February 7, 2016

Today's Hotness: Seeds Of Doubt, Flying Saucer Attack, The Ghost Of Electricity

Keel Her / Seeds Of Doubt split

>> London indie pop four Seeds Of Doubt have released another winner, although this one is not exactly new. The newly available split titled Let The Ghouls Out, which features three songs from our heroes along with three from The Big Smoke's Keel Her, was apparently slated to come out on Portland, Ore.'s Gnar Tapes in 2015. However, the release never materialized ("the tape machine broke?"), so now Seeds Of Doubt has pushed the EP out to the Internerds via its Bandcamp page in order to focus on releasing fresher material via the label this year. Seeds Of Doubt's side B is packed with scritchy post-punk, from the tumbling 90 seconds of "Mirror" to the more pop-leaning and uptempo rocker "Waiting Room For The World," which echoes the sound of the efficient aughts guitar-pop heroes Art Brut. Closer "Stay Classic" sticks with the same recipe but boasts a more muscular beat and bigger guitars and fronter Chris Hopkins deliciously starts to lose his composure as the song careens into its final third, where rock-steady bass guides a tight jam toward a cracking denouement. The song is the clear highlight of the Seeds' side. Keel Her's tunes incorporate fronter Rose Keeler-Schäffeler's expansive but simple organ into her quintet's otherwise classic indie pop sound. Opener "Typical World" boasts a moody verse, but brightens with each peppy chorus, and "Call Me Back" sparkles from within a well of reverb while a cleanly distorted lead slices through the mix like bagpipes. The A-side closes with the terrific "Forced Tradition," a tune about an "awful job" Ms. Keeler-Schäffeler previously held (a version of the song was also recorded for Marc Riley's BBC 6 program late last year). Seeds Of Doubt's most recent prior release, SOD's Law, slipped by us in December; we wrote about another EP, Audible Human Repellent, here a year ago. Attentive readers will recall that Seeds Of Doubt showed us around their rehearsal space in Show Us Yours #20 back in May 2014. We look forward to hearing more from both SOD and Keel Her.

>> Revered indie label Drag City announced last week it will reissue on vinyl two classic titles from Bristol, England 'gaze/drone legends Flying Saucer Attack. The static-und-psych landmarks Further and Chorus have been unavailable as LPs for at least a decade, and their return to the 12" format transpires March 18; the records were originally released in April and November 1995, respectively. Drag City pushed the cut "In The Light Of Time" out to YouTube last week to promote Further, which was FSA's sophomore release, and "Feedback Song" to promote Chorus, and you can stream these via the embeds below. "In The Light Of Time" is basically a classic English psychedelic folk song enshrouded in ambient guitar noise. The tune creeps into being with lightly fingered acoustic guitar and masterminded David Pearce's serene vocals, which are obscured by swelling, shimmering delayed guitar and feedback. "Feedback Song" opens all the band's characteristic channels at once from the outset, blending feedback, ride cymbal, universe-sized delay on edge-less electric guitar, gentle acoustic guitar fingering and meditative vocals. It's a thrilling presentation of both delicacy and power at one and the same time. Eventually slide guitar establishes an almost tidal ebb and flow to close out the track. Buy Further on LP, CD or as a digital download here; buy Chorus as an LP, CD or digital download here. Back in the day -- and in the era of auto-reverse -- Clicky Clicky's executive editor dubbed these titles to a single audio cassette, so they are inextricably linked in our mind. After a long period of inactivity, Flying Saucer Attack returned last summer with the set Instrumentals 2015, which Senior Writer Edward Charlton wrote about right here.

>> We were immediately taken with "The Great Tower," an appropriate spectral deep cut from a new release by Boston outfit The Ghost Of Electricity. Taken from an EP called Bones that was released last week by Spark & Fizz, "The Great Tower" gently attacks with reverse-tracked guitar strums and layered, dreamy, droning vocals. The overall effect is mesmerizing and suggests a marriage of Modest Mouse's fractured folk and Nuno Canavarro's infinitely futurist ambient pastiches. A glance at the lyrics seems to reveal the subject matter is dissatisfaction with spirituality of some form or another, and other song titles from the EP -- "The Ritual" and "The Question" -- also suggest deeper concerns of the soul. Bones, while relatively brief, boasts many curiously arresting moments, including the delightfully aimless guitar lead in the aforementioned "The Ritual" and the clattering percussion break and whispers in the midst of the entirely delightful "The Anthropophage." Incidentally, the percussion tracks on the EP were apparently crafted from sampled sounds of car parts and bones, we suppose striking one another or being struck by something else. The Ghost Of Electricity is the solo vehicle of Ray MacNamara, who also holds down the lead guitar slot in Ithaca, NY's experimental Afro-beat act Big Mean Sound Machine. Bones is available now in a limited edition of 100 dark blue cassettes that will ship Feb. 17, or as a pay-what-you-like digital download. Stream "The Great Tower" via the Bandcamp embed below, and click through to acquire the set in your chosen format.

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