All posts by timothy.anderl

Cruel Summer releases their Ivy via LP and digital on Mt. St. Mtn. on June 30. Cruel Summer’s sound evokes the dazed, fuzzed-out, swirling noise of the late 1980s UK sound while still sticking to their pop roots–they’ve aptly been crowned San Francisco’s “jangle darlings.”

Following their 2013 ST/EP (Mt. St. Mtn.,) they released the sold-out lathe-cut 7-inch for “Leeches,” accompanied by a video. In 2016, Cruel Summer released “Around You, Around Me,” recorded for L.A.’s Part Time Punks, the 7-inch b-side features a moody cover of Pylon’s “Crazy.” It was mastered by Kramer (Galaxie 500 and Low).

Ivy is the long-awaited, first full-length album from this quartet, who have become a mainstay in the San Francisco and Oakland club scene. Recorded at Santo Studio in Oakland, California by Jason Kick (Sonny & the Sunsets, Once and Future Band, Mild High Club, Maus Haus), the record is a love poem to San Francisco, with all its changes and disappointments. Cruel Summer recently completed a California tour with the UK’s Primitives, and in early August they will be accompanying the ’90s noise pop demons Swirlies on a full west coast tour.

Catch them live here:

6/22 – San Francisco, CA @ The Knockout w/ Terry Malts, Male Gaze

7/8 –  Guernville, CA @ Deathstock III

8/3 –  San Diego, CA @ Space (fka Hideout) w/ The Swirlies

8/4 –  Visalia, CA @ Cellar Door w/ The Swirlies

8/5 –  Las Vegas, NV @ Beauty Bar w/ The Swirlies

8/6 –  Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo w/ The Swirlies

8/7 –  Santa Cruz, CA @ Catalyst Atrium w/ The Swirlies

8/8 –  San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel w/ The Swirlies

8/10 –  Portland, OR @ The Doug Fir w/ The Swirlies

8/11 –  Seattle, WA @ Barboza w/ The Swirlies

8/12 –  Bellingham, WA @ The Shakedown w/ The Swirlies

After years spent fronting his former band Those Mockingbirds, New Jersey-based artist Adam Bird decided to call it a day in February of 2016 to focus on a different musical path. The time away from the group that had taken up so much of Bird’s creative energy allowed him to indulge in new sounds and influences that wouldn’t have fit within that aesthetic. The electronic leanings of David Bowie, Massive Attack, Radiohead and Air all started to permeate throughout Bird’s new processes and with that, he would return to the studio with a new vision.

Adopting the moniker A Bird, the project was unveiled with a debut single, “Polluto,” on June 2, 2017. Bird plays all of the instruments on the track as he views the project as a loose, open ended, continuous endeavor with no permanent members other than himself.

“Polluto” serves as an appropriate launch point for A Bird as the artist explains: “The lyrics to ‘Polluto’ are about the feeling that everyone around you is judging you, the insecurity that it turns out many people have. I always felt like I needed to live up to some standard, or that other people’s opinions of me could be improved or shaped if i just did “X”…. Living life that way is a fucking nightmare, and I wanted to write this song as my own personal anthem of reminding myself to stop worrying about everyone else opinions to the detriment of my own.”

Today, he also debuted a video for the song, which you can enjoy below:

A Bird tour dates:
6/21/17 – Groove on Grove – Jersey City, NJ
7/8/17 – Hansils – Oakland NJ

 

Experienced music produers and writers, John “Fingazz” Stary and Travis Pavur, have joined considerable forces for Colt .22, an effort that exploits the crossroads where blues, rock and electronic sounds meet. The group already experienced a considerable coup when they place their song “Find Your Pride” in the promo for Showtime’s hit series Billions.

Fingazz, a platinum award certified hip-hop producer, is best known around the globe as one of the few masters of the “talkbox,” which has been featured on records by Snoop Dogg, Mike Posner, Far East Movement, Flo Rida, Tyga, Bryson Tiller, Just Blaze, and many more. His sound can be described as “Future Funk” and his song “Winning” won on So You Think You Can Dance. In contrast, the New Orleans-born Pavur is a rocker through and through. He has recorded and produced countless up and coming rock acts from his own Los Angeles studio, Golden Beat Recording. Currently he is an engineer at the historic Valentine Recording Studios as well, working with acts like Lana Del Rey and Eagles of Death Metal.

