The Exbats “2027”

The Exbats have been on my radar for a while, they’re one of those bands who’s infectious energy just pulls you in from the first chord of the song until it throws you back out into the real world just a few moments later.

Feeling slightly more 77 British punk influenced than a lot of their other work, “2027” is one of those raw tracks that will be caught in your head for the next several months after listening to it. Their new album on Burger is something that will demand to be listened to.

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Niel Brooks “The Angels Laid Him Away/Lous Collins”

Not the typical sound that we cover here at Pop Occulture, but over the years I’ve held tight to one simple philosophy. If you don’t like Mississippi John Hurt, I don’t like you.

Done in a style recommencement of musicians like early Bob Dylan or William Elliot Whitmore, Niel Brooks’s take on the classic Mississippi John Hurt song “The Angels Laid Him Away/Lous Collins” is organic and honest in a way that gives the song an air of authenticity that is refreshing. Even if the song is one of the world’s most famous murder ballads.

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The Healthy People “Animals”

It seems like northern Europe has been spawning a lot of my new favorite music for the past several years. It’s an area that didn’t really pique my interest until now, but it’s becoming a hot bed of some great new music.

Energetic and savage The Healthy People’s new song “Animals” calls back to an early erratic punk sound that could have been an early X single. With a mountain of raw attitude, it’s that will help you get through this long cold winter.

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QWAM “Mall”

Brooklyn, NY, QWAM’s new “Mail” is an energetic anthem about next to nothing. The song is a mall-pop anthem on antihistamines, I can’t underestimate how much of an earworm this song is, and the fact that I’m running around singing about how my brand new shoes aren’t fitting is a little embarrassing, but it’s well worth the public embarrassment when people catch me singing it.

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LOUD HOUND “Youthful Stranger”

LOUD HOUND’s “Youthful Stranger” crackles with a suppressed energy that is full of dread and longing that can’t be understated.

This dream-garage track comes from the same place as early Jesus and Mary Chain or the Raveonettes, but has a more wistful quality that brings a dreamier quality to the production.

The new album is now streaming on all platforms, definitely need to go out there and check out the rest.

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Black Leather Jacket “Village People”

Completely unlike the namesake, Black Leather Jacket’s “Village People” is a song that has energy and a dynamic that bowls you over from the opening chords all the way through.

The song has a very West Coast garage rock sound, though the band is from Belgium. This will definitely give me impetus to check out. more bands from the land of beer and waffles.

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Rock EUROPA “People in my Head”

Somewhere between the fuzzy pop of Buzzocks and the sonic perfectionism of The Killers, Rock Europa’s “People in my Head” is a frenetic blast of pop punk that feels both timely and a vintage slab coming from any of the last 40 years.

If you’re looking for possibly one of the most fun songs I’ve heard in quite sometime this is deinately the track that you should be checking out!

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The song title itself kinds of shows off the dichotomy of the song itself, going from gentle to brash with an interesting vocal interplay that never lets the song go stagnate.

In a world where nice little buzzy pop-tunes are becoming more regular, it’s good to hear a song in this vein that has interesting lyrics with a dark playful nature that feels a little more out there than many of the other bands out there.

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Closeness “End of the Maze”

Closeness is a project by to alumni of the mid-west high-water mark of greatness Saddle Creek Records, while I have written about this song in particular before, I just wanted to write about it agian as there is now a video to go along with what can only be called one of the most interesting and a band with the greatest potential of any band in the mid-west today.

And all this coming from a reviewer who actually paid for a copy of the album.

Previous post on this song.

In the run of this blog, there have been very few times where I have featured bands that many would consider more in the electronic field. Not because I don’t enjoy it, and not just because I try to focus on genres that aren’t typically covered by a lot of the other blogs out there. The truth is that I also get a perverse satisfaction in breaking the form from time to time, so that the few people who would notice such things would know it’s got to be something that is above and beyond a lot of what is out there today.

One such electronically orientated artist that I have previously featured the band The Faint, a band that has been one of the most defining bands not only of the mid-west, but also of the early 2000’s in general. Along with their early label Saddle Creek and then label mates Azure Ray, it’s hard to tell what the state of independent music would be in America today.

Bringing together the husband and wife duo Orenda and Todd Fink CLOSENESS is their first collaboration together since their marriage. The EP a synthesis of all that the electronic and noise underground has to offer in a cohesive if not catchy and tuneful matter. Harkening back to a lot of the great experimental bands from the post-punk era. (Throbbing Gristle, Suicide, or more recently The Knife to name a few.) Definitely worth checking out from Graveface Records.

