Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Boxcar Suite - Further In And Father Out

Dayton, Ohio: The birthplace of modern aviation. When checking the facts in history, you'll see that the Wright Flyer was built and tested in Dayton, and the first actual flight was in North Carolina. The Wright Bros. bought some land in Dayton, and played around with stuff until they got the desired result. Things have been flying around for a while.
Dayton also hosts a number of high-soaring musical things. We've got a few Pixies being born, and while Guided By Voices, they turned up The Amps and started Swearing At Motorists from atop of Morella's Forest.
If we wanted to write a history lesson of the Dayton scene, it could be done.. another time...

Fast forward to 2018. The Boxcar Suite gets sniffed out from the Power Pop cauldron. They brewed up a concoction in the form of a new album called Further In And Farther Out. Their alt-sound remains, but it's more refined, less jangly, more twangly. Tim Pritchard and Co. receive transmissions from the past, while channeling some modern high-decibels. If we took a few parts Replacements, a large amount of '80s Paisley Underground, a few parts early Wilco, a little Jellyfish, some '90s alt-rock, throw in a few Burrito Bros. seasoning packets, all of the aforementioned's influences, mixed it all up into a slurry, and cooked it into a fine distillate, we've got an inkling of what The Boxcar Suite might be about.

In the grand scheme of things, Power Pop bands of this caliber are what all Power Pop bands should be when they use the tag Power Pop. The lighter tunes are nicely thought-out structures with intention of having a concise beginning, middle, and end. The harder rocking tunes are arena-shaking blasters with intention of getting you a speeding ticket when listening while driving.  

Things of note:
1. The guitar sound rules. Pritchard's amp/pedal set-up is pretty good. It's nice and crispity crunchity with enough warmth to keep it just a few notches above the "standard temps".
2. When the whole band sings together, fuckin' magic happens. More tunes like this, please! Those harmonies need to happen more often on one album.
3. The songwriting is the king of the band.
4. Previous albums are great, too, and share the same overall feel, although Further In And Farther Out has a nicely-aged patina to it.

You like your Power Pop a little tangy and twangy? 

Don't be a square this Summer. Scoop this up.

Oh hi, Ohio. Nice to see you again.


Facebook 'em.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Wizard - Self-Titled

In Bordeaux, France, there exists a band known as Wizard. With a name like Wizard, I thought I was getting a fuzzy stoner rock band, as expected. Little did I know, this was going to be a pleasant slap in the face.
Oftentimes, the term "Post Rock" can send a few shivers down people's spines. Many just don't like it. I have my moments where I can handle it, but then I revert back to the usual. With this in mind, I had my doubts when I first dropped by Wizard's place for a visit. Those doubts were immediately squashed within the first 30 seconds.
They have this rabid post rock flair that stands out, but there is something about the ebullience of the tunes that strikes me as everything else but that. Buoyant, kinda mathy post-prog/noise rock craziness... when good dogs go feral.
Photo by Valy D. LIVE Photo

It's like Yes meets Russian Circles in a back alley somewhere, with the ensuing brawl spreading blood and human parts everywhere. Some mad scientists from Touch And Go/AmRep bands come around and fuse all the blood and pieces back together, and this is what we get. It's high-energy radness.
... and they just put it out on vinyl
Every single track on the LP has its own personality, but each track is as wildly peppy as the last one. The folks playing these tunes are VERY skilled, and I am pretty impressed with this Chris Squire-eqsue bass playing, Duane Denison-on-hyper mode guitar playing, and tappety-tappety busybody drumming.
It's good. It's really good. Give up your illusions of "math rock", "post rock", "prog rock", and "noise rock", and you shall be rewarded.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Glanville - First Blood

New music alert:
All Wight fans will know a few of these gents. Even if you don't, it would wise to poke your head in and say hello to "The new Hard Rock sensation from Germany/UK!"
They're making music in the vein of Thin Maiden, Dio Purple, Iron Lizzy, Judas Sabbath, Black Zeppelin, & Led Priest etc. So, basically this shit rocks.
Glanville members come from various bands. These bands may or may not already be in your list of favorite bands. A band like Glanville wouldn't even be deserving of such a lowly title as "supergroup". It's more like a Mighty HyperMegaUltragroup. We've got members of Wight, Earwix, Bushfire, Landskap/Stubb/Trippy Wicked, so you know it's a real banger.
You can find some digital noise here:

Limited Vinyl and CD

Don't be silly. This is exactly what you need this Summer.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Sugarfoot - Snakes & Ladders

Sugarfoot, while working on a much-needed new album, have decided to release a little 7". A "slight variation" of the song Snakes & Ladders (ever so slight), from their highly-acclaimed LP The Santa Ana. Side B features the tunes Leave the Lights (a new one!) & Theme From Roald Dahl's Tales Of The Unexpected.
You like playing games? The inner cover is a game board, and you'll be able to utterly destroy your prized Sugarfoot cover inserts by cutting out game pieces (or do what I did and scan the images so you don't have to mangle your cherished possession). These game pieces are each member of the band, and you'll be able to challenge your pals to a "snakes & ladders" showdown, while pretending to be as cool as  Øyvind Holm or Roar Øien or the rest of the crew (including Coyote).

Pick it up here:

And Here:

It's exactly what I wanted.
Now onto the next album.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Kings Of The Valley

From Trondheim, Norway comes a crew of young gents called Kings Of The Valley. They're pouring out liters of fresh, cool multi-hued Psychedelic prog rock, with a wild stonery sugar crust around the edge of the glass. A 3-song EP in the form of a citrus-colored 10" vinyl. When I first heard a taste of the EP, it was unlike any of the bands by which any of those words can be used to describe. But then there it stood, sitting comfortably in that psych-y realm. Thus began a graceful slide into the heart of this particular American. I feel all gooey inside, like I ate too many Jujubes.

This sweet candy is brought to you by the band, working with the powers that be in Brygga Records. When testing such delicacies, it's often recommended to try just a tiny bit first, and see how you feel about it. Sadly, this EP is pretty quick, and to-the-point. 3 songs just don't seem like enough, and by the time it's over, you're already wondering if there might be a hidden track somewhere. At the moment, this is what we get.

"Lie" opens up with a bassline that creepeth over all that creepeth. Within ten seconds, you're ensnared in a sticky web of melodic psych. Halcyon 1970s vibes, sunny.. almost California-like. A wild ride into a jam-infused, organ-heavy, riff-laden galaxy. Swirling guitar solos sit high atop a rock candy bluff, chanting enough licks to get to the center of the universe.
"Wake Up"... another fuzzy adventure into a glittery horizon. With a sound that recalls early 70s prog, brimming with visions of 60s go-go dancers, mai tais, and decadently large round sunglasses. The scent of strawberry taffy wafts over the room like a thick fog.
"Rotosphere" ignores the 5-second rule, picks up a few dirty caramels from the floor, and boldly eats them right in front of you. A few melodic passages make way for a grooved-out, tandem guitar-vox oration, and proceeds to let the keys do some talking before letting the sermon begin again. Solos bounce around the foreground. It all melts into a instrumental jam-fest, a la mode.

A band to keep an eye on. If this is all we get, then this is a pleasing enough release, despite the length. Even so, you'll find that this is truly something you can play over and over again. That, in itself, is an accomplishment.

To Their Facebook Page

Spotify Page

Thursday, March 1, 2018


New reviews in the works. I tend to catch bands right before they leave for a tour so these reviews can most often take some time. Typically, we're asking for band recipes. This is to keep everything lighthearted and fun. In the grand scheme of things, I'm still reviewing albums, but we're still looking for bands to submit recipes (for edible things). Meanwhile, I'm getting slightly backed up with regular reviews. Let's get cooking, everybody.

 Send your band recipes to

Monday, January 29, 2018

Dommengang - Love Jail

Dommengang were one of those "What the freaking hell?!?" moments for me. I mean... I like seriously groovy, boogie-down, riffy, guitar-laden jams, you know? I love it. Who doesn't? When it comes to that stuff, most of us are pretty on-the-level, on-the-spot, and on top of everything. I try to grab bytes of just about everything that comes out. Some bands sneak past me. Some bands get so much attention that they easily stand out in the crowd. Some bands I just find by digging around. Others find me. It's an undeviating rotation that seems to be pretty foolproof.

Well, bloody hell... here comes Dommengang, throwing a wrench in that system. I got totally blindsided by this particular album:

Seriously, don't even think twice. One listen and it's over for you. Grand retro rock. Every track is a gem. Dommengang, by way of Thrill Jockey, have released two albums of boogie rock that stand the test of time.
Honestly, I would love to have a million words to say about this band, but I would do them an injustice by comparing them to anybody else. Let's just say: if you like funk, soul, boogie, stoner rock, psych, etc., you'll figure this one out on your own.

Early contender for Album Of The Year for me. Really, it's quite good. Heavy on the boogie, smooth on the groove. Consistently crisp. Mandatory music. If you don't like music, and you're just a curmudgeon, this is not for you.

Dear Dommengang,
Here, have some money.


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