10 Dec 2010 @ 2:00 PM 

Not a whole lot is has been happening lately, yet at the same time there is still plenty to talk about. I admit that I’m a little late to the party on a couple of these releases, but I couldn’t resist sharing them anyway.

Small Black: Photojournalist/Sun Was High (So Was I)– As I mentioned a couple of entries ago, one of this year’s unexpectedly great records was Small Black’s New Chain. If you bought your version on iTunes, you got the exclusive cover of Best Coast‘s Sun was High (So Was I). Now if you were patient or just liked the song especially, you can get it on a 7inch from Jagjaguwar along with Photojournalist, a favorite from the album. The original is a pretty good song and it was nice to hear an alternate take on it. But, the 7inch presumably only comes on regular black vinyl and you can still get it almost anywhere without having to pay the entire $6. So unless you’re a gigantic fan, simply find a download and enjoy… like right here… 8.1/10

Sun Was High (So Was I)

The Get Up Kids: There Are Rules– Some years ago, a little emo band(when emo was a new and despised term) broke through the indie scene with a unique take on post-punk and heartfelt vocals. Multiple records and years later, The Get Up Kids had amassed a hefty library. I honestly started to care a little less after On A Wire, the first record that they began to walk away from post-punk towards more of an indie sound. By the time Guilt Show came out, you could say that I wasn’t very happy. More accurately, you could say I was irate… and I wasn’t alone. At a show after On A Wire was released that I attended, the crowd was completely still during their new songs. However, when they played songs from earlier in their career, the crowd was visibly and audibly elated. Now, maybe I’m just not privy to their little strategy and maybe they were just trying to build up to their great songs, but I doubt it. THANKFULLY, now that they’ve reunited, all indications from their Daytrotter session a year ago to the single that they’ve released recently are all pointing to them picking up(appropriately, might I add) where Something To Write Home About left off and should have led them to: A modernization of their already great sound. There Are Rules drops on January 25th and though I admit that 11+ years is a hell of a long time to wait for an adequate follow-up, at this point I think I’ll see any progress in the right direction as a complete success… wait, did I just tip my hand?

Regent’s Court

Pararelevant

Beach Fossils: Face It/Distance– If you’re not familiar with Beach Fossils’ sound and you have a fair grasp on indie rock, just think Surfer Blood meets Beach House with vocals similar to Small Black. If I’ve totally lost you, stay with me for a second. Earlier this year, they released a full length album that was a bit more lo-fi rock than this, but not much else was dramatically different. This is simply a 2-song single they released as of late and being that this was a couple of pretty songs AND a slight improvement percussively over their LP, I felt a well deserved bit of attention was due. If they continue to grow like they already seem to have done over the past few months, I think they’re really going to surprise us all…8.0/10

Face It

Psychic Powers: Glide and Brighter– I recently stumbled upon this band looking for something electronic and I’m glad that I did. Psychic Powers specialize in having smooth, airy transitions that they make with synthesizers and vocals over dance beats. Its actually pretty similar to what The Depreciation Guild does, but with more of an emphasis on beats. The 2-man outfit sounds remarkably tight for being a project carried out between a band separated by the Atlantic between New Zealand and Los Angeles. They’ve only released a small handful of songs up to this point, but most are available for free here. Glide’s title track is much better than Blue Icing, the B-side. Its definitely an 80s throwback song(Blue Icing), much to its detriment. It comes a little too close to the Pet Shop Boys to be considered original. Brighter features acoustic guitars and airy vocals and as a departure from their other work, no beats. To round out their other song, they give us an artfully acoustic version of a song from their Frozen EP. I’m somewhat skeptical that they’ll continue to abandon dance beats in favor of acoustically-driven songs, but being that Psychic Powers seem to release singles and EPs with semi-regularity, I’m more than optimistic that they’ll continue to improve with each coming release. Now, that they’ve solved the Atlantic problem in premise, they just need to solve it long enough in practice to amass a tour…8.0/10 and 9.0/10

Glide

Brighter

 30 Sep 2010 @ 2:59 PM 

With bands going on tour, we can always expect them to bring extra merchandise with them. This month we have Depreciation Guild and Twilight Sad touring around and they’ve decided to bring a couple of new EPs with them. Both are promoting new(ish) full length records but its always nice when they bring dessert too.

The Depreciation Guild: Blue Lily– Anything The Depreciation Guild wants to give up as an extra will always be welcomed with a smile. After writing one of the best records of the year on Spirit Youth, any B-sides would be hoped for if not anxiously anticipated. Their Blue Lily B-side features one of my favorites from their full-length that I fully expected to be a headlining single. The second accompanied song, Its Only A Matter Of Time, My Love has as much energy and heart as anything on Spirit Youth and a perfectly featured song for this. Excellent…10/10

The Twilight Sad: The Wrong CarThe Twilight Sad have put out some very quality records in their short life-span. Their 2 LPs are among some of my most highly-played music and I’m always interested in what they might come up with. I am, however, somewhat skeptical when it comes to their EPs… mostly due to their frequency of reusing tracks by putting out live versions of them and just 1 or 2 new songs. Basically its annoying to have to check to see if I already have a song before I download it. The Wrong Car EP has 2 new tracks and 2 remixed songs by Mogwai and Errors. Their 2 new tracks are trademark Twilight Sad: Brooding, melodic, shoegazer in their guitar drones and loud. Their 2nd track is a bit repetitive, but the title track is pretty solid. Mogwai‘s remix is okay, but then again, I really loved the original and I tend to be a purist on things I love. The Errors remix had the same effect on me: Not really my thing even though I love just about everything they do. Overall, if you like The Twilight Sad, you’re probably going to like this. If they’re new to you, avoid this and instead opt for Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters or Forget The Night Ahead6.0/10

The Depreciation Guild – Blue Lily

The Twilight Sad – Reflection Of The Television (Errors Remix)


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