Loud Rock Charts: 10/2

School has officially started up again here at UCSC, and that means I’m  multi-tasking between classes, digging through the newest batch of Loud Rock sent to KZSC and trying to watch the NFL. Who would have thought the Arizona Cardinals would be 4-0 at this point? Here’s what should be in your ears during early October:

1 BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME The Parallax II: Future Sequence Metal Blade
2 CASPIAN Waking Season
4 GLAMOUR OF THE KILL Summoning eOne
5 JUDGEMENT DAY Polar Shift Minus Head


2 VISION OF DISORDER The Cursed Remain Cursed Candlelight
3 KATATONIA Dead End Kings Peaceville
4 AS I LAY DYING Awakened Metal Blade
5 CHARIOT One Wing eOne
6 GALLOWS Gallows Bridge 9
7 STOLEN BABIES Naught no comment
8 LAST VEGAS Bad Decisions FrostByte
9 I AM WAR Outlive You All Razor and Tie
10 HARM The Nine FrostByte



Merchandise Ride the Newest of Waves on “Children of Desire”

Tampa, Florida’s Merchandise don’t reinvent the wheel on this year’s Children of Desire. The wheel they’ve got is damn fine, though. Combining the synthetic beats of New Wave and krautrock with soaring guitars and vocals, they create something that feels both modern and familiar. Their songs make you feel nostalgic for memories you’ve never had. All this from a group of hardcore kids in the sunshine state.

The record opens with the brief “Thin Air”, a synth-filled ballad which creeps along, fading into the upbeat, song of the year-worthy “Time” (which you can listen to below). The lyrics cover classic themes of loneliness and getting older. “Time, you’ve bested me again/I keep trying but I can’t win/Tell me father where you’ve been/I’m alone but used to it,” vocalist Carson Cox croons over an infectious drum machine beat, while a mountaintop guitar riff swoops around the beat (in this metaphor, the guitar riff is a bird). Despite its repetitive structure, the song never wears out its welcome. In fact, its all-too-brief five minutes leaves you wanting more, and that more is brought by the following 11-minute opus “Become What You Are”. The first half of the song chugs along in a similar manner to “Time” – all big guitars and sparkling synths – but cuts out halfway through into a solitary guitar riff, which is followed by a fast-paced jam, complete with whooping synth noises and some big Kraftwerk vibes. It seems at this point, much like Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock before them, Merchandise can’t slow down, ramping up the speed yet again on the fourth track, aptly-titled “In Nightmare Room”. The melodies are darker and the beat more industrial, oozing reverb and skittering hi-hat. This frantic moment comes to a sudden close with the following track, a piano ballad titled, “Satellite”. Cox plays a sparse set of chords, joined slowly by (most likely synthetic) strings and horns, as well as echoing backing vocals. The record culminates in the eleven-minute slow jam “Roser Park”. A midtempo journey through mind of a man wearing a technicolor windbreaker, it sounds a bit like a Prince record slowed to a third of the speed and recorded underwater. It closes off the record in fitting fashion, a triumphant excursion into the 1980s of the future. It’s an incredible record from a band that keeps getting better.

You can get the album from Katorga Works (They have it up as a FREE DOWNLOAD, so no excuses) and you can listen to standout track “Time” below:

Putrifiers II

Review: Thee Oh Sees – Putrifiers II

In recent years the San Francisco Bay Area has produced some of the finest garage rock acts around. With such acts as Ty Segall, The Fresh and Onlys, Shannon and the Clams, and Wax Idols calling the area home, the Bay Area has no shortage of acts to choose from. Leading the charge is San Francisco’s Thee Oh Sees, whose new album Putrifiers II is one of the best of the year.

Since their first release in 2004 Thee Oh Sees have been one of the most prolific bands in rock having put out fourteen full lengths, eight EPs, and ten singles in addition to being one of today’s hottest live bands. Fronted by singer/guitarist John Dwyer, Thee Oh Sees unique brand of frantic, grooving, psychedelic garage rock has reached new levels on Putrifiers II. Fans of older albums such as The Master’s Bedroom is Worth Spending a Night In, Help, and Carrion Crawler/The Dream will dig this record’s faster tracks such as the opener “Wax Face” and “Flood’s New Light.” Dwyer an company (including Santa Cruz loke Brigid Dawson) decided to try some new things out on this release with slower, trippier tunes such as “So Nice.” Other standout songs are the title track as well as the bouncing, cheery “Will We Be Scared.”  Really the whole album is killer so you should just check them all out.


Loud Rock Charts: 9/25

TesseracT, known for being very finicky with their vocalists, have finally found their newest singer, Ashe O’Hara, who will hopefully be a more permanent addition than their last two. You can hear a snippet their newest song “Nocturne”, which showcases some of O’Hara’s talent. Here’s to a hopefully long and bright future for Ashe O’Hara and the rest of TesseracT!

2 AMITY AFFLICTION Chasing Ghosts Roadrunner
3 BAD POWERS Bad Powers The End
4 RE-MACHINED Tribute To Deep Purple’s Machine Head Eagle Rock
5 ENGEL Blood Of Saints FrostByte

1 KATATONIA Dead End Kings Peaceville
2 VISION OF DISORDER The Cursed Remain Cursed Candlelight
3 AS I LAY DYING Awakened Metal Blade
4 THY WILL BE DONE Temple [EP] Self-Released
5 CHARIOT One Wing eOne
6 FACELESS Autotheism Sumerian
7 JUDAS PRIEST Screaming