Rocket 3 “Burn” (Self)

by on November 24, 2014

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Having grown-up in the `90s (if growing up is what you’d call whatever it is we did then) there’s something immediately familiar about Burn, the latest release from Portland power-trio Rocket 3. I’m not entirely convinced album-track “Good Enough” isn’t actually a one-hit-wonder from the era (in a good way); a time when perfect, compact little guitar gems seemed to flow-forth effortlessly from bands across the US and England. Appropriately, the music video for the song takes place in a roller rink.

Throughout the record the guitars are dry and slightly fuzzy, the rhythm-section recalls the post-punk simple precision of The Buzzcocks. The album is peppered with a few covers: a cutesy rendition of The Sex Pistols’ “Submission,” a definitively groove-oriented take on the Velvet Underground classic “All Tomorrow’s Parties,” and an almost carbon-copy remake of My Bloody Valentine’s noisy and iconic “Only Shallow.”

The songs “Never Again” and “Mountain Song” are a bit too by-the-numbers `90s (not in a good way.) But never fear, Rocket 3’s strengths are on display again with “Ride” and “Jealous Girl”: tight, slightly psychedelic rockers that recall the revival of the Paisley Underground sound popular in `90s-era UK.  In fact, there’s an English aloofness about Ramune Nagisetty’s singing voice: breathy, dreamy, alluring while charmingly disinterested; like the girl in the corner singing to herself, dancing in circles, unaware of the gathering crowd of listeners. – William Kennedy

 

 

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Exclusive Leak: Bad Kisser

by on November 23, 2014

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On a short whirlwind of an EP, Foie Gras side project, Bad Kisser takes listeners on a brief trip to an ethereal boudoir of sorts. Bate Kush caresses the ears in short flashes of smoky lace and sulky fog. Only a few of the eight tracks surpass the length of a fleeting thought, or waking dream, but the melancholic ache lingers on the skin like a hot cold well after the music fades. Bate Kush drops on bandcamp on Nov 27, in the meantime, stream the exclusive track: Judgement Day.

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University of Oregon student and artist, Daniel P Lopez creates various kinds of visual art. He recently pitched us the idea of a visual review, or work of art in response to Tv On The Radio’s “Seeds”. Intrigued, we agreed to indulge him and the resulting work is the breathtaking piece above.

For more art by Lopez, check out his Cargo Collective page, or for more Visual Reviews see below.

INITIATION from Daniel P. Lopez on Vimeo.

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Cloudkicker is a one-man Columbus, Ohio project consisting of Ben Sharp.  The guy has been putting out phenomenal, spacey, atmospheric instrumental metal since 2007 with absolutely no advertising, promotion, or playing any shows.  Everything of value with his project has been on the quality of his music and grass roots fans.  He writes, records, mixes, masters, and releases all albums himself.  He is on countless ‘Best-of-the-year’ lists, and after getting the chance to talk with him he turns out to also be an accomplished amateur pilot.  Because of course he is.

Earlier last year Mr. Sharp got together with the band Intronaut, who are themselves a juggernaut of jazzy, syncopated metal group of near-genius musicians, and Ben Sharp got these guys to be his fucking backing band.

I got a chance to see the tour in Portland, and rarely do you see a group of tighter and precise musicians.  Bands that have been together for years don’t hit this quality.  Metallica has been together for over 30 years and still can’t get through a song without Lars fucking up the tempo.  These dudes have been playing together for only goddamn weeks.

If you aren’t familiar with Cloudkicker’s discography, it is an absolute must for metal/rock/progressive/ambient/acoustic/groove/jazz/Meshuggah/pretty music fans.  And it’s all free from his bandcamp page.  Free.  

This particular album is a live recording of one of the shows of that tour although it doesn’t mention which venue or town, but that doesn’t really matter.  It’s difficult to believe that the quality was any different from venue to venue.  It is an eclectic mix of all his albums, one of those shows where you have a number of favorite songs from each album, and somehow this guy and his genius backing band plays each fucking one of them.

I really can’t stress how good this shit is.  It is a huge inspiration for ‘bedroom-musicians’, and really does show what can be done on your own with ingenuity, time, practice, and talent.  In what has become a sea of mediocrity in music, it’s wonderful to find original music that is solely the property of the author, and severely rare is it of this quality and beauty.  I don’t know enough adjectives to really describe it effectively, so I’ll end with a challenge; listen to “We’re goin’ in. We’re goin’ down.” off of his album ‘Beacons’ and try not to fall in love with this stuff. – Sam Blum

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