August 3, 2013
Today's Hotness: Joey Sweeney, White Reaper, Sky Larkin
>> Delaware Water Gap, Penn.-based label La Société Expéditionnaire disclosed late last month it will release new music from Philadelphia indie rock legend Joey Sweeney later this year. The label, home also to Clicky Clicky faves Arc In Round, will issue Mr. Sweeney's Long Hair, a collection that was recorded earlier this year with input from multiple producers; a video trailer for the album -- featuring what we suspect is the collection's title track -- is posted atop this item. There is a very nicely produced live video featuring another new song, "When You Say My Name," that you can watch right here. Over the last 20 years Sweeney fronted such notable concerns as Barnabys, The Trouble With Sweeney, The Joey Sweeney Rock Band and, most recently, the bar band Arctic Splash. A show celebrating Sweeney's two decades in rock was held in Philadelphia last fall, and a career-spanning digital compilation Joey Sweeney Your Life Is Calling was released around the same time. The comp is packed with classic jams aplenty, including "Losers From Rodman Street," "Tiny Ships," "My Name Is Rich" and "The Snitch," as well as some newer acoustic tracks recorded with Kurt Heasley on an island in 2010. While we bemoan the absence of brilliant tracks such as "Gargamel," "The Lever" and "Park Slope" from the set, we recommend you make time for the entire jawn, which you can stream via the Bandcamp embed below. No specific date for the release of Long Hair has been made public yet, nor is there a pre-order presently in place, but we'll certainly bring you that news in due time.
>> You will learn just how well your head is bolted on to your body after just the first 10 seconds of Louisville duo White Reaper's new A-side "Conspirator." Basically, if the head-bolting folks did a good job, you'll still have your head after the verse explodes into your ears. The tune's raucous guitar cacophony and infectious, classic UK-style punk energy charge out of the gates and never let up, an impressive feat as the song approaches four minutes in length. The guitar tracks are distorted to the point of crumbling, the spirited drumming bashes holes through the near white-out onslaught, and fronter Anthony Esposito guides the melody with shouty sloganeering. It's gut-level, immediate rock and roll, tougher and grittier than other popular pairs of the contemporary indie era such as Japandroids or England's Playlounge, but just as appealing to the senses. "Conspirator" is backed by the equally energetic, albeit mildly psychedelic B-side "The Cut;" both tunes were recorded in February at Louisville's Tree House Audio. The single is available Monday via Earthbound Records on black or limited-edition, translucent blue vinyl 7" vinyl (although Earthbound's Facebook indicates the single was available in late May if you knew where to look). White Reaper previously released an EP titled White Aura last October, and it is now available as a name-your-price download at Bandcamp right here. White Reaper is planning to release a forthcoming full-length via Karlsruhe, Germany's Red Lounge Records, but there are no other details about the release available presently. Stream "Conspirator" and "The Cut" via the Bandcamp embed below. And, while we're on the subject, we think you will find this video for "Conspirator" quite enjoyable, as it looks like it was both filmed and edited via a shoulder-mount S-VHS camcorder in 1991.
>> Big news last week out of Sky Larkin's camp, as the Leeds-based indie rock quartet announced it will release later this year a new long-layer titled Motto. Wichita Recordings will do the honors in the UK, and the release date is Sept. 16. The new record, Sky Larkin's third and first since 2010's fantastic Kaleide which we wrote about here, is being promoted with a cracking, but brief new single "Loom," which will be released a week prior to the full length. The title track to "Motto" was unveiled in late spring, and you can still hear the dense and tense rocker right here. Stream "Loom" via the Soundcloud embed below. Pre-orders for Motto -- which was recorded in Seattle with John Goodmanson -- are being taken now; the set is available as a clear vinyl LP in gatefold sleeve with CD, as a CD only, and of course digital download, which includes an as-yet unidentified bonus track. Sky Larkin will tour the UK for two weeks in late September, starting with a London date on the 17th; we advise North Americans to keep their fingers crossed for U.S. dates.