Today, Ghettoblaster has the pleasure of premiering the action-heavy music video for the aptly titled “Call To Action,” which follows Los Angeles parkour stunt group Substance Over Hype. It’s got gun fights, martial arts and car chases and is generally bad ass. This is what they had to say about it:

“We wanted this song to get your attention right from the first guitar riff.  The world is about to be a very confusing place, and we’re being systematically dumbed down and made insecure about our ideas and appearance.  “Call To Action” is our anthem to get off your ass and do something, say something, come together and stand for something.” 

Look for a proper album, Freedom/Freewill in August via Elite Frequency Group.

(Visit Colt .22 here:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/colt22.rocks/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/colt22rocks

Website – https://www.colt22.rocks/

Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9cqU8hkkTEXtRlO_9mBbDg

Itunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/freedom-freewill/id1240477960)

Photo by Michael Butcher.

Musical trends come and go, but strong songwriting is always in vogue. As such, its the guiding principle behind Bern Kelly’s new album, Lost Films, a record that deploys a sweeping array of styles, from power-pop to plaintive folk and reverb-washed Americana. Recorded with an array of the town’s brightest studio pros, including producer Patrick Damphier (The Arcs, Tim Easton, The Mynabirds), steel-guitar legend Russ Pahl (Dan Auerbach, Patty Griffin, Miranda Lambert), drummer Jon Radford (Steelism, Lily Hiatt, Leigh Nash) and bassist Travis Vance, Kelly’s latest record is a community-minded effort, the result of his decade-long tenure as a singer/songwriter in Nashville.

Lost Films (out June 23), was written over the course of three long years during which Kelly mined his own life experiences and honed in on a distinct, dense narrative style; one that he clearly is a master at. This refined sense of craftsmanship can be heard plainly, whether in the huge pop hooks of upbeat rockers like “Win Your Heart,” “Cash in the Basement” and “Julie” or in the devastating lyrical detail of ballads “Last Day of Spring” and “She Keeps Her Light on.”

Today, Ghettoblaster has the pleasure of premiering “Cash in the Basement.” With Kelly quietly polishing his craft for more than a decade now, this song is the sound of a songwriter coming into his own as an expert storyteller.

(Visit Kelly here:

Official Website: www.bernkelly.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bernkellymusic

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bernkellymusic

Instagram: www.instagram.com/bern_kelly

Order Lost Films here:

http://underpassrecords.bigcartel.com/product/limited-edition-vinyl-lost-films)

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The enigmatic Philadelphia-based Abusive Language is a four-piece cold-gaze post-rock band from who surfaced with a six-song, untitled release before ever playing a proper show. The mysterious project — started in late 2015 and consisting of Austin Jefferson, Ruben Gallego, Jon Weed and Alan Vito — is described by the band as what, “Johnny Cash would have sounded like if they listened to Sabbath and the Deftones.” However, as and outsider, a listen to the band reveals layers of shoegazing guitars, vocals that borrow a page from the playbooks of Nick Cave and Ian Curtis, and dense production that is at once familiar and unsettling.

Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Jefferson and Gallego to discuss the band’s origins, trying to fit their gear into a hatchback and chemistry.

How did Abusive Language come together and what has made it an endeavor worth pursuing?

Ruben Gallego: I feel like initially when Austin and I got into a room together the music happened really quickly and effortlessly. If you can get a group together that works organically I feel like you spend less time over thinking and just enjoying playing together.

Austin Jefferson: I agree. I love the music that we’ve produced but our chemistry is really what’s kept this project, as a band, going.

Abusive Language balances both garage rock and post-punk tendencies. Do you lean one way or another?

RG: I don’t know that I would have classified it as garage rock but I absolutely love garage rock. So if you got that maybe I’m to blame.

AJ: I try not to reference anything directly so I won’t say we lean towards a particular genre, at least intentionally.

That said, your sound is a bit of an enigma. How do you describe it to friends who haven’t heard you?

RG: I tell people it’s what Johnny Cash would have sounded like if they listened to Sabbath and the Deftones.

You guys recorded before you ever played live, correct?  Was that a deliberate decision?

RG: I’m not sure it was deliberate, at the time this band started I was busy with Beach Slang and that meant I was rarely around to play. The band actually played a show without me early on. But I’ve forgiven them.

