February 23, 2014

Today's Hotness: Bleeding Rainbow, Milkshake, Solids

Bleeding Rainbow (detail)

>> Hotly tipped and Philly-based noise-pop purveyors Bleeding Rainbow's terrific new long-player Interrupt may prove to be little surprise to fans of the band's progression from lo-fi bedroom act to wide-screen dreamscapers. But even so, that evolution, no doubt influenced in part by the act's expansion to a solidified four-piece, is captured in vivid and urgent bloom on the new set, which will be released by Brooklyn’s Kanine Records Tuesday. The music of the current iteration of Bleeding Rainbow maps a mean between the angular kinetics of Burning Airlines and the tuneful rush of early Velocity Girl, proffering plenty of earworm choruses and loads of ringing guitars that flatten against the edges of the envelope of the stereo field. Co-fronter Sarah Everton's voice swims among the guitar tracks, while Rob Garcia's thrilling, aggressive lead vocal on "Images" could have come straight off of Drive Like Jehu's legendary Yank Crime. At press time this coming weekend's Bleeding Rainbow show at Tasty Burger in Harvard Square has been cancelled, according to this well-reported piece over at Vanyaland. It's unclear whether the show will be moved, and the band may be slightly less incentivized to deal with the bullshit of moving the show as they are already slated to play Hotel Vernon in Worcester the night before (see all Bleeding Rainbow’s tour dates right here). It would be a shame if the night doesn't go off, however, as the bill also included local heavies Fat Creeps and Boston indie pop phenoms Bent Shapes. Pre-order Interrupted on red or blue vinyl, or on what is in all likelihood a metallic silver compact disc, from Kanine right here. Below you may stream three absolutely smoking album tracks. -- Dillon Riley

>> It's no secret that this reviewer thrives on left-field twists in indie rock, and the latest from Melbourne, Australia-based dream-pop outfit Milkshake certainly delivers. The act is a side project of Bored Nothing's Fergus Miller, who joins with some fellow Aussies from the combo Retro Culture to make this remarkable and charming EP. Milkshake EP II, which was self-released Jan. 25, combines instrumental introspection with great production, engrossing guitar textures and wispy vocals, making for some bracing shoegaze that nearly evades categorization. The highlight of the short set is "Repeater" (after arguably the best Fugazi song, perhaps?), a tune that emphasizes warm drum production, floating, picked guitar work, and powerful, yet distanced, singing. While most groups tilling similar sonic terrain might choose to emphasize the strings, Milkshake's power is founded in the jazzy drum work. The snare and toms' vintage-sounding, analog dimensions would seem to have been modeled on a classic Vince Guaraldi cut (an early dream-pop master of the highest order, but that’s another discussion for another day). After "Repeater" well, repeats overdriven guitar sections and choruses, it settles into a beautiful, piano-led bliss out section that maximizes pristine chords; the section builds intensity yet never shakes a lightweight, airy vibe. Elsewhere, "The Way Back Through" employs interesting, fuzzed-out snare work, while "End" presents a full-blown ambient hiss piece that leaves listeners too soon. Milkshake deftly balances progressive elements on these cuts with a DIY indie aesthetic, rendering thought-provoking music ideal for a crisp, clear fall morning. It's all very compelling stuff, stuff that reminds us of the 2012 sleeper classic from Pacific Valley, Woodgate Valley. Grab Milkshake EP II as a digital download for any price, or order one of a limited number of handmade CDs (in a "sensual, handmade CD casing"), right here. -- Edward Charlton

>> Last week Montreal-based fuzz-rock duo Solids dropped a scorching Fat Possum debut titled Blame Confusion, and, well, if you gotta blame something, that's a good place to start. A stirring blur of head-on pop-acknowledging punk -- but certainly not pop-punk -- the long-player nonetheless wears its influences proudly on its sleeves. The thick, swirling guitars recall vintage Dinosaur Jr., while frontdude Xavier German-Poitras' vocals echo a dozen first-wave Midwest emo records. Much like fellow Canadian duo Japandroids, Solids have a sound totally conducive to late-night, steering wheel-slamming drives. However, while Japandroids aim to channel the foggy fragments of that one night you'll never forget, Solids' noise-addled numbers feel more akin to living those boozy nights in real time. Call it I Can't Remember Why We're Celebrating Rock, maybe... Last week Solids released a video for album highlight "Haze Away," which you may view view right here in all its cartoon glory. The band undertakes a North American tour this spring that will bring them to Boston's venerable Great Scott March 17; full tour dates are listed right here. We recommend you order Blame Confusion on vinyl, CD, or as a digital download from the Corpulent Possum right here; while you wait for your mersh to arrive, stream the primo face-scrapers "Trace" and "Haze Away" via the Soundcloud embeds below. -- Dillon Riley

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