Since writing about music is so much “dancing about architecture,” why don’t we all just check out the real thing?
More white boy shuffling re: building and such here:
The Heavy Rotation Archives
K-X-P – 18 Hours (of Love).mp3
Emerging from Helsinki, Finland armed with a stack of Spacemen 3 and Suicide records, K-X-P mine a more restrained vein of space/drone rock than their influences would indicate. This track rides an amped-up bluesy groove not a million miles removed from Spirit in the Sky, which is accented with blankets of reverb, bursts of distortion and very occasional bits of electro-drumming.
Grave Babies – Eating Babies.mp3
Grave Babies – Graves.mp3
The Grave Babies (whom I’ve featured before) have been heavily rotating around my skull for the past several weeks. The entire album (which can be found here [right-click to download]) is a washed-out masterpiece, built of waves of static and distorted instrumentation suggesting the last broadcast of man’s intangible humanity, slowly disintegrating as it rides a decaying signal.
These tracks (the first and last songs on the album) are both works of severely fucking damaged beauty, exploring the minutia of the post-apocalypse as it stands in contrast to omnipresent death and destruction. In other words, there’s nothing like an epidemic of death and undeath to make every small human interaction all-important while simultaneously completely irrelevant.
Like a heartbreaking conversation that plays out with someone saying “I love you” only to hear in reply, “Does it matter?”
(Note to listeners: Graves, from about 3 minutes on, is nothing but static, distortion and disembodied talking. You can move on at that point. It’s great in the context of the album, but a bit much when sampling a single track.)
We Were Promised Jetpacks – It’s Thunder and It’s Lightning.mp3
Like classic Echo & the Bunnymen/James fronted by the cast of Trainspotting. In addition to sounding just kinda fucking awesome, how about that band name? Can I get a “hell yeah” or closest Scottish equivalent? Man, it’s worth hearing just for that.
On the actual “musical information” side, the song deals with domestic violence, which the Scottish have a lot of experience with apparently… (See also: Glasgow Kiss. And also: Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine – Sealed with a Glasgow Kiss.)
Rotovibe – Become.mp3
I won’t lie to you. This is going to sound like a million other lovelorn songs for about a minute or two. I thought the same thing. I was about to hit “Next” on the mp3 player when some nice backing vocals kicked in at the 45-second mark.
I gave it a stay of execution. It started to dive back down and my finger hovered over the kill switch… Then the crafty bastards brought in an organ. And you know how I feel about organ tones. Plus, the chiming, reverbed guitars were wearing down my resistance.
So, I’m still holding. It builds a little. A little more. The vocals reach a peak. Then the other guitar(s) join in (2:30). And holyfuckingshit, we have a Heavy Rotation entry. The perfect storm of distortion, wah pedal and some skilfully wielded feedback.
To sum up: sounds like a head-on collision of Classic Girl and Up the Beach by Jane’s Addiction, which leaves behind shards of resplendent destruction and the most exquisite corpse you’ve ever seen/heard.
Dum Dum Girls – Bhang Bhang I’m a Burnout.mp3
Well, let’s hit the road with a smile on our face. Nominally a band, but more a roadshow for lead singer Dee Dee punk fixations, the Dum Dum Girls (nod to Iggy Pop) hit the ear like an all-female Ramones, a comparison aided greatly by the lead singer’s name.
Somewhere between one-chord punk and free form garage rock, the DDG experience is as much fun as a barrel full of nitrous. Enjoy. (And of course, many thanks to the oddly omnipresent MEK for pointing me in their direction.)