Posts Tagged ‘whisperin and hollerin’

Static Daydream at Whisperin and Hollerin

Static Daydream are the latest band involving Paul Baker who you may know from either Skyware or Ceremony.

The album opens with More Than Today; a song drenched in reverb and distorted guitars with female vocals that recall the Vaselines or maybe Lush. It takes a couple of listens to start hearing the lyrics but it doesn’t matter as the noise they make is cool enough without knowing what they are singing about.

Nowhere To Hide sounds like the bastard offspring of The Jesus And Mary Chain (circa Never Understand) and My Bloody Valentine if they’d been locked in an echo chamber for a month or two. Run Into The Night is a little bit calmer so that it’s almost like John & Jehn. A very cool sounding song.

Blue Tambourine Girl ups the distortion a bit and ends up sounding a bit like Velvet Crush or the Drop Nineteens. This would have been perfect for college radio in the early 90’s. Just Stay is drowning in reverb before getting to the quieter chorus as if to say that he’ll calm things down if she stays before hedging his bets and hitting the distortion button again.

Until You’re Mine has great echo-laden vocals that sound like they are also sung through a valve microphone over hailstorm guitars whipping up a storm of noise to make sure the sun shines again as soon as you say yes to him (go on you know you want to) before it calms down for the instrumental passage that could be stolen from Joy Division.

Another Rainy Night Without you is all windswept guitars and forlorn vocals falling into a pit of feed-backing reverb-laden despondency that makes despair seem so attractive. When I Turn Round You’re Gone reminds me of My Friend Goo by Sonic Youth: it’s pretty damn cool before the real slow down for the fade out.

The Only One isn’t a song about Peter Perrett’s solo band but more drenched in reverb indie pleading for the love of the only one he wants or desires. When She Falls slows things down a bit and the tambourine sounds like it could have been nicked off a Mazzy Star tune while the guitars still feedback into the reverb pit; only slower than on the rest of the album.

The album closes with I’ve Destroyed Everything. No, you haven’t as your guitars and amps and drums still work fine and that echo unit is still sounding OK even if the relationship is in tatters. This is a cool record and music for anyone who loves to drown in feedback reverb and echo.

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Frog at Whisperin’ and Hollerin’

Well, calling your album Kind Of Blah is a hostage to fortune as it makes this reviewer go “blah blah blah, is there a thing I wanna hear on it?” And really, is there?

It opens with All Dogs Go to Heaven: a mellow moper with whine-y vocals and sort of OK keyboard sounds, but at best it’s background music.

We Then Jump Into Bed for Fucking could almost be a Mercury Rev outtake with some desperate sounding vocals. It in no way sounds romantic or the sort of song you’d want to be fucking too. Well maybe some virginal dweebs are listening and dreaming of fucking to it but not actually doing the deed

Wish Upon A Bar punningly re-works a classic song title but fails to manage to be a classic song in the process although it has some nice harmonies. It is so slight as to be a lily pad that isn’t quite strong enough for a frog to sit and it has some rather oddly distracting cymbal work. Photograph, meanwhile, opens like it wants of be Luna or Galaxie 500 and sort of almost pulls it off.

Everything 2002 sounds nothing like that year to me but has a church organ-goes-indie feel to it, a rather slight but interesting tune and I like the bells I keep hearing on it.

Knocking On the Door opens like it should be a blues song before going very wimpy indie and sort of back to the blues again. I wish it had just stayed as a blues song as it’s pretty good In those bits. Worst of all are the bits that remind me of Jonah & The Whale.

King Kong is just mad, totally off the wall and I want it to stop now please. No I don’t need that glockenspiel coming in…

Catchyalater (yes it is all one word here) is very slight and forgettable along with much of this album.

Irish Goodbye should be a drunken, babbling, carousing monster of a tune but of course isn’t. It does have some okay uke playing and that’s about as Irish as it gets. Damn this is the oddest tribute to Judy Garland I’ve ever heard; it sounds like they’re not really sure if they love her or hate her or just think she has a cool name.

Then we get Bad Boy and it is possibly the wimpiest song I’ve ever heard with such a title. It leaves me with the feeling about this album that is confirmed on the final track (kind of blah) that the whole thing is rather a lot of blah as it sort of hops all over a small pond. It’s almost a relief that it’s over.

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Animal Daydream at Whisperin and Hollerin

Yet another cool band coming out of the very busy Gothenburg scene. This time, however, instead of being on a Swedish label like Birds Will Sing For You, Animal Daydream are instead on cool American indie Jigsaw Records out of Seattle. Still, one thing is for sure they sound like they would make a great double bill with Hillman Lighthouse should you be hanging out in Gothenburg.

The picture on the sleeve looks a bit like a re-imagining of the hills around Gothenburg harbour but with all sorts of strange exotic animals rather than the fantastic bronze statues of the lost kids I found when walking around there a few years ago.

