Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Mount Moriah - Calvander 7'' (Merge, 2015)

Mount Moriah
Calvander 7''

Rating: 7 bloody bags out of 10

The last Mount Moriah album "Miracle Temple" was still a pretty good effort, but I loved their self-titled debut so much and had such high expectations they really had nowhere to go but down.  Happily, I like this new seven inch by them so much it re-ignited my excitement and I've already pre-ordered their next album that's coming out in the next month or two.  The title track and the demo version of "Baby Blue" are both going to be on that next record, and both are totally great - a little twangy, a little dark, just the way I like their jams.  The best track is the final one though, and the biggest reason to hunt this wax down -  a live version of "Plane" from their self-titled effort.  Probably my second favorite song of theirs ever, and the recording is resplendent.  I'm real happy with this. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Royal Headache - High (What's Your Rupture?, 2015)

Royal Headache
What's Your Rupture?

Rating: 7.5 poor socialites out of 10

I'm pretty sure I initially thought this release by Royal Headache was Royal Baths, a band from San Francisco I saw live once that was kinda boring.  Because of that, I didn't listen to this for ages, just sitting there on my computer collecting digital dust.  Eventually I threw it on and...oh yeah, it's a totally different band and I'm an idiot.  Every year there is at least one release that I listen to the shit out of the next money is on "High" being very high on that list.

The band's sound is a little all over the place, and don't really sound anything like the rest of the indie/punk crowd coming out of Australia these days.  I suppose it is a big ass country and there would be no reason for things to be homogeneous to begin with, but it's easy to put other places in those nice neat boxes.  More than anything they do a jangly pop-punk thing, but certainly not only that.  The singer can get a little soulful, see "Wouldn't You Know";  the band can sound like they are doing a Style Council cover, see "Need You", or perhaps Soul Asylum, see "Carolina"; and probably my favorite is the opener "My Own Fantasy," which would sound right at home on a Terry Malts album.  The main thing that unites all these different influences is the band does all of them really well, and I'm already looking forward to listening to this record on repeat for a good chunk of 2016.