In talking with the Plain Dealer’s John Benson, This Moment in Black History’s Lamont “Bim” Thomas described Higher Deffer, his band’s newest effort as a back to basics record with bite, “We just dove back in just trying to get back to what it was about and having some fun. Instead of going with [producers] Jim Diamond or Steve Albini, we just got back to what we do, simple recording process, good songs, good acoustics and it turned out to be our best album.” He would add, “The music is still hard but I guess maybe a little bit more under control.” Hard, more mature, and fun: That describes PHD’s, not DT’s perfectly.
And don’t forget, This Moment in Black History’s LP release party is happening this Saturday night at the Beachland.
Last night, I had the chance to catch the up-and-coming, Cleveland garage rock band, Dead Sweaters at the Beachland Ballroom when they opened for Wesley Bright and the Hi-Lites. Yes, Mr. Bright and his band may have stolen the show once again with his warm, gracious personality and his band’s faithful and skilled interpretation of old Northern Soul. But, they were far from the only highlight. Dead Sweater’s “Dangerous,” was a highlight in its own right.
With the abundance of lists at this time of year, the trick to unearthing those overlooked gems is finding the right list, one that isn’t another dump of artists and songs built upon a year’s worth of consensus and one safe enough not to alienate, but one which aligns to your taste and is written with real, strong, and honest opinions.
Over at Collapse Board, Conan Neutron, a man after my own heart, introduced me to the Oakland, blues rock and noise pop outfit, B Hamilton and it took all of a minute before I was ordering a copy of their record Everything is Broken. Take a listen to “Me and Margaret Counting Countdowns” and see what I mean.
Well, isn’t this a fine surprise. Jarvis Cocker and his band Pulp found time to rework an old demo with LCD Soundsystem’s Jame Murphy. The result, as you can hear below in the finished version of “After You,” combines the epic glam pop of Cocker and Pulp with the type of modern disco sheen on with Murphy build his name. “After You,” is no longer a lost classic, but simply classic.
Not the sugar-sweet, noise-pop of earlier releases, Wax Idols’ “Sound of a Void,” the first track from their 2013 release due out on Slumberland Records, shows a distinctly edgier version of the band with pop nowhere to be found. One can hear traces of vintage new wave and goth and maybe even early industrial rock. Just as clearly, one can hear Wax Idols growing into a more mature band, one with a vision beyond standard garage rock.