Posts Tagged ‘big takeover’

Thee Koukouvaya at Big Takeover

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Knowlton Bourne at Big Takeover

Mississippi singer-songwriter Knowlton Bourne is a man desperately on the run from nothing at all.

On his debut album Songs from Motel 43(Misra Records), the 23 year old constantly mulls over the bottomless threat of a “long way down.” He tackles this fear by hitting the same lonely highway taken by many a songwriter before him.

While the nature of his journey evokes country, elements of indie rock and ambient music cast a looming psychedelic backdrop against his late night escape.

“I Can’t Tell/Run” expertly blends these two influences together. “It’s a long way down/and I’ve been feeling out/out of it,” Bourne sings on the song’s first half over rich harmonica and guitar. Later, the track bleeds into a humming soundscape, with the same harmonica transformed into cosmic synths.

On first single “Hangin’ Around,” Red Red Meat style guitar chug soundtracks the moment where Bourne first describes feeling mired in idleness.The accompanying videoshows the singer despondently shuffling from one activity to another, occasionally eyeing the camera with a deadpan stare.

The title track features an alien organ fluttering gently over a cycling guitar melody. Bourne is alone on an ever-stretching road, fighting sleep when he croaks,“Oh the world goes around/but I don’t want to be afraid.”

Finally ,the denouement arrives on “The River (For Nels).” The song is the standout on the record, with a twinkling arrangement Hiss Golden Messenger would sound comfortable picking over. Here, a newly optimistic Bourne begins to unpack all the findings of his existential road trip.

Wherever this young thinker plots his next course, it’ll be well worth it to hitch a ride.

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Thee Koukouvaya at Big Takeover

Hailing from the Greek island of Crete, the mysterious duo known as Thee Koukouvaya deliver a solid electric pulse that is both compositional and danceable on their debut full-length.

This Is the Mythology of Modern Deathexplores the many modes of electronic music, from glacial ambiance to thumping dance music. “The Magnetic State” kicks things off with a dreamy cloud of krautrock drone, building to the lumbering industrial darkness of “Anacaona” before turning to tech-y old school four-on-the-floor with “Chicago Warehouse Party, 1995” and the glitching IDM of “Drunk Machine.” “40.207958, -74.041691” begins side two with a minute and a half of industrial noise, while “Phantoms in the Last Age” could be dubstep without the incessant wobble. “Prismatic Sun” successfully weaves all the aforementioned influences into five minutes, leaving “A Life in a Portolan Chart” to end it all on a relaxing, loungey note. It’s an electronic album that refuses to be pigeon-holed, but maintains a consistent mood to keep it all coherent.

Somehow, Thee Koukouvaya have bridged the gap between high-brow Berlin school aesthetics and low-end dance beats. Embrace their world and explore the endless possibilities of electronic music.

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noon:30, Presents for Sally, Static Daydream at Big Takeover

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Knowlton Bourne at Big Takeover

Recorded during a year he spent working on a farm outside of Oxford, Mississippi, “out of school and out of his mind,” Knowlton Bourne’s Songs From Motel 43 is the debut album from the 23-year-old Mississippi native. It’s been described as a cross between Pernice Brothers and The Verve, and dang if it don’t sound like that. We love the cosmic-country vibe of this one.

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Presents for Sally at Big Takeover

England’s Presents for Sally continue their spacey shoegaze pop excursions on their long-awaited sophomore full-length.

Building on the ideas set forth bySpacemen 3 and Spiritualized, Colours & Changes delves into dreamland while retaining a pop sensibility that offers solid songs with strong hooks amid the chaotic swirl of distorted guitars. Monstrous waves of noise give way to gently receding pools, allowing melodies, rather than effects, to progess. Guitars swell and keyboards blare a fanfare to bass-y drone, yet the riffs always remain memorable, humable, though washed in euphoric static. It’s like My Bloody Valentine had been a ’90s Brit-pop band with integrity.

Grinding feedback is all the rage, but Presents for Sally remember that the music comes first. Float in their airy atmosphere and wish you never had to land.

