May 11, 2012

Today's Hotness: Cookies, Johnny Foreigner, Doctrines

Cookies -- Crybaby

>> Brooklyn electropop trio Cookies self-released last month a new single featuring two versions of a song "Crybaby." Both sides of the single are available as a free download from the Cookies web dojo right here; a small number of these were packaged with a very limited edition, hand-sewn Crybaby pillowcase, because, you know, why not? The A-side version of "Crybaby" is surprisingly funky and leans hard on a short, ascending bass line and crispy hand-claps. The b-side is spookier, down-tempo and imaginatively contrasts some vintage rhythm and blues-styled shouting with a creepy falsetto that recalls Peter Gabriel's "Games Without Frontiers." Both renderings of "Crybaby" feature blazing saxophone performances from a fellow named Colin Stetson, a touring member of Arcade Fire and Bon Iver whose Wikipedia page makes it sound like he's played with everyone cool for the last decade. While Cookies dubbed "Crybaby" as their "4th (and final)" single, have no fear that the act is tossing itself in the dustbin. The original plan, according to a quick email exchange with fronter Ben Sterling, was always to issue four singles, and now the band has to decide what to do next. A full-length album is not out of the question. Mr. Sterling, if you don't recall, is formerly of defunct Clicky Clicky faves Mobius Band, whose career we followed closely. While we're all standing around waiting to see what comes next from Cookies, have a listen to two different flavors of "Crybaby" below.

>> The hotly anticipated double-12" version of Johnny Foreigner's epic third full-length Johnny Foreigner vs. Everything will be released June 25, ThisIsFakeDIY revealed today here. The 17-song collection, which we reviewed here in November, topped our best albums of 2012 list. Alcopop! Records will naturally be doing the honors. Given prior statements from the the Birmingham, England-based noisepop titans (now a four-piece, yeh?) and Alcopop!'s mastery at packaging music in imaginative and compelling manners, we expect that the double-12" Johnny Foreigner vs. Everything will be especially special. Will each one come with 17 kittens? We'll have to wait and see, more bulletins as events warrant.

>> It should be emphasized again (because we don't emphasize it enough) that Alcopop! is not solely in the business of releasing Johnny Foreigner records. And in fact the Oxford, England-based operation has been signing superlative new talent of late, not the least of which is Mancunian emo quartet Doctrines. The year-old band's forthcoming EP ZE is its second, but the first to be released by Alcopop! An early taster track "Climbing Yggdrasil" fuses the desperate delivery of Titus Andronicus to the tunefullness and focus of Algernon Cadwallader. Another thing the quartet have in common with the aforementioned Titus Andronicus, apparently, is appreciation for the big concept. ZE, which Alcopop! will issue in late June, is a 17-minute concept piece in four parts inspired by an interest in science fiction. Have a listen to the bracing "Climbing Yggdrasil" below. For those of you keeping score at home, the song was also featured on the recent (and excellent) Big Scary Monsters digital compilation Making Music's For Pussies, which also features songs from stellar acts Tall Ships, Bear Cavalry and Crash of Rhinos among others.

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