Sometimes it takes me a while to get the message, but I like to think that after a while I smart enough to figure it out, with a little help of course. It’s 2009, but Sourpatch sound so much like 1992 SpinArt/Slumberland that it’s kind of freaky. Think I’m kidding? Take a listen and tell me you don’t hear parts Lorelei, Velocity Girl, the Swirlies and a little bit of Small Factory and Tiger Trap for good measure from this San Jose, California band. To date they have a self-released demo, a free EP courtesy of WIAIWYA’s virtual singles series and an awesomely fun video which you can see below. This flying below the radar thing is all about to change because Athens, Georgia’s Happy Happy Birthday To Me will be releasing the band’s first album early next year. If you take a look at you calendar, that’s not too far off.
Image by Daniele Young taken from the Afternoon Naps MySpace
Welcome to day three of psych pop week here at the Finest Kiss. No we won’t be going down memory lane talking about bands like the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, Love, Left Bank, the Elephant 6 Collective, or Witch Hazel. Instead we’ll be covering some new records that dip their feet into the psychedelic ink jar.
Day three takes us to Cleveland, Ohio and the Afternoon Naps. Their second album is called Parade, and has just been released by Happy Happy Birthday to Me on limited edition CD and LP (their 2007 album Sunbeam was self-released). You may not equate Northeast Ohio with psychedelic pop, but there is some precedence in bands like Youngstown’s Human Beinz and the afore mentioned Witch Hazel who were from Kent. Parade is a study in sublime pastoral sunbeams, and just the thing to help you get through the gray cloudy days of winter. It’s bright pop hooks and production are along the same lines of the Essex Green and Ladybug Transistor. In the indiepop universe studies have shown that listening to the Afternoon Naps is more effective than light treatment in treating Seasonal Affective Disorder, so go ahead put it on an brighten not only your day but your outlook on life.
The last time I checked there wasn’t a goth revival happening, well the Sisters of Mercy are back together and Joy Division have never been more popular, but there doesn’t seem to be a ton of bands aping that style so much these days. Maybe I’m on to something here, a new goth revival? I doubt it, and in the Lolligags case they sound goth, but certainly don’t look goth. Their sound verges towards the synth heavy goth sound,and being from Athens, Georgia, (at least half of them) you might be inclined to say they have taken the B-52’s influences and colored them with a black crayola crayon. It’s very poppy in a Dead or Alive or a Missing Persons quasi-goth way, or even the Cure with the plunging bass line on All the Deer Daughters. Their songs have an overtly dance-y element to them, but Dallion’s voice has this wounded quality to it that gives you the impression that the music may sound fun, but there’s something dark beneath the surface. On paper the Lolligags certainly wouldn’t be considered goth, but form me it’s one of those je ne sais quoi things that are difficult to explain. The sum of the Lolligags is certainlyy much more than the individual parts. The band currently have two ep’s both on Athens based label Happy Happy Birthday To Me, with the latest called Out of Perversity Join Hands.
The second band in my anecdotal goth resurgence post is Los Angeles band Blue Jungle. They are a five piece who seem to evoke the more primal goth sound. Though based in L.A. the band hail from all corners of South America. They’ve got a killer sound that has bits of Altered Images, Lick the Tins, Siouxsie, X and the Cramps. Singer Lately Blu Blu has a crazy innocent sounding yet all too knowing voice and the band definitely know their way around a pop hook. Blue Jungle being based in the entertainment capitol of the world and all, I can’t believe that they’ve had to essentially self-release their record. Ten years ago labels would have been banging down their door to put this out. Oh how times have changed. No matter, taking matters into their own hands they’ve just released their first album on Anti Fiesta Records, it’s called Baby Don’t Cry and if you hurry you can probably still get 1 of the only 500 vinyl copies the band pressed.
Here are some upcoming Blue Jungle dates:
Feb 26 El Jardin – Northridge, CA
Mar 1 Que Sera – Long Beach, CA
Mar 7 Pehrspace – Los Angeles, CA
Mar 18 SXSW – Austin, TX
Apr 2 Soda Bar – San Diego, CA
Apr 3 The Smell – Los Angeles, CA
May 16 Spaceland – Silverlake, CA