>> [Photo ganked from the Johnny Foreigner Facebook page] Noise pop superheroes Johnny Foreigner are "50% finished" with a new EP, we were surprised to learn earlier this week via this blog post. We have no information about who will be releasing the EP, when it will be released, or what is on it. But here are some dots you can try to connect. First, there's this quote from the blog: "We're undecided if the lead-off single should be a standard yay happyclap pop song (for The Radio to pick up on and make us famous) or a depressing slow song (cos The Radio pretty much ignores us whateverr, and we're all growd up and mature now)." The Birmingham, England-based trio recently (finally) shipped its Every Cloakroom Ever 10", which the band self-released with the blessing of its label Best Before. We also know that Johnny Foreigner is planning a make-or-break U.S. tour, perhaps touring alongside notable Leeds-based indie trio Sky Larkin, which will release its stellar sophomore set Kaleide Aug. 9 as we noted here. And based on reporting by our KeepingSomeDarkSecrets colleague Luke Cotton, we know the names of two more as-yet-unreleased new Johnny Foreigner tracks: "The Wind And The Weathervane;" "Harriet By Proxy." And of course Johnny Foreigner earlier this summer released to the Internerds an amazing version of "With Who, Who And What I've Got," which we would expect the band will properly record in non-8-bit version. So that's three tracks, which could be most of an EP right there, yeah? An EP that might be sold on a fall tour, yeah? Anyway, watch this space for tour news, some unreleased video, and the like. Get excited people.
>> We say this constantly, but we're constantly surprised to find bands we like right here in our own proverbial back-yard (frankly, we find ones we don't like with terrifying ease, although it was *sort of* nice to hear that Jerry Garcia Band cover last night). We were inclined to ignore a recent pitch about a Boston-based act named Guillermo Sexo, because, really, doesn't that sound like it is going to be a dude in a gold lamĕ speedo singing lounge versions of Madonna songs? But, in fact, Guillermo Sexo makes compelling guitar music the likes of which we are constantly on the hunt for in Boston. The quartet released in June its third full-length Vivid Nights, and you can stream the whole thing gratis at this Bandcamp page. Vivid Nights contains a number of great songs, and we're posting the rocker "Neon Lights" below. The tune reminds us a bit of the aforementioned Sky Larkin -- because the lead vocal is handled, presumably, by Noell Dorsey rather than fronter Reuben Bettstak -- paired with some mid-period New Order chiming guitar and Kiss Me Deadly-ish sass in the chorus. That said, "Neon Lights" isn't stylistically representative of the entirety of Vivid Nights, which elsewhere embraces early Blonde Redhead-grade psychedelia (such as on the Guillermo Sexo track "Puppies To Rock"). Guillermo Sexo's previous full-lengths are Oh Wow, released in 2007, and Magic Lanterns from 2008. The band currently has no pending live dates posted, but we'll keep an eye out.
Guillermo Sexo - Neon Lights
>> [UPDATED] Back to Birmingham, England, then, for more news about power trio Calories' forthcoming sophomore set Basic Nature, which is due Sept. 13 on Tough Love in a combined vinyl/CD/digital download package that will apparently be limited to 500 pieces. Meaning we should really go pre-order before we post this. Hold on a moment. Right then, Calories has begun posting (sadly un-embeddable) streams for certain of the tracks from Basic Nature at this web site, where currently the curious can hear what we believe will be the first single "FFWD" as well as the songs "Thirteen" and "The Brink." "FFWD" is textbook Calories: concise, anthemic, wholly rocking; the single will be released digitally Aug. 30 and will be promoted by via video clip as well. "Thirteen" is a cover of Big Star's sweet acoustic ballad, a song choice that surprisingly eschews the usual anthemic bludgeoning doled out by the threesome (seriously, do we have to post the live video of "Drink The Potion" again?)