by Carly Schorman
The Breakup Society
Before the Intervention Ruined Everything
Crisp pop rock and clever songwriting gives shape to The Breakup Society sound and, on their much anticipated new album, you get both in spades. “All The Integrity Money Can Buy” begins the album on a bit of a downtrodden note before the chorus drives to the heart of the matter. There’s a breezy feel to the rocknroll of this band that can be heard from the first song on, and it sits in comfortable contrast to the weight of the lyrics. This song shows some of that wry humor this band is known for (see “Don’t Let The Hipsters Catch You Crying”). “Her Alpha Male” is a fun ditty for every music nerd ever passed over for some some meathead jock while “The Liar In Me” slows things down to get a little more introspective. I would swear “Workaholics in Love” was written for me’n my fella, but songwriter Ed Masley did not interview me for this piece. The next track, “My Little Cautionary Tale,” turns up the pop bounce with some Meet the Beatles! style before the title track pulls the heartstrings with surprising force. “Slow Day at the Outrage Factory” was an early, early sampling from this album so this jangly garage pop jam is already an old favorite here at YY. The keys on this particular number add a retro vibe that I dig. “I’m Gonna Build a Better Me” and “Strength Was Always Your Weakness” (the closing track) were also early singles from the album and they offer a solid sampling from Before the Intervention Ruined Everything, but some of my favorites from this release are the previously unreleased jewels. For example, “Yesterday I Stopped Losing My Mind” and “” are early favorites from the album. The latter for its —- and the former for my own personal reasons. But that’s the thing about good songwriting, it strikes personal chords for people.
The latest release from Phoenix’s Sunn Trio, Electric Esoterica, offers just what its title suggests: experimental, electric guitar driven music not made for regular radio listeners. Guitars, thick with reverb, create a hazy, narcotic-feeling atmosphere as the album kicks off with “Alhiruiyn,” which translates to “heroin” from Arabic. The incorporation of Middle Eastern influences along with interweaving of jazz, rock, psych and other influences gives the album a sound like it could replace the soundtrack to Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive. The percussions move to the forefront on “Majoun” before “Kunz-Pnjua” moves us back to that somnolent space of hypnotic sounds. The energy only picks up from there into a frenzied sort of ordered disorder. There are moments that allow your pulse to slow (see “Taqsim for Atargatis”), but it’s only a matter of time before the dervishes begin their whirling once again. Electric Esoterica takes you on a sonic journey from tantra to Assyrian moon goddesses to demons of chaos. Basically, this album has everything you want from rocknroll: sex, drugs, mysticism, and demonic energy. All you true fans of rocknroll, the esoteric listeners, should spend some time with Electric Esoterica by Sunn Trio.
Tucson’s Golden BooTs is gearing up for the release of their new 5-track EP later this month by making it available online for streaming RIGHT NOW. Yep, you can delve into all five songs before you commit to the pre-order purchase of your own cassette (or CD) copy. And, with songs like these, why would you worry about fans getting too much of a good thing online and skipping out on owning their very own collectible cassette? You wouldn’t. Cowboy Kiosk sets just the right attitude for the approaching summer: casual, carefree, and (dare I say) cheery. “Party USA 666,” which kicks off the EP, feels more like a backyard gathering of friends than a kegger of epic proportions like the name suggestions, and I couldn’t be more grateful. The second track, “Secret Love,” has an early rocknroll vibe with some psychedelic swirls. “ALPHA” splits the EP with a 7+ minute hallucinatory experience of experimental sound, before we return to that buoyant desert alt-rock sound on “Then Them”. “Concrete Plain” offers an extended instrumental outro of soothing alt-country sounds. I suggest listening to it while imaging yourself wandering the empty streets of our (temporarily) abandoned towns. It might help you think about what sort of future you want once we can emerge from our homes. According to the band, Cowboy Kiosk “was intended to be pressed as a three song 7″ for a May 2020 tour of Germany and France. THEN COVID-19 came and no more tour.” While that might suck for Germany, France, and the band, Golden BooTs fans everywhere else now get to enjoy the extended Cowboy Kiosk on cassette. And, hopefully, they show their appreciation by offering enough support to help the band launch their next European tour once the world finds its post-pandemic stride. Get your pre-order in for either the cassette copy or CD version or Cowboy Kiosk by Golden BooTs while you still can.