Friday, July 12, 2013

Hard Girls - Isn't It Worse

I don't know if its intentional, but why do bands generally put their best songs on 7"s or split records? Is it because they can squeeze all the goodness of themselves into a few songs, rather then the tedious work of creating a full LP? Or do they know people like me will hunt and track down everything they have ever recorded and listen to them, to realize that some split they did with some even more obscure band with one song each has their most amazing, quintessential work? I know there is a whole collective of people who praise the 7'', but seriously, come on.

Hard Girls have two full records and several splits with a bunch of other great bands. Their newest release Isn't It Worse, luckily has a record full of those one track split jams. The track "Swamp With Potential", sounds like it would come straight from a cassette-only demo they released with only a 100 copies. It sounds pretentious, obsessive, and inane, (cause it totally is) yet Hard Girl's approach of indie-punk: melodic-driven guitars, alternating vocals, and the feeling that they were obsessed with Dude Ranch and Slanted & Enchanted, gives me every reason to make it so.

Hard Girls' continuously puts our feel good jams that sound best in the shitty stereo system out of my 92' Corolla, or as the video expresses above, eating junk food and getting wasted while playing out scenes from the VHS version of Major Payne with your buds.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Oshwa - Transmissions From the Mid-West: A Real-America Tribute

My mom is the biggest Sade fan.

Recently I have seen more people listening to her records and came to the conclusion that I have not met a person who does not like Sade. Its impossible."Smooth Operator" is what she is most known for, but come on', we can all agree "No Ordinary Love" is her best song. so smooth.  It's so surprising to see her continued relevance, since 80's R&B production values were so horrendously bad, like really bad. (unless its Computer Love, it's still great).

Every single person I have shown Oshwa, has not like it. They've hated it. Which is too bad, Because vocalist/guitarist Alicia Walter's voice is something akin to Sade. It definitely is distinct, which is what turns people off, as I've heard my coworkers say "sounds like she's in the wrong band." But its so melodic, flowing, and gentle, but also manages to bellow over the twinkly guitars, and loose, sporadic drums. 

Oshwa has the tinge some math rock,  twinkly and melodic but similar to Dirty Projectors, but enough free verse styling of Storm and Stress to make it less like a pop album. The three tracks on Transmissions are all great, with the second song "Grar" being the standout track. check it out if your in the mood for some relaxing, bedroom math pop.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Ovlov - am

When I was kid, Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" music video was the most amazing thing to me in the world. My parents have told me that when it would come on TV, I would lose my shit. They don't know why, and neither do I. There was also no sense of diminishing returns of my enjoyment of the song, every time I would equally lose my mind over it, dancing like a mad man. 
Ovlov sounds nothing like Peter Gabriel.

However, they have what I would describe as the Peter Gabriel effect. 

Their newest record, am, is packed and stuffed with so many solid riffs, which are reminiscent of Yo La Tengo, Sneeze, and even MBV. I'm a sucker for an album with catchy yet abrasive riffs, that most of the time vocals are simply an afterthought. Ovlov's vocals fit, the lo-fi tone with an emo approach. For some odd reason, the best way to sum them up is "Emo-Mclusky".

Ovlov's entire back catalog is for free download on their bandcamp, which are all equally fantastic.