Lawrence garage rock quartet Dry Bonnet have been playing shows in and around their hometown for the last year, frequently sharing the stage with The Conquerors, Mouthbreathers, and other locals that make an otherwise throwback sound completely their own. Outside of the band, the members keep busy with projects like The Roseline (a band in which both Tyler Brown and Seth Wiese play), Sex Tapes (in which Ben Kimball plays with members of The Spook Lights, Fag Cop, and The Spread Eagles), and Rooftop Vigilantes (another band in which Wiese performs). It should be mentioned that drummer Nic Kotlinski performed in the late, great Coat Party as well. The four songs contained on the Seeds EP are original to the release, though prior to this the band’s only other output was a submission to Replay Records’ Cheap Beer compilation, wherein they shared a slab of wax with most of the other bands mentioned in this paragraph.
Stream the EP below, and keep your eyes out for a cassette in the next month or so.
Earlier this week, I missed out on seeing The Casket Lottery play their first non-festival KC show since their decision to be an active band once more. I caught the group back in spring as part of the Middle Of The Map Festival (their second year as a performer) which happened to be at the same venue they played on July 8th with Anakin and In the Grove. I forgot how quickly time has passed since then, as the band’s new label No Sleep Records just posted the pre-order for the band’s new 7″ record (with multiple colors for the nerds). The Door EP features the title track on one side, with “My Father’s Son” as a b-side. The EP is a precursor to the upcoming full-length, Real Fear.
Any who were familiar with the band in their former life will note that there has been not much change in their sound since the last release nearly a decade ago. The songs still ride heavily on the bass of Stacy Hilt, drums of Nathan “Junior” Richardson and the miraculously un-aging vocals of Nathan Ellis, but with a revamped lineup the founders are now joined by Brent Windler (Anakin) on second guitar, and Nick Siegel on keyboard. You can stream the a-side and title track from The Door below.
For two excruciatingly long years I have waited for new music from Lawrence fuzz-pop group Radar Defender. It was some time in 2010 when their Sleep Dreaming Mammal EP completely took me by surprise, and now the trio of Scott Burr, Austin Snell and Tyler Snell (all of whom previously played together in Aqua-Symphonics) are on the eve of releasing one of my most anticipated albums of the year in a matter of weeks.
The first single from the new full-length Satellites and Airports is “Animal,” an unsurprisingly buoyant song that channels less Kim Deal and more Matt Suggs in the lo-fi heydays of Butterglory. Check out the stream below.
My interest in local composer Bryan Cox has been steadily growing since the beginning of the year. It’s not enough that his ’80s-centric sleazefest Soft Lighting has released Slow Motion Silhouettes, one of the most catchy albums of its type in recent memory, but on the side he also fronts New Savages (click here for a download). New Savages as a band stand on their own to create more concentrated and energetic grooves in opposition to the gently flowing, mood-oriented tunes he himself creates, the end result of which is the perfect soundtrack to a summer night drive — I’ve proven this theory on multiple occasions.
Cox has spent the time since SMS dropped recording new material, but in the meantime only releasing scant remixes of others’ work (Suicide, Brothertiger). Now just a few days into a sweltering July, Soft Lighting gives us a new five-song EP under the title Glamour Shots, with a video in tow. The new songs don’t depart much from the full-length, but much of the EP has a washed out sound, making the beats at times more aloof than the vibrancy with which Silhouettes packs its punch. Below, watch the video for “So Good,” from the new EP. The video isn’t quite NSFW, but it contains things like caressing, dudes kissing, neon lights, and other things that will freak out the squares.
Lawrence native Jim “Dandy” Martin is the driving force behind the psychedelic electronic music released as Cloud Dog. Though hardly ever absent of any amount of contributors, the aesthetic of the sound and the aboriginal image presented is all the idea of Dandy himself. Just this past weekend, the group played a release show for the new album Realms, and plan on releasing a remix 7″ and cassette later this year.
You can expect to find a review of the album here sometime soon, but in the meantime you can get a sampling through the Bollywood influenced “Temple Step” in its proper music video streaming below.
Kansas band Anakin are fresh off the release of their debut full-length, Random Accessed Memories, only issued a few months ago in conjunction with their first live performance ever. Though the band has kept quiet on the live performance front since then, they have been hard at work on a new EP, which is set to be released later this year.
It has been nearly a year to the day since the band’s kickstarter for RAM appeared alongside the leagues of others full of hope in getting their projects funded. Kansas City took notice, and the band’s campaign ended up exceeding their goal by over $500, the end result of which was one of the best, if as-yet still most unheard debut albums in recent memory. The guys figure they may be able to return to that well, and are asking for their fans and listeners to once again get their material heard by the denizens of space rock.
