The last time I heard from Jim Of Seattle, I compared them to the likes of Brian Wilson, Todd Rundgren, and Prince for their diversity and eclectic side. Eclecticness is still present on Both The Planet Frank And The Chet Lambert Show (Green Monkey) but now they’re getting in contact with Devo and Frank Zappa, the former quite present when they do a cover of “Whip It” but they also get into Jimmy Webb’s realm with a nice rendition of “Wichita Lineman”.
The album is divided in two halves, the eclectic side working as a radio show (The Elders Live From The Planet Frank) and a far more trippy side on the “other” (The Chet Lambert Show), both not coinciding with one another and yet somehow the differences fit perfectly. It plays along well with The Turtles Meet The Battle Of The Bands but they are (ahem) playing with themselves for an order to dominate their practice sheds. In other words, Jim Of Seattle are doing very well stuck in their own world and they’re more than happy to welcome others in for fun and musical joy.
It has been eight years since 20 Minute Loop came out with an album but they are returning with something new on February called Songs Praising The Mutant Race. Have a listen to the first track being released from it, it’s called “Mercury Vapor”.
A new track from The Coathangers? Indeed and it was done in a basement (or what looks like a basement) somewhere unknown. It’s a short-but-sweet track called “Parasite” and this is sure to make the crowd go absolutely nuts. No word on what it will be used for or if this was just something they felt like doing for the hell of it, so please listen to it, for the hell of it.
It has been awhile since Kristin Hersh has been heard but along with Bernard Georges and Robert Ahlers, they are a unit called 50FootWave, whose new EP shows she is far from tired and ready to unleash her flavor of rock she is known for. Bath White (Happy Happy Birthday To Me) consists of a set of gutsy music that immediately will make you want to see them live but for the time being, you’ll want to put this music in your car, raise up the devil horns and salute greatness. I’m always ready to hear some fine guitar-based rock and with tight basslines and solid drums, this is something that shouldn’t be viewed as a look back at music of the past but very much modern day music that deserves to be heard and celebrated. If you were or still are a fan of Throwing Muses, you will highly enjoy the continuation of Hersh’s musical path, joined by old bandmate Georges and powerful drummer Ahlers. Their music is worth more than just this EP, see them if they perform near you. If you’ve been waiting for new sounds from 50FootWave, welcome them back.
Call it what you want: alternative, indie rock, post-grunge, pop punk but Burnseer are a power trio who simply make some damn music and if they sound like anything I described, it’s because they are that good and it comes from experience. On their self-titled debut for Green Monkey records, Frankie G., Eric Norberg, and Norman Scott play the kind of solid rock that I sometimes miss when it was everywhere, a bit like a cross between Belly, L7, and The Lemonheads. You have strong vocals from Frankie G. and then they decide to bring in guitarist Kurt Bloch for a bit of nice assistance. It’s music that sounds like it was meant to be, and what I meant is meant to be whatever you want. Meant to be heard, meant to be strong, meant to be loud, meant to be powerful, it’s all of that and more. Some songs are full of solid rage while others mix up hints of pop to make it (more) appealing but throughout the peaks and valleys, Burnseer are a group who do this with such passion that it makes me wish this lady and gentlemen were one of the biggest bands in the land. Burnseer are meant to be now and they are.
Anomalies (Saint Marie) shows a nice programming of musicianship and songwriting from Dean Garcia and Rose Berlin, the two behind SPC ECO. If the music on their previous album was meant to say “hello, you may be familiar with us or our name so we’d like to introduce yourself”, this album is meant to be a key towards entering a new room and going deeper into the chamber of sonic possibilities. Some of the songs, like “Incomplete” and “All In Time” for example, are enchanting and close to being spiritual in nature. I’m not saying religious but it feels like a higher power is there and I speak of the intensity of wanting to take things one step further than what they did before. If everyone is truly looking for the ladder, SPC ECO are crawling up at a comfortable pace that is good enough for older fans as well as those who will be introduced with this album.
It is something I’ve said for years but I’ve been a fan of the extended play recording for a long time. If you’re someone who is unsure whether or not people will handle an album for you, cut things in half and only release half the amount of music that is normally set for an album. That’s what Power Cowards did by releasing the 5-track Despair In Parallel (9lb Recordings) and they sound like a college band that got locked into a vibe and chose to do it as long as possible because it feels good to them. Their songs are well done, written in a way that is easy to digest and as I hear these songs a number of times, I look forward to the next EP from them or even better, a full length project.
The type of pop/rock found on Blue Jeans’ Songs Are Easy (Jigsaw) sounds like something straight out of the early 1980’s, with teh kind of passion that fits a specific time period. Tracks like “Make Up || Make Up” and “False Start” reminds me of some of the classic gems by The Vaselines and I hope there are a few young fans who will listen to this and be inspired to start their own bands in the next five to ten years. It’s the kind of inspiring music that could become a force in the next few years but what I hear now are a band ready to impress the hell out of everyone who listens to it and perhaps wants to dance.
Over the years, The Green Pajamas have always created an aura about themselves that helps to create a moment where after hearing it in full, you’ll say “wow, this is impressive.” To The End Of The Sea (Green Monkey) is an album that is arguably more than just impressive, for while it is a fine rock album, it is something that is close to a modern day pop masterpiece. Hard to even say right, a modern day pop masterpiece in 2017? But it’s true, this is the kind of music you’d expect to hear alongside Todd Rundgren, late 60’s/early 70’s Beach Boys and perhaps Elvis Costello but this 18-track song is not too long or overly ambitious. Everything fits where it needs to be and while I am not sure if this is meant to be a concept album or just something with a common theme, this is something that deserves a long drive out of town and once it reaches its conclusion, you don’t know if you ever want to return to where you came from. These guys have written, performed, and recorded something that is superb and while I’m shy to say this is perfect to my ears, it its the lip of the stage and balances without ever falling off.
It could be political, it could be social, or it could be a party. Then again, with Playboy Manbaby, it could very much be “all of the above” but in this case, it’s two new songs from the band. “You Can Be A Fascist Too” b/w “I’d Like To Meet Your Parents” is ready for you through Dirty Water Records and through Bandcamp below.