April 17, 2012

Today's Hotness: Yuck, Parakeet, Arc In Round, Alarm Bells

Yuck's Chew

>> Rejoice, indie rockers, for Yuck have returned. And, no, not with a re-re-reissue of its exceptionally strong self-titled debut, which was first released in the US in February 2011 and then again in September 2011, but with the new tune "Chew." The mid-tempo anthem shows the band embracing a heavier, denser sound that at times nods affirmatively in the direction of Smashing Pumpkins and My Bloody Valentine. "Chew" is a perceptible step forward for Yuck, and living with the London-based quartet's debut for so long makes the contrast in production and style of the old and the new relatively stark. That said, the elements of "Chew" are still comfortably within Yuck's area of expertise, albeit with the notable addition of tremeloed guitar leads, leads filtered through an octave pedal, and weightier vocal treatments. The proceedings achieve spine-tingling status in the closing moments of the song when a white-hot blast of wah-wahed guitar arrives, and we only wish that the London-based quartet had taken the opportunity to stretch that exhilarating wash of discordant noise into several psychedelic minutes, as Smashing Pumpkins did at the end of its epic "Drown." Have a listen to the embed below. In case you were not aware, Yuck is in the midst of a short strand of US live dates -- halfway through what we are dubbing "the Coachella sandwich" -- and the remaining shows are listed below as well. But wait -- there's more! Have you heard the new single from Yuck bassist Mariko Doi's remarkably good side project Parakeet? It's the rocker "Tomorrow" b/w the delicate and stirring "Paper, Scissors & Stone," it was released April 2 in a limited edition of 300 vinyl singles, and you can buy the thing right here. Stream "Paper, Scissors & Stone" below, it's ace, and makes us wonder why Mariko doesn't get more lead vocals in Yuck.

04.18 -- Santa Ana, CA -- Constellation Room
04.19 -- Pioneertown, CA -- Pappy & Harriet's
04.20 -- Indio, CA -- Coachella

>> Forgive Arc In Round fronter Jeff Zeigler for not getting his long-running progressive dream-pop band's debut full-length out, but he's been sort of busy helming his Uniform Recordings studio and recording incredible music from Philadelphia-based luminaries The War On Drugs and Kurt Vile, and being an in-demand live sound guy. But Arc In Round's long-awaited, eponymous first album is finally slated for release in June on the La Société Expéditionnaire label, as we reported here in January. What's new news is that fans can now hear music from Arc In Round; what's awesome is that it is extraordinary. In fact, the preview track "Hallowed" is an astonishingly beautiful droner in waltz time that displays the kind of impressive sonic depth, clarity and texture that could only spring from the mind of a guy whose recording studio is like an extension of himself. In addition to being entirely engrossing, "Hallowed" is notable for guest performances from the aforementioned Mr. Vile (trumpet) (really) and Pattern Is Movement's Chris Ward hitting the skins. While Arc In Round will be the first long-player from Arc In Round, the band earlier released two EPs (Diagonal Fields and II) in 2011, and a former incarnation of the band named Relay released a long-player of its own, Still Point Of Turning, on Bubble Core in early 2006. Stream "Hallowed" below. La Société Expéditionnaire will release Arc In Round June 5.
  >> We were gutted last year by the surprising dissolution of Glaswegian fightpop juggernaut Dananananaykroyd, but the mourning period may not end up lasting too long. A tweet from Dana's Twitter feed recently brought word that certain members of the sextet -- namely John Baillie Jr., Ryan McGinness and David Roy, and well as Paul Bannon, who played with the band on its final tour -- had reunited to form a new band Alarm Bells, which will make its live debut Thursday in Glasgow at Nice 'N Sleazy's, or so the Internet tells us. A second date has already been confirmed and Alarm Bells is promising that Dana fans will dig what they've got going on. That said, there are some different things happening, as we've read Alarm Bells will incorporate a fair amount of vintage synth into its overall sound, something this video and this photo bear out, kinda. So, unless you are fortunate enough to see these early live performances, the best we can do is wait to hear what comes next. We're excited, as Dananananaykroyd's records were both favorites. We reviewed their final album There Is A Way here last July; Hey Everyone! was one of our favorite records of 2009.

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