Restraint [album stream]
Do you remember that scene in That Thing You Do! when the band is put into a beach party scene in some new teeny-bopper blockbuster film? They are instructed to wear these skimpy sailor outfits and pantomime playing their instruments in the background while beautiful people in bathing suits dance and flirt with each other. Exactly how we all picture the time period, I’m sure.
When I imagine that scene as a real event that could have occurred 50-or-so years ago, our modern day Orca Team is the band I see on that sand-dusted stage, kicking out two-minute pop song after two-minute pop song. And that’s essentially how Restraint, the new album from the Seattle trio, feels: like a string of catchy pop singles, each as good (or catchy or danceable) as the track before it. It’s the kind of record radio DJs were spinning the grooves off of beginning in the late 50s while, ya know, Bobby (or Tommy) and Peggy (or Susie) danced and flirted with each other on the beach, or over milkshakes, or at Makeout Point. No, I’m not jealous, I just admire the innocence. Good to see I’m not the only one.
You can stream the entirety of Restraint below, but if you want to spin those grooves down like it’s 1962 all over again, buy the record from Athens, GA label Happy Happy Birthday To Me. Otherwise, the CD is available for a terribly affordable price, if you want to accept the technology of your own time period.
Domo Genesis & The Alchemist
“Elimination Chamber (feat. Earl Sweatshirt, Vince Staples & Action Bronson)”
“Elimination Chamber” is straight up the feeling of driving home from work, lighting up, and your dude is driving in front of you. No worries. Smoke saturates the body. Curls lightly out ya nose. At least I thought so approaching Roslyn last night blazing this track. But really, I’d like to think all these fellas were hanging out at Alchemist’s place, found a slick baseline and jazzy drums mixed with some xylophone-drone on his computer, and just started versing. And aside from Alchemist, these dudes are real heavy hitters: Action Bronson (no pun), Earl Sweatshirt (no run), Domo (vocal gun)! Even Vince Staples (?????????????) whelms words well. Props to my boii Sammy D’Bling for popping this in my ears, too. Damn near lost my job listening to all of Lil B’s works this year and needed a slight turn of events.
I’ll be dripping for a due date of the new Domo Genesis & The Alchemist joint No Idols sometime soon. Until then, replace ya mixtapes with this track on infinite repeat. It’s a cultural thing. Maybe a wrestling thing too. Or face paint and tights. #nopoke #nopoke
• Domo Genesis: http://domogenesis.tumblr.com
• Alchemist: http://alchemistbeats.blogspot.com
• Action Bronson: http://actionbronson.com
• Earl Sweatshirt: https://twitter.com/earlxsweat
• Vince Staples: https://twitter.com/vincestaples
Casimer & Casimir
“Cascading Keys” [Alice Cohen remix]
Casimir, otherwise known as Casimir Pascal, calls this technically ‘new’ song (produced by himself and his multi-instrumentalist newphew Casimer) “a total rewrite/remix/forced-duet with Alice Cohen’s ‘Cascading Keys.’” We have no need for mimicry or the mere bolstering of new beats of an augmented bass-thunderin,’ when the Chicago-by-way-of-Detroit duo took on this new single off of the former Vels singer/songwriter’s latest release Pink Keys and added their own backing vocals and did some delicate/dazzling vocal and drum rearrangements, dialing up the mesmeric factor with thickly-hazed synthesizers and dashing in a bit of sun-dried heaves of acoustic guitars. But maybe what catches you most is the swirly hooks of pianos chiming warmly with buzzy-bee synths towards the fluttering conclusion. There’s always another way, weirder and wonderful-er, to see (and hear) a song.
Casimer & Casimir’s got all their singles out of their system (having recently also “re-imagined” the latest single by Detroit space-funk trio Johnny Headband) and will now sit down to piece together a string of forthcoming “C&C originals.”
• Casimer & Casimir: http://casimercasimir.com
• Alice Cohen: http://alicecohen.bandcamp.com/track/cascading-keys-3
• Olde English Spelling Bee: http://oesbee.blogspot.com
• Crinoline Records: http://crinolinerecords.tumblr.com
Heart of Dixie [mixtape]
Radioactive, Yelawolf’s much-hyped Shady Records debut, didn’t exactly turn into the crossover juggernaut everyone hoped it’d be, even with its solid selection of rattling, industrial-tinged bangers. And that’s a shame: the Gadsden, AL rapper’s country-fied flow has made him a standout (his verse in Big Boi’s “You Ain’t No DJ” is undoubtedly one of the best guest verses in recent memory). Now, Catfish Billy is back with “Heart of Dixie,” a remarkably strong mixtape featuring club-ready production from DJ Frank White and M16. If you were a fan of Radioactive’s Diplo-produced cuts, “Howdy” and “Let Me Out” will probably tickle your eardrums. All fist-pumping aside, Yelawolf’s still hasn’t forgotten his roots — seedy parties, Confederate flags, and Jack Daniels — lots of Jack Daniels.
Sarongs [album stream]
Sarongs is definitely a group of youngsters that came and went too quick. And here they are now (er, there they were?), posthumously releasing their one and only album, forthcoming on 12 inches of wax via their own label Velidoxi. If you’re familiar with the band or the teeny-tiny Syracuse tape label Prison Art, you might recognize some of the tracks here from last year’s brilliant, also self-titled cassette release. Sarongs is a searing, scorching dose of horror-punk in the vein of old school giants like The Cramps, but it also finds a nice nook in recent entries from bands like Balaclavas or the less-recent Be Your Own Pet. Even though not all of this stuff is new, the tracks I wasn’t familiar with before are some of the best I’ve heard yet (“Munsters” especially is a terrifically terrible cataclysmic clash of frenetic energy and frustrated fruition.) And although it sounds like this might have been recorded in an attic on some shitty gear in some respects, the final mixes also sound surprisingly seasoned, especially when compared to the cassette: slinky bass grooves are even slinkier, the femur bones the drummer must use for sticks don’t sound quite as brittle, and the razor-wire strings that must line their guitars feel sharper than ever. High energy, and angsty pissed-offness make this one intoxicating number, and it’s just a damn fine stroke of luck that it’s going to hit vinyl.
You can nab one right now.
Beyond the Sea [album stream]
If Beyond the Sea, the new album by Monster Rally (contributor to the NY/LA sound collage and mixtape collective, Mondo Boys), is a sequential reference to his 2011 EP, Deep Sea, it’s because, this time around, the ship has finally reached the party on the beach of that tropical island sitting just on the horizon of every previous release. Let Monster Rally take you on a sample-based tour around all the hot spots, shady paradises, and secluded beaches of this island. Just make sure you wear comfortable shoes. LAAAAAAANNNNNDDDD HOOOOO!!!! (And thank God; I’m getting sick of all of this ocean nonsense.)
Check out the album below and buy it on “lava red” vinyl over at Gold Robot Records.