So having set my turntable to 33 1/3 rpm (no they didn’t catch me out) Canyon Rose came out like a quite mellow and laid back 60s Byrds meets Buffalo Springfield-type song about a canyon rose that also reminds me a bit of Dead Rock West. It has some cool swirling noises over the pleasant vocals.

Glass Ships stays in the same territory with maybe just a hint of, say, Viva Saturn thrown in and a small dose of International Harvester but without the politics. But there’s plenty going on in the gentle pastoral slowly-building song like they want to push a glass ship over one of the Lakes on the outskirts of Gothenburg, only it’s still frozen and they are waiting for the thaw. The quiet modulation they seek as it slowly goes across the lake.

Easy pleasures feels like a less annoying High Llamas song and it may well be. the press release claims it had a Fleetwood Mac influence but don’t let that put you off as it is thankfully barely noticeable while they sing about having to go inside as it’s raining again. A very cool song.

The EP closes with I Knew You Would Come Along Before The Fall. It sounds pretty similar to the other 3 songs but adds a little dash of Belle and Sebastian winsomeness to the gentle 60’s style pastoral Americana. They certainly don’t sound like many of the Swedish bands I love from the 60’s mind. Nonetheless, this is a good debut single and hopefully we’ll be hearing more from Animal Daydream soon.

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Fishboy at Whisperin and Hollerin

As the wonderful lyric sheet for this cd comes bearing the legend “An Elephant Never Forgets” I have listened to it while watching both the legendary 1935 cartoon An Elephant Never Forgets and the even more Legendary 1952 film The Elephant Never Forgets both with the sound down and using his album as a new soundtrack and in both cases it works brilliantly well. Which considering this is actually a concept album about Topsy the Elephant that was publicly electrocuted by Thomas Edison in 1903 that comes with its own 160 page read along comic as well as being made available on Vinyl may seem an odd way to experience the album. Yes the comic is well worth a look most of it is up at www.an-elephant.com where you can also buy the album that comes with a direct pdf download of the entire book.

My review cd also arrived with a Bobby Ross baseball card and a free Whataburger coupon that just put a smile on this burger avoider’s face still onto the rock opera that is An Elephant that tells the story of this cruel event and asks the obvious question what was Edison hopping to prove by electrocuting an Elephant over some top notch indie rock as the sparks fly and Topsy suffers an awful death that causes her to come back and Haunt Thomas Alva and boy does he deserve a good haunting for that act.

Strangely as the ghost comes back to ask all the questions that need answering that makes sure Edison can’t ignore the Elephant in the room as Topsy want to drag him kicking and screaming to his grave that also worked very well while watching the politicians proudly consigning London’s trams to an early grave.

No Topsy won’t fade away, as her memory is brought to life, as she sets about giving Thomas Alva a good haunting, over the totally gross effects of the electrocution. That and just how the voltage destroyed the elephant. All the while hundreds of people watched on like it was a good thing to see an Elephant get electrocuted. Yes Fishboy wonders what qualifies anyone to make this a valid experiment.

The album then shifts to Topsy wanting to be properly buried as is fitting for a sacrificial elephant. Yes you must dig that hole so she can rest her soul. Yes she wants to be buried six feet down and wonders why she didn’t get a decent burial after her shocking death the music has a great resonance to the lyrics and works very well indeed as music to dig an elephants grave too.

Yes now Topsy is celebrating being a Ghost ready to come and haunt the very people who deserve to be haunted by an Elephant!! Yes she is floating looking at her old self down on the floor not quite believing she’s become a ghost. Yes as an Elephant she can never forget but she can forgive even if Mr Edison isn’t worthy of it for this act. Then she is just floating away and gone but certainly not forgotten and this album will not be easily forgotten either.

We now reach the rock opera’s finale called naturally enough Finale and just helps build things up towards the final track When your Alone that makes sure Edison knows that he’s never alone as Topsy is always there it’s also the slowest quietest song on the album but a perfect closer to a very good indeed rock opera that is well worth checking out and what is it with musical fish and there obsessions with elephants…

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Joe Jack Talcum at Whisperin and Hollerin

This album is the second instalment in the home recordings of Joe Jack Talcum who used to be the singer in The Dead Milkmen: a band I have a vague memory of having seen live once a long time ago.

In the old days this album would have been on cassette with a Xerox cover rather than on vinyl with a painting of the Tascam recorder much of it was produced on as cover art painted by Joe Jack Talcum. So this really is for Dead Milkmen completists wherever they are hiding.

As expected, for an album of home recordings, it’s pretty lo-fi from the opener One False Move. This track is a sort of plea for redemption on an acoustic guitar and it has the best reworking of an advert tagline I’ve heard in a while when he sings “Guinness Is Good for you, one false move and you’re dead.” It’s a pretty cool little tune.

