by: Matt Buga
Shonen Knife- Super Group [Good Charamel Records]
Classic girl pop punk trio from Japan! Around since the 80s, and still doing the stripped down pop punk power trio business singing songs about nothing and happiness, well except for one black sabbath-y track about "muddy hell bubbles" (what?). I'm personally addicted to the title track on this one.
Hornet Leg- Ribbon of Fear [K Records]
Lo-fi garage punk from Chris Sutton of Dub Narcotic Sound System. Pretty legit old-school sound. Punky twang meets doowop+blues. Short blurb but sweet band.
Capybara- Try Brother [The Record Machine]
Pretty fun pop album full of vocal harmonies and lots of different instruments. Cute and fun in the same way as Menomena, but probably a little more upbeat and positive!
Mystery of Two- Self-titled [Exit Stencil]
This trio is rockin in that rock way reminiscent of the Volcano Suns or early Dinosaur Jr. Cool but not over-the-top guitar leads, fast paced drums, all together turbulent and raw but still melodic.
.Taken By Trees- East of Eden [Rough Trade]
Really excellent folk album by the singer of the Concretes. She recorded this in Pakistan apparently, and you can hear the influence in some of the strings and percussion and other random backing instruments.
Fool's Gold- self-titled [IAmSound Records]
Another worldy one, really dance-y group of somewhere in between 10-12 people, including members of the Fall, Foreign Born, and We are Scientests as well as an Argentinean pop star, Erica Garcia. Sweet guitar leads, some horns, foreign sounding vocals (descriptive I know), and grooooooves.
Dream-y mid-paced album full of reverb and echo and bass grooves by a group who dont need distortion to rival the dreaminess of all em' distortion to the max shoegaze bands. I feel like I'm supposed to go to sleep after listening to this but I still have more blurbs.
Maserati- Passages [Temporary Residence]
Pretty groovy/proggy instrumental jams right here, its even got 3 remixes on it. Thanks to the bass lines and drums, you can really get into the groove on this one which is cool, I guess it sort of sounds like Tortoise if they were more upbeat and move-able.
Science Fiction Dance Party- Dance With Action [Finders Keepers
Probably the most novel release we've gotten from this label, a weird concept 1968 album that sounds like a mix of krautrock+lounge+easy listenin psychedelic. These are good people, this label.
Apples In Stereo- #1 Hits Explosion [Yep Roc Records]
About time! A greatest hits of the seminal Elephant 6 pop group, Apples In Stereo. Jamming for 15 years, this album captures all their 60s pop roots masterpieces. Nothin' but pure pop here, and what pop it is, my friends.
Pens- Hey Friend, What You Doing? [De Stijl]
Riot grrrrrrrrl skronked through a lo-fi pop punk fuzz filter. Gets surprisingly catchy despite how abrasive some of the other songs are. They do have a song called "yeah baby! I'll take you to bagel town" so that is really worth it alone.
Dracula's Music Cabinet-The Vampires of Dartmoore [Finders Keepers Records]
A soundtrack to a film that never quite existed, but it would be pretty sweet if it did. Similar to science fiction dance party, but more surf-y and Vampire-y. And like all Finders Keepers Records, its got some long liner notes to help explain this bizarro piece.