Gainsville, Florida’s UV-TV obviously have great taste. Side one of their debut LP Glass bounds from Shop Assistants to Primitives and Black Tambourine. It doesn’t let up from the gas pedal once forcing its blissed-out sonic assault down your throat. Singer Rose Vastola has a saccharine sweet voice that easily breaks through the shards of noise put down by guitarist Ian Bernacett. Every song is a heart attack.
Side two stretches their pallet beyond the saccharine noise pop of side one. The songs are longer, more brooding and go for a different pop jugular. The Chameleons, Spacemen 3 and the Gun Club all pop into the frame of reference. No matter how you like getting your pop fetish tickled, I highly recommend tuning into this record!
Glass is out on Deranged Records, the same label that released Wildhoney‘s Sleep Through It.
You know what I like about the Purrs? Among their many charms, they have cars in their songs. Cars to take you to the place where everything’s going down and cars to escape after you’ve had enough. Out here in the wide open west, contrary to the current political winds, you need a car. It’s big out here and things ain’t getting any closer together. If you want to feel connected you’ve gotta get in the car and drive. If you want to disconnect from everything, you also need a one, and the Purrs understand that. They know when to cruise and they know when to put the pedal to the floor.
The Boy With Astronaut Eyes is the Purrs’ sixth album and it may be their best since The Chemistry That Keeps Us Together. Bassist and songwriter Jima has come up with a great batch of songs that rivals Chemistry’s top shelf stuff. The songs are dusty, gritty, cosmic and road-ready. They feel like futuristic wild west space tales. Jason Milne’s interstellar guitar solos propel the songs into the nether realms. New rhythm guitarist Liz Herrin provides some angelic backing vocals to counter Jima’s road-worn ones, while drummer Craig Keller is the designated driver that keeps the songs on the road or at least on a trajectory to intersect with the next outpost.
This batch of Purrs songs are doused in gasoline and then lit up with guitars. Cemetery Johnny is a blast of feedback over a killer bass groove that feels like Love and Rockets gone bad. They also can take you on strung out road trips down lonely west coast highways with acid rain pelting the windshield and if there is a bar on the roadside you can be sure that they are stopping. Fade Away may be thee strung out power drive to end all trips. Both sides of their single from last year re-appear here as well, which if you already have it may come as a disappointment instead of something else, but both Rotting On the Vine and You the Medicine and Me are more than worthy if you don’t do singles.
So the question is: Is this new Purrs album worth the road trip? The first time I heard the Purrs I was in a car. It wasn’t a wide open road. I wasn’t driving to nowhere and there wasn’t a trail of dust in my wake, but when that song came on the radio, I felt like like I could bypass the grocery store and speed off towards the horizon. This record will have you reaching for the keys.
The Purrs play this Thursday, May 30th at the Comet Tavern. They’re currently in the studio with Erik Blood recording their next record that’s bound to be killer.
I planned to write about something else, but I started listening to the Gap Dream album and now everything else sounds pale in comparison right now. Gap Dream is the name Cleveland, Ohio dude Gabriel Fulvimar uses to record, and this album came to fruition when Fulvimar sent the guys at Burger Records one of his songs. They loved it and now it’s on a slab of vinyl. The album came out earlier this year on Burger’s format of choice, the cassette, but the Fullerton label is now getting around to properly issuing it on vinyl.
It has a druggy psychedelic vibe to it, but it isn’t too stoner-rock. A little Apples in Stereo mixed with a little Spacemen 3. It also has some power-pop flourishes that may or may not be traceable back to another Cleveland band the Raspberries. Throw in a pretty cover of the Squires Go Ahead and you’ve got a record that is hard to put down.
Gap Dream play the Comet here in Seattle this Sunday, August 5th.
The Muslims at King Cobra, Seattle | 7 September 2008
I new that The Muslims rocked, but when I saw that their drummer plays standing up, beating on a huge standing bass drum I figured that they must rock even more than I thought. There is something about a drummer that stands up to play, it immediately gives the impression that he’s not messing around and not taking a back seat, so to speak. The Muslims weren’t messing around last night, blasting through most of their 12″ that’s out on 128 records. There’s not a whole lot of cerebral-ness going on with The Muslims, their sound is primal and immediate in the same way that so many other three chord punk bands have been in the past. But it isn’t really the tried and true formula, but the delivery. The Muslims came off snotty, but earnest playing first on the bill last night, people were just straggling in when they hit the stage. With singer Mat Lamkin half heartedly announcing, “We’re the Muslims” and guitars plugged in the band set about blowing the roof off the King Cobra with their early Sunday evening set opening for another San Diego band the Night Marchers. The guitars were loud to a point where it nearly hurt, but in a good way. Even when lead guitarist Matty McLoughlin broke a string mid set, the band continued to pound it out, refusing offers of another guitar. I guess that’s one of the advantages to playing three chords, no complications arise when a string busts. Who needs that sixth string anyway?
The band sometimes get derided for being the Strokes 2.0, but the Muslims incorporate a more diverse set of influences than the Strokes initially did. There is the obvious reference point of the Velvet Underground but the band also takes cues from the countless Southern California garage surf bands as well as punk precursors like the Monks. The also have recently chosen to cover another seminal band with their soon to be released next single containing a cover of Spacemen 3‘s Walking With Jesus. Last night they ended the set with the A-Side to the new single, Parasites. It’s easily the best thing yet from this very young band. It’s still based on a simple riff, backed up with a cool bass line and drums, not much different from their previous stuff, but you can hear the band getting more comfortable and more confident. Parasites is a stormer and that was the case last night. Maybe next time they’re here, they’ll do that Spacemen 3 cover. Can’t wait until then!
Here are a couple versions of the original by Spacemen 3. The song was originally released as a single that came out after their first album Sound of Confusion. As Spacemen 3 were wont to do, they re-recorded the song and put it on their next album The Perfect Prescription. The Perfect Prescription version is slowed down more gospel sounding song, a sound that Jason Peirce would go on to more thoroughly explore in Spritualized. The Muslims version, of course, takes the rocking version’s blueprint, but it does carry a lot of the intensity of the slower version as well. There are actually more versions of this song that Spacemen 3 recorded, a demo of it can be found on Taking Drugs To Make Music To Take Drugs To, I’d post that one too, but that would be overkill, wouldn’t it? mp3: Spacemen 3 – Walking With Jesus (Single Version)