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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Live + On Record: Uni, Grim Streaker, The Vibrators, Dead Leaf Echo, Veda Rays, Muck and the Mires

An opportunity to catch the gloriously outlandish sexy-glam-rock trio Uni presented itself in a most unassuming way. An email invitation arrived with the fewest words one could get away with: “UNI - new band w/ Kemp Muhl from The GOASTT (Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger). Monday, Aug 7, 7pm sharp. Baby’s All Right. free show.” Although emailed, it read like a text.

Photo by @kristingallegos

While circumstances prevented attendance at that particular show, enough overall interest returned from this side of the communication stream lead to their follow-up show on 9/20 at The Knitting Factory.

The first thing you notice about the band is how strikingly good looking they all are.  They have embraced the visual style of prime-era (early 1970's) glitter rock, paying homage to the clothing style of T-Rex and Ziggy-era David Bowie.


Vocalist Nico Fuzz and guitarist David Strange provide a formidable presence, with Nico's Bowie/Bolan/Robert Plant hybrid and David's Jimmy Page dual neck guitar pyrotechnics.


The mesmerizing Charlotte Kemp Muhl radiates star quality, pulling you into her world of fashion model/rock and roller/musician and band visionary.


All three of these talented performers could easily go the solo route, yet choosing to collaborate as a trio of equals creates a far more interesting sound.



As the bands initial motivating force, Charlotte is the one writing most of the instrumental music, arranging the songs progressions, as well as producing and engineering the tracks.



David Strange writes the bands lyrics, in addition to his impressive guitar skills, knowledge of vintage gear and mastery of unusual tones.   His collaborative musical partnership with Charlotte has been evolving for a while now, and she states that he "writes lyrics like Bukowski on acid."


While Charlotte and David had a lot of the songs already written when Nico joined, the dynamic frontman and multi-instrumentalist has exerted his influence on the material.  As the bands youngest member, he brings a millennial perspective to the material.  His passion for and familiarity with synths and electronic drums meshes well with David and Charlotte's more old school  rock and roll approach.



A mixture of early 70’s Bowie and The Spiders From Mars grandiosity and Roxy Music experimental sonics permeates 7” b-side single “Adult Video.” Charlotte and Nico harmonize with power (Nico) and sweetness (CKM) on a chorus that goes “I’m the star of the show – in my adult video.” While the thought of how – yes – everyone *could* star in their own homemade sex loop (“exploding in slo-mo”) – the band drops into a heavy butt-shaking groove.




Committed to adding more theatrics to their show, a latex clad nurse joined them on stage midway through the set to dance seductively.

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It served to add one more element of visual entertainment for what is already an eye-pleasing band.

Photo by Nathan West

While current psych-pop/Beatles-esque harmonies song and Kemp Muhl directed video for “What’s The Problem” is garnering well-deserved attention, deeper tracks like epic show-stopping prog-rocker “Electric Universe” delivers an additionally satisfying live music experience.


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Post-show photo fun with CKM


And the social media aftermath.  Gratitude to those who made this possible.


Order a copy of Foxes magazine with Uni cover feature here

***A portion of proceeds will go to The Fox Project, a charity dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and eventual release back to the wild, of the Red Fox.


Uni has been announced as a featured performer at this coming SXSW Fest!

Their debut 7" single will be in-stores Nov 17th on @Chimera_Music! Pre-order clear vinyl and download both songs now

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The final Saturday (and day) of September provided an opportunity too good to miss. Brooklyn punk rockers Grim Streaker played The Bowery Electric, supporting UK punk legends The Vibrators on their NYC farewell show.


Gaining a significant amount of attention over the last year via word-of-mouth on their exciting live show, witnessing it first hand confirmed those reports.


The band plays a guitar and bass riff driven hyper-speed punk rock with caustic female fronted vocals in that late 70's X-Ray Spex mold.


Featuring long-time friends of this site Micah and Bill (who have appeared here numerous times with their previous bands) lead vocalist and energetic personality Amelia performs with a reckless abandon.


Along with numerous well-received live shows, their initial recorded release "Guts" continued drawing attention to the band with its quick chord progression, heavy low end, experimental noise guitar section, and of course Amelia's relentless vocals.


Recent EP follow-up release "Girl Minority" picked up where that left off with four tracks showing an expanded range of songwriting that still accurately reflects this retro genre.


While lead tracks "Psycho" and "Freak Child" double-down on the quick pace aggression, deeper cut "Tina's" moves closer to the mid-tempo range, with flanged guitars and a softer, spoken-word style on the verses.


"Miami Girl" closes out the EP with 1:28 of a full-on punk throttle onslaught.


Was thrilled to come into possession of the limited first run Girl Minority EP on cassette. Only 100 of these exclusive red tapes have been made.  To see if there are any more available (or to acquire a digital download of it) go HERE.


Selist of everything played

Post show fun with the dynamic duo


With the subsequent Social Media revelry

Grim Streaker play next on October 27 at The Cape House - info on that show can be found here.

A week after that is another show - info on that can be found here.


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 As previously stated, headlining the night were UK punk legends The Vibrators


By this time the venue was packed to the gills, as New York turned out to experience the late 70's British punk rock glory on what has been stated to be their "Farewell NYC Show."


The view from further back, showing a completely full house with barely an inch to move.


In fact, a stoic, Bernie Sanders looking dude planted himself front and center for the entire show.


While its certainly commendable to see grey-haired "punks" still getting out to shows, ol "Bernie" here appeared more like a fixed statue that now came inserted in every single picture of the band.


