Tag Archive: “Superdreamer Records”

The weather’s getting warm and I was fixing lunch for my first born. I was doing that this morning but I figured I’d throw that first line in there as a tie-in to this week’s Friday Roll Out(!) and I’m sure some will understand before I even write another word about it. Patience please. But regardless, it’s another Friday and the weekend is upon us, as is el Cinco de Mayo. Yeah, it’s another day that’s been usurped by American culture into a nonsensical day to get drunk and yell, “Woohoo! Happy Cinco de Mayo.” I’ve heard it, I’ve seen it, it ain’t pretty. But there are a bunch of releases that came out today, which is a beautiful thing. I had to give the Black Lips a mention because I just couldn’t get to their new album Satan’s Graffiti Or Go a review. That shit was pretty dense and would’ve required so much focus. Just so you know, I love it when things are dense. But it wasn’t going to happen.

But we’re focused today as we begin with the new album by none other than the pragmatic Brother Ali. The Minneapolis emcee has spent some time away from music but never distancing himself. Ali has been in this game of music since 2000 and to say that he’s grown as an artist would be an understatement. While you will no longer hear him rap lines like, “I bitch slap rappers so hard I give them whiplash,” (off a track on his Shadows On The Sun album, like the first line I mentioned previously) the power his voice commands is still prevalent on his new album All The Beauty In This Whole Life, (Rhymesayers) Brother Ali’s 6th full-length album and possibly his most realized work to date. Once again his musical collaborator remains Atmosphere’s Ant who’s able to capture Ali’s essence from song-to-song. The album opens with “Pen To Paper” which features Amir Sulaiman, one poetic powerhouse in his own right whose words showcase clear juxtapositions that are amazingly clever right before Ali starts spitting his words without venom, but clear with an as-a-matter-of-fact eloquence. He dictates the pace and drops self-assured words that are far from sounding self-gratuitous. He’s controlled that anger you could once find seething through his songs and replaced it with more love that anyone could imagine. Ant pulls out the magic on “Own Light (What Hearts Are For),” with a hypnotic beat, bassline and guitar & keyboard notes. Ali’s rhymes directly attack authority when he raps “You’re not using your hearts for what hearts are for / They’ve been trying to shut us down our whole life.”  It’s an amazing piece of work.

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Brother Ali: All The Beauty In This Whole Life
Brother Ali: All The Beauty In This Whole Life

Brother Ali doesn’t stray from sharing his light with others on this release, “Special Effects” features rapper deM atlaS who sings here and provides the hook. But it’s tracks like “Dear Black Son” that could have listeners falling into somber moods but Ali’s delivery on this heartfelt letter to his son keeps it from sinking into the morose. When he raps “Dear Black Son, I can’t protect you like I want to / I never judge you, all that I can do is love you” and “They say it takes a man to raise a man / You’re slipping through my hands like grains of sand” a listener can feel Ali’s emotion and the love he gives. He gets realer than most artists do like with “Uncle Usi Taught Me,” binding his words with nothing more than truth on how authority views people like himself and Muslim Americans. The beat throbs under his words. It’s difficult not to fall in love with this album where once again, the juxtaposition between the music and his words on “Pray For Me” make self-reflective subject matters feel lighthearted when it fact, it’s not. It may be self-deprecating but his self-efficacy obviously rose above it all. We can go on and on, attempting to dissect every nuance of All The Beauty In This Whole Life but…why? I want to just let it play, and play on I shall because Brother Ali got me. Again.

Switching gears here, we move on to Pretty Pretty, this Columbus, OH band that’s just released their new long-player Demo II (Superdreamer Records.) It follows up their 2012 album Demo of course. What can you say about the group aside from “lo-fi” or “punk”? Well, charming for one thing. Calling Demo II would be a misnomer since it’s only 8 tracks and clocks in at about maybe 16 minutes. Some tracks just go over the minute mark but they don’t need much more time than that really.  This gritty release jams all out. And aside from the opening “Are You Waiting,” it’s usually sans drums or any percussion. But it’s done well. I think I’m enjoying this one more than I ever did the Demolition Doll Rods, but that’s a story for another time. “Shufflin’ Shit” is on constant repeat and I can’t help but think those early Pavement and Sebadoh recordings weren’t much different and turned those groups into monstrosities at their own respective levels. Could Pretty Pretty go the same route? One never knows but they’re onto something.

