The past few months have been an emotional rollercoaster for garage-rock trio TWIN BERLIN. First, they were selected to go out to Los Angeles to record new EP There Goes My Virtue with Travis Barker, after the Blink-182 drummer picked them as part of Guitar Center’s “Your Next Record” competition. But in October, around the time they headed west, former Weezer bassist Mikey Welsh passed away, leaving one of his last artistic efforts: the EP’s artwork.
Three minutes is not a long time. But for post-punk/post-hardcore/post-yesterday hellions GRASS IS GREEN, a spry 180 seconds is all that’s needed to kiss up, break up, and make up within the beautifully messy confines of song. “Nice Guy of the Year Award,” the first track off Ronson — Grass Is Green’s upcoming third album in as many years — is a complex ruckus of a number with a sweet, sensitive undercoating, true to the quartet’s often-schizophrenic serving of animated, jittery rock and roll.
Mere mention of 3DCOSBY takes us on an acid-ride flashback deep into the wooly, trippy sweater patterns great comedian Bill wore back in the hazy-lazy ’80s. But there’s more than just nostalgic joyrides through the boobtube in the artfully bent sounds of Matt Ross and Daniel Harris, an experimental duo who became fast friends at the ripe old age of three and who shared a childhood love of Michael Jackson, afternoon soccer practice, and hours watching the New Kids on the Block cartoon TV series.
Those privy to the cochlear destruction caused by a live Clouds performance should brace themselves appropriately for the band’s new side project. Retaining much of the heaviness of Clouds, J/Q have added an element of melodic fuzz pop that is perhaps a bit more palatable to radio-friendly ears, and “Binary Life” is a cosmic wave of sludge with punches of synth-laden onslaughts and moments of dropped-out vocal-driven echoes.
Within the first few chilled-out electronic-pop chimes of GRAND RESORT’s riveting debut single “Microscopic,” you can almost huff the fumes of the Fung Wah carrying Andres M. Pichardo away from Boston and into the bloggy-buzz clutches of New York City. The 19-year-old Brookline lad and native of the Dominican Republic was already splitting time between education here at the New England Institute of Art and an internship at Manhattan’s Flux recording and mixing facility before making the permanent Dirty Apple leap just last week.
There’s a lost passage in Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho where Patrick Bateman, dining at a highly coveted table at Dorsia, reflects on his wasted time spent in an artsy post-punk band while still attending Phillips Exeter Academy in the late ’70s. Actually, okay, that doesn’t really exist, and Ellis never made Bateman musically savvy beyond an obsession with Huey Lewis.
The FAT CREEPS are the sound of sweet, sensual musical ennui. Within the depths of 2011’s tastemaker network of bedrooms, all-ages spaces, and the underbelly of the Boston blogosphere, the hypnotic weed-smoke strum of “Nancy Drew” swam effortlessly from one ear to another, living only on Bandcamp and the eager fingertips of late-night Internet messengers.
The MICHAEL J. EPSTEIN MEMORIAL LIBRARY wants to re-think “Amylee.” The first track off last May’s Volume One record will, in 2012, experience a year-long process of perseveration: extensive remixing, Daytrotter Session re-recording, soundtracking a computer-animated video, and covers and reinterpretations by colleagues and band members.
After a year of reflection, now comes the resurrection for Boston pop-rock darlings LETTERDAY. Back from extended hiatus with a fine-tuned lineup, a sharper perspective, and a fresh batch of songs from this already well-oiled rock and roll machine, Letterday last month announced their comeback with “Don’t Go,” the first single off towering new record Ready.
From the growing GHouse collective come two new artists poised to break out in 2012. BADKNIGHT, a Boston-based lullaby-pop duo of Emily Lenae and Devin McKnight, released debut record It’s Alright just last month, and standout track “Rewind” is an ethereal, acoustic drifter that positions Lenae as the weekday-daydream answer to Harriet Wheeler’s Sundays.
“Uptown’s gonna go downtown tonight!” It’s equally a plea, a promise, and warning from vocalist Naseem Khuri on “Black Boots,” the latest master folk-ing racket from Americana sextet KINGSLEY FLOOD. It’s also appropriate for the launch of the Phoenix’s new partnership with Converse, which will bring Boston artists featured in this space to 348 Newbury St for live in-store performances.
Following last year’s fuzzy 12-track Night Cows, Cambridge psych-rock trio FEDAVEES return with a new 7-inch single, Solar Flower, due out in early 2012. Until the wax is pressed, its two spooky, psyched-out tracks (recorded by Carter Tanton of Lower Dens and, formerly, Tulsa) are available for free on their Bandcamp, backed by the local Middlesex-night-turned-music-blog-turned-DIY-label pRIMORDIAL SOUNDS
There’s a beauty in the simplicity of “Who Knew,” the story-time folk magnet from Massachusetts duo YOU WON’T. “If I was a cute little kid/I would show you the painting I did,” begins vocalist Josh Arnoudse over mandolin chords, the song reaching a confident climax only when Raky
Sastri’s accordion allows.
The artwork for DIRTY VIRGINS’ self-released Whiskey Dick EP is an eyecatcher. Not because of the pale, female, thonged ass yawning for attention (the “y” in “Dirty” traces a whale tail!) but because of the old fat dude caught staring it at. Clutching a light beer and boasting a perfectly round, crescent-moon preggo belly, this mess of a man provides a nice visual for “I Like You,” a trembling garage-rock do-si-do from Allston’s newest DIY dudes that shows a kindler, gentler side until rolling off the rails in a noisy dust-up towards the end.
Every glorious, gluttonous Halloween, the streets of the city become one big network of sticky-sweet candy aisles. So when Albert Polk of STREIGHT ANGULAR howls out above the assembly-line rock ruckus of new single “Supermarche” (“Yeah you go/To the store /Cuz you feel /Like you want some more”), the man is really just inviting you to ZuZu in Cambridge October 31 for Polk Records and Night of the Living Deadhead’s tag-team Halloween throwdown