No Volcano – “Take My Chances”
Last year’s Dead Horse Power was one of my favorite albums of the year, local or otherwise, and I’ve been waiting some time to find out what the next single would be and if it would get the video treatment. Well, the single is “Take My Chances” and the video treatment is courtesy of Troy Farah. “Take My Chances” is literally a feast of guitars, with Jim Andreas and Jeremy Randall running the show on this particular track. It’s also got a killer pop hook and I can see why this become a crowd favorite at their live shows. Yes, the rhythm section is monstrous here as they are throughout, but the guitars wrap magic all around this tune in no uncertain terms. Andreas also adds a bit more character to his vocal here with quirky, hook heavy, excellent effect. The video is a psychedelic cartoon wonderland making wry commentary on our ridiculous “health care” system. Starring Ashley Naftule, Bernard Schober, Scott Mitting, Garrett Farah and Glenn Sobbing with animations by Mene Tekel. The song will be featured on the New Zia Compilation You Heard Us Back When, Volume 11 coming out on Record Store Day. All proceeds from the sales of the local compilation will go to multiple, well deserving animal charities. Check out the video and if you haven’t heard Dead Horse Power, get up to speed.
Andy Warpigs – “My Dog Ate My Dope”
Andy Warpigs has released two singles from the forthcoming record COUNTER-CULTURE SHOCK just in time for 420. In fact he’s releasing them right now as I write this down at Trunk Space. As much I’d like to be there we need to talk about this and I need to share the hell out of these singles immediately. “My Dog Ate My Dope” is the “pop” single in comparison to “Fuck It All Up And Get High”, so I’m going to talk about that one, because it’s just so fucking good and unrelentingly catchy. First of all, let’s talk about Andy Warpig’s (the person, not the band) vocals. In previous efforts he’s run quite a gamut, with a leaning toward Gordon Gano of Violent Femmes–that said, nothing could prepare you for the arcs of punk laced beauty that spews from his throat on this one. If Feargal Sharkey from The Undertones and Pete Shelley from Buzzcocks had a bastard, they’d sound like this. The way Warpigs’ voice sounds here is the reason I needed to buy everything Buzzcocks ever released in their original run one day and it drives me out of my mind. Also, the guitar driven groove here is ridiculous early pop punk fun that recalls the first wave more than any crests that have appeared in their wake. One of my favorite singles of the year early on and I’m guessing that will hold to top ten status when all is said in done. Yeah, I’m just a little bit excited about COUNTER-CULTURE SHOCK if you haven’t guessed.
MRCH – “Shake Shake”
I think I have a weird psychic link with Jesse Pangburn, because every time I think “What’s MRCH up to” I get a message shortly thereafter with a link to their newest thing. Last time I was wondering about them was around Twin Peaks day when they covered Julee Cruise’s theme song. This time it’s a brand new original track from this magnificent duo. MRCH live in a synthetic world where dream pop plays from pillows and draperies everywhere, while everyone looks absolutely fantastic. On “Shake Shake”, their first single of 2017, MRCH combines elements of early alt dance music, a hint of industrial dressing and a whole ton of new wave influence from the likes of Human League. The combination is devastating and Mickey Pangburn’s vocals are presented here as more of an instrument than a voice, which is often the case. It’s a good thing this is a lyric video, because after three listens I was still so wrapped up in the layered textures of sound that I couldn’t hope to focus on the words–which is a pretty great deal. It’s an upbeat number that will keep you grooving, though your mind may wander into the thick of the gauzy tapestry they’ve woven. I love how unique each single of theirs sounds, while distinctly bearing the signatory mark of MRCH. As always, they keep me in anticipation of what their next release will bring to their oeuvre.
Goldengoat – “Perfect Weather”
Word on the street is that Sunshower is calling it a day, while its semi-alter-ego Goldengoat will continue to rock on. Late last week Goldengoat dropped a new video from Yellowbox Films and my new favorite auteur Cory Davis with “Perfect Weather.” I’m not sure if I’m more seduced by the song or the video, but both are right up my alley and you should get them up you alley too. I’ve been eagerly anticipating new tunes from this crew since they released their Summer Catalyst demos in 2015. Nearly a year and a half later that patient waiting is rewarded many times over with this singular track. Goldengoat could emerge as one of the great break out groups of this year if this is a hint of what their debut record is going so sound like. What is it? Hell, I guess it’s alternative rock, but I can’t and won’t compare it to anything, because it’s not ringing any derivative familiarity bells after the first twenty listens and when it plays in my head, when I can’t sleep at night, I know it’s Goldengoat and only them. That’s pretty awesome in itself. I cannot recommend enough that you keep your ears open for future sounds from Goldengoat this year. I need to find out if these artists choose Cory Davis to do their video or if Davis chooses, because that guy has yet to put out a video from an artist I didn’t like.
Exxxtra Crispy – “Scumbag”
Exxxtra Crispy is the new, local indie rock supergroup that’s here to fuck you up with some awesome sounds. If their debut single “Scumbag” is any indication, they are in the business of blowing minds for a living. Knowing many of the members of the band, I still could not reconcile what this would sound like before I did–but you’re dealing with members of Naked Pizza, Jerusafunk, Bacchus & The Demon Sluts, and Boss Frog, so I should have known. The build up to the song, whether it’s the sample or Ricky’s spoken word intro are perfect right before the all out explosion of fierce punk and a shit ton of horns. This is some of the best original punk this side of Playboy Manbaby who shares a member here as well, and I mean that in the same way they cultivate that So Cal second wave punk style that had everyone skating and hating Reagan. It’s apropos for the times, and honestly, my soul needs music like this to survive. “Yeah, so Fuck all these safe vanilla fucking diet coke lite bitch ass really just derivative traditional shit, I don’t want to hear that, if you don’t like smoking weed, if you don’t like taking drugs…” Ricky says and it reminds me that some of the best parts of any show Ricky has ever been involved in revolves around horns and his wry commentary between songs. I want to call them Exxxtra “Tasty” Crispy, because this is so fucking tasty and slakes my thirst for ska infused party punk that it makes me drool. Exxxtra Crispy will release their debut record They Don’t Think It Be Like It Is But It Do (TVLiFE / The Big Art Machine) on April 20th at The Pueblo.