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Pretty Pretty: Demo II

When I get to AJ Davila all I can think is, “Man, I know this kid is going to throw a monkey wrench at me.” What I tend to like are those moments people advance forward with unexpected elements in music. Davila, originally hailing from Puerto Rico, whose nomadic life finds him trekking across countries in South America and Mexico, tends to do that. He last released an album in 2014 with his group Terror Amor and now, El Futuro seems bright in 2017. While he’s honed his skills back with his original garage rock outfit Davila 666, Terror Amor augmented his sound and continued to blast, and knock down those garage walls. Now with El Futuro, he doesn’t disappoint in that respect (It should be noted for this album he was backed by the Crocodiles band.) While being equally addictive, AJ seems to try his hand at more melodies and harmonies with his new release. The lead track, “Beautiful” is all of that and an extra dose of sweet, sweet chocolate thrown in. It’s your standard verse-chorus-verse but it’s so much different because you can’t help but sing or hum along to it when it comes on. AJ mainly sings in Spanish but when he hits those English words, they’re accentuated clearly. English or Spanish, it doesn’t matter because it’s a beast of a gorgeous pop song. He’s not averse to hitting “baby baby’s” and “Oh ohs” as you can tell on “17,” what seems like a throwback to better times of youth with little responsibilities. This punk little rock jam is simply fun. Then there’s “Mi Vida” which continues with the easy flow and lightheartedly anthemic. It’s translated into “My Life” and the words ring with laid back forcefulness  and when he says “No me jodas” (don’t bother me) it’s obvious he doesn’t want you to bug him but he’ll just walk away telling you that. “Hoes Seeking The Ghost” is a raucously sweet number that’ll have you dancing in your seat, like me while “Dolores” plays a little with dynamics as the song slowly crescendos into a noisier little number, a bit more fuzzy, drawing vocals that sometimes sound near and far. AJ is playfully showing his range musically which should be appreciated.

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AJ Davila: El Futuro

He’s not relinquishing his roots on this release though, because “Post Tenebras Lux” starts off dark and dirty before evaporating into a catchy chorus and then takes it to the bridge.  AJ’s also showing his punk/wave leanings with “El Nucleo,” where he takes a nod to early-Cure-like guitar interplay, again smothering it with “ooo’s” and “ahs.” On El Futuro, AJ Davila has perfectly captured the pop sensibilities he’s always leaned towards with the sonic corrosiveness of his garage rock past. The beauty is in the album.

Brother Ali – Twitter // Facebook // Instagram
AJ Davila – Twitter // Facebook // Instagram
Pretty Pretty – Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

 

(Aforementioned Black Lips)

Yup, it’s Friday and that weekend is right around the corner. It’s also movie night but I’m not sure what I’m going to see. I’m still way behind movie releases but is it weird that I want to go see Power Rangers? As corny as the TV shows were, I’ve been inundated with multiple episodes from back in the day, since they’re all available on Netflix. Obviously it isn’t me that wants to watch them.  Then there’s Get Out that all my friends talk about. But damn, I still need to see that second Dave Chappelle stand-up. The first one had me busting a gut. He leaves no room for anyone to bitch and moan, and attacks everyone, including himself in that stand-up. I’ll probably stay home. Or maybe I’ll go to the movies. That’s right, I can’t make up my mind. So that’s my plan, if you can in fact call it a plan. But as always, what this has to do with Ghettoblaster’s Friday Roll Out(!) is nothing at all.

