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Posts tagged ‘indie music’


Album Review: The Drums ‘Portamento’

Poppy 80’s bleeps followed up by a vocal resurgence of Morrissey’s dramatic tones, welcome to Portamento! The Brooklyn-based New Wave rejuvenators released their sophomore LP, and the result is gnarly.  The listening has been done and the hint of a second year slump is slam danced by The Drums.

Jonathan Pierce and Jacob Graham found each other after a brief hiatus in 2006 to form The Drums.  The electrophonic group Goat Explosion had ran its course. Pierce and Graham manned up other projects before reuniting the Post-punk vibe with The Drums.  Tubular reach and bright identity move by the group to continue to pull from influences such as The Smiths and Joy Division. A lot of people my age were too young for groups like this so we are all trying to absorb their catalogues as quickly as possible.  The Drums provide themselves as a seamless fit during this musical understanding.

Portamento is an awesome album in 2011 because the formula has not changed.  We all saw the polarizing rediscovery with MGMT’s Congratulations.  Casual fans hated it, dedicated fans were split, and hardcores…well remained hardcore to their vision.  If you were a fan of The Drums self-titled album, then there is no reason to battle this conflict.  The single, “Money” picks up where “Let’s Go Surfing” and “Me and the Moon” left off. Whether it is visiting the moon, riding a wave, or demanding to buy you something The Drums always have a very kind way of demanding your attention and expressing their fun.

The track “Please Don’t Leave” brings me closest to the Smiths comparison.

 Please Don’t Leave

Please Don’t Leave

Please Don’t Leave

Where Will I Go?

Where Will I Go?

Irking, bleak pleas for reconnection show doom as Pierce’s vocal chords pop, yearning for that lost one.  This formula helped build Smiths nation 30 years ago and assists with creating The Drums’ buzz. I hope that by avoiding the slump and staying true to their roots will allow The Drums to elevate to the next level in the indie hemisphere. Their close attention to their ancestors earns them this progression.

Written by Brett McGrath


Album Review: Little Tybee ‘Humorous to Bees’ & LaundroMatinee Session

Little Tybee’s Humorous to Bees dropped back in April via Brooklyn’s Paper Garden Records. I recently became acquainted with this label after they gave some love to our friends The Coasts who we featured in an August interview.

The soaring vocals from bookish lead singer Brock Scott serve as the centerpiece to a talented cast of musicians. He sounds like a silkier Trevor Garrod from Tea Leaf Green. The band, however sounds nothing like TLG.

Little Tybee varies in size from as few as five to as many as 10 members. Scott’s vocals and guitar playing are effortless but would likely prove too clean without the rich backdrop that the strings lay beneath them. The band recently stopped by Big Car Gallery to record a LaundroMatinee Session for MOKB.

Humorous to Bees is a heart warmer. I plan to spin this one during the long Indiana winter, when I am searching for some semblance of summer. The album has the feel of a long cruise with the windows down. The percussion, though subtle, mimics the rhythm of a train engine at times, driving the listener down the tracks. Scott’s lyrics dance along optimistically above it all.

I hope Little Tybee makes a return visit to Indy. Next time, it had better be for a full audience and not just a film crew. For now, this will have to do. See the entirety their LaundroMatinee session, HERE. Stream “Passion Seekers” and “Nero” below.

Written by Rob Peoni


Mountain Man: ‘Made the Harbor’ and Video Session

Sometimes you miss an album. An album that suits you so well, you wonder why friends haven’t beaten down your door, music in hand, forcing you to listen. Since starting this blog, my friends have developed a tendency to constantly test my knowledge of the latest bands, despite my willingness to admit wholeheartedly and unabashedly that I do not know everyone. Nor will I ever. The endless opportunity for discovery remains one of the most beautiful aspects of music, or any art form for that matter.

My ability to “keep up” with the latest and greatest, if anything, has been hindered by the launch of Thought on Tracks. Writing takes time. I fail to understand how Sean Moeller has time to accomplish even half of the work that drives his phenomenal music project Daytrotter. Thank you for your lack of sleep and dedication, sir. We are all indebted.

A 2010 release from Brooklyn’s Partisan Records recently slipped beneath my ocular radar. Mountain Man’s Made the Harbor. Holy shit, y’all. Don’t let the band’s name cause confusion. This trio is all woman. Three glorious voices weaving impeccably as they break new ground upon song structures that have a timeless, almost religious feel. Had the church choir sounded anything like Mountain Man, I may very well have entered the priesthood.

I missed Mountain Man’s July 23rd performance at Radio Radio. Out of town for a wedding, I hadn’t bothered to look into a group that I heard nothing about. Then a few days ago, LaundroMatinee released a couple of videos from a private recording at Big Car Gallery. Mountain Man’s songs hit like lead bricks, weighted with fresh takes on traditional American parlor music. They play like a more intimate Typhoon, a Portland band that has recently found my affection.

Download Made the Harbor. Spin it on vinyl. Steal it from your neighbor. Do what you must, but do not let this album pass you by. I already regret the few months that it escaped my ears. Also be sure to download Mountain Man’s stunning Daytrotter Session taped last October, available for free HERE.

Written by Rob Peoni