TRACK | Frankie Traandruppel – The Darkness (comes to town)

5/5 golden merles

A great, soundly built garage rock track, strumming and bashing about over the tapes sturdy hiss. When the organ arrives to accompany the chorus you know you’re in good hands for the remainder.

The vocal and audio peaking is skillfully used for intensity, never overstepping into painful or distracting but instead gracefully bracing itself off of this ceiling.

If I had five golden merles to give I would give it five golden merles.

TRACK | Black Bug – Well Well

Black Bug - S/T
5/5 golden merles

Well, well is a stunning track and, good news, the whole album is built like this. Maybe a full, proper review to come when things settle down a bit.

But Black Bug’s s/t is a well contained rampage of burning saw patterns, choral uproar and properly clobbered digi drums.

15 tracks and no song is longer than 2:08.

Female/Male tradeoff the purging, vocal utterances and I don’t know if any album is as much fun as this is fun.

Name your price.

TRACK | Katie Von Schleicher – Strangest Thing

5/5 golden merles

Katie Von Schleicher has released not one but two essential rock albums of our common era, 2020’s Consummation and 2017’s Shitty Hits.

This track is off the former, which is the latter, chronologically. I don’t have a copyeditor. This is a blog that only people who are getting ping-backs to their bandcamp pages are reading.

The point is that very few people are writing songs on the level of The Image and Strangest Thing. They’re full of majesty and momentum and calibrated to kill. In a kind way.

She’s also doing engineering/recording with Nate Mendelsohn for Shitty Hits Recording Co. If you’re in the NY area and need such services.

TRACK | Karl Neudert – yamevoyadormir (unfinished)

5/5 golden merles

To my taste, Karl Neudert’s extremely prolific demos are better produced than anything I’ve ever mastered.

When the chorus/backing vocals kick in around the one minute mark something very good becomes revelatory and mercilessly catchy.

Seek out his hyper-active youtube channel for more radiant lo-fi hooks.

TRACK | Dig Nitty – Screen

5/5 golden merles

Dig Nitty, “Reverse of Mastery” was one of the best albums of 2020.

Screen is a bit more up-tempo than the majority of the album, but it all includes these inventive, careening vocal melodies drenched in the appropriate level of reverb. The drumming pattern in the chorus is expert and perfectly arranged.

Other standout tracks are the harpoon to the heart that is “Angel Calling,” and the highway hypnosis of “Palm Springs.” But it’s all very good.

Erin McGrath et al are writing excellent songs.

Please buy them.

TRACK | Sarah Mary Chadwick – Please Daddy

5/5 golden merles

“And Anne, and Elliott, and Sylvia / Do the work and then it kills ya / right, mama?”

Hard to pick one track off this excellent album to celebrate, so more will likely follow later. But damn. Full of grace and dread, end to end. A great work I am deeply envious of. And, whether I am worthy or not, I feel a deep kinship with it.