BEACH PARTY Self-Titled EP Los Angeles, CA (Self-released)
BLACK STONE CHERRY Magic Mountain Edmonton, KY (Roadrunner Records)
BLACKBIRD BLACKBIRD Tangerine Sky Seattle, WA (Om Records)
Beach Party has arrived just in time for summer. The Los Angeles natives are releasing a self-titled, five-song EP made of fuzzy, reverberating surf punk. From grinding guitar chords to aggressively pounding percussion, the album is a whirlwind from start to finish. In less than twenty minutes, Beach Party moves from bopping ’60s influenced rock (“Geronimo”) to ambling story telling (“Can’t Surf”) to dark and foreboding chaos (“Fun”) without missing a beat. The layers of razor sharp guitar notes paired with hoarse and calloused vocals are a perfect accompaniment to the explosive and at times unpredictable harmonies.
Kentucky’s Black Stone Cherry has recorded an album that essentially reiterates their stylistic roots as a band: Hard. Southern. Rock-n-roll. Probably in that order, and maybe the best they’ve done yet considering they are Southern Rock’s unofficial, official torchbearers. However, somewhat unlike their youthful formative elementary days, Magic Mountain’s topics are a bit more college-y, highlighted by more moments of verbal sultry bluntness than their previous three releases. Perhaps so blatantly so, that we can go ahead and officially add stoner rock to their growing list of genre identifiers. Of course, a Black Stone(d) Cherry album is never really complete until, in prideful anthemic-fashion, there’s a song that glorifies their home state…The tune in question this time is “Hollywood In Kentucky,” where the guys proclaim “you get your ass kicked if you talk about my mother.” Follow on Twitter @BlkStoneCherry Jason Ashcraft
Tangerine Sky is a tranquil journey through a fog of synthesized keyboards clapping backbeats, manipulated sound and decisive percussion notes. Mikey Maramag (the man behind the moniker) creates layers energetic and effervescent harmonies while blending a variety of genres and styles. The album is his third full-length release and it stays in the vein of hazy synth-pop. This time around though he’s produced cleaner bass lines, richer layers and given the album a wider range… Tangerine Sky blends together keys, electric guitar, percussion and looping to create moments of seemingly intentional introspection. It is a style Blackbird Blackbird has mastered on previous recordings, but nevertheless creates a haunting and captivating atmosphere.
Mixed & Recorded by Sonny DiPerri Additional Recording by Ty Segall Follow on Twitter @BEACHPARTYYY Vanessa Bennett
Produced by Michael Philip Maramag Follow on Twitter @BLCKBRDBLCKBRD Vanessa Bennett
Here you’ll find the best new music our writers have been digging this past month. For full reviews and to stream tracks and videos from the artists featured on these pages, please head to performermag.com. Enjoy! CITY WALLS AUTUMN FALLS Factory Brooklyn, NY (Self-released)
JPNSGRLS Circulation Vancouver, BC (Light Organ Records)
KARIKATURA Eyes Wide New York, NY (Ropeadope Records)
Beginning with a burst of joyful energy in the opening track “Factory,” brothers Dave and Anthony Gill display their gleeful harmonies, the trademark of this album. As the duet, the Gills bring their Australian roots and world travels into the heart of their sound, creating a batch of songs while living and bonding together in a natural forest setting in a barn in Woodstock, NY. “Patti” feels somber and sad melodically, with more glorious acoustic guitars and delightful piano. “While we conjure up a brighter day, play the games we play, I still tremble like a child lost in the dark,” sing Dave and Anthony with great pain and intimacy in “Lonely Too.” A glorious folk/country album, the tonality of each of the pair’s vocals is riveting, the arrangements stellar; for the avid folk fan, this gem is a winner. Produced by City Walls Autumn Falls and Reed Kendall Mixed by Tim Hatfield Mastered by Paul Gold at Salt Mastering Follow on Twitter @cwallsafalls Shawn M. Haney
Jpnsgrls (pronounced “Japanese Girls”) is an alternative rock band from Vancouver; Circulation is their first full-length album. Right off the bat, this record cranks out energy. First song “Smalls” has a classic indie rock vibe - picture the Arctic Monkeys, but still jamming out in their garage. Later tracks like like “Southern Comforting” and “Brandon” are slower with more powerful choruses. “Circulation” and “Mushrooms” have more of a Strokes vibe, that’s quite danceable. No matter which track, this LP has a strong energy that just begs you to listen to it. Bottom line: the new Jpnsgrls LP is full of fun, danceable songs that will get you up and moving in no time.
The debut full-length by this trans-global sextet is modern makeover of island inspired jazz-rock verdant with vivacious clave, Caribbean patois and tropical imagery – basically bombastic bossa nova blues. The 13-song LP is a bilingual buena vista combining hi-fi clean production with fortified song structures that create a personable sense of bouncy heartbreak. Accentuated with auxiliary percussion and crying horns, the group’s multicultural musical approach brushes on the hardships surrounding the urban struggle and deflated love while tactfully capturing benevolent vibes in Kingston cadences and Havana hustle rhythms.A true musical cocktail with Benetton diversity, Eyes Wide captures a band cleverly splicing a distant argot with the urban troubles of a modern man, and boasts the variety of a West Indies sampler with double down danceability. Engineered by Craig Dreyer Mixed by Daniel Schlett/ Mastered by Alex Saltz Follow on Twitter @KarikaturaNYC Taylor Haag
6 JULY 2014 PERFORMER MAGAZINE
Produced by Steve Bays Mastered by Greg Calbi Follow on Twitter @jpnsgrls Benjamin Hanson