I am pretty psyched about sister duo Bleached’s upcoming show at the Turf Club (4/28). Whether or not that show is packed full may be determined by how critically received their forthcoming album is. We should know that fairly soon – Ride Your Heart is out tomorrow via Dead Oceans. Personally I think it’s going to be a hit – Jennifer and Jessie Clavin are a pretty talented pair and their most recent single, “Dead in Your Head,” is a strong piece of pop. It’s a perfect mix of 90’s angsty riot grrrl punk with a healthy dose of 60’s California pop to give it a glossier shine. Check out the tune below and don’t forget to check out the full record when it drops tomorrow.
One of my least favorite things about local music media is their tendency to favor acts/musicians with whom they have established relationships with, rather than merit. Since we’re just a lowly blog however, there’s no need for us to hold ourselves to such strict standards. New local band Rabbit Holes contains Reviler co-founder Adam Bubolz on drums (as well as Jon Tester and Taylor Harris, i.e. pretty much all of Voytek minus Sam Gerard) so it could be expected that no matter how terrible they sound, we would be expected to gush about them, right? Except that this is one of those rare cases where you get to write about a friend’s musical project without having to lie about its quality. Rabbit Holes most certainly do not suck. Their new demo single ‘Where Do We Go” is a powerful wallop of compressed punk energy. Though the tune may lack for lyrical variety, Tester’s manic guitar playing fills the void nicely with fitful energy and power chords, and Bubolz’s drumming and Harris’s bass compliment nicely. I hear shades of early punk’s simple, directness in their sound, a la the Buzzcocks but I will leave it up to Adam to outline for us exactly which obscure punk/post-punk/seapunk bands Rabbit Holes call “influence.” He writes for this blog after all. In fact he may edit this.
— Jon Behm
Rabbit Holes first show will take place on March 1st at the Turf Club where they will play with Vonnie Kyle, Ex-Nuns, and Fury Things
I have respect for bands that go all out for their sound. If you are going to do ambient synth tunes, give me 18 minutes of wonked out sorcery. Garage rock? I want so much fuzz people ask if the speakers are broken. Free Energy strive for the bubble gum infused version of power pop that requires warm power chords, major keys, cowbells and gigantic sing-along choruses. To their credit, they check off all the requirements with enthusiastic gusto. I would understand someone not liking Free Energy, but it shouldn’t be because they cut any corners. You can listen to about half their new record, Love Sign, below to get a taste of where they are coming from with their second LP. From the anthemic, surgery sweet “Electric Fever” to the funky pop of “Street Survior” to the pop crunch of “Hangin,” the band are not afraid of larger than life melodies. Even when the band slows down, like on the gentle, jangly “Dance All Night,” the band craft a song that sounds ready made for an emotional climax of some mid level romantic comedy. Their material seems tailored made for soundtracks, songs crafted for moments of euphoria that transcend belief and elevate moments into something larger than just their everyday context. If you are predisposed a)believing in these moments and b)wanting songs to accompany them, I have a record for you. If you are a grouch like me, you may quickly find yourself with gut rot from the saccharine material on Love Sign.
Love Sign didn’t connect with me as much as their debut LP, Stuck on Nothing, maybe because the sound has a half life that finds my interest waning over time. It is a record that continues their trend of being unabashed in their quest for power pop nirvana, and may even take a step forward in rounding out their sound. If you dig the material below, grab their record and you can see them Saturday night, January 26th at the Turf Club.