Friday, February 24, 2017

Features: Meviu§, Dahl Haus, Goth Prom Live, NoPop, Psychic Selves, Journalism, Softspot, Baby Acid, Citris

Despite being the shortest month of the year at 28 days (29 every four) February provides enough early-in-the-year opportunities to check out interesting new music releases. Showing up at select live shows offer additional avenues of insight, as the 360 degrees in the round experience can never truly be duplicated any other way.

Already familiar with the work of Daniel Ka$$hu and Richey Rose from other projects they are separately involved in, an opportunity to focus on their collaborative effort Meviu§ presented itself.

Valentine's Day might appear a curious date to have a "Goth Prom" to some, but knowing it is also Daniel's actual birthday makes it the most likely time to do it at all.

Emerging as the newest popular "go to" venue in the wake of numerous long-time clubs closing, The Footlight in Ridgewood Queens hosted the occasion.

Serving as the evening's headliners, Meviu§ delivered both a visual and sonic tour-de-force.

With Richey stoically distributing crunch guitar chords and precise melody lines, Daniel's vocals came wrapped in a camp-glam visual hearkening back to Andy Warhol's Factory. and his Exploding Plastic Inevitable shows.

Recent single release "Los(t) Angeles" captures the essential elements of this creative collaboration. Rising waves of guitar merge with programmed beats and chilled atmospheric synths before vocals emerge.

Daniel’s voice straddles a line between the soft tenor of Daniel Ash deeper tones of Peter Murphy. Harsher industrial passages emerge however, creating a mood less goth-pop and closer to the rapid percussive snake-rattle of Nine Inch Nails.

The deep-twang, western guitar sound on “Kitten Lung” is initially sparse, allowing space for a more intimate vocal delivery. Mechanical percussive ticks soon emerge as vocals coalesce in harmonies over icy-bell keyboards and clearly defined melodies.

A number of unexpected finely crafted textured sonics appear in the instrumental passages between vocal lines. Another segment makes use of spoken word narration, bringing to mind The Raveonettes brilliant track “Run Mascara Run.”

It will be interesting to follow the progress of this band in the coming days.

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Also featured on this evening was a performance by the Blaise Dahl led band Dahl Haus.

Playing their first live show in 2017, an eager audience witnessed a dazzling display of sound and imagery.

Blaise has been diligently working away at Studio G in Brooklyn with producer and Psychic TV guitarist Jeffrey Berner on completing a proper recording for the debut record.

While those tracks are nearly complete and should see the light of day soon, hearing this material once again in a live setting further heightened expectations for what’s to come.

Songs like the fuzzy bass and guitar thrill ride of “Scream Machine” simmer with an underlying tension as Blaise provides an intimate vocal look inside love’s amusement park.

The driving chugger “Seasick” hits all the marks for rock and roll diva swagger. A slithering bass-line and heavy distortion guitar lays the groundwork for a series of catchy vocal hooks.

While the inventive lyrical wordplay of dream popper “Helium” compares romantic attraction to the second most abundant element in the observable universe.

Serious pedals

"Can I get an Amen, People!"

Tweaking the sonic possibilities

Getting reacquainted with a Pastel Pink Princess

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Opening the evenings festivities was a sample based experimental act called Freudian Slit

Which is a solo music project featuring Brooklyn-based artist Kendalle Aubra

The music she produces draws influence from Phil Spector, Jesus and Mary Chain, Einstürzende Neubauten, Fever Ray, Suicide, Arca, Björk, Throbbing Gristle and The Smiths - just to name (more than) a few.

For this night's performance the visual styling was spot on.

Even though there were a few technical difficulties one occasionally experiences with a laptop + sample driven sound, an unruffled confidence from the performer overcame all that.

An entertaining mix of synthpunk with some industrial, noise, post-witch house, alien girl-pop, Hollywood Sadcore and a bit of Motown thrown in too.

A hint of sex and danger as well.

