April 4, 2016
Today's Hotness: DTCV, Thin Lips, Spectres
>> We suppose it's possible another song as enchanting as DTCV's "L'Accord Parfait" will be released this year, but we can't imagine one more enchanting. The romantic swooner is a bit of a deep cut on the Hollywood-spawned duo's forthcoming fourth full-length Confusion Moderne, which is due next week on Xemu Records. DTCV is comprised of songwriters and multi-instrumentalists Lola G. and Jim Greer. If you're sitting there saying to yourself "*That* Jim Greer?" the answer to your question is "yes." For those not in the know, Mr. Greer is -- among other things -- a former member of Guided By Voices and author of the excellent book "Guided By Voices -- A Brief History," which book we highly recommend. If memory serves, Greer also once took us to task on Twitter for using the genre descriptor shoegaze in a non-pejorative way, something we felt oddly honored about. Anyway, the aforementioned "L'Accord Parfait" is a highlight of the very strong album, and achieves an emotional peak in its final choruses as layered vocals beginning a delirious swirl of words. The song and indeed most of the album features lyrics sung in Lola G.'s native French, and these are apparently concerned with "her anti-capitalist, neo-anarchist, radical feminist, and pro-environmental concerns," according to press materials. While it's hard to hear "L'Accord Parfait" in the context of that heavy subject matter, the substantially more gritty "Conformiste" -- whose riffing verses call to mind The Dead Boys' classic punk anthem "Sonic Reducer" -- certainly channels a serious vibe. New York-based Xemu releases Confusion Moderne as a digital download April 8; a very limited edition clear blue vinyl version released in France is already sold out. DTCV plays a hotly anticipated Boston show at O'Brien's Rock Club in Allston Rock City April 17, an evening that also features GBV-ophiles Halfsour, scene heroes Reports and The Dazies. DTCV formed in 2012 and was initially known as Detective, a name borrowed from the title of a Jean-Luc Godard film. The act's previous releases include the cassette However Strange on Burger Records, a label that readers will recall co-released last year The Pre-Fab Messiahs' delightful 10" Keep Your Stupid Dreams Alive. Stream DTCV's "Captain Ennui" and "Bourgeois Pop" via the Soundcloud embeds below, and click here to purchase the set as handy MP3 files.
>> Philadelphia indie-punk unit Thin Lips's Divorce Year EP was one of the best releases of 2015, so we've been eagerly anticipating a full-length from the band. Our proverbial prayers will be answered May 20 when Philly's Lame-O Records releases the quartet's debut long-player Riff Hard. The 10-song set is heralded by the stupendous preview track (and video) "Never Again," a hook-spangled ripper that foregrounds fronter Chrissy Tashjian's potent, emotive vocals. The tune is a 155-second blast of uptempo awesomeness with a shout-along chorus and zippy lead guitar licks. Ms. Tashjian powers the tune with a voice that can do jubilant just as convincingly as bummed. Long-time readers will recall that Thin Lips sprang from the equally tremendous but sadly defunct guitar-pop unit Dangerous Ponies -- other members of DP went on to form emo heroes The Superweaks (which features Chrissy's brother and sometimes bandmate Mikey Tashjian). Sadly, second guitarist Chris Diehm's father is gravely ill with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and treatment costs are mounting; two test pressings of Riff Hard were to have been auctioned off recently to help defray those costs, although we're not sure if the auction has happened yet or not. Either way, donations can still be made via Paypal; check out the details here. Thin Lips recently wrapped a short tour with the Max Levine Ensemble; they next play Boston June 23 on an extraordinarily hot bill that also features emo titans Modern Baseball and Joyce Manor. That June show is near the tail-end of a massive strand of tour dates that stretches from late May through early July, making 2016 truly a summer of rock for the act. Lame-O is already taking pre-orders for Riff Hard. The set is available in a limited edition of 750 black vinyl LPs (pre-order here) or as a digital download (pre-order here). Stream "Never Again" via the Bandcamp embed below.
>> We went gaga for the doom-'gaze sounds of Spectres' stunning 2015 collection Dying, and we're not the only ones. If you follow the Bristol, England quartet on the social media, you've seen them popping up next to famouser folks like Henry Rollins or Thurston Moore (maybe we imagined the latter, as we can't find the pic now). Just last week, Spectres disclosed it has been tapped to open a number of vintage shoegaze faves Lush's reunion dates. Dying was recently followed up with a remix collection called Dead that sees songs from Dying getting the remix treatment from luminaries including Ride's Andy Bell, Mogwai's Stuart Braithwaite, and Factory Floor, among others. In all, Dead contains 13 tracks, as Dying standout songs "Mirror," "Sea Of Trees" and "This Purgatory" were remixed doble vez. And yet Dying *still* has not had a proper domestic release. Perhaps that is going to change though, at least in a limited way. According to a recent email, the US LP subscription service Vinyl Me, Please is offering subscribers a limited edition of 300 Dying LPs pressed to "the blood of Phil Collins" red vinyl. The same email says non-subscribers can get the record in "regular shops" in May. It's unclear if that would be leftover stock from the Vinyl Me, Please pressing, or a larger pressing in wider release; it's also unclear if the reference to "regular shops" means US shops. So keep your fingers crossed, we suppose. Spectres is promoting the release of Dead with a strand of gigs in the UK, some of which will include appearances by certain of the remixers; if you are in the UK and fancy seeing a show, we'd suggest looking up the show dates here and buying tickets ahead, as tomorrow night's date at London's Waw Warehouse is already sold out. Stream Mr. Braithwaite's remix of "This Purgatory" via the Bandcamp embed below. Stream all of Dead via Spotify right here.