Posted in Music, Video

Heartthrob Chassis “Sister”

Heartthrob Chassis has a slow churning, swirling sound that is both tough and in your face as well as withdrawn into it’s own sonic space that is both unique but completely relatable. It’s drone and thud sound hinting at a long lineage in underground music.

Fronted by Margaret Doll Rod formerly of Demolition Doll Rods, this is definitely going to be a band to keep an eye out for.

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Dish Pit “Family Man”

Somewhere between the high emotionalism of PJ Harvey and the slow throb of The Velvet Underground comes the pulse of Dish Pit “Family Man”. A slow churning, heavily distorted song that you can’t help yourself but be drawn into it’s weird mystery.

The song has a disconnected swagger that you can’t quite put your finger on that is both refreshing and rooted in a timeless sound that’s undeniable.

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Death Valley Girls “Disaster (Is What We’re After)”

What do you get when you combine The Death Valley Girls, Iggy Pop, Troma alum Kansas Bowling behind the director’s chair and an homage to Andy Warhol?

My favorite video in years. Now I wish that I could say that I read all these little bits of information off of their press release for the video, but no. I believe that this video was made just for me, because it captures the complete randomness of the things that I am interested in — and you should be too.

I can’t say a bad thing about any element going on here, especially the song. Gritty and haunting “Disaster (Is What We’re After)” might be the best song that I’ve ever heard from the band, possibly ever. If you haven’t heard the Death Valley Girls before, what the hell are you doing reading my ramblings here? Press play!

After that go buy every Death Valley Girls album, once you’ve done that — go buy Kansas’ BC Butcher, and if you don’t own at least 50% of Iggy’s discography you’re dead to me anyways.

Posted in Music

Mirah “Understanding”

Mirah is one of those musicians that will always have such a special place in the panthion of musicians that I enjoy, that it would be almost unfair of me not to say something about her new release “Understanding”. The new album is a perfect album for fans both old and new.

The track that really strikes me is “Lighthouse” who’s lo-fi drum machine sound recalls sounds dating as far back as her first releases for K back in the early 2000’s. The album is definately a little bit of everything that is way more than I can unpack without it becoming a tedious treatise about how great Mirah still is after all these years. When what you really should be doing is listening to it, rather than me.

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Sharkmuffin “Liz Taylor”

Sharkmuffin’s “Liz Taylor” is a smartly written song with witty lyrics that you could put haeds to heads with nearly any band and it would come out on top. All this dones’t really matter however, because it’s just a damn good song.

Catchy and possibly one of the tightest performances that I’ve heard in a while, “Liz Taylor” has both a nice snarl and great pop hooks. This track is coming off their latest reissue, Tsuki. Tsuki I’d hightly suggest that all of us track it down and give this one a spin.

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Natalie Gaza “Stelazine”

Like I said about their pervious outting “50 Thousand Feet” Natalie Gaza’s sound pulls together some of the best elements of classic rock and punk from the 70’s and puts it in a blender. With guitar flourishes that would put Marc Bolan to shame, “Stelazine” is a catchy little track that has a unique and refreshing sound.

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Patrick Jordan “The Truth”

When you were a former member of Lost Sounds, you have a lot to live up to, and Patrick Jordan does just that with his new track “The Truth”. From the look of things Patrick has been releasing a steady stream of songs on his SoundCloud for a while now, and that’s probably how I’ll be spending the rest of this week digging around in. H

“The Truth” sounds like a lo-fi and haunted lost Ramones track. Garage Punk at it’s rawest and most direct. Definitely worth a spin.

Posted in Music, Soundcloud

Johnny Conquerooperson “Why?”

For those of us of a certain age one of the first touch stones of hearing garage rock were the soundtracks to the movies of John Hughes. So much so that anything at so much as faintly whiffs of that kind of crunchy bluesy countrified surf riffs we will drool uncontrollably until that music stops.

John Conquerooperson’s “Why“ satisfies every desire in your Nuggets, Pebbles and Back From the Grave loving bones crave.

Posted in Music, Soundcloud

Julez “Lookin’ Through You”

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.

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Lost Talk “Jesus/Centaur”

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.

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Slowcoaches “Found Out”

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!

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IV League “Superstar”

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.

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Laura Carbone “Tangerine Tree”

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.

Posted in Music, Video “Numerical Depression”’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.

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CO SUNN “why”

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.

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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!

Posted in Music, Soundcloud

Slut Magic “No Loyalty”

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!

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Wax Idols “Mausoleum”

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.

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Anime Creek “Feelings”

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.

Posted in Bandcamp

Pono AM “Creator”

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.

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SKRRT “Live”

“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.

Posted in Bandcamp, Music