Archive for the ‘shoegaze’ tag
If Pastel and Pass Out sounds like some weird advice about what to do after you’ve had a few too many, then you’re already on the right track with the new EP from No Joy. The concise three-track collection from the Montreal collective is subdued, melancholy, and totally transportive in vibe, making for one perfectly soundtracked end-of-night (or early morning) come down.
Led by Jasamine White-Gluz and Laura Lloyd, No Joy have been successfully cultivating their shoegaze sound since the band’s 2010 debut, Ghost Blonde, and have only been growing in subtle power since that time. This year’s sophomore effort Wait To Pleasure was rich in melody and full of lush, yet precise, instrumentals, often a rare combination when it comes to shoegaze. Pastel and Pass Out lead single “Last Boss” only proves that these ladies are ready to push the envelope even further; soft and dreamy, the dynamic track is a journey through crunching guitars and rhythmic bass lines, ending with a mysterious ellipsis of a conclusion.
Soon, “Starchild is Dead” surges ahead, a weighty and pretty benchmark between “Last Boss” and final track “Second Spine.” The headbang-worthy middle section of “Starchild is Dead” begs for live performance, sure to be fierce and shreddy the whole way through. With a driving drum beat and gentle background cooing, “Second Spine” concludes on a more pop-influenced note, proving that No Joy’s take on shoegaze is malleable, and never static.
It’s rare that a three-song EP sounds so full, but No Joy achieve true harmony in just twelve minutes on Pastel and Pass Out. Like that soothing glass of cool water after a booze-fueled night of fun, these tracks go down light, easy, and satisfying. Though there’s already a new LP in the works, for now, Pastel and Pass Out fits the bill quite nicely.
Montreal’s shoegazers, No Joy, just released an EP, Pastel and Pass Out, yesterday which includes “Second Spine”. Right away a hypnotizing melody sucks you in but does not linger, instead it gives way to an assortment of electronic percussion which forms the bed for a verse of reverb-indulged vocals with a 90s flecked melody. It’s a lo-fi driving shoegaze track with some percussion taken right from an old school hip hop track.
From Young Summer’s new Fever Dream EP is “Waves That Rolled You Under”. It’s like Beach House for the masses.
And check out this killer slightly psychedelic instrumental hip-hop by Stwo — “Syrup”.
Brooklyn’s Radical Dads put the power back in power trio; they slice, dice, and shred like no other, thanks to their compelling two-guitar (plus drums) combination. The band’s new single, “Creature Out,” follows their strong sophomore effort Rapid Reality, released only this May. If the hazy, melodic-yet-fuzzy nature of this brand new track is any indication, there’s plenty more good stuff on the way.
Canadian shoegazers No Joy continue to push the boundaries of fuzz on their latest cut, “Last Boss.” New EP Pastel and Pass Out is due November 5, but with tracks this lush, dreamy, and shreddy, the roughly month-long wait almost feels too long to bear. With a gently roaming bass, sharp tempo changes and a moody, almost psychedelic vibe, “Last Boss” is a welcome introduction to some new material. Stick around for the track’s weird, wonderful conclusion– it’s the best part!
Rapidly rising British alt rockers The History of Apple Pie are all about nostalgia, and they certainly bring that to their brand new single, “Don’t You Wanna Be Mine?” From the track’s spacey, shoegazey guitars to its sweet, poppy vocals courtesy of front woman Stephanie Min, “Don’t You Wanna Be Mine?” is all distorted, decadent fun. Keep eyes open and ears peeled for a new record early next year.
Weekend take their cues from Swans and from Joy Division and even from U2, a little bit. But their music seems to be distinctly a product of the new millennium, entrenched as it also is in the humorless gestures of post-rock guitar splintering. For Jinx, Weekend have beefed up their sound from the deliciously anxious wreck that was 2010’s Sports. Though Jinx is a measurable upgrade from Sports in terms of sound quality, its soul feels sold and absent is any of the fierce, funny noisiness that made Sports so likable.
I could imagine “July” being sung by someone like Morrissey, who could infuse it with an efficacious and witty spirit. Shaun Durkan is an exceptional vocalist, but he doesn’t offer anything particularly unique and with songs like these you need something to provide a little breakaway. Look at The National for example; take away Matt Berninger’s Whiskey-soaked baritone and you’re left with four old dudes pretending to be Franz Ferdinand. Weekend feel like they could be heading in that direction. Weekend have a lot in common – tone-wise – with label mates Pains of Being Pure at Heart, but don’t seem to be willing to take the extra steps towards unabashed Robert Smith worship, and they’re hurting a little for it.
“It’s Alright” provides for the album’s most insistent song, though I sort of with it sold itself a little harder on its semi-experimental opening bit. Durkan’s bass parts more than make up for the song’s soggy repeal, and there’s an exceptional crystaline guitar bit to boot. The background vocal wallops ring somewhere between Bono and Brooklyn rooftop show circa 2010; I like them, though. The song feels a little too embedded in the album – there isn’t enough of a dynamic shift from the last song to make it stand out in any noticeable way, and a weird lack of dynamics plagues Jinx. It is a well-produced album, but it seems to skew safe when what it really needs is a little bravery.
Jinx is a nice little release, but as douchey as it may sound I really just don’t see the point; why did we need another one of these albums? Yes, the composition and production of music can act as a personal catharsis, as I’m sure it does for the members of Weekend, but I feel like you have to at least try to inject something interesting or funny or new into the mix. The songs on Jinx sound like they’re basically in one key, vamping between two or three chords, and slung to The Bravery’s rhythm section. There are some exceptional moments on Jinx – for example the strangely modulated bass slugs on “Just Drive” – but whether you listen to the album or not I get the feeling it’ll make about the same lasting impression.
At the end of last week, Australian-based Kigo released their fifth EP this year, Chance. The title track kicks in with a blast of brutal feedback followed by the familiar screams of a tremoloed guitar being pushed to its limits. Over a bed of guitar noise and an upbeat drum loop are the barely audible (even by shoegaze standards) but oh so sweet vocals that draw the listener in, adding to the hypnotism of the track. Check out the full EP on bandcamp.
Yuck goes shoegaze. After the departure of their frontman, Daniel Blumberg, the band decided to keep moving forward without him. This is the first new music they’ve released since his departure and the title, “Rebirth”, is quite fitting. While they’ve still got noisy guitars and forward drumming, the band’s sense of melody and harmony has changed drastically. ”Rebirth” is more of a shoegaze jam than they’ve previously ventured towards on their debut self-titled effort. The track also features some of the forgotten trademarks that shoegaze held in the early 90s—washed out FM synths and deep, shimmery chorus on the guitars. The band is releasing the single as a free download via their new website.