Bob Collins and the Full Nelson at Austin Town Hall

It’s been a really great resurgence month for The Dentists, with two of the band’s songwriters unleashing new tunes/albums. First there was Treasures of Mexico, and now we’ve got Bob Collins and the Full Nelson.  He’s releasing his new record, Telescopic Victory Kiss, and though slightly different, it hits as beautifully as one would expect.  It’s a power-pop gem of a tune, mixed in with a little bit of an Elvis Costello or Ted Leo approach to how things are delivered vocally.  I’m pretty sure you’ll have this playing for the rest of the day.  Look for the album to see a release next week via Jigsaw Records.

Click through to stream a track!

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Bob Collins and the Full Nelson at Mufo and Things

Bob Collins, el que fuera guitarra de los Ingleses The Dentist (1984-1995) acaba de publicar nuevo disco grabado entre los años 2013 y 2014 junto al también ex Dentist Ron Gribb a la batería y Mark Aitken al bajo ambos como The Full Nelson.

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Blindness at Impose

Off their July 24 album Wrapped in Plastic from Fort Worth’s international guardians of dream pop, Saint Marie Records, London’s Blindness drops the b/w Lasco Atkins, Milo Richard Downs and Alex Scotti video for their cool, confident, confessional video for “Confessions”. The trio of Beth Rettig, Emma Quick, and Debbie Smith (guitarist for Curve, Echobelly, and Snowpony) take the sideways-side-walking paths established by the UK’s leather & distortion clad indie upstarts deeper into the melting pot marshes of melted & boiled media fabrics that informs today’s rebels.

The video for “Confessions” presents Beth, Debbie, and Emma performing about in a linen covered (or maybe it’s plastic?) space, where Blindness sheds some views into dealing with matters whilst feeling broke down. Without a sign of surrendering to fleeting feelings, and asserting themselves; Blindness takes on a slew of different expressive poses to show serious sides, the aches of being addled with anxiety, and more to make for dramatic shots to match the grueling grate of guitar gears. Beth, Debbie, and Emma were so cool as to write us a confessional paragraph that recalls the making of the Lynchian-Twin Peaks-esque titled album, Wrapped in Plastic, and more:

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Blindness at Fear & Loathing

Wrapped in Plastic wraps its smooth electro legs around you with an impulsive sexual ferocity.  Like a mind blowing encounter with a mysterious woman you met a day ago that has to abruptly leave to catch her flight home. She obviously didn’t tell you her secret and you’re too caught up in the stranglehold-high to even care. Dark erotic melodies and grinding disco-dark waves drag you into a turbulent sea of lust, euphoria, and sultry contemplation on the latest full-length from the band known as BLiNDNESS. 
 
Hesitant sordid fragments of feedback and sonic six string scratches breathe heavy within these mood altering alterations of modern song. Kicking and playfully screaming from start to finish, the seductive and wary vocals of Beth Rettig pull you into the sweet ruptured noise. She hones a twisted tone that combines Sleeper andThe Stranglers into a steamy design of volatile unhinged harmony.
The band doesn’t relent in its heavy post-punk bashing, keeping the core beat focused on heady rock grooves that pound with a static drenched street intelligence. This collection of instant erotic vertigo will make itself a mainstay on your playlist if you let yourself shoot up the uncut forbidden fruit of its dark wave death swing.
With a delicate influence of Siouxsie Sioux and My Bloody Valentine, Beth Rettig, Emma Quick, and Debbie Smith( Echobelly, Curve ) have created a feverish nine-song sleepwalk into the darkest pleasures of an endless summer night.

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Marshmallow Coast at Rock Decibels

L’ancien élève de Elephant 6, Andy Gonzales (ex-of Montreal, The Music Tapes, Mond Brains) est de retour sous le sobriquet de Marshmallow Coast pour le dernier chapitre de sa carrière prolifique (ceci est quand même son neuvième album).

