Alternatively titled, jams we would have been jamming had I been posting more new jams over the past few weeks.
The maturation of the Austin, Texas punk outfit, Riverboat Gamblers, shows no signs of slowing on their latest single, “Comedians.” The tempo is just a click or two above, mid-tempo and there’s a palpable sense of introspection and self-awareness running through the lyrics. What hasn’t changed, however, is the force through which Mike Weibe and company deliver their message. The term wall of guitars comes to mind, as does the work of bands like The Thermals.
The Wolf You Feed by Riverboat Gamblers will be released May 22nd on Volcom Entertainment.
On the songwriting side of things, San Francisco’s Ty Segall is still comfortably stuck in the ’60s. Hey, garage rock suits him well. Sonic-wise, “Wave Goodbye,” from Segall’s upcoming Ty Segall Band album for In the Red Records (the release date is 7/17) runs headstrong into the proto-sludge of the ’70s. With that vintage style in tact, it’s as if you’re listening to the roots of Sabbath and not a 21st Century band adding, monolithic power chords to early Rock ‘N’ Roll after the fact.
In another day and age, let’s pick the one where Modern Rock radio still existed, “(They Found me in the Back of) The Galaxy,” by The Intelligence would have made a strong play for the airwaves. It’s one of those alterna-pop songs whose jangle-rock sound is just offbeat enough and whose mentions of the Vatican, secret police, and space aliens make the lyrics just weird enough to make the listener take notice.
This one will be out June 19th on In the Red Records.
Not having a strong attachment to Ben Chasny’s earlier work as Six Organs of Admittance, I can’t really comment on the sea-change that is the full-on, rock band experience heard on “Waswasa” from Ascent (8/21 on Drag City). I do, however, consider myself an expert on Rock ‘N’ Roll, and I can say something like enlightened Southern metal and boogie rock works much better pumping through your headphones than on paper, especially when that enlightened Southern metal and boogie rock is supplied by members of Comets on Fire.
While still pretty out there when compared to other, modern psychedelic rock bands, Blues Control’s “Iron Pigs” has the benefit of not making the listener feel as if an army of big, furry spiders are crawling all over their arms. That’s a good thing when it comes to actually listening to the music and not just fostering an appreciation for what a talented band can do within an older milieu.
And now for another track that doesn’t necessarily work on paper — The country-rock and synth-pop of Young Moon’s “Winds Light.” Guitars, pedal steel, violin, and drums have all been replaced by electronics. It’s like a rockers’ worst nightmare come to life. Yet, as Trevor Montgomery’s patient and somber voice strains to make up for any emotional heft that may have been lost in translation, something startling happens — Those vintage synths start to sulk like the loneliest pedal steel in a two-horse town, and it becomes hard to imagine “Winds Light” any other way.
Young Moon’s Navigated Like the Swan will be released July 24th on Western Vinyl.