Sunday, May 29, 2011

Beast Make Bomb-Music School Kids Get It Right

Beast Make Bomb

Music School Kids Get It Right

Having forged their friendships at noteworthy institutions of higher learning like NYU and the Clive Davis School of Recorded Music, Brooklyn's Beast Make Bomb are beginning to make waves on a national level. Winners of the Converse sponsored "Get Out of the Garage" contest, the band recently completed a number of high profile shows, culminating with a Rolling Stone Magazine live event at Highline Ballroom. With two solid EP's already under their belt, there is much anticipation for the full length album to follow. On their EP "Skinny Legs" the song "Rewind" immediately encapsulates what this band is all about - vocals displaying clearly understood storytelling coupled with guitars that that chime and sometimes veer into dissonance. The rhythm section is first rate - driving everything along the way only a higher level rock band could. On their "Sourpuss" EP the song "1,2,3,4" projects a punk attitude and rhythm, while still maintaining a level of sophisicated musicianship. "Coney Island" turns those tables around somewhat, revealing a tender introspection and further intelligence at work. The refrain "you're going to break my heart" is stated as a knowing resignation to that fact, while still moving forward with the relationship. While "Rough It Out" brings power pop rhythms to life, the lyrics state how "nothing is real when my brain is on the loose." The band was prominently featured during The Deli's B.E.A.F (Best Emerging Artist Festival) on the Emerging NYC Women Stage.

Here is my exclusive video interview with the band (presented in two parts) that was done just after their set at the Highline Ballroom on May 5, 2011.

Watch their gorgeously nostalgic video for the song "Coney Island" (with truly amazing footage of that beach town's golden age).

My photos from their Highline Ballroom show

Glenn and Ceci (pronounced Sess - see)

Ceci and Sam


Girls rock guitars

Music school maestros

Crom joins BMB for one shining moment.

Find out more here:

Friday, May 13, 2011

Emerging New York Psych Rock

New York has been a fertile breeding ground for the "shoegaze" or "psych rock" sound for what seems like forever. Beginning with The Velvet Underground in the late 1960's, where else but NYC for continuing this part dreampop, part improvisational/experimental, part simply noise driven sound. It is a music that embraces harsh, agressive feedback and drone along side of sweetly melodic pop songs. Thematically often capturing feelings of heartbreak and longing for something you just can't have.

Broolyn based and Kanine Records signed Dream Diary successfully stradle this line between romantic enthusiasm and slightly off-kilter sonics. Guitar hooks are strong, and background vocals mesh with enough percussion to avoid over-sweetness.

follow a more synth-driven path, with blended boy/girl vocals and stark keyboard arpeggios that mirror the early-to-mid 90's Projekt records sound, that is dark and moody.

Invisible Days
make vocals a priority (not often the case on the 'gaze' front) and flex superior harmonizing capabilities. The dream textures are still there, just not overpowering.

The Rassle
present a bratty vocal style and ramshackle rock band sound on songs like "Celebrate the Days" and "Full Speed Ahead." Positioned between the happier side of The Jesus and Mary Chain and Mick Jones' Big Audio Dynamite.

(The) Tony Castles
work the dreamier, more romantic side of things as on their song "Black Girls in Dresses." There is a distinctly soulful element displayed here.

emphasises single-note guitar rhythms and Ventures-style drumming to get their point across. Two-girl vocals complement each other in a joyously trashy way.

Boy/Girl electronic duo Further Reductions marry static electronic percussion and synths to Sisters of Mercy style vocals.

mesh western twang with a mid 1960s vocal style, while maintaining an edgy vibe to their songwriting. French Camp employ counter-melodies via snaking guitarlines and pulsating keyboard embellishments.

Although New Jersey's Big Troubles point to bands like Lilys, Swirlies and even pre-Loveless MBV as influences, one could make the case for them being the love child of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. "Freudian Slips" has the bouncy happy hooks, head bobbing good vibe with just the right deviation into Reid Brothers sugary "Just Like Honey" smooth vocal textures.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sherlock's Daughter

NYC Artists on the rise: Sherlock's Daughter May residency at The Knit begins on May 9.

Sydney (Australia) to New York transplants Sherlock’s Daughter are set to begin a month long residency at The Knitting Factory for the next four Monday nights in May. Their sound is a fascinating hybrid of delicate female lead vocals and somewhat unsettling instrumentation, leaning towards the droney and the dreamy. "Song For Old People" emphases a chanting chorus vocal style, with primitive thumping on tree-stump percussion, then building out with pulsing keyboard undercurrents. "Reprise" gives off lullaby sensations via the lead vocal, while presenting an unsettling backdrop of uncertain instrumental accompaniment. “In The End” focuses even further on the gentle qualities of the bands lead voice. “Love can’t hurt us now” is a repeated lyric, as clackety percussion dances over top of deeper thumps and arpeggiated guitar patterns. An extended coda of rain and thunder sounds further establishes the intended mood. “Sons and Daughters” adds background vocals providing a call and response element found in early American spiritual folk music - however, droney guitar textures keep things very much rooted in the psych rock genre. The Knitting Factory shows are all ages and free to attend. - Dave Cromwell

Monday, May 2, 2011

Deli Mag Features - The Rassle and Yellowbirds

Here are two features I've written for The Deli Magazine that can now be found on that website.

Best of NYC #90: The Rassle play The Deli's B.E.A.F. fest

The Rassle - who placed at #90 in our latest Best of NYC Emerging Artists Poll - present a bratty vocal style and ramshackle rock band sound on songs like "Celebrate the Days" and "Full Speed Ahead." Positioned between the happier side of The Jesus and Mary Chain and Mick Jones' Big Audio Dynamite. The band played several Deli shows, including one in Austin during SXSW. They will be also performing at one of The Deli's B.E.A.F. (Best of Emerging Artists Fest) show at Brooklyn Bowl on May 26. - Dave Cromwell


Deli CD of the Month: Yellowbirds - The Color

Yellowbirds is the latest musical expedition, the “solo” debut, of Texas native Sam Cohen (guitarist/songwriter/vocalist in the psychedelic collective Apollo Sunshine). To Cohen, Texas was not the home of the Bush family or Big Oil, but rather the home to Buddy Holly and the Space Program. New York then, the city Cohen now calls home, is the epicenter of modern art, the home to Charles Mingus and the Velvet Underground. The music of Yellowbirds is full of double-speed auto-harp glissandos, bubbling echo and fuzz guitars played underneath the extistensial lyrics, a place where, as Cohen says, “only the purist tones can be heard.” Yellowbirds has released two singles, both in 2010, “The Rest Of My Life” and “The Honest Ocean” and “The Color,” both featured in his full-length album The Color, which came out in February 2011. The music Cohen creates within the moniker Yellowbirds is, in three simple words, idealistic, dreamy and beautiful.

The Deli CD of the Month