Posts Tagged ‘examiner’

Mind Brains at the Examiner

Sometimes in life you need to take the time to step outside your comfort zone and experience new and different things. By taking time out of your day to listen to the latest record from Mind Brains would classify as doing just that. Consisting of members of Marshmellow Coast, Olivia Tremor Control, of Montreal, Music Tapes and more, The Athens, GA band doen’t just think outside the box it obliterates said box. Mind Brainseagerness to look at music in an abstract manner allows the band to offer up tunes that are a far cry from the everyday fare found all over the radio and on TV. Utilizing a variety of instruments, computers, synthesizers and other noise makers, (I am pretty sure there is a car horn on at least one song) Mind Brains has turned a collection of unrelated noises into a damn fine batch of tunes.

The album welcomes listeners with the track “Happy Stomp”. Built around spacey vocal harmonies, traditional and nontraditional melodies are layered into the track creating an impressive soundscape. The thumping rhythms escort the listener through the valley of beeps, boops, strings, spaceship noises and other tones until they reach the end. On“Morning Before the Morning Before Dawn” Mind Brains creates an enormous ocean of sound that only parts to allow the chanting vocals to surface. Giving the song “The Era of Late Heavy Bombardment” an industrial feel, the music starts slowly before building into a intense brooding piece. The song ominously progresses creating a false sense of anxiety before quietly fading away. One of the better tracks from the record has to be “Body Horror”. Catchy pop melodies traverse the fuzz filled chunky sounds keeping the track from becoming a chaotic mess.

Mind Brains self titled album is truly an acquired taste. If you approach the record with an open mind and embrace the nontraditional songs you will enjoy the listening experience. Like most artistic expression music cannot be contained by a set formula and when people try to do so they get generic music that all sounds the same. Just look at the shape of today’s popular music. I say you should avoid the norm, step outside your comfort zone and let Mind Brains crawl around in your head for a little while.


Primitives at Examiner

With pop melodies, Paul Court’s classic jangly guitars and Tracy Tracy’s sweet vocals the British band the Primitives shot out of England around the same time Jesus and Mary Chain, the Wedding Resent and My Bloody Valentine were gaining traction in the US. Their career came to a halt almost as quickly as it started but after several years apart they reassembled in 2009 and have now delivered a new album loaded with new tunes. With everything music listeners loved about the band packed into the 11 song album Spin-o-Rama picks up right where the Primitives left off. The opening track, “Spin-o-Rama”, welcomes listeners into the album with infectious guitars and catchy lyrics. Songs like “Petals” and “Lose the Reason” follow that same formula and when they step away from it things really get good. They harness a 60’s garage pop vibe on “Velvet Valley”, they take things in a little harder direction on “Hidden In The Shadows” and Paul Court on “Working Isn’t Working” may be the best song on the record. From start to finish Spin-o-Rama is a fun listen loaded with sounds that are pleasing to the ear. The Primitives make it look easy as they dish out tunes that are every bit as good as their earlier music delivering 80’s infused pop music without sounding stale and rehashed. Spin-o-rama is a surprising addition to the wealth of good music being released in 2014.


Slopfest Preview at the Examiner

his weekend if you hop on GA 316 and head on down to Athens , GA there is a little music fest that will have a darn fine line-up of bands for your listening pleasures. Slopfest2014 will once again call Little Kings home with three days of music that will rival any music fest you have ever attended. There will even be magic.

Things kick off on Thursday night with a free show that starts at 10pm. Six groups hit the stage offering all in attendance a taste of their musical endeavors. While each of the performers bring something awesome to the stage here are a few that are can’t miss. Starting the nights festivities will be the sweet southern sounds of Monkey Grass Jug Band. Loaded with banjo and fiddle their bluegrass storytelling makes for one hell of a live show. Fuzzy guitars and pop infused melodies drive tha Hugssound and when they play it on stage watch out. Wear your ear plugs because they tend to get loud. My choice for can’t miss band is Shehehe and their classic punk sound. Rowdy guitars, thunderous drums and in your face vocals are what this band is all about. Oh yeah, don’t forget about the magic show.

