by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_)
Welcome to FUZZY MEADOWS, your home away from home where we recap the past week in music. We're sharing our top ten favorite releases of the week in the form of albums, singles, and music videos along with the "further listening" section of new and notable releases from around the web. The number rankings are fairly arbitrary and we sincerely recommend checking out all the music included in this feature. There's a lot of great music being released. Support the bands you love. Spread the word and buy some new music. *Disclaimer: We are making a conscious effort not to include any one artist in the top ten on back-to-back weeks in order to diversify the feature, so be sure to check the "further listening" as well.
1. STOVE | "Stupidest"
Directed by Chicago DIY mainstay Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, Stove's "Stupidest" video is as insane as it is visually stunning and it's easily one of my favorite music videos in recent memory. When asked for a quote about the animated clip, Nnamdi kept it short and sweet, offering, "don’t die before feeding your pets". Solid advice, especially if this is the alternative. Built upon Stove's pounding blast-beat and crushing riff, "Stupidest" is the conclusion to the "Stupid" trilogy, a riotous finale of epic proportion. The video is a welcome visual accompaniment, it's got carrots chopping up people and stapling wounds, boardrooms full of broccoli in suits, and all the vegetable related madness one could hope for. You could say it's all a bit "stupider" if it didn't feel so damn brilliant. Hey MTV, the video of the year award has been decided.
2. ANIMAL FACES | "Turned Blue"
Oh Toronto's Animal Faces... where do I even begin. The band are getting ready to release their new album Other Places in less than a week's time, and they're doing it without a label and a press campaign, so there's a good chance you may not be aware. Time to fix that. Have a listen to the band's new single "Turned Blue" (as well as the previously released "Never Was") and then stop what you're doing and immediately tell everyone you know. Share this song everywhere you can. Send emails, post it on social media, get out and vote... no wait, that's not it. Seriously though, your friends are going to want to know about this.
I feel a lot of things about this record, but let's start with the elephant in the website, it's safe to say that Animal Faces' latest has two very strong influences: Fat History Month and Pile. While I haven't spoken with the band directly about it, I can't imagine they would argue. It would be unfair to call it a ripoff, but the similarities are striking. The good news is, here at Post-Trash, we're pretty damn fond of that particular set of duel inspiration (an understatement if there ever was one). So... Animal Faces' new record might not be the world's most original record. Who cares. The band wear their seemingly new found influences on their sleeves, but they wear them with pride and they do them justice. Animal Faces are taping into that sweet spot, and good grief, it's real fucking sweet. The trio's understanding of tangled chord progressions, alternate tunings, and dynamic brilliance is balanced and genuine.
What the band may lack in originality (does everything really need to be so different all the time), they make up for in conviction. "Turned Blue" is a perfect example of all this. It opens with a dissonant finger picked melody and warm vocal intonations as a stuttering rhythm crashes and fades in disjointed bursts. It sounds familiar, real familiar, but it also happens to undeniably rip. Consider our interests piqued. They say imitation is the sincerest for of flattery... and well, it's an interesting thought and while I don't have any deep wisdom on the matter, I'll be damned if these aren't two great songs.
3. DEERHOOF | "Plastic Thrills" + "Debut"
Deerhoof are back and they are ready to rock. "Plastic Thrills" and "Debut," the first two singles the band have released from their upcoming album The Magic find the band peppy as usual. "Debut" was released first with a joyous announcement filled with exclamation marks... but little sensical information. The song itself is a funky piece of noise-pop grooves and elastic riffs, a big jubilant party track. "Plastic Thrills" followed the very next day with the announcement of the record, an album said to have been recorded loudly in the New Mexican desert. The art punk legends have an amped up excitement about them, evident in the most shredded out "Plastic Thrills," a song that finds the band in blissful glam rock territory. In recent years the glam sound has been revitalized by a handful of garage punk bands known to shred (Ty Segall, Ex Hex, King Tuff) but the sound has never been better than in Deerhoof's all too capable hands.
4. PATIO | "Luxury" EP
Patio played their first show late last year and anyone who has come across the Brooklyn trio in the months since has been enamored. After releasing a two song demo, the band returned with their debut EP, Luxury, a blend of tightly wound post-punk, alt pop, and indie rock that has Patio on the come-up. Recorded with Big Ups' Amar Lal, the record captures the band's loose yet focused songwriting, balancing gorgeous harmonies with apathetic attitude and open spaces that give way to sharp bursts of simplistic noise freak-outs. The record shifts between pretty melodies, detached indifference, and soaring self-aware punk. Luxury rock at it's finest. It's classy, it's rough, it's Patio. They may still be a very new band but they are a very awesome new band. They're just getting started but you'd be well advised to pay attention and have a little fun.
5. THE NUMERATORS | "Wastoid"
Over the years, The Numerators have become a staple of Brooklyn-via-Austin DIY psych punk. Their sound is blown out, surf-fried, and heavy on the reverb. After six long years, the trio are getting ready to release their official full length debut Strange and the wait was worth it. An eclectic record that pulls you deep into the band's hypnotic world from the warped introduction until the final swirl of noise comes to a close ten tracks later, the band is both focused and unfurled, seething with radiant psych depth. The Numerators sound better than ever, pushing their blistering sun soaked punk to new extremes as melodies seep from the noise with fuzzed out clarity. "Wastoid" is punk gone Tarantino, starting with a flawless surf rock twang before burying it under a mountain of distortion. A song written about "being freaked out no matter where you are," it's a fitting soundtrack, unspooling into a perfect sea of chaos with harsh garage tonality and joyous sonic abuse. Labels like Castle Face, In The Red, and Drag City would be wise to pay attention, The Numerators could just be the next great psych punk band.
