7 Feisty New Singles

feisty New Singles 00

by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

Byron Hare

“Mary Efalump”

This garage rock number combines elements of blues and psych for a gritty sound that will stay with you long after you listen. “Mary Efalump” has the energy of a barroom brawl and a bit of a bad attitude – both of which serve to make the track just that much cooler. Don’t let the mellow intro lull you into thinking otherwise. This quintet out of Redditch (UK) recorded this single in a kitchen which so suits the raw power of “Mary Efalump”. Take the new single from Byron Hare for a spin below…

Beach Riot

“B.A.D.”

Well, hell yeah. Beach Riot doesn’t hold back on their new single, “B.A.D.” Right out the gate, the band starts hitting hard with its fuzzy alt-rock sound. Heavy guitars pair well with the restrained vocals. This London quartet sure knows how to pack a punch and apparently the aggression doesn’t stop with the rocknroll (see Twitter for proof). But you need the rowdy to make a Riot, right? Check out “B.A.D.” from Beach Riot below…

The Venomous Pinks

“Radar”

The feisty Tempe 4-piece known as The Venomous Pinks are gearing up to unleash a new EP through SquidHat Records out of Las Vegas. In prelude to that release, the Pinks offered up the single “Radar” – the closing track from the forthcoming EP, We Do It Better. These rowdy rockers have become a staple of the local punk scene so we’re always stoked to hear about a new album on the horizon. And this one looms ever-closer as that March 17th release date draws near. Head here to lock down that pre-order of We Do It Better from The Venomous Pinks. But, first, you can check out “Radar” below…

Ruby Bones

“Heart of Darkness”

I suppose I’ll listen to band that describes itself as, “Bruce Springsteen on cocaine after a few drags off a helium balloon.”  Their latest single, “Heart of Darkness”, certainly has a high energy charge, but my first thought wasn’t exactly Springsteen on cocaine. This NJ/Brooklyn band has all that raucous rocknroll energy mixed in with some of that NYsCene club-cool fuzz. Ruby Bones have a very modern indie rock sensibility that could easily carry the band to radio popularity. Check out “Heart of Darkness” by Ruby Bones below or head here for your own copy of the single so you can someday say you liked the band since that very first single (#streetcred).

Telempathy

“Dream Life”

If you miss those 90s grrrl rock singers like Juliana Hatfield or (early) Liz Phair, then you should definitely check out Telempathy. The singer-songwriter from Buffalo pairs brash guitars and lithe vocals for a spunky yet stripped-down sound. “Dream Life” is the second single from Telepathy’s debut release, Temple of Music, which is available through Soundcloud here. But, first, give “Dream Life” a listen below…

Iress

“Crown of Losers”

Few bands can nail brooding quite like Iress (formerly Iris). Chunky guitars and intentionally dispassionate vocals meet and merge on the band’s single, “Crown of Losers”, to create a melancholy atmosphere perfectly suited for all your inner angst. Formed near L.A. in 2010, Iress has been making their rounds on the city’s circuit and this year they’re planning on releasing their second EP. If you don’t yet know Iress, here’s your chance. Give “Crown of Losers” a spin below…

The Jesus Ponies

“Kar Krash”

The Jesus Ponies out of Tempe are gearing up for their debut release later this month and they released the single “Kar Krash” as a little taste of what’s to come. I must admit, the band has a pretty heavy sound for an album that’s titled Conditional Love Casino. The Jesus Ponies create an aggressive alt-rock that explores the borderlands near (without ever actually going full-on) metal. At least, not in this track. Give “Kar Krash” by The Jesus Ponies a listen below and then head here to secure that pre-order of the complete LP. The album will be available on translucent blue and black splattered vinyl, but only in limited quantities so get a’moving.

When In AZ: Round TWO!!

Photo by Kyla F. Borders

by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

Back in 2009, for those of you who don’t remember, a major moment in Arizona music history took place – the When in AZ compilation came to life. More than fifty Arizona acts covering favorite tracks from other Arizona musicians are featured on this one massive collection that has persisted in the hearts and minds of local listeners, elevating the compilation above that of mere ephemera to a lasting marker of both time and place.