AJ: Right, it just happened that way. We got together pretty sporadically, so we only had enough time to write. Once we had these six songs it made sense to jump right into recording given our limited availability.

When did you begin writing for untitled and what were you hoping to accomplish with it?

AJ: I wrote the foundation for the first songs a few years back and the rest of came to be after we started playing together. For me, the record is pretty self centered. I wanted the music to reflect some part of my looming negativity and conflict.

How did you determine Evan Bernard was the right person to work with?

AJ: I’ve known Evan for a long time. He’s always understood my musical intent and has similar tastes in things that sound big and fuzzy. When we made the decision to record these songs, I knew Evan would be perfect. For mixing and mastering we used Chris Baglivo (also of Big Mama’s Recording) and Ryan Schwabe respectively. They all share a long history of making great records together.

What are your proudest moments on the record?

AJ: I’m happy that, through writing and production, the songs are all distinguishable from one another and still cohesive as a whole

R: I’m especially proud of the ending I feel it’s a very climactic way to end a record. I think when we track it it ended up being like eight minutes long and we snipped it down to what it is.

Will you be touring in support of the release?

AJ: We have no dates currently lined up but we’re excited about the prospect of tour. Though, we might need to buy smaller amps before trying to fit everything in a hatchback.

What are your loftiest goals for Abusive Language?

AJ: I don’t have any lofty goals for Abusive Language. I never want to compromise our music for music business, so I tend to focus on the immediate next step and maintain a realistic outlook on things.

RG: I would be psyched to get back to Europe or maybe play some cool festivals. But I’m just happy to be playing out again.

AJ: For sure!

(Pick up Untitled here: https://abusivelanguage.bandcamp.com/album/untitled.)

Providence, Rhode Island trio Way Out create a dizzying mix of arty, post punk the beckons to memories of lost innocence and shattered identity. Consisting of singer and guitarist Derek Knox, drummer Anna Wingfield, and bassist Nick Sadler, the band was founded by Knox in 2012, and became an entity unto itself following the arrival of Wingfield– whose shared love of Wire created an instant bond. Sadler joined when his other musical projects (Daughters and Fang Island) entered a state of indefinite hiatus, leaving him hungry for a new creative outlet.

In 2015, Way Out self-released a four song self-titled cassette/digital EP and followed it with a brief northeastern tour of the United States. 2017 brings a reissue of the EP via Cercle Social, promises of a new EP, and dates with Chameleons Vox and Soft Kill.

Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Knox to discuss living in Providence, guitar sounds, and betrayal and loss. This is what he told us.

Providence is a scene I’m not sure I’m familiar with. What are its best musical exports in your opinion?

My personal favorite band to come out of Providence is probably the Talking Heads, but besides the fact that they formed here while attending RISD I don’t know that they are very strongly associated with the musical legacy of the city. Providence has a pretty rich musical history that I don’t necessarily feel qualified to speak on, as I only moved here in 2011, but some names that come first to my mind are Lightning Bolt, Arab on Radar, Drop Dead and Daughters. I have always found the overall culture here to be one that encourages experimentation, welcomes deviance, and appreciates challenging art.

This EP was originally released in 2015. What made now the right time to rerelease it?

Basically just having label support from Cercle Social Records. They’re putting out our new EP later this year and they ended up being down to reissue our debut EP in the meantime. We technically released the self-titled EP online at the very end of 2015, but we didn’t have a local release show with physical copies available to purchase until February 2016, so to me it doesn’t feel all that long ago that it came out. We sold out of all our copies, and now rather than having to pay to produce more tapes ourselves with no publicity, we’re fortunate enough to be able to re-release the EP under the banner of CS and with their resources working to hopefully give us some more visibility. We had no promotion the first time around besides our live shows and our bandcamp page (wayoutband.bandcamp.com), but I’m definitely still proud of those songs and the work we put into the recording, so I’m happy to have the opportunity to spread the music to a wider audience.

What would you say were the catalysts that inspired these songs?

I think I was going through some coming-of-age moments at the time I wrote those songs. I know I was dealing with feelings of betrayal and loss and trying to find my center and reclaim my identity at a time when my sense reality felt unwound. I also wrote a lot of it in an unheated, concrete warehouse space in the dead of winter, so that probably contributed to the bleakness of my worldview at the time! But I was also listening to a lot of Wipers, which felt cathartic and inspired me to “go for it” with my approach to songwriting in a way that a lot of the moodier or dreamier bands I was previously listening to did not.

