Julez’s “Lookin’ Through You” inhabits the gauzy garage rock by way of the Jesus and Mary Chain via a slightly country rock vibe that much of the best work of Mazzy Star lives in. That is to also admit all three’s obvious debt to The Velvet Underground. It’s got a that weightless, but grounded sound covered. The crunchiest guitar sounds this side of straight out distortion and vocals that sing out like a psiren’s song, “Lookin’ Through You” belongs on every mixtape that you should make in case you find yourself in a desert in the middle of the night.
The dreaded hopefulness that haunts the track is thick but gives the song an edge that is hard to ignore or not to be drawn to. Definitely an inspired sound to say the least.
Full of wild rhythms, and ragged but bouncy bass – Lost Talk’s “Jesus/Centaur” leaps, yelps, howls and screams like you’re in the middle of a snake handlin’ holy rollin’ mountain revival from hell. It is also one of the most infectiously rambunctious tracks I’ve heard in ages.
Full of fire and the kind of noise and vitriol that wouldn’t be out of home in the early 80’s No Wave scene, it’s a track not be missed.
The sound of Slowcoaches’ “Found Out” owes as much to the first wave of punk and hardcore as it does 90’s garage rock and riotgrrl. It’s clear and concise and will rip your head off if you’re not careful.
“Found Out” which will be featured on the bands new EP “Found Down”, which if half the tracks are even nearly as good as this one, will definately be something we’ll have to check out!
IV League’s “Superstar” is one of those tracks that comes out of nowhere and hooks you within the first 5 seconds. Because everyone knows Mint is shit. Alright that has nothing to do with how good the song is, but I had to say it because it might be the best spoken dialog I’ve heard in a music video in ages.
Coming out like a mix between garage pop and a song that would have been included on the Clueless soundtrack “Superstar” is the jangle pop anthem that you’ve been waiting years for. This being their first offering ever, it shows promise for what’s to come from this Australian pop-perfect combo.
Softer fare than what we normally cover, but Laura Carbone’s “Tangerine Tree” is a compelling and well rendered and hypnotic first offering from Laura’s new album Empty Tree. Sometimes a track is just so good that I have to bend my hard and fast rule that songs should be… well hard or fast.
Coming out sounding like a collaboration between Mazzy Star and Jesus and Mary Chain “Tangerine Tree” is a haunting and beautiful track that will be stuck in your head for days.
Numb.er’s new track “Numerical Depression” takes everything that you love about post-punk and distills it into an infectious 100mph drive through it’s staccato vocal delivery, relentless drumming, rubbery bass and early Cure style guitar playing. The song is the musical equivilant of wrecklessly driving through the middle of nowhere at 4 a.m.
Their new album Goodbye is coming out in the next few days, and I’ve been looking forward to listening to it. The band definitely shows a lot of promise, and hopefully you just found your new favorite band.
The frentic energy that comes off of CO SUNN’s “Why” in waves is nearly enough to make you fall in love with the band. Hailing from Vänersborg, Sweden. With fuzzed out vocals and a tightness to their playing you don’t hear much from lo-fi rockers they’re definitely an anomaly in the modern garage rock sound.
They’ve already had a handful of EP’s and long players. So it’ll probably take a while to go through their back catalog. Though from the sounds of it, it’ll probably be worth the journey.
LA’s Moon Fuzz has dropped quite a few great songs on their SoundCloud the last several years, including “Stupid Cupid” and “Can’t Complain”. While it’s hard to pigeonhole Moponfuzz’s sound into something short and pithy, it’s equal parts aggressive and gauzy creating a “dreampunk” vibe of detached anger.
While I try not to compared bands on this page, comparing Moonfuzz to any other band that I can think of is nearly impossible. Definitely a band worth checking out, and it looks like they just dropped a new batch of songs on their page this month, and I’ll have to check those out soon!
Hard driving and ferocious Slut Magic’s “No Loyalty” is the type of song that makes me want to headbang for the first time in years. It’s got the right tone, swagger and bite to really get under your skin. Their seven song LP is out now, and definitely something I’ll be trying to get my hands on.
I feel like a broken record, but RiotGrrl is definitely making a comeback in a strong way, and bands like Slut Magic make it a welcome return!
