Dinosaur Jr. is one of my favorite bands. They are one of the only bands that consistently puts out music on par or even better than when they were at their critical peak in the late ’80s. They are also one of the only bands I can think of that could possibly tackle the experiences of a teenager’s first job, boyfriend, and heartbreak all in 5 minutes. The video is humorous without being patronizing and serious without being melodramatic or contrived. Also, Tim Heidecker is great as the father/hero of the story (I want to meet that dad!). I Bet on Sky, the band’s tenth studio album, is out September 18 on JagJaguwar.
Basemint are a four-piece garage rock band from the Pacific Northwest. Their “No Retro” 7″ is coming out on K Records’ International Pop Underground series, which has previously released titles by Built to Spill, Beat Happening, etc. “No Retro” isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but you could certainly do worse. Calvin Johnson guests on the b-side which is cool, but not exactly uncommon for K releases. Overall it’s catchy and fun and garagey so check it out. Hopefully a full length will come soon, but until then it looks like, “Basemint are scheduled to return to the Dub Narcotic Studio very soon to finish their second International Pop Underground 45, “Hail Mary”.”
Listen to “No Retro”
The “No Retro” 7″ comes out via K Records’ International Pop Underground series May 24th.
Apache Dropout are three dudes from Bloomington making psychedelic garage rock. Most of what I have read about them compare them to Spacemen 3, Velvet Underground, and The Stooges. Lofty comparisons, but the album delivers. I would also throw in some newer drugged out teenage ennui-repping bands like the Black Lips and Thee Oh Sees. Also, Paul Mahern of The Zero Boys (whom I interviewed a while back) helped engineer the album.
Listen to the first half of the album:
Apache Dropout is out now on LP via Family Vineyard
Cass McCombs is a singer-songwriter that has been compared to the likes of Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, and Leonard Cohen. Those comparisons are a bit misleading, however, as McCombs tends to wander off the beaten path more than the aforementioned songwriter titans (the last six minutes of PREfection are just noise).
On his fifth LP, Wit’s End, McCombs lays down his most melancholy material to date. There is no “Dreams Come True Girl” on this album. That being said, McCombs is still an amazing songwriter and imagery in songs like “The Lonely Doll” easily make this album a frontrunner for best of the year. Also, “County Line” is without a doubt my favorite song so far this year.
Listen to “County Line”
Wit’s End will be out 4/26/11 on CD/LP/Cassette via Domino
My first introduction to Swedish musicians was with The Hives back in high school. Then later, Tallest Man on Earth, Jens Lekman, and the list goes on. Lately I have found an even smaller niche in Sweden’s musical output; classic rock revival. First I was introduced to Witchcraft, who have their Black Sabbath imitation down pat, and then came Graveyard. Their first album is a decent effort. It has a driving classic rock sound, but lacks any stand-out guitar hooks. Hisingen Blues is one of those rare follow-up albums that takes everything good about the first release and builds upon it. This album has hooks, psychedelic tinges, doom sections, pretty much everything you would expect from a Mountain/Black Sabbath mashup band. Swedish people know what is up, as Graveyard outsold Britney Spears when Hisingen Blues was released in Sweden.
Normally I don’t post straight up rock ‘n roll but I have been blasting this album for a month, and sometimes you just need to rock.
Check out this album teaser from Nuclear Blast:
Hisengen Blues has been out in Europe for a while and was released yesterday in the US on CD/LP via Nuclear Blast
Bass Drum of Death is 2 dudes from Mississippi who make loud garage rock and probably do their fair share of drugs. They sound like a mixture of San Francisco garage and Nashville punk, borrowing the pop sensibility of Ty Segall mixed with the heaviness of Jeff the Brotherhood. Also, I’m a sucker for 2 piece bands, especially ones that make more noise than most four part bands. Also, they backed up Odd Future.
Listen to “Young Pros” from GB City
GB City is out now on CD/LP via Fat Possum