I can only assume that Snuffed by the Yakuza’s “Trippin” is a literal representation of what it would sound like walking into a hardcore show out of your mind with a head-full of windowpane. If you don’t know what that is kiddos don’t go checking it out, drugs are bad, fun to read about but very very bad for you. Now back to this song that I fully endorse that suggests that we all take hallucinogens.
“Trippin” is a really interesting combination of off kilter drumming, odd delays and a powerful blast of energy that keeps the whole rickety roller-coaster going to the end. This is a vibe that is rarely heard and even rarer to pull off with this much skill and ingenuity.
Built around a 50’s Sci-Fi B-Movie theremin keyboard part and the type of guitar playing that I last heard on episodes of Ren and Stimpy (and this is a very sad fact of life, that Gregory Richard has gleefully rectified) “Napalm Blonde” puts you into a state of mind only a light psychosis could possibly replicate.
Manic and stompy Gregory Richard plays a style of Psychobilly that is far from over the top as many other acts in the genre which brings an immediate listenability that is often lacking.
Giant Kitty is back again with a great new single “Et2YT” (waits a beat for the people who are really good at deciphering license plates gets the name) For the past year or so people have been touting the “return of punk” solely based on the fact that punks really have the best new target in the White House since Regan. However, the truth is that there’s always been good punk and great targets. It’s just great new bands like Giant Kitty are just getting started in this political claimant.
In the video for “Et2YT” we see Kitty and Co. satirizing the 24hr news cycle, and everything that comes along with it. The tongue in cheek sensibility of the band is in full display, and it doesn’t hurt that this is yet another powerhouse of a catchy song either. Check it out above, or better yet you should have been listening to it rather than reading this long and overly elaborate explanation for “Hey, great song!”
“Grrrls Like Us” finds the band in a very buzzy/poppy mood and reminds me of something that would have come out on Merge back in the day.
Luckily for all of us Leggy is getting around to remastering/re-releasing their limited edition compilation “Leggy” on vinyl! This compilation of their early EP tracks is chocked full of their uniquely tongue in cheek version of mid-90’s indie rock/RiotGRRL that we’ve featured here before. Definitely something that will be worth checking out.
Pop Occulture favorites are back with another sparklingly bright slab of 60’s pop. As always this song doesn’t have a note out of place, and the vocal delivery style is so achingly Phil Spector that it’s undenyable to resist.
The bass on this track, along with it’s Rentals-esq Moog line will keep this bouncy track stuck in your head for days.
Coming off with all the cool of 90’s Kim Gordon, Field Trip to the Moon’s Angela Christofilou successfully melds her cooing delivery style along with one of the tightest post-punk riffs that I’ve heard in years.
The whole song has an angsty/paranoid vibe that spills out from under it’s cool and cold exterior, that really is captivating. I’ve probably listened to this song a dozen times in the last day. Definitely worth checking out.
Coming off musically as a bizzaro world version of Credence, Lucille Furs’ “Pink Noise” reeks to high hell of patchouli and paisley, in all the best ways possible. Stealing wholesale everything that is good from the 67-68 era and repackaging without it feeling like it’s forced or contrived like a lot of bands in a similar mold do.
A vintage sounding as Lucille Furs are, there is a unique energy that permeates this track that gives it a freshness that will pull you in for the ride.
I have to admit, it took me a few listens before this song really sunk it’s hooks into me. It’s nearly Jandekian level of mystery and eerieness it a tough pill to swallow. However, it’s often these more difficult songs that hold the most impact over the years.
This haunted song has been on regular rotation since I first heard it a couple of weeks ago. It’s a rare song that pays off well with repeated listens.
Named after a Scientological coined term meaning “a “recording” of a past painful event not normally accessible to the conscious mind”, so I’m not entirely sure if they’re pro or antl LRH, but with a song this good I’d be happy to jump up and down on Oprah’s couch for a while too. This high and tight track reverberates with nearly solid source of energy.
A little to punk to be psych, and a little to psych to be punk, this Reese’s Peanut Butter cup of a track that is the perfect combination of opposing sounds that doesn’t suffer too much from it’s sticky sweet pop flavor.
