April 1, 2014

Today's Hotness: Soccer Mom, Screaming Maldini, Routine Involvements

Soccer Mom -- Soccer Mom (detail)

>> Based on the math and the recurrent wringing of hands/gnashing of teeth about Facebook page views, roughly 95% of Clicky Clicky Facebook page readers missed our trumpeting there of last week's long-awaited announcement about the pending release of Soccer Mom's full-length debut. Which is quite a long sentence. But, indeed, this is finally, finally happening. The Boston shoegaze giants' titanic first long player is a self-titled, nine-song collection that will be released by 100m Records May 1 as an LP, CD and digital download. As for the music, Soccer Mom presents an impressively realized set of songs, songs that balance delicately the dueling guitars of co-fronters Dan Parlin and William Scales. Texture is a concept the band has championed for years, but the real stars of the new set are the finer melodies, and the distinct (but not stifling) framing these recordings provide (as opposed to the volatile maelstrom of the band's live performances). We don't want to say more than that, as we'll have a complete review of the full record in a few weeks. But it is coming, with all of its bad magic and transformative loss. Ardent fans will note that some of the new songs are already in the wild, with early versions of "No One Left" and "Hideaway Sands" appearing here at Foundwaves last summer, and today here, where "Sundown Syndrome" and "Orejas" were debuted by Allston Pudding. Soccer Mom's catalog to date also includes a vinyl single, the colossal 10" You Are Not Going To Heaven, and last year's desperate and desolate digital single "Brides" b/w "A Canoe Shy." There is as of yet no pre-order information for Soccer Mom, but we've seen evidence that physical copies of the record exist, so all in due time, my pretties... The record will be feted May 3 at Great Scott with a release show featuring the staggering slate of support acts Bedroom Eyes, Infinity Girl and Palehound. For now, how about taking a listen to The Mom's brilliant cover of Lilys' "Ginger," from last year's Clicky Clicky comp? It does a body good.

>> Sheffield, England-based indie pop geniuses Screaming Maldini have loosed to the wilds of the Interzizzles the third in its mysterious and apparently monthly series of free downloads, an effort now dubbed #monthlymaldiniXII. The latest track is the anxious, dreamy ballad "Abyssinia," in which singer Gina Maldini passionately entreats, fiercely fends off desperation. The tune is dark and dynamic, raising itself up from plodding piano chords onto the back of thumping percussion and gang vocals in the chorus. "Abyssinia" carries the sextet's characteristically deft arrangements and sophisticated harmonies, and draws on its familiar horns and key changes, but the compositional skill, a Maldini hallmark, makes the song feel newer and fresher, even among the act's impressive repertoire. Not only did Gina perform the lead vocal of the track, she also wrote and directed the video for the accompanying clip, which you can watch right here. Last month the sextet issued "Bearings," the second tune of #monthlymaldiniXII, which can still be heard right here. This month finds Screaming Maldini heading to Japan for the first time, to support the recent release into that market of the band's stirring self-titled full-length (which we reviewed here a year ago). Two tunes from Screaming Maldini charted in the Tokyo Hot 100, a very respectable achievement for the Sheffield six. We're holding out hope that at the end of the 12-month exercise that is #monthlymaldiniXII there is a physical release of some sort. Call us old-fashioned. And after you're done doing that, listen to "Abyssinia" via the Soundcloud embed below.

>> Is upstate New York having a moment? It's probably always having a moment, right? But, anyway, obv. now-act Perfect Pussy hails from Syracuse, noise-rock upstarts What Moon Things are poised to make a statement and break out of verdant New Paltz later this year, and now comes Routine Involvements, an act that cultivates hooky, crunchy guitar pop from its base of operations in Rochester. Let us consult a map: oh yes, there it is, physically even further west than Syracuse. But sonically -- at least based on the new song "Faux Affections" -- Routine Involvements are considerably more west. That is, if you want to go ahead and compare the four-year-old act (which was formerly known as Stereophone) -- as many likely will -- to Weezer circa the first two albums. The Rochester trio's latest effort is the Future Days EP, which will be released on cassette later this month by Dadstache Records. The six-song set includes the aforementioned "Faux Affections," which follows its chugging bass line and palm-muted guitars through several logical steps, none of which shock, but all of which add up to a bracing bit of scruffy pop. Choruses are big, alluring feedback pools across the floor of the second verse, calm if tense vocals explode along with the guitars in the final thirty seconds. It's a great song, and we're eager to hear more of them from this rock combo. At present there is no information about ordering Future Days at the Dadstache online storefront, but if you keep your eye on that there link we expect it is just a matter of time. For now, stream "Faux Affections" below.

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