Category Archives: Lo-Fi

Stream Hinds’ ‘Leave Me Alone’ before you buy it

Garage-rock band Hinds, hailing from Madrid, today released one of the most hotly anticipated albums (so far) of 2016 — Leave Me Alone.

It’s streaming now on NPR, for your listening pleasure. FYI: NPR points out that hind is another word for a female red deer.

Their sound is a bit like ’60s harmony Britpop or laid-back surf-pop, which then turns right around and slaps you with some harsh punk reality.

http://www.npr.org/player/embed/461281114/461904325

In their press release, the band explained how they expected a perhaps sunnier album and were rather taken aback when that’s not what came out.

“Feelings are more balanced, like in life. So suddenly we had a more sober – or even sad – album than we expected. Please don’t think we’ve turned into depressive people or something, we’ve always been humans, it’s just we’re now showing it to you.”

Hinds are on the lo-fi side but with amped-up passion, authenticity and sheer confidence. Leave Me Alone, their full-length debut, contains demos and a cover of The Headcoats’ “Davey Crockett” for Record Store Day. Hinds have already released the singles “Garden” and “San Diego.”

hinds-oct15-1

Hinds is on Mom + Pop/ Lucky Number. Read more details at NPR.

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Filed under Garage Pop, Garage Punk, Garage rock, Lo-Fi, New Music, Streaming, Surf-rock, Uncategorized

Half Japanese’ EP “Bingo Ringo” spits in the eye of song conformity

When noise-punk, lo-fi grunge band Half Japanese formed in a Maryland bedroom in 1975, Kurt Cobain was only a kid. But by Nirvana’s In Utero tour in 1993, Cobain had sought Half Japanese as openers. And when Cobain died, he was also reportedly wearing a T-shirt with Half Japanese’ name emblazoned on it.

Since its early days, Half Japanese’s influence has spread far, to 90s groups like Sonic Youth and Teenage Fanclub, Neutral Milk Hotel and Daniel Johnston.

Mark Jickling, some guy from Nirvana, John Sluggett, Gilles Rieder photo by Mike Galinski

Mark Jickling, some guy from Nirvana, John Sluggett, Gilles Rieder
photo by Mike Galinski

Brothers Jad and David Fair have always kept the band’s DIY roots over the years. Jad Fair continues to prefer untuned guitars, famously saying, “The only chord I know is the one that connects the guitar to the amp.”

Half Japanese’ irreverence, paired with Jad Fair’s half-singing, half-talking off-beats, leads to freeform lo-fi punk songs that revolve around creature-feature monsters and sci-fi freaks, as well as more standard song fodder such as young love.

With its latest six-song EP, “Bingo Ringo,” Half Japanese continue to upend any conventionalities they happen to run into.

In the fruit-infatuated “Stuck On You,” Fair sings of blueberries, lemon-limes and strawberries — the garden that feeds his puppy-love crush.

“Me and you, and you and me are like peaches in an apple tree…… The pot of gold is ours/bless our f*ing lucky stars,” sings Fair. Slashes of noise-punk guitar bitterness slice through the lyric sweetness.

“I feel his fangs in my neck, there ain’t no way out,” he drones and sputters in “Dracula’s Casket.”

And during the country swagger of the uplifting “New Awakening,” Fair forcefully spits out, “Put more pep into your step,” parodying that overused anthem.

Initially, the EP’s title track might seem bred from cookie-cutter pop blandness, but Jad Fair’s comical spoken-word, grit-your-teeth vocals carry it safely away from Top 40 conformity.

fairjad_large half japanese

With “Bingo Ringo,” Half Japanese sticks to what it does best — playing benign melodies that quickly degenerate into rabid vocals and electric guitar recklessness, the conduit through which funky hooks and infectious melodies are found.

Released July 31 on Joyful Noise Recordings, only 173 lathe-cut records have been made of “Bingo Ringo.”

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Filed under artpunk, EPs, Lo-Fi, Noise rock, Post-punk, Punk, Review

David Loca and Part Time are back with full album

Fall down the wormhole with Part Time

Fall down the wormhole with Part Time

Part Time’s upcoming double LP, Virgo’s Maze, due May 19 on Burger Records, contains everything but the kitchen sink, as it embodies David Loca’s home recordings and various inky sounds over the last five years.

