Indie Rock

GIMME 5! || Rob Nesbitt (The Suitesixteen) Shares 5 Monumentally Important Albums That Deserve Another Look

(Photo by Wendy Nesbitt)

With ‘Gimme 5!’ we take a peek into the collections of artists we admire. The premise is simple: artists WE like share 5 records THEY love.

We started Gimme 5! out of curiosity and a desire to discover must-own records. We’ve been amazed by the lists so far. In addition to the picks, the best part of the feature has been the artists’ introductions and explanations. It’s a thrill to see artists share their passion and love for the music that inspired them. In fact, when the artist of this week’s Gimme 5! sent me his list, I literally got goosebumps from reading his words. I am talking about Rob Nesbitt. Rob played on the first BUM album Wanna Smash Sensation – an early nineties somewhat overlooked powerpop/pop punk classic. He then quit the band and spent the next 25 (!) years working on a Suitesixteen record. It came out last year, and it’s perfect. It is available in a custom triple gatefold, double vinyl package with a 50-page book and beautiful photography.

Rob’s list includes 5 records that were “monumentally important to him and perhaps overlooked.” Click below to read and listen. Rob wrote an extensive introduction to his list and explanations for each pick. He apologizes for it being long, but if you are like me, at the end of the post he leaves you wanting more. Thanks a lot for your generosity, Rob!

New album: Sweat Enzo || Painting Salmon in Salmon Colored Rooms

Sweat Enzo might be my favorite discovery of 2021. Apparently, the band has been releasing music since 2012, and from what I hear they like to switch up their sound with each release. For example, Talking Rock (2016) sounds like a Pavement take on classic rock, whereas Rok n Roll Porch (2017) has an early Replacements feel to it – listen to Go To School for example. Twee Bongos, in contrast, sounds like a mix of twee pop and slacker rock. And on most records they pull it off. It’s baffling how many gems a quick dive in their back catalogue on Requested Records uncovers.

Their most recent record, however, is something else. I am counting Painting Salmon in Salmon Colored Rooms as a 2021 record in spite of it being recorded mostly in 2016, revisited in 2018, finalized in 2020 and ultimately released on the final day of 2020. It’s a record I gladly paid for on the most recent Bandcamp Friday. In fact, I had to, because I had exceeded its streaming limit on the site. On it, Sweat Enzo play the type of powerpop that fans of Big Star, Teenage Fanclub, Fountains of Wayne and Someone Still Loves You, Boris Yeltsin will adore. The pop sensibilities on this record are front and center, and the songwriting is too good to overlook despite the lo-fi production. Honestly, I don’t mind that lo-fi production at all. And yet, I cannot help to wonder how broad the appeal of this record would be with a fuller, more produced sound. It’s THAT good.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New singles: Warm Drag|| Butch Things & Public Body || Ask Me Later

Six Tonnes De Chair Records is a French label with an ear for bands that sound good, and an eye for records that look good. Label runner Laurent Matthew Perret has built quite the roster, with artists like Tracy Bryant, Joe Ghatt, Doug Tuttle, Sunfruits and Mt. Mountain. Most of the bands on the label sound somewhere between psychedelic and garage rock. Today, I like to draw your attention to two new releases by the label. The first was released last month. It’s Butch Things by Warm Drag. The A-side’s got a drum beat that is hypnotic and a chorus that I find hard to resist. As alway with this label, the artwork is great. I guess the snake on the cover signals subliminally that this single is quite the trip. Make sure you check out the B-side as well. The second single will be released on March 5, but is already available for streaming and pre-order. It is Ask Me Later by Public body. This one is more straightforward indierock, with excellent guitar work. I particularly like the A-side, the hyperactive, no time to breathe title track.