I mean, on When in AZ. Volume 1, you have a Yellow Minute recording of “Dot Dot Dot” which was a What Laura Says song, Lonna Kelley covering Treasure Mammal’s “Everybody’s A Winner”, The Liars Handshake performing AJJ’s “Let’s Get Murdered”, Black Carl covering Kinch, Fatigo, Colorstore, Truckers on Speed, Back Ted N-Ted, Kirkwood Dellinger, Courtney Marie Andrews, Gospel Claws, Former Friends of Young Americans… Gah! I’d better stop before this gets weird. You just have to check out Volume 1 for yourself here.

But we’re not here to talk about what happened way back when. Phoenix musician Nick Kizer, the man-behind-the-movement who provided the organizational force to get this project off the ground all those years ago, is ready to do it all over again.

That’s right, folks. When in AZ. Volume 2 is getting underway this year.

The When in AZ project not only offers musicians the opportunity to pay tribute to their favorite locally-penned songs, but it’s also a way of introducing their sound to new audiences. And, the entire endeavor is a not-for-profit effort that donates proceeds from the project to local children’s charities. So it’s good music and for a good cause. That’s our favorite combo.

And now, it’s time for a disclaimer. We, at YabYum, are part of the organizing effort for When in AZ – the 2017 edition – not for any monetary gain but because we think this project is pretty rad. We covered the first compilation back in ’09 and we watched it live on as a memento of the artists that make the wondrously vivid and diverse music scene of Arizona.

Along with our senior editorial team (me’n Mark), Nick will be joined this time ’round by Sarah Ventre of KJZZ and Girls Rock Phoenix, music writer and cultural phenomena Mitchell Hillman, musician Erick Pineda of Citrus Clouds, and audio-engineer Jalipaz of Audioconfusion, who will be offering a special rate for artists looking to record a single at the studio for the compilation.

Now, you’re hopefully starting to wonder how to get involved with When in AZ, Round Two.

Well, if you live in Arizona, just record a cover of another Arizonan’s song: past or present. Keep in mind, you’ll need to ask that artist for permission. Then send it in (to wheninaz@gmail.com). That’s it. That’s the genius of Kizer’s project. It captures the NOW of Arizona music in a fresh way and without subjecting entries to a “review board” to select the “best” which usually just means a few people picking out their favorites. [ Disclaimer 2: We’re not pointing fingers. We, at YabYum, openly acknowledge picking favorites. It’s called being a critic.]

If your band (or you) record a cover and send it in, we’ll include it. Now, before any troll decides they can exploit that previous statement to an annoying personal end, we reserve the right to not let you muck it up for the rest of us. All joking aside though, When in AZ seeks to encapsulate music in this place, at this time, so we want to hear from all you splendid music-makers that share this desert state.

When in AZ mastermind Nick Kizer took some time to answer a few questions about the project to help give folks a better idea of where it came from and where it’s going.

when in az new 1YabYum: What first inspired you to start When In AZ?

Nick Kizer: In 2009, when I was a younger dude and more active in the music scene with my band, Babaluca, we would often “shoot the shit” with other musicians after gigs. We were always talking about how AZ talent would leave the state for LA or New York once reaching a certain level of popularity. The concept was intended to be a snap shot of the scene at the time, hence the title, “When in AZ”.

Please tell us a little about the first compilation? How many artists appeared on it? When was it released? Did other people help you pull it all together?

The compilation was open to any AZ musician who wanted to cover a song by another AZ musician or band. It was a novel idea and the largest Arizona-based music compilation at the time. There were 50+ artists that recorded songs for When in AZ. The 2009 release was followed up with a multi-venue showcase at local spots such as Trunk Space, Rhythm Room, Modified Arts and Hard Rock Cafe. All proceeds from sales of the compilation and the shows went to music based charities for children’s programs in need of instruments.

I received so much help from other musicians, venue owners, local audio engineers, and media. A big shout out to my friend Laci Lester who helped me put together the first comp.

It’s been seven years since you put out the compilation. What made you decide to take up the project again?

I have had so many friends and musicians ask me about it over the years. It feels like the right time to make it happen again and I think I have a good group of people working on it with me. It’s going to be epic.

Please tell us a little about the review process for submissions (or lack thereof) so artists looking to submit have an idea about what they should expect.