Vangelis Rides Again sonne comme un disque italo lounge album ; laid-back et brumeux, les morceaux sont comme ensablés dans le crépuscule obscur de la psychedelia telle que, dans les années 80, elle était véhiculée par l’électronique.

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American Culture at Bloodbuzzed

Today, we are extremely happy to unveil our 30 favourite songs of the year so far. As we did with the best records /EPs list, the tunes are listed in alphabetic order, taking in mind two rules: they have been released during 2015, and just one song per group (a really hard decision in some cases). We encourage you to enjoy the complete playlist in our soundcloud page! And to check our 201120122013 and 2014 selections!

Click through for the list!

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Marshmallow Coast at This is Book’s Music

Marshmallow Coast has been making music for 20 years and have been releasing albums on the Happy Happy Birthday To Me label for awhile. They have a new one in 2015 and this one is humble and promising, and it’s calledVangelis Rides Again. If you love the brand of pop Andy Gonzales continues to perfect with each release, you are really going to like this effort.

Vangelis Rides Again is a 9-song EP, two of which are brief interludes but if you are someone who only likes to hear music in small doses, you’re going to enjoy this. “Homeless Baby” takes portions of The Coasters’ “On Broadway” and brings it into modern times, as if there isn’t a sense of optimism but you still must have some sense of home, somewhere. “Foreign Dental” sounds like something you might find on a Todd Rundgren or Let’s Active album while the title track is slightly groove, slightly funky, slightly psychedelic, but borderline trippy, the song that might make you go “who is this?” and “I must invest time in the back catalog.” It’s a lot of wonderful pop textures from someone who is willing to take the listener wherever he goes musically and while some American ears may not find this of interest, I can see this being very favorable in the UK and other countries who love their pop with fondness.

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Frog at Paper Blog

New York City has always been the epicentre of cool for music. Every band dreams of playing there and anyone who has been to the Big Apple will tell you that you can’t help but be drawn into the sheer energy and excitement of the place. However, as Scott Pilgrim taught us all so well, it’s also s place that outsiders love to find solace, hope and like-minded folk in… We’re harbouring a guess but we’d imagine guitarist and vocalist Dan Bateman and drummer Thomas White fall into that second category. Hailing from Queens, together the two have formed a band called Frog who have already received acclaim from all our favorite sites including Drowned in Sound and GoldFlakePaint. Now, with a new low-key statement replacing the band’s name as its title, the duo are releasing ‘Kind of Blah’ through Audio Antihero Records.

Recorded under a derelict bowling alley, the album really does suck you into the New York that Frog know… Opening with ‘All Dogs Go to Heaven’ – a song we assume to have been named after the underrated 1980s weepie – Frog welcome you subtly. Neutral Milk Hotel-goes-country vibes and minimalistic vocals are delivered while the lyrics are suitably Tom Waits-esque: ‘Fuck with me darling and I’ll make you pay’. To make sure the song is not entirely terrifying, the band also showcase their line in self-depreciating humor telling you long before the song’s final note that ‘All songs end in quiet refrain’. This continues on to the garage rock of ‘Fucking’. A psychedelic-meets-West Coast vibe is delivered at a rapid speed while there are also jangly moments which mark Frog out as a band that would have been perfectly at home playing at the Bronze in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Playfully referencing a very famous Disney song, ‘Wish Upon a Bar’ brings to mind the Divine Comedy with its line in humor and dreamy soundscapes, although again the lyrics hint at something far more sinister: ‘You wish upon a bar, please don’t tell me where you are’; and ‘It’s almost Christmas time, the bartenders get in line and they ask you about your kids…’ opening your eyes to the story behind the song.

