Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My First Days On Junk

We really should make an effort to check our email inbox a bit more closely, or at least loosen the filter in my brain as to what constitutes PR firm megamail. I received a message the other day from a friend of MML who just so happens to run the lovely music blog Powerpopulist, regarding a band we remembered (if only by name) receiving information on and unfortunately overlooking. What we mistakenly thought was another one of "those" emails around a month ago, now turns out to be something of a must listen for those of you who share our footwear-fixation when exploring new music. My First Days On Junk is a five piece rock outfit consisting of primary musician Steven Hazen Williams (guitars, bass, percussion, vocals), along with Colin Clary (vocals), Jason Routhier (drums), Jedidiah Mayer (drums) and Brooke Dooley (vocals) from Burlington, Vermont. They've been around since 2003 and now have a brand new, sophomore release through State Capital Records, titled No Order. If you are already listening to the featured track right now, it might be easy to understand our thought of any given late 1980s/early 1990s haughty traditionalist having an impossible time looking down the nose at this music. In the same breath, this new offering seems to present the perfect introduction for unfamiliar listeners to this particular genre of music. The swirling guitars that caught our initial attention are complimented by an equally effective series of low-key songs which are threaded warmly into No Order. For more raised eyebrows and perked ears, a visit to the My First Days On Junk MySpace page as well as the MFDOJ website is recommended. Have a listen..

MP3: Try Hard

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Legends

If you frequent the MML blog and just so happen to keep up to date with Swedish label Labrador Records, today's featured artist will be no surprise to you. Not because of any similarity in a sound that could easily be mistaken as having a nouveau-shoegaze influence, or even that the band hails from a country of choice for plenty of our content. Instead, it might be obvious (for those who have skipped ahead to listen while reading) that the combination of heavy noise and beautiful pop would be an instant favorite for us. There might not be any other way to describe the manipulated feedback involved in this track, other than something of a semi-functioning hairdryer accompanied by a coin-operated car wash vacuum cleaner, but if you can think of something fun we would be more than interested to hear it. The Legends are a nine piece from Stockholm, Sweden fronted by multi-instrumentalist Johan Angergård who started the band in 2003. Today's featured listen will end up being a single that is set for a release date of November 5, through Labrador, and we highly suggest a listen. This is beautiful noise that leaves us rather smitten. Enjoy.

MP3: Seconds Away

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


As concerned as we are about the world economy and the ridiculous political stunt that was leveled upon our country today, by a supposed war hero no less?... uggg, we have decided to turn away and wish for a happy place we can share. Imagine yourself at an outdoor summer festival, cold beer(s) in hand, sitting on a lush lawn with eyes closed enjoying the music... now that's more like it!! Fest is an aptly titled song that was recorded, in various forms, for an EP and LP last year and the 8+ minutes of this instrumental track provides us with a much needed warm fuzzy feeling. BlindPlace is a four-piece consisting of Hiroshi Sanse (vocals, guitar), Koji Tsuruno (percussion), Syun Katsumi (bass guitar) and Haruhiko Sagawa (guitars) from Tokyo, Japan. There are a pair of additional songs to download on the BlindPlace website as well as some more information if you visit the BlindPlace MySpace page and/or the Pure Volume profile... This song is quite nice and the perfect distraction from our deteriorating daily news.

MP3: Fest

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Beijing Tangs

The Beijing Tangs have a name that might bring to mind a lost gang from the classic 1979 film The Wanderers or even a give the impression they are a slick-ass media-cultivated rockabilly outfit from NYC, but we can assure you they are neither. Bandmates Mike Parkin and Nick Olsen (sharing vocal/guitar/bass duties) started out as a recording project and have since added Mario on percussion earlier this year to complete a full trio plenty of you will be more than pleased with. The influences involved are decidedly shoegaze-era, however, an undeniable sound that falls somewhere between later favorites Ride and Swervedriver is what struck our collective fancy after a few listens. You can find more music upon visiting this Scottsdale, Arizona band at The Beijing Tangs MySpace page and there will hopefully be a website, at some point, to coincide with the full length release they mention is in the works. There is also the amazing possibility of of a split EP with previously featured lovelies Skylight and, to be honest, both of our heads would probably explode if that one arrived in the post. Let's have a listen... shall we?

