Bronze, Curtis Godino, Andrew Pitrone, Earthless, King Garbage, Mike Campbell & The Dirty Knobs, Stereophonics are among these press releases for February.
Bronze – “People Watching People”: A hypnotic, atmospheric track, moving slowly into a sort of post-punk/psych jams experimentation of pounding drums and melodramatic vocals. “We here at Castle Face dig a good trance,” the press release says. “Hypnosis, mesmerization, and brain trickery are some of our favorite results of deep listening and it is a suggestive, ritualistic and dreamlike vibe that Bronze ooze like pheromones all over their excellent new record. Absolute Compliance is a truly hypnogogic group of tunes from Bronze on their best and weirdest behavior and it hits all my favorite things about them immediately and repeatedly: Insistently strange synth voicings emanating from Miles Friction’s mad scientist’s lab worth of equipment controlled by a homemade-looking oversized knob; Brian Hock’s throbbing, woolly, hall of mirror grooves; and above it all Rob Spector’s thousand-yard croon the vaguely familiar touchstone amongst the Lynchian, mutated surroundings…these are songs of dreams and nightmares, hidden rituals observed, futuristic coliseum entertainments displaced in time, sci-fi jams of an uncertain future.” “People Watching People” is the first single off Bronze’s forthcoming album, “Absolute Compliance,” due April 2 via Castle Face Records. Bronze is also going on tour with OSEES this fall.
Curtis Godino – “He Loves Me Not”: Vintage glockenspiel and organ with the seductive ghostly soft-spoken words of a girl group, and an accompanying hazy music video. “He Loves Me Not,” is the second single off the band’s self-titled LP, due February 11, via Shimmy-Disc/Joyful Noise Recordings. “‘He Loves Me Not’ is the album’s most decisive foray beyond the girl-group formula,” said Godino. “Lyrics inspired by the lovelorn flower-picking game are supported by piano, mellotron, woodwinds, and backward tracks plucked directly from the British Invasion.” Godino describes it as “a song with a fall feeling.” “I’ve always been a fan of girl groups and old generic love songs,” he continues. “No matter how cheesy, they always get stuck in my head, so I decided I would try to make some of my own, with the help of my friends.” Lead vocalist Jin Lee, backing singers Rachel Herman and Jessica McFarland were recruited for the project. Lee also contributed lyrics, which she tends to recite as often as she sings in a dreamy, earnest voice. However, the project belongs to Godino, a musical ringmaster in the tradition of Phil Spector or more aptly Shadow Morton, whose noir sensibilities spawned such uncanny pop marvels as the Shangri-Las’ “Leader of the Pack” and “Remember (Walking in the Sand).” In this case, Godino built the wall of sound almost entirely by himself, recording on his eight-track tape machine during the pandemic shutdown. “I’m sure all those incredible old records were recorded on a four-track or whatever, but I don’t have the same discipline,” says Godino, whose stated goal was to create “songs so sweet they’ll give you a cavity.”
Andrew Pitrone – “Life is But a Dream”: A pastoral lullaby with bird sounds in the tradition of the folk classics (between Donovan and Devendra Banhart). The accompanying music video was directed by Ignacio Gonzalez and “shot in the wild hills of Southern California and at Savannah Studios in Boyle Heights on 16mm film by Fred Joseph and Kourosh Erfanian of Expo Aktuell Films…” The song is the first single off Andrew’s four-song EP, “Aurora Montage,” out this year on Lolipop Records. Andrew Pitrone, Andrew the Artist, puts the journey in journeyman, living in various cities and townships up and down the western edge of America, filling his time with song and art-by-hand. Chiefly of which is a film project scripted around the actual building of a barn in the no-man’s-lands of southwestern Oregon. “Many times, I find that when I’m doing manual work, poems, melodies, and songs come in,” laments Pitrone. His duty to his muse in all artistic facets presents a remarkable examination of an artist whose very life is the gesamtkunstwerk (total artwork). “Sometimes I feel that I am the medium for the product and the tools are using me.” Andrew Pitrone’s “Aurora Montage” is not out-of-place in this new folk era but, rather, gently lends a lesson in lineage to a time when creativity abounded in the genre. When the head that expanded the farthest wore the crown. By today’s measure that leaves Andrew Pitrone as one uniquely positioned to revitalize and reinvigorate, at the very least decorate jubilantly, the path to folk and back. Of his songs he says, “I’m not sure who the songs are for, if not for me, [but] I hope they find their way to whomever they were meant for.”