Loca is the prime performer in Part Time, although five songs were aided by a few of his friends on drum and bass.

Much of the sound of Part Time’s newest single, “Fallin’ 4 U,” is lo-fi noise and snippets of voices and sound bites, although the first half of the song could count as enough conventional Britpop for some.

Most of Virgo’s Maze was recorded on reel to reel, tape machine or USB mixer, and according to a press release, it’s the first album in which Loca has complete control.

Listen to “Fallin’ 4 U” on Soundcloud. And check out the ending; it seems to fondly reminisce over Saturday-morning cartoon bits, a la “Looney Toons.”

VIRGO’S MAZE TRACKLIST:
1. The Cost of Living
2. My Jamey
3. Honey Lips
4. Fallin’ 4 U
5. New Beginnings
6. Touch Me Responsibly
7. I Saw Her Standing There
8. It’s Elizabeth
9. Science, Shadows & Religeons on the Walls
10. Ganz Wien
11. Strangest Eyes
12. Pussy of my Dreams
13. Real Connection
14. The Garvo623 (My Robots Brain)
15. B U
16. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
17. Virgo’s Maze
18. Was It Real
19. The River of Dreams (Sailing My Fantasy)
20. It’s Too Late

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Filed under DIY, Lo-Fi, Synth pop

Listen to the new track from Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Unknown Mortal Orchestra's "Multi-Love" is due for release May 26

Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s “Multi-Love” is due for release May 26

Unknown Mortal Orchestra has announced it’s back, and released details of their new album, “Multi-Love,” due out May 26 on Jagjaguwar.

According to Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s singer, songwriter and guitarist Ruban Nielson in a press release:

“It felt good to be rebelling against the typical view of what an artist is today, a curator,” Nielson says. “It’s more about being someone who makes things happen in concrete ways. Building old synthesizers and bringing them back to life, creating sounds that aren’t quite like anyone else’s. I think that’s much more subversive.”

Check out the title track, “Multi-Love,” at Soundcloud.

MULTI-LOVE TRACKLISTING
1. Multi-Love
2. Like Acid Rain
3. Ur Life One Night
4. Can’t Keep Checking My Phone
5. Extreme Wealth and Casual Cruelty
6. The World Is Crowded
7. Stage or Screen
8. Necessary Evil
9. Puzzles

Their tour begins May 7 in Oregon.

UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA TOUR DATES:
Thu. May 7 – Eugene, OR @ WOW Hall
Sat. May 9 – Seattle, WA @ Barboza
Sun. May 10 – Spokane, WA @ The Bartlett
Wed. May 20 – Bristol, UK @ Thekla
Thu. May 21 – London, UK @ Islington Assembly Hall
Fri. May 22 – Coventry, UK @ Warwick University w/ Django Django
Sat. May 23 – Liverpool, UK @ Liverpool Sound City
Mon. May 25 – Amsterdam, NL @ Bitterzoet
Tue. May 26 – Berlin, DE @ Berghain Kantine
Wed. May 27 – Brussels, BE @ AB Club
Thu. May 28 – Paris, FR @ La Flèche d’Or
Fri. May 29 – Sun. May 31 – Nîmes, FR @ This is Not a Love Song Festival
Sat. May 30 – Barcelona, ES @ Primavera Sound
Tue. June 2 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
Wed. June 3 – Montreal, QC @ Theatre Fairmount
Thu. June 4 – Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace
Fri. June 5 – Pontiac, MI @ Pike Room
Sat. June 6 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
Mon. June 8 – Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock Social Club
Tue. June 9 – Omaha, NE @ Waiting Room
Wed. June 10 – St. Louis, MO @ Firebird
Thu. June 11 – Sun. June 14 – Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo
Sat. June 13 – Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West
Sun. June 14 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
Mon. June 15 – Washington, DC @ U Street Music Hall
Tue. June 16 – Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle
Wed. June 17 – Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle
Fri. June 19 – Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw

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Filed under Garage rock, Lo-Fi, Psychedelic rock