People know and love John Dwyer for different reasons, but no matter how you came to his music, I think we can all agree he is awesome. Below are recent musical outputs from three iterations of Monsieur Dwyer. From his dearly departed, and somewhat revived band Coachwhips, there is live footage that was released recently to commemorate their short run of reunion shows. From his most well known band, pysch garage-punk mainstays Thee Of Sees, we have two new songs from their forthcoming Drop LP (out next week), and from his new synth based solo project Damaged Bug we have two new songs. All highlight the manic genius of a man who seems to have no issues with writers block.
The midwest has a great history of small scenes of bands popping up all over. Inflatable Best Friend hails from Kalamazoo, MI which while only a few hours from Chicago and Detroit, is only a small college town of 75,000 people. Recently they’ve teamed up with Minneapolis’ own Bongonya for a split 7″. “Beelzebum” opens up the Inflatable Best Friend’s side with a jangly sort of garage rock chord progression before the band kicks into something a bit sludgier, layered vocals pushing the track into some great Sonic Youth style guitar madness. “750 Dollar Ambulance Ride” follows a similar path but hits with some heavier riffing. Bongonya’s side is just a single track to IBF’s two songs but kicks things right into a breakneck riff before settling on a great stoner rock groove. The 7″ is now available from Don’t Panic, It’s A Distro.
Inflatable Best Friend plays the Hexagon Bar tonight with The Grow Fangs, Warp Rider and Hastas. Facebook event for more info.
Not many are doing the slightly-out-of-focus jangle garage rock better than the Allah-Lahs, who released their debut, self titled LP in 2012. Transporting from some flowery, smoke-filled West Coast bungalow in the late 60’s, the group are back with their first new material in a while with the chilled out “Had It All.” No word if it means LP2 is in the works, but another great offering from a band that haven’t seemed to get the credit that they deserve in their short lifespan.
Twin Cities doo wop/garage rock trio Some Pulp’s debut full length LP will be arriving on May 6th via Forged Artifacts label (full disclosure, FA founder Matt Linden has occasionally contributed to this site). We’ve been fans of Some Pulp for some time and eagerly anticipate the release. You can get a preview today in single “Oh Oh (Who’s Cryin Now)” which was recently made available. It’s a perfect example of the band’s heart-on-the-sleeve garage pop aesthetic – infectious guitar chords, vocal harmonies, and overall a heartbroken-yet-defiant tone. Check it out below and keep your eyes peeled for news of the band’s 5/10 release show details.
Medium Zach is best known from his work with Minneapolis rap mainstays Big Quarters, but he recently ventured out solo for a three song EP. You can stream Valued Input, which features Mally, Metasota, and Slug, and hear Zach bringing the classic but fresh sound he is known for in spades on his new project. It is slightly dark, silky smooth, and the beats are deep as the ocean. The biggest downside? It is only three songs. Dive in below and catch these tunes, and more, tonight at Icehouse as Medium Zach is joined by K.Raydio and DJ O-D Todda for the EP release show.
Alberta artist Chad VanGaalen’s new record Shrink Dust is purported to be part science fiction film score / part country album. While the first single “Where Are You,” definitely skews towards the former with its bombastic drum part, electronic guitar distortion, and electronic flourishes. Having heard the rest however (which officially comes out on April 29th via Sub Pop) I can report that the country side is very evident in other tracks. Not only that, it makes for a really good record. Based on just a handful of listens I am ready to put this amongst my favorites of the year. Listen to the track below and make sure to check out the rest of Shrink Dust when it comes available this Spring.
Pure X have been leaders of the pack in making foggy, reverb soaked pop music over the last few years, and their forthcoming LP Angel seems to indicate they still have the goods. “Starlight” is a bit more wooly and abstract in the tradition of their past work, while “Heaven” opens the door a crack and peels back a layer or two of effects to let the bands songwriting chops see the light of day. Both are downtempo and glittery, showcasing the band doing what they do best.
The band are on tour with fellow chilled out dudes Real Estate, who released their great Atlas LP earlier this month. The tour swings through Minneapolis tonight for a show at the Fine Line Music Cafe.
We were big fans of William Tyler’s outstanding 2013 LP Impossible Truth, and his show-stealing turn opening for Califone last fall did nothing to dampen our enthusiasm. The instrumental guitarist is back with a new limited edition 12-inch called Lost Colony, which will drop April 29 on Merge Records. If the lead single “Whole New Dude,” streaming below, is any indication, his arrangements are as immaculate and grandiose as they have been on previous releases, if not more. Stretched out over 13 minutes of hazy but strident instrumental folk/country, the song is a moving, powerful, red-hot track that goes from warm and fuzzy to churning rock to crackling and unhinged, a wild journey that needs no words to take the listener on a wild ride. This song seems like it could be an EP itself, so it is a great primer to get us excited to his new release next month.
Southern rock mainstays Drive-by Truckers returned earlier this month with their 12th(!) LP English Oceans, showcasing again the top-notch songwriting chops of Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley. You can stream the whole album over at Paste and see for yourself how well the bands sound has held up over the years. No matter how good the record may be, the band have made their empire live on stage, and you can get a chance to check them out this Thursday as they return to the First Avenue Mainroom. Grab tickets via the link below and grab their new album from their official website.
with Blitzen Trapper
Thursday, March 27
First Avenue – Minneapolis, MN
18+ $22 in advance, $25 at door