MP3: Faster Than The Dream
MP3: Empty

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Girl Loves Distortion: Debut Release

So we open the mailbox that barely hangs from the side of our house late last week and, after sorting through various coupons and credit bills, a package containing the CD we have been waiting for had finally arrived. With the brand new debut release, titled Earth Beings On Exhibit, from Washington, DC trio Girl Loves Distortion now in hand, a decision was made to do the unthinkable. Review this music in the car?? Oh yes, our trusty mobile sound unit (Mazda 3) was put to good use as our otherwise mundane series of daily tasks were fulfilled and the outcome was more than we ever could have expected. No, this is not a bad episode of Top Gear, but after starting up the car to the amazing lead track we featured back in February, a quick stop to the local fuel station revealed a JSBX-threaded gem in Luminance, while our extended drive to northern Kentucky in search of cheap cigarettes offered even more of the music we can now easily recommend. From the scorching guitars that introduce Earth Beings On Exhibit, with the track Transition + Resistance, to the ramped-down conclusion of Upstart, GLD maintains a tension that serves to remind us of the possibility they could become unglued at any given moment. This is a beautiful thing the hierarchy of new(er) Washington DC bands have seemingly forgotten... so a listen to the previously featured song is a mandatory refresher course.

MP3: Transition + Resistance

Earth Beings On Exhibit was just released on new label Etxe Records (Etxe MySpace) and is currently available through fabled DC label Dischord Records. You can find more of the music at the Girl Loves Distortion MySpace page as well as some insight into the dislocated honesty we have come to love at the Girl Loves Distortion website. Since the band was generous enough to give us an opportunity to post another track, we bring you a steady, driving slug fest plucked from somewhere in the middle of this gem of a debut. Enjoy!

MP3: Psychic Raygun

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Summer Jets

It's hard to believe it actually happened, but those hurricane winds that originated in the Gulf of Mexico made their way up to southwestern Ohio on Sunday, at category one strength, ripping apart trees and houses while leaving a half million people in our area alone without power or internet service. We are grateful, however, to report that the new house was untouched and our internet service is back up to full speed in order to bring you a great band this evening. Summer Jets are the Bedfordshire, UK duo of Mark Mills (guitar, bass, keyboard, tech geek) and Suzy Mills (lovely vocals, bass, tech geek) who have been members of various bands since the late 1980s. If some of you MML regulars have taken the high road and skipped past my endless blathering to listen, the sound will be satisfying and distinct. 50 Reasons is the most recent track from the band, and it might have admirers of traditional wall-of-sound shoegaze raising more than an eyebrow as all out Lush fans will probably need to be removed from the ceiling of any given room in which they happen to be listening. Oh, it's that good. There is currently no website for the band, so you will need to visit the Summer Jets MySpace page for more music/video as well as their Silver Sound MySpace page where you can find an impressive listing of gear Mark and Suzy have commandeered over the years... check the blog section for sure.

MP3: 50 Reasons

Interesting Note: The last live or, at least public, performance took place just a couple of weeks ago in the kitchen of Andy Clegg (yes that Andy Clegg) formerly of The Chameleons (Chameleons MySpace) and The Sun And The Moon. I must admit that I was completely unaware of these bands before this post but Michelle assures me they were both well in circulation during her early 1990s tenure at Reading, UK record shop The Sound Machine. (Well yeah, they'd been around for a decade or so at that point! - M.) Anyway... Andy ended up providing accompaniment in the form of a children's drum set and we can only hope someone videotaped the event. We love Summer Jets.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Vox Von Braun

As we've mentioned many times in the past, Subroutine Records (Subroutine MySpace) is a Netherlands based label that we keep in touch with on a regular basis and there seems to be no shortage of outstanding new music emanating from their lineup. This time around, we have the chance to offer up a band we originally featured as part of our first Milk Mixer almost one year ago. Vox Von Braun is the impressive, fuzz-tastic collective of Wymer Vaatstra (vocals, guitar), Ben Wennekers (guitar, organ), Maike Doornebosch (bass, backing vocals) and Janwillem van der Veen (drums) from Groningen, Netherlands. The band has a brand new, debut, full length release, titled Something Ain't Wrong, and we can easily suggest a proper first listen. Here you go...

