Archives for posts with tag: Emotional Response Records

Seablite 2019Seablite are from San Francisco and have just released a melody-packed album called “Grass Stains and Novocaine” on Emotional Response Records. Here’s “Heart Mountain” to introduce you to the album:

Seablite describe themselves in their Bandcamp tags as fuzz-pop jangle-gaze. The combination of jangle-pop, shoegaze and fuzzy guitar pop sounds like a kind of obvious merging of related and sometimes overlapping styles, yet I’m struggling to think of another band who have pulled it all together with the aplomb shown by Seablite on this album, who get the stylistic mix and the variety in their songs right.

A distinctive feature is the bass playing which sits an octave above where you might usually expect the bassline to sit which gives the songs a strong clear pulse of rhythm and melody through the fuzz and jangle, tethering the weightless harmony vocals to earth.

Seablite are Lauren Matsui (vocals and guitar), Andy Pastalaniec (drums), Galine Tumasyan (bass and vocals), and Jen Mundy (guitar). The album will appeal to fans of Lush and Velocity Girl, among others, and, if you like Seablite, head over to the Emotional Response website to discover a treasure trove of other releases to explore.

bent_bandcampThe unholy racket of BeNt comes from Brisbane, a city of surprises. “Bad Beds” opens their new and 2nd album “Snakes and Shapes”.

Among the debris of BeNt’s anarchic approach to post-punk song-craft there’s a lot of bits and pieces reminding me of an unlikely collection of avant-pop adventurers.

Foremost is NZ  avant-pop pioneers The Spies, but there also seems to be trace residue here of experimental approaches by the likes of Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band, Pere Ubu and The Sugarcubes, as well as the somewhat mis-placed (but understandable) Slits & Raincoats comparisons they seem to attract.

There’s some absurdist or Dadaist overtones to some of the content – like spoken interludes – and also some approaches to guitar noise that evoke the spirit of Fred Frith’s ‘Guitar Solos’ at times.

This kind of wilful disregard for form can often lead to all kinds of unlistenable noise, but BeNt have melody and rhythm at their heart and there’s a spirited and playful wide-eyed enthusiasm which keeps the songs fun and engaging.

If you enjoy what you hear on this album check out their action-filled Bandcamp back catalogue for more gems, like “Skeleton Man” here from their 2014 album “non Soon”