A couple excellent singles have recently hit the street courtesy of the fine folks at Magic Marker down in Portland. Gold-Bears are from the South. Atlanta, Georgia to be exact. They have a kind of manic energy that the Judybats seemed to posses in abundance, and singer Jeremy Underwood has certain similarity to John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats. With that said, you might assume they subscribe to the REM and Let’s Active school of thought. What did your mother tell you about assuming? Drop the needle on the record and you quickly realize they are firmly in the Wedding Present/Boyracer camp of blistering guitar sonics and feedback. At first I thought they had figured out the secret to the patented Boyracer feedback, but then I saw that they had enlisted Stewart Boyracer Anderson on the b-side Jezzer. Nothing like having a secret weapon. Their debut Magic Marker single is three songs, over in a little over five minutes. Gold-Bears don’t dilly-dally with their short songs that draw you in, knock you over then leave you with little birdies and stars in a halo around your head. Look for their next single on Cloudberry.
For Ex-Lovers Only hale from a strange place, Orlando, Florida. If the internet has taught us anything, it’s that geography doesn’t matter. Kids in Topeka have the same access to (once) obscure indie music as those in New York or Chicago. First thing’s first, yes they’re named after a Black Tambourine song and yes they kind of sound like it, especially the a-side Coffin which is a everything an a-side should be: short, scorching and catchy. The two b-sides are a little more restrained. Scraps is an acoustic song displaying the band’s strong sense of melody and restraint, defying the their rookie status. If they’ve got 5 or 6 more like the these then they’ll be making kids swoon and breaking hearts real soon.