Uh! Grunts and groans – it’s basically the least and at the same time the most I can say in reaction to hearing Male Bonding’s new primal, churning song, “The Itch.” The song succeeds in so many ways, and builds on what Male Bonding has been perfecting over the years. Male Bonding is at its best when, at first listen, you don’t catch the lyrics; you are dancing in your room to a Technicolor guitar solo. But as you slow down and inevitably are pressing repeat you start to listen and get a little bummed out.
The UK trio’s simultaneously sardonic and playful music is what first drew me to the group. The first single of theirs I heard was “Bones,” a song that’s piston-like drums and screeching guitar is almost enough to distract you from the sobering lyrical content that warns you against achieving your dreams. Their mature pop-punk sensibilities, along with Japandroids, pulled me out of a desolate, molding cave filled with old Blink 182 and Simple Plan CDs. The songs are catchy enough that they could be enormously successful—and as it stands now they are at the very least criminally underrated—but their approach is enough to make critics swoon.
At 16, most of us were wildly ambitious and in way over our heads, maybe some (or a lot) of us dreaming of being famous rock stars that got to tour the world. And this is Male Bonding at its finest, but Male Bonding is a famous, super rad rock group that gets to tour the world. So, when the chorus hits: “Things I have done, things I have seen/ Still miss that buzz from being sixteen” it gives you a little hope that maybe you’re doing something right after all.
With an “artist on the rise” attribution from NPR, a track debut on Rolling Stone, and a profile in USA Today, I was shocked that I hadn’t heard of this UK band until this week. You’d never know that they hail from the mother country–they take on that vintage California rock sound with a little bit of twang, some folk and soul, and real rock n’ roll. Their influences range from Jason Browne and Crosby, Stills & Nash to soul, regge, and jazz.
Their debut album The Mountain Moves comes out next Tuesday, June 25th and as a preview, they’ll be playing in LA at The Bootleg on Monday. And I have a pair of tickets to give away!
How to win 2 tickets to see Treetop Flyers on Monday 6/24 at The Bootleg in Los Angeles:
– Leave a comment below (you must be logged in to Facebook) and make sure to check the box to allow it to post to your Facebook.
– OR Like our Facebook Page and post a link to this page on your Facebook and tag @Addicted to Shows
– OR Follow us on Twitter and tweet a link to this page and tag @addictedtoshows
The minimal and downbeat electronic undulating mixed with lo-fi guitar and a Karen-O like female vocalist on this track “Wait” from London’s quickly ascending star Airhead (aka Rob McAndrews) is magical. It only takes a few seconds to find yourself completely enraptured. It’s stunning. Breathtaking. Awe-inspiring, rocking you involuntarily like a puppet to its beats.
If you hear the James Blake connection, it’s no accident. They went to school together and have always written and performed together. “He’s one of my closest friends and an incredible musician to work alongside,” says McAndrews.
Wait/South Congress was released as a ten-inch single on 3/19, their first release on R&S Records. Their debut album will follow later this year and I’m anxiously waiting.
Upbeat indie pop from London, Laurel Collective is groovy, noisy, and uber-cool. They signed with an offshoot of Domino Records, Double Six, in their infancy. A sensational introduction to the band with “They Hate Me,” I’m dying to see what these guys come up with on their upcoming debut via Tape Club/Believe.
Aside from working on their own music, they also do their part to foster the indie scene. Apparently they host a now-famous secret festival in a remotely-located forest (called In the Woods), which has featured the likes of Micachu and the Shapes, The Invisible, Pete and the Pirates, and Anna Calvi on the bill. They also hosted a regular night called ‘Hindenburg Mile-High Club’ for a short time in London.
Seems like I should have heard of these guys by now. Have you?
It’s no surprise that Manchester UK’s Butcher the Bar (aka Joel Nicholson) will soon be heading out on a European tour with Death Cab for Cutie. The indie pop folk instrumentation with a whispy tenor voice and strong clucking percussion is like Death Cab crossed with Kevin Devine on Prozac. What might surprise you is that Nicholson manages not to burst out laughing in this “gravity-defying” video, where he encounters all sorts of flying objects. He does crack a smile a few times though. And so will you at this fun video.
“Alpha Street West,” is taken from Nicholson’s newest Morr Music release, For Each A Future Tethered.
Brit guy/girl duo Big Deal’s debut album Lights Out was released on September 5th in the UK but likely won’t be around in the U.S. until some time next year. Until then, I’ll be scouring the interwebs for more tidbits from this band because it’s bound to be my new favorite.
Wow, I’ve been posting a lot of music videos recently! I’m a little late on this Summer Camp video (an late in blog terms is just about a week) but I snagged this from GorillavsBear.net. It’s a really lovely video for this track and band that I already love.
Slow Club’s debut album Yeah, So is one of my top five favorite albums of 2010. The follow-up Paradise had a lot to prove. This album isn’t claiming to bring you to a “state of bliss,” as the name might suggest, but conjures mixed feelings about themes of love, loss, heartbreak, and occasionally sex.
“I think we both wanted to move away from our obsessions on the first album, and look more at our families, and how the loss of someone you love can affect you,” says co-songwriter and guitarist Charles Watson, before adding: “but we do still end up coming back to love and heartbreak, we can’t help it.”
“So, death and shagging pretty much sum this album up,” says Rebecca Taylor, the duo’s other half. “Yeah,” agrees Charles sardonically, “cocks, fannies and death. That’s our thing.”