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

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

December Singles

Let's wrap up the year with an old friend and a small collection of newer bands.

They Might Be Giants - "Call You Mom" (from Nanobots, due March 2013)

They Might Be Giants are promising a lot with their upcoming album, Nanobots: namely a full serving of bass clarinet. Regardless of whether they have their pulse on the market demand,"Call You Mom" delivers that classic TMBG aesthetic. Quirky yet compelling, the lyrics follow a Freudian Slip 'n' Slide of Oedipal images. The solid retro rock music adds the perfect frantic energy.

FIDLAR - "Gimme Something" (from FIDLAR, due January 2013)

Speaking of retro, ├╝ber-ironic FIDLAR brings a house party atmosphere laced with healthy sense of humor. Their video for "Gimme Something" claims, "Our friend found this video of us playing a couple years back. Back when cocaine was good for you." While the band pounds their way through the jangly rocker, the video splices footage of Credence Clearwater Revival (circa 1970) to match FIDLAR's track. It's a clever joke, but there's an ounce of truth as the band's guitar sound borrows a fair amount of Fogerty's tone.

Wax Idols - "Sound of a Void" (from Discipline & Desire, due March 2013)

We'll continue the retro run with a great, high energy post-punk jam on "Sound of a Void". The thick wave of rhythm guitar and bass packs the dynamic space as Hether Fortune's accusatory tone channels '80s angst amidst shards of angular fills. "Let's turn down the static world" -- Wax Idols build a delicious dark tension with echoes of Siouxsie Sioux and Romeo Void.

A. Chal - "Dirty Mouth" (from Ballroom Riots)

Back to the present - Our last single for the month is a tripped out electronic groove from A. Chal. He sets up "Dirty Mouth" with a sparse drum machine beat and shimmery washes of synth. The heart of the tune is a chopped and processed vocal line:
Dirty mouth and she just can't
Get it good to be on that
Daddy issues and cognac 
It's hard to tell if I got that second line right, but the moody chill of the mix implies that things probably won't end well. This is wonderfully evocative track, but it fades out way too soon to fully satisfy.

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