(Artwork care of Karen Ramsay (www.karenramsay.com), profile photo care of brianlackeyphotography.com)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

September singles

This month, I offer three different musical paths into your head and gut.

Infected Mushroom - Pink Nightmares (release planned 2012)
Infected Mushroom

Psychedelic trance duo Infected Mushroom have been on my radar for a while after a tip from a friend and his son. Unfortunately, the band's last album, The Legend of the Black Shawarma, was two years ago. Last month, they dropped a first taste of a planned 2012 release, Pink Nightmares. Over the coming months they plan to release more tunes from the new album, but the densely layered hypnotical weave of Pink Nightmares offers a sense of where they might be headed.

The song starts off with glitchy trance groove with just a touch of break in the beat. Impersonal and mechanical, it builds a dark tension that matches the desperation of the vocals. The song opens into a dreamier, floating section that sets up a nice hyperactive reprise into the original glitch flavored groove. The accompanying video is very disturbing, with a plot line suggesting child abuse and karmic vengeance. It illustrates the song well, but Pink Nightmares stands just as well on its own.

I'm looking forward to the eventual album release.

Pujol - Stuff (from the upcoming EP, Nasty, Brutish, and Short)

The thrashing pound of Stuff hits a 1980 punk sweet spot. Simultaneously simplistic and richly layered, the 1:39 song bridges high energy, garage rock a la the Wipers and the bouncy new wave of XTC. Driving guitar, drums, and bass lock into the center, but an undercurrent of guitar fill sneaks into the right channel to challenge the track's foundation.

Appropriately ironic, the lyrics mock the consumerist underpinnings of any purist scene:
I must be consistent with what I believe in
Or I live a lie
Daniel Pujol has put out numerous projects, including Jack White's Third Man Records. His low-fi, fuzzed out sound fills a perfect visceral niche in my musical life. Simple rock and simple lyrics for complex times.

Nasty, Brutish, and Short is due out October 18 on Saddle Creek Records.

The Golden Awesome - A Thousand Nights and One Night (from the upcoming Autumn, releasing November 15)

The Golden Awesome - Autumn

The Golden Awesome create a balance somewhere between psychedelia, shoegaze, and dream pop. A Thousand Nights and One Night shows off their sound: thick and and throbbing, evoking strobe lights diffused through dense, smoky rooms. Unlike Pujol's fuzzy guitars, the Golden Awesome's edge is blunted and ragged as they echo through the song. The harmonized female vocals drift through the track, leaving reverb-scattered trails.

The band's sound is consistent through the several songs I heard. Like the ringing drive of a maxed out band playing in a small club, foggy with herbal smoke, the noise batters your ears at 2 am. Too tired to even nod in time to the music, you wearily smile and let the waves wash through you.

Autumn is due out November 15 from M'Lady's Records.

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