September 14, 2013
Today's Hotness: Potty Mouth, Psapp, Swearin'
>> So we endeavored to deliver some real talk in our review of Potty Mouth's full-length debut, which was published in the fine electronic pages of Vanyaland Friday. We wrote about gender and double-standards and all-female bands, if only because when we came up in the scene decades ago those sorts of discussions were an everyday occurrence. We don't hear them much anymore, which is probably more a function of our spending 1/3 of our life at work, another 1/3 interacting with those under the age of five, and the final 1/3 either asleep or wishing we were asleep, than anything else. If we have one misgiving about the piece it is that it may read as if we felt like the Northampton, Mass.-based foursome needed defending. Nothing could be further from the truth. These women are as capable of staking their place in the world as they are of creating a terrific rock record, which is what they've done with Hell Bent. Sure, the collection does not invent the wheel, and as we stated in our piece, it neither aims to instruct (think Bikini Kill) nor does it get arty (think The Slits). This is the reason we set up the Vanyaland piece by referencing legendary California punk acts JFA and The Descendents. If you take a wide view on the first decade of punk rock, we think California bands more than those of any other scene kept punk fun, playful. Yes, Dead Kennedys brought serious political game, yes, Uniform Choice delivered straightedge rage in spades, and, yes, there are other notable outliers. But California punk's collective determination to keep punk fun, maybe even somewhat innocent, is a notion we feel Potty Mouth shares. We think you'll like Hell Bent, and we encourage you to check out our piece at Vanyaland via the link above. Before you click away, however, check out the two tracks from the record, "The Spins" and "Damage," that we've embedded below. Old Flame releases Hell Bent Tuesday, and you can order it right here.
>> Four years used to seem like a long time... and we suppose it still is in the life of a rock 'n' roll band. That's how long it has been since we've heard a squeak, skronk or ding from UK-based toytronica duo Psapp. We suppose the band is best known for having a song used as the theme to a teevee show in the US, but their records are all enjoyable and quirky in a sort of Tracey Thorn-meets-Tom Waits kind of way. News arrived last week that the duo was back, with a new song in tow and a promise that a new LP is not far off. The new tune "Everything Belongs To The Sun" touts a jagged, percussive groove, which underpins singer Galia Durant's incantatory vocals. It's not nearly as melodic as the powerfully poignant ballads that highlight Psapp's catalog, such as "Tricycle," or the brilliant click-and-cut tour de force "Leaving In Coffins." But "Everything Belongs To The Sun" exudes energy and confidence, and leaves us eager to hear more of the new music the band has promised. We'll keep you updated. In the meantime, stream the new song via the embed below.
>> Philly-based punk-pop superheroes Swearin' announced Friday it will release a sophomore set entitled Surfing Strange later this fall. The quartet's collection, described by some as both heavier and moodier, will be issued by Salinas Records in the US Nov. 5, and via Wichita in the UK the prior day, because that is how the UK rolls. Surfing Strange presents 11 songs, including the preview track "Watered Down," a thumping, mid-tempo strummer sung by Kyle Gilbride. Swearin' are touring the UK in October with its literal sister band Waxahatchee, and then will return to the US for a long strand of dates that stretches from mid-November through mid-December. Swearin's self-titled debut was one of our favorite records of 2012; Wichita is releasing it in the UK next month, meaning two Swearin' releases will be issued in back-to-back months over there, meaning UK music fans should be feeling pretty happy right now. Stream "Watered Down" via the Soundcloud embed below.