What kind of gear are you using to get that guitar tone. I think of it as the “Killing An Arab” tone?

I play out of a Roland JC-120 guitar amp, which is known for its analog chorus effect. I’m pretty sure The Cure and most other ‘80s bands of that ilk used them at least at some point– I like to call it the goth amp. My favorite thing about it is that it gets loud without breaking up, and you can get this kind of brutally clean, metallic tone. I also use a small assortment effects pedals, but the foundation of my tone is really just that amp, my modified Fender Strat, and some extra EQ for bite. Our live sound has a bit more attack and is less dreamy compared to the recording.

Post-punk is a complex genre with a storied history. Who would you say are the forefathers that informed Way Out?

I personally never really approach songwriting with much sense of genre in mind, but I love the musical aesthetics of goth and post-punk and as Way Out became more and more of a live entity I think a lot of those stylistic choices ended up being what felt natural and took hold. There’s the guitar tone stuff like you mentioned before, but also the sort-of militaristic rhythms, interplay of moving, melodic lines on guitar and bass, and then I guess the fairly dramatic vocal style. I think that kind of sound lends itself well to live performance because of how pared-down and direct the musical elements are. I don’t like seeing a band perform and feeling like I have to meet them halfway in some way, like if you can tell there’s supposed to be a melody but it’s indistinct due to too many parts or effects or just indistinct/non-committal vocals. I like when everything is laid more bare and kicks you in the gut in a way that leaves no question about the power of what you’re witnessing.

Some bands I consider to be in the post-punk realm that are influential to me would be The Cure, Wire, The Chameleons, Wipers, Sisters of Mercy, Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Fall, Joy Division and The Smiths (mainly for Johnny Marr). As far as some artists outside that realm that feel relevant to the band, I’d also toss in Nico, Scott Walker, Roxy Music, Television and Bowie. I know Anna and Nick would have their own answers to add as well, but those are some of my personal picks.

Tell me about the forthcoming EP…

We have a new EP called Arc of Descent coming out on later this year on Cercle Social, which we are super psyched on. The music is all finished and recorded, so we are just finishing up the final details necessary for the physical release. It’s coming out on vinyl, so there’s a little bit of a waiting process involved in that. We are currently writing songs for the future as well.

Sadler is also in Daughters and Fang Island, right? What is the musical priority as of late? Is it the Daughters reunion or Way Out?

I think Daughters and Way Out occupy separate but equal parts of Nick’s mind. Obviously Daughters has its whole legacy, but until the recent string of reunion shows they’ve been playing, I’d say Way Out has been his main musical focus. He could probably say more about it than I can though. We all have our own personal pursuits outside of the band, but we all feel passionately about the music and that’s really what keeps us moving forward with it.

Does Way Out have any dates forthcoming/on the books?

We are playing a new punk fest in Providence on July 2 called “Fuck the Fourth” with a lot of great bands, and on September 16 we will be playing in Boston with CHAMELEONS VOX and our friends Soft Kill from Portland, which we are extremely excited about. We’re looking into setting up some traveling around the times of both of those shows, and I’m sure we will have more scattered dates in between, but those are the major dates at the moment. Lately we’ve mainly been focusing on writing and getting the new EP out.

If I ever travel to Providence, what are the can’t miss things that should be on my agenda?

I love Providence but I spend most of my time skateboarding, so a lot of my favorite places probably mean nothing to most people. But Benefit Street on the east side is really beautiful and full of historic architecture, and it’s supposedly pretty haunted. Providence is also known for food and full of too many good spots to mention. I would try to stay for a few days and just wander around if you can, as I think the general atmosphere and experience of living here is the most special thing. Providence is a great balance of exciting city with with a lot of art and small town where you’re always running into friends. I’ve been here six years now and still haven’t wanted to leave.

(Order the EP here: http://cerclesocialrecords.bigcartel.com/product/way-out-self-titled-ep-cs)

Growing up in the Park Hill neighborhood of Denver, Colorado, brothers Jahmar and Dio Wright were surrounded by music from the jump. Their grandma’s house was ground zero for music, dancing and creating. The Wright Brothers earliest memories are of dance parties with flashing DJ lights cutting the smoky air. And their uncle’s funk band was always laying it down in grandma’s basement.

