TRACK | Bleeding Rainbow – Underground

5/5 golden merles

From Pennsylvania-based noise makers Bleeding Rainbow‘s 2010 Prism Eyes EP, “Underground” is bright and radiant rock. Some unique genre contamination in the shoegaze and punk elements and structure, it’s a kind of modular pop chimera. With the aural vocal phrasing stacked in two lanes, the miscellany of influences are always serving foremost melody.

Frenetic, everything pushes constantly forward. There is a proactive panic that elides stagnation, rapidly circumnavigates the drudgery of taking a breath, or pause, or a moments silence. Every vowel is elongated to enwrap the line and seemingly also to cushion the final blow: who can direct us where to go / my mind’s made up / the answer’s ‘no.’

The internet promises that the Hozac discs still exist in the world, and some of which are gold.

TRACK | All Saints Day – It’ll Come Around

5/5 golden merles

“It’ll Come Around” is soaring but densely knotted dream pop, shimmering and shoegazing with an acoustic rumbling as the engine beneath. The lead vocals are provided by Vivian Girls/La Sera’s Katy Goodman, who has always been juxtaposing DIY aesthetic and the acutely anthemic. It’s well calibrated and the great resonance is in the balance of its dissonance.

The intention is direct effectiveness not the comforting simulacra of it. The snare drum snaps drifting centrally above the nested snarl. The synths claw a path forward. As one who feels like writing is at least partially the evasion of your own boredom of repetition, I am somewhat resentful of the resilience to remain within that loop and alter only slightly, coming up for breath in the bridge or verse variance amidst so much crushing chorus — and yet still have it work forcefully.

There are black and red versions of the single (along with similarly great “Only Time Will Tell”).

TRACK | Dead Ghosts – What To Do

5/5 golden merles

“What To Do” is rapid, direct garage pop/rock. The static-distortion rises up to embrace you from the pyre beneath, fizzing and rasping. It’s finely fermented in its own haze and heartache; a joyous melodic sludge.

The production is a slushy stint of metallic rust, stormy and straightforward, strung together with the copper wire pulled from an abandoned home. Akin to The Riptides or Charlie and the Moonhearts, or any garage within view of the ocean.

Like the recently covered Can’t Get No, the Burger vinyl can be found across the globe with various dings and dents.

TRACK | Tamaryn – Love Fade

5/5 golden merles

A nested blaze of shoegaze tones from San Francisco, it caroms about absorbing and addressing the void at scale. We’re about a decade out from release but the reverberations are fortunately just this side of eternal.

Echoing, cavernous instrumentation propels forward in concordant jangle. The lyrics speak of a reassessment in the harsh light of day.

Elemental, arching momentum builds a resonant, sonic wave, thermal and synergistic. Anyway, you know what shoegaze is: sonorous crashing, dissipating entropy that is also somehow continually regenerative. This is that kind of goodness.

TRACK | Beach Fossils – Twelve Roses

5/5 golden merles

“Twelve Roses” is super catchy lo-fi pop rock which conveys the weathering of a state of ennui and a longing to locate some channel or undercurrent of escape. It contains a cryptic nursery rhyme of a melody and two octave vocal layers collapsing into one another above some enduring, tinny drums and tambourine.

The delicate bass line runs part counter and part concert to the melodic vocal phrasing but compliments adding breadth to the aural tide. Depending on the bass levels of your setup maybe it comes in somewhere beneath the consciousness threshold but your heart probably noticed it, or anyway some intermediary of the limbic system.

It reminds me of an era of early dietary restrictions, huddling behind a desk in a closet (all eras really, but one specific desk, one specific closet), and growing a real bad, patchy beard through the power of neglect. Anniversary edition available on the Bandcamp from Bayonet Records.

TRACK | Hanoi Janes – Across the Sea

5/5 golden merles

Joyous but bittersweet lo-fi garage pop, “Across the Sea” by Hanoi Janes is another from the Captured Tracks era of indie rock hegemony, when I first became acquainted with so many peeking widows and voided dogs.

Waves of reverb break against the shore. The approximation of a xylophone stutters, piercing. A heart is thrown across the sea and there’s one final pledge to remain the same.

The overwhelming sense is one of revelry in the time of adventuring. But there’s also a remorse at the opportunity cost of ever doing any one thing, the instead, those left behind, going as opposed to staying: the prospective revelries or troubles on either end.

Very few lines rapidly convey the universal conflict. The rest of the story is told in the tones of tremolo and the rapturous melodies and these speak clearly more to a promising future than the dread of absence or omission.

There are again Discog links for a reasonable price in the assemblage of atoms.

TRACK | Women – Eyesore

5/5 golden merles

“Eyesore” is a clinic on texture and tone. The track is a How-to with respect to texturing a track so well that you don’t need a proper hook to emerge until 4 minutes in. Once it lands it can only be extracted surgically.

There is so much more room for experimentation in pop/rock that can venture into new territory and yet remain catchy and instantly resonate. Women were comfortable operating within this space. The album itself and the ST before it are legendary stuff, and so is the continued work by Flegel under Cindy Lee.

I’ve written on “Heavy Metal” here, as “pretty captivating, and contorts the space of any room into which it is freed.” A sentence I don’t remember writing but am very happy to find here, reminding me that sometimes articulation happens and it isn’t just incoherent rambling, desperately melting down thesauri and clumsily reconstituting them.

TRACK | Dr. Dog – Where’d All The Time Go?

5/5 golden merles

Every now and then you have the realization that these are more or less the good old days. That this will be the idealized era, later, despite how it all may seems day-to-day.

Stagnation from a position of decline will have relative superiority. The stress and unease will be forgotten, whether we survive or not/in either case. And the rest will be survivors bias, and how it all seemed inevitable in retrospect.

If you can have a song that is earnest in its recollecting without the rose-tinted glasses or losing the shape of the thing in the glare of some golden era, maybe this is it.

and when the fog rises / somebody sighs
who is not in disguise anymore

Alongside the well detailed and comprehensive inclusion of the faults, there is included even a kind of nostalgia for the collapse. There is a fidelity and as fair an account as is possible by one who remains to do it.