Wax Idols’ “Mausoleum” has one of those sounds where you can’t tell if it was recorded any time in the last 40 or so years. This lack of a definitive stamp gives the song a strength and reliability of sound that isn’t following any fleeting trend.
The fuzzed out VHS aesthetic of the video also gives the song an out of time quality that gives the video a wight without resorting to cheap nostalgia.
Straight out of the vein of late 90’s K Records,“Feelings” by Seattle’s Anime Creek lay down pop perfect hooks with an arch humor that really reaches out to the listener to pull them in.
Listening to other tracks on the album “Dark Optimism, Dark Poptimism” it plays out like the long lost great Twee album that we never got at the height of indie pop. Definitely an album I’ll be listen to over and over.
St. Louis’ Pono AM delivers on the buzzy poppy hollowed out garage rock that we all love and desire. The video for their latest single “Creator” is a psychedelic whip-lash inducing dash in a claustrophobic space.
From the few other songs of their’s I’ve found online I would have to say that the band is showing a lot of potential, and I for one can’t wait to hear more.
“Live” by SKRRT brings back all the grit and grime of 70’s New York No Wave all the way from the sunny shores of California. These 6 tracks, coming in just over 12 minutes show a band that’s already evolving into something interesting and unique while exploring the genre’s twisted mania.
Rebecca Lou’s track “Bitch U Look Good” is a raw and powerful song about female empowerment in an age where songs like this are really needed. With powerful vocals and a massive guitar chug it’s definitely hard to ignore in all of it’s riotgrrl inspired majesty. It’s been on repeat for the last week or so, definitely an album that will have to be checked out.
Anyone who regularlly follows this blog would know that I would be hard-pressed to find something about this song that I don’t completely love, and that’s not hyperbole. This well charged burner is off of their album “Beauty Pageant”. It’s one of those songs that should be so painfully obvious in it’s brilliance that I kind of feel like I’m cheapening it by actually trying to put into words why you should like it.
This is the kind of music that keeps me excited to hear new bands.
The undeniable patchouli smell of 70’s stoner metal permeates the air around “Black Cats”, with humongous Sabbath-esq riffs the song is both catchy as well as heavy. It’s really good to hear metal music that isn’t just “grunting over music” again and The Strips are a great example of how to do melodic stoner metal well.
Checking out their soundcloud page, they have many solid tracks and are well worth checking out.
Off-kilter to the point of nearly being arrhythmic, Lost Talk’s “Chrome Alone” has a really unique and skittering drum sound that might not come across with the sheer brilliance that it portrays the first time you listen to it, but is well worth the investment for those brave enough to break through it’s tough exterior.
With it’s approachable vocals and bass, it’s interesting to see a band take these interesting challenges in their music. I can’t wait to hear more to see if the rest of the album is as complex and as interesting as this track.
The first word that comes to mind hearing “Sunburn” by Tongues of Fire, is tough. This hard hitting, rough and tumbled sound really stands out in a scene that is becoming increasingly coy and vague. Clocking in just over 2 minutes the song gets in and out leaving you wanting more. Definitely a track that’s worth investing multiple listens into.
Animal Hands’ “Mirror and the Blade” is the kind of dark and straight forward goth rock that made Souixee and the Banshees famous. I really can’t say enough about it’s naked unabashed desire to make a great rock song. From vocalist Danielle Whalebone’s solid coo to the tight post-punk of the band this is definitely a song worth checking out.
Netherlands punk act Abdomen play the kind of fuzzy / brash and in your face that can’t be ignored. Their single “Lies” is the first song from their upcoming LP “Emetophobia” is a lo-fi buzz saw that cuts through all the nonsense and simply rocks.
From the the rubbery bass, to the coo-ing vocals – “Projector” screams 90–early 2000’s indie pop in all the best ways. To say that fuxcanada is just a nostolgia act would bring the band a great disservice however, from their angular guitar sounds to their syrupy synth strings, they’re really bringing something new and fresh to the sound by making it their own.
If you are unfamiliar with Portland’s Young Elk or Minnesota’s Low, I hope that this is a good introduction to both of them. Straying (not too far) away from their late 90’s emo-folk aesthetic Young Elk brings us their interpretation of Low’s “Murderer” this softly sinister track oozes unease and menace.
