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Step Sisters Bring the Heavy

 With the garage rock resurgence in full swing, rock 'n' roll is returning to the days of packed, sweaty house shows, DIY releases and handmade band merch. And I couldn't be happier.

Nashville, particularly the east side, is a hot bed for lo-fi gold, and local psych punk 4-piece Step Sisters are my latest find.

Catchy enough to get stuck in your head and heavy enough to let you know they mean business, Step Sisters are doing grunge right. And their 4-song release, dropped earlier this year, is like smashing a lava lamp and pouring the contents directly into your brain. See for yourself and grab the EP here. -Caroline Bowman

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Free Download: Friends of Tricycle Records Compilation

It is finally here! Tricycle Records has released the 5th installment of their local music compilation entitled, Friends of Tricycle Records 5! We really like how TR extended their submission invitation to local artists who are not on their official roster, featuring great artists like Lemme Adams, Brasil, The New Up and Analog Dream.

Enjoy this free compilation. It is a celebration of local music and such a great contribution during a time where record labels are all about profit.

Track Listing

The Union Trade, In The Empire of Giants
NRVS LVRS, City Lights
n. Lannon, Another Love
Bobbi Rohs, That’s Bae
Halou, Lean Into The Gravity
The New Up, Future Is Now
Rich Girls, Total Control (Motels cover)
Lemme Adams, Hella
Everyone Is Dirty, Out Of The Blue (Roxy Music cover)
Kitten Grenade, Eighteen
El Terrible, We Know Your Name
Annie Girl and The Flight, Swans
Unconditional Arms, Fever Basin
Analog Dream, Lion’s Share
Garlands, Hallucination Healer
Brasil, Molly
Jordannah Elizabeth, A Prayer for Black America

Compiled by Julie Schuchard
Compilation Mastered by Christopher Reese Daddio at Donut Time Audio
Artwork by Adrian Landon Brooks
See more at: http://www.tricyclerecords.com/friends5/





Gloriously tense noise rock trio Spray Paint releases 2nd LP of 2015: "Dopers"

The world of music lovers is divided in two categories: those who love pretty songs, and those who seek aural insanity. For the latter, we recommend Spray Paint, an Austin based trio whose sole purpose seems to be creating the most relentlessly tense music conceivable - edgy stuff! The group is also very prolific, having released five LPs in total, two this year alone, the latter (entitled "Doper") while touring the US. Fully dedicated to the cause, that's how you find your audience.





I'm Here for the BOOs: Nashville's Halloween Playlist

Get tipsy off pumpkin beer? Check.
Watch Hocus Pocus and re-realize how awesome it is? Check.
Stress over the whole couples-costume thing? Check.
 

Create a totally badass Halloween playlist featuring some of my favorite local bands? CHECK.


Get in the spirit and give it a listen! -Caroline Bowman

 





Album review: Bloodbirds - MMXIII

(Photo by Todd Zimmer)
 
Twenty-year veterans of the LFK/KC underground music scene, Mike and Brooke Tuley have played with a number of bands familiar to local rock audiences. Best known for their time with Ad Astra Per Aspera, they established Bloodbirds in 2011 with the intent of cutting loose and shaking things up.
 
And they have. Dense, dark—equal parts Fun House (Stooges), Spacemen 3 and Black Angels—Bloodbirds’ newest release MMXIII may also be their swan song, given the departure of bassist Anna St. Louis for Chicago. In some ways, it is St. Louis whose playing defines the band. Forward in the mix, and by no means shy, St. Louis plays with punchy authority, reminding of some of the other great “lead” bass players like Jon Entwistle and Peter Hook. Brooke Tuley is a powerful drummer; her parts are simple, but dead-on. She locks perfectly with St. Louis.  Mike Tuley plays on top of their aggressive foundation, a canvas for his arsenal of shimmering hammer-ons (“Modern Sympathy”), punishing riffs (“Did You Say”), and sometime dulcet tones (the comparatively clean Blue Mask jangle of “Convalesce”). Depending on the song, his sound can be metal harrowing or as ropey, surf-psychedelic as the theme from Repo Man.
 
About those songs: they’re functional, gripping, emotional soundscapes, not necessarily bound by pop hook conventions. They hit you with the shape-shift intensity of vintage heavy rock like Blue Cheer or modern darkness merchants like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Which is to say the focus here is not necessarily on hum-ability. Even allowing for that, it would be nice if the vocals had a dash less delay density and a bit more clarity in the mix. Lyrics and vocals on MMXIII are more about mood than meaning (or mood as meaning), stray lyrics emerging from the driving murk to arrest your conscious mind here and again.
 
The tough thump of “No Trains Coming Through” totally belies the song’s title. With Roky’s manic intensity, the song “Did You Say” features the ominous, repeated line “Did you say you want the end to come right now?” And the music echoes the sentiment. “Round Moon’s” cascade of guitar features some of Tuley’s most expressive fretwork, summoning up the incantations of bands like the Icarus Line and the guitar howl of the Stooges’ Ron Asheton. For an album that emphasizes a certain heavy-osity, MMXIII manages to shift mood and tone effectively.
 
Brothers and sisters, the Bloodbirds can make a show-stopping addition to anybody’s Psych Fest. Live shows may be few and far between, given the departure of St. Louis, but they have reunited in support of MMXIII occasionally and the members remain close friends and open to the odd gig. Go catch them if you have the chance.
 
—Steve Wilson
 

 

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