December 4, 2015

Today's Hotness: Coaches, Du Vide, Big Nice

Coaches -- Shush EP (cover detail)

>> It's been some time since we last heard from shoegaze luminaries Coaches, but that's little surprise. In our interview a year ago with band mastermind Brady Custis, he said Coaches works slowly and methodically. Add to the mix that the band in the past year relocated to Brooklyn and changed up the lineup (for example, drumming duties are now executed by Infinity Girl cannoneer Seb Modak), and one gets a sense of how the quintet has filled its days. But at long last it has announced it is releasing Shush, a dynamic, dynamite and highly textured EP of big-guitar post-punk, later this month. The four-song set explodes out of the gate with back-to-back thrillers. First comes the feedback-spangled, fuzz-bass fueled rocker "That Not This;" the tune starts smart and gets smarter, injecting hard rhythmic changes that culminate in a muscular groove. This is followed by the first preview track from the short set, "Elizabeth Warren," which is refreshingly what one hopes it will be: a raging rocker detailing an infatuation with the wonderful and wise U.S. Senator from the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It's safe to say this is the only song you will hear that says longingly of Warren, "Elizabeth, the trouble is you're for the people but I'm just one person." The more subdued but no less engaging "Blond Cop," which alternates between slinky and roaring, and the relatively ambient gloomer "Death Etiquette," round out the EP, and these tunes are similarly strong. And so while Shush is a late entrant in 2015, it surely counts among the best EPs of the year. The increasingly crucial Disposable America label releases the set in a limited edition of 100 pink or yellow cassettes Dec. 11, and you can pe-order a copy right here. Coaches fĂȘtes the release of the EP at the recently announced Noise For Toys II, a Toys For Tots benefit house show in Allston Rock City Dec. 12. The bill also features Western Mass. 'gaze heavyweights Kindling, Boston's rising demigods Elizabeth Colour Wheel, and Gold Muse, the new project featuring members of Soccer Mom, Earthquake Party! and Swirlies. For venue details, ask a punk; in the meantime, go buy a new, unwrapped present for a kid, as that is the preferred entry fee to the big, big rock show. Stream the aforementioned "That Not This" and "Elizabeth Warren" via the Bandcamp embed below. We last wrote about Coaches a year ago here, when we got a look around the band's rehearsal space for our Show Us Yours feature.

>> We're very taken with the gentlemanly pop sound of Boston trio Du Vide. Indeed, not since the heyday of local legends Pants Yell! have we been so hopeful about the state of the city's indie pop. The threesome's recently released sophomore EP Clutter features three accomplished compositions that exhibit terrific playing and songcraft. Opener "The Hell It Is" blends elements of slowcore and coctail jazz drumming and guitar work with introverted, downcast vocals whose vibe suggests Chet Baker and Sam Prekop, while being more sonically akin to those of Conor Oberst. The song hits a firm crescendo and is carried off by one big guitar chord. The succeeding tune "A Sharp Inhale" ups the rock quotient at first, but then vacillates between explosive and delicate moments, highlighted by big emotive singing at one extreme and velvet soft drumming at the other. The pretty, acoustic ballad "Word Vomit" provides the EP's final word, where somewhat morose lyrics share space with thoughtfully layered guitars. The lyrics are particularly strong, grabbing the listener with elongated vowels and presenting some small truth writ large: "it's been a long weekend, a long night so far..." According to this recent Facebook post, Du Vide is nearly finished recording a debut long-player, which we're very keen to hear. The band's next live appearance will be Jan. 6 at Arlene's Grocery in Manhattan, but we've got it on pretty good authority that you'll be able to see the band live not long after that back in Boston, so stay tuned. Clutter was released to the wilds of the Interpants as a digital download Nov. 2; stream the entire thing via the Bandcamp embed below, and click through to download it for any price. Du Vide's prior EP In Hiding was issued as a digital download in May, and the band has also released two digital singles, all of which we'd rate as crucial.

>> Bradford Krieger is a number of things: one-time talent booker at River Gods, operator of Hanging Horse Studios in Norwood, Mass. (where he has recorded hitmakers of the day including Dirty Dishes, IAN and Horse Jumper of Love), and now those of you keeping score at home can also mark Mr. Krieger down as the man behind Big Nice. That a studio guy would also make music is little surprise; that his apparent first outing so deftly packs great detail (such as the vocal harmonies in the Flaming Lips-echoing tune "Upwards," or the backwards stick strikes of "Vino") into relatively spare arrangements is quite noteworthy. The aforementioned tunes feature on a recently released short stack simply titled EP1, which was released to the wilds of the Internerds as a digital download Nov. 4. Krieger coaxes some very nifty sounds, but tastefully downplays them: the second minute of the jaunty instrumental "Vino" builds upwwards from a sturdy 12-string melody line, then throws octave pedal into a knot of particularly slippery guitars. The gently swinging "Ta Dum" underscores the EPs fresh, snappy vibe, bashing and popping its way toward a series of chords played on an organ that meander away like one affected by dementia. Closer "Moss" is not only the most conventional tune of the set, but also its highlight: not bad for a casual strummer that clocks a mere 87 seconds. Stream the entire kebab via the Bandcamp embed below, and click through to download for any price. And keep your fingers crossed that Big Nice eventually manifests itself as a live entity. We'll be waiting.

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