Consider this part one of what I would have been rocking had I not been moving and interviewing over the past couple weeks. Tomorrow we’ll get to some of the heavier, more experimental music that’s been rocking the new I Rock Cleveland World Headquarters. And later in the week, who knows, maybe the Rockometer will make a return appearance, as I start to work my way through the massive stack of new music awaiting review.

The Black Lips, King Khan, and the rest of the Vice Records garage, rock and roll crew aren’t the only ones who can slapdash and slam dance through vintage soul. The Huntsville, Alabama band, Thomas Function, have heard their share of vintage 45’s, too, and like their Vice contemporaries, they’ve taken cues from doo-wop, motown, and other classic sounds on the Fat Possum single, “Belly of the Beast,” and have used a similarly, reckless approach to turn an old, dusty groove into a case of Blatz, blast of a time.

MP3: Thomas Function – Belly of the Beast

For the past year-and-a-half, Boston Spaceships has been the home of Robert “Uncle Bob” Pollard’s finest, post GBV work. When it comes to BS, you can ignore all the talk about Uncle Bob being too productive for his own good that pops up every time he readies a new release, for those of us who have rocked the first two Boston Spaceships’ albums, Brown Submarine and
The Planets Are Blasted, the imminent arrival From Zero to 99, is not a time of trepidation, nor is it a time to debate the merit of Uncle Bob’s latter period output, but a time of high expectations. “Question Girl All Right,” the first preview track from Boston Spaceships’ October 6th release, continues this trend. Eschewing the experimentation found on some of his recent solo discs and side projects, this is a pure Pollard pop gem — slightly off center, not quite immediate, but still hummable, melodic, and highly repeatable.

MP3: Boston Spaceships – Question Girl All Right

To see where the noisy, San Francisco garage rockers, Sic Alps have been, check out the recently, re-released comp, A Long Way Around to a Shortcut on Drag City Records. To see where they’re going, there’s this track, “L’ Mansion,” from their recent Slumberland single, where the duo continue their movement away from the bang, smash, clatter, and roll found on their earlier releases, and onward with a cleaner, more minimal, and slightly skewered approach to West Coast, psychedelic pop.

MP3: Sic Alps – L’ Mansion

Part lo-fi, freak folk type, and part garage rocker, Philadelphia’s Kurt Vile exhibits his more rocking side here on “Hunchback,” a single first released this past spring on Richie Records/TestosterTunes, and now getting much greater visibility thanks to the forthcoming Matador release of Childish Prodigy. With re-verb all over the vocals, and a relentless, bluesy and bruising, earworm of a lead riff, Vile comes off like a Rock ‘N’ Roll era John Lennon had Lennon focused his adulation on nuggets of garage rock instead of solid gold oldies.

MP3: Kurt Vile – Hunchback