Similar to the first comp, I invite any Arizona-based musician to participate. In the first compilation we received a lot of rock and electronic submission. We are interested in expanding genres for this volume. No one who submitted last time was rejected. I think that made it very special.

So, what are the basic guidelines for artists looking to submit?

The main requirement is that they get permission from the artist they want to cover. That is pretty easy. From there they recorded the cover song by any means they have. We are working with Audioconfusion recording studio to make an affordable/quality option for artists that need help. We will also master the compilation once all the songs are received. The deadline to submit a song is August 1st.

You booked some pretty ambitious shows to celebrate the launch of the first compilation. Do you plan on hosting similar events for the reboot?

The shows are an important part of When in AZ. We will probably do something similar at multiple venues around town or maybe a festival this time around. Details are still being worked out. All I know is it is going to be fun.

Submissions are now open.

LINKS:

Facebook

Bandcamp

when in az vol 1

3 Garage Rock Ragers


by Joe Golfen
Staff Writer

The Darts

The Darts

Nicole Laurenne and Christina Nunez are garage rock machines. Having set Phoenix, and the rest of the world, on fire with their beloved The Love Me Nots, they’ve also graced stages as members of Motobunny, Casual Encounters, Zero Zero and more.

They latest venture into the retro world of rock and roll is The Darts, joined by Los Angeles musicians Rikki Styxx and Michelle Balderrama. While they are mining similar territory, The Darts are somehow even rowdier and raunchier than The Love Me Nots. Their self-titled debut is a finely tuned rock machine, from the caveman beat of “Running Through Your Lies” through raveups like “I Wanna Get You Off” and “Revolution.”

This is breakneck, snarling garage rock, like The Stooges if they rocked the hell out of a farfisa. The vocals are sexy and sharp as knives, and sound just about as dangerous.

As fun as the rockers are, some of my favorite moments on the record are when they slow things down a bit. Taking the tempo down lets the intriguing sense of menace sink in, like the thick-as-molasses chorus of “You Got Me,” or the spooky psychedelic sludge of closer “Kiss of Fire.” This music is so spooky they even grabbed a twitter endorsement from Stephen King.

The Darts prove that if you play it with enough grit and passion, garage rock is a timeless force to be reckoned with. Check out the record here, and catch The Darts with Weird Omen, March 7th at the Rebel Lounge.

Desert Beats

Desert Beats

Tucson’s Desert Beats hit all the garage rock pleasure centers: echo chamber vocals, reverb soaked guitars, surf beats, fuzzy organs.

But none of that would mean a thing if the songs weren’t there, so it’s a good thing that Desert Beats’ main man Randall Dempsey has songs for days. All those stylistic touches are in service of some great tunes, and Dempsey and his Desert Beats crew throw in enough curveballs to keep things interesting.

Lead track “Rumble” gets things off to a killer start, a distorted organ punctuated by drum rolls and a kinetic, Interpol-worthy guitar line. The guitar playing remains a highlight throughout the album, the playing fluid, complex and really fun. Dempsey starts his first vocals with a great hiccup, and fills the rest of the song with peaked-out shouts.

While the rest of album follows a similar style, the band switched things up with flourishes like the “do-do-do” vocals on “Nothing Without You” or the woozy synth line on “Receive The Dark.” And the great backing vocals and harmonies, especially on tracks like “Lost My Way” and “We Can’t Forget,” are a constant treat.

Dempsey breaks away from his standard style a few times towards the end of the record, including on the rockabilly-indebted “Humble Gun” or the closer “People Hurt,” which veers more towards stoner metal, like King Tuff doing “War Pigs.”

But classic garage is what the band does best, and “Wolfman is Here” is my personal favorite, with its propulsive bassline, police siren guitar, and chorus of yelping and howling. Perfection.

Check out the record here, and catch Desert Beats at their dual record release show with Strange Lot, March 4th at Valley Bar.

sunlaand

Goth Grrl

Though it was released in January, sunlaand’s new four song EP is a perfect summer album. Produced by drummer James Hoag, the record captures the haze that sets in on a really hot day, when all you can do is sit in the pool or inside with all the curtains closed.

Lead track “Pillz” starts things off with the kind of crunchy guitar that would make Johnny Ramone smile, while singer Sara Windom coos and smirks her way through lines like “And I popped pills on the bathroom floor/I drink and then I drink some more/but it’s cool though.”

