Brah Records artist, Pterodactyl straddled a very thin line between nettlesome noise and noise rock on their self titled 2007 release, also known as the Blue Jay album. When they were on, their dinosaur squawk rock was a shock to the system sent straight to the spine of the soft rock indie rockers who have so far dominated the decade. Yet, there were times, where that squawk was so heavy, and so encompassing, that even this rocker had to run to the safety of a Death Cab disc. Here, on “First Daze,” the first song released from the forthcoming Worldwild! (due out on April 21st), the Brooklyn band maintains their balance, never giving in fully to their pre-historic urges, and the result is something not so dissimilar to early Flaming Lips. That is you get your noise, your weird, and your rock, and your ears will be safe for another song.
MP3: Pterodactyl – First Daze
To say that this alternate version of “No Epiphany” by F*cked Up is a more straight forward take on the album cut leaves out some minor details, like, what has to be thousands of guitar tracks working their way in and out of the mix. Unlike the original, that mind warping guitar assault is attached to a more traditional song structure, making it less like a bunch of punks on Genesis, and more like a bunch of punks on Rush.
MP3: Fucked Up – No Epiphany (Fast Version)
What do The Thermals have left to say now that Bush is out of office and President Obama is ushering in a new age of hope? Bathed in biblical imagery, and driven by fierce, and fast guitars, their 2006 release for Sub Pop, The Body, The Blood, The Machine, will likely go down in history as one of the strongest musical indictments of the Bush years. So, now that all of that is behind us, we can be happy, right? Well, not quite. “Now We Can See,” the title track from the forthcoming album, is a little less punky, a little more melodic, but no less preachy. This is no celebration. It’s your wake up call.
MP3: The Thermals – Now We Can See
Tyvek’s 2007 single, “Frustration Rock,” wasn’t your ordinary slab of crusty, lo-fi Midwest punk. No, it put into words the endless fight between hopelessness and determination that folks in the rust belt have felt for years, giving us a song to sing along to while we’ve been watching plants shutter and for sale signs multiply like weeds in the city, suburbs and exurbs.
Now, with a new album due out this year on Siltbreeze, and the rust belt recession now the global economic crisis, logic (at least my fuzzy logic) would seem to point to Tyvek having a break out year in 2009. Seriously, what better way to enjoy your world crashing around you then with a bunch of snarky, too smart for their own good, Detroit rockers, and their rickety, splitting riffs.
MP3: Tyvek – Start/Stop
“Heard You Wanna Beat Me Up” by Austin’s The Strange Boys works with a similar sonic palette as those early Brian Jonestown Massacre records, the ones where Anton Newcombe was more focused on the music of The Rolling Stones than his personality. A more contemporary ear may hear the ne’er do well garage rock of The Black Lips. Either way, it appears The Strange Boys are yet another solid signing by In the Red Records, the label who will release their debut this March 24th.
MP3: The Strange Boys – Heard You Wanna Beat Me Up