Elliott Smith's "Division Day" is not only one of the late artist's most beloved fan favorite songs, it's also one of Smith's first departures away from the soft-spoken melancholy of his first two albums and into the more sophisticated pop that led to his breakout success. B-side "No Name #6" is a classic in its own right, encapsulating the humble brilliance of one of our generation's greatest singer-songwriters. "Division Day" b/w "No Name #6" is now back in print on tri-color vinyl. Limited to 1000 copies, this 7" single is a crucial document of Elliott Smith's musical evolution, and a vital piece of Suicide Squeeze history
Suicide Squeeze Records are proud to spread the word on this exciting community by way of a split 7” by two of Madrid’s most ecstatic contemporary garage rock bands - the fiery quartet Hinds and the psych-tinged scorchers Los Nastys. In a nod to Madrid’s close-knit underground circuit, the longstanding musical tradition of covers and the band’s mutual admiration, the split 7” features the two bands tackling each other’s songs. Side A finds Hinds covering Los Nastys’ pop gem ‘Holograma’ while the flipside finds Los Nastys’ doing a rave-up of Hinds’ ‘Castigadas En El Granero’.
The record is both an unabashed party and an exciting document of an oft-overlooked scene. The 7” is pressed on translucent blood red vinyl and includes a digital download card.
Album opener ‘Kill My Baby Tonight’ is the perfect introduction to the band’s marriage of 60s girls-in-the-garage charm and David Lynch’s surreal exposés of Southern California’s underbelly. Sade Sanchez’s black velvet vocals disguise the malicious intent of this murder ballad, with the thumping pulse of bassist Irita Pai, the slow burn build of drummer Ellie English and Sanchez’s desert guitar twang helping beguile the listener into becoming a willing accomplice to the narrator’s crimes.
‘Brian’ follows the opening track with a similarly graceful, if not somewhat ominous, slow-mo take on a well-worn jukebox 7”. It’s a vibe that permeates the entire album, from the early psychedelic hue of 13th Floor Elevators on tracks like ‘You Love Nothing’, through the motorik beat and fuzzed-out licks of ‘Drive Your Car’, to the grittier permutation of Mazzy Star’s sleepy beauty on ‘Baby In Blue Jeans’.
STAFF COMMENTSDarryl says: Hailing from the streets of Los Angeles this is the magical self-titled debut from L.A. Witch. ‘L.A. Witch’ is a reverb drenched blast of super cool druggy psych-pop complete with a sultry vox and a seedy burnt-out dreamers vibe that smacks somewhere between the Black Angels and a hazy but grittier Mazzy Star.
It’s an inadvertent juxtaposition maintained through the entirety of ‘Desert Center’, with blazing instrumental nuggets like ‘The Scavenger’ alternating with the proto-grunge and golden oldies mash-up of a track like ‘Blame Myself’.
Like their 2015 album ‘Darling… It’s Too Late’, ‘Desert Center’ was primarily tracked in Atlanta at Living Room Recording with Justin McNeight and Ed Rawls, with Jason Powell doing the bulk of the guitar tracks on his own at Jungle Muscle Studios.
While Guantanamo Baywatch initially made a name for themselves with their early blown-out recordings, ‘Desert Center’ retains the raw aesthetics of a Hasil Adkins single but has the added heft and thump afforded by a modern studio. This balance is perhaps best captured on ‘Video’, where bassist Chevelle Wiseman drives the tune with a thick, throbbing riff while drummer Chris Scott ruthlessly pounds his kit with a crashing clarity guaranteed to please even the most snobby analogue audiophile.
Taken from This Will Destroy You’s viscerally cinematic full length studio album ‘Another Language’, the Brooklyn-based songstress elicits an invisible structure from the track’s warbling textures and oceanic vastness, distilling and reconstituting the band’s reflective soundscape into a rarefied elemental form. The resulting single is pristine and subtle; a fully immersive pairing of melodic piano with layers of decaying tape textures, anchored and paradoxically tethered to submersed bassline programming and distant, hyperborean 4/4 kick drum.
By once again shifting shapes and adding emphasis with the beats she does and doesn’t drop, Barwick is able to forge a totally new path for both herself and instrumental-stalwarts This Will Destroy You. Barwick’s work, ‘The Puritan’ remix sounds as if it is both sinking and floating.
7” pressed on brown and black splatter coloured vinyl with download card.
FORMAT INFORMATIONLtd 7" includes MP3 Download Code.
Album opener ‘Last Kiss’ immediately establishes the band’s renewed fervour. An appropriately dizzying guitar line plunges into a propulsive groove before the chorus unfolds into a multi-tiered pop chorus.
From there the album flows into ‘Give & Take’, a tightly wound exercise in syncopation that recalls the celebratory pulse of early Bear classics like ‘Fine + 2 Pts’, while exploring new textures and timbres.
‘Invisible’ is arguably the catchiest song of the band’s career, with Jake Snider’s vocal melodies and Knudson’s imaginative guitar work battling for the strongest hooks.
‘What About The Boat?’ reminds us of the math rock tag that followed the band in their early years, with understated instrumentation disguising an odd-time beat.
‘Erase’ recalls the merging of forlorn indie pop and electronica that the band dabbled with on their early EPs but demonstrates The Bear’s ongoing melodic sophistication and tonal exploration.
By the time the band reach album closer ‘Lighthouse’ they’ve traversed so much sonic territory that the only appropriate tactic left at their disposal is a climactic crescendo, driven at its peak by Cory Murchy’s thunderous bass. Not since ‘Planet Of Ice’s ‘Lotus’ have The Bear achieved such an epic finale.
