Monday, January 24, 2011

Desiderata - We Are Not Convinced There Has Been Any Improvement

We seem to be posting a lot of dancey stuff as of late, so I figured I'd continue with the trend. Although I really liked seeing Desiderata when they were still active, I never really paid them the attention that they really deserved. We Are Not Convinced..., is further proof of the power isolation holds over art created in this province. Desiderata come from Fort McMurray, a cold and industrial town in Northern Alberta, a boom town that seems to house more migrant workers than permanent residents. It's not a town that a lot of touring bands are going to make stops in, and it's certainly not a town that would seem to have a blossoming independent art and music scene. At the risk of sounding like some condescending "big-city-boy" it amazes me that bands like Desiderata can grow in a town like that.

Desiderata songs move at break neck speeds. Start, stop, start, pause, breathe, start again. It's an exercise in musical hyperactivity. Not quite punk, not quite hardcore, not quite pop, but a strange beast raised on all 3, with a healthy diet of disco to boot. The vocals are spazzy and frantic with handfuls of clean hooks sprinkled throughout. The drums and bass keep the groove going really well, and the use of organ throughout the album is warmly reminiscent of dbs's Forget Everything You Know. (Fun fact: Jesse Gander of dbs fame, recorded We Are Not Convinced...).

Definitely worth checking out, especially if you've enjoyed some of the past few Kevin Rips. This album was released on Champion City Records, but I'm not too sure if any physical copies still exist.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Marvelous Darlings - Live At Gales

AB: Another great post from our prairie brother, Aaron Scholz. Something a little different than what would normally be posted, but so rad!

How do you record sweat? I don’t know, but Marvelous Darlings have done it. Live at Gales is a non-stop fuzzed out 22 minutes and 35 seconds of pissed off power-pop injected with a raw rock ‘n roll energy you only fantasized about your own band having during daydreams in front of the stereo. Full of strained vocals, luscious garage rock guitars and idiotic yelps from the crowd make this as close to an actual MD concert experience as a Saskatchewan resident will ever get.

The song writing is what really gets me about this band. Band leader Ben Cook (Fucked Up, Young Governor) does such a great job of writing varied songs within the genre, often stitching the tunes together with infectiously catchy leads, ensuring that fans of the genre will give Live at Gales repeated listens in order to relive brief moments of total pop bliss.

Dig on this and then start a band of your own!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Maggat - A Pacific Puzzle

From what I can tell, Maggat was a band from Germany that was active in the late 90's. Their output was pretty small, as I was only really able to find this 12" and a mini LP of the last songs they recorded, but the 12" is solid. This isn't groundbreaking stuff, just really good poppy midwest style emo. Musically it sort of reminds me of Tamiroff or The Promise Ring with a bit of a gruffer vocal delivery...well not so much gruffer, just less whiney. Acrobat is a definite jam, as is The Invention of the Typewriter. Sorry I don't have much else to say about this record, it's just an enjoyable listen and an interesting look at a German take on mid 90's emo.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Kevin Rips: Shut-IN - Would Never Hope Happen

"We've drawn blood again"

Somewhat inspired by the posting of The Martato's EP weeks previous, I wanted to continue to post a few more EP's. After digging through the archives, I've realized that around the early 2000's Canada produced a bunch of great bands who, in turn, produced a bunch of really great EP's. Now, I don't really know what it was about this time that produced this onslaught of the cd-EP (let alone the nature of the EP itself) - but so long as the music is of a quality like this is, who cares? This Shut-IN EP was dusted off, and, boy, am I glad I did. I forgot all about this EP, and I'm ashamed I had.

Shut-IN were from Toronto and had a few of the guys from Pecola in it, which is primarily why I had to track this down. I've tracked down everything (at least to my knowledge) that those guys had produced after the demise of Pecola. Some of them were terribly lacklustre (Picastro), some middle of the road (Bush League, Minaret), some exceptional. And that exceptional band would be Shut-IN

Perhaps because Shut-IN stayed a little closer to Pecola do I still think of this record fondly. There's fine line between the clean guitars, odd spattering of keys, ridiculously interesting drum patterns all played somewhere in the middle of post-punk/noise rock/math rock. It also kind of has that sort of off-kilter Daddy's Hands gloomy feel - though the playing is stellar. A few of these songs have been on a myriad of past mixtapes - specifically "Christmas Party" with that yell in the middle of it... golden. And the drum beat on "Forth of July" is something to behold and emulate. So go. Do.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Kevin Rips: Patterns/Falcon Five Split 12"

"We won't underestimate ourselves!"

There must be something in the water in Germany. I have posted earlier about the crazy scene happening there, one that has cost me much more than I'd care to admit in overseas mail-order in trying to collect it. Well, I've had this one for a while now, and as far as I can tell it has still yet to surface on the web. This incredible 12" pits two of the best German bands against each other. I love this stuff.

Patterns play that kind of yelpy dance-punk stuff that at one point was super popular but has seemed to have fallen out of vogue in the last few years. Now I know, you're probably thinking, "Yeah, I've heard all that before" and yeah, you probably have - except you probably haven't heard it done this well. Especially on a track like "History Man" where the drums pull out this crazy stacatto rhythm I still have yet to get a handle on in after all these years for when this first came out. I would liken Patterns to Sharp Like Knives or something like that, just so you're in the know.

Falcon Five (hilariously enough, a three-piece) share members with Shokei so you'll get the idea of where they're styled. Falcon Five, though, are a little more playful than Shokei, and are perfectly willing to reference Labyrinth without any qualms. Super intricate and interesting, but hardly alienatingly so. Like if Fugazi were more concerned with fun rather than walking margins.

Both Falcon Five and Patterns have brand new releases out so if you're at all able to, be sure to order those.

Note: I think my record skips, so if the jams jump at some point, apologies. Such is the nature of records that get played tons.