Thought I would go ahead and formally close this one out to provide some closure for you. You, of course, meaning Dave.
I stopped doing these new release posts because I realized, at no point in this brief project, did I actually enjoy it. Finding the music was a chore, writing the posts was a chore, and, most importantly, I really didn’t go back to any of the music for any regular listening.
So … different project …
This stupid weekly release project is SO MUCH easier when there is something to look forward to. This week I’m going to speak very briefly about Painted from Narrows and Fountains Left to Wake by Stonerider.
My affinity for the late, great Botch is no secret. I am on record that this is the funniest video in the world. Botch broke up in 2002. Singer Dave Verellen did an alt-country thing called Roy with his brother Ben (of Harkonen) for a while, which was great despite not being what anyone would have ever expected from either of the Verellen Brothers.
Narrows came together in 2008 with Dave Verellen and members of These Arms Are Snakes, Unbroken, and Some Girls. I heard their first record, New Distances, a little over a year ago and I remember thinking, “Yep, that sounds like the guy from Botch singing for a different band. Pass the beer nuts.” This time around, when I heard Narrows had a new album coming out, I clicked on the link to the streaming single and the experience was much different. When Verellen’s vocals came in, I experienced a comfortable familiarity I wasn’t expecting. I guess what I wasn’t expecting was to be comforted by something this abrasive, but here we are. This isn’t for everyone, but I like it. Here are the two songs from Painted widely available for free streaming:
I hadn’t heard of this next band until today. Atlanta photography celebrity, Blake Tyers, mentioned Stonerider to me with a link to their bandcamp page in an IM about I don’t remember what. Stonerider is also from here in Atlanta and their sound is something I haven’t heard from around here since Chris and Rich Robinson were all pretty little thing let me light your candle, whenever that was, 71 years ago. Stonerider’s album Fountains Left To Wake sounds decidedly Southern but with a little 1970s Rolling Stones mixed in. Note: Musical comparisons are dumb and I am bad at them. You are better off listening for yourself.
The first tune on the record, “When I Was Young,” was the catchiest to me after one listen, so here it is:
As I noted late last year, I was way late to come across the The Menzingers. They released an album in 2010 called Chamberlain Waits that I found to be extremely enjoyable. Well, lucky for me to have discovered them so late, because they’re already back with a new record. This one is called On The Impossible Past. You can stream the whole thing over at Punknews.org. Below is a link to a song called “The Obituaries.” The good part starts at about 1:43.
Another notable release this week is from the other band from Nebraska: Cursive. I mean, Cursive and 311 are the only bands that have ever come from Nebraska, right? I’m pretty sure I got that question right at trivia once. Oh wait, isn’t Connor Oberst from Nebraska? So, anyway, a third of the bands in Nebraska released a record this week, and that record is called I Am Gemini.
I haven’t listened to Cursive since The Ugly Organ. I’m streaming I Am Gemini for the first time at Rolling Stone as I type this and I am consistently vacillating between “Wow, that is really pretentious and dumb,” and “Actually, that is pretty solid.” This track, “Warmer Warmer”, falls under the latter:
And just for posterity, here is “Red Handed Slight of Hand”, in case you need a reminder of how good Cursive can be.
This week is about one release: The self-titled debut LP from Classics of Love. Classics of love are important because their singer is Jesse Michaels. Jesse Michaels is important because he was the singer for a band from Berkeley, CA called Operation Ivy. Operation Ivy is important because, according to some, the modern world as we know it would not exist had it not been for them. I am inclined to agree with that sentiment, actually.
I remember the first time I heard Op Ivy. My high school marching band was traveling to Dallas to march in the 1991 Cotton Bowl parade. I asked my friend Bill to make me a tape for the trip. Really I just wanted a copy of the Pixies’ Doolitle, but that left a lot of extra space on my 90-minute, TDK cassette, so Bill filled it up with some extras, including Op Ivy’s Hectic EP.
I distinctly remember flipping the cassette over to side B and hearing “Junkies Runnin’ Dry” for the first time. It was one of those moments where the world got a lot bigger and a lot smaller at the same time. Follow that up with “Here We Go Again” and “Yellin’ In My Ear” and I was pretty much toast.
Junkies Runnin’ Dry:
There were a lot of things about Op Ivy’s sound that can easily be described as iconic, and, even though Michaels’ voice by itself didn’t really break any new ground, hearing his voice on new material is an INSTANT audio field trip back to 1991 and a bus ride from Atlanta to Dallas that took one hundred thousand hours.
Here’s the official video for “Castle in the Sky”:
You can stream the whole album here.
I will have you know I listened to 16 new releases this week. I won’t go so far as to say they were all terrible–Crusades, Tall Ships, and A Place To Bury Strangers all showed promise–but, as with the past few weeks, it’s been thin out there. There was, however, one highlight: Dr. Dog.
Dr. Dog – Be The Void
Dr. Dog has been around for about a decade. They’ve played Bonaroo and Coachella and Letterman, so I guess they’re huge. I’ve heard them several times, and every time I hear them, I’m like dammit man, you need to remember to listen to more Dr. Dog. Wikipedia bills them as “psychedelic rock” and I can see that. I don’t own any of their albums, and I couldn’t tell you jack shit about them aside from the fact that I’ve enjoyed them when I’ve heard them. They released a new record called Be The Void on 2/7. Here is the video for “That Old Black Hole”: