Friday, December 21, 2018

Facing New York - Dogtown

Eight or nine years ago, I stumbled on this album that I couldn't get out of my mind. It literally became a fixture in my daily listening. It hit me so hard, I listened to it for days on end, and still found things about it that I didn't notice before. The album was full of hipster anthems, tongue-in-cheek youthful exuberance, wild rhythms and time signatures, crafty, well-thought out & personal lyrics, proficient instrument-wielding, sparkling songwriting, punchy riffs, snarky melodies, and blistering grooves.

I played this album on every car trip I took. It hung out with me on hikes. I pulled it out during gatherings. It never ended. It was and is, in my opinion, still a crazy masterpiece that adheres to you like urushiol and itches into your bones.

That album is Facing New York - Get Hot.

Fast forward to 2018. Ten years after the release of their second full-length album Get Hot (following the 2005 self-titled album, and the 2004 EP Swimming Not Treading), Facing New York comes back with a bang.
I had heard many rumors about the band.. sources saying they broke up a year or so after the last album. I was prepared to let Get Hot become another one of those genius one-off LPs from a band that had gone the way of all flesh. I heard they were getting together from time to time, and doing single shows, maybe once a year. I watched as many YouTube videos as I could find, absorbing the live shows, watching the band footage in whatever form I could find it.
The news of a new album was something I was pretty much unprepared for. I had already gone through my Best Of 2018 list little by little, chipping away at the insane amount of music of the year... lo and behold, Facing New York comes in with an explosive couple of new tunes in November. I lost it. There was the beginning of Dogtown.

I was not ready to believe it.

Here we are, December. Dogtown is out, and it's killer.

First track opens up strong.. the title track leading the rest of the pack like a boss. True FNY-styled madness.

Big Rev follows closely. A tune about expecting twins. It's got another one of those "snarky" riffs I've come to love and expect from the band.

Gods Of The Good Shit comes in, saying all the things about my own marriage, and the things leading up to it, I sometimes forget how to say. It's one of my favorite tracks on the album, with its faux-simplistic sound belying its true complex structure and subject matter.

Hail Mary rolls up in a minivan full of car seats, ready to trounce the kids on the home team with adult super powers from the days of yore. Or is it the other way around? Either way, we're looking at TRUE FNY style. A little groove, a little scathing derision held in the melody. A stand-out track.

Birth Of Venus wakes up with a raging hard-on, clinging a little more to the dawn with a doting wink at the one you cherish waking up with every day.

Trouble seeks to cause no trouble, or stir up any nonsense. We can only assume that everybody has their own issues to deal with, and very few actually have the time to be called on... This is a straight-up rock and roll tune. We're not talking about distant galaxies we've never seen.. we're not talking about dragons, here. We're talking about monkeys of all kinds on backs of all kinds, putting good people through more problems they can handle, while everybody else has some other monkey...

Shame is a real shame... following the exploits of a lost man...

Heaven Is High Hell Is Low... gut-wrenching hankerings to recollect what may or may not have been halcyon days....

Your Love prides itself in not not allowing me to fall too far as I'm falling too far.

I feel like I've waited years for this album. Wait.. I HAVE waited years for this album! Is it good? Is it what I hoped for? You better believe it! Facing New York, killing it once again. A band that grows up while you grow up. This goes into the Best Of The Year List without even thinking twice... Remember to RSVP to the release party at my house, whether the band shows up or not.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Bandcamp Blitz - December 13th, 2018

The List:

Gary Lee Conner - Unicorn Curry 
(A corybantic gallop through vast psychedelic prairies, courtesy Screaming Trees guitar alum, also of the Microdot Gnome)

Scott Hirsch - Lost Time Behind The Moon
(What can you say about an album that's practically perfect all the way through? This is some of the finest Cosmic Americana around. Multi-instrumental, finely-crafted songs with influences swooping in from every which way. A real polished gem.)

Wizard Must Die - In The Land Of The Dead Turtles
(This album broke the Holy Ballsnuts meter. AWESOME proggy stoner rock from France. A couple of songs in, and I was in for the ride. Plus, if this is about turtles, then it's even better. This needs the wax treatment, tout de suite)

leafdrinker - Settlers Of Kratom
(Stoner/psych freaks take note. These NOLA dudes are catching up quickly to the rest of the pack. Scintillating, brainwave-interrupting, Chakra-tickling psych-y stoner rock. They've got a few other recordings under their belts, so these galactic messages are set in stone. RIYL music.) 

Facing New York - Dogtown

(I just want this album to hurry up and come out on vinyl.. tomorrow = release date for the digital, at which point I will sit by the computer until the wax drops.)

Foxwarren - S/T

(Indie Folk/Alt-Country/Pop/Americana from Canada [Canuckana?] Has a real Midlake feel, and a real roosty appeal. Lush vocals and instrumentation sets this apart from many in the genre)

Eats Batteries - Disguised To Sedate The Machines
(Rollicking Drum & Bass duo, blending hefty slabs of meaty, cantankerous riffs with far out smatterings of interplanetary mooncheese psychedelia. Release soon on Forbidden Place Records)

Hot Ram - Where Light Goes To Die
(Stoner rock, stoner rock, stoner rock! Jams, riffs, spliffs, amps, sandy wheels, heaviness. You know what you're in for...)

Monday, December 3, 2018

Bandcamp Blitz - December 3rd, 2018

Today's List:
Orango - Evergreens
(One of my favorite bands.. Rock and roll, the finest of the fine.. new album. Play it loud.)

22 - You Are Creating
(Mathy Prog Indie Pop that actually doesn't bore me in the slightest. Sometimes dips into heavy territory a la Dream The Electric Sleep. Pleasing, to say the least)

The Soulbreaker Company - Sewed With Light…/sewed-with-lig…
(Shards from a broken antique stained glass window buried in the sand are slowly being unearthed by wind and time, causing planes to crash as the moonlight glints on the surface of the newly exposed glass. A few pilots crawl from the wreckage and begin to meld the burning, molten fuselage with the shards, creating a disco ball in the desert. Years later, the business has taken off, and the Company's latest creations are a real marvel to gaze at.)

Gloria - Hey Gyp EP
(Always a good day when France's Gloria put some new music out. Go-go dancer, B-movie psychedelic pop with a classy, yet whimsical sheen. This sound is all their own, and that's beautiful.)

Lord Vapour - Semuta
(Some of the best riffing I've heard in a long time. This might go down as a Nerve Salad favorite, for sure)

Dirty Deep - Tillandsia
(Good-timey blues rock from France with the occasional sharp edge. Huge grooves.)

Dead Hand - Reborn Of Dead Light…/reborn-of-dea…
(Heavy AF sludge doom with moments of repose peppered in amongst the conflagration )

Mt. Mountain - Golden Rise
(Mt. Mountain return with another great psych album. Put this right among their best albums to date.)

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Bandcamp Blitz - November 17th, 2018

It's been a huge year for music, and I keep finding new things to check out. Bands send me their links, mp3s, stuff, etc. Things have been busy at Nerve Salad Central. There is talk within the camp of possibly releasing an album. Nerve Salad began in the late '90s as a record label (under another name), and there was always intentions of continuing. We'll see. There are a few ideas floating around... you heard it here first...
 Meanwhile the music keeps coming in, and the awesomeness keeps happening. 

Today's List:

Headland - True Flowers From This Painted World…/true-flowers-…
(Gave me a Karate Kid-style sweep-the-leg... sat me right down. Beautiful, almost completely instrumental, immersive songs made for everybody, even people that just "kinda like music". Really fantastic.)

Manchino - Artificial Love EP
(This'll kick ya in the feels. You'll be blindsided by the groove. Doobie Bros. + Allman Bros make a blood pact and the brotherhood grows... I would NOT be surprised in the slightest if these guys become huge within a year.)

Facing New York - Dogtown
(Fuck yes! New Facing New York! There will be a release party at my house whether the band shows up or not.)

Straightshooter - Keep The Faith
(Strong hard rock with a Southern lather. A really striking effort from Harrogate, UK... a few surprises lurk within a four-song span)

LáGoon - L’affaire des Poisons EP…/l-affaire-des-poisons-ep
(Somebody handed instruments to a couple of skaters and said: "Make heavy music." And that's what they did.)

Frozen Planet....1969 - The Heavy Medicinal Grand Exposition…/the-heavy-medici…
(Wild psych improv. A trip. Expanding and improving from previous releases. Pretty far out.)

Friday, November 2, 2018

Bandcamp Blitz - November 2nd, 2018

Today's List:

The Soul Jacket - Plastic Jail
(Some fine, fine groove and roll from Spain. Bluesy, jammy, good-times rock.)

Bitter Roots - JiLO
(Allman Bros. bleeding all over Skynyrd's beer with a chaser of '70s psych)

Under - Stop Being Naive
(Ka-BAM! This is true growth for the band, and an absolutely KILLER album all the way through. Noisy, mean scoundrels making noisy, mean music... a real gem)

The Tunnel - Apparition Overdrive
(Truly classy deathrock with a nice grimy sheen of XXXL psych and '90s noise. Music for sneaking around. Music for cleaning gravestones. Music for glowering faces, scowls, and scaring those wannabe "goth" kids.)

Magpie Toes - Nest
(Finnish Hard Rock with attitude.. maybe a little Långfinger mixed in with your Gin Lady? Pretty badass)

Summer Salt - Happy Camper
(Sipping the sweat of Beach Boys from a cup made from a melted surfboard, while doing jumping jacks and having a good time in ways you're not used to.)

Monday, October 29, 2018

Bandcamp Blitz - Monday October 29th, 2018

Today's Bandcamp Blitz:

Sullest - Fashionable Male…/fashionable-male
(Gut-punching hardcore with a crusty dollop of noise rock caked on. W/mems of Bloodpheasant, which is to my liking)

Empty Palace - The Serpent Between The Stars…/the-serpent-between-the-…
(Blistering prog rock! If saying they are almost better than Uriah Heep is blasphemy, then I'm a filthy heathen)

Wet Cactus - Dust, Hunger, & Gloom
(Traditional Stoner Rock with a little Desert Rock vibe mixed in with the jams... good for casual listening.)

Chesty Vulva - Subjects
(Here's a big one. This might be in my favorite albums of the year. I've listened to this more times this week alone than any of these albums in a month. Fantastic, manic electro-pop, grappling onto some fuzzy psych, Residents-esque peculiarities, genre-hopping '80s pop, whacked-out balderdash. It's absurd and brilliant all at once.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Chesty Vulva - Subjects

Oooooh! Something brilliant this way comes. Chesty Vulva come flying out of Grand Junction, CO, throwing Fuzzy Pop glitter everywhere. Something likes this only comes around every so often, a special jewel, glistening with gilded ectoplasm.

This is a Pop band, but nobody's getting Bieber-ized here. We're looking at the halcyon days of Sub Pop... we're getting a slice o' the oft-times messed up world of  musical Jekylls and Hydes.

When first diving in, this appears to be an indie rock adventure, but there's an uncomfortable sensation looming just underneath the skin. It itches like chiggers...
Stoner rock fuzz brazenly cuts in line. A thick layer of "The Smiths attempt black metal"... A chunk of noise rock emits an inescapable, yet pleasing odor of skinny puppies.. Talking Heads meets Ministry in a back alley and play a game of Uno with cards made out of The Residents' sunburn-y skin peels...
The cloying aromas of dark '80s electro-pop waft over the entirety like a blanket. It's warm and fuzzy, and will keep you from getting up from the couch.

"What's the harm in any of this?", you wonder. Well, 5 listens in, and I've begun to realize that this album might have screwed my world up a little bit.
This music is fresh and clean. And it's on fleek. There is much value in being THIS on fleek.
In the grand scheme of things, Chesty Vulva appear to be truly breaking ground with bananas, and it's slowly creeping into my brain like prions.


Get You Some

Face The Faces

Sunday, September 9, 2018

WE Are The Asteroid

WE Are The Asteroid, the latest LP release from Forbidden Place Records, comes in with a buncha noisy spastic rock. It's one of those heavy Psych Rock albums that was obviously made under the influence, whether it's drugs or music. At least judging by the manic approach these guys take, and song titles, I would say drugs had something to do with it.

When I first listened to this album, I could pick out things from it that were probably not intended to be there: I almost feel like these guys might be hiding some kind of fandom they've yet to disclose. There's a touch of goth rock in there (I even feel a touch of My Dying Bride-ish doom coming through). It all blends together into a spacey, spicy, pustulent wound waiting to be opened. In the end, I imagine they just play and see what happens. Meanwhile, you should pick it apart and see what oozes out.

WE Are The Asteroid play psych-y freaky noise rock made for psychotropics. From Austin, TX, they're obviously indoctrinated into the noise rock fold with their Texan brethren of the past.

As kids, they must have listened to enough Scratch Acid at their house while their siblings played Fields Of The Nephilim in the other room... trying to drown out the Butthole Surfers playing down the street.

Another one of those bands that play with so much variation, I go on a little adventure for the duration. In any case, the death rock/psych-y noise rock makes for an interesting listen. And a Nerve Salad recommendation if you like things shaken AND stirred.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Bandcamp Blitz - September 8th, 2018

Today's Bandcamp Blitz:

The Mommyheads - Soundtrack To The World's End…/soundtrack-to-the-worlds-…
(Indie, power pop masters coming in strong with a new album, strong on the power, heavy on the pop, steadfast on the proggy alt-rock)

The Pollies - Not Here
(I've mentioned these guys before. Their previous album was a pleasant surprise for me This new album is a stellar piece of lush pop Americana and fine songwriting)

The Lees Of Memory - The Blinding White Of Nothing At All…/the-blinding-white-o…
(Likely one of the best albums I've heard in a long time.Total brilliance, and firmly in amongst my favorite albums ever. Not a single dull moment anywhere.)

High Fidelity - S/T EP…/high-fidelity-ep
(Awesome rootsy classic rock with a great convincing vocal delivery)

Reefer Masters - White Dogs
(Alt-Psych with a sheen of stonery, head-nodding riffs.)

White Swan - Touch Taste Destroy
(White Swan have established themselves as peddlers of heavy, down-trodden, plodding, lurching doom. Fantastic weighty tunes, with hefty strata of shoegazey melodies, and a '90s alt-rock veneer. I shall call this Dream Doom. )

Friday, August 31, 2018

Bandcamp Blitz - August 31st, 2018

Today's Bandcamp Blitz:

Magnolia Red - Magnolia Red
(When it comes to Americana/indie rock, Norway doesn't mess around. Here's some Norwegians doing typical Norwegian things: Being awesome.)

Breanna Barbara - Mirage Dreams
(Self-described Occult Blues. I would tend to agree. It's super)

Glenn Jones - The Giant Who Ate Himself and Other New Works For 6 & 12 String Guitar…/the-giant-who-ate-himself…
(Guitar Master Glenn Jones taking his guitars to the casbah and making such beautiful music together)

The Pollies - Transmissions
(Fine fine fine Americana with REALLY catchy tunes)

Black Prism - Black Prism
(KILLER stoner rock with massive face-melting riffs. Just signed with CTR, and that's a good thing)

Monday, August 27, 2018

Bandcamp Blitz - August 27th, 2018

Today's Bandcamp Blitz:

Space Fox - Moon Trips
(Chilled-out Psych from Portugal in the key of D)

SoloHawk - Another Way Out
(Alt-country duo featuring Til Willis of Til Willis fame)

Crushed By Amps - Amps Almighty
(Splendid, bluesy, fuzzy noise rock. Winner of Cool Band Name award)

Men Of The Wild Age - The Road
(Muscular stoner rock with big tires made for the sand)

Trench Dogs - Year Of The Dog…/year-of-the-dog
(Finally some sleaze/glam rock we can handle)