Gothic Prom Pic

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The artists most responsible for hosting this event came by way of the Occult Electronic Dance act A Place Both Wonderful And Strange

Even though only two-thirds of the full trio were able to perform on this night both Russ and Shanda commanded the room with their dark and moody presentation.

Drawing from the retro vibe of campy noir television series “Twin Peaks,” their “Laura Palmer Devastations” gather together five distinct “Deviation” remixes.

The "Real Life Horror remix" allows like-minded artists Azar Swan (who have been featured on this site both here and here as well as on The Deli Magazine) to fashion an ominous industrial theme.

“Winkie's Pink Room remix” eliminates all the throttling groove, with focus shifted to a looped percussive sample as a variety of metal-on-metal textures clash over top.

Goth, glam, wall art and tabled crafts on display throughout the evening.

Fellow writer and style icon Mary Grace adds a charming presence to this occasion.

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Self proclaimed "pink-punk" rockers NoPop premiered their latest 7 track collection “Demons” recently on The Deli Magazine (a feature written by yours truly).

Establishing this potential new sub-genre, “pink punk” combines driving rhythms and softer pop together in a hyper-crazed mix embracing unhinged wildness. “Wear The Feeling” taps into Surfer Rosa era Pixies with similar distorted scream vocals. The under two minutes “Holly” chugs along with perky energy as female vocals find the sweet spot between Kim Deal speak/sing charm and bigger girl group background harmonies. “Huffers” emphasizes heavy fuzz bass, alternating chant vocals and shifting snare shot punctuation. “Zoo Music” is a minute and a half of free form jamming with wild drumming, angular guitar notes and rubbery bass right out of The Stooges “LA Blues” mold. “Number One” pairs syncopated drumming and metal guitar phrasings with alternating hyper-angst vocals and softer passages. First single “Rules” builds off a steady bass guitar pulse before launching into a full cinematic explosion. The near 7 minute “Frederick Fleet” serves as an epic final track. Demons was mixed, engineered, and co-produced by Julian Cubillos of 77 Linden, and mastered by NY legend Kramer, whose work includes the Pulp Fiction’s soundtrack, Half-Japanese and Butthole Surfers.

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Brooklyn’s indie psych rockers Psychic Selves released an impressive 7 song album “Lucid Night” this past year. While the band continues working on new material and play select live shows, these tracks provides ample opportunity for immersion into their sound.

Opening track “Ratio” is dual guitar riff driven, as flange-effects pair against brighter tones creating the surf psychedelia reminiscent of early Beach Fossils.  Featured single “Goodnight Luna” (streaming below) builds off that foundation, emphasizing melodic hooks via a note-for-note matched vocal phrasing and guitar figure. With the chorus transitioning into a smoother vocal phase, bass guitar and drums provide the driving force on its latter half double-time cadence. Pitch-bended melancholia emerge on instrumentals “And the Truth Pt 1 + 2,”pop elements on vocal heavy “Masochist” and punk aggression on both “War Head” and “Crazy Tasty.”

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Recently released single “It Just Hits You” from the appealingly named Brooklyn rockers Journalism see the track currently featured on Spotify's Garage Jams and Fresh Finds Six Strings playlists.

Structured around an open chord note melody over throbbing bass and driving drum beat, a tale of honest reflection on sobriety unfolds. “Here I stand without a drink in hand,” immediately establish clear-eyed reflection on social practices reined in. While the bridge’s phrasing of “you know, you know, you know” echo’s Nirvana’s “hello, hello, how low” on that bands famous bridge, “you know you’ve seen it all – and who cares?,” completes the realization. By the time the chorus hits with lines “I’m getting sober, but I’m getting so burnt out, it’s hard to act my age, when I can’t see through the haze,” rising melodic guitar lines deliver ample hooks. Ultimately it comes down to self-realization and personal choice, because “sometimes it just hits you like a ton of bricks, and sometimes it just hits you.”

