Posts Tagged ‘collective zine’

Witching Waves at Collective Zine

The blurb on this one suggested a healthy Sonic Youth influence and that’s pretty good timing for me personally at the moment as I’m in the midst of the annual Sonic Youth rediscovery binge – I’ve had “Goo”, “Daydream Nation” and “Dirty” in particular on repeat lately.

On to Witching Waves then. They’re a London band who definitely show that Sonic Youth influence in parts – the interplay between the two vocalists for starters and it manifests itself clearly on some of the songs like the opening riff on “Make It Up”, the noisy “Receiver” and the instrumental “Inoa” which follows it. However, this influence is mixed in with something altogether more post punk that makes me think they fit in well with other London bands like Feature. For me, this record is consistently strong throughout but really hits its stride about halfway through. “The Threat” is built around a big grooving riff and drumbeat and the yells of “I try, I try, I try” can only have me thinking of Pavement’s “Conduit For Sale!” It’s a great song and a standout on an excellent album. I’m back in England next week and might even buy it.

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Try the Pie at Collective Zine

I mentioned on a recent review of Jess Locke’s LP that I’d been listening to a lot of downbeat, bedroomy recordings lately and I think this one fits in well with that. Try The Pie is the solo work of Bean Tupou who is based in San Jose and is also a member of Crabapple and Sourpatch – neither of whom I’m familiar with and likely sound absolutely nothing like this but I feel like I might want to check out both bands having heard this record now. Bean’s vocals are light and airy and it’s mainly acoustic guitar that accompanies the singing although there are a few background things going on – even the sound of dishes being done at one point. It’s all quite delicate and there are nice harmonies along the way. I like this kind of stuff so am glad it was sent in. I’ve also learnt my first word in Tongan as a result of writing this review and reading the Bandcamp page.

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Lunchbox at Collective Zine

Summery and fuzzy indie pop from Seattle here. It’s all quite catchy and melodic – every now and then I think of the odd 90s indie band while listening to this although there is something of a 60s bubblegum pop side to their sound too. It’s also a bit noisier than your average indie pop band too. The first track, “Heaven”, is catchy and has sunshine written all over it. You could say the same about all of the tracks on offer here. Cheery, catchy stuff all round.

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American Culture at Collective Zine

This is some fuzzed up, slacker and poppy indie rock from the desert west in the USA. You can tell they like a fair bit of 90s music like Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth (clear on the first half of “I Wanna Be Your Animal”) and The Jesus & Mary Chain but it’s also got a far poppier side to it buried under the fuzz. Lyrics are a little offbeat too and notable, in particular, on early highlight “Actual Alien”. One thing that has put me off a little is that almost every track is ended on a fade-out. I’m not a huge fan of the old fade-out – it kind of gives the impression that the tracks are unfinished and stops the flow of the album. However, it’s a minor gripe as this is a decent set of songs.

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Animal Daydream at Collective Zine

The proclamation that this is “SO GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!” in the subject line of the email that this came in on would normally make me pretty sceptical about the content but I’ve enjoyed the last few things the PR folk had sent in here as they gave me the opportunity to hurtle into a whirlwind of heady 90s-indie nostalgia so I thought I’d give this one a go too. That 90s indie sound rears its head again here as the band, who hail from Gothenburg, have something of a penchant for the likes of Teenage Fanclub if these four tracks are anything to go by. Probably latter day Teenage Fanclub after they ditched the fuzzier sound. Although I’m not fully convinced by the backing vocals towards the end of the track, the first song in particular is a fine tune. The guitar sound is lovely and the track is full of melancholy and nostalgia. The next three tracks are similar in nature – all laidback and laced with harmonies and a nice jangly guitar sound while measuring a little lower on the melancholy scale.

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Luxembourg Signal at Collective Zine

This one came into the review pile a couple of times so I thought I might as well review it. Apparently the album has been a bit delayed so we have a bit more time to review it…which is good as we do like to take our time on occasions while we are busy doing important stuff like watching TV, working, watching/talking about football, re-homing red-back spiders that appear on the BBQ, sitting around doing nothing and other such exciting pastimes. As revealed by Captain Fidanza last week, we only get £200 per review and that’s not always enough to tempt us into action. Last week I found a CD that I was sent in January 2013. It must have got misplaced in the shipping crates when I emigrated to Australia. By my reckoning I am now 21 months late with that one but I am determined to review it at some point. Maybe. I might do anyway – if you see a review of mine of a compilation featuring various UK indie bands you will know I have achieved my goal. Anyway, the mention of shoegaze in the blurb that came with this release also tempted me. Not only that, but this band features members with history dating back to the 90s in ex-Sarah Records band Aberdeen as well as Trembling Blue Stars who some people who read this site might be familiar with. The blurb also mentioned The Popguns – anyone remember them? One of my very first ever gigs was The Popguns playing at ULU with The Frank and Walters and The Cardiacs. There’s a useless fact for you. The opener “Dying Star” is a slow-burning hypnotic track and sets the stall out nicely for the listen ahead. There is a poppy side to the sound but there is enough distortion on the guitars to give this a shoegaze side too. It takes me back instantly to my teenage years, when Slough Festival threw together a bunch of shoegaze indie bands for a one-day festival, and, to days when the music press was talking about those bands as being part of The Scene That Celebrates Itself. Good to remember how daft they liked to get when talking about music and lumping stuff in together. Someone somewhere decided that The Mock Turtles fitted in nicely with bands like Ride, Lush and Slowdive – “Can you dig it?” This scene creation is not something the press has taken up recently with their Emo Revival gibberish – they’ve always done it. I’d been listening to what they called T-shirt bands around that time too – bands like Carter USM and Mega City Four who made great t-shirts and when you went to a gig everybody was wearing a t-shirt of one a number of bands from that so-called scene. I think that was the explanation for that one anyway. You could add Senseless Things, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin and Pop Will Eat Itself amongst others to that set. I’m going off at a tangent here. Let’s not forget Thousand Yard Stare either though. Also, it did make it easy to identify others into the same type of music and I made a lot of friends from other schools who would get the same train up to London as my friends and I as they were all wearing Mega City Four or Ned’s Atomic Dustbin t-shirts. If we hadn’t been wearing those band t-shirts some of those kids probably would’ve started on us or stolen our cans of Tennent’s Super or something but as it was we became friends.

Anyway, back to this band. Whilst shoegaze is an influence here there is a clean sound too which adds to the dream/indie pop sound going on here. The next track starts more upbeat, with jangly guitars and the vocals at the start in particular remind me of the female vocals in Belle & Sebastian – kind of light and airy. Nice song. The female vocals lead the majority of the tracks but there is a guy singing too and it’s a nice contrast. There is an early highlight too in “She Loves To Feel The Sun” which is gorgeous, tinged with sadness and pretty much everything I want from an indie pop song. One of the tracks on here features Dale Crover of The Melvins on drums by the way. It’s also worth noting that the members of this band are based in London and Los Angeles and I can only admire the fact that they can make this work from such a distance. I’ve enjoyed this – it’s taken me back a few years and off on some tangents. Thank you.

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