Winner of what has to be one of the best band names I’ve ever heard in my entire life, Have You Ever Seen The Jane Fonda Aerobic VHS?’s “Sheep” is a sleak and powerful track about possibly one of the strangest subjects I’ve ever heard of “Ovinaphobia” (go look it up, or better yet… don’t) The organ sound on this track is worth the cost of admission alone, and vocalist has the Debbie Harry vibe down pat. I couldn’t run out of good things to say about this track, but instead of reading this how about you just press play and thank me.
Gritty and hard hitting, “behave” is one of those songs that almost feels like it’s bleeding from a wall to your neibhour’s house who just happens to have excellent taste in music. CO SONN is a solo project, but like many garage rock veterans before him such as Jay Reatard you wouldn’t know it from listening to this track. It’s got a full thick sound that really draws you in. Another reason we all should be paying attention to the Swedish scene.
If Wutip’s “Street Lights” was any more 77″ Brit-Punk, I’d swear it was a re-issue. This buzzy and and energetic single reminds me of all the best things to come out of the London scene, everything from it’s marble mouth intro vocals to the shout along hooks it’s just not a song that you can easily ignore.
Full of Beach Boys’ syrupy sweet sunshine, M.A.G.S. “Drugs” feels like there’s quite a bit of a deeper darkness that lies underneath, that makes me wonder what was happening in those substance fueled nights where Dennis was hanging out with Charlie and the Family those dark nights in his valley mansion.
“Drugs” is one of those songs that has a different feel every time you listen to it, and is ultimately rewarding the more time that you invest in it.
Buzzy and lean Elephant Fire’s “Natural Heart” makes me think of that crucial era in the mid-60’s where bands hadn’t quite given up the uppers that were fueling their 4 shows a night rotation, but had just begun expanding their minds to the universal consciousness.
Not to say that this song is hippy dippy in the least. Elephant Fire is all jagged edges and id with just enough of the ethereal to keep it interesting. Definitely a unique sound that’s worth exploring further.
When I think of Sweden, I tend to think of twee bedroom pop and not huge, sleazy, garage rock riffs. However, that’s a stereotype that Basement Bout is about to knock out of my head for good with their new single “Another Night”.
The song itself is raw, but glammed out in a Beggars Banquet kind of way, which makes you wonder what kind of substances are fueling this night. It’s a well crafted and catchy song that hearkens back to all the good things that come to mind when thinking about 70’s rock without all the over produced bloat.
The Van T’s are heavy riffs and sweet vocal melodies galore. On their new single “Bitter Sweet” we catch back up with the band and their sound has matured a lot in the last year or so. Built on a foundation of solid production and straight forward, catchy, melodies The Van T’s are poised to take over the world one fan at a time with their lean 90’s sound.
The first thing that smacks you in the face about “Fall Guy” is the just how interesting the drumming sounds compared to a lot of other groups out there right now. This punchy little post-punk track really stands out in a world do dominated by Joy Division clones. Detroit native Zach Pliska has apparently been around that scene for years, the massive list of previous bands is impressive. Definitely a starting point to a rabbit hole that deserves to be check out.
The first thing that hits you about “Lined Paper Song” is just the wonderful snotty ’77 punk delivery of Ása Berezny vocals. It’s amazing how tight and poppy these kids (none of them are even old enough to vote) actually play. That being said, Kingdom of Birds plays with more weight and edge than bands with exponentially more experience. Kingdom of Birds is one of those bands that gives you hope for the future of music.
Another band that’s back on Pop Occulture after a year plus absence, with a great new song, Leggy’s “Not What You Need”, which while the delivery sounds smooth and seductive, has a very jagged heart in it’s center as frenetic as it’s funky drumming style. This trio hailing from Cincinnati, OH (Midwest Love) was just featured in a New York Times’ article calling them one of the 50 greatest bands with women dominating rock’n’roll, and listening to “Not What You Need” it’s pretty obvious that this is true. Go throw your money at their feet, so you can act cool and say you knew them before they were huge.
Donating the proceeds of “Victim” to Harm Reduction Coalition, a group dedicated to help victims of the opioid epidemic, Veronica Bianqui brings us a great song full of sunshiny harmonies and crunchy guitars (who could ask for anything more?) The song delves deep into 50’s pop while giving it the harder psych edge, that is built around this a beautifully uptight Ringo-esq rhythm. Which gives the song a very unique style that will bury itself deep into your brain for days.
