February 27, 2009

Today's Hotness: Swirlies, Screaming Maldini, Bricolage

The Swirlies -- What To Do About Them
>> We're getting excited for chimp-rock standard bearers The Swirlies' show Saturday night at the Middle East, and it would seem the Internet is also in the grips of a minor bout of Swirlies-a-mania. No fewer than three outlets previewed the upcoming shows Thursday, including Philebrity and Boston's Weekly Dig and Bostonist publications. We have an operative based in San Francisco who flew east to catch two of the shows, last night's set at Johnny Brenda's in Philly -- apparently The Swirlies' first show in five years -- and the show Saturday. We're hopeful that said operative will file a review with us that we'll try to get online Friday night. Saturday will not be our first time seeing the band -- we think it will be the third. The first time was at the Indie 500 festival in South Jersey in 1993, and then we saw them in a West Philly basement sometime between then and 1996. Even so, if our recollection is correct, we've never seen The Swirlies get through an entire performance, so anticipation runs high. As Philebrity points out, a large portion of the band's catalogue, including the indispensible Taaang! releases, are available for free download at the band's site here. To get you started, here are a couple of our favorite tracks from the excellent What To Do About Them, which was released in 1992.

Swirlies -- "Chris R." -- What To Do About Them
Swirlies -- "Upstairs" -- What To Do About Them
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[a whole lotta free Swirlies here]

>> It's been a month since we first got an email from Nick of the Sheffield, England-based maximalist pop trio Screaming Maldini, and we're somewhat surprised that it has taken so long for us to make mention of the band's orchestral tunes. Not completely surprised, however: Screaming Maldini is doing something fairly singular by mixing the widescreen ADD tendencies of Scritti Politti and electropop savant Max Tundra with the vintage soundtrack work collected on that The Sound Gallery comp -- and then there's a bit of Frank Zappa thrown in as well. It's quite difficult to peg. But we think you will be completely sold, as we were, by the wondrous tune "The Extraordinary," which we're posting below. There's not a lot of information about Screaming Maldini out there, but the other blogs [ploing! bonk!] that have picked up on the band note the trio are students and certain of them are former members of an act called Situationists; they spent a lot of the summer of 2008 in a Sheffield recording studio; the act is currently unsigned and prepping a touring unit for live dates. Highly recommended. Download away!

Screaming Maldini -- "The Extraordinary"
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[stream more amazing cuts at Screaming Maldini's MySpace here]

>> And one more from the U.K., Glasgow specifically, to round out the week. We are thrilled by the scritchy, post-punk sounds of Bricolage, one of the most recent signings to resurgent indie label Slumberland. A label, we might add, that has one of the best rosters going right now. Bricolage, a quartet, has released four singles since forming in late 2005, and Slumberland will issue the band's self-titled full-length April 14. The obligatory promo MP3 is "Turn U Over," an arresting up-tempo slab of indie pop that was released as a single in November. The tune may not be as strong as the fireball "Footsteps," the band's debut single released by Creeping Bent which reminds us of The English Beat and Haircut 100. You can watch the video for "Footsteps" right here, and as it turns out there is a fair amount of Bricolage videos at YouTube, so fix yourself a drink and settle in.

Bricolage -- "Turn U Over" -- Bricolage
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[watch Slumberland's web site for pre-order information]

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