Tag Archive: “Mt.St.Mtn.”

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

Mall Walk are set to release their Funny Papers LP via Mt.St.Mtn. Mall Walk is propulsive. Infectious. Thoughtful. A band that captures the idiosyncrasies of modern American life in their brooding compositions, building syncopated tension before revelatory climaxes. Funny Papers, the debut album from this Oakland, CA trio, takes cues from Wire and Sonic Youth to create a churning, nuanced record that’s never lacking in hooks.

The interplay between Nicholas Clark (drums) and Daniel Brown (bass) is something to admire, complimenting the cutting, angular guitar and rolling arpeggios that punctuate tracks like opener “Call Again”, while standouts like the soaring “Sleeping in Shifts” highlight Rob I. Miller’s (vocal, guitar) calm, cool delivery, and knack for emotive, memorable lines. Recorded and produced by Monte Vallier (Wax Idols, Weekend, The Soft Moon), repeat listens reveal the remarkable attention to detail behind Funny Papers. Textural slabs of noise delicately expand sparse arrangements into expansive, climatic ascents.

The bands notoriously air-tight, icy live performance garnered them recognition from Seattle’s KEXP, who named the trio’s live session as one of 2015’s top 10, and has seen the band supporting peers like Chastity Belt, Naomi Punk, True Widow, and Cold Beat. Previously, Mall Walk have released a cassette and 7-inch through Miller’s own label, Vacant Stare Records. Funny Papers marks the bands first release for indie label Mt.St.Mtn. (Male Gaze, The Mantles, Thee Oh Sees, Sic Alps) and an exciting new chapter for the young band.

Upcoming Shows

9/8 – Santa Rosa, CA @ The Funk Den w/ Miserable, OVVN, Rut 10/20 – Davis, CA @ Sophia’s Thai Kitchen w/ Kaz Mirblouk
11/4 – Oakland, CA @ Oakland Secret w/ Marbled Eye, Tiny Head 11/12 – Los Angeles, CA @ Permanent Records

Three years after the release of their self-titled debut LP, Shark Toys follow it up with ten more bursts of weirdo punk. Nine originals and cover of the Mekons classic, “Where Were You.” Ever since forming in 2008, the band has developed a reputation for sharp and choppy live sets, developing a loyal following around their home town of Los Angeles and around the US, from playing shows with bands like Ty Segall, Protomartyr, Parquet Courts, Terry Malts, the Urinals and many others. This batch of tunes were taken from the same session as the recent 7” single, a split with Florida’s UV-TV, on Emotional Response, earlier this year, recorded by Dave Fox of the Traditional Fools (who also recorded Fuzz, Scraper, Vial, and Wand).

Upcoming shows: tour with Bent Shapes (Slumberland)

4/15 – Seattle, WA  @ Victory Lounge w/ Bent Shapes
4/16 – Olympia, WA  @ Obsidian w/ Bent Shapes
4/17 – Portland, OR  @ Twilight Lounge w/ Bent Shapes
4/18 – Davis, CA  @ Third Space w/ Bent Shapes, Klam God [FB Invite]
4/19 – Oakland, CA  @ 1-2-3-4 Go w/ Bent Shapes
4/20 – San Francisco, CA @ The Knockout w/ Bent Shapes, Landlines
4/21 – Los Angeles, CA  @ The Bootleg Theater w/ Bent Shapes
4/22 – San Diego, CA  @ The Whistle Stop w/ Bent Shapes
4/23 – Phoenix, AZ  @ tbd w/ Bent Shapes

Landlines are set to release their Log Out, Tune Up, Drop Dead LP via Mt St Mtn on July 14. It is limited to 100 copies. Mailing list can order early HERE.

The band is a Kiwi-influenced DIY, power-pop band whose music is often complex and muscular, with songs exploding at once and sounding like a lo-if take on Televisions guitar masterpiece Marquee Moon. Other times, the bands musical tilt-a-whirl slows down to a languid crawl so you can better parse the wry, Stephen Malkmus-inspired wordplay.