6. GUERILLA TOSS | "Perfume"
For the past several years Guerilla Toss have been refining their sound, breaking down their spastic noise punk into something closer to dance music than experimental thrash, opting for deeper grooves and a more directed sense of chaos. Ultimately, the changes have left the band less threatening but every bit as visionary and sonically stimulating while the quintet follow their unique twisted rhythms further into the void. Eraser Stargazer, the band's first album for DFA Records, has the band at their most accessible, something that GToss are capable of making work for them rather than against.
While the insanity of their earliest recordings has been dialed back, it should surprise no one at this point that the band continue to define themselves. The Brooklyn via Boston band have become unclassifiable, embracing hypnotic dance punk with an outsider fury and a desire to keep things weird. Elements of noise rock, krautrock, punk, jam bands, experimental psych pop, and just about everything else under the sun gets blended together and the results... polished as they may be... still prove Guerilla Toss to be a shinning beacon of impeccable insanity. Simply watch the "Perfume" video, unless you're prone to seizures, in which case, GToss may not be your band.
7. HOPE SANDOVAL & THE WARM INVENTIONS | "Isn't It True"
Hope Sandoval is best known as the front-woman for dreamy slow paced indie heroes Mazzy Star, but her on again / off again side project Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions travels a similar territory with a similar splendor albeit from a different cast of musicians. Mazzy Star returned to the fold a few years ago, and Sandoval has been fairly active since between her main gig, guest appearances (see the amazing new Psychic Ills song), and now the return of The Warm Inventions, a band featuring My Bloody Valentine's Colm Ó Cíosóig. In Sandoval-centric glory, "Isn't It True" (a RSD released single) is full of gorgeous melodies, warm acoustic guitars, and still even more gorgeous slow spun vocals. There have been many imitators, but Hope Sandoval remains the true dream-pop queen. Except no substitutes.
8. WATERY LOVE | "Ned's Dreamcatcher"
A couple years back Watery Love released Decorative Feeding, an unapologetic punk record built upon blown out riffs and rough and tumble lo-fi production. It wasn't for a lack of resources but an aesthetic choice, the Philadelphia band was raw, frantic, and without a care in the world. In the years that have followed their In The Red debut, things haven't gotten much sunnier. Take new single "Ned's Dreamcatcher," and it's prophecies... "a bird will shit on your face, you'll run out of hope / it'll happen to you... you're gonna die". He may not be wrong, but geez, this one sure is far from a lullaby. If the maniacal shouting doesn't make you feel the pure aggressive disdain Watery Love offers, the scathing guitar riff most certainly will, ringing out with destructive buzzsaw distortion that will peel the paint off the walls. It's disgusting and it's glorious. If these are the dreams "Ned's Dreamcatcher" is catching, you may just want to stay awake.
9. VHS | "Art Decay"
VHS (aka Violent Human System) are getting ready to release their Suicide Squeeze Records debut Gift of Life, and the album's first single is terrifically dissonant. The punk mantra "everything looks boring" speaks volumes to their bleak agitation, delivered over rusty guitar riffs and dense rhythms that recall the grimiest of old school post-punk, pushing forward while scraping up the residue of the past. VHS revel in the venomous, offering a corroded look into the lowest depths of every day life, debilitating addiction, and inescapable paranoia, sentiments caused by a slew of both medical and mental states. The record is dark and bruised in tone yet warm and vibrant from analog recording. It's punk and it's pissed... but it's also infectious and engaging.
10. JULIAN | "Slow Approach" EP
DC's Julian make delicate music in harsh times. It's sparse and gentle, loose and confident, self aware and full of heart-on-your-sleeve emotion. Rather than opting for woe though, Julian's sound is pro-active on "Leaving For Now," making their own way without relying on anyone or anything else. The juxtaposition of the lyrics make Julia Leiby's vocals sweet yet stinging, offering sentiments of longing together with a general indifference. There's a slow pulse to the song's bedroom pop sound with a wavering tempo that suggests a raw earnestness too deliberate to ignore. "Hair" takes a faster pace with a quirky charm, but the song's swooning lyrics offer a similar sentiment to the A-side, shuffling between the heartbreak of love lost and the inevitable point of moving on. Rainy days can't last forever, but Julian is here for you.
*Full disclosure, Julia writes for Post-Trash, but seeing as they made no mention of the release at all to me (I discovered the songs via the good folks at Impose), I thought it would be cool to share, bias free.
THE REVERBERATION APPRECIATION SOCIETY presents "A Tribute to Pet Sounds" LP | BAD BREEDING "Remembering" | ELVIS DEPRESSEDLY "Slip" | GLAND "Neurotica" LP | CAR SEAT HEADREST "Pyramid Song" (Radiohead cover) | LITTLER "Slippery" | CROSSS "Golden Hearth" | MUSEYROOM "Ballad (Play Too Much Session)" | PSYCHIC TEENS "Everything" | HONEY "White City" | KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD "Nonagon Infinity" LP | BELIEFS "Get There" | DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979 "Right On Frankenstein" | GEMMA "As Ever" | ULTIMATE PAINTING "Into The Darkness" | PSYCHIC ILLS "Another Change" | BOYFRNDZ "Going Under" | CASPER SKULLS "Mink Coats" | PONY TIME "Stop Talking" | FRAIL "Waiting" | TEEN SUICIDE "Violets" | SOUP MOAT "Iron Pizza / Soup Moat" EP | SAVAGES "Adore"