December 9, 2008

Today's Hotness: Seb Roberts, Primitive Painters, War On Drugs

Seb Roberts
>> Welsh twee-core wunderkinds Los Campesinos! are not the only act to issue two records in 2008. The increasingly curious Seb Roberts has returned with a second release on SVC Records for the year, the EP Yeah, Well, Coué's Dead. Mr. Roberts, a Canadian-born and one-time Baltimore-based ex-pat who has spent many of his recent years in Germany and Japan, released his SVC debut Exit Strategy in March (he had previously previously issued another nine records elsewhere under various names). While the full-lengthed Exit Strategy seemed to draw from mid-period Ministry and Stewart Copeland's Klark Kent project, the new collection is a more composed amalgamation of hypnotic, Fripp-esque guitar textures and the bending chimpgaze swirl of the finer Swirlies recordings. Some of the mechanistic tone of Exit Strategy persists in the new collection (which features a remixed version of Exit Strategy's "US Out Of NY"), as the repeated guitar figure that draws "Roll Deep" to a close is somewhat robotic (in contrast to Robert Fripp's more flowing loops). "Roll Deep" is more intricately constructed than a first listen will reveal: lazery synths streak low in the mix, as do spectral vocal tracks. And where's the chorus? Roberts has cobbled together this fairly gripping video for the track that provocatively pairs footage of baggy scene legends, fireworks and riot police. More overt in its Fripp referencing is Roberts' gorgeous odd-metered instrumental "False Positive." Yeah, Well, Coué's Dead was issued digitally Dec. 2, and you can purchase it directly from SVC Records here. The EP will also be available through the usual digital storefronts imminently, if it is not already.

Seb Roberts -- "Roll Deep" -- Yeah, Well, Coué's Dead
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[buy the EP from SVC Records right here]

>> Attentive readers will recall we noted last month the release of reconstituted California quintet Primitive Painters' new full-length Say It 'Til You Mean It. In doing so we reported that the album references the more guitar-centric work of alt. luminaries New Order. No song more pointedly refers to the legacy of the now apparently defunct-for-good Mancunians than Primitive Painters' album closer "Throw Your Heart To The Wind," which quotes the chorus of New Order's chillingly good "All The Way," the second track from the surprise 1989 triumph Technique (here's a live clip of New Order performing the track at Reading in '89). On the heels of the band's well-received record release show in California over the weekend the band has given us the OK to post "Throw Your Heart To The Wind" below. There's a lot to like: great drumming, crystalline layers of guitar and Dennis Crupi's lyrical exhortations to greater things.

Primitive Painters -- "Throw Your Heart To The Wind" -- Say It 'Til You Mean It
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[buy the record from the band right here]

>> It is worth mentioning for the record that, although the septet will not be coming to New England, The War On Drugs neverthless launch a tour this evening in Pontiac, MI. Only yesterday we named the Philly-based act's gloriously droning "Show Me The Coast" one of the ten best songs of the year. We expect our bestowing such an honor will result in mob scenes at these upcoming dates, but even so you should brave the crowds to see The War On Drugs, whose Wagonwheel Blues is one of the more under-appreciated gems of 2008 (it will appear on our top albums list next week).

12/09 -- Pontiac, MI -- The Pike Room at The Crofoot
12/10 -- Rock Island, IL -- Huckleberry's Pizza Parlor
12/11 -- Chicago, IL -- Schuba's
12/12 -- Bloomington, IN -- Bear's Place
12/13 -- Pittsburgh, PA -- Brillobox
12/14 -- Brooklyn, NY -- Union Hall
12/15 -- New York, NY -- Mercury Lounge
12/18 -- Philadelphia, PA -- Johnny Brenda's

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