"Photobombing" quibble aside, The Vibrators did not disappoint their long-time fans (and surely "Bernie" must be one) as they played over an hour of all their classic songs.


Despite decades worth of recordings, breakups, reunions, member changes and a relentless touring schedule into the 21st century, the band could never recapture the successes of their 1977 breakout album "Pure Mania" and follow-up hit single "Automatic Lover."     

The determined efforts of original member John "Eddie" Edwards now lead the band

The true current value of "nostalgia acts" like this are the audiences who remember fondly the first time they heard a particular song, bringing back waves of treasured memories.  So, no surprises then when many in the NYC crowd were joyously singing along to "Baby Baby" (won't you be my girl). 


Support acts enjoying the live show from side stage perches.


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New York punk style in 2017


Formed from the beginning by a guitarist with a more developed technical style than many simpler punk bands of that era (Ramones, Pistols, etc), their current six string axe slinger takes extended guitar riff forays, positioning many of the songs now closer to the traditional heavy arena rock.


Merch - because there must always be an opportunity to acquire a t-shirt of your fave band.


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Also appearing on this evening were Boston garage rockers Muck And The Mires


With their sound accurately described as a hybrid of  early 60's Beatles and late 70's Ramones, the band ripped through 16 energetic under three-minute songs.


The band initially gained a significant amount of attention they won Little Steven Van Zandt's national battle of the garage bands content on MTV in 2004.


Later that summer they were featured at Little Steven's festival on Randall's Island alongside Bo Diddley, Nancy Sinatra, The Stooges, The Raveonettes and The NY Dolls.  That was a particularly compelling event, as this writer was in attendance there as well.


Their bio touts having albums produced by Los Angeles legend Kim Fowley (responsible for launching the careers of Joan Jett and Lita Ford in The Runaways)  and Jim Diamond of White Stripes fame.



They are the quintessential hard working live show band, having built a worldwide following through relentless touring.


Those shows have seen them work their way across the USA, throughout the UK, EU, Canada and Japan.

The set list

They'll play next at The Boston Rock and Soul Review, and info about that can be found Here


Following that will be a featured Saturday night appearance at the ‎Blast Off! Festival 2017 in Nottingham, United Kingdom, and info about that can be found Here.

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Friday, October 13 saw the release of Dead Leaf Echo's long-awaited follow-up full length record "Beyond.Desire."


As expected, the band played many songs from this highly anticipated new album.  Those tracks have now been on heavy rotation here at DCW headquarters.



The shimmering guitar lushness and heavily reverberated snare-drum shot of under-a minute opening instrumental “Desire” sets an immediate sonic theme for everything to follow.



“Temple” adds a new sound element with its slightly off-kilter warbling guitar textures. While LG states that the lyrics speak to a “complete devotion to someone,” Ana correctly points out how the album version reflects in-studio creativity that differs from their full-throttle live version.



Live show favorite “Strawberry.Skin” hits that sweet spot between the celebrated C86 indie-pop sound and the fuller, forward charging gazey-rock of My Bloody Valentine. With quickly strummed guitar chords creating a “swarm of bees” texture (often rising to crescendos in tandem with powerful drum rolls) backing vocals create a buoyant counterpoint to the songs primary voice.



Deeper tracks like “Tear.The.Heart.In.Two” (with its 6/8 time signature) show continued growth within the bands overall dynamic. While blended vocals float through in an ethereal state, accented percussion rumbles underneath, creating a polyrhythmic forward motion.



Title cut “Beyond.Desire” adds vocals to the records opening instrumental that showcases Ana in never before heard ways. Slow, deep and reverberated – her voice here conjures up the spirit of Siouxsie Sioux, Liz Fraser and possibly even Marlene Dietrich. Once again taking full advantage of studio looping capabilities, unexpected sonic wind-downs (sounding as if a tape is slowing down) occur at unexpected moments.


Readily admitting “Sunlessoul” takes its cue from quintessentially dreamy 90’s bands The Ocean Blue and The Sundays, accolades must be given for nailing the vibe while maintaining a completely original composition.


A myriad of shifting, bending and floating guitar textures make up the bulk of essentially solo LG deep track “Drifting.Inside.” Only a canyon reverbed snare drum shot adds a modicum of measure on this track that features John Cep from The Stargazer Lilies engineering the mix.

gazing


The album's final track "It's.Starting.To.Happen" also serves as the penultimate live show moment.  With a quicker chord structure bringing full-circle the theme established with "Desire" and "Beyond.Desire," a tidal wave of sonic force is unleashed.
 The band played one more song on this evening -  going back to their early days - providing a "shout out" to those who've been following along since those initial recordings.


New merch for 2017


As well as a new photo with


Instagram fun



Pick up a physical copy of “Beyond.Desire” through Moon Sounds Records, and digitally through PaperCupMusic.

The band now resumes their tour, with all dates listed here:


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Since releasing their brand new single “Shadow Side,” Brooklyn art rockers Veda Rays have been receiving much deserved attention for both the song and the video that accompanies it.


The title track from the band's forthcoming EP (set for release in early November) serves up an electronic keyboard and percussive tour-de-force, pulsating under deep, dramatic vocals. With video imagery initially depicting faces floating above ominous trees, an unsettling dreamlike impression is created. While the songs chorus delivers an ample hook, full body figures with covered faces and rabbit masks emerge within the visuals. A third element is then introduced in the form of a shrouded female dancer, all in white. The band describes these impressions as “a subliminal reaction to the projection of our collective shadow.”

With the first single and video recently premiered on The Deli Magazine, the full EP is now set to come out through their own Alleged Records imprint.




Follow all their links through vedarays.com

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