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Indie Rock





Singled Out: "Love Bomb" by Phranque

“Love Bomb” is a title utilized by musical artists ranging from N*E*R*D to Nick Cave (with Grinderman) from British-reality-show-girl-group Girls Aloud to Korean-reality-show-girl-group Fromis_9 which isn’t really that surprising because the phrase itself lends itself to a wide range of interpretations whether it’s used to say something like “I’m gonna bomb you with my love bomb, baby” which sounds like a Zep-era Robert Plant lyric if there were a few more baby’s added at the end, but then it could also be used in a song about bombing with an attempted romantic connection, or about how obsessive love can be a destructive force, or about how amorous feelings can fall from the sky seemingly without warning.

Or (stick with me here!) a “love bomb” could refer to how love has been weaponized by the capitalist-imperialist elite to subjugate and indoctrinate "the sheeple" who are compelled to pair off into nuclear family units (kinda like nuclear bomb fallout shelters!) thus helping to mitigate the threat of a collective uprising against the ruling class while also acting as the driving force behind capitalist structures of exploitation and continuous economic expansion (because if you’re truly in love you’re gonna rush out and buy that new washer-dryer set on sale at Best Buy!) but hey it’s just a theory.

But it’s a theory I feel like Phranque may be on board with (not to be confused with lesbian folk singer Phranc!) on his/her/their/its newest single called (wait for it…) “Love Bomb” which contains lyrics like “the greatest love ever known / re-wire the brain and forfeit the soul” and “turn the toxic swan song upside down / carve your favorite amputee / blast away the world we see / liquid metal heart / from your love bomb” and look I didn’t say all the lyrics make perfect sense but you get the gist of what Phranque’s maybe trying to say.

Lest you miss the subtleties in the lyrics, the music of “Love Bomb” gets across a similar subtext of capitalistic false consciousness with its shiny musical surfaces (the propulsive garage-rock riffage) acting as a sweet candy-coating for the darker stuff underneath like the spooky-sounding organ (perfect for Halloween!) and the doomy chord progression (the bridge section in particular!) not to mention the lyrics.

So just imagine if ZZ Top had suddenly gone goth in the ‘80s right in the middle of their MTV-friendly Eliminator phase and you’re in the ballpark at least. But even more than ZZ Top the band “Love Bomb” reminds me of most of all is Blue Öyster Cult because if you took out “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” from that one scene in the original Halloween (1978) where it’s playing on the car radio as Jamie Lee Curtis and that other chick are driving around and smoking weed before the latter gets turned into chopped liver by Michael Myers and replaced it with the Phranque song under discussion I think it’d work pretty well.

And come to think of it some of their other songs remind me a bit of Blue Öyster Cult too because much like Long Island’s finest AOR rockers—BÖC are best known to the youth of today as an SNL punchline but back in the day they were cool enough to hang with Patti Smith—Phranque are not afraid to inject dark vibes and synthy textures into their sturdy rock tunes (check out “Mick & Keith Forever” off his/their last full-length 13 (La Cosa Nostra), or “Sea Winds” off Butcher the Scapegoat and peep those Blue Öystery vocal harmonies while you’re at it—nor afraid to inject some serious weirdness into the mix because Phranque’s albums are full of trippy instrumental interludes and other left-field touches. And hey maybe someday they’ll cover BÖC’s ”Joan Crawford” (1981) because that’s some crazy-ass shiz too but let’s just hope Phranque never becomes the butt of any cowbell-related future memes (stick to the maracas fellas!) featuring Christopher Walken. (Jason Lee)





Lala Lala "Utopia Planet"

Lala Lala has released the latest single, "Utopia Planet", from their brand new album, I Want The Door To Open, which is out today via Hardly Art.

The video is a 3D animation from Meggie van Zwieten and fits beautifully with the lyrics and sounds of the new single.

You can catch Lala Lala tonight, October 8th, at Thalia Hall with Divino Niño and Kara Jackson. They will be touring the country and Europe all winter.

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The Footlight District "War Paint"

The Footlight District have released a new single called "War Paint". This is the first new music from the group of siblings since the release of their 2019 album, Fairytales for the Dark Age.

You can catch The Footlight District at Carol's Pub on October 31st with Fluorescents and Black Bolts.

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Work Party “Real Charmer”

Work Party recently released the latest single, "Real Charmer", from their brand new album, My Best Days Are Behind Me, which was released on October 1st via Triple Eye Industries.

The video for the single finds the band caught up in an extremely messy and sloppy food fight.

You can help Work Party celebrate the new record on October 7th at Reed's Local with These Beasts and Salvation.

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VIDEO: Dinner | ‘Connection’

photo credit: Anders Rhedin

 

 

Dinner, the project from Danish multi-instrumentalist Anders Rhedin, premieres the Annabel Van Royen-directed music video for “Connection,” (featuring vocals from Molly Burch) the second single from Dinner’s new album Dream Work, due for release October 22nd on Captured Tracks

The track opens with an organic-sounding, lightly-phased synth pad that evokes hazy rays of morning sun breaking through an overcast sky, before arpeggiated guitar, drum and bass enter to support it. Rhedin’s baritone voice is not the most flashy instrument, but it carries an authentic vibe, as if your good friend or someone at an open mic were singing sincerely and intimately to you. The chorus, where Rhedin is joined by both a heavily-vibratoed lead guitar and the subtly ethereal backing vocals of Burch, is a pleasing, satisfying climax with a vibe halfway between 60s “groovy” and 2020s sheen. Rhedin walks a fine line here but the warm, three-dimensional production and the unfussy arrangement meld seamlessly.

The music video, meanwhile, goes for even more understated. Shot in a single location—a gently smoke-filled midcentury modern building in a sun-lit wood, a young woman in contemporary clothing alternately paces, plays with herself as if she’s a puppet, and flashes smiles for short moments before reverting to an expressionless visage. Regarding the video, director van Royen explains: "The video is a portrait of a young person expressing themselves with their body in the space and through connection with the viewer." Adds Rhedin: "I had many long talks with Annabel, the director. I thought I was going to be very involved with this video. But in the end, I just had to let go, and trust Annabel’s ideas and her vision. Let her creativity take over. I’m very glad that I did. To me the video is about a liminal state between reality and something else." Gabe Hernandez


 

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