Listen to “Things Haven’t Been The Same (Since You Got Back From Italy)”

Catch them live:

7/19 – The Know, Portland OR w/ Numb Bats, Is/Is

7/29 – Kenton Club, Portland OR w/ Appendixes

Burnt Ones
Burnt Ones

For their 7″ split, released in April 2014, Burnt Ones picks up where it left off on debut LP. Fuzzed out glam rock of the highest order on a release that fits the aesthetic of psych rock juggernauts Burger Records and Castleface Records. The vocals are more discernible and the instrumentals are tightened on this terrific sophomore effort.1960s pop themes intertwine with fuzzed out psychedelic rock in an unabashed celebration of all things glam.

On earlier releases, the vocals of lead-singer Mark Tester often got lost in Burnt Ones all-encompassing wall of sound. Such is not the case here. The reverb-heavy vocals ride a propulsive crest of fuzzed out guitars. It’s a much bigger sound than any four-piece has a right to offer.

Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Tester to talk about some big sounding records that he enjoyed in 2014. Here is the list of records and tapes he enjoyed.

The Abigails, Tundra

The Advisory Circle, From Out Here

Aphex Twin, Syro

D’Angelo, Black Messiah

Brian Eno & Karl Hyde, High Life

Grouper, Ruins

Raw McCartney, Introducing

Total Control, Typical System

Useless Eaters, Bleeding Moon

White Fence, … For the Recently Found Innocent

(Visit Burnt Ones here: burntones.bandcamp.com.)

Cruel Summer
Cruel Summer

In 2013, the debut EP of San Francisco’s jangle darlings Cruel Summer hit the streets. Reminiscent of the mid to late ’80s C86 and SARAH sound with a dash of 4AD’s hazy early ’90s catalogue, Cruel Summer offered up six tracks of shimmering guitars and hazy, fuzzy pop on the black wax and was a nod to hours spent as a teenager in the late ’80s digging through NME and Melody Maker issues to find out who the secret overseas DIY pop hit-makers were.

Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Cruel Summer’s Josh Yule and Thea Chacamaty to find out who they believed 2014’s hit makers were.

Terry Malts – insides ep (slumberland)

It’s not everyday I find a 7″ that gives me vertigo from flipping it over and over every two and a half minutes. Side A boasts two pop gems to pump your fists at until you realize these songs are freakin dark man. Side B’s “Don’t” will be my favorite Terry Malts song for life. Beautifully written lyrics that really hit close to home about loosing grasp of your home/haunts to start a new all wrapped up with stop, starts, and feedback. Nice work guys! Oh wait, I failed to mention the minute and a half Chills cover of “hidden bay” at the end. Magnific…

Vaniish – memory work (metropolis)

I had been eagerly anticipating this album long before it was even recorded. After hearing  Keven Tecon and Amy Rosenoff were revamping their band Veil Veil Vanish after taking a break to take on as the rhythm section for Wax Idols I was stoked. And this album was sure worth that wait. Vaniish give my ears that Chameleons-esque vibe at times with a spruce of Clan of Xymox. I certainly hope to hear more from them in the future.

David Kilgour and The Heavy Eights – End Times Undone (merge)

Yeah sure I know, who doesn’t like the Clean but doesn’t it suck when the dude from one of your favorite bands keeps on making mediocre music that almost but never seems to hit the highpoint their old band always seemed to. Well in this case Mr Kilgour is the exception, and he has been making records for over 30 years now. Every song is strong. End times undone is one of those albums you physically cant skip through, It weighs you down to the nearest chair and takes flight. In fact I am listening to it right now. “Dropper,” first song side b is the jam.