The new kickstarter has a modest goal of $1,800, and as of this writing still has 24 days remaining until its completion. With this new campaign, the band hopes to lure you in with tiers under $30 ranging from downloads of the album and MIDI demos of the songs therein, to a tier of $150 that will get those who pledge a very special gift — a cover song, hand-picked by the donator, recorded by the band specifically for that person. Sky’s the limit, but Tupac holograms cost extra.
Stream Random Accessed Memories below.
There’s always a slight stigma around an independent local band trying to break out and “make it.” Often times, this is met with a knee-jerk reaction accompanied by cliché insults that almost always allude to the artists in question selling out. There is no shame in a talented band making the commitment to bring their music to the masses, and furthermore no disgrace in trying to crawl out of the dive bars– all while keeping the integrity that gained them a reputation in the beginning.
Kansas City’s Antennas Up are throwing their hats in the ring and trying to do just that. The foursome gained some local press upon release of their debut, self-titled full length three years ago, and their ’70s funk, attraction to outer space and proclivity toward unadulterated pop drew comparisons to artists such as Daft Punk and Jamiroquai, neither of which are entirely inaccurate. The follow-up has been a two-year process of the band writing and recording in multiple locations over and over, and whittling the resulting final song list down to only ten.
On May 15th, The Awkward Phase will be released as the band’s sophomore album, and with it a 10-week, nationwide radio campaign with Vitriol (whose client roster includes Daft Punk and Metric, as well as projects from Arthur Dodge and Danny Pound) in an attempt to get the band’s music on the air at 300 different stations. Unfortunately, promotional companies don’t work for free. To circumvent the costs that will incur from this opportunity, the band has launched a $2,500 kickstarter project with multiple tiers offering those who pledge digital downloads, autographed albums and posters, personalized art, and a customized vocoder cell phone answering machine/ringtone.
The band will be playing a CD release show at the Riot Room on April 27th, with support from Flashbulb Fires and The Hipnecks.
I’ve written of new blood KC powerpop trio Deco Auto twice previously, both of which were live performance reviews. After over a year of toiling about town, the group finally made it into the studio to record some songs for an upcoming album. Only “Such a Bother” has been mastered so far, and you can stream it below. Their full range of sound and influences don’t fully shine on this one, but that’s in no way a dig to the band or the mastering job, it only whets the appetite for those to come. The rest will be mastered by Pat Tomek (The Rainmakers, Howard Iceberg and the Titanics) and will likely be heard sometime later this spring. Catch the band with Molly Picture Club on March 31st at a free Middle Of The Map pre-show hosted by the 39th Street Vinyl Renaissance.
I have very few qualms about dedicating an entire post to the release of a single track. Anyone who has kept up with this blog since the beginning (that would make one of us) could remember that one of my very first posts ever was about High Diving Ponies and the musical background of Josh Thomas. You can click the link to read some background and check out most of his discography to date. With that, I bring you a stream of the first track to be released from the untitled upcoming full-length from the droned-out KC group, and in my opinion it may very well be one of their best yet. I’ve already listened to it about a dozen times myself. Check it out below.
It seems as though Lawrence quartet Rooftop Vigilantes are making up for lost time from their 2011 break, and are coming out with guns blazing in 2012. Already having given us a very palatable album in Real Pony Glue upon their reunion late last year, the group have been slinging out new songs at a speed admirable by even the most reclusive of home recording four-track heroes, and have a full plate of releases scheduled for the year to come.
Up first is Weird Adventure, a four-track EP on a yet to be announced format (fingers crossed for vinyl) that is slated for a street date shortly after their return from SXSW, at which there will be performances from side projects Mouthbreathers and Dry Bonnet.
Weird Adventure EP track listing:
01 Barrier Appeal
02 Outlet Village
03 Movie Music For Assholes
04 Hit The White Kids
Once the Weird EP drops, there will be no rest for the foursome, as soon after they will have another release in the Party Animal EP. And as if that wasn’t enough to tide over those hungry for the garage rock darlings, they will then be unleashing Let It Be, a lush 14-track LP. Let us hope that by the name, this will not be their final release as a group before splitting off to do music of varying worth (or that one of them grow to be an insufferable douche named Paul McCartney) and instead this will be their jumping off point leading to a household name career and a hit single that inspires the title of a teen comedy a decade later. I’m sure we will not be unsatisfied.
Expect to see a stream of the first single from Weird Adventure in the coming weeks.