This version of Murderer is coming out soon on vinyl through Holiday Breath, be sure to check it out.
As I told The Golden Web when they sent me this track, if I were to turn down this video, I’d have to change the name to something other than Pop Occulture. “The Emperor” is big hooky phased T-Rex rock at it’s best. Bouncy with just the right amount of flashy guitar playing, it’s hard to call this anything other than tasteful psychedelia in comparison to all the sloppy jam psych that’s been flooding my way as of late.
Considering that their album is titled “ACIDCHRIST SUPERSPICE & THE CANDYBOYS” I can’t wait to hear what kind of mind-blowing experience is in store.
When people ask me what kind of music I like, my canned response is “Big Dumb Rock”, while this might sound like I’m being dismissive of the very thing that I love, but The Ramones are big dumb rock, Suicide is big dumb rock, The Beatles despite all the charades of high artistry are a big dumb rock band. Banzai Cliff (I hope they don’t mind me saying this) fit squarely in that category.
“Too Young To Die” has hooks big enough to catch Jaws, and has one of those melodies that makes you wonder the entire time that you’re listening to where you’ve heard it before. It sounds like it could have been recorded nearly any time in the past 60 years without hallmarks of when and where it was created. This type of timelessness isn’t easy to come by, and every time I hear something like it I just have to press repeat until my head explodes.
So the second I say that something is a “first” on Pop Occulture, I then run over it by doing it again. Here are two tracks by Slow Roar, “Be The Bleed” & “Honey” with one foot in The Jesus and Mary Chain and one foot deeply into the PJ Harvey territory. These tracks both have a visceral quality that has one foot in the Dionysian and one foot in the Apollonian, it’s this cerebral hedonism that marks the songs as being too dichotomous to really put your finger on.
Sorry for the big words, I try to avoid theme. When music like this comes across my desk however, I turn into a huge drooling nerd over it. It’s hard to say how fucking good this music is without whipping out a few $5 words. Check them out, buy their stuff, show them your love.
It’s hard to think of a song that’s this dark that also swings, bringing together divergent sounds from 80’s new wave to early 2000’s industrial the track has a really good over all feel that also has the unique perspective of alternating male/female vocals. LA Transplants Vowws’ “Esseff” is one of those unique tracks that bridge the gap between what is dark and what is poppy.
BONUS Track (a first on Pop Occulture)
“Councillor” is a great track that brings a great VHS aesthetic to the video without it being stale or cliche. It’s definitely one of the better darkwave songs I’ve heard in ages.
Walking into this song, the thing that I wasn’t expecting was the industrial level of aggression in front-woman Bex’s vocals. If they hadn’t self-identified as punk I would have been more than tempted to slot them in with the Al Jourgensen(s) of the world. The production on “Bang Says the Gun” is massive, there isn’t an inch of sonic space that isn’t covered in this 2:30 onslaught of brilliant sound.
Checking out their back catalog, I was only disappointed for about 2 seconds when “Queen Bitch” didn’t turn out to be a Bowie cover, however, that’s another great song in it’s own right. Definitely a band I’ll be listening to their limited back catalog over and over for a while now.
I have to admit it, this is the first time I actually sat down to see what other people were saying about the artist that I’m writing about. It’s not because I’m a lazy hack writer who needs other people’s input to decide what I think about an artist. Alright, I’m not just a lazy hack… However, it’s the simple fact that “Sideways” is such an aberration of a song that I didn’t even know where to start.
Even after reading the other articles, I have no idea how to explain this song.
The first thing that strikes you about “Sideways” is the T-Rex styled cowbell stride of the opening, which leads into P.J. Harvey level vocals that are singing what feel like heavily confessional singer/songwriter lyrics. I’ve been listening to this song regularly for days, and I still don’t know how to describe it other than that it’s a song that you should be listening to right now.
As far as garage-pop psychedelia goes, there’s not much out there that is touching the Syd Barrett levels of lysergic insanity the way The Rotten Mangos are. This tight little two-piece from Texas, infuse their paisley lollipop with a raw earnestness that elevates it above the bland pastiche of many retro rock in the same vein.
If this was 20 years ago, I could easily see them slip into the midst of the Elephant 6 collective. Being so far removed from that, I would call a great anomaly that deserve all the sunshine they collect.