Dead Leaf Echo – true. deep. sleeper (moon sounds)

Sadly this record has only four tracks but every single song is a complete zinger. Side a’s true deep sleeper and so wrong are upbeat and belong resting against some of those early ’90s creation albums and singles I adore so much. Side b travels a different departure all together a la 4ad, “it’ll end in tears.”  Cruel Summer has had the privilege to share the stage with these east coasters twice and I am only left wishing for more.

Laetitia Sadier – something shines

Once you’re a stereolab fan it’s for life. Laetitia Sadier’s new album is not dark as 2010’s “the trip” or as Jobim ladened as 2012’s silencio, but certainly has that sound that is undeniable stereolabs, (err or should I say The United States of America’s self titled sound, Silver Apples, Terry Riley whatever). Something shines has all those beautifully picked bass strings, dampened snare hits, and soft monotone vocals you are expecting with a little less farfisa. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.

Dissolve – st/ep (painter man)

Inna Kurikova and Blaine Patrick have been making music together for quite sometime now. Last years Modern Charms EP they released together was a joyride full of wild turns and feet nestled up on the your best buddies dash. But Dissolve gives me the feeling they may have been aiming for this the whole time. I have seen a few incarnations of Dissolves lineup but one thing always stands true to form, the connection between Inna and Blaine. Perhaps Blaine is the the bow to Inna’s cello.

Alex G – DSU (Orchid Tapes)

This baby genius’ record has been stuck in constant rotation for me since it was released. I’m a sucker for bedroom pop, and this is one of the best examples of it: ambitious arrangements, winding guitars, and shy vocals that always seem to be holding back just a little bit. I love you Alex G. Come back to San Francisco.

Cold Beat – Over Me (Crime on the Moon)

One of Hannah Lew’s post-Grass Widow projects–Lew officially proves to me that she’s my favorite Widow. Over Me is crammed with hooks from the infectious choruses of such jammers as “Worms” to “Tinted Glass”: an elegant, heartbreaking take on the Google buses that crawl along our streets here in SF. Is there anything this lady can’t do? Her music videos are incredible lo-fi works of art (she is the auteur of many local bands’ vids: the Mantles, Wax Idols, Tony Molina), and then she brings this gorgeous post-punk record into my life? What’s next, will she make the BART trains run all night?

Smiles – S/T cassette (Death Records)

Smiles are part of the guard in SF that has started to creep in as all the garage rockers gave up and moved to LA. Smiles are obsessed with britpop, delay pedals, and anoraks. Manny is a brilliant chameleon of a songwriter. Every time I see Smiles they have a different line-up and this is one of reasons I love them–they’re always changing but they will always sound a little bit like Spacemen 3.

Real Estate – Atlas (Domino)

When I first heard Atlas I was like, “Oh, another incredibly chill album that sounds like the Feelies on Percoset.” But then I realized that is NOT a bad thing.

(Visit Cruel Summer here: https://www.facebook.com/CruelSummerSF.)

San Francisco-based weirdo power-pop super-group Tiaras release their self-titled LP on January 14 via Mt St Mtn.

Tiaras continue the efforts of San Francisco’s long legacy of refugee freaks writing pop music. Influences range from The Cars, Wire, The Dwight Twilley Band, Big Star, and yes, even echoes of Tears For Fears, the self-titled release features 10 guitar driven power-pop songs doused with supernatural melodies. Often going bright, the LP bubbles out harmonic echoes that balance sultry nostalgia while ruminating on what’s next for the dreamers who value big hooks and soaring chorus’ to bring it all home. In essence, S/T captures the sentiment of the unadjusted through intricate and sparkling sonic medleys.

Tiaras are partially composed of former members of the “sinister sunshine” group, Ganglians. Ryan Grubbs (vocals, guitar, and keys) and Kyle Hoover (lead guitar) started Tiaras as a bedroom project. Joined by Antonio Gualco (drums) of Fine Steps, Adam Finken (guitar) of Blasted Canyons, and Ryan Hansen (bass), these dudes came out the gate a well-seasoned outfit from their first show and only get better with each live performance.

