Archive for the ‘surf rock’ tag
The latest from Titus Andronicus-alum Andrew Cedermark, “Canis Major” combines the nostalgia-heavy “lazy suburban afternoon” rock of Cedermark’s northern New Jersey contemporaries with the psych-pop buoyancy of Grizzly Bear. Cedermark may have the most emphatically “pop” aspirations of the Underwater Peoples collective (which counts Real Estate and Ducktails as members); “Canis Major” borrows from alt-country, guitar-obsessed British indie, and the style of lighthearted groove rock that saw its heyday as sitcom themes throughout the 90s. Taking a big step away from his more isolated earlier work (like the beautifully chilly Moon Deluxe), “Canis Major” is Cedermark’s most approachable – and perhaps most immediately impressive – piece of music yet.
Last week, when I wrote on FIDLAR and asked if their schtick could last, I didn’t know just how soon I’d be receiving my answer. The L.A. punk outfit recently made a name for themselves with “Cheap Beer,” a song that details a day in the life of a California skate punk. “I! Drink! Cheap! Beer! So! What! Fuck! You!”– which, by the way, is the chorus– pretty much sums up all you need to know about these guys.
As I previously detailed, FIDLAR is actually an acronym for “fuck it, dog– life’s a risk.” So, as you may imagine, FIDLAR are not your go-to band for deep, intellectual thinking. They wear tie-dye tank tops, go surfing, and say “like” a lot. Freckle-faced drummer Max Kuehn is a former child actor who once appeared on Hannah Montana. In an interview, lead singer Zach Carper referred to Blink-182 as “the best fucking band in the world,” and honestly, it wasn’t easy to tell if he was kidding or not.
Like, say, the Beach Boys before them– please, just go with me on this– FIDLAR are a fun, messy conglomeration of sunny-side up, California youth culture. However, instead of fast cars and sweet girls, FIDLAR are more inclined to sing about lines of speed, bags of weed, and getting blackout drunk. My, how times have changed.
FIDLAR like the sort of things that make the upper, older tiers of society cringe, but of course, that’s completely the point. And even though their just-released debut album, FIDLAR, is lowbrow with a capital “L,” it’s hard to deny that these guys have charm– and actual, bonafide skills– to spare.
On their self-titled debut, FIDLAR channel their childish, snot-nosed, “fuck you!” attitudes through fourteen surprisingly enjoyable tracks. “Max Can’t Surf” is about the aforementioned drummer’s lack of skills on the beach, but he definitely lacks nothing when it comes to the skins. “White On White” displays an aggressive, powerful guitar and a memorable, metal-style riff that is still somehow polished. “No Waves”– which, ironically, sounds pretty much just like Wavves– is kind of quaint and cozy in a way that’s hard to describe. The video for “No Waves,” which features the guys mock-performing as the stars of a low-rent 90s sitcom, is worth checking out; as a grown-ass woman, I have no shame in admitting that I laughed out loud while watching.
So now, back to that “schtick;” what I hope you’ve learned, boys and girls, is that with FIDLAR, there is none. These guys are a rough-around-the-edges collection of foul-mouthed youths, and their first album unabashedly reflects these truths. Despite its shortcomings, FIDLAR is a surprisingly impressive– and, dare I say it, delightful– debut. As FIDLAR themselves say, “There’s nothing wrong with living like this.”
3.5 / 5 bars
Following So-Cal crooner Nathan Williams and the rest of the gang of Wavves on Twitter is pretty entertaining. It’s almost as good as scrolling through Samuel L. Jackson’s tweets of Olympic commentary (“These chicks slinging da shit outta that heavy frisbee!”) which never seem to stop. Seriously, Almost.
But if you do follow Wavves, you’ll know that Nathan recently put out a series of tweets that signaled the release of a new single, “Hippies is Punks,” created for the Adult Swim Singles Programs. The really, really good single is called “Hippies is Punks,” and it seems as if its super DIY style is only an indicator of what’s to come on the next Wavves record: “John, Stephen and I payed for the record ourselves. We had no time limit, no person telling us we needed a single… once we were done we took it around and let labels listen to and bid on a finished product. 100 % ours, no changes.” Sounds like a gold medal effort to me.
These tunes are for a lazy afternoon drive. Flight Facilities’ track “Foreign Language” put me in the mood, and the rest fell into place from there – this mix is a collection of upbeat, guitar-driven songs that range from the meditative (“Her Morning Elegance”) to the festive (“Coulibaly” – a favorite from Mali), to some classic samba (“Disfarça E Chora”).
Flight Facilities – Foreign Language
Alphawezen – Speed of Light
Amadou & Mariam – Coulibaly
Oren Lavie – Her Morning Elegance
J Viewz – Salty Air
Cartola – Disfarça E Chora
Gorillaz – Empire Ants
Milton Nascimento – Angelus
Best Coast – Crazy For You
Charles Bradley – Since Our Last Goodbye
Listen to the playlist here or on our handy sidebar player.
And here’s a couple noteworthy tracks we stumbled upon this week – “Polish Girl” by Neon Indian, and Skrillex’s remix of Nero’s song “Promise.”