October 28, 2011

Today's Hotness: Travels, Projekt A-ko, The Jonbarr Hinge

>> Fans of hazy, dreamy minimalist indie rock rejoice! Boston duo Travels will release Dec. 1 a limited edition, 7" vinyl single and download package. The A-side of the single, "The Sun Shines Down On Me," is a Daniel Johnston cover, and the flip is a gently bouncing strummer titled "Stencil." The single comes with a download code to get digital versions of those songs as well as three more, turning the whole shebang into a digital EP, no? But wait, there's more: the physical package also includes a 7" x 7" colored still from an animated video that will be released concurrently with the single. Physical copies are limited to 150 pieces, and fans who pre-order now will get the disc, video still and downloads for $8 or 8 Euros, depending on which currency you rock in your locale. And it appears you can opt for just the digital version for $6, based on the pricing at this Bandcamp page. "The Sun Shines Down On Me" was first released by Johnston on his 1982 collection Don't Be Scared. Travels, you may recall, is comprised of Mona Elliot and Anar Badalov, who previously played with Victory At Sea and Metal Hearts respectively. We reviewed Travels' third full-length Robber On The Run right here in May 2010; the duo released a sophomore long-player The Hot Summer in 2009. Stream both songs from the forthcoming physical single via the embed below.

>> There's some news about -- well, tangentially related to -- the mighty Projekt A-ko. As we reported here in July, the Glaswegian indie trio earlier this year scotched efforts at completing a sophomore full-length, but fronter Fergus Lawrie (formerly of Urusei Yatsura), has been quite busy with other things. For starters, he and two partners have completed a documentary titled "Send/Receive" that chronicles experimental music in Scotland; the entire thing is available to watch at this tumblr. Additionally, Mr. Lawrie has a new band called Angel Of Everyone Murder, which is slated to soon release an album of "lo-fi drone shoegaze noise rock" via the label Kovorox Sound. In an email Lawrie told Clicky Clicky "the new band is entirely improvised," and its music is "mainly long (20 mins) single chord drones, no drums, just bass and [two guitars], but very textural, using specially modified 'halo' guitars I've built." All of the new music is recorded live in a rehearsal room, and Lawrie states its "quite different" from the brilliant indie rock on Projekt A-ko's immaculate 2009 full-length Yoyodyne. We've heard one of the new songs, "Child Of Nameless Time," and can report the fourteen-minute track is mid-tempo and boils like piles of charred snowflakes in hell. Read Lawrie's track-by-track dissection of Yoyodyne right here and watch the Projekt A-ko Facebook page for more information about how you can hear new music from Angel Of Everyone Murder.

>> It has been a year-and-a-half since we've mentioned The Jonbarr Hinge, the relatively new, full-band project that counts among its number Ben Parker, who is likely (hopefully?) better known for his hand in fronting Superman Revenge Squad and the legendary Nosferatu D2. When the last batch of The Jonbarr Hinge songs were released on a relatively unsuspecting world in early 2011, we were too tied up toiling away at an undisclosed location to make mention of it. But several days ago the Hinge unveiled three new songs on its Soundcloud page, "Limp Heart," "Spinning Rocks" and "Body vs. Brain." Each presents an exciting new face for the fledgling act, which despite our prior speculation remains unsigned (to our knowledge). Perhaps the strongest of the new tracks is the Parker-sung "Body vs. Brain," which boasts wonderful, shimmering guitar melodies in the verse that remind us of John Squire's guitar work in "Waterfall," among other Stone Roses tunes. The newer Hinge material introduces a bit more of a swinging feel to the proceedings, helped along by some able bass playing by Parker. The verse of "Limp Heart" rocks a bit of a Zombies groove. If you never heard the first three tracks The Jonbarr Hinge posted, you are missing out. Fortunately, all of the tunes are at Soundcloud, and we highly recommend you check out the nervous rocker "Looks Like A Nail." The songs features some of Parker's patented vitriol ("fed up with this city, get out of this city"), but tempers it with some sweet, melodic, mid-tempo passages. And, of course, some "oohs," "ohs" and "la la la la las." We're eager to hear more from these guys. Fans in the UK can catch them tomorrow (or today, if you are actually in the UK) at Oxjam Shepherd's Bush Takeover, which benefits Oxfam. Takeover details right here.

"Body vs. Brain by The Jonbarr Hinge

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