Dennis

New album: Bingo Trappers || Giddy Wishes

In 1995 Waldemar Noë visited Wim Elzinga to record a few songs at his home, the start of Bingo Trappers. Now, 25 years later, the Dutch lo-fi band still works that way. They make 60’s/70’s-influenced psychedelic garage pop with a twang. Old-fashioned craftsmanship. Their new album Giddy Wishes, follow up to Elizabethan (2018), offers ten new melancholic tunes that bring a little light to these dark days. Most of the songs are a bit more subdued than before, but the singer’s ‘Whoo!’ exclamation halfway through the stand-out track What’s the score (listen below) shows the enthusiasm that the band still has. The album title refers to an old-fashioned postcard: ‘Some giddy wishes from a confined place – mind and heart are free to travel from A to B.’ Just what we need right now.

Add to wantlist: Almost Halloween Time || Grapefruit || Morc Records  (Bandcamp) || Morc Records (website) || Unread

New album: Degurutieni || Dark Mondo

Obviously, cool things are happening in Japan. Strange things too: just listen to this album by Alco Degurutieni (アルコ デグルチーニ), a one-man band from Osaka that has been making songs for almost 40 years. Apparently you should actually see him live (pre Covid-19 he was touring through the world constantly), an experience as incomprehensible as unforgettable. Dark Mondo is a compilation with older songs (self released or on tiny labels) and new ones, songs that deserve a larger audience according to the people at Voodoo Rhythm Records. They describe Degurutieni’s music as weird, wild, obscure, spooky, exotica burlesque toy junk muzak trash made with broken cassette desks and fucked up record players. And that’s not even all you hear or see. Fascinating. RIYL Tom Waits, Captain Beefheart, cinematic weirdness.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Voodoo Rhythm

New song: The Shop Window || Sad Eyes

It’s always nice when an artist not only makes good music, but also embraces a bigger idea. As The Shop Window (UK) does. The art work of the five songs they have released so far have the same layout (including the band name mirrored) and the Spotify playlists of the band members are “shop windows” of their favorite tracks. But I certainly appreciate their jangly indie pop too, especially this new song Sad Eyes.  After an impressive visit to his 104-year-old grandmother, composer Carl Mann reached for his guitar as soon as he got home and this song wrote itself (video on YouTube). Beautiful. Unfortunately, this track will not be on the forthcoming album The State Of Being Human, due out in the spring, but is now available digitally and will be released early 2021 on 7 ”vinyl through Spinout Nuggets.

‘I see you sitting in your chair // Waiting there, watching time // All you have now is the past // The future has gone beyond your grasp’

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: Crosstown Killers || Exotic Psychotic

The idea behind this blog is that we share the work of relatively unknown artists, work that we would like to have in our collection, work you might want to add to your wantlist. That’s not always that easy. This week, through a Spotify playlist, I discovered Exotic Psychotic, the second EP by Australian psych rockers Crosstown Killers. I immediately dragged the track This World is a Modern Day Jail to my favorites list, but it seems there’s no option to pay for the music. They have a website and some social accounts, but unfortunately no page on Bandcamp, no physical release either. Too bad for you and me, but also for the band, I guess. I found a song on Soundcloud to give you an idea of what you’re missing.

So apparently the EP is not for sale, but it can be heard on Spotify.

UPDATE: Message from Crosstown Killers: ‘We’re in the process of making some hard copies for sale.’ 🙂

New song: Daniel Young || The World Ain’t Gonna Wait

American singer-songwriter / guitarist / drummer / sound engineer / producer Daniel Young knows how to capture the Zeitgeist in this new song. ‘We’re all locked up in our homes, trying to figure out just where to start’, he sings with a country sob in his powerful voice, assisted by Tyler Lambourne (bass), Ryan Tanner (piano), Marcus Bently (backup vocals), Andy Joy Chase (hand claps, yeah!), Sadler Vaden (guitar) and Trevor Nealon (B3 organ). A beautiful song, but also an important one, because ‘The world ain’t gonna wait for us, wondering what we did with our lives’.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: Hobby || Hobby

Now that was an original way to announce a name change: last year this five-piece band from Paris released a split tape with themselves – the A side under the new name Hobby was called After, the B side under their previous moniker Deaf Parade was called Before. And now there is a new EP from Hobby (‘not professionally and not for pay’) with four tracks, just called Hobby, although none of the songs are titled Hobby. The co-release of Hidden Bay Records (vinyl) and RDS REC HH (tape) offers an interesting combination of slacker jangle and alternative rock with a 90’s feel.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New single: The Ar-Kaics || To Be Free / Easy

They perform this task with gusto: The Ar-Kaics keep 60’s style garage rock alive. After full-length albums in 2014 and 2018, a compilation with singles & unreleased work was released earlier this year. And now they are back with a new single: To Be Free b/w Easy is available through Daptone’s rock subsidiary Wick Records. It’s a great band and this is another great proof of competence. This new single could have been a hit from 1965, but maybe it will be a hit in 2021?

Add to wantlist: Daptone

New song: Skegss || Wake Up

We know the Australian garage rock trio Skegss of party bangers like the awesome L.S.D., but their last song is a lot more serious and laid-back. ‘Been living down the wrong side of town, I should move up to the right’, Ben Reed sings accompanied by an acoustic guitar. Beautiful. (Who would have thought that we would describe Skeggs’ music as beautiful?)

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

Music Year-End List || Dennis’ Favorite Albums of 2020

OK, let’s start with the obligatory cliché intro text. The only good thing about 2020 was that by being at home more often you could listen to even more music and for those who want to hear it, enough good music has been made. Since January I have checked out 1,100+ new albums. Sometimes after half a minute I knew it wasn’t for me, sometimes I just couldn’t get enough. No doubt I missed a few things that I should not have missed, but right now this is what it is. And it doesn’t really matter either. Music lists are by definition debatable, because they say something about taste and taste is personal. What follows does not really say anything about quality, but simply reflects what I have played and enjoyed the most. In my list guitars and distinctive voices predominate, it’s mostly rock orientated (alternative, garage, jangle, roots, post-punk, …) plus a little bit of soul, with both debuting bands and old rockers with renewed energy who could have been their grandfather. It turns out that 2020 was not that bad at all!

New album: Micko & The Mellotronics || 1​/​2 Dove – 1​/​2 Pigeon

I scrolled through some year-end lists this week to see if I missed any good records this year. In Louder Than War’s Top 50 I came across the name Mick & The Mellotronics at no.27, unknown to me but described as a ‘classy, intelligent art-school guitar band’. At Bandcamp I was immediately enthusiastic about the cool art work: a pigeon with an Elvis wig! The music and lyrics are so captivating that it pays to spend your time on them; the LP gets 9/10 reviews for a reason. The debut album ½ Dove – ½ Pigeon is available via Landline Records.

“I titled the record ½ Dove – ½ Pigeon because I thought it was an honest reflection on how most people see themselves.” – Micko Westmoreland

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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