From the 2008 full length debut Something Ain't Wrong:
MP3: When Did You Become So Popular

One of the things we love about Vox Von Braun is the playful approach they take in recognizing their varied and semi-retro influences while maintaining a unique, strong sound that stands more than well enough on its own. For additional new music, you can visit the Vox Von Braun MySpace page and also check out the Vox Von Braun website. A very cool event will take place later this month in nearby Tilburg as the band takes stage on September 20 at the ZXZW Independent Culture Festival. As an extra bonus, the following is a live video for the track Julia... oh yes, we love this band.

Monday, September 08, 2008


Another week at the day-job/office has begun for the both of us, and refreshed or content is probably the last way I would describe one of these type of days. Often times I think the music we find, or that finds us, is one of the bright spots that help us maintain a semi-reasonable level of sanity... and today's featured artist is just what we needed. Haruki is the experimental music project of a multi-instrumentalist named Boris from Ghent, Belgium. His impressive repertoire of shared musical endeavors with a number of international contributors, along with plenty of additional tracks from new and previous releases can be found on the Haruki MySpace page. From what information we were generously given, the evolution from purely electronic music to more of an acoustic sound (including banjo, accordion, mandolin and guitar) was a gradual and purposeful one. We highly recommend the following tracks and look forward to a more expanded review of upcoming music.

MP3: I Had It All Planned Out

MP3: In The Garden

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Skylight: New Demo!

Around six months ago [March 18, 2008], we featured the swirling shoegaze-threaded music of Chicago, Illinois based outfit Skylight. As mentioned in our previous review, the band has been an on and off project of Perry and Brent since 1990 with the most recent core addition of Kim and her lovely vocals in 2007. Earlier this week, we received a heads up and access to some of the brand new demo material that will eventually belong to a yet-to-be-named debut release that will become available late 2008/early 2009. After listening, we had a difficult time cherry picking for a favorite since all of the tracks were amazingly solid, even if not completely polished, so we decided to post the first one we wrapped our ears around. To be honest, If there were ever any questions as to what exactly we look for where featured music is concerned, this new demo should provide an easy answer. As it turns out, the song we chose to feature was first recorded in 1990 and you can listen to that original version on the Skylight MySpace page. Now we need to get to business with the new music for you:

MP3: As You Leave (demo 2008)

As if that were not enough, Perry & Co. also provided us with an additional track from back in the day.

*Bonus MP3: She Got Lost (1990)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

MML Update: Phillip Eno

If you are a regular visitor to MML and enjoy the darker side of experimental pop, today's offering might serve as another reason to explore and/or follow some of the featured musicians a bit more closely. Our original review of New York City based outfit Phillip Eno took place earlier this year in April and there are now two brand new releases to report. Blueprint is an impressive collection of new songs, while Maybe Tomorrow gives an acoustic look back at some of the band's previous material. Both new albums are freely available for download on the Phillip Eno website and you can also visit the Phillip Eno MySpace page to meet a few like-minded friends. Before I forget, the next live show will take place September 18 at local NYC venue Lit Lounge. Have a few listens?

From the 2008 release Blueprint:
MP3: Try As I Might (highly recommended!)
MP3: Your Name

From the 2008 acoustic release Maybe Tomorrow:
MP3: Dumplings

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Kai Reiner

Our most recent (unannounced) mini-vacation turned out to be an enjoyable week with family in from overseas and some quality time spent mostly away from computers, but it really is good to be back with music we could wait no longer to feature. While away, I had the chance to take in a fair amount of lo-fi/swirling noise rock from the inbox which ended up being an instantly favorable series of spins and so, with that being said, it may seem strange that we decided to return with a crisp guitar-based indie pop artist instead of our original plan to come out of our corner pelting you with an array of distortion pedals... ohh, but just you have a listen. Kai Reiner is a musician based in Hamburg, Germany who kindly sent us a copy of his brand new self-titled release. After listening to several rotations, we will not attempt to paint this as anything close to complicated or avant-garde in any way, shape or form. Instead, what we found was a solid catch-driven collection of well crafted songs we can highly recommend from start to finish. For more music and information on purchasing this summer 2008 release, check out the Kai Reiner website as well as the compulsory Kai Reiner MySpace page. Hopefully you are already listening... enjoy.

MP3: Cold Summer