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Presents for Sally at Big Takeover

Ah, the long awaited second album from one of my favorite bands of the past few years. England’s Presents for Sally dives deep into the psychedelic shoegaze musical vein and has created a shimmering, loud, and blisteringly beautiful suite of songs this time around. Consider “We Fought Lucifer (And Won)” as guitarist/vocalist Matt Ethertonwrestles with the barely controlled fury of his feedback-driven guitars, tempered only by his gentle vocals and the sweet harmonies of his wife Anna Etherton. “Wishawaytoday” is the first single, quieter but no less energetic than the album’s opening track, a stunning, gauzy song that is dense with multi-tracked layers of beautiful melodies. “Anything Anymore” is Anna’s turn at the mike, and she does a splendid job and it reminds me a bit of downtempo Lush. Matt joins in on the chorus, and I really dig those trippy guitars in the background.

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Static Daydream at Big Takeover

Fredericksburg, VA’s Static Daydream follow their acclaimed 2014 “The Only One” EP (Moon Sounds) with a hazy full-length blast of melodic melancholy.

Static Daydream picks up where Paul Baker finished with Skywave andCermemony (shoegaze band, not hardcore). Here, beside girlfriend Jamie Casey, he continues riding on crests of waves of distortion while floating in a sea of effects. Grinding, fuzzed-out guitars recall Love and Rockets and Jesus and Mary Chain, while the heavy bass and programmed drums resemble Big Black’s sonic attack. Monotone vocals bare shades of The Sisters of Mercy, The Psychedelic Furs and evenThe Human League as the songs range from dark post-punk stabs to edgy pop a la The Fireworks and The Primitives. It’s a pulsing wall of tremolo and static that draws you in and holds you hostage until it’s done.

Excellence such as this cannot be ignored. Dive into Static Daydream’s cloudy swirl and discover your new favorite band.

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noon:30 at Big Takeover

Washington, D.C.-via-Detroit-based electro-charged female duo, Noon:30, explode with an EP that runs the spectrum of rage – from quiet to crushing.

Not resting in any single genre, Finding Release heralds a new movement of wide-eyed, jaw-clenched cyberpunk. The opening “Dream” draws you in with soothing, spacey electronic pop that recalls Laika and Sneaker Pimps in a benzo coma while showcasing Blue’s stunningly beautiful voice, which takes center stage again in the a cappella blues of “Interlude.” “Rodeo” erupts as a hip-hop diatribe against those who doubt with the fury of Nicki Minaj filtered through Missy Elliott’s penchant for exploration. On the sinister, sexy “Gun,” guitarist Aissa Hill comes into her own with stinging, psychedelic licks over a post-industrial wasteland of digital grind and satellite blips. And that’s just Side A. Side B pushes “Gun” and “Rodeo” further with remixes byTunabunny, The Bastards of Fate and Aimee Norwich & Senem Pirler. This is where the glow of neon becomes replaced by the stench of oil and epoxy in an underground club that functions as an auto repair shop during the day.

Noon:30 present a perfect example of everything wrong with the Billboard Top 40, simply because they are not on it. Hopefully, that changes. Pick this up now so you can brag to your buddies that you knew about them way back when…

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Lunchbox at Big Takeover

Singer/guitarist Tim Brown and bassistDonna McKean have been perfecting their sugary rock recipe as Lunchbox on and off for over 15 years now.

Last year, the duo released Lunchbox Loves You to renewed acclaim.

Their latest is a six song appetizer of even stickier, rot-your-teeth-out power pop.

Dubbed the Smash Hits EP, the duo’s candy coated approach to indie rock will satisfy the appetites of fans who regularly say grace at the table of scrappy rock GodsGuided By Voices.

Feelings of boredom, melancholy and heart-bursting love are dealt with by way of pop rocks n’ coke fueled guitar and an excellent guest drummer. All of the above flavors can be sampled on stand-out thrasher “Love Song.”

On “Flatland”, Brown begins by asking, “Where does the time go/and what does it do?” only to sneer that he doesn’t know and neither do you. That lyric could serve as the mission statement for Smash Hits, which zips by in just over 13 minutes.

Luckily, a quick tap of the replay button can suffice until their next smorgasbord is released.

 

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