Grace Vonderkuhn – Reveries (album review)

by Woody on February 23, 2018

Grace Vonderkuhn can fucking rip it. I heard a song of hers on All Songs Considered back in January but like a fart in the wind, I forgot about it almost instantly. It wasn’t until I was going the list of bands playing at SXSW and recognized her name. From there, a trip to YouTube confirming that yes, I’m a fan; and then an email to her label, Egg Hunt Records, and I’ve been rocking out to Reveries since.

Vonderkuhn comes at ya from Delaware and plays a brash blend of garage and 90s alternative. but while the music is brash and a little grimy, there is a wonderful melodic feel throughout the album. Tunes like Cellophane, Worry and Bad Habits are among the best on this excellent debut.

I’ve listened to Reveries constantly for the last week and I can guarantee one thing for sure – I won’t be forgetting her any time soon. She’s going to be at SXSW and I will most certainly be taking in a set.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Grace Vonderkuhn is here

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Hells to the yes, Parquet Courts are back and ready to rock. Wide Awake! will be out on 5/18 via the fine folks at Rough Trade Records. Here’s a little something on the new album from the the band.

For the two primary songwriters, Wide Awake! represents the duality of coping and confrontation. “In such a hateful era of culture, we stand in opposition to that — and to the nihilism used to cope with that — with ideas of passion and love,” says Brown. For Savage, it comes back to the deceptively complex goal of making people want to dance, powering the body for resistance through a combination of groove, joy, and indignation, “expressing anger constructively but without trying to accommodate anyone.”

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Photo credit: Steve Gullick

Traveling for work is a lonely proposition. It sucks if you you have a solid family life at home. You miss the comforts but at least you have something to look forward to return to. But starting a relationship as you and your new special someone are traveling around the world must be among the most lonely and frustrating situations.

That’s the predicament Williams found himself in the nascent stages of a romance with Aldous Harding. As the relationship began to unravel, Williams found himself needing to write, almost a a data dump of his feelings. So while it is a breakup album, it also wraps up the loneliness of the road.

Williams, along with his trust band The Yarra Benders take you on the full voyage from courtship, the peaks, the valleys and then leaves you on a hopeful note with the title track. His voice is the type that engulfs a room and everything in it. There is a trio of tracks in the middle that is absolutely stunning Party Boy, Can I Call You and Love Is A Terrible Thing. And the track that he does with Aldous Harding, Nobody Gets What They Want Anymore, is stunning.

Breakup albums can oft come across a tired trope but Williams really puts a nice spin on it; and more importantly executes it wonderfully. I’ve seen them live and they are absolutely magnificent. Make it a point of seeing them live at SXSW are on their travels.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Marlon Williams is here

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Starcrawler – s/t (album review)

by Woody on February 17, 2018

Fairly regularly I’ll poke fun at myself for judging a book by its cover and being completely wrong. But every once in a while that cover paints a pretty accurate pretty picture of what you’re going to get on the inside. As I emailed my friend, it sounds exactly what you’d expect a Ryan Adams produced album of these four kids would sound like.

Ranging from 17 to 22, the quartet kicks out a scuzzy brand of glam-rock and 80s LA hair metal. Arrow de Wilde and Henri Cash write the tunes and alternate on the vocals as Austin Smith and Tim Franco handle the engine room. They wear their influences on their sleeves, they’re practically an encyclopedia of 70s music and they crush it. They’re fun, brash and most importantly; massively talented.

Whether paying homage to The Runaways on I Love LA or working on some heavy sludgy jams like Chicken Woman and the closer What I Want, they build each tune on a wicked riff by Cash as Franco & Smith keep the train on the rails. It’d be easy to label these kids as a novelty act but you’d be sadly mistaken. These kids rip it hard.

It puts a smile on this old fucker’s face that kids are still cranking out music like this. They are touring around now and will be at SXSW where they are going to be an absolute must-see.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Starcrawler is here

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Superchunk – What A Time To Be Alive (album review)

February 15, 2018

Photo by Lissa Gotwals Superchunk was never a band that would be deemed as political. Since reconvening in 2010, the two albums they’ve released seemed to have been aimed at old guys like me trying to find the right way to balance clinging to their youth wile aging with grace (author’s note: I haven’t found […]

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Katie Toupin announces Moroccan Ballroom EP for 3/2 release

February 15, 2018

Katie Toupin, formerly of Houndmouth, is set to release her debut EP on March 2nd. I was bummed when she parted way with Houndmouth as I thought they had something special going there. But based on this first track, it looks like Toupin has got a lot more left in the tank. Here’s how the […]

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Kyle Craft – Full Circle Nightmare (album review)

February 14, 2018

Photo – Jeremy Kale Padot On his sophomore effort, Craft continues to cement his place as one of the top songwriters around. His musical inspirations are rooted in the music of the 70s and his ability to spin a good yarns stems from his love of the folk, “I’m really just into that ’60s folk […]

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Trampled By Turtles announce Life Is Good On The Open Road for 5/4 release

February 13, 2018

Photo by David McClister When Trampled announced their hiatus back in the fall of 2016, I had hopes that it would be short-lived. I’d had the pleasure of meeting the guys a few times including a session way back in 2011. They had a feeling of family about them, like there was a bond bigger […]

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Okkervil River announce In The Rainbow Rain for 4/27 release

February 13, 2018

When I saw Okkervil on the SXSW list, I had high hopes that a new album was coming. Hooray for me. In The Rainbow Rain will be out 4/27 via the fine folks at ATO. Okkervil’s last album, Away, was my favorite Okkervil release since The Stage Names. Based on this track, Sheff seems to […]

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Hockey Dad – Blend Inn (album review)

February 12, 2018

Photo credit: Joseph Crackett Hockey Dad are the Australian duo of Zach Stephenson & Billy Fleming, a duo that has been surfing and rocking since the age of four. And for their second effort as Hockey Dad, the duo delivers a dozen tracks of infectious surf-punk. Blend Inn is Diet Cig levels of a fun. […]

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