high energy garage-rock sound while still remaining true to their poppy punk nature.

Standout tracks such as the grimey chugging and gravel-throated "So Defeated", the out-of-nowhere ska-infused breakdown on "Swift Kick To The Teeth" and the head-bobbing off-beat strumming and spirited chorus of "Holes" gives the album instant replay value.

For fans of The Loved Ones, The Gaslight Anthem and of course, Spitalfield.

Download their 12-track debut album Thrill em All here: (click thru)

For more info click here:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

3 Songs: On Repeat - featuring an exclusive track from Land of Bingo!

1. Land of Bingo - "Company Hymn" (An unreleased Atlas and the Anchor exclusive track from the new Cardiff, Wales duo whose debut EP will be released in Oct. on Peski Records. The track features warped synths, bass provided by the Super Furry Animals' Guto Pryce, handclaps and a stair-stepping melody.)

Download: (click thru to stream and download)

2. Jody Porter - "Aurora" (First single from the Fountains of Wayne guitarist's debut solo album mixes jangly, power-pop and Brit-pop with a shuffling beat and wayward psychedelia for an upbeat catchy track. The US version released on Engine Room Recordings features 2 new tracks.)

3. Fanfarlo - "Fire Escape (Dave Sitek Remix)" (Like listening to Arcade Fire and TV On The Radio playing at the same time!)

BONUS: Sign up for the Fanfarlo e-mail list and get a free download of a live EP here:

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mates of State - "Crushes: The Covers Mixtape"

Today Mates of State return not with a new album of new material but with Crushes: The Covers Mixtape, a self produced and recorded collection of ten hand-picked cover songs re-imagined with their signature harmonies and sound. In preparation for their sure to be fun summer tour with Free Energy and various comedians and side-show acts, they raided their record collection and chose to crush on songs by Belle & Sebastian, Death Cab for Cutie, Tom Waits, Girls, and even Mars Volta among others. They pull out all of the stops including horns, electronic beats, and even incorporate DJ scratching from Jason (who will be the resident DJ for the tour) and electric guitar for the first time.

The first song, morphs the 50’s surf-rock of Girls’ “Laura” into a hip-hop inspired, top-down summer anthem complete with an electronic beat, record scratching and a few ad-libbed lines to make it their own. Their cover of Mars Volta’s dirge-y “Son Et Lumiere” is fitting with the already pretty piano but Jason and Kori illuminate the songs with layers of lilting harmonies. On their faithful cover of “Sleep The Clock Around” by Belle & Sebastian they share lead vocals and include the same horns and bending synth flourishes as the original for a standout moment. Again they both take the lead and include their added doo-wop background vocals on Death Cab’s fan favorite “Technicolor Girls”. On their take on Tom Wait’s “Long Way Home”, they use electric guitar and horns and glam it up for a song just begging to be used in a commercial, with its spirited “yeah, yeah, yeah…” chorus. As a change of pace, Nick Cave’s “Love Letter” is solemn with trade-off vocals and some beautiful high breathy background vocals from Kori. Next they turn Fleetwood Mac’s cheeky “Second Hand News” into a fun sing along with a big beat. Their daughter Magnolia makes a cute vocal cameo on the last part of Vashti Bunyan’s child-like “17 Pink Sugar Elephants”. As a nod to their own past, they revamp “Rollercoaster” by Dear Nora, whom they split a 7” with early in their career, sounding like they wrote the song themselves. The last song is a danceable version of indie-troubadour Daniel Johnston’s “True Love Will Find You In The End” with shimmering keyboards, a punchy electronic beat and what sounds like a ukulele.

As a stop-gap between albums and in anticipation of their upcoming Summer Crushes tour, Crushes: The Covers Mixtape is a perfect summer record and another great release in the Mates of State catalog. The self-released album is out now digitally and will be available on tour as a limited edition CD.

To order the album, get tour dates and more info click here:

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

3 Songs: New Music

1. Mouse Fire - "Don't Mess With a Texan" (The infectious new single from their sophomore album, Big Emotion, out now on Lujo Records features angular guitars, a disco beat and driving orchestration.)


2. The Dig - "You're Already Gone" (Brooklyn band bristles with intelligent pop hooks and interesting intrumentation; able to shape shift to tour with various types of bands such as Walkmen and Here We Go Magic. Currently on tour with Thrice and Bad Veins.)


3. Burnt Ones - "Bury Me In Smoke" (A fuzzed-out, glammy and sleazy wall of sound like T. Rex fronting The Black Angels. From their debut album on My Old Kentucky Blog's recently launched label, Roaring Colonel Records.)


Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Hot Hot Heat - "Future Breeds"

After being released from their major label contract, Hot Hot Heat return today refreshed with Future Breeds their fifth album and first for their new label Dangerbird Records. The band returns to their energetic punk roots and have created an album as bizarre and fun as it is catchy for their best album since their excellent breakthrough album Make Up The Breakdown.

“YVR” opens the album with a locked in groove and haunted carnival organ vamping that fits perfectly with front man Steve Bay’s description of the bands’ new direction to “…be a freak show punk rock band.” Recording in their own studio, they let it all out capturing the energetic art-punk that first put them on the map. The first single, “21@12” follows with acoustic guitar and a malfunctioning siren-like keyboard line that sets up the anthemic chorus, proving they know their way around a pop hook. “Times A Thousand” combines a dark, swampy acoustic guitar riff and vintage organs with a bouncing rhythm for one of many standout moments on the album. The emotional second single, “Goddess on the Prairie” features a stop-start herky-jerky rhythm and Middle-Eastern sounding guitar line. “Zero Results” sounds like a Tom Waits fronted dance-punk band with a stomping beat and a sleazy back alley Jazz bar saxophone solo. The title track, “Future Breeds” is punchy and hip-shaking with an off-kilter swagger and bitter lyrical bite. “JFK’s LSD” is trippy (imagine that) with heavy buzzy keyboards and a super catchy pogo-ing, fist-in-the-air chorus, perfect for their live show and the dance floor. And “Nobody’s Accusing You (Of Having a Good Time)” ends the album with the same “party all night” vibe as it began with.

