RSSAuthor Archive for Howard Wuelfing

woodenshjips.west

WOODEN SHJIPS West CD/LP

I hate being a reductivist, but—damn! Wooden Shjips most recent release West really REALLY brings to mind prime Spaceman 3… and then again, no. On the one hand they recreate that lovely, raw, roaring Spaceman 3 signature sound, bursting with fuzz-drenched power-chords driven by the simplest of drum pulses. The song shapes start as classic […]

totimoshi.avenger

TOTIMOSHI Avenger CD

Totimoshi’s latest, Avenger, is a cannily conceived and executed, and ultimately a wholly pleasant listening experience.  They have reintegrated the multiple strains of style that grew out of 1970 era hard/heavy music into a solid but stylish statement. So most songs ALL bear hints of acid-rock psychedelicism in the lead guitar work, the dramatic and […]

newchrists.gloria

NEW CHRISTS Gloria CD

The New Christs’ Gloria is an earnest, energetic, solid release but ultimately lacks imagination or a sense of distinctive identity. Led by singer Rob Younger, also of Australian punk legends Radio Birdman, the New Christs turn in heartfelt performances of songs that span the gamut of vintage punkish styles. There’s classic 70s punk here as […]

demonsclaws.defrosting

DEMON'S CLAW The Defrosting of Walt Disney CD/LP

Montreal's Demon’s Claw hearkens back to the time when the 60’s revolution moved from big city university campuses to trailer parks and filling stations whilst the drugs of choice shifted from pot and Owsley purple to tuinols and ephedrine-soaked cotton balls cracked outta asthma inhalers. Demon’s Claw takes elements of stock garage-rock and the high […]

idletimes

IDLE TIMES CD/LP

The blessing and curse of surviving a buncha decades is you’ve heard it all before. The knowledge and ability to correctly contextualize something can be mighty cool. But the ennui that can infect your listening experiences can be a drag. Idle Times sound utterly right—they shove various 60’s rock stylings through the cyclotron of conscientiously […]

scream.control

SCREAM Complete Control Session CD EP/12" EP

At this late stage of the game, I’d concede the right of anyone who wants to call their music, lifestyle, sculpture or skateboard line “punk” to go ahead and do so. The basic impulse that was categorized by that label circulates freely through Western culture, irregardless of the (mis)application of the brand name. So there’s […]

tunnels.blackout

TUNNELS Blackout LP

The media is making a big deal about the lack of progress being made by young musicians and the prevalence of nostalgia as the foundation of most artists’ aesthetic. Tunnels certainly fit the bill. Their latest offering, Blackout, is a straightforward recreation of English pre-Electro Pop and some of the variations thereon. Certainly that’s an […]

philmanly

PHIL MANLEY Life Coach CD/LP

Life Coach wears its intentions on its sleeve—literally. The cover art exultantly reprises Michael Rother’s (Kraftwerk, Neu, Harmonia) Katzenmusick visuals—fluffy clouds set against blue, BLUE sky. On the lead-off track, “FT2 Theme,” Trans Am guitarist Phil Manley diligently recreates classic solo Rother; he lays down a basic rhythmic pulse and quickly looping melodic themes on […]

highllamas.talahomi

THE HIGH LLAMAS Talahomi Way CD/LP

Each time I start spinning The High Llamas’ latest release, Talahomi Way, all sorts of relatively arcane thoughts and associations pop into my ol’ pumpkin head. First off, it recalls Brian Wilson’s crowning achievements with the Beach Boys, Pet Sounds and Smile; when I first heard High Llamas that’s the only thing I could relate […]

canseidersexy.donkey

CANSEI DE SER SEXY Donkey CD/LP

Brazil’s Cansei de Ser Sexy are prime exemplars of cargo-cult dance-rock: wholly devoted to crowd-pleasing, with catchy tunes, peppy beats and abject surrender to convention and predictability. If latter-day No Doubt need an opening act, then CSS is it. The one deviation from the expected would be the lyrics which are clearly written by people […]