January 14, 2012
Today's Hotness: Earthquake Party!, Amity Beach, Caspian
>> We've been way behind. But we're clawing our way back, and one thing that has jazzed us to no end over the last two months is the debut release from Boston's deservedly hyped Earthquake Party! (exclamation point theirs, we suppose a hat tip to post-rock collective Godspeed? No?). We first mentioned the band in a sidelong manner way back in late 2010, when it appeared on the bill for local noise punkers Young Adults' record release party. Well, Earthquake Party! almost a year to the day later issued its own debut, a three-song cassette/digital download of fizzing fuzz-pop, reminiscent of an even peppier version of British upstarts Fanzine (how awesome would THAT double-bill be?). The wholly terrific "Pretty Little Hand" proclaims in its chorus "all I want is a pretty little hand filled with pills and candy," and who doesn't want that? The tune is backed with "Nails & Hammers" and "Brains," and all three tunes were recorded last summer at local facility Esthudio, which you may recall is where Young Adults committed Black Hole to tape. Or maybe you don't recall that. While Young Adults favors power slightly over pop, Earthquake Party! noise pop evidences alliegiances to certain classic sounds. "Brains," for example, bumps and sways like a Motown girl group number (or, we suppose, more accurately like Jesus & Mary Chain-rendered fascimile of same). But the lead-off track will be enough to get you hooked, so go get 'em. No word on what to expect next from the band, but we're hoping to get more acquainted with Earthquake Party! in the '012.
>> Another act whose music has been hanging around rocking us is Amity Beach. The Grand Bend, Ontario-based quintet's self-titled EP on Eternal Bummer delivers copious pop thrills on its recent single, wherein it festoons its own brand of quirk with sounds that fans of Tokyo Police Club will find pleasing. All three songs are strong (and apparently they have been repackaged with some compilation tracks into a weightier, six-song EP), but if we had to pick a winner from the surprisingly young act we'd finger "You'll Never Hear That Sound." The tune's first and final minute features a dizzying arrangement of synth and chime that sounds like a heavenly barrage of typewriter clatter, and bright horn arrangements adorn all three tracks. We're definitely queuing up "You'll Never Hear That Sound" during one of our sets at New Music Night later this month. Stream all three tracks via the embed below.
>> Last we saw the mighty Caspian, more than five years ago, they were in an early slot at Great Scott looking and sounding a little out of place. They may as well have had green skin, antennae and bubble helmets, but we expect they deal with that a lot: when you are post-rock knights wielding paranormal slow jams, you're just different from other people. The band's latest release completely does the band's epic stylings justice, as it captures the band performing live on Oct. 22, 2010, in a massive National Historic Landmark, a Northern Italian Gothic church erected in Boston in 1875. Oh, the glorious tumult, oh the passion to be heard in Live at Old South Church. Opener "Last Rites" explodes in its seventh minute, not somber as the title suggests the song might be, but instead intensely passionate, as if it were the soundtrack to Bernini's Ecstasy of St. Theresa. Five songs in an otherworldly 35 minutes, the collection is pressed to a limited edition of 1000 vinyl circles, including 200 white vinyl copies available in finer record stores right now (the official release date was Jan. 10). If you can't wait to feel the crashing waves and ethereal calm amplified by the relatively vast space of the edifice, the entire collection is streamable via the Soundcloud embed below.
Caspian - Live at Old South Church by The Mylene Sheath