Archive for July, 2012

On one too many occasions I’ve gotten suckered into the hype over a band. Whether it’s from reading incessant posts and gushing from fanboys on message boards like VC or friends who swear by the bands, I get sucked in and most often than not walk away disappointed. Or the hype and novelty wears off and those rose-colored glasses end up coming off.

But every so often…and rarely…a band truly lives up to what I’ve heard and as soon as listen to them, I become a solid fan. Especially after witnessing their live show. Funny how seeing a band live usually confirms and cements the affinity for them. When they’re good of course.

With Single Mothers I am not sure if there was any hype surrounding them per se. May have been simply due to their connection to Touché Amoré who are the darlings lately. Not taking anything away from TA because I dig them a whole lot. Jeremy Bolm of TA started a label, Secret Voice, and the first signing/release is the self-titled 7″ from Ontario’s Single Mothers.

What initially got my attention from Single Mothers was how close their post-hardcore sound was to that of These Arms Are Snakes. Not a carbon-copy or emulation, but more of a kinship in sound and style and feel. It was that same bombastic and spastic frenzied noise. And not to mention some of the most snarky and cynical lyrics I had heard in a while.

The initial offering from the band and Silent Voice is in the form of a 7″: two colors: Yellow (out of 275) and Black (out of 800). All is good. This is a must-buy for fans of the genre.

 

The packaging is simple enough with a folded sleeve with all the pertinent info about the band and release and whatnot.

        

As it turned out, the band played a record release show and of course they were to have special copies of the 7″. I didn’t find out until well after and chalked it up to a loss. I didn’t see the point of posting all over record message boards begging for a copy from anyone willing to sell theirs if they one. But as luck would have it a few weeks ago, a fellow record nerd in Canada posted that he had one up for grabs. With the quickness I messaged him and after completing the deal and the mail taking forever to show up, I had my hands on the record release version.

I was already sold on this band but seeing them live when they recently played here in South Florida a couple of week ago…man…that is what truly did it. Single Mothers is a band that has to be witnessed performing live. Their shows are complete trainwrecks (in a great way) of insanity and fun.

If you’re still plenty curious about Single Mothers and want to get more insight into their self-titled 7″…check out the review I did for them over at The 1st Five. Then go out and get your hands on this 7″.

Or not. Doesn’t matter.

 

Torche are one of those bands that just gets better and better as time goes on. With their latest release, “Harmonicraft”, the boys from Miami have not only produced their most accessible album to date (at least in terms of potentially widening their listening base of fans) but probably their best album since their classic self titled debut and my personal Album of the Year (so far.)

For their first release on Volcom Entertainment , the Torche gang goes all out on the vinyl release; pressed on clear vinyl, with a gatefold sleeve and a bonus slipmat for your turntable and, of course, the “instant digital download” the label and band put together a great package that comes in at a really good price ($19.99) when you consider the overall quality of the vinyl this is pressed on and the packaging itself. Nothing cheap about this release.

Not sure what the pressing details on this one are but it looks like the band bucked the trend of releasing multiple variants on different colors of vinyl and is keeping it in one color with a large pressing number so that everyone and anyone who wants this beast on vinyl doesn’t get stuck paying some ridiculous secondary market price for the privilege. As someone who finds flippers to be one of the worst parts of the vinyl market this is something I can get behind. Yeah, it’s nice to score that really rare variant if that’s your thing and you really like a band/collect a bands entire catalog (including every possible variant.) But if you’re someone who doesn’t give a damn about all that and just wants to listen to good music without paying a ridiculous premium for it then this is a fantastic development that hopefully more and more of the well known bands on small labels can get behind.

If you haven’t already you really do need to buy this record. If you haven’t heard any of it, here’s a taste; the video for Kicking

Pity Sex – Dark World EP 12″

Posted: July 27, 2012 by Juan D. in Record Nerds
Tags: , , ,

One of the few perks of writing for music sites and zines is the plethora of free music I come across for reviews and promos. Not that I get a lot of free music but I do get to check out plenty of new bands and records. I do my best to spread the word on bands and albums I end up digging but even bands I’m not keen on, I still give them a bit of “press”. I mean, if they’re taking the time and effort to create music and art, why not give the bands a bit of a break? Especially if they took the time to contact me and send me stuff to check out.

 One of the bands that I recently got the opportunity to check out is Pity Sex. They’re from Ann Arbor, MI and I came across them when we got news that they had signed to Run For Cover Records. When I say “we” in this instance, I am referring to the other music site I write for. Pity Sex play a style of lo-fi pop that is peppered throughout with noise and fuzzed-out guitar tones. The bio describes them as being akin to Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., and Hum. Some pretty heavyweight comparisons there…and they are spot-on!

 

Upon listening to their Bandcamp page, I was hooked right away. Since for the past few months I’ve been listening to more and more non-hardcore bands and music, Pity Sex appealed to my palate. The band has put out two EPs so far, one of which, Dark World, was pressed by Forward! Records. I did not hesitate Googling the label and finding the site to order the EP. I have no idea how long pre-orders had been up, but the first 100 copies of the EP were to be pressed on White vinyl. But that later changed to Creamy Pink. I hoped that I got my order in quick and early enough to snag the color.

And sure enough, I did.

The record overall is great. Simple packaging and jacket. The vinyl is not completely heavyweight but there is some heft to it. And it definitely is a Creamy Pink. With a bit of marbling throughout. The only thing that has me a bit peeved is the lack of insert. But that’s OK. I’d rather have the music and sound speak for itself more than anything else. And for the price paid…$12 (which I assume included shipping because I wasn’t charged anything additional)…is very well worth it.

Pity Sex are a new pleasure to listen to. If you dig good music, then check them out.