SUPERPOST :: 7-inch City pt. I

I am not the mayor of 7-inch City. I'm not even from there. But I've been having quite the extended stay, a nice little vacation if you will, and I've been selfish to not really invite you, you humble Tome readers, into this, the city of these little miniature albums with only but a couple of songs on them each. Ok, really what I just wrote was dumb and I've been amassing these things and having a hard time figuring out a good way to efficiently review them. You know the best way? SUPERPOST. Here's 21-inches of wax that have come in the ol' mailbox over the past few weeks that have caught my ears and I think will probably catch yours as well. Enjoy, and check back for more soon!

Crawf

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The Garment District

"Nature - Nurture"  [Sonic  Boom  Remix]  b / w  "Miraculous  Metal"  /  "Vigor"
La  Station  Radar,  2012 )

For all intents and purposes, this was my first real introduction to the Garment District's Jennifer Baron, a Pittsburgh-based musician also known for work with a band called The Ladybug Transistor, which unfortunately I'm not terribly familiar with. I had heard a previous tape release (well, just the digital version) on Night-Peoples under the Garment District banner which was all well and good... but this, despite being a heck of a lot shorter, just has a more meat to it. These are still psycedelic pop tunes to put it simply, but here the band broaches the darker fringes of psychedelia while sculpting out deeper arrangements to give the music a much more substantial presence. Between heavenly buoyant verses that sway as rolling waves on a pensive sea, an emerald hue glows between the cracks, pulsing up with the plodding rhythm of electronic drums, etc. There is some mystic mystery hiding beneath these synth melodies and simple harmonic progressions, but it's not necessarily fantasy-based or science fiction, or... well, maybe it's a combination of a lot of things. I hear witches, robots, fauns, fairies, and aliens alike all bobbing their heads along at equal measure, everyone gather'd 'round ye olde turntable for a cup of hot chocolate and a quick enchantment from the sultry, silvery voice of singer Lucy Blehar. Be among them.

p.s. You read the title right, by the way... and you know you're doing something right if Sonic Boom's remixing your shit. If that happened to me, I'd lose my shit.

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Razor Blazers

"I'm Sick"  B / W  "Linear  Rerun"

Self-released,  2012 )

Pretty cool, basic indie rock on this 7-inch from an Asbury Park band who has a total of six Facebook likes as of their joining the monstrosity back in 2009. They definitely deserve a whole lot more than that — although yes, I did say this is "basic," I kind of meant that in a good way: This is basically a really good band. Nice and tight, firm arrangements and the mix is drenched in etherealism via a healthy dose of reverb. Unfortunately, even though side B has a really nice build-up to an ultimate crumbling breakdown, the before & afters on this disc remain a little one dimensional. Nice singing from a female vocalist who nails all of the melodies, you've also got a prowling Interpol-style guitar and big booming bass drum pushing these tunes along. But they should be driving. I like the song writing itself, suitably dark and crawly, I just think the performance could dig these haunts a little deeper into the back of the brain. Regardless, it's a good disc, printed on blue vinyl and packaged in one of 500 unique sleeves designed by one of 50 different artists who contributed to this project, all of the proceeds of which go to "an elementary school in the Peruvian Andes which offers children from economically challenged backgrounds an affirming and holistic education." (via Bandcamp). Good band, good disc, good cause. Triple-win, dig?

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Ttotals

Spectrums  of  Light

Twin  Lakes,  2013 )

No matter how many times I hear or read something like "we live in a genre-less time," Ttotals is there to slap me in the face with this "Outer Blues" thing. Feed it to me, shove it down my throat, and tell you what: I slurp up every bit of it, because it's good and healthy and it just feels right. The Nashville duo keep doing what they do best here only better on their brand new 7-inch, which looks WAY better in real life than the crummy Bandcamp image rendering does it justice. Gorgeously screen printed in an irridescent rainbow of color, this has to be one of the better 7-inch designs I've come across, maybe ever. Aside from that, the music is brilliant and badass, the two channeling vintage Spaceman 3 into a brooding blues form, bruised and battered, beaten up, but tough as nails almost begging for abuse. Brian Miles' voice is deep and soul-devouring, like Elvis beckoning evil spirits into your dreams to steal whatever pretty thoughts you thought you had left. Then it's Marty Linville and his stand-up trapkit, blasting the skins for explosive choruses. 

These dudes are down in Austin this weekend for Psychfest, by the way. If you live there and you're not there, you're dead, or I just don't like you.

April 24th, 2013