June 23, 2016

Today' Hotness: Eros And The Eschaton, Ghost Orchard, Landing

Eros And The Eschaton -- Weight Of Matter (detail)

>> Inspired dream-pop concern Eros And The Eschaton's second LP, due later this summer, is heralded by the surprisingly brash and altogether thrilling preview rocker "Rxx." After a bright, uptempo introduction, the song deftly shifts into a spiky, punky verse featuring an arresting vocal by co-founder Kate Perdoni, whose delivery ranges from delightfully bratty to pensive as she mythologizes a restless life on the road and the band's conception (at the climax she erupts "I started this band from a traffic jam when I was trying to find my way back to Canada!"). Formerly based in North Carolina but now operating out of Colorado Springs, Colo., Ms. Perdoni and partner Adam Hawkins now count among their number drummer Alex Koshak, bassist Ryan Spradlin and keyboard player Mitch Macura. The quintet's forthcoming album Weight Of Matter is said to be strongly influenced by Neil Young & Crazy Horse, but if "Rxx" takes a cue from Mr. Young's wide-ranging career, it would have to be Young's weird, new wave and experimental pop phase (he was a proponent of and sometime collaborator with DEVO, our older readers might recall). Even that feels a stretch, though, and it really makes no difference, as "Rxx" is so potent a single that it needs no RIYLs to prop it up. While the subdued dream-pop of songs like "You Know I Do" and "Don't Look So Sad" from Eros And The Eschaton's early day feels remote here, the big dynamic drumming, anthemic synth lines, spindly guitars and rich feedback in "Rxx" make for a very potent sound that presents exciting opportunities for the band. Bar/None releases Weight Of Matter Aug. 19 on vinyl and CD and pre-orders are being taken for the set right here. The band celebrates the record with two shows at the end of August in Colorado Springs and Denver and also performs in Denver this Saturday; all dates available at press time are listed below. Stream "Rxx" via the Soundcloud embed below. In related news, Weehawken, NJ-based Bar/None this past March celebrated its 30th anniversary, a very notable achievement indeed, and there are retrospective blog posts and a link to a label comp that are definitely worth checking out right here.

06.25 -- Denver, CO -- Westword Music Festival
07.30 -- Denver, CO -- Underground Music Fest
08.05 -- Colorado Springs, CO -- Fine Arts Center
08.26 -- Colorado Springs, CO -- Flux Capacitor (Record Release Show)
08.27 -- Denver, CO -- Larimer Lounge (Record Release Show)



>> Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Ghost Orchard's latest set, Bliss, is a veiled and smothered bedroom dream-pop wonder that has already soundtracked many a late night to devastating and lonely effect. Led by Sam Hall, the project enlarges the scope of similarly bleary solo work of artists like Astrobrite, Atlas Sound and the recently reviewed Flout for an adventure in woozy, driving sound design, not to mention yearning and youthful lo-fi contemplation. Short and sweet songs like "Seperate" and "Sorry" pair distant percussion to textured and tasteful guitar chords for a contemporary take on the "hypnagogic pop" genre which came to the fore with rise of Ariel Pink and other deconstructed songsmiths. Mr. Hall's mid-range vocals serve as another yawning instrument more than a direct lead, but his pleasant tones nonetheless complement the auditory universe he contrives. Loveless-styled instrumental segues bookend "I Saw You Floating," "Sleepover" and "Wisher," and these run into other pieces, adding to the intimate, toy-instrument song-cycle vibe conjured here effectively. While this style of music has been tackled by many, Hall's inoffensive and rounded mid-heavy production and original instrumentation prestidigitate a boyish wonder that circulates through much of Bliss' 13 songs, making the collection an ideal choice for lazy, searching summer evenings. Take this moment to act decisively, however, as Orchid Tapes' recent second pressing of 100 cassettes is likely to disappear as quickly as this piece can be read. Do it: grab Bliss now on tape or as a digital download right here, lest you have to wait for round three. -- Edward Charlton



>> While the name of Connecticut-based drone-rock four Landing has registered on this reviewer's radar in years past -- perhaps due to its prior association with labels as esteemed as K and Geographic North -- its music had eluded our ears until the recent lead-up to its latest album, Third Sight. That collection hit racks earlier this month on CD and green vinyl LP via El Paraiso Records, but indeed the band's legacy stretches back almost two full decades to 1998. Third Sight is a four-song platter of head music characterized by a psychedelic and ambient narcotic lull, one akin to those conjured by legendary hitmakers Spacemen 3, Stars of the Lid and The Warlocks. Landing achieves this through the use of pristine and full production, as well as a distinct, major-key howl. The collection, recorded as part of El Paraiso's Impetus series, aims for the tranquil yet hallucinogenic side of Landing's sound with protracted, ruminative songs and serious pedal work. The lead preview track "Delusion Sound/Third Site" (split into two tunes on Spotify) presents soft, delayed vocals that intertwine within a drift of synthesizer patches and slow-burning feedback. "Facing South" highlights spewing, long-timed drone pedals and bongo-esque percussion to establish a meditative, instrumental trance, while closer "Morning Sun" aims for middle ground between the two, before female vocals pour a little bit of light into the composition. Much of Third Sight comes across as tempered experimentation and improvisational, but the focus with which Landing tackles its craft makes for a compelling album that, we'll speculate, likely sounds massive on vinyl, the manner of consumption this music seems clearly intended for. Order Third Sight here or check out Landing’s impressive and substantial body of work at their Bandcamp page. -- Edward Charlton



2 comments:

DanP said...

Thanks especially, Edward, for the Eros & the Eschaton update. The track makes me wonder if Ms. Perdoni has been listening to Courtney Barnett, which seems likely enough. Less gratitude for relegating me to the category of "older reader" merely for being able to recall Neil Young's period of association with Devo, who, if my fading geriatric memory serves, called him "the Godfather of Granola Rock".

Jay Breitling said...

Courtney Barnett, that's a good call, Dan! JCB