Posts Tagged ‘Eddy Current Suppression Ring’

Cream of Eight

Enter Cream of Eight, available here thanks to djeddieo.  As I work on my year end comps I simply try to include songs and bands that have struck me over the past year.   I’m not sure if this technically qualifies any of them as ‘best of’.   More accurately they are my favorites that I think are worth sharing.  In some cases it’s just a great song off an okay album, in others it could an entree into a whole new favorite album or band.  Regardless, I just hope there’s something to pique the interest of anyone who listens.
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Heart From Us All – White Denim.  I could have picked any number of songs from this album (which, if pushed, I would probably give my #1 pick to).   The double-vocal at the end, and a cool lead in which is imperative to any of my comps, helped win this one the leadoff spot.

Gardenia – Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks.  No surprise here, another quality body of work from Malkmus and the Jicks.  With my other favorites from this album tracking in at over 6 minutes, I went with this super-sweet shorter offering.  Is that guitar crescendo leading into the refrain a rip off of something… some 70’s tv show maybe??  I can’t place it, but it sounds familiar – in a good way.

Nothing Ever Happened – Deerhunter.  So I was wrong, Pitchfork gave it #5.

Top Drawer – Man Man.  I’m surprised their album Rabbit Habits hasn’t appeared on more top lists.  It relies heavily on Tom Waits meets a band of gypsies (the Eastern European kind, not the Hendrix kind).  But with an analog that unique, I think there’s room for them at the party.

(disclaimer: the following 3 songs are actually from 2007 or earlier, but they were new to me this year!)

Stop – The Jackson Analogue.  From their album And Then, Nothing. This and one other song, Day is Done, are the easy standouts from this Isle of Wight outfit.  Beyond that it falls into a somewhat predictable R&B Rock album.  Fine enough, but not as strong as hoped for.

Veni Vidi Vici – The Black Lips.  This album ranked so high on a lot of 2007 lists I picked it up in January and wasn’t disappointed.  Especially this song with it’s slinky underwater garage vibe.

Starting Five – Dios Malos.  Actually from 2004!  I blogged about these guys in October and I’m still happy I found ’em… even this late.

I Don’t Know What You’re Saying – Ladyhawk.  Not to be confused with Ladyhawke (with an ‘e’), the dancier New Zealand singer that’s starting to get more notice.  This Ladyhawk hails from Vancouver and if you like this tune the rest of their 2008 release, titled Shots, shouldn’t disappoint.

Love Me Anyway – Steve Wynn.  On the other hand, I was a bit disappointed with the latest album from the former Dream Syndicate frontman.  I wish more of it had the same feel as this song.

Chains – Sons & Daughters.  All year I think I’ve had Scotland’s Sons & Daughters confused with Austin’s Brothers & Sisters.  Everytime I heard reference to the latter, I would dismiss as something I already knew about the former.  Make sense?  Either way… the Glaswegian offspring really know how to bring the power pop.  I need to do more research on the sibling variant.

Headshock – Tapes ‘n Tapes.  This album, although not as strong as 2007’s The Loon, has been a grower.  I particularly like the Peggy Sue-style guitar breakdown in the middle of this track.

Jaguar Pirates – Jaguar Love.  Love ’em or hate ’em, they do have their own sound – or at least one shared with the lead singer Johnny Whitney’s former band, Blood Brothers.

All Parts of Me – Love as Laughter.  One of my top indie pop albums of the year.  Although not in my normal wheelhouse, this is the song that drew me in.

Set In Stone – Catfish Haven.  I hoped for a little more from this album.  Similar to Jackson Analogue I feel like I’m at an ’08 (..errr ’09?) version of an Animal House frat party.

Dickshaker’s Union – Surf City.  My most recent find/post.  I’m looking forward to more from them in ’09.

Dig, Lazarus, Dig – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.  Seemingly a mainstay on my comps… if he puts out an album each year, it will surely be represented.

Hard Feelings – The Constantines.  Is it wrong that I have nothing to say other than these guys are from Toronto!?  Although they do have a new entry in the ironic covers department: a duet with Feist of Islands in the Stream, which you can stream here.

Which Way to Go – Eddy Current Suppression Ring.  Another album of the year contender with it’s straight up, no pretense, pub punk.

All You Ever Wanted – The Black Keys.  Despite being produced by Danger Mouse, their album Attack and Release stays true to the minimal blues their foundation is based on.  This song is the album’s opener, but I think it works equally as well as an outro.

Happy New Year, and all the new music it will hopefully bring.

Year end collection: compilation #13

Happy belated Christmas, Boxing Day, Kwaanza, Hannukah all. I finished putting compilation #13 together nearly two weeks ago, and have been handing out CD copies as party favors and Christmas tips (big spender, me). Now it’s here for your listening and downloading pleasure (click HERE to access it; right-click and “save target as” to download…as far as I know, you must download one song at a time; let me know if you find otherwise).

Now my year end compilation is not one of those “Best of the Year” sets (for that, you’ll want to get Buzz Biscuit’s “Cream of Eight” set, which I hope he’ll be blogging about here on the website soon); it simply reflects what I’m listening to since I wrapped up the last compilation, volume 12, back in August. Volume 13 does a little looking back, looking forward, and looking at right now.

