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Viagra Boys, Spiral Stairs, Party Dozen, more

Viagra Boys, Spiral Stairs, Party Dozen, more

Summer is heating up in Indie Basement country, and this week has another big fall of new releases: Viagra boys‘best album to date, Australian scissors-and-drums duo Fest dozen, Sidewalk guitarist Spiral stairspreviously Klaxons‘frontman James Righton and British indie rockers Mush.

Over in Notable Releases, Andrew listens to Katy J Pearson, Laura Veirs and more. In other Basement-related news: Alvvays announced their first album in five years, Moonlandingz’s Adrian Flanagan announced his solo debut as Acid Klaus, Soulwax remixed Wet Leg, and Blur drummer Dave Rowntree released his debut solo single.

The indiebasement corner of the BrooklynVegan store is well stocked with hand-picked vinyl, books and merchandise, including new albums by Kevin Morby, Belle & Sebastian, Porridge Radio, Spiritualized, Wet Leg, Dry Cleaning, Yard Act, Mercury Rev, Aldous Harding, and King Hannah, not to mention classics from Pylon, Sparks, Spoon, Stereolab, Broadcast, LIlys, The Cribs, Goldfrapp, Oasis, Echo & The Bunnymen, Slowdive, Roxy Music, The Libertines and more.

Go under for this week’s reviews.

ALBUM OF THE WEEK: Viagra Boys – Cave World (YEAR 001)
Swedish debauch-o-punks embrace synthesizers and clean up a bit for their best album to date. Sleaford Mods’ Jason Williamson is also on track.

Cave World presents a completely different Viagra boys than we have heard before. Where their first two albums presented the band as hedonistic, extravagant punks – as they apparently were – this is a more nuanced iteration of the band, which still sings ruffled about fuckers, freaks, conspiracy theorists, sociopathic children and more. deviants, but musically this is a much more interesting record than they have ever made before. Synthesizers, drum machines and slim studio equipment are fighting for space among guitars, tattoos and drinks.

Some of this may be because they have made this album twice, or at least once and a half. The band worked again with producer Pelle Gunnerfeldt (The Hives, The Knife) and DJ Haydn on this, and they did a lot of the album before the pandemic, but reworked it after the tumultuous summer of 2020. “We let it marinate for a while and then recorded “Absolutely everything again,” says frontman Sebastian Murphy. “Everything sounds a little more conscious and with this extra finesse – which may not be the right word for something involving Viagra Boys. There are more carefully designed songs and bigger hooks, but they kept their characteristic gravel.Their nails are still dirty but have a fresh manicure.It is a winning combination.

Cave Worldthe hit rate is very high: “Ain’t No Thief” strikes a manic disco beat and relentless, dirty synth bass line that propels them into a spooky, technopunk future world; “Baby Criminal” is a disturbing portrait of a child who microwaves batteries for fun set up against complaints and relentless percussion with a high hat; “Troglodyte” moves into Devo territory Viagra Boys’ live show has long had; and “Punk Rock Loser” struts together with Murphy throwing off lines like “I warned you baby, that ain’t juice in my cup / It’s promethazine and a little 7UP.”

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There is also the paranoid and very electronic “Creepy Crawlers” and the crazy synthpop from “The Cognitive Trade-Off Hypothesis” and “ADD”. Cave World also includes “Big Boy”, a techno-blues collaboration with Sleaford Mods’ Jason Williamson which feels as inevitable as it makes perfect. When Williamson shows up and asks “And all the people in the club are leaving, don’t you want it?”, The track has turned into a staggering, baggy anthem. It is fantastic.

As much as I have liked Viagra Boys’ other two albums, if you had told me four years ago that the band that made the silly but funny “Sports” would make an album as good front-to-back as this. do not believe you. These boys clean well – while still leaving a mess.

attachment-party-dozen-iron-boot

Fest dozen – The real work (Temporary Residence LTD)
Australian scissors-and-drums duo tear it up with a little help from Nick Cave on their hard-hitting, entertaining fourth album

Australian duo Fest dozen make a lot of noise just to be saxophone (Kirsty Tickle) and drums (Jonathan Boulet). Lots of varied noise too. Yes, it’s the kind of in-your-face twist you’d expect from a post-punk band like this, but on their fourth album, The real work, there are evocative songs, diversions to vibrant noir territory, heavy jams approaching doom metal, addict garage rock, John Zorn Naked City jazz-punk and motor dance engravers. The whole thing is, of course, a part; Party Dozen stays within its solar system, but they explore all the planets. You may not notice that these songs are almost exclusively instrumental, with Tickle just occasionally shouting through her horn. The one song that regularly has microphone vocals, “Macca the Mutt,” has the signature howl of other Aussies Nick Cave which takes things into the territory of the birthday party. For a band known for their fiery live shows, The real work is a nuanced record that works great in your living room, but which you also want them to tour ASAP. It must also be said The real work is not just sax and drums – Boulet triggers many rehearsals with his set, which improves things considerably. Here, Party Dozen sounds like the work of, if not 12, at least six energetic musicians.