10:00 – Monkey Grass Jug Band
10:45 – Small Beige Girl
11:00 – Boycycle
11:45 – the Hugs
12:30 – Louis Larceny
1:30 – Shehehe
plus magic by Jeff Morris & Jason Granfield

With nary time to recover, Friday picks up where Thursday left off. Things start up much earlier, but with more bands they need more time. Here are some bands you need to be sure not to miss. Eureka California takes the stage around 10ish and their set should not be missed. The fuzz rock duo offer up tunes that go against the grain calling out life’s inequalities. As good as their records are there live music is even better. The Early Disclaimers bring their mellow rock up from St. Augustine for our GA ears to enjoy as their brooding guitars and haunting vocals keep things interesting. Check out Deep State with their garage rock vibe and REM era jangle. The music sounds like something from the 60’s without sounding like a copy cat.

7:00 – Forces
7:30 – Earl Disclaimers
8:00 – Helen Scott
8:30 – the Fuzzlers
9:00 – Good Grief
9:30 – Seagulls
10:00 – Eureka California
10:30 – Rodney Kings
11:00 – Little Gold
11:30 – Faux Fercious
12:00 – Deep State
12:30 – DJ Lozo / Lord Bitter

Just when you think you have had enough Saturday rolls around with another full schedule of music for your listening pleasures. The organizers of Slopfest have saved the best for last. The night begins with the crunchy rock of The Trespasser and juts gets better from there. From the organized noise of Bambara to the driving rock of Double Ferrari this is a night of music that has something for everyone. Here are a few bands that are can’t miss. Cinemechanica is part metal, part punk, part garage rock tossed into a blender and shredded. Their live shows are an exploration into chaos leaving loyal fans exhausted. Monsoon is straight up rock with a punk attitude. Sienna Chandler’s vocals lead the way as they offer up a 90’s vibe. The one band not to miss is Muuy Biien. These dudes rip it live as they offer up noise that harkens back to the good old days of punk. Loud is the key word here so be prepared to go home with ringing in your ears. Check out the rest of the day’s schedule.

7:00 – the Trespasser
7:30 – Nate & the Nightmares
8:00 – Monsoon
8:30 – Maximum Busy Muscle
9:30 – Double Ferrari
10:00 – Motherfucker
10:30 – Muuy Biien
11:00 – Vincas
11:30 – the Powder Room
12:00 – Bambara
12:30 – Cinemechanica
1:00 – DJ Z-Dog

There you have it, one hell of a music fest for your listening pleasures. It is events like this that allow true music lovers to discover and enjoy music without being crowded out by outrageous ticket prices and those people that just want to say they were there. Slopfest is a great representative of music the Southeast has to offer showing people we are more than Southern rock and hip/hop down here. So get away for the weekend and jam out to some great music.


Eureka California Band of the Week at Examiner

Not many people would take pride in being referred to as “skuzzy”, but then most people aren’t members of Athens, GA band Eureka California. Birthed from the mind of one Jake Ward in the great state of North Carolina (I am partial to NC) Ward made the trek south relocating his base of operations in the North Eastern GA college town. Various members may have made their way in and out of Eureka California, but one thing stayed constant, Ward’s determination to dish out skuzzy pop infused garage rock music.View all5 photos

On Eureka California’s debut record – Big Cats Can Swim– their signature sound was unleashed to the world. Loud fuzz filled guitars, ear pounding drums and enough pop to hook listeners filled every tune as they delivered songs about their distaste for many aspects of today’s society in a way that is reminiscent of classic punk bands such as the Clash or The Voidoids without sounding like copy cats. Ward’s vocal warble became the center piece of their songs as he gave people a piece of his mind on tracks like “Back To Washington” and “The Day No Trains Ran”. Paired with their incessant touring the band has built a loyal fan base that ingests their music with a voracious appetite. Throwing their full support out to Eureka California fans know the band will repay their loyalty with great tunes and killer live shows. That is a win/win right there.

With a solid musical foundation firmly in place Ward and his partner in crime Marie A Uhler has delivered their sophomore effort Crunch. The eleven tracks of noisy indie rock picks up right where Big Cats left off. Once again the songs are short and sweet but pack a powerful punch. Ward’s smarmy smart ass tone is in your face as he sings about failed unions (“There’s No Looking Back”), being an artist (“Art Is Hard”) and deception (“Sneaky Bobby”). They drag people into the record with the opening track “Edith (One Day You’ll Live In a Bunker)”. The Guided By Voices-esque song punches listeners in the ear holes with driving guitars and Wards vocals. The bands snarkiness is front and center on the punk infused on “I Bet You Like Julian Cope”. Uttering the same phrase over and over you get the feeling they are mocking Julian Cope fans. The album comes to a close with “How Long Til the Medicine Takes” a haunting mellow tune that sounds completely different than the rest of the record. With a 60’s vibe it is a nice addition. Crunch will stick in your ears requiring you to play it over and over again. With each listen you delve deeper into the intricacies of their music and realize it is a whole lot more than a bunch of noise.