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A gentle sweetness emerges within the deeply resonant female vocals on “Abalone,” the preview track (streaming below) from Brooklyn-based Softspot’s forthcoming album “Clearing.”

While open note guitar chords provide counter-melody and bass drives its rhythmic center, a churning percussive track underneath parallels the same mysterious wonderment of penultimate Kate Bush/Hounds Of Love track “Running Up That Hill.” Harmony vocals appear at crucial points within the emotional arc, dreamily elongating end of line words. At over five minutes in length, there is plenty of room for extended instrumental passages featuring bright guitar figures, deeper bass only passages and swelling synths. An extended outro features an angular time signature that ultimately gives way to a beat-less ambience. This is an outstanding track from a full album set for an April release on Arrowhawk Records.

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The reckless abandon of Brooklyn rockers partying hard is on full display in Baby Acid’s debut music video and song “Baby Guts.”

That track is one of seven featured on their full-length release “Don’t Blush When I Rip You Open” available now both digitally and on cassette from Moon Sounds Records.

Recorded and produced by band visionary Lindsey and Jasno from Vandelles/Hellbirds notoriety at his Secret Loft Studios, mastering was handled by A Place To Bury Strangers Oliver Ackermann.

The track itself emerges via full-on fuzzed out guitar chords while initial vocals proclaim that “my baby comes from France, my baby don’t wear no pants.” While the lyrical output playfully rhymes the behavior of notorious friends, ferocious riffs and rhythms are executed with serious intent.

Video imagery depicts the black-clad band against a white backdrop interspersed with footage from a raging house party. As walls become increasingly covered in handwritten graffiti, impromptu crowd-surfing and bathroom shenanigans mirror the tracks explosive conclusion.

Baby Acid are the current winners of the Deli Magazine Readers’ Pick: Best NYC Emerging Indie Rock Act poll, earning them a featured artist of the month spot.

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The celebration of indie rockers Citris and their revamped debut album "Panic In Hampton Bays" culminates with it's official release today February 24 on New Professor Records along with final night of their month-long residency February 28 at Arlene's Grocery.

Catching the third residency show on February 21 saw the band delivering a finely tuned set of their most appealing material.

The initial pairing of singer-songwriter Angelina Torreano and multi-instrumentalist recording/mixing engineer Chris Krasnow created an exciting collection of tracks that warrant repeated listens.

Further enhancing their live show are two highly skilled musicians, drummer Clint Mobley and bassist Gianluca Minucci.

Album opener “On The Sidelines" channels Daydream Nation era Sonic Youth and the way Steve Shelley’s tighter, more controlled drumming locked in with the single-note guitar riffing of Thurston and Lee.  Understanding that lead guitarist Chris Krasnow is also an accomplished drummer (doing double-duty on this evening playing drums for support act Caretaker) provides additional insight on this cut.

The chorus vocals change all that with harmonizing far more evolved than anything SY ever put out, moving things closer to the ear pleasing fourths that Drew Citron and Frankie Rose did so well with Beverly.

Lyrically hitting the mark that anyone can relate to “maybe we’re just rejects, force fed concepts all the time” progress to a coping mechanism of how “maybe we can be friends, see through the same lens on the sidelines.”

Clocking in at over five and a half minutes, “Little Scars” ambitiously combines 90’s grunge Courtney Love angst with bombastic choruses and even a prog-rock tandem guitar interlude. “Here I am with the poison. I’ve given up, I’m not disappointed. Not looking for love, just want to hang out with you.” There are times when that’s all you need.

Brand new track "Coco Chanel" compares the fade of perfume wearing off to romance and comes complete with a cleverly conceptualized video (which can be viewed here).  However it's the hooky rising chorus of "it's not your heart" that stays with you.

“Burn Into The Sun” drops jazz chords in places, which fits nicely around the wordy, impassioned vocals and busy drumming.

Previous features on Citris can be found on this site (and The Deli Magazine) here and here.

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