by: Tommy DeSilva
Charly Bliss - Guppy - (Barsuk)
I love this album. Love, love, love. I don't know where to start: incredibly energetic, singer Eva Hendricks' high, wonderfully weird vocals, the stellar syncopation, the not-exactly-punk-but-that-makes-it-even-more-punk guitar lines, upbeat songs about crippling mental health problems... I don't even know. It's just amazing. The opening track, Percolator, reminds me of Jill Sobule's hit Supermodel on an acid trip in the best way possible. The only thing I can think of that remotely compares is Mother Mother - this album is to punk what Mother Mother is to indie. "I loved / when your dog died / it is cruel / but it's true / take me back / 'cause my soft side / does he love me most / now that his dog is toast", she sweetly serenades on DQ. That is amazing and hilarious and hits on something fantastic and true and more than a little scary. If there's only one album you listen to this week, make it this one.
Warm Soda - I Don't Wanna Grow Up - (Castle Face)
Punk-influenced power pop from Austin. Slightly tinny, softly sung vocals as if sung from afar, remind of some of the tricks of the Kinks or the Beatles, but over indie rock lines you wouldn't have heard on Revolver. Nothing revolutionary here - plenty of songs about love and struggle in relationships - but really, it's hard to get truly tired of that eternal theme. You could make a comparison to Metric if Metric was from the 60s, Guantanamo Baywatch, or some sort of surf-slash-indie-rock-with-a-dash-of-punk getup.
Golden Pelicans - Disciples of Blood - (Goner)
Good old fashioned punk / rock and roll from Florida. There's no shortage here of the shredding guitars, whiskey-and-cigarette-ruined vocals, and power chords that we all love. With song tites like "Blue Medusa" and "Corpse Abuser" you know you're on firm ground. Think of an AC/DC that isn't played out and sold out. Tune in and hear about being turned to stone, Russian roulette, and, well, abusing corpses, I guess. It's all in good fun.
Boss Hog - Brood X - (In the Red)
It annoys me to hear albums labeled 'riot grrl' just because there's a female vocalist - and this is definitely not riot grrl. Nonetheless, this album really did remind me of a less-aggressive Bikini Kill. Named after the Dukes of Hazzard character, Boss Hog is formed by members of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and Pussy Galore. For once, vocalist Cristina Martinez isn't nude on the album cover, but the album is no less grimy for it. The album is full of sludgy, echoing blues rock with some solid punk influences, ending on a lounge tone that would make Tom Waits proud.
Thurston Moore - Rock n Roll Consciousness - (Caroline)
A somewhat experimental indie rock EP continuing Moore's solo work outside of Sonic Youth. The EP opens with a long, instrumental acoustic-then-60s-rock-jam that would fit as a Led Zeppelin intermission or on Neil Young's soundtrack to Dead Man. Later songs are more traditional, but continue on the meandering space jam vein - the shortest song is 6:33, and two of the tracks pass 10 minutes. I felt that Smoke of Dreams was particularly strong - almost Heatmiser-esque, and it seemed to me that Moore was channeling Kurt Cobain's voice in a few areas. But be warned - you may not be stoned enough to listen to this album if you're broadcasting. With luck, however, your listeners will be.
The New Pornographers - Whiteout Conditions - (Collected Works)
Another great indie rock / power pop album out of Vancouver. For the uninitiated, the New Pornographers contains some of indie's most excellent and unusual musicians, including Kathryn Calder and Destroyer's Dan Bejar. Like previous albums, the album has reverb, keyboards, excellent lyrics, and a hint of the 1980s. Give it a listen if you're a fan of the Dandy Warhols, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, or really just about any indie rock more energetic than the Tallest Man on Earth.