2. Last Rites
3. For A Day Like Tomorrow
4. Setting Sun
6. English Subtitles
7. Red Queen Arms Race
8. Deep Wound
9. Lone Star
10. I Wonder?
You can hear the traditional aspects of Swervedriver's sound in the first song, "Autodidact," which they also unveiled today: beautiful, cascading guitarwork, loud, distorted power chords, thundering beats and Adam Franklin's throaty, chilled out tenor, fusing shoegazer aesthetics with the sound of the then-burgeoning alternative-rock scene. I'd say it was a return to form, if Swervedriver ever lost their form to begin with.
Like many records whose reputations precede them, Psychocandy, the debut album by Scottish troublemakers The Jesus & Mary Chain, should be approached with caution and when you’re ready, not because someone told you to listen to it.
I picked up Psychocandy sometime in 2002 from Amoeba Hollywood, shortly after the store opened. I was going to school in San Diego at the time, and my friends and I would make trips up to Lou’s Records in Encinitas and Amoeba to binge buy used CDs. No one told me to get Psychocandy like Barry from High Fidelity, but I knew I probably should, judging by my growing obsessions with Sonic Youth, The Velvet Undergroundand My Bloody Valentine.
The first time I put it on, on my shitty car stereo, I couldn’t really hear what was going on. A car full of people talking didn’t help. It just sounded like static to me, but I was intrigued. I listened later on and, of course, became full-on obsessed.
“Just Like Honey” is the obvious entry point and still a hauntingly beautiful song that is universal in a Nirvana sorta way. But the album’s next few tracks are its best. “The Living End” isn’t just a song title that Gregg Araki would nick for his great movie of the same name; its overall vibe is so underground and elusive that listening always makes you feel a lot cooler than you really are. It doesn’t matter that I’m way too chicken shit to ever ride a motorcycle. Both “The Living End” and “Taste the Floor” introduce a sonic trick that other great bands would mimic, like the aforementioned Nirvana, their inspirations in The Pixies (who themselves would cover J&MC’s “Head On”) and shoegaze followers like Lush and Swervedriver, piling added distortion on what already felt like too much to begin with, like pouring chocolate syrup all over a chocolate cake. It’s overwhelming and awesome.
L.A.’s Tennis System play a brand of psychedelic, dreamy rock ‘n’ roll that should please any fan of the shoegaze movement, yet they’ve got their own thing going, as new album Technicolor Blind trades between rocketing guitar noise and shimmering ambience.
Led by Matty Taylor, along with drummer Hector Gomez and bassist Zach Bilson, the trio has shared the stage with such like-minded acts as Ty Segall, Wavves, Japandroids and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. Taylor started the band in Washington, D.C. in 2009 and released the 2011 noise-rock album Teenagers before heading to L.A. and changing up the band’s lineup and sound a bit.
Now they’ve found their niche within the Part Time Punks crowd and have been wowing audiences with their volume-heavy shows and excellent second album, released last year. They’re one of the latest bands to record a track as part of Converse Rubber Tracks, which gives up-and-coming bands studio time and exposure. Tennis System performs live at Amoeba Hollywood today at 6 p.m.
L.A. new romantics Roses hit the Bootleg HiFi for their November Sunday residency, presented by The Fold. The band plays every Sunday in November, with a new slate of supporting bands each night. Nov. 23 is Amoeba Music Night, featuring Hair Perfect, Crystales and Basement Babies. We’ll be on hand with coupons, buttons and more.
Roses formed last year, following the dissolution of guitarist Juan Velasquez’s old band, Abe Vigoda. Since then, the band has played live extensively, with bands such as A Sunny Day in GlasgowandDiiv, as well as at Amoeba's Red Bull Sound Select show back in August with Tanlines, and they released the Dreamlover EP this year on Group Tightener. Velasquez, a veteran of Amoeba, and singer/keyboardist Marc Steinberg sat down to talk with us a bit about his new band and what they have going on into the new year.
"I wanted it to be a single but, everyone said we couldn't have a one minute single," she says in a press release. "So now we have a single, one minute video instead."
The video for "Double Dutch," as you might guess, features some fancy footwork as Keds kick up dust and things go in and out of focus. It feels like a dream you have after waking up and trying to fall back asleep. The clip was directed by Goma and bandmate Luisa Conlon, who also made the documentary series "The Working Life," says Pitchfork.