Listen to “Thought I Could Know”
Watch the video for “Anyone And Everyone” courtesy of Impose Magazine.

Catch them at these upcoming shows:

1/7 – Hemlock Tavern, San Francisco w/ Vasas, Part/Human
1/8 – El Rio, San Francisco w/ Hibou
1/31 – The Night Light, Oakland w/ Mall Walk, Stalls

Sacramento party punks are back with their second album on Mt.St.Mtn, Area Codes. It will see release on August 13. A slight departure from the wildly careening noise-punk of Crap Culture, G.Green’s Area Codes showcases a seasoned, confident touring band and Andrew Henderson’s solid, soul-baring songwriting, all wrapped up in a cohesive LP that speeds effortlessly from song to song, always with reckless intent, but never so much to derail the party train. With producer Chris Woodhouse (Mayyors) at the helm, G.Green puts bad sex, drugs, heart-break, drunken frustration and fuck-you ambivalence to tape. G.Green will be touring in support of Area Codes in Summer and Fall of 2014.

Listen to a track off Area Codes HERE courtesy of Impose Magazine. Video too!

7/27 Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo w/ Magik Markers, Death Valley Girls (Part Time Punks)
8/5 Raleigh, NC @ Slim’s w/ Shitty Boots, Winston Facials
8/6 Richmond, VA @ TBA w/ The Cales
8/7 Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar
8/8 Philadelphia, PA @ Bourbon & Branch w/ Meddlesome Bells, Drop Anchor, Andalusia
8/9 Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s Alright w/ Shockwave Riderz, Places to Hide, Black Pony
8/11 Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern
8/12 Montreal, QC @ Escogriffe Cafe 8/13 Detroit, MI @ TBA
8/14 Chicago, IL @ The Burlington w/ The Man, Yeesh, Jollys
8/15 Columbus, OH @ Cafe Bourbon St.w/ Cheater Slicks, Bugmen, Down-Fi
8/16 Louisville, KY @ Mackin Institute w/ Bad Star, The Spurts
8/17 Atlanta, GA @ The Earl w/ Dasher


San Diego’s Plateaus are back and following up their acclaimed debut LP on Art Fag with a limited one sided 10” coming from Mt.St.Mtn. Plateaus have a laid back minimalist sound doing more with less with a niche for catchy song writing and melody. Hazy guitar tones, pounding drums, fuzzed out bass, and blown out vocals they deliver a sonic sound scape your ears with be thrilled to hear. With a range of influences from The Clean to The Wipers to Guided By Voices to Harry Nilsson to The Country Teasers, their sound is hard to pigeon hole into one specific genre.

Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Chris to discuss the release, which will be limited to 500 copies and sees the light of day on October 16.  This is what he said about it.

When did you begin writing the material for your forthcoming 10”?  

Started writing the material for these songs after we got back from tour with Colleen Green late last fall.

What was the most difficult song to take from the initial writing stage through recording and mixing?  Why was it so troublesome?

“Air Head” was the hardest to record. Most of our songs are pretty straight forward. “Air Head” was the first song we really put effects on the guitar after the guitar was recorded. It was fun using an echoplex though.

Which of the songs on the record is most different from your original concept for the song?

We tried to make all the songs different that we play them live.  We wanted the records of them a little more weird and fucked up.  We added a lot of extra effects and other textures to the songs that we don’t have live. Some of it you don’t really notice unless it isn’t there.

Did you have any guest musicians play or sing on the record?

Nope just us .

Who produced the record?  What input did that person have that changed the face of the record?

The one and only Jon Greene. He is also our drummer. It was recorded at our studio, Electric Orange.

Is there an overarching concept behind your new record that ties it together?

Just the times of today and the ins and outs of the stuff people have to deal with. We are trying to evolve our sound more on this release there are new/different influences that we have tried to incorporate.

Have you begun playing these songs live and which songs have elicited the strongest reaction from your fans?

