Friday, September 19, 2014

Redd Kross / Vertical Scratchers - Split 7'' (Merge, 2014)

Redd Kross / Vertical Scratchers
Split 7''

Rating: 7 freaky dates out of 10

More Merge subscription madness.  This recent resurgence of Redd Kross has been delightful, from their 2012 record "Researching the Blues" to their half of this split, "Leave It Where You Found It."  So catchy and rad.  To continue my trend from the last couple of splits, I don't know shit about Vertical Scratchers...I thought I was more tuned in on most/all Merge releases, but apparently not!  I like their song here, "Jackie's Favorite," a jangly pop creation with some interesting falsetto vocals on top.  Need to track down their full-length now. 

Also, the record is pink so I'm not sure where the color is in the picture above.  Somebody done fucked up. 

The Polyphonic Spree & Grandaddy - Split 7'' (Birdman, 2003)

The Polyphonic Spree & Grandaddy
Split 7''

Rating: 7.5 Bolivian tornadoes out of 10

A split from the two of the hot shit acts of the early oughts.  The Polyphonic Spree delivers "The March," which sounds, um, pretty much like other Polyphonic Spree songs of the era.  That is to say, orchestral and big.  The better of the two is the Grandaddy track "The Rugged and Splintered Entertainment Center," which sounds like it was conceived, performed and recorded underwater.  Goofy ass band, but I love them.  Neither of these songs are anywhere else - well, the Spree song was also on another single I think, but that's it. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Guided By Voices - Males Of Wormwood Mars 7'' (Guided By Voices Inc., 2014)

Guided By Voices
Males Of Wormwood Mars 7''
Guided By Voices Inc.


Rating: 7 partial airedales out of 10

As always it's next to impossible to keep up with the release schedule of Guided by Voices, but this seven inch caught my ear.  Both the title track and the b-side "A Year That Could Have Been Worse" sound like vintage GBV with plenty of hooks and a lo-fi crunch to the sound.  In fact the b-side sounds so, well, wonky, that it sounds like one of their very early songs.  I'm digging it.  The actual vinyl is sold out so you'll have to let the internet fix things for you here like I did.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Fujiya & Miyagi - Artificial Sweeteners (Yep Roc, 2014)

Fujiya & Miyagi
Artificial Sweeteners
Yep Roc

Rating: 7.5 blind snares out of 10

Fujiya & Miyagi is a band stuck between two worlds - the electronic party anthems of Daft Punk and the vintage krautrock of Kraftwerk.  Well, stuck isn't the right word, because that makes it sound like they're in a position they don't wanna be in, when I'm guessing they're exactly where they hoped to be.  You have an opener like "Flaws" that sound like it is destined for the dance floor, and then two songs later the instrumental "Rayleigh Scattering" sounds like a partner song for Kraftwerk's "Tour de France," and the next track "Artificial Sweeteners" employs the same type of lyrical repetitiveness as "Autobahn" or "Pocket Calculator."  It's a nice mix that really works well for me, and I'm glad to have randomly stumbled upon this.  

As a side note, it's totally weird this is out on Yep Roc, home to lots of  aging (gracefully) rockers, adult pop, and alt-country, but it was totally smart on their part to infuse a little fresh (and hip) blood in with the vets. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

East River Pipe / Reigning Sound - Split 7'' (Merge, 2014)

East River Pipe / Reigning Sound
Split 7''

Rating: 7.5 fundamental flossings out of 10

East River Pipe are one of a very small set of bands on Merge that I've never really listened to.  No reason why really, they just never entered my radar.  Now that I finally own something by them - it's good!  If this song is indicative, laid-back keyboard pop, makes me think of other "adult indie pop" as I call it, stuff like Fruit Bats and Pernice Brothers and all that.  

That was side A - side B is the Reigning Sound, and I'm plenty familiar with them.  Their track is an acoustic version of "Falling Rain," with the regular version on their most recent album "Shattered."  Great song regardless of how it's played, but it is interesting hearing Greg Cartwright play by himself with just an acoustic guitar and a little backing pedal steel. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Superchunk - Ribbon 7'' (Merge, 1994)

Ribbon 7''

Rating: 9 fetal vans out of 10

Two great classic Superchunk songs that I previously only knew from the "Incidental Music" singles compilation, but now own on vinyl.  These are from their golden era when they had so many good songs they didn't even bother putting some of them on proper full-lengths.