October 6, 2013
Today's Hotness: Slowdim, Julius Earthling, Pinact
>> Attentive readers may recall our preview piece for the Ash Gray Proclamation's summer blowout Summer Fades, which featured among others Boston power-pop luminaries Slowdim. When we checked in with Slowdim's Paul Sentz he disclosed that he and bassist Ana Karina DaCosta were writing material for a possible EP and were also contemplating recording a washed out, slowed-down version of their tune "Wishing Well," complete with mandolin. Well, the duo has delivered, and in a big way. The new recording touts a very cool, icy drone that plays against the usual "down-home" sound of a mandolin; indeed, it goes nicely with the cooler, autumn weather. Mr. Sentz' lead vocal when separated from the denser, punchier context of the original iteration of the song is revealed to be gentler, sweeter, a bit forlorn, even. And the delay on the electric guitar as the new version fades softly acknowledges Sentz's affinity for the guitar work of David Howell Evans. We are very pleased to be able to premiere the song for you here via the Bandcamp embed below. The original version of "Wishing Well" shines brightly in the second slot of this year's debut full-length Slowdim, which was released in March and which we reviewed right here. That self-titled effort is slated to pop up on ITunes soon, although if you've been waiting for the record to appear on ITunes before you purchase it, well, you've got issues that we can't even begin to know how to address.
>> We've got a small circle of solid sources who regularly recommend stuff to our attention, something Clicky Clicky is grateful for, and, frankly, thrives on. We were pleased to get a good tip from friend-of-the-blog Jeff Breeze (he of Pipeline! fame) recently, which tip pointed us in the direction of relatively new Jamaica Plain-based noise-pop trio Julius Earthling. The threesome are poised to release Nov. 1 on Allston's New Neighbor Records a five-song cassette EP titled For. There's little to be learned out on the wider Internets about Julius Earthling, but we expect that is a situation that won't persist, as the title track to the forthcoming EP is a barn-burner that will certainly garner attention. The waltz-timed tune is centered around a tumbling cycle of scritchy chords, a shouty vocal and an unhinged lead guitar, which taken in sum suggests a keen ear for the finer sounds of the contemporary underground as well as, perhaps, an appreciation for old Flaming Lips sides. The EP was recorded by Bradford Krieger at Hanging Horse Studios in Norwood, Mass. last spring, and Mr. Krieger also mixed, mastered and takes a production credit on the recording. Check out "For" for yourself via the Bandcamp embed below, and be prepared to see these guys drill up into the underground like a triumvirate of amped Dig-Dugs, because they've got something going on that people are going to be stoked about.
>> Sticking with new noise but jumping continents, upstart Aberdeen, Scotland-based indie label/events concern Cool Your Jets issued in mid-September a bracing first split-single featuring tunes by acts Pinact and Min Diesel. We're particularly taken with Glasgow-based duo Pinact's nice pair on the A-side, "Beauty Freak" and "Yusef." Each one is a rough-hewn guitar anthem that echoes the hyper-kinetic sound of indie legends Husker Du or, say, notable contemporaries No Age. "Beauty Freak" commences with a few moments of rising amp noise before popping off into a heavy boogie groove, where as "Yusef" slows the pace and intensifies the beat to cultivate more of a head-banging, fist-banging mania. Pinact have two prior releases under their belt, one a somewhat more emo, three-song 'zine/EP highlighted by the chaotic rocker "Flake" (and with art by Clicky Clicky fave Joey Fourr) issued in February of this year, and the other a 2012 EP titled Spill Your Guts, Let Out Some Noise that is also filled to the brim with melodic bangers. Fans who purchase the Cool Yr Jets split on vinyl will receive the music as a digital download that includes three additional numbers: "Squeak" and "I Don't Think You'll Ever Know" from Pinact and "Celery" from Min Diesel. Stream the A- and B-sides below, and click through for an opportunity to hand over whatever your equivalent of four British pounds plus shipping is in order to obtain the physical item.