Sprawling right under that hump today I realize one thing: while I don’t enjoy when I’m overwhelmed, it’s a good motivator to get things done. In the end, we only have ourselves to count on and there isn’t anyone I’d rather count on doing things other than myself. We have to learn to embrace the “Team Of Me” mentality sometimes because we may set the bar a little too high for others to reach. I mean let’s be real, if some people were in the military they’d probably earn the rank of Major Disappointment.
SUPER THIEF – EATING ALONE IN MY CAR (LEARNING CURVE/REPTILIAN RECORDS)
Seems I’ve been following the life cycle of Texas band Super Thief for a minute now, since the summer of 2017 and there’s a reason for that obviously, which stems now from the band’s Eating Alone In My Car EP (Learning Curve/Reptilian Records). Before anyone thinks Super Thief is a throwback to days long lost I’d probably have to smack someone stupid there and offer up the band is simply capturing the magnificence that was predominantly carried on college radio airwaves without giving a rat’s ass if you liked them or not. The EP captures the sound of dissonance & punk, where a genre cross-pollinates from Chicago to New York, eventually landing it back in Texas. Released back in August 2018, I’ve been hoarding the five-track recording basically to myself, sucking in the choppy guitar play, howled vocals, and thundering percussion that’s unrelenting. There’s no reprieve or break aside from the second in between tracks, which is fine and no one should have a problem with it. That bass though, that dirty fucking bass makes one feel…so…dirty. “Gone Country” has such a distorted bottom end that’s magnificently noisy aligning itself along guitars while pummeling drums remain frenetically in tune with the rest of the band. Obviously. Now when I hear “Six Months Blind” though, it feels like a late 90s-era Kim Gordon is being channeled, accompanied by Joachim Breuer-like guitar play which can completely fuck with anyone psyche. You’ll be forced to hit that rewind here time after time. The title track alone sounds like an experiment in dissonant notes; how many can actually fit in one song? We find out here. Beautiful. Rounding things out is the 9-and-a-half-minute opus of “You Play It Like A Joke But I know You Really Mean It.” The band plays with an obvious amount of repetition but it never becomes repetitious. But like many bands of their ilk, no fucks are given. That bass returns and the band plays with dynamics here with a punk ethos completing and competing for dominance. The band simply makes sense in everything it’s doing here.
JEFF THE BROTHERHOOD – MAGICK SONGS (DINE ALONE RECORDS)
Life is about change. Constantly. I’m not sure why but seeing and hearing a change with Jeff The Brotherhood on its new release, Magick Songs (Dine Alone) makes me think our heroes here have finally gone through puberty, but at the same time are regressing and going through… changes. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but only time will tell what everyone feels about the group’s new growth spurt. It’s difficult to think though that after countless albums, the band has been fleshed out by new members who come with healthy resumé notations (Raconteurs, Bully, Daddy Issues, Quintron’s Weather Warlock Band) which piques interests. So what do we get here? Well, the band’s reboot of sorts a little more indie rock into it’s collective, flaring sound. The opening, “Focus On The Magick” is what could be a jam session that went extremely well, channeling everything good about indie quantifiers, streaming in the “magick” the band’s usual creative self, profits from. At almost 6 minutes long, the song remains hypnotic, raptured around the steady bassline as the rest of the group adds the simplest of elements for such a grandiose endeavor. The Brotherhood’s play with easily listened to indie rock continues, most notably on “Camel Swallowed Whole” where we find sounds that are Slanted & Enchanted but it works to the group’s benefit without being derivative or a caricature of itself. In fact, the song is perfection. Halfway through the album though, you’ll find it’s not all about breezy pop songs because The Brotherhood finds its footing on “Wasted Lands,” immersing itself in psychedelia in this dreamy number while experimenting in other tracks like “Relish.” And then it seems there’s a return to form with “The Mother,” where the band brings out the distortion pedals showcasing its harder edges which continues on “Magick Man.” But it’s “Farewell To The Sun” where the psych meets dynamic changes with fuzz. The band will not be denied! Now while some will say there’s a lot going on here, others will applaud the band’s flagrant disregard for the norm. Yeah, with Magick Songs, I’m sitting there front row, clapping my hands with a fervor.