We do play these songs live. We like to open with “Wasting Time” and draw out the intro a bunch to build the excitement up, but “Look Out” really seems to be the crowd pleaser.

(Catch Plateaus at one of these dates:

10.23 Davis, CA @ Third Space w/ tbd (all ages, $5)
10.24 San Francisco, CA @ Vacation SF w/ G.Green (all ages, donation$)
10.25 Los Angeles, CA @ Ham & Eggs Tavern w/ tbd (21+, $5)
10.26 Los Angeles (Eagle Rock), CA @ Permanent Records w/ tbd (all ages, FREE) 10.26 San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar w/ Barbarian, Buddy Banter (21+)

More on Plateaus here: http://plateausband.bandcamp.com
Order the 10” here: http://mtstmtn.com)

Cruel Summer
Cruel Summer

Jangle-monsters Cruel Summer released their EP via West Coast power-indie label Mt. St. Mtn..  The effort, which showcased a sound steeped in noise-pop awesomeness was recorded in March 2012 by Jason Kick of Maus Haus fame at Secret Studios.  The only complaint mustered about the record was its brevity and complaints like that are soon forgotten when immersed in breath-taking crescendos, and explosions of dreamy fuzz and feedback.

Cruel Summer are reminiscent of the mid to late ‘80s C86 and SARAH sound with a dash of 4AD’s hazy early ‘90s catalogue.  Naturally, Ghettoblaster had to catch up with CS’ Josh Yule to discuss the record.  This is what he said about it…

When did you begin writing the material for your record?   

Thea and I began writing about half of these songs at the end of 2011 when we, (a three-piece band at the time) were deeply in need of a bass player. Thea had some nearly complete songs from her solo project, Wild Gift, and I rushed to catch up. We kinda helped out one another with songwriting and ideas of which direction we should seek.

What was the most difficult song to take from the initial writing stage through recording and mixing?  Why was it so troublesome?

I don’t recall any one particular song being too much of a challenge when writing and recording. We were so high on coffee, pizza, burgers and fries, and beer it was all a blur.  

Which of the songs on the record is most different from your original concept for the song?

“Skinwalker” was originally meant to be really dark when first practiced in my basement. In my opinion, we as a band didn’t know we could produce darker songs. At that moment we had no idea where our sound was going and when it would finally smack us across the face. With that, I think we pushed a little harder and spent a little extra time on the mixing and layering for “Carquinez.” That’s when realization had sunk in deep. We had finally found “our” sound.  It was our satori if you will. No more Velocity Girl/Wedding Present riffs.  

Who produced the record?  What input did that person have that changed the face of the record?

Jason Kick of the SF band Maus Haus has recorded and mixed us three times now. He has such an amazing ear for detail and the patience of a soccer mom camping in line for several days to see TRAIN. 
Is there an overarching concept behind your new album that ties the record together?

No concept really, although now that I think about it, Thea’s lyrics may have some underlying tones in a few songs that tie in together somewhere that the rest of us aren’t consciously aware of as of yet. The idea was kinda like, “Hey we should record these songs quick so we can write more.” I personally have a problem where if I don’t record something as soon as possible, it will never be finished. ever changing. Not to mention todays typical music listener, promoters, and music bloggers, (who generally just give you 30 seconds of scrolling through your song on a pair of jalopy desktop speakers) who require instant gratification. If you don’t have something up on bandcamp, soundcloud, or facebook people other than friends and relatives won’t even glance your way.
Have you begun playing these songs live and which songs have elicited the strongest reaction from your fans?

We have been playing most of the songs on the EP since day one. Our newer songs, that we are currently shopping for a home for, have gone in a darker and louder direction. But we still get asked if “Carquinez” is coming out on vinyl, generally by guys. And the ladies seem to be all up in to a 7″ of “Ventian Blinds.” Thanks to Mark and Jay at mt. st. mtn. you can have them both on one 12″