Just a little over a year later, (I think, time flies when you’re listening to 30+ new bands a day) The ThreeFiveSevens bring back their Bauhaus meets the B-52’s sound, “Witch” brings the infectious gloom with a gusto that no other band does out there right now. With a wash of great harmonies underlying vocalist Thomas Francis Lane II’s stark (and glorious) monotone delivery on this track track, with an up beat rhythm this song really stands out.
While popular in the 80’s and early 90’s, music with a danceable beat is kind of a unicorn out there in the world of indie rock. Any new release by the ThreeFiveSevens should be celebrated.
Straight out of Milan Italy, The Surf Cassettes perfectly capture that hollow but sunny garage surf vibe without becoming just another pale repetition. Having spent a little time with the rest of their album that came out just under a year ago, this song is definitely one of the diamonds on an album full of gems.
Australia’s Georgia June are tackling a subject that many of us are painfully too aware of… being flat-ass broke. This punky pop track is one of those songs that will get caught in your head for days, the guitar chug and the tongue in cheek humor compliment the straightforward in your car top volume sing-along quality of the track. If this one grabs you, don’t forget to go to their Soundcloud and listen to their previous effort “Cool”!
Sweden’s Nala just put out their first single “How, When & Where”, it is one of those tracks where you can’t tell where in the last 40 years it could have been recorded. This hard-hitting combination of psychedelia and stoner metal, just hits all the right spots to be both brutal sounding and poppy enough to be hum-able at the same time.
Digging around on their Soundcloud page, there are several other great demos for you to check out as well. Can’t wait to hear more!
Tai Chi Tommy’s “Buried Under Your Love” sounds and looks like what would be playing at the winter formal in hell. This slow and gothy 50’s slow dance occupies a unique space in the music world that I’m hard pressed to think of any bands that quite have a similar sound.
Come for the wooziness, stay for the infectious bummer the song will leave you with.
Pop Occulture favorites Giant Kitty are back with the video for their new single “You Suck” an all out rocker, that has an important message to convey to the world. That being that you, and I’m pretty sure it is you, my dear reader, do in fact suck. That’s okay though! Giant Kitty has created possibly the best theme song for you in your suckitude.
Giant Kitty embodies the defiant spirit of 90’s riotgrrl without sounding derivative or dated, and this track might just be one of their best yet. Definitely a band that I highly suggest.
Once every blue moon or so New Jersey resident Christopher Padula (Thunder Bunny, Black Rabbit) comes out of seclusion and offers the us a glimpse unique and wonderful world of shoegaze influenced psychedelic folk. However, this time around with his new project, Dracula Factory, he has left the pedals at home and has gone nearly unplugged.
Gone are the drenches of noise guitar, but in their place is something that was always lying under the surface of his early projects, the delicate guitar work and core of solid songwriting that have informed much of his music. Looking ahead it looks like Dracula Factory has a lot of releases in the pipeline, so it would probably be a good thing if you went out and started following them to try to keep up.
Anybody who’s ever submitted to me can attest that sometimes it takes a while to get back to them. (as of this morning my email box was 3k deep) However, the winner of the grand prize for patience, are my new friends* the Illuminati Hotties who have been waiting since long before it started getting cold outside for me to stumble across their email.
Hopefully, you’re already listening to this rather than just reading this ramble, so that you know that the song is a tight and poppily infectious song that’s a ray of sunshine in these graying days post Halloween doldrums. One of the catchiest songs I’ve heard in a long time. Definitely a band you should be throwing your money at.
* I say friends in desperate hope for free stuff from the band, and indie cred once they’re a household name. (check, and check)
“Don’t Be Rude” finds LA-Based Broken Baby, burning through the scant 2:40 of the song with a weird and wired energy that’s as infectious as it is caustic. With a wit that’s sorely lacking in these days, the song exorcises the demons of just what’s going on these days between the sexes without becoming redactic.
I’ve been getting so many cold, reverbed out, angsty songs I started thinking that someone has hacked 4AD’s site to have me be the person handling their demos. However, Pink Milk’s “Kill 4 U”, gives more credibility to the darkwave revival than any other song I’ve heard this year. Free from a lot of the retro-worship of a lot of their contemporaries, the song sounds fresh and glistens with a tight atmosphere that’s given weight by the distant heavy guitar chug.