Posts Tagged ‘Post Punk’

Various Artists: Today’s Top Girl Groups, Vol. 1

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

1998 sampler of international lo-fi, punk and girlgroup sounds

After several Rock Don’t Run volumes [1 2 3] of mostly male bands, Spinout collected sixteen girl groups for this 1998 release. But other than Sit ‘n’ Spin’s note-perfect homage to the sixties, this is more punk rock than girl group. There’s primitive Merseybeat from Japan’s Pebbles and 5,6,7,8s, buzzing post-punk from San Francisco’s Poontwang, Ramones-like intensity from The Neanderdolls and Bobbyteens, and garage rock from Holly Golightly and Greece’s Meanie Geanies. The Neptunas give a swinging instrumental surf spin to Max Frost & the Trooper’s “Shapes of Things to Come,” the Friggs’ drum-and-guitar heavy “Juiced Up” brings to mind the late, lamented Pandoras, and the Maybellines’ Bo Diddley beat was studied at the feet of the Strangeloves. Best of all, though, is the drums-bass-and-grunting of the Godzillas’ “Pass the Hatchet.” If the Litter had made soundtrack music for the softcore porn scene of an AIP cheapie film, it would have, if we were lucky, sounded like this track. [©2011 hyperbolium dot com]

Tristeza: Paisajes

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Lush, thoughtful, enveloping post-punk instrumentals

Less than a year after their release of Fate Unfolds, Tristeza returns with a new full-length album of enveloping post-punk prog-rock instrumentals. Their press release name checks Spacemen 3, Felt and Talk Talk, but the strains of Televsion, Can, Stereolab and Tuxedomoon are also strong. The opening “Raise Your Gaze” threatens to transition from space into a blinding cacophony, but pulls back as the tune burns off the last of its fuel. James Lehner and Luis Hermosillo (drums and bass, respectively) provide the impulse drive, with the guitars adding a psychedelic overlay. The group adds syncopation and a Latin rhythm to “A Traves de los Ojos de Nuestras Hijas” (a title that alludes to the group’s collection of five daughters), but its funky bass line keeps things quite modern. The repetitive figures suggest post-punk instrumentalists like Pell Mell, but the intricacy of the playing reaches to jazz and prog-rock – but freed of the bombast that often sunk the latter. This is lush, melodic, rhythmic, thoughtful and enveloping. [©2011 hyperbolium dot com]

MP3 | Raise Your Gaze
Tristeza’s Home Page

The Famous: Come Home to Me

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

Post-punk informed country twang

San Francisco’s The Famous, led by guitarist/vocalists Laurence Scott and Victor Barclay, debuted five years ago with the post-punk rock of Light, Sweet Crude. They still profess deep affection for the Pixies, but their new release isn’t nearly as raw as the debut, and the country twang explored on the earlier “Deconstruction Worker” is the new record’s raison d’être. Scott’s vocals retain their edgy emotion, and the music still has its rock power, but the band plays with more dynamics, and the tempos mull over the lyrics’ angst rather than spitting them out. If country music’s original outlaws had made their break with Nashville in the post-punk era, it might have sounded a lot like this. Scott’s bitter words and needy tone straddle the line between anger and remorse on the perfectly unconvincing “Without You,” and though “Perspicacious” sounds like the post-punk power-pop of Sugar, Scott retains the twang in his voice. The band shows their instrumental chops on the lengthy spaghetti-western intro to “Happy,” and the title track mixes the growl of Tom Waits and dark theatrics of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins with a mix of trad-jazz trombone, hard-twanging guitar and pedal steel. The closing instrumental “Under the Stars” is wistful, with countrypolitan piano, lazy steel and a terrific Endless Summer guitar that draws the day’s surfing (or perhaps trail ride) to a close. The melding of eras and influences is heard throughout the album, with heavy lead guitars winding into hard-charging Gun Club-styled verses, and spare solos that build into musical walls. This is a terrific evolution from the band’s debut, focusing the muscle and energy of their post-punk rock into compelling, emotional twang. [©2010 hyperbolium dot com]

MP3 | Under the Stars
Stream Come Home to Me
The Famous’ Home Page

The Bulletproof Vests: (Don’t) Throw My Love Away

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Throwback garage rock meets power punk

This Memphis quintet plays amped-up garage-pop that lives somewhere amidst the scratchily anthologized garage-rock singles of AIP’s Pebbles series, the power-punk ethos of the Buzzcocks, the post-punk aggression of The Fall, and a splash of surf-rock in the guitars. The result is more vintage Northwest than Southern. Their latest release is, appropriately enough, a mono 7” available via Goner Records and Bandcamp. Or if you’re stuck in the modern world, you can name your own price for a digital download. [©2010 hyperbolium dot com]

MP3 | (Don’t) Throw My Love Away
The Bulletproof Vests’ MySpace Page

OST: Hot Tub Time Machine

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

14 musical icons of the 1980s and a surprise!

The premise of Hot Tub Time Machine, four friends transported back to 1986, provides an opportunity to trot out some of the decade’s popular classics for this soundtrack album. One realization gained from the variety here is that the stultifying affect of MTV at decade’s end wasn’t nearly as overpowering at decade’s start, from which many of these tracks are selected. The tunes include boundary pushing rap, Australian pop, revivalist ska, synthpop, hair metal, post-punk, and alternative rock that dates to a time when there was rock to which one could be an actual alternative. It will remind you that once-upon-a-time MTV was a channel for artists rather than a brand to be worn. One of the film’s actors, Craig Robinson, performs a credible cover of Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl” and transports the Black Eyed Peas’ “Let’s Get it Started” back to the ‘80s where it fits surprisingly well. Caution: these songs are addictive and may lead you to search out the bigger fixes of Hip-O’s I Want My 80’s Box! and Rhino’s even more extensive Like Omigod! The ‘80s Pop Culture Box (Totally). After all, everybody must Wang Chung tonight. [©2010 hyperbolium dot com]

Tristeza: Fate Unfolds

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

Tristeza_FateUnfoldsStellar instrumentals reach to the golden age of post-punk and beyond

Those who once found themselves entranced by the post-punk instrumentals of Pell Mell, the hypnotic elements of Television, the Neats, Feelies and Raybeats, the melodicism of Love Tractor, the spacerock of Can, and the electronics of Stereolab and Tuxedomoon, will be happy to meet the instrumental quintet, Tristeza. Riffing guitars, solid bass lines and full-kit drumming open the album with the powerful “Castellon.” The band crosses Latin and lounge flavors with the rock jamming of The Doors in “Floripa,” and mixes traditional guitar/bass/drums with electronics throughout. You can hear the textures, tones and rhythms of progrock, surf, spacerock, jazz, ambient, dub, and highlife threaded together, with repetitions that draw big, hypnotic pictures from small circles of melody. If you’d forgotten how powerful instrumental post-punk can be, Tristeza’s latest release will quickly absorb you in its grasp. [©2009 hyperbolium dot com]

MP3 | Manitas
MP3 | Tension Futura
Tristeza’s Home Page
Tristeza’s MySpace Page