TRACK | Jason Hill – They Like Me, They Love Me

5/5 golden merles

Experimental LA pop rock from Jason Hill, “They Like Me, They Love Me” is a dreamy and delicately disoriented tune. Lyrically ponderous, an obsessive narrative yarn is delivered concerning personal presentation and the series stories that ultimately construct the self. The tale is told over some faded percussive gears and accented with a richly detailed accompaniment that allows the 4:45 runtime to feel positively tight. There’s a lot of pretty shimmer coinciding with the dreary divulging, everything broken up in an intriguing elaboration.

The tune has rightly captured the feel of an interrogation, including the competing of illusions and a progressively faltering devotion to a lie. A cello punctuates the middle movements as the rhythm guitar sways across the soundscape, dancing by itself on the periphery. Vocal layers clamber along the octaves, corroborating in the chorus half the time, probably contradicting elsewhere. All of that lumbers harmoniously along, graceful enough to warrant further study.

There’s a great warm wrath to it, derived from fermented fog and bottled in. The track was featured in Netflix’s The Confession Killer and written from the perspective of Henry Lee Lucas, “once suspected to be the biggest serial killer of all time but was really just a serial liar.” It stands up on its own, the wilted and creaking confessional, but you get the feeling there’s further illumination in the coupling of these spectacles. What’s the harm in hearing what they have to say?

TRACK | R.M.F.C. – Feeder

5/5 golden merles

Garage rock from New South Wales Australia, a bit eternal but it feels fresh as a daisy despite all the elements being composed of cardboard cutouts and wax idols. I don’t know the alchemy of it, maybe melt them down in sweat and blood and they become renewed. It works, somehow, divination or some slight mangling or subversion of the cultural conditioning.

Regardless, it’s strong, inventively building and smashing through the effigies. Follow the uroboros either way around and you eventually get back to the guts. The vocals burrow into your skull and bed down there for the night. There are guitar tones that clip in the cathode manner, gently collapsing and fiercely shedding the echoes of its skin in reverberation. It’s good, fun garage rock that elides the rot all around us. The tapes are sold, but it can be digitally got for $3 AUD.

TRACK | Tawings – Listerine

5/5 golden merles

Post-punk/pop from Japan, Tawings sculpt tunes that blend various rock influences minimalistically but with much warble and precision. The instrumentation shakes and severs, fitful and concerted, to great, elaborated result.

With “Listerine” particularly the track is paced in a sophisticated lurch, with many flourishes punctuating the soundscape.

The internal logic of the tactful ornamentation locks decisively around the steady bass and drum foundation. The phrasing and lyricism is agile throughout, happy to fall apart, but prevailing in the act, composed and resolute.

Unique and fun, the vinyl is available for about ~$35 including the shipping from Japan on the bandcamp. There’s also a super cool looking partially clear/cutout case for the single version, but so far no availability on the Discogs.

TRACK | Twain – Young God (gotta lotta feeling)

5/5 golden merles

Twain’s “Young God (gotta lotta feeling)” is a bundle of tones and tethered vibrations, plaintive and patiently emitting. It functions on its own accord, a kind of Americana with spirit; unfortunately an exception to the rule.

There’s a kind of masterful, natural skewer and slouch to the unfolding instrumentation, definitely some majesty among the assembled merits. Not overworked, but still intricately plotted, just enough without getting lost in form or sacrificing the feeling.

And it builds up to something moving and unencumbered: naturally ascending tambourine, flush with guitar and a parading piano. Part of its glory is not being able to pin it down or put it dead under the glass. But some copy of it has been captured and maintains the illusion of a living body. And that can be bought for $8-20 in various forms.

TRACK | dead katz – Acid Ocean

5/5 golden merles

dead katz “Acid Ocean” feels like the quiet rumbling of indentations bound for the indelible. We know, coming from an era of great greed that lacks any consequence, preventative care is always more effective than recuperative, or reliance on technologies yet invented, or the belated panic-trauma of a last ditch surgery.

But what of matters beyond the body, when the size and scope are systems beyond our individual or (apparently) collective addressing? –When you only have the knowledge of what’s coming with no capacity for redressing this grievance?

The track has a metaphorical appreciation for waves and regard for the intention of other waves, spilling forward, falling backward. Somewhere in the ebbing and flowing, quite quickly you’re bound to lose track, there is always a rushing and the cause is not known. If we can’t take care of one another, what chance does the collective species have. It reminds me of the introduction written by Czelaw Milosz for Kudelka’s Exiles:

Rhythm is at the core of human life. It is, first of all, the rhythm of the organism, ruled by the heartbeat and circulation of blood. As we live in a pulsating, vibrating world, we respond to it and in turn are bound to its rhythm. Without giving much thought to our dependence on the systoles and diastoles of flowing time we move through sunrises and sunsets, through the sequences of four seasons. Repetition enables us to form habits and to accept the world as familiar Perhaps the need of a routine is deeply rooted in the very structure of our bodies.

“…An old anecdote about a refugee in a travel agency has not lost its bite: a refugee from war-torn Europe, undecided as to what continent and what state would be far off enough and safe enough, for a while was pensively turning a globe with his finger, then asked, ‘don’t you have something else?'”

TRACK | Special Friend – High Tide

5/5 golden merles

“High Tide” is built of sterling garage-pop components and moves assuredly from strength-to-strength, no sequence a weakened, broken, or missing link.

Across the soundscape the fuzz’d bass and rhythm guitar are largely reading as one united instrument, beams of the lead guitar’s higher note hooks punctuating the greater haze. The complimentary backing vocals arise harmonious, steadily elevating the chorus and bridge. The drums guide everything toward its assured, abrupt conclusion.

The song is doing well what it intends to do. If you still maintain the capacity to hear things and earnestly assess them, evenly, I don’t think you can fault its form. There is craft, well realize, and in it some sense of purpose.

TRACK | Possible Humans – The Thumps

5/5 golden merles

The track for me represents music with a broader capacity than is normally assigned or attributed to it, one that is attempting to more properly incorporate doubt or uncertainty into the model.

Lyrically there is a reassessment at work and at the time of delivery we’re privy to some middle-stage in the process of reinvention.

Meanwhile the musical accompaniment is the energy embodied which acts as a catalyst for this effort, itself a spiraling, mechanical whirl.

The persistence fuels the framework, and is, through its action, a kind of enriched ground of possibility for the vocal performance to grow out of. Quietly at first, so as to not draw too much attention. And then later with determination.

It all locks together nicely in the tenuous/tempestuous process. Order the album here.