Top Ten of Twenty Twelve: Josh Yule (Cruel Summer)

Cruel Summer (photo by Beth LaBerge)

Earlier this year, 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 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.
While Cruel Summer’s output is sure to rise to the top of some “year-end” lists out there, Josh Yule was kind enough to offer us a look at his.  Below is what he was digging in 2012.  And keep an eye peeled for the Cruel Summer self-titled 12-inch that will be dropping in 2013.
For those of you who havent heard their prior band MAGIC BULLETS, shame on you. Fast, sweet, and excellent in headphones whilst wandering the aisles of Safeway at 2 a.m., looking for triscuits or opening up bottles of shampoo just to smell. Best SF band to see live. Best band in SF period.
Felty at times, but at the right times and without that Bob Dylan whining. Wow, Julian really knows how to entice you to write a better song. Eagerly anticipating playing a show with them someday soon.
Subtly arranged dreamy gems without overwhelming you with too many layers. I did not think they could top 2010’s waves. I was sadly mistaken. If you never partook in a listen to Siouxsie Sioux’s masterpiece tinderbox, well start here and end up there.
Is this dude really only 21 yrs. old? It totally resonates similarities today to that later john Lennon work of yesterday that my mom seemed to transfix time with as we scooted through town in the Vega running errands and singing loudly together. House guests exclaim, “thanks so much for playing Lou Reed!” This record is so Posey, (Posey is a catcher for the greatest baseball team of 2012. GO GIANTS!)
Yeah I know it came out in November of 2011, but after seeing these kiwis perform at the end of the 2012, I can’t seem to shelve this album.
Garagey, washed out, catchy riffs, with a wee bit of art fag in there for good measure. Greer is taking the SF garage movement on a well deserved vacation.
Haunting lyrics that seem to never loose that scariness no matter how many times you listen to this album. Driving guitars that make you wanna get up and go on a heroic adventure slaying dragons and kissing princesses, yet always checking the time to be back at home in time for dinner. It’s quite hard to believe one of these fellas played in Congested few.
DIIV :Oshin
Dance alone in your bedroom. Turn it up. Kiss your own reflection in the mirror. Write the name of someone you think is cute in your breath’s fog. Dare I say more gutsy than Beach Fossils?
Shoegaze for the now. Don’t worry, not much has changed. Maybe you’re just drunk instead of on pills, maybe you’re both, who knows? Perfect for rainy days, sunny days, all days. Just listen and float in and out of your mind to this fuzzy guitar daydream, the rhythmic pulse of Jordan Silbert’s drums beating up your heart.
Atmospheric chorus’s and melancholic swirls of unseen light and sounds. Tiny adjustments like a old slow PC that take your brain a second to catch up too. Always finding new nooks and crannies of sound they filled that you did not hear the first ten times. Then there is “No More girls” rearing it’s beautiful head in the middle of the album, man if this song could only last for another three minutes.