The Wright Brothers have music in the blood. Their father played in a band with Earth, Wind and Fire’s Phil Bailey—at age six, Jahmar saw Earth, Wind, and Fire at McNichols Stadium in Denver, and it changed his life. The Brothers’ deepening love of funk soon found eight-year-old Jahmar and four-year-old Dio playing guitar and drums.

The Wright Brothers spent hours going through grandma’s records, listening to albums from artists like Michael Jackson, Prince and EWF, eventually recording themselves rhyming over the breaks of their favorite tracks. Dio took to carrying a notebook with him so he could write lyrics and poetry. One day, he was challenged to rhyme at a Mormon friend’s house—when he finished performing, his friend’s mother told him, “God gave you those words. It’s a gift. Remember that.” From that day on, those words were etched in Dio’s mind.

In 2007, they started making music as The Wright Brothers. Jahmar bringing his love of funk, and Dio influences like Lil Wayne and Tupac. The music was a hobby until recently, when tragedy struck—one of their biggest fans, their cousin Dwayne, was murdered in front of Grandma’s house trying to stop an argument. His memory fuels their work and their dream to continue life as a musical family, spreading their message far and wide as The Wright Brothers.

Today, Ghettoblaster has the pleasure of sharing Wright Brothers’ single for “My Bucketlist,” from their Listen To My Tape album that drops July 8.

(Visit Wright Brothers here:

Instagram: @wrightbrothers26

Twitter: @wrightbros26

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wrightbrothers26/

Pre-order:

https://wrightbrothers2600.bandcamp.com/album/li-ten-to-my-tape)

In 2014 Brighton, UK, duo Royal Blood emerged with their debut, self-titled LP and immediately garnered praise from music critics and rock luminaries alike. In fact Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) said ”Their album has taken the genre up a serious few notches. It’s so refreshing to hear, because they play with the spirit of the things that have preceded them, but you can hear they’re going to take rock into a new realm – if they’re not already doing that. It’s music of tremendous quality.”

Zeppelin’s influence is undoubtedly heard in Royal Blood’s marriage of blues, heavy metal, and a punk rock ethos, which sees front man Mike Kerr playing an electric bass through a secret and proprietary pedal set-up that creates the sound of a wall of guitars. Paired with the likes of Ben Thatcher on drums, who evokes a sense of John Bonham and Dave Grohl ‘s classiest moments behind the kit, Royal Blood make a racket so thunderously huge that, frankly, just two people have no business making it.

The formula is simple, genius, and hits hard. 2017 sees the band unleashing their second full length How Did We Get So Dark? (Warner Bros Records) after taking roughly a year off from touring behind the aforementioned self-titled debut and holing up in Brussels during the winter to produce their sophomore effort. With the full album not to be released until June 16, the singles “Lights Out,” “Hook, Line, and Sinker,” and “I Only Lie When I Love You” have proven to be immediate hard hitters reminiscent of the first record but almost exhibiting a dryer, more blues focused sound with an emphasis on hooks. The gargantuan riffs courtesy of Mike Kerr are still present, but the songs seem even more controlled this time around.

Royal Blood brought their new record and live production to Newport Music Hall in Columbus, Ohio, on June 10, 2017, just one night before appearing at Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee. Seeing a band on the verge of world domination while they are completely on fire in a 1,700 capacity concert hall is nothing short of exhilarating, and this was no exception.

Walking onstage to “Down In Mexico” by The Coasters, Royal Blood quickly launched into “Where Are You Now?” from the new record, and soundtrack to HBO’s Vinyl, followed by new single “Lights Out“ and a crowd-favorite “Come On Over” from the first record. The rest of the set pulled perfectly from both records with extended intros/outros/drum solos, and an amazing backdrop of light towers that gave the stage a simple yet flashy look perfectly complimentary to the sound Royal Blood creates.

Openers The Shelters hit their mark strong with a heartland rock inspired set, evoking Tom Petty at times which makes sense considering two of the members have credits on Petty’s 2014 effort, Hypnotic Eye.

In a 2014 Tweet, Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave, Prophets of Rage) said this of Royal Blood: ”I’ve seen the future of riff rock and its name is #RoyalBlood” In my estimation, he’s 100 percent correct.

Review by Dustin Rinehart. Photo by Perou Extralarge