March 10, 2013
Today's Hotness: Purling Hiss, Lady Lamb The Beekeeper, Guillermo Sexo
>> It's no secret that Clicky Clicky (whose executive editor called 13th and Ellsworth home for a while back in the day) has a strong affinity for Philadelphia and its excellent, albeit often sadly uncelebrated, indie rock. In the midst of yet another strong wave of municipal all-stars -- led, in the nation's consciousness anyway, by Kurt Vile -- we were happy to hear a cracking new one from Philly indie trio Purling Hiss titled "Mercury Retrograde." Longtime fans know the act through its '70s-echoing, un-fi hard rock, including the brilliant "The Hoodoo," the subject of this blissfully basic video. The clip's determined VHS lens flare, stoic potted plants, heroic solos and trippy effects perhaps cast Purling Hiss as a sorta public access-caliber stoner rock band. And this is what really what makes "Mercury Retrograde" so surprising, as it presents a cleaned-up sound that channels different aural touchstones. Here the band focuses on thick guitar tones and traditional rock composition (peppered with just enough indie rock grit), which suggests the work of artful everymen like, well, contemporaries The Men or even The (legendary) Replacements. Brief, sporadic solos call to mind Stephen Malkmus’ single-note solo strangulations, and paired with Hiss fronter Mike Pollize's unaffected vocals "Mercury Retrograde" makes a strong play for an immediate connection with listeners. Purling Hiss' Water On Mars, the band's fourth album in five years, will be released by Drag City March 19 on LP, cassette and CD; pre-order the collection right here. The threesome launch a circuitous tour April 4, and makes a stop in Boston at Great Scott April 9 -- an evening that will surely become a hot ticket as the date approaches, so plan wisely. Peruse the complete tour dates right here, and stream "Mercury Retrograde" via the Soundcloud embed below. Oh, there's a video for the tune to over here. -- Edward Charlton
>> Certainly mistakes were made, as this reviewer was far too focused on noise-rock, distortion and male angst to appreciate many of the worthy and talented female artists of the '90s and early 2000s. This is a thought that came to mind again and again while marveling at newly released music from the Brunswick, ME-spawned but now Brooklyn-based Lady Lamb The Beekeeper. The nom de intense folk rock of Aly Spaltro, Lady Lamb The Beekeeper's spine-tingling full-length Ripely Pine was issued via Ba Da Bing Records Feb. 19. It's one of the strongest debuts of the year, one whose barely contained emotions and electrifying instrumention recall, among other things, Hop Along's excellent 2012 set Get Disowned. During songs such as "Rooftop" and "Bird Balloons," Ms. Spaltro melds vehement, vivid vocals and wide-ranging melodies to scarred, mathy guitar work that limns her sprawling song suites. In doing so, she smartly bridges confessional singer-songwriter schemes and the buzzing history of alternative guitar music. All of which makes Ripely Pine a perpetually thrilling collection. "Rooftop" perhaps best serves as an introduction, as its time signature changes, jazzy piano flourishes, arcing violins and chaotic guitar solos expertly frame Spaltro's rich voice and the song's breezy chorus. With every element so well-realized and produced, Lady Lamb The Beekeeper's songs almost become hard to believe, as if they hit upon an idea that was there all along but which nobody else could see. For such impressive imagination, it can only be hoped that Lady Lamb The Birdkeeper is roundly recognized for this collection. Lady Lamb The Beekeeper commences an 11-date headlining tour at Brighton Music Hall in Boston May 9; the complete dates of said tour are listed right here. Order Ripely Pine from Ba Da Bing on double LP or CD here. -- Edward Charlton
>> We were very excited to see earlier this week that two of Clicky Clicky's favorite Boston musical enterprises have combined forces. Midriff Records announced Thursday that it will release later this year Dark Spring, the forthcoming fifth full-length from psych-pop veterans Guillermo Sexo. Clicky Clicky readers will recall we dropped some knowledge about the long player in January in our review of the precedent EP Bring Down Your Arms. No release date for Dark Spring has been given, but we will certainly let you know when we know, because knowing is half the battle. For now, treat yourself to another spin through Bring Down Your Arms, which is embedded below.