January 8, 2012

Today's Hotness: White Laces, Satellite Stories, Allo Darlin'

White Laces -- Dissolve Into Color
>> Noise pop continues to thrive in Richmond, and scene stand-outs White Laces seem poised for a break-out 2012. The quartet has an ambitious slate of releases in the offing, the first of which is a cracking split single with sometimes-tourmates Arches, who operate out of our beloved Philadelphia. Richmond-based label Worthless Junk is taking orders now for "Dissolve Into Color" b/w "Late Last Night" right here. While the official release date is Jan. 24 (a certain blogger's birthday...), you can hear White Laces' A-side via the Soundcloud embed below and watch a video for the Arches jam right here. The single was pressed in a limited edition of 300 grey and blue flat vinyl circles, and all pre-orders will be packaged with a bonus split cassette with demos and outtakes from the two acts. "Dissolve Into Color" opens with shuddering, bending guitar chords characteristic of the White Laces sound, but what comes next points to the band's songwriting becoming more refined and focused. The arrangement is spare, the attitude tough, fronter Landis Wine's singing more confrontational, the surf guitars can't walk a straight line for the cops and the odd time signatures enhance the rush and push of more prominent drumming. White Laces' second release for the year (a full-length is also in the works) will be the long-awaited split 10" with scenemates Snowy Owls (have you heard this awesome jam?) on Harding Street; the 10" is slated to hit racks in February and you can pre-order and access streams at this Bandcamp page. We caught a brief, sweaty White Laces set in Boston last summer when the act came through town with Arches; here are some photos.

Dissolve Into Color by White Laces

>> At this point does anyone even want Bloc Party back? Their role as examplary purveyors of spiky guitar pop has been ably filled many times over by young and hungry acts since the quartet left the sound behind and went on hiatus. One successful aspirant to the silently alarmed throne is Finland's Satellite Stories. The Oulu-based, criminally unsigned foursome show their mettle with the recent digital single "Blame The Fireworks," a jittery guitar pop anthem carrying a forlorn vocal, two great tastes that taste great together. Listen as a bridge bursts into flames under a blistering guitar lead and ensuing mayhem and then And Then AND THEN... back to placid bridge yet again. And the vocal kicker is just too perfect, dropping a phrase to underscore a rendezvous gone awry, a relationship on the rocks. "I know these streets and I thought I knew you, but I got lost..." Satellite Stories plans to release an EP of new material in 2012, and they are definitely ones to watch. We previously wrote about the band here back in November 2010. Stream the new song below.

Satellite Stories - Blame the Fireworks by satellitestories

>> The new Allo Darlin' single takes a minute to wind itself up, a minute during which, let's face it, this sounds like an Indigo Girls song. But, by the time we get a drum build and a chorus, "Capricornia" takes off, higher and higher over its full four-and-a-half minutes of REM jangle and simple harmonies gilding Duritz-esque cascades of words. The whole thing accelerates to a surprisingly noisy, but delicious, conclusion of guitar scribbles and feedback. It's a great breezy pop song that is very comfortable staying within a small conceptual box neatly labeled "breezy pop song' on its firmly placed lid. But if you don't think about the box and just sing along you'll probably find "Capricornia" is an appropriate antidote for grey winter days. The song is the first single from the band's full-length debut Europe; the single is due March 6 and the full-length April 17. Catch the stream below. Allo Darlin' just announced a healthy slate of US tour dates in April and May, although the band has omitted Boston from its current plans, causing many of us to have an indie rock sad. Still, that's months away, and we expect Allo Darlin' will eventually see their way to Boston. And if not, there's always New Haven May 18.

Allo Darlin' - Capricornia by Slumberland Records

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