spiral staircase medley attack

Spiraltrapper – Medley attack !!! (Incredibly fat)
Pavement co-founder Scott Kannberg largely leaves the 90s behind on his warm, inviting sixth solo album

Pavement guitarist Scott Kannberg’s 2019 Spiral Stairs album, We want to be hyp-no-tized, was almost his last. “I did my last show in London in 2019, and I had this great show and thought to myself, ‘I really do not want to play again after this.’ This is great, this is a good way to stop. . » But then came an outburst of creativity, and he had another album of songs ready to use, maybe his solo swan song, but the universe kept throwing up roadblocks, moving back from the Yucatan to California to make it, just to hit by the pandemic, and as soon as he started recording, the longtime bassist and friend Matt Harris (also from Oranger) died, the world is now trying to get back to normal and so is Kanneberg, releasing his sixth solo album is still with us and Pavement has finally started his reunion tour.

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Medley attack !!! is a reference to Talking Heads – it was one of the rated titles for Stay in the light – and you can hear some of their influence on this album, especially on “Baron Please -> Medley Attack !!! [blitzkrieg]”which owes more than a little to” Crosseyed and Painless “in its funky danceability We want to be hyp-no-tized, Scott has left Pavement in the 90’s, and goes instead for a more singer-songwriter rock album, full of horns, bar stool poetry and great choruses. (However, he still loves Bunnymen, Roxy and The Fall, which shines through from time to time.) It’s the sound of music made by friends who like to play with each other – even though it’s all over the country on Zoom – and the album features Kelley Stoltz , No Age’s Randy Randall, late Matt Harris and Oranger drummer Jim Lindsay. These are hot songs with Kanneberg who examines the round path his life has taken in the last 30 years. To make yet another Talking Heads reference, the album could be titled “Where? How Did I Get Here?” but Kanneberg realizes that despite all the terrible obstacles, life can still be beautiful.

Mush – Down tool (Memphis Industries)
Third album from Leeds indie rockers softens, just a little, in all the right ways

If you wish the Spiral Stairs album was more Pavement-y, I can draw your attention to the third album from the Leeds group Mush. It’s more than a little slacker rock charm from the 90’s Down tool in Dan Hyndman’s guitars and their easy-going melodies. Not sloppy, just loose, in a comfortable way, with the pandemic / Brexit / apocalyptic fear in 2021 Lines edited after disappearing into a more relaxed, manageable sense of unrest. There are moments of chugging pop happiness (“Dense Traffic,” “Group of Death”) and noisy wigs / mathy noodling (“Get on Yer Soapbox,” the title track) and points in between (“Karoshi Kareoke” and “Northern Safari”) ). Dan Hyndman’s vocal style has also become softer and less adenoidal, resulting in a less nervous listening. He can sing!

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james righton – Jim I’m Still Here

James Righton – Jim, I’m still here (DEEWEE)
Former Klaxon frontman juggles household and pop dreams with the help of Soulwax and ABBA’s Benny Anderson

Every album released since 2021 is called a pandemic record. It’s hard not to listen to things through another lens, and songs that may have been written or even recorded before March 2020 are taking on new meaning. Then there is the album as former Klaxons’ frontman James Rightonhis new album which is almost exclusively about life during lockdown. Song titles include “Livestream Superstar”, “Pause” (as in “Press ‘Pause’ on my life”) and “Empty Rooms”. Stuck at home, like most of us, he retired to his basement studio after laying down his children. There he created songs based on a double life: dad upstairs, and secret pop star downstairs. (Remember you’re still a relatively cool dad upstairs: he’s married to Keira Knightley.) Another one-man band, Prince, was a big influence here, as was Bowie’s Berlin trilogy. (Som Bowies Low, [and Ty Segall’s last album] much of the instrumentation on this album has been put through the fetishized vintage Eventide harmonizers.) Stories of housework and performing to fans via Instagram Live are told via lush, smooth synth funk. Soulwax, who runs the record company James is on, mixed the album and gives it a lot of heights, while ABBA’s Benny Anderson * shows up to play synth on the airy ballad “Empty Rooms”. It’s far from the dayglo sci-fi fantasies of The Klaxons, but the household suits him, and Jim, I’m still here will sound good in your basement too.

* If you’re wondering how Righton scored a member of ABBA for his album, he’s the musical director of London’s ABBA Voyage concert experience, after being tasked with putting together the live band that plays at night with Agnetha’s virtual ABBA tar, Björn , Benny and Anni-Frid. That band includes Little Boots, btw. Wrong, right?

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