Talk has more “Blah Blah Blah’s” than on all the posters for the Iggy Pop album of that name, but it also has the feeling of being about the arguments at the end of a relationship as it’s getting real messy before out of nowhere comes a guitar break that is all Pale Blue Eyes-ish. It’s a compelling little song. Madonna’s Weep has Joe Jack pleading for the love of a woman who would rather go shopping than love him and it’s a tender plea.

Go is a rumination as to why he is still with this woman who hates him when she used to love him and the realization it’s time to go arrives over some incredibly hiss covered organ. Call Me A Fool is a very clever song with a twist. At first, I thought he was playing the spurned lover, all downbeat and wronged, then the song suddenly reveals itself to be about a stolen car before descending into loads of hissing tape noises as his pride and joy speeds away.

Sense Of Humour is a cool lo-fi song about losing it all, including your sense of humour. Side one ends with Sweet And Sour: a fizzing instrumental, seemingly about calling for a take-out but with a great angry, angst-y guitar opening that sounds like it would be a great tune to start a gig with.

The B-side opens with Another Time; a sparse song of yearning at 3am when he’s lost in a reverie and trying to sound like a 1990’s Nick Drake but is too skewed to be that dead on. The brilliantly-titled The Sun Shines Out Of My Asshole has a real Vaselines-type feel to it as he declaims his lot as a super-giant man. This one is crying out to be played live.

Cup Of Tea is a good lo-fi Robert Pollard-ish paean to a good ole cuppa rosy lea. Be My Property is an odd plea to his paramour to, er, be his property which is fine if you’re chasing a mail order bride but not so fine if it’s a normal woman. Still it’s a pretty cool indie clatterer.

Forever Expanding Dream is the slightest, most barely-there song on the album. It’s almost comatose it’s so slight but then maybe that’s when the drugs kick in and his mind really expands. Which leads us to I’m Not Here: a song about taking loads of pills and what happens in the aftermath.

The album closes with the most Dead Milkmen-esque song, Another Disgusting Pop Punk Song that sounds like it’s aimed at Green Day and their ilk. It’s a great piss-take that is just a little too ramshackle to pull off the trick it attempts but I’d love to hear a finished and fully produced version of it and that is the case with many of the songs here.

All in a pretty cool album of lo-fi demos that can be found here: HHBTM Recordings online

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Mind Brains at Whisperin and Hollerin

This CD marks the first time I have ever been sent a record wrapped in two slices of bread to make a musical sandwich. Also, the the bread is of such industrial construction that a few weeks later it still hasn’t gone mouldy; just a little bit hard.

It also came with some very cool artwork on a small poster that made me want to listen to it. Add to that the fact that Mind brains feature some former members of Olivier Tremor Control, Of Montreal and Dark Meat and this is one record I needed to hear.

The opening Happy Stomp comes on like a Sacred Harp tune on bad acid or like a reasonably innocuous egg salad sandwich on rye until the spaceship noises come in to let you know it is about to get a bit out there. Out where? Well, into the mad glitch noises and keyboards stabs of Body Horror being sung at you with a dis-embodied computer treated vocal that makes a well odd sandwich of Jalapeno Pepper tapenade with honey roasted pumpkin and celery on pumpernickel.

The Morning Before The Morning Before Dawn brings dark foreboding swirls of keyboards with sweet and devilish vocals like it should be in the worst kind of horror movie served with a black pudding and cauliflower on salted cornbread as the keyboards lay waste to your mind.

Strange Remember goes back to the sacred Harp style vocals and an almost Alice Coltrane-style backing with hints of the Polyphonic Spree. It feels like a carefully-layered three cheese and onion chutney on brown sandwich as the doomy keyboards repeat on you and take it into another realm of deliciousness.

A strange honking noise presages the opening of Whistle Tips before a range of odd sounds come in and compete to derange your senses like a Fly Agaric with poppy seed paste and black truffle on pumpernickel sandwich might.

The Era Of Late Heavy Bombardment is trip into the heart of diseased brains and disembodied vocals and what sound like backwards guitars and other strange noises making it like Peanut butter with artichoke and biltong on laver bread. It’s dense and unsettling in a sort of cool way.

Sea Shore Minor takes us out on a skiff into the sound of the music from the King and I gone on an acid trip. It’s out there and yet familiar sounding best served with Smoked Salmon and pesto in an onion platzel with the weird bleeping noises and cymbal crashes taking your mind of the haunting choir of scabrous angels threatening to whisk you far from the safety of the sea shore and into the maelstrom that never really arrives.

The album closes with Bouncy Clock: a wonky dance tune with krautrock overtones mixed with 70’s sci-fi soundtrack organ noises and other weird bits. It’s the Bratwurst and sauerkraut with candied orange peel in a huge pretzel, messy and difficult to eat, but sort of irresistible or so this vegetarian imagines as we walk into the forgotten spaces that Mind Brain open up for us this Hamuary the 666th 1945 which the band insist is the release date rather than the actual date this weird and wonderful album actually arrives on.