A new record means it is time to get out on the road and support said new record. That is exactly what Eureka California is doing. They will be in Athens on July 25th as part of Slopfest (more on that to come) and in Atlanta at The Music Room as part of a line-up consisting of them, Muuy Biien and Hip To Death.

Here is the rest of their travel itinerary:
July 19: Alexandria, VA @ The Lab w/Soundtrack to Sleep
July 20: Arlington, VA @ Galaxy Hut
July 21: Philadelphia, PA @ Golden Tea House w/Joe Jack Talcum, humanshapes
July 22: Lindenwold, NJ @ The Sex Dungeon w/Brick Mower
July 23: NYC @ Shea Stadium w/Crow Bait, Deep Pockets
July 24: Salem, VA @ Billy’s Barn w/Bastards of Fate
July 25: Athens, GA @ Slopfest
July 27: Atlanta, GA @ The Music Room w/Muuy Biien, Hip to Death
July 28: Chapel Hill, NC @ Night Light w/Wichita Falls
July 29: Charlottesville, VA @ Tea Bazaar w/International Friendly

If you would like to find out more about Eureka California check out their websitebandcamp andfacebook page. For more of their music also check out their record label, HHBTM Records.



Muuy Biien at Examiner

Not one to conform to the “norm”, the dudes in the Athens’ band Muuy Biien follow the beat of their own drum. Throwing all caution to the wind they refuse to make generic sounding “radio friendly” music that is force fed to the masses. Doling out music that is loud, raw, in your face and at times sounds unfinished is how they do it and is a main ingredient that makes their music worth listening to.

Barely giving music lovers time to digest their last recordMuuy Biien has returned full force with D.Y.I., another batch of bad ass noise that is loosely harnessed with classic punk rock attitude. Listeners are lured into the album with the haunting instrumental “Cyclothymia I”before being smacked in the face by the pounding drums of “Human Error”. Blistering guitars and Joshua Evans’ screeching howl turn the track into the utter chaos that Muuy Biien does so well. On “Melters” a churning base line carries the tune creating a feel of anxiety throughout the track as if someone is chasing you and you just aren’t sure who or what it is. On occasion they ease up before assaulting your senses once again. Just when you think things can’t get much louder or faster songs like “Frigid”and “What Isn’t” show up and attack the auditory senses like a couple of rabid dogs. Which I guess could describe most of the music on this album.

From start to finish Muuy Biien’s music assaults listeners as if they have a personal vendetta against them. The songs are short and sweet getting your blood pumping and heightening the senses with each listen. Luckily for everyone the three instrumentals strategically placed throughout D.Y.I. allow you to relax and calm down. This record is very infectious and each listen is going to make you want to play it again and again as these dudes pack a big sound into a little package.


Tunabunny at Examiner

Music built around pop melodies, vocal harmonies and chunky guitars is what the AthensGA band Tunabunny is known for. Taking that age old formula they mix in a few personal touches to give their music an extra something making it stand out among the glutton of mediocre bands out there today. Building on the success of Genius Fatigue they have released Kingdom Technology which pushes their sound to bolder levels.

The album begins with a droning electric noise that borders on annoying before being rescued by Herron’s & Hassell’s familiar vocal harmonies on “Airless Spaces”. They crank it up on “Canaries In Mineshafts” with ear blistering guitars and pounding rhythms. This is when the band is at its best. The album is an interesting mix of rockers, (“Good God Awful”), pop tunes (“Chalked Up”) and experimentation (“Tete-A-Tete”). With songs ranging from around a minute to over six they invite listeners into their musical word creating a soundscape that may not grab you from the start but gets better with time.

It is bands like Tunabunny that make it exciting to be a music fan. There tunes allow people to step outside of the box and partake in original sounds and unique arrangements. While not everyone’s cup of tea, Kingdom Technology hits the spot when you are looking to listen to something different. Give it a listen and enjoy what they have to offer.