It seems as though Baltimore has had a minor outbreak of excellent indiepop bands. You might remember the recent singles from Wildhoney and the EP from Expert Alterations? Get ready to add another band to the contagion. Crimson Wave have just released their debut 7-inch single on Accidental Guest records. The A-side Say has a detached melancholy that rides over you the way Scrawl did on records like Velvet Hammer and Smallmouth and an infectious quality in the vein of Bleached. On the flip side Calling You the guitar playing has a pace and sense of space that also brings to mind more languorous side of Felt. For a first single, this is subtle,accomplished and compelling stuff!
When it rains it pours around here. Another one from Seattle for you guys, the Creakies are guitar and drum duo that have been bending my ear with their brand of noisy pop. They’ve played around town infrequently, but hopefully that will change with the released their Redwood EP that came out earlier this month via bandcamp (thanks to fuzzbook for the heads up). It’s four songs that are influenced by punk rock and indie DIY. Lead track Arnold’s Song has a classic fuzzy rif and high pitched melody that is part No Age and part Scrawl. They also do a tender twee version of Cock Sparrer‘s Because You’re Young, totally owning and reinventing the song. The Creakies play this Sunday at the Mystery Machine (formerly New Crompton) in the U District.
This whole go back to the 90’s thing isn’t just for guy bands. Amy Franz and Hayley McKee of Melbourne, Australia duo Super Wild Horses are conjuring the recent past on their debut album 15 just released on Hozac in the States and Aarght! in their home country. Its bouncy rhythms have a playful Tuscadero feel to them, though I don’t think Super Wild Horses are as hopped up on sugar as Tuscadero were back in the day. Fifteen also owes a little to the Columbus, Ohio trio Scrawl. On the more somber songs with the their sparse guitar and drum arrangements and general disposition, they might have you believing that they actually splintered from the Scrawl family tree somewhere in the recent past. Marcy May’s songs in Scrawl often dealt in heartbreak and loss and Scrawl’s sound was often described as sparse and dour, but they could also be accused of rocking out as good as any boy band. On 15, songs like Goldentown and We Don’t Believe It evoke that bleakness, but let a ray of sunshine in, something Scrawl rarely did.
Fifteen was recorded with Eddy Current Suppression Ring‘s Mikey Young who also recorded their six song EP on Aarght! that sold out pretty quickly last year. His deft hand dresses up the record just enough but not too much, letting the songs and voices of Franz and McKee through. The ladies are heading over to the US for a string of dates that have them selectively hopping across the continent and inexplicably skipping Seattle.
September 16: Brooklyn, NY – Cameo Gallery
September 17: Phildelphia, PA – Cha-Cha Razzi
September 18: Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle
September 19: Chicago, IL – Permanent Records
September 23: Memphis, TN – Gonerfest
September 27: New Orleans, LA – Saturn Bar
September 28: Austin, TX – Beerland
September 29: Austin, TX – Club 1808
October 1: San Francisco, CA – The Hemlock Tavern
October 2: Davis, CA – Maximum Freedom Festival