It is exciting when even a decade later, one of your favorite bands creates another record that you can be just as excited about as you were with their debut. With Future Breeds, Hot Hot Heat has done just that and the future looks bright.

Sign up for the band's email list and download and exclusive alternate take of "21 @12" here:

For more info click here: and

Friday, June 04, 2010

Free Friday: New Idea Society - "Quiet Prism EP"

After a serious crash on the Autobahn in Germany left Mike Law of New Idea Society injured and unable to play guitar, by necessity, he took to a synthesizer to write songs for their upcoming third full-length, to be released later this year. In the meantime, the band has chosen to allow fans to download their new Quiet Prism EP for free as a teaser for their new album and for a taste of their new more electronic indie-pop direction. Over the past few months, four of the five songs were released one by one by the band via their social sites but are collected here with an additional unreleased track for a proper release.

“Autumn You”, the first track on the EP is also the first single from the upcoming Andy LeMaster (Azure Ray, Bright Eyes) produced album and is a collage of tinny guitar and cascading synths, creating a dreamy and danceable introduction to their new sound. “Iradell” is an iridescent and moody Eno and 80’s inspired soundscape. “They Won’t Find Us” stands out with its catchy chorus, elastic synths and bouncing beat. “Magic Key” is a slow burning, ambient track with thumping drums and Mike’s smooth emotional vocals. A new unreleased song, “Twilight, Dusk and Night” features sweeping atmospherics, twinkling keyboards and a shuffling beat, bringing the EP to a haunting close.

Download the Quiet Prism EP here:

Download "Autumn You" here:

For more info click here:

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Luke Wesley - "Because We Never Talk About It"

This week marks the release of Because We Never Talk About It, NYC indie piano-rocker Luke Wesley’s debut for Engine Room Recordings. Looking and sounding both like Elton John on steroids, the self-taught pianist may look more like a football player but he plays honest, funny and catchy indie rock with a slick pop sense.

With self-deprecating humor, songs like “Sorry I’m Not Hotter”, “I Hope You Like This Song” and the tongue-in-cheek “Here Is Your Ballad”, Luke displays his razor sharp wit alongside his perfectly crafted pop. The piano-led music is emotional, raw and upbeat with little accompaniment other than guitar, bass and drums, for a sound created for the live setting. His gruff voice is soft when necessary but he can howl when he needs to get the point across like in the bittersweet “Keep It To Yourself”. First single, “I Hope You Like This Song” begins downtrodden and gloomy but quickly bursts into a buoyant and hopeful, funky romp. Another stand out track, “Ohio”, sounds like an homage to “Walking In Memphis” by Marc Cohn, whom he is often compared to, as an ode to his home state with a vamping piano riff.

With the current indie scene set on making 80’s soft rockers Hall & Oates relevant again, Luke Wesley is on a one-man campaign to become the indie Billy Joel. Those are my words not his of course, he probably doesn’t even believe his own hype, and that is what sets him up for success.

Download "I Hope You Like This Song" here:

For more info click here: and

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

3 Songs: On Repeat

1. Robbers On High Street - "Electric Eye" (The A-side of their new 7" single, a teaser for their forthcoming third album, is an infectious and danceable souful strut filled with horns and handclaps a plenty.)


2. Hooray For Earth - "Surrounded By Your Friends" (Sunny and warm synths fill the first single from the Dovecote Records physical release of their MOMO EP. On tour with Surfer Blood and Pains of Being Pure at Heart.)


3. Casiokids - "Fot i hose" (An instrumental electro-pop tune with a fat, gurgling bassline from the Swedish imports who were discovered by of Montreal and killed it at SXSW this year.)


Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The Futureheads - "The Chaos"

The Futureheads return looking for the proper follow-up to their acclaimed debut. Their new album, The Chaos, out today on their new label Dovecote Records, hits the mark. The experimentation of their past two releases has been replaced with the frantic off-beat energy they became known for.

The title track, “The Chaos” opens the album with a spirited countdown, “5, 4, 3, 2, 1!”, and the instruction to “Get on your marks…” and retains the band’s robotic time signatures, impeccable quirky harmonies and punk energy as a great return to form and introduction to this new batch of songs. The first single, “Struck Dumb” features a buzzing guitar riff and an infectious chorus with a short acappella breakdown. Just like “Struck Dumb”, another standout track, “I Can Do That” features a positive message to go along with their trademark complex vocal melodies. “Heartbeat Song” is pure power-pop with a bouncy New Wave vibe. “Stop The Noise” stands out with a call and response on the verse and a stop and start rhythm. And “The Connector” much like the rest of the album, displays the bands sense of humor with quirky vocal harmonies and lyrics; reminding us why The Futureheads were one of our favorite bands in the first place.

If you were one of those fair-weather fans that jumped off the bands’ wagon after their second album, you better jump back on and hope there is still room because The Chaos is the album you have been waiting for.

Download "Struck Dumb" here:

For more info click here: and