February 1, 2015

Today's Hotness: Low Low Low La La La Love Love Love, Julius Earthling, 28 Degrees Taurus

Low Low Low La La La Love Love Love -- Last (detail)

>> Low Low Low La La La Love Love Love has one of those names that make this blogger say "ugh" and throw up his hands like a salty, aging newsman from the era of paper broadsheets, in a sort-of "what the hell am I supposed to do with this" gesture. Not that any of you saw that. Nevertheless, the English duo's forthcoming fourth LP Last presents significant, curious charms; it's the kind of record that surprises with noisy unpredictability, quiet intimacy and unflinching sincerity. All of this manifests as a somewhat unsteady aesthetic, with songs ranging from spare, droning folk efforts ("Goodbyes," "Little Heart") to the crashing slowcore gem "Dispel," a highlight of the collection that touts some rocking twinned lead guitars. The fuzzy strummer "Burrow" plays the role of able single, or if it doesn't it should, with a beautiful melody and easy vibe, while the ambitious interstitial "Dandelions" slowly descends from a charred haze of distortion into a slow-turning elegy reminiscent of noise-pop heroes Flying Saucer Attack. Last, incidentally, is purposefully named; the set is the final word from the decade-old band, which for a time had six members but now counts among its number just its founders, brothers Kelly and Ellis Dyson. Last is being issued as a co-release of perennial underdog Audio Antihero and Miami's Other Electricities. The collection, of course, is notable for a number of things beyond its fearless range, but it is interesting that after threatening to throw in the proverbial towel for quite some time, London's Audio Antihero is issuing its first vinyl record. Indeed, the little label that could will handle all non-US vinyl orders for Low Low Low La La La Love Love Love's LP, while Other Electricities will fulfill orders destined for American postal addresses; the set -- which is due Feb. 16 -- will also be sold as a digital download. Last will be celebrated with a release show Feb. 19 at The Servant Jazz Quarters in Dalston, London; also on the bill are mighty Clicky Clicky faves Superman Revenge Squad, as well as Owl + Mouse. Stream the aforementioned "Burrow" and "Dispel" as well as a tune called "Harvesting" via the Bandcamp embed below, and click through to pre-order the LP or download.

>> Boston indie punks Julius Earthling seemed to drop out of sight after releasing its debut EP in 2013, but last week the outfit made a welcome return with the first preview single from its forthcoming sophomore EP NFL Bliss. The Jamaica Plain-based noise-pop trio's short set will be issued March 18, and the frenetic and fuzzy first-listen "575" is a dynamic, deftly executed rocker. Beyond its appreciable hooks, "575" is notable for cycling through a series of moods and rhythms, from chunky garage riffage, to a mathy, odd-timed bridge, and into a smooth new-wave section marked by sturdy reverb on the guitar and a beat anchored by a rain of sixteenth notes against the hi-hat. In our estimation the tune is evidence that Julius Earthling is one of the most promising young acts coming up out of the Boston underground at the moment, so we suggest you keep an ear on them. We as yet have no information about what else NFL Bliss might contain, or whether it will be self-released or issued by a label, but either way the set will be celebrated with a release show March 18 at Allston Rock City's O'Brien's Pub. The bill also features the Clicky Clicky-approved Digital Prisoners of War alongside Grave Ideas and Laika's Orbit. Julius Earthling's debut EP For was released in November 2013 on New Neighbor (or at least, that's what we wrote at the time -- looking at the New Neighbor catalog it appears that the label never actually issued For for some reason). Stream "575" via the Bandcamp embed below, and check out a video for the title track to For right here.

>> Veteran Boston shoegazers 28 Degrees Taurus return to the live stage Wednesday, top-lining a solid night of rock and roll music at Cambridge, Mass.' Middle East Upstairs. The act pledged earlier this month here to release a new long-player in 2015, and teased the new release with a new tune in late December. That song was the very nice "Hearts Were Made," which we'd have more to say about if Bandcamp weren't capping free streams of the song, or at least *our* free streams of the song (is this really a thing? we've never encountered this before). But for those of you not cut off, we suggest streaming "Hearts Were Made" via the embed below. We last wrote about 28 Degrees Taurus here in April 2013, at a time when the band's future seemed uncertain. The proverbial ship seems to have righted itself, an impression bolstered by the act's steady schedule of area gigs last fall, and we look forward to hearing more music from the mind of Mr. Liu and Ms. DaCosta. Wednesday's show also features the slightly skewed, wholly folksy bompedy-bomp of Somerville's Thick Wild, whose 2012 full-length O Sinister Force is both eminently listenable and a very fine way to pass the time. So what the hell, go to a show Wednesday, people.

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