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Sydney Australia’s Lenka starts of the set, with a song I mentioned in a September post, “Don’t Let Me Fall”. Trite, sweet pop, I’ll grant you, but nicely done. Cansei de Ser Sexy (CSS) of Sao Paulo is up next, with a song that reaches way back, “Music Is My Hot Hot Sex”. Probably familiar to you from the iPod Touch ads that have been airing for over a year (though I understand that it was in a Zune commercial a year before that!). I probably should have used their “new” tune, “Jager Yoga”, which I’m hearing a lot on Indie 103.1, but I missed the original boat on CSS and have some catching up to do. Santogold (first featured on these pages back in May) is next up with “Shove It”, featuring Spank Rock, another great track off her late April (2008) self-titled debut CD.

Not my typical Scandinavian find, Emiliana Torrini sparkles with “Me And Armini”. The Icelandic girl with the Italian name (and father, of course) might be known to viewers of Grey’s Anatomy, One Tree Hill, and Lord of The Rings, which have all featured her lovely voice. Not me….not till her CD dropped in September was I aware, and she’s been releasing music since 1994! (well, in Iceland, that is). Following Emiliana is Dan Black with “Yours”. Not much bio info on Dan, whose MySpace page lists London/Paris as his home. He’s a great example of that wry British take on hiphop, a la The Streets (they date back to compilations #1 and #2, circa 2004). Check his cover of Biggy’s “Hypnotize” when you have a sec.

The next two tracks, Nickel Eye‘s “Brandy Of The Damned” and “No One’s Better Sake” by Little Joy have in common that they’re each the result of side projects by members of The Strokes, Nikolai Fraiture and Fabrizio Moretti respectively. Add these to the two brilliant releases by Albert Hammond Jr., and Julian Casablancas starts to look like a slacker.

I’m not sure where I first heard new Zealand’s The Naked And Famous; probably on Passport Approved, since they don’t seem to have a MySpace page (?). “Serenade” is a beauty. Following that is my favorite (this week, anyway) of the bunch: “Sweet Disposition” by The Temper Trap. They’re from Australia, and I bet they get huge when they play SXSW next spring.

“Spendin Days” by Japanese Motors was in a late October post by Buzz Biscuits. Having a “co-conspirator” here on the blog has been a great way to learn about new stuff (“Which Way To Go” by Eddy Current Suppression Ring and “The Book Of Matches” by Gentleman Auction House also came to my attention via a Buzz Biscuits post.

Glasvegas was in a post earlier this month, and are among the bands I’ve learned about by listening to Passport Approved on Indie 103.1, along with Cockandbullkid, Ida Maria (she’ll remind you of Bjork), and Amazing Baby. Ditto The King Blues, who have a nice Rancid vibe.

Where I found Neon Neon’s “Dream Cars” and Dune’s “No Speed” is a mystery to me: I’ve been holding on to them for to long to remember where I got them. Copenhagen’s The Asteroids Galaxy Tour was yet another gift from Steve Jobs and an iPod commercial (kooky fun; check out their MySpace). Switches’ “Drama Queen”, posted in August, came from an old Spin magazine a friend “recycled” to me.

I was fortunate to hear about Simon Says No! via the band’s management, and posted about them in November. The Kaiser Chiefs haven’t been on a compilation of mine since spring 2005 (#3), but they’re new CD is terrific, and will be played everywhere I hope.

With 23 songs, volume 13 has no extra space, so some deserving tunes didn’t make the cut (I thought I had included Cut Off Your Hands’ “Oh Girl” until writing this post; maybe if I assemble #14 soon I’ll be able to use some of them. Anyway, happy listening….and Happy New Year!

Eddy Current Suppression Ring, White Denim, Gentleman Auction House, WOXY

For a seemingly simple formula, and a lot of bands trying, garage punk still requires a certain something to pull it off successively.  Melbourne, Australia’s Eddy Current Suppression Ring seem to have that something.   Ingredient one, DYI beginnings; they worked in a vinyl pressing factory, played an impromptu set at the company Christmas party, and thought ‘hey, we can do this too’.  But more important is the sound.  They take their nods from early punk bands like the Buzzcocks and more recent ones like Thee Headcoats.  Which Way to Go from their current release, Primary Colours, reminds me a lot of the Mekons classic Where Were You (which can happily be heard on their myspace page).

Looking into this, I learned that an eddy current is an electric current induced by an alternating magnetic field (not the actual name of the guitarist).  Who said punk rock can’t be educational?!

Staying in the garage, Austin’s White Denim have an upcoming digital-only release called Exposion (it’s not a typo).   Not as straight forward as ECSR, White Denim run a little more experimental with some Captain Beefheart freakouts, but still keep their feet on the floor.  A couple of videos can be enjoyed at Transmission EntertainmentShake, Shake, Shake is an immediately fun white-trash romp.  But All You Really Have to Do is the one that’ll stick.

I previously decided not to write about Gentleman Auction House.  Their current album, Alphabet Graveyard, was released in July.  By the time I got here I figured they’d be everyday news.  So far, I think they are still flying below the commercial radar despite two strong singles that could contend with anything you’ll hear on commercial alternative pop radio: Call It Casual and The Book of Matches.

One place you will hear them is on the great internet radio station WOXY. For fear of divulging my resources, I highly recommend giving this Cincinnati based station a listen.  Great range of new indie-rock, without being off the wall.

posted by buzz biscuits