Earthless – “Night Parade of One Hundred Demons”: A excerpt from the instrumental track by San Diego’s psych-rock power trio ft. Isaiah Mitchell, Mike Eginton & Mario Rubalcaba. The 19-minute piece (the entire song lasts 41 minutes!) slowly builds up with atmospheric guitars, distortion, and hypnotic drums until it becomes a sinister psychedelia euphoria. This is the title track of their new album, just released last week via Nuclear Blast, and just composed of two monster songs: the 41-minute title track and the 20-minute “Death To The Red Sun.” The album and its title were inspired by an ancient Japanese legend in which a horde of demons, ghosts, and other terrifying ghouls descend upon sleeping villages at night, once a year. Known as Hyakki Yagyō, or the “Night Parade of One Hundred Demons,” one version of the tale states that anyone who witnesses this otherworldly procession will die instantly—or be carried off by the creatures of the night. As a result, the villagers hide in their homes, lest they become victims of these supernatural invaders. “My son and I came across the ‘Night Parade of One Hundred Demons’ in a book of traditional Japanese ghost stories,” bassist Mike Eginton explains. “I like the idea of people hiding and being able to hear the madness but not see it. It’s the fear of the unknown.” “It definitely has a darker, almost evil kind of vibe compared to stuff we’ve done in the past,” Rubalcaba says. “There’s more paranoia and noise, and some of Isaiah’s whammy-bar stuff kind of reminds me of these Jeff Hanneman moments in Reign In Blood, where it just seems like everything is going to hell. It’s pretty fun.”
King Garbage – “Busy on A Saturday Night“: A smooth jazzy and soulful song with a sweet sound and an abundance of percussion and subtle injections of funk and R&B. GRAMMY® Award-nominated producers Zach Cooper and Vic Dimotsis, who have quietly impacted pop, R&B, and hip-hop with production credits for The Weeknd, SZA, Ellie Goulding, Gallant, Billy Porter, released an album as King Garbage, “Make It Sweat,” on 2017. This year they serve up their second full-length and Ipecac Recordings debut, with “Heavy Metal Greasy Love” out April 1. “It’s a taste of retro without being a reproduction,” observes Vic. “Love and life are very sweet, bitter, and heavy. You’re going to need big tires and a dense frame to cross the desert life can give you. The name felt right. The music is crispy, searing, spacious, sandy, and welded with perfect dimes at the seams. If you read anything about history, you can fall in love with its brutality. Nature is the most metal, always at war with itself and never asking ‘Why?’ when change comes. I believe if you live long enough, the crushing weight and terrible beauty begin to hold hands, and an appreciation is reached, or at least an understanding. This was the best way to describe the album as well as what we see in the world. Love, nature, past, present, and future.” On the track, vocals hum barely above a whisper as clean guitar wraps around horns before the high register hook takes hold. It ends on a crescendo straight out of a sixties cop show. “It’s a hazy, drunkenly plaintive ballad,” Zach notes. “The drums really shine on this tune. They’re unhinged and wandering.”
Mike Campbell & The Dirty Knobs – “Wicked Mind”: A classic country bluesy rock track with a Rolling Stones touch, ready to be blasted with car windows down. This is a new song from “External Combustion,” the new album from Mike Campbell & The Dirty Knobs, set for release on March 4 via BMG. “External Combustion” showcases their evolution, pushing the band to a new level, jumping ahead in vision and drive, proving the first record was no one-shot deal. “The band became this spontaneous type of combustion—to borrow a word,” Campbell recalls. “The longer we played, the more intuitive it got.” Co-produced by Campbell and George Drakoulias (The Black Crowes, The Jayhawks), the 11-track album was recorded at Campbell’s home studio, Hocus Pocus Recorders in Los Angeles. External Combustion also features Margo Price and Ian Hunter as well as piano from fellow Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers founding member Benmont Tench on “Lightning Boogie.” Although Campbell wrote most of the songs on the new album within the past year, two of the tracks had been written in the ’90s, only to be rediscovered in Campbell’s extensive vault of unreleased compositions. The band will finally embark on their first-ever national tour this spring, featuring an extensive run of sold-out headlining shows.
Stereophonics – “Forever”: With glistening guitar sand sweeping vocal melodies, paired with romantic storytelling, the hooky song shines, evoking freedom and the open road. During the euphoric chorus frontman Kelly Jones sings “I wish I could fly away forever, I wish I could take away the pain from you and release you.” “Forever” is the third installment from their forthcoming album “Oochya!,” out on Friday, March 4 via Stylus Records through Ignition Records Ltd. Of the new track, Jones says: “’Forever’ is about escapism. It’s about longing for freedom for someone and taking away the pain they’re going through. It’s about taking a bullet for them. It’s about wanting to free the ones you love of pain but we can’t — life’s pain is where we find growth. The song has a lot wrapped up in it. People are feeling a lot of that these days.” The forthcoming Oochya! calls upon certain tones, feelings and themes that’ll resonate with fans young and old alike. Jones explains: “It’s quite an emotional record. At times it’s very nostalgic. The whole album is melodic. You put it on and it’s one of those albums you don’t really want to turn off because it keeps going onto different styles and the songs hold your attention. It shows a lot of styles of the band.”
A whimsical and wonderful folk tune
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a time-capsule type of roster
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“Sure, we don’t pay much but then who else do ya know who’ll publish you?”