Starting next week, our beloved friends at Coronado will be going around Europe for a nice end-of-summer vacation. Well, not all of them, only the ones that matter, meaning math rock juggernauts Equations and post-rock-in-2013 stalwarts SAUR. And because SAUR live near me, I spoke to them about what Europe can expect from them. Which is not much. I’m kidding: if you live anywhere near these places, go check them out so you can tell your hipster friends yeah, currently I’m checking out the portuguese scene, Awesome Tapes From Africa got too mainstream.
Let us, for a moment, forget that the Swans are, in noise rock territories, a huge spectre hanging around everyone’s heads when we think about aggression, when we think about power, when we think about rawness, violence, bloodlust – all those wonderful qualities that lie around in our minds, hidden from society -; let us forget the new-yorkers practically invented and perfected the genre, even if there are plenty of wonderful bands who took their palette and turned it into something equally valid; if we erase Michael Gira’s antics since 1984, we’d come to realize Pop. 1280 is probably the most ferocious band in activity right now, something we realized last year when their debut album, The Horror, came out, blasting layers of noise and punk energy and great fucking tunes all around. Imps Of Perversion, although toning down that aggression for a bit – there’s no immediate and murder-prone tracks like “Bodies In The Dunes”, for instance, and there’s a more folky side to it (especially “Riding Shotgun”) -, still stands as one of the most rage-filled albums we’ll hear this year, the year rock is mostly dead and pop cuteness hangs around like annoying eye floaters. Where’s the music for people who hate other people? Where’s my knife in the shape of a 3-minute song? (It’s actually seven minutes, and it’s called “Nailhouse”.) Pop. 1280 came, saw, conquered that magic place we call “the riff”, made another album that’ll spike up our adrenaline levels and propels us to believe Sacred Bones will save the world. Or destroy it. Either way, it works.
Back in 2007/08, when Jonathan Wilson didn’t have a record label to put out his records nor even a fancy 2.0/3.0/?.? website – and supposedly didn’t think about making a living off touring and selling records – he used to put some b-sides for free download in his ol’ plain HTML page. Only one of those songs was available at a time, and most are probably gone forever, except for a version of Madonna’s La Isla Bonita, now that his old site is gone.
Off the radar singer-songwriters you’ve probably never heard before: this is why you visit Bolachas, right? Unfortunately, we still almost never hear anything about Portland’s Mama Bird Recording Co and their artists (Barna Howard and Saintseneca both had released pretty decent albums last year) here in Europe. Let’s hope that changes when the Old Continent sinks its ears into Widower’s debut LP, Fool Moon, a stunning collection of alt-country songs that came out just last week and you can order here. You can watch the video for “Grasp” above and download another song off the record here. You can tell by my lack of comparisons with other songwriters that Kevin Large, the man behind the Widower moniker, is really someone to look up to.
Just as I’m bringing Cakes and Tapes back from the dead (more news soon!) I realized there’s a new tape label in town (and by town I mean The Internet) and it’s half-run by the same fine lad who brought us Beat the Indie Drum and the awesome record label Big School Records (Point Reyes, Shy Mirrors, The Appleseed Cast, Graham Repulski… all great stuff, go grab some vinyl). Good to know you crossed over to the tape side of the industry. You can already stream the eight (!) first releases on Hope for the Tape Deck’s bandcamp, but you prefer to check out these eight bands you’ve probably never heard of before, this Soundcloud player will save your day. Really, that Missionaires track is 24k gold, so make sure you listen to the whole thing.