February 3, 2013

Today's Hotness: The Cherry Wave, Calories

The Cherry Wave -- Blush EP

>> It will rapidly become a distant fading memory to some, but there was an entire universe of excellent contemporary shoegaze happening prior to last night's shock midnight release of My Bloody Valentine's mbv. Indeed, notable Glaswegian noise-pop upstarts The Cherry Wave returned Jan. 24 with its second EP of uncompromising shoegaze chaos. The quintet's new, four-song set is titled Blush, and it is both more focused (somewhat ironically, given the quote you are about to read) and more punishing than its formidable predecessor. The band recently told GlasGoWest "[w]e wanted it to sound like what it feels like when you've been up for 24 hours and you think you're hearing things and seeing things, but you’re not really sure whether you have or whether it's the comedown and lack of sleep. We wanted to it to sound like an audio version of that feeling, 6am, sun rising, fuzzy headed, heavy eyelids." The highlight of the EP is the closer "Cave/Wave," a tune driven by crushed drums and spectral vocals that somehow is able to steadily ratchet up the cacaphony straight across the song's nearly four minutes. It's the sort of song that makes you wonder whether the band is ever able to play more than one song live, as its beauty and mayhem suggest an aural self-immolation. The Cherry Wave's self-titled debut EP was released last summer and our own Edward Charlton reviewed it right here. In the intervening months The Cherry Wave was released on cassette and the band added a third guitarist to help fatten its already considerable auditory morass; the band's final show as a four-piece is Feb. 15. Blush is available as a pay-what-you-like download via Bandcamp; you can stream the entire thing below.

>> Well, there was some delay, but it was definitely worth the wait: Birmingham, England-based indie-punk heroes Calories last week issued its eagerly anticipated EP DMT, which we first wrote about here in November. The surprisingly textured, catchy-as-hell lead track is one with which you should all be familiar by now; perhaps you've even seen Calories' skewed but entertaining video for the tune as well. Well, on the EP "DMT" is joined by three additional numbers: the weightier, fuzzed-up chant "Every Day Is A School Day," the nervous and cinematic instrumental "Flickers From The Ochre House" and the hypnotic ballad "Fragments Of Cities (Acoustic)." Brevity, energy and a cracking melodic sense continue to be hallmarks of the Calories sound, but the band is still able to build admirable exposition into the songs. The final minute of "Every Day Is A School Day" features a menacing build-up of buzz-saw guitars that blow past the rhythm section and hang in space for a number of seconds. The final haunting track, "Fragments Of Cities (Acoustic)," is perhaps the strongest of the lot, wherein the band deftly arranges gentle acoustic guitar and organ and voice. We remain quite hopeful about Calories' planned third full-length. When the band issued the freebie "Summer's Not" in October it was billed as a non-album track to whet the whistles for the next record from the quartet, which now counts among its number renowned engineer and former Sunset Cinema Club chap Dominique James. Since then, of course, no long-player has emerged. Fortunately, a Facebook post from the band last week states "the album will 100% come out on vinyl," a good sign that indeed an album is still in the offing. We recently wrote about two relatively new Calories side projects, Burning Alms and Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam, right here, and we'll try to keep tabs on all the action as we can keep up with it. For now, stream the excellent DMT below; if cassettes are your thing, word is that Stourbridge-based Carnage Club Collective will be doing a limited cassette run at some future date. Calories play London Feb. 10.

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