Add to bandcamp: Bandcamp

New EP: bedposts. || Life’s Still Strange

Of course it’s cool to be part of the music scene in eg New York, Melbourne or London, but also in less attractive locations artists put their heart and soul into creating songs for eternity. Meet bedposts., a DIY emo band hailing from the Netherlands and Britain, but based in Hoofddorp, a place where you can’t actually record a track without being bothered by the noise of planes from the adjacent Schiphol Airport. Still, Pietro and Eve succeeded, although you do hear other alienating sounds on their second mini-album Life’s Still Strange. It’s lo-fi, basic, raw, and reminds me a bit of the old Bright Eyes work. Scott Pine guests on the last track. Listen below.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: Oyasumi, Mon Ami || Oma#1

When we talk about music, do borders even matter? At Add To Wantlist we post about bands from all around the globe. Still, I don’t think we’ve had a band from Russia yet. Enter Oyasumi, Mon Ami. A band with Japanese and French elements in their name, that plays “Japanese styled instrumental math rock?” I am intrigued! If you experience a lack focus while working from home today, let this instrumental EP get you back on track.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Farewell Horizontal || An Argument With An Idiot

Melbourne has around 5 million inhabitants and I am starting to believe that its bands may in fact exceed that number. Here is another example of the quality indiepop and -rock that is coming out of that Australian city. Farewell Horizontal are Pat (guitar, bass, vocals) and Lauren (drums). They are prolific songwriters who plan to release an album every time they have ten songs that they are content with and their health allows it – Pat recently recovered from a life changing lung transplant. With the exception of the 6-minute opener Freud’s Shit Nephew, An Argument With An Idiot contains mostly songs around the two minute mark. It’s a diverse record musically, full of wry humor lyrically. Album closer Doesn’t Matter, No One Cares (below) is an instant favorite, but this record feels like a grower. By the way, as if this duo needs any more goodwill, they donate their share of bandcamp revenues to charities.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Carambolage || On bouge en ville

One of my favorite songs of 2019 was Soupeur by Carambolage, a great catchy tune that you can mix seamlessly into Plastic Bertrand’s Ça Plane Pour Moi at your party – success guaranteed. That song was on an self-titled EP with 4 tracks, now followed by a full-length with 9 new songs. The guitars of the debut have been pushed to the background by synthesizers – the album is a combination of disco, post-punk and rock influences – but the upbeat melodies and French lyrics are strong again, impossible not to move your feet. Out now through Musique d’Aperitif Records. Judge yourself.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Waltzer || Time Traveler

Waltzer is a project helmed by multi-hyphenate songwriter Sophie Sputnik. With such a great name, you don’t actually need a stage name, but that didn’t feel right. Waltzer may be a moniker, but it contains ever-evolving multitudes. It’s also a character, a persona, a songwriting collaboration unit, a one-woman project, a sketch-comedy routine, even a TV show. Let’s focus on the music here: Time Traveler is Waltzer’s debut full-length album, the end result of years of work (the song Destroyer is 10 years old). The LP takes some time to win you over, but is varied and engaging enough to give it a shot. Out now via Side Hustle Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: Vera Bloom || Vera Bloom

“Tonight’s a good night for making bad decisions,” Vera Bloom sings on the standout track of her self-titled EP, before adding some well-timed “uh huh’s.” Both lyrically and musically, the track feels like a straight-up tribute to the glampunkrock of the Donnas. The rest of the EP sounds completely different. On her EP, Vera Bloom goes from powerballads (Breathe, Love Like Knives), to ’90’s alternative rock (Sharp Shooter), and indie rock (Blue, my 2nd favorite track on the EP). I guess this mix of styles won’t be for everyone, but I am adding Vera Bloom to my artists to watch.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Cereal Milk || Cereal Milk

From the moment I got into punkrock and hardcore back in the mid-nineties, I don’t think I ever fully grasped the concept of emo. To my ears, most of the music I was listening to oozed emotion. Whether it was anger, angst, hate, love, melancholy, hope(lessness) or feeling left out, I always felt that the best punk and hardcore bands have that emotional edge: they feel real, and whatever emotions they convey, they feel authentic, making them stand out from most mainstream music. As such, I struggle considering emo to be a distinct genre, but rather an almost necessary element of great punk and hardcore music. Perhaps this explains why I’ve taken an immediate liking to the self-titled record of Cereal Milk. Here is a band that literally is leaving it all out there: Cereal Milk no longer is a band and this posthumous record will be their final release. Some of its songs have been previously released, for example on the 2017 Amazing Singer Record comp by Emotional Response. Cereal Milk is an intense though melodic record, with a singer absolutely singing his heart out. It’s a dynamic record, with plenty of palm muting, cool guitar riffs, and well timed tempo and soft-loud variations. Shoutout to Californian label Phat ‘n’ Phunky for putting this out.

then, as they dropped the gates // and the bets were placed // your’s was against me // like some insider trade // you were privy to my fate // i’m the horse with the broken leg

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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