All in all it’s an album that reminds us of everything that made us fall in love with Minus The Bear in the first place and a big part of that appeal is the sense that the band is heading into uncharted territories.
First studio album since ‘Infinity Overhead’ (2012).
Produced by Sam Bell (The Cribs, Weezer, Snow Patrol, Bloc Party) and mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound.
The harsh reality of frontman Josh Hageman’s day-today existence working on the periphery of the medical field played a direct role in the overall theme of the album. Those fatalistic views and medical themes are on full display on ‘Wheelchair’, where a punk pulse underscores Hageman’s harrowing description of a life lived in chronic pain with drugs serving as the only escape.
The album continues on to ‘Hospital Room’, where wiry guitar leads and ominous chords provide the soundtrack to a scene of misery and tragedy within the sanitized walls of Western medicine.
Elsewhere, the themes of addiction and exposure take on more universal themes, such as on the culturegorging lament of ‘Binge Everything’ or the panopticon-paranoia of ‘Public Act’.
FORMAT INFORMATIONColoured LP Info: Available to independent retailers as an exclusive clear vinyl LP edition.
Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.
With recording duties handled by longtime friend and tourmate Ty Segall, Audacity sound like they’ve finally found someone who can capture the frenetic drive of a song like ‘Hypo’, the off-kilter hook of ‘Riot Train’, the undeniable melodic appeal of ‘Fire’ and the cowpunk influence of ‘Previous Cast’.
“I feel like we get portrayed a lot as a sunshine-y, carefree California band,” guitarist / vocalist Kyle Gibson says “But lots of our songs deal with melodramatic subject matter. The fact we’ve all lived in Fullerton pretty much the whole time we’ve been in the band has some effect on the music. Driving around town, there’s a memory or a ghost on every street. People die or move away or get in trouble, or groups of friends drift apart and start hating each other and get in fights. It’s not demoralizing; it’s a part of life, but of course it affects the music.”
That frustration manifests itself on songs like ‘Overrated’, where you can almost hear the spit and sweat hitting the microphone, before the band turn around to bask in the unapologetically gratuitous pop swagger of album closer ‘Lock On The Door’.
FORMAT INFORMATIONLP Info: LP comes with digital download coupon and printed
LP includes MP3 Download Code.
Itʼs as if both bands were locked in alternate garage rock orbits, making elliptical runs around the globe, rotating around the same hometown centre of Atlanta, Georgia but only rarely crossing paths for a short tour or a random one-off show.
Given both bandsʼ prolific output of 7” singles and split EPs it seems crazy that it’s taken nearly a decade of coexistence and mutual admiration for the Peach State’s two favourite troublemakers to team up on a slab of vinyl.
The result is a fleeting, glorious cosmic event.
Black Lips deliver ‘Freedom Fries’, an instant classic combining the countrified piss and vinegar of cowpunk with the immediate gratification of Southern power pop icons Big Star.
The Coathangers once again remind us why they’re the favourite heirs to The Raincoatsʼ throne with their indignant anthem ‘Watch Your Back’.
This one-two punch of a split 7” is pressed on half mustard / half wasabi split coloured vinyl with an accompanying digital download code.
“I’m really into meandering, fingerpicked open-tuned acoustic guitar, like John Fahey and Robbie Basho,” says Shana Cleveland. “I started playing guitar in that style during a year right before I moved to Seattle when I was lonely and bummed out in the San Fernando Valley and found solace in spending long afternoons fingerpicking slow moving improvisations.”
This casualness is evident in the music - you can hear it in the airy ambience of album opener ‘Butter & Eggs’, the gentle piano and strings accompaniment on the title track, the particularly Fahey-esque explorations of ‘Itching Around’ and ‘SPATM’. Even the timeline of the album’s development seems to defy the ephemeral haste that permeates so much contemporary music.
The bulk of ‘Oh Man, Cover The Ground’ was recorded in Shana’s basement. “I wanted it to sound casual and kind of loose like my favorite folk albums, so we didn’t practice much before recording and a few of the musicians were playing the songs for the first time.”
While last year’s ‘Butter Knife’ album came pretty damn close to capturing Audacity in all their wild and ecstatic splendour, they’ve finally captured the triumphant bedlam of their live show with their latest 7” ‘Counting The Days’ / ‘Mind Your Own Business’.
The A side is Audacity in all their ragged glory - righteous guitar leads, buoyant choruses and unhinged energy.
For the flipside, the OC boys pay tribute to British post-punkers Delta 5 with an explosive cover of their debut single from 1979.
‘Counting The Days’ / ‘Mind Your Own Business’ is available vinyl courtesy of Suicide Squeeze Records.
7” vinyl with a download coupon.
FORMAT INFORMATIONLtd 7" includes MP3 Download Code.
Iron & Wine covers George Michael and Lowell George's Little Feat on the limited edition Two Sides of George 7".
The single is part of Suicide Squeeze’s single series and is limited to 750 copies worldwide.
The 2012 series boasts an impressive array of talent that also includes the likes of King Tuff, Nobunny, Wax Idols, Cloud Nothings, and Julianna Barwick.
About Suicide Squeeze Singles Series: In 1996, Suicide Squeeze began releasing 7-inch records as lifesblood, singles, mostly from Pacific NW bands appeared, documenting some of the most influential music of that time: Modest Mouse, Elliott Smith, 764-Hero, and Pedro the Lion: each played an important role. The label broadened its reach over the years (as well as its series of singles), continually releasing music by a diverse, yet select group of musicians, including Memoryhouse, JEFF the Brotherhood, Dirty Beaches, Bleached, The Melvins, of Montreal, HEALTH, Black Mountain, School of Seven Bells, and many more.
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