For lovers of odd, compelling and ever so slightly bonkers electronically altered music everywhere.

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Hobbes Fanclub at Whisperin and Hollerin

Click through for the review.

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Luxembourg Signal at Whisperin and Hollerin

Click through for the review.

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The Black Watch at Whisperin and Hollerin

Yes The Black Watch are back with their 12th album and they have also put out 5 EPs over the years, yet somehow this is still the first album by them that I’ve ever heard and so I’m unable to tell you if they are maturing like a fine cigar or if this is the album where they finally lose the plot and should have given up by now. All I can do is review it on what I’m hearing and the info in the press release that tells me that while they still tour as a 4-piece this album is pretty much a solo album by Main Black Watch man John Andrew Fredrick. Will this improve the band’s luck or doom them to further obscurity? Who knows.

So it opens with an OK jangle pop song Sugarplum Fairy that has decent fizzing guitars and flies by in a very swift one and a half minutes. Before There You Were, however, attempts to melt the speakers in the style of the sort of home recording you get when you try to overlay 4 or 5 guitar sounds without the proper equipment. It’s almost like a bargain basement Sonic Youth and it’s not at all bad.

Scream is neither here nor there indie pop that has “Fey” written all over it which is odd for a song with such a title. The minor indie Pastels meets 14 Iced Bears backing for Dear Dead Love is sort of at odds with the darkness of the lyrics but works and would sound fine on any number of indie playlists.

Darling, I’ve Been Meaning To is sort of like Velvet Crush on downers. No bad thing, actually, though if it’s meant to get his darling back I’m not sure this is going to work. Good Night, Good Night, Good Night is quieter with what sounds like a buzzing amp sitting in one corner while he sings a sort of twisted indie lullaby hoping the shimmering tambourine will make you drop off and ignore the buzz if you can. Quietly Now still has the buzzing amp going as you go back down stairs hoping the kid is sleeping as strangely the song keeps getting louder like he is battling against his own best interests. It’s also a bit like The Wallflowers.

Nothing has a very familiar sound to it and is a bit like the Vaselines songs that Eugene Kelly sings. It has some well odd lyrics about drinking hemlock and arguing with Cassius Clay all while also trying to be a bit like the quiet bits of Cure songs. In many ways it’s also a high spot on the album with the insistent acoustic guitar being the main sound. A cool song.

Anne Of Leaves seems to be a sort of telling of the Anne Of Cleaves story, but not really. Again, it’s a quiet song with a nice piano or keyboard bit as he rues the brief encounter over two drinks at an airport. A Major Favor is so gentle as to be hardly there at all and doesn’t really sound like someone asking for a major favor at all.

The album closes with a love song to Dear Anne who may well have gone walkabout, but it sounds like an attempt at a Nick Drake style folky love song. At only about a minute long it’s also nice and brief and a nice closer to a pretty decent minor indie cult band album.

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Emotional Response at Whisperin and Hollerin

┬áThis is one of 3 singles all now out on Flagstaff, Arizona’s Emotional Response label. They all come on coloured vinyl, this time on grey wax and featuring the alleged final single by Indie stalwarts Boyracer. I have vague memories of having seen them live aeons ago as an opening act at the Garage in Highbury but I’m not certain about it.

All the singles also contain bonus tracks on the download card which is cool. This is the current label run by Stuart Anderson and Jen Turell who also ran 555 recordings and Red Square records.

This single has cool artwork inside the label’s own Immediate Homaging sleeves. Pete Shelley is a new wave mod urgent lo-fi tribute to Buzzcocks’ frontman Pete Shelley; not as catchy or punky as Pete’s own work but very cool nonetheless. New Wave Mod sounds like the soundtrack to a culture clash as a mate transforms into a new style. The lyrics are a cool vignette and a mix of hurt and spite and Stuart Anderson comes close to sounding like S.M.A.S.H.

On the b-side, The Kind Of Man You Really Are tells the story of a rather mouthy neighbour over Jam-esque mod punk and let’s face it this guy’s wife is going to let him know just what kind of man he is. That’s followed by Jump which is almost Nouvelle mod with Jen Turrell’s vocals on a Jump-along tune with cool keyboards that is literally jumping for joy as it hurtles by.

The download card for this single comes with 2 bonus songs that opens with (Don’t Try To) Second Guess Me. That’s a good slice of shambling loud feed-backing indie that is good and brief like all these Boyracer tunes. The final song, Date with Doug, is a weird but compelling sort of love song about how a guy keeps meeting girls who’ve had dates with Doug. The flange guitar madness is what it’s all about; for me a cool noise for sure.

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