Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Abner Trio

Boosted by a fearless, punch-you-in-the-face positivity that is both rare and refreshing, Abner Trio mash tumbling guitar lines, bewildering arrangements, and idiot-savant-spoken-word into songs that (amazingly) sound a lot like pop music. Beneath the weirdness, the music of Abner Trio contains an unwavering and highly developed pop-sensibility, brought to the forefront by their densely layered and meticulously arranged vocal melodies. Bothering very little with traditional song structures, Abner seems to allow the songs to move where they’re supposed to, lilting and bursting along like a feel-good Sebadoh gorged on US Maple.

Beginning in 2005, and releasing their first album Distant Thunder of the Sacred Force on Joyful Noise in 2006, Abner Trio has always been a band that thrives on the unique and organic interaction between band members. The intricately calculated yet gritty style of Clinton Hughey’s guitar work combines with Daniel Paquette’s stream of subconsciousness lyrics – which themselves seem to embrace a brave sense of humor (see: opening lines to “Scurvy Killers”) while channeling madmen and Old Testament prophets. Behind it all sits the patiently powerful drumming of Karl Hofstetter, punching in explosive accents when necessary, and seeming to thrive on the re-assemblage of simple beats into his own occasionally confounding patterns.

Abner Trio will release their second full-length, The Giant Crushes You, August 24, 2010 on Joyful Noise Recordings (founded by the band's drummer, Karl Hofstetter, and home to Joan Of Arc, Jookabox, Marmoset, Child Bite, among others). With The Giant Crushes You, Abner Trio have created an album that triangulates exactness, rawness and beauty. Nearly three years in the making, Abner Trio’s second full length is hands-down the most accomplished documentation of their mathy, artsy, honest, and all-around original blend of indie-rock. Recommended!

Abner Trio - You're Gorgeus, Believe It!
Abner Trio @ MySpace


SONG OF THE DAY: Pete Yorn - Precious Stone
(from self-titled album, out September 28th on Vagrant Records)


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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable was conceived by music-obsessed friends Ritzy Bryan and Rhydian Dafydd when they were both students in Wales. After a brief hiatus, they relocated to London, brought in drummer Matt Thomas, and got down to writing and recording a record. The resulting sound melds the huge expanses of the band members' native Welsh countryside with the hectic nature of their new London home. That sound has won them the praise of the highly influential NME and airplay on the UK's Radio 1.

The Joy Formidable has sold out multiple UK tours throughout the past year and supported several standout bands including Editors and The Temper Trap. After touring the UK with Passion Pit, the band was invited to join them as the opening act to their shows at New York's Terminal 5. Additionally, this past spring the wowed audiences on an East Coast run, prompting Spin on its website to laud their show at the Bamboozle as "best breakout performance " of the entire festival.

The band's eight-song debut EP A Balloon Called Moaning has been critically well-received, with SPIN calling the release "ambitious... drenched in...fuzzy bass, propelled by...driving percussion... the album transforms shoegaze's ear-stabbing reverb into something pretty, airy, girly...and sometimes dark." FILTER went on to say that The Joy Formidable "rocks like a grungier version of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs...joyous." The New York Times congratulated the songs' "cryptic lyrics that glint with urgency" and said that "the music regenerates the turbulent haze of 1990s shoegazer rock, but... it's less tormented and more anthemic, confident of the pop structures at its core." Highly Recommended!

The Joy Formidable - Live at the Relentless Garage, London 30 September 2009

The Joy Formidable @ MySpace


SONG OF THE DAY: Women - Eyesore
(from Public Strain, out September 28th on Jagjaguwar)


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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt!

Founded in late 2007 as means for front man Neil Fridd to yell about his romantic mishaps, The Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt! has blossomed into a real juggernaut of epic dance floor revelation.

What do they sound like? It’s sorta dance-soul music, like synthed out Otis Redding covers on fast forward. Dance music with too many cooks in the kitchen, but in a good way, so not too many cooks, maybe just an above average amount of cooks. That is to say, there are sweet beats: your ass wants to shake, but there’s also like four vocals and two horn lines happening too, making for a unique, dense, dance floor throw down that’s suitable for both club rock outs and secluded headphone listening. But perhaps more than both of these, you’ll find yourself wanting to be listening to this music at a Halloween party with all your friends, because before TPDR were trying to make your head bob or your ass shake they were trying to make your heart feel something. Whether they’re singing about a new romance, old friends, or a magical thing that happens when the roads are too icy for professors to get to school, TPDR are singing about something that you’ve felt, and doing so with a humor and sincerity so often lacking in indie music. Scenes and events are set up so perfectly that on a late night, driving in your car in the middle of nowhere you feel every emotion they’re singing about deep down in your gut: you’ll be getting chills on the subway during your morning commute. These songs will make you long for every boy or girl you almost kissed in high school, chuckle to yourself about how stupid and great your friends are and make you want to go camping, stay up late, dance on your fire escape, have a potluck dinner, jump in piles of leaves, French kiss in the back of a movie theater and finally go out and cut down a real Christmas tree this year.

The Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt! have an album coming out on Luaka Bop this spring. It’s great. It’s ten tracks of absolute power. They’re touring the US nonstop starting in February with a new backing band called The Shakes. They’re now accepting summer barbecue invitations and really want to play someone’s senior prom like how the Spice Girls used to have competitions like that. The Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt! are touring in support of their Luaka Bop debut album I Love You. I Love You. I Love You And I'm In Love With You. Highly Recommended!

TPDR - Ride/Friendship
TDPR @ MySpace


SONG OF THE DAY: Neutral Uke Hotel - King Of Carrot Flowers Pt.1
(from Neutral Uke Hotel project, 2010)


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