January 1, 2013
Today's Hotness: It Hugs Back, Black Tambourine
>> Hot on the proverbial heels of releasing the best holiday EP of 2012, Kent, England-based noise pop superlatives It Hugs Back have disclosed it will release its third long-player in March 2013. The forthcoming set is titled Recommended Record, it touts 10 tunes clocking in at 35 minutes, and it was recorded in the summer and fall of 2012. A bracing and brief teaser track from Recommended Record, "Go Magic!," is available to download for free right now -- right click and save as on this link while it lasts. During its 146 seconds the song harnesses the kraut rhythms and kinetic drive of the holiday EP's lead track "Snow Angel," but uses these to propel a more mod-inspired droner featuring a slap-backed lead, fizzing organ and sweet background harmonies. The Kentish quartet's sophomore set, Laughing Party, was issued on Safe And Sound Records last spring. It Hugs Back singer and guitarist Matt Simms may or may not be better known for his gig as touring guitarist for the current iteration of the legendary UK post-punk band Wire. Even so, Simms' own act has consistently delivered excellent, dreamy and slightly dark pop; It Hugs Back's brilliant, Yo La Tengo-esque song "Work Day" even got a little nod from Pantsfork back in 2009.
>> We're sure that if we still trolled message boards as we did years ago when we had less going on we'd see the sort of discussions about the importance of Soundcloud that we think the service deserves. It's not simply the technology we love, but also that it attracts folks like Archie Moore, a man whose C.V. includes stretches with all-time-greats Velocity Girl and Black Tambourine, among others, and it is this latter, massively influential band we're thinking about today. That's because Mr. Moore recently posted the first demo version of the Black Tambourine track "By Tomorrow," and it is wonderful. Moore mans the bass, Mike Schulman the guitar, Pam Berry takes the vocal and Brian Nelson works the kit. The song was one of several demoed in Northern Virginia in Oct. 1990; the session was engineered by a fellow named Ken whose mother's basement was used to house the proceedings. "By Tomorrow" was the lead track of a Black Tambourine EP released by Slumberland Records in Nov. 1991 as DRYL-9. We're hopeful that Moore and others will continue to unearth recordings such as these, as it rewards our deeply held belief that important, amazing music from our favorite bands continues to sit out there waiting to be revealed. As part of the Chickfactor 'zine's 20th anniversary celebrations last year, Black Tambourine temporarily un-retired in 2012 to release the wonderful OneTwoThreeFour double 7", which featured the band covering four Ramones tracks; more info here.