Throw that beat in the garbage can
Image: Christina Romeo
The Snow Leopard - Shearwater
Shearwater's new record, Rook, sounds comfortable, like the band pulled the shades, settled into vast, fluffy floor pillows, drank black tea (or 12 year old scotch) and picked up their instruments only as they felt moved to do so. Palo Santo (which I still prefer), came from the highwire. It was desperate, anxious, angry, spooky, spooked. And fierce, so fierce. Jonathan Meiberg's wondrous voice can still generate some snarl when necessary, but I don't know that it -- or the songs on Rook--extend any actual claw. That said, "Snow Leopard" is a grand thing and Shearwater is still intense, even electric, in person. (And wow, Meiberg's boy next door in need of a hot bowl of chicken soup sure pulls the indie chicks, huh?)
Buy Rook (eMusic), Myspace
Fort - Pumice
I'm not going to lecture you again on neglected New Zealand bands of yore or argue that The Clean is probably the most awesome musical act ever to put sound to twisty tape. Pumice shares a homeland and really, really poor recording equipment and that's pretty much it. This is messy, abrasive shit (Pumice, indeed) that buries any insinuation of melody under miles of grime. Nine out of 10 of you are going to hate this. I guess that's a challenge.
Buy Quo (eMusic), Myspace
Out of the Races and Onto the Tracks - The Rapture
Working on something else, I was reminded of how this is pretty much the awesomest track ever for kicking off a mix. The pacing is brilliant and when the guitar and Luke Jenner's voice come in, it's like being pierced by a long, sharp needle at the same time your bones are shook broken. I mean, if multiple forms of torture felt extremely good.
Buy Out of the Races and Onto the Tracks (Amazon), Myspace
Speaking of mixes, Locust Street has a Ting Tings, Girl Talk, Cut Copy-free summer mix (instead, Vivaldi, Michael Jackson, Al Green, The Pogues and the Meatballs theme, among others). One of these days I'm gonna get mine up here. Hopefully before the end of summer.
The ever-pragmatic Catbirdseat/Catbird Records offers multiple options to pay or not pay (as your budget, ethics, medication dictates) for the new Forest Fire LP.
Dusted's mid-year list talks up albums I've never heard of. Yay Dusted!