Bassist Michael Chmura takes over vocal duties on the excellent “Death is Happy,” sounding as bratty and confused as early Wavves records while crooning “Nothing is clear to me anymore.”

A crunchy bass line kicks off “TV Dog,” a fun thrasher that is surely a house party favorite. The band closes the album with the best tune “Bummer Baby,” a breezy ode to troubled teenage love, with Windom totally nailing the chorus of “Tonight I’m gonna sneak you out/Don’t be a bummer baby.”

Disaffected, fun and strung-out, Goth Grrl sounds like the perfect soundtrack to a grainy skate video where they miss every trick. Which someone should totally make happen.

Check out the record here, and catch sunlaand at the Phantom Party Album Release show, March 4th at 51 West.

7 Stellar New Indie Singles

stellar new indie 00JW Ridley

“Everything (Deathless)”

This debut track from Londoner JW Ridley is quite the promising start for the art student turned bedroom popster. “Everything (Deathless)” wafts toward this listen with a pensive air as pleasantly placid vocals lead you through the Ridley’s ruminating lyrics. The single will be released through Speedy Wunderground on 7″ vinyl so head here to place your order. Keep in mind, the vinyl print is going to be limited to only 250 copies so you better get on it, but first, take “Everything (Deathless)” for a spin below…

Snowball II

“Anais & Me”

The Los Angeles act known as Snowball II is gearing up for the release of their third album, Flashes of Quincy. “Anais & Me”, the first single of the band’s LP, dropped in January and offers listeners a refreshingly warm vibe in the dead of winter. The song offers a throwback indie sound reminiscent of bands like Pavement with some shoegaze texturing smudged into the guitarwork that is far more buoyant than drone. All in all, I’m really loving this single. Check out “Anais & Me” below then head here to check out the complete LP.

Breakup Shoes

“Another Good Morning” 

This single comes to us from the 3-track release Tempe’s Breakup Shoes released in January. “Another Good Morning” is situated right between the opener, “Perfectly Pleasant”, and “Sábado”, the closer, but don’t think of this as the dreaded middle child. Not at all. “Another Good Morning” encapsulates Breakup Shoes dreamy, early morning vibe. Like gently waking up on the weekend in a room that is bright, but not too bright. Of the three songs contained on Tuba, the song titled “Another Good Morning” was my favorite, but the other two are not to be discounted. You can hear Tuba here or start with my fav below…

New Mystics

“Modern”

Wow. This track gets dark, but it does so with so much gusto you won’t even notice the room growing dimmer around you. “Modern” is the second single from New Mystics, an L.A. act with a refreshingly crisp indie sound. There are some retro-style psychedelic elements in this track but that makes the sound no less present tense. Beneath the vivid orchestrations, the listener will discover an ominous message lurking; one that hearkens the end of an era. Check out “Modern” by New Mystics below or head here for that sweet digi-download.

Beach for Tiger

“Black Buddha”

This new single from Beach for Tiger has an easygoing island feel infused into their indie psych sound. “Black Buddha” possess a dreamy air; the sort of dream you might find yourself in on a warm summer day that is part hallucination, part lucid daydream. This single just dropped last month, but the Brit band has a smattering of earlier tracks available through their Soundcloud page so, if you dig the new single, consider delving further into Beach for Tiger. But first, give “Black Buddha” a spin below…

Citrus Clouds

“Shapes and Things”

This single comes to us from Citrus Clouds’ LP, Imagination, which came out in November. The Phoenix 3-piece crafts shoegaze-y indie complete with richly textured guitars and drone-leaning vocal harmonies for a sound that is very present tense. Musing and melodic, “Shapes and Things” might just be my new favorite single from Citrus Clouds. Give it a listen for yourself below and then head here to check out Imagination in its entirety.

Carrie Lane

“If I Can’t Be With You”

Indie-pop princess-in-the-making Carrie Lane has a soulful desperation in her voice that almost excludes her from the “princess” category. But, then again, this single did debut with Forever 21. Whatever your position on the matter, you can’t deny the power of Lane’s voice. And this New Jersey songbird has a bit of that Amy Winehouse sulk that’s been missing from my life of late. Give “If I Can’t Be With You” a listen below or head here to add the single to your personal playlists.