>> Above is the bottom half of the cover art for the forthcoming Johnny Foreigner single for "Our Bipolar Friends" that we mentioned last week (see below). The release date is March 3, not March 5 as we wrote previously. The B-side will be the song "The Houseparty Scene Is Killing You," which you would have thought the band might have saved for the flip of a single for "This Band Is Killing Us." Through the miracle of technology and the kindness of cool people, we've already heard the single (as well as a radio session track that will blow up the hipper parts of the Internet when it gets out there; we'll hold our tongues for now) and it is huge. The single version of "Our Bipolar Friends" has fairly different vocals from bassist Kelly than the demo from last spring, and there are some cool new guitar parts and gang vocals to boot. The mix touts broader separation of the instruments, and none of the energy of the earlier version is lost. The real excitement, of course, is the b-side, which we hadn't heard before (unless they played it during the show in New York? Our memory is fuzzy). "The Houseparty Scene Is Killing You" is awesome, and not just because the band namechecks itself in the lyrics (we are a big fan of this; one day we need to do a post on things such as that which earn big points from us). It's got that characteristic drunk-but-still-standing-up feel, although the shuffling guitar and slightly tempered dynamics result in a mellower attack. Both "Houseparty" and the radio session highlight a gear that Johnny Foreigner hasn't displayed often beyond a handful of demos, and the fact that the trio has yet another trick up its sleeve will pleasantly surprise many. Now wait until March.
>> Have you heard the promo track for the new Evangelicals record The Evening Descends? Fans will recall that "Skeleton Man" was first made available last year as part of the Oklahoma psychers' Daytrotter session. The studio version is an unsurprisingly spiffed-up rendering of the kaleidoscopic anthem. You can hear it and the rest of the record at the band's MySpace teepee here, as Evangelicals just announced it is now streaming the new set there through its Jan. 22 release date. We reviewed the quartet's debut So Gone here, and reviewed their Nov. 2006 show at TT The Bear's Place here. Notably lacking right now is any information about Evangelicals touring plans. They totally killed when we saw them in 2006 and we are eager for another chance. We have to believe a third Evangelicals record can't be too far off, because we wrote here in late 2006 that the band had planned to finish The Evening Descends in Feb. 2007 and had expected to release it in Aug. of that year.
Evangelicals -- "Skeleton Man" -- The Evening Descends
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[pre-order The Evening Descends from Dead Oceans here]
>> Those of you awaiting news concerning London-based indie rock wunderkinds Video Nasties will be pleased to note that the quintet recorded four new tracks in late December. The desperate rocker "Gobi" has "big single" written all over it. "Stereo" and "Hearts And Bones" are a touch denser and the attitude a bit heavier than the older, fizzy material we harvested from various UK music blogs last year. The new songs have a lot of punch musically. We miss some of the innocence in the vocals of the earlier tunes (those on the new tracks are almost exclusively barked, but not in a bad way), although some of that remains in the Walkmen-esque "Conversation Dies." Video Nasties -- which released The Karl Blau EP in October, right after we first wrote about the band here -- tour the UK throughout February with the hotly tipped (but to our ears kind of flat) Nottingham electropop act Late Of The Pier. You can stream all four new Video Nasties tracks at the band's MySpace yert here. We're particularly fond of the older Video Nasties track "Little Flickers," so here it is.
Video Nasties --
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[buy Video Nasties recordings from Rough Trade here]