Much has been made recently of the blooming success of the British four-piece Temples; accolades from the most compliment-stingy media outlets both stateside and in their native U.K., many referring to Temples as the band that finally concoct the classic 60-70s Brit-rock formula while still bringing a fresh sound to British rock & roll. Even the annoyingly opinionated Sir Noel Gallagher managed to massage their growing ego.
Cheatahs’ self-titled debut finds the UK-based quartet working within a slim range of genre styles, but with no specific one that defines the sound of the record. Even so, there is a very familiar line that strings throughout the entire listen. Predominantly ruled by a driving, 90’s post-punk vibe, with a hint of ambient shoegaze, the guitar tones are heavy and noisy, yet comfortable like an old pair of pajamas. So while it is not necessarily innovative, it feels like they perfectly captured a sound from a bygone era while still injecting a new and unique twist that makes it sound fresher than a blatant pillaging of their influences.
“Two years is not so long ago…” With the release of their debut, Other People’s Problems in 2012, South London's Breton left the depths of their BretonLab with musical art pieces in hand and mind and made their way into the touring fray, which included international junkets and SXSW. Two years later in 2014, Breton returns with their second album, War Room Stories and another venture to Austin for SXSW where this time, they need not worry about people knowing who they were as was expressed by Roman Rappak, lead vocalist and guitarist, during the band’s gig at Red 7 Patio.
After winning Virgin Mobile’s Road to V battle of the bands competition in 2006, Bombay Bicycle Club released three full-length albums from 2009-2011. They powered through the flavor-of-the-month status heaped upon them by the British press, and made it through the roller coaster ride that typically follows overnight style success, a ride that usually kills lesser bands.
Warpaint, the all-woman indie-rock quartet from Los Angeles are back with their self-titled sophomore effort. Produced by the Flood (U2, Foals), with additional help on a few tunes by Nigel Godrich (Radiohead), Warpaint sees the band picking up essentially where the debut album, 2010’s The Fool, leaves off. By adding Aussie percussionist Stella Mozgawa shortly after The Fool was written, they solidified their lineup, allowing bassist Jenny Lee Lindberg to develop a rhythmic connection with the new drummer and push their lush sound landscapes to a new level.
Kamtin Mohager is the creative brainchild behind The Chain Gang of 1974. Born in California, Mohager called Hawaii, then Denver, home during his formative years and was the touring bassist for 3OH3! from 2007-2010 before deciding to put all of his energy into his Chain Gang project. Following the success, and critical acclaim of the debut White Guts, and the follow up Wayward Fire, Mohager returns with his third full-length album, Daydream Forever.
The word “fuzz” gets tossed around quite a bit these days in regards to many punk inspired indie rock bands that cross the blurred lines in the sub-genre wasteland of the underground. This adjective couldn’t be more apt to use when describing the debut album from the Bay Area’s punk trio POW! Filled with short form, quick firing gems, this debut is packed with fuzzy, old tube-amp crunchiness, and lyrics about the decay of their city and the crumbling world around them. This collage is the essence of the POW! debut LP, Hi-Tech Boom.
Newcastle’s angular pop quintet, Maximo Park, return with their new album, Too Much Information, the first since 2012’s critically acclaimed The National Health. Completely recorded in their hometown of Newcastle, as well as nearby Sunderland, the band has definitely pushed their sound into new territories, holding nothing back in the way of experimentation and lyrics as singer Paul Smith warns, “Pure lyrics, and music will never be too-cool-for-school, we are an emotional band, even if it might be Too Much Information for some."
On their third album, Too True, Dee Dee Penny and the Dum Dum Girls (Jules, Sandy, and Malia) create a more focused version of their fuzz-drenched indie-pop sound. The album sounds much more confident than previous efforts, specifically the early EPs, is expertly arranged, and has seen them move on from the lo-fi garage noise to a sound with more studio sheen.
“I met Wolf in early 2012, actually. So we’ve only known each other for about a year and a half to two years,” said Jeff Broadway, the director of the documentary, Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton, which tells the life and career story of Peanut Butter Wolf and the birth and life of his record label, Stones Throw Records.