Cementing The Seams

The Plot Sickens


I'm back!  But more importantly, so is the best band in the world: (no, not The Fray silly) Sleepies!  After some hype and a moderate amount of waiting, this Brooklyn trio have released Weird Wild World, the follow up to one of 2010's crowning achievements "Sleepies".  I wish I could accurately describe how good I think this band is, or how they manage to sound like Dinosaur Jr. and Drive Like Jehu and also nothing like them.  I wish I could quantify how much more clever, relevant and rejuvenating this band is in comparison to most acts people will lump them in with.  I wish more bands were as good as this one and that the ones who are would live up to the same standard of quality.  Sleepies are setting the bar guys.

FFO: Drive Like Jehu, Vacation, Les Savy Fav

I wrote a bit about Giant Peach in my 2011 EP roundup post, mentioning how they are totally rad. It's 2012 now and they are still rad, and still delivering excellent short-length releases that sortof make me irritated that they don't release an LP.  I'll settle though as long as they can keep killing it on 4-5 tracks every 6 months. I just checked and it turns out I like this band so much I've written about them twice.  So, if you haven't followed my advice the last two times, get with the program.

FFO: Pavement, Mary Timony, Livin' Dude

Buy from the always excellent Rok Lok Records

This band should be huge.  I mean, they shouldn't be winning Grammies like truly amazing musicians e.g. Bon Iver and Skrillex, but by every taste-making measure Two Inch Astronaut have it where it counts.  All joking aside, this is my favorite band right now.  Every once in a while I listen to something that kinda stupifies me.  It always happens the same way, in well explored genres, where I ask myself this question: Why haven't songs this good already been written?  Red Pancake and Dark Energy is affirmation that good music will stay good forever, even if the future is paved with Iron & Wine by Mumford & Sons.

FFO: Les Savy Fav, Tera Melos, Shipyards

Stream and download at Bandcamp

Buy from Large Father LTD

This post has been way too long coming, so let me apologize for that.  It makes me so happy that I get to listen to music like this.  Gills play muddy, lo-fi, instrumental garage punk with serious balls and variation to spare.  Gills Is Dead sounds like it was recorded with 2 microphones in an empty room, which, sonically and aesthetically, really pays dividends.  Like if you listen hard enough you might be able to hear these dudes breathing, sweating and spastically flinging their limbs about.  Of course it's impossible to hear those last two things, but you get my drift right?

FFO: Sleepies, Ex Wife

Stream and Download at Bandcamp

Is, I think I can safely say:  The Strungs.

For a band to release 3 EP's (technically Volume 1 came out in December but who's keeping track?) and a full length and completely kill it on every single one is reason enough to give them the honor of record(s) of the year.  Some bands impress you with their virtuosity, some blow your mind doing something you've never heard before. I do a lot of comparing bands by nature, but I find that the best bands make you forget that anybody else makes music like them.  I know The Strungs aren't the only lo-fi indie pop band in existence, but when I listen to them, they don't make me think about Guided By Voices or Superchunk.  In fact, mostly I just think; "How can songs so simple be so good, and how can they write so many?".  Which brings me back to the point.  The Strungs made the best music of the year because they made it essentially devoid of instrumental masturbation or any elements intended to impress you.  To me, this band represents what's fundamentally great about music, and that's why they're probably the only band I've listened to regularly all year long.

Stream and Download at Bandcamp and Tinhorn Planet