I’ve been listening to a few things this week but only focusing on a couple of groups today, like Columbus, Ohio’s Tasty. The duo of Ian Graham and Jay Sparrow play their brand of garage rock, or trash pop, with a considerable amount of (what are the words I’m looking for here), um, carefree abandon. That’s what the self-titled album here (Superdreamer Records) sounds like. They let the ideas flow and let it fly and land wherever the direction takes it too. That’s probably why the album is so appealing. No fucks are given about what you may think of them or the music, they just know a good time’s going to be had. The opening “Nuf On” goes directly for the jugular with that low-end guitar and drum clatter pushing things to the limits; albeit with a seemingly bare-boned attack. I’m hard pressed to say Tasty’s sound is derivative by tossing in comparisons to others that came before them but you know what? It’s OK because the band plays at it better than most. They take the best parts of the sound they abuse and embellish it with a unique quality. “Who’s Holdin'” works a melody right into the ground so well you’ll be glad it’s as straightforward as it is. The song blends directly into “Fast Food” that has a one-two punch while “Affluenza” is a fuzzed out dream as they kill the track from beginning to end. There isn’t a stinker on this mini-album which only holds 7 tracks in all but the one track that stands out above the rest is “Witching Hour.” Here the duo plays with dynamics and stop/start techniques. The repeated lyrics of “It’s my witching hour/time to care less” works to the band’s benefit, creating a mood of darkness. It’s clear, Tasty’s self-titled release is a motherfucking winner here.

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Tasty: S/T

Now, when I think of L.A. I just don’t know what to actually think of anymore. We can all agree that it was once synonymous with cheesy hair bands that flooded airwaves and anything worth listening to was difficult to come by. Today though, that’s not the case so much. The Buttertones have released its second album Gravedigging (Innovative Leisure) and when you think you’re getting one thing, something else happens altogether. The 5-piece outfit is as out of place in this era as Trump was considered a presidential candidate. To simply call the group influenced only by surf music would be a misnomer. They seem to have been impacted as much by soul as much as garage as well.  The opening cut begins with a march that would probably make the Clash proud. But it’s the dominating sax and beautiful harmonies that take over atop jangling guitars and a rhythm section that just won’t quit. But it’s hard to shake that 60’s feel throughout the album like on “Sadie’s A Sadist” when that rhythm has you moving like you’re in an old Frankie Avalon flick, although this one having a leather-clad Annette Funicello.  The group doesn’t relinquish the culture clashing sounds with its darker imagery. The tone of “Two-Headed Shark” harks more towards Roky Erickson with wacked-out imagery. But it’s on “Matador” where  guitarist/singer Richard Araiza challenges listeners with his high pitched melodies midway through. And the musical interplay? Man, they leave space to breathe but then hit every note with such precision. But there’s more to the band here; just listening to “I Ran Away” I get the feeling the band sometimes immerses itself in the era it was time-warped out of drenching itself in music by Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper and Buddy Holly. You can only get away with it if it’s done well and here The Buttertones are masterful! Lord have mercy 11 tracks of songs and I’m digging Gravedigging.

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The Buttertones: Gravedigging

 

The Buttertones: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram
Tasty: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

TASTY (Ian Graham, Jay Sparrow) is a young two piece trash pop outfit from Columbus, Ohio, taking cues from the whole of traditional rock and roll. Traces of almost every modern era from mid ’50s teen rockers, ’60s girl group chants and ’70s three chord punk purity can be found imprinted on short bursts of concentrated energy being ricochet off of dingy midwestern basement walls that would make Phil Specter spectate how two people can possibly fill so much sonic space.

If you’re sick of watching statues on stage, TASTY is not to be missed live-causing havoc, giddy angst and anxiety for the future everywhere they play. In fact, the band has a couple of forthcoming dates on the books (below) and are booking a tour for late spring/early summer.

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Their first s/t tape is to be released on Superdreamer Records on March 24 and today Ghettoblaster has the pleasure of premiering the band’s video for “Witching Hour,” which you can enjoy below.

TASTY- Witching Hour *Official Video* from Superdreamer Records on Vimeo.

(Catch the band live here:

 3/25- *Tape Release Show* Sick Weekend @Ace of Cups Columbus OH w/ The Gories, Dirty Fences, Liquor Store

3/27- @Urban Artifact Cincinnati OH
Late Spring/ Early Summer Tour TBA

Visit them here:

ttaassttyy.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/ttaassttyy

Superdreamerrecords.com)