March 8, 2012

Today's Hotness: Dead Mellotron, This Many Boyfriends, The Bombhappies

Dead Mellotron
Baltimore-based Dead Mellotron recently unleashed its superlative new number "Stranger" on the Internets. Fronted by Josh Frazier, who is abetted by mysterious backers CC, Aimee and Faith, the group's contemporary take on good 'ole chugging shoegaze rock accomplishes a lot with a relatively straightforward approach. The first 30 seconds of the cinematic "Stranger" -- which will feature on Dead Mellotron's forthcoming third album Glitter -- relies on a facile electronic drum pattern that clatters behind a gorgeous curtain of reverb and auto-tune effects. A simple distorted guitar emerges and applies a steady rhythm that drives things toward a pleasing ride cymbal peak. And, then, well... that's pretty much it. The beautiful thing is the song begs for nothing more. Why complicate matters when you have a few good chords, a lilting chorus, and a great atmosphere? "Stranger" is available for free download at SoundCloud and you can grab it via the embed below. Glitter will be released by Sonic Cathedral May 7th and you can pre-order the record right here; the seven-song collection is available for £12 in a limited edition of clear vinyl packaged in glitter sleeves with download code. The band previously released a self-titled long-player in 2010 and Ghost Light Constellation in 2009; both are available via Bandcamp here. Dead Mellotron plays Soft House in Baltimore this Friday night, and then again on April 1 at Ottobar opening for the very hotly tipped Cloud Nothings. -- Edward Charlton

Leeds, England-based This Many Boyfriends' new single "Starling" boasts breakneck pacing and cheese-grater guitar leads that make it one of the most bracing things we've heard recently. The scrappy guitar-pop quartet's name, a nod to indie pop legends Beat Happening, is a telling reference that telegraphs the instrumentation and exuberant playing herein. "Starling" opens with neatly serrated rhythm guitar and upbeat crooning. Effective single note leads and vibrant, jubilant group vocals toward the end will spur listeners to serially depress the play button for yet another ride. Really, there's no better way to sum up the song than the act do themselves, "it has a riff, it's about ornithology and love." Brilliant. The group -- whose members Daniel, Laura, Richard and Tom all carry the last name Boyfriend in true Ramones style -- recorded the single with recently deceased guitarist, Peter Sykes. Tragic as the band's loss is, the group apparently continues to flourish in his memory and absence. "Starling" b/w "Just Saying" was released as a fanzine single by Angular Recording Corporation February 20th. This Many Boyfriends previously released another single and an EP and is slated to support The Cribs for three dates this month. -- Edward Charlton

Also capturing our fancy of late is "Ants," a devastatingly poignant preview single from Scandinavian rockers The Bombhappies. Further investigation finds the band to be a long-running concern with a soft spot for 80's indie. Indeed, the quintet (Joel, Johan, Jonas, Linus and Andreas, again, only first names) seems intent on conjuring a vibe straight out of the good-guy sadness of the Galaxie 500 catalog, and the '80s feel is also boosted by the Michael Stipe-esque inflections of The Bombhappies' lead singer. "Ants," taken from the band's forthcoming full-length A Good Fire, revels in its forward guitar plucks, matched by acoustics and relaxed snare hits. The vocals have a subtle, slap-back echo that adds a patina of ready-made nostalgia to the song. "Ants" is a heartbreaker, too, as a doo-wop breakdown and build follows lines like, "you've made it clear, you don't want to be with me." A Good Fire was self-released by The Bombhappies today, and we can't wait to listen to the whole thing. -- Edward Charlton


DanP said...

oooohhh...thx especially for the Dead Mellotrton tip!

Peter said...

Thanks for 3 nice tips! I really liked the bombhappies album! And they are from Sweden! (As me)