There is a big 1960s-style ‘Wall of Sound’ effect wrapped around ‘Photograph’ although the subject matter remains contemporary as first Dan references getting a text and then, in a huge outpouring of emotion, continually repeats: ‘I don’t know where you are’. With its huge, anthemic sound there is also some words about ‘1979’ thrown into the mix and we reckon it just has to be a Smashing Pumpkins reference… Frog show time and time again on this record just how much a simple tink of a glockenspiel can add to emotion-laden song and this is used to great effect on ‘Everything 2002’ – a track that recalls The Most Serene Republic at their most lucid and, inevitably, Los Campesinos!, especially when Dan opens up about his personal life: ‘I poured kerosene on my old dirty magazines, Mom and Dad don’t be mad at me’.

‘King Kong’ perhaps finds Frog at their most widespread sound – veering from a huge sound that is worthy of the big ape to lo-fi Moldy Peaches-style anti-folk and then back again, with a jaunt into eccentric pop along the way. This soon moves onto the sublime sound of ‘Catchyalater’, which evokes The Antlers while also remaining grounded in modern reality: ‘I watch you through the kitchen window, I wanna call you, I just play Nintendo…’ There’s a feeling of helplessness and regret as ‘Ohhs’ slither in and out of gently pitched guitars. As Dan sings: ‘I saw you exit’ and ‘Here comes the doctor, here comes the nurse’, you can’t help feel his anguish. Especially when a detuned piano and nominal applause enter the fray… The album’s lead single ‘Judy Garland’ at first recalls Herman Dune with its opening notes but as the band sing about Fred Astaire, the Chelsea stores, the drag queens and the whores, it veers into an unexpected disco territory which falls somewhere between Wild Beasts and Perfume Genius having a dance-off. It’s a huge and grand pop sound that comes from leftfield – but it works so well.

‘I’m an adventurer’ is a line from the album and it’s a hell of a journey to join Frog on. An album that will have you an emotional mess at one moment and hopping for joy at the next… ‘Kind of Blah’ is anything but.

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Frog at The Album Wall

Here are some lyrical excerpts from the songs that make up Frog’s Kind of Blah:
“Bar moans with calzones and verses from the Rolling Stones” - Wish Upon a Bar
 
“All dogs go to Heaven, all songs end in quiet refrains, smart moms buy generic, say it tastes the same” - All Dogs Go to Heaven
 
“Judy Garland hit the bathroom floor of her cold apartment ‘bove a Chelsea store and all the drag queens and all the whores couldn’t get poor Judy back up off of her laurels” - Judy Garland
 
Fuckin’ poetry, no? If I had written those lines, I would want to make damn sure that everybody could hear them, that my genius was plain to all who listened.
 Weirdly, though, that’s not what Frog have chosen to do. Their album – Audio Antihero‘s latest release – has a smoggy, out-of-focus kinda sound, and instead of being pushed right to the forefront for all to admire, those wonderful lyrics are actually pretty low in the mix, frequently getting covered up by the lo-fi, country-tinged rockin':

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Frog at This is Book’s Music

Kind Of Blah (Audio Anti-Hero) is the kind of pop music that music fans would want to immerse themselves into on a regular basis, for it is a wonderful and balanced blend of pop and rock, with enough eclectic qualities that show they are not afraid to share a sense of humor because they may not take themselves too seriously. In other words, the guys of Frog aren’t here to share any level of snobbery and while the humor may be in the distance in most of their songs, that subtlety is very much present. You can say that their music fits alongside the likes of Brad, Weezer, Qui, and the Foo Fighters, bands where you can champion because they sound good but don’t mind laughing with because they expose that side of themselves without being ashamed. They seem to want to enjoy dipping in and out of different things within each songs, loving the aggression of hard rock and punk while throwing in new wave here, late 70’s pop there, synth pop way over there, and early 90’s alternative grooves without trying to cash in or try to be trendy. The music here is easily accessible but I say this because it’s accessible to me, someone who feels they are pop music traditonalists will throw flags and call this an abomination, but it’s not. This is the type of pop/rock craftiness that needs to be heard and hopefully more people discover their sounds, they will continue to make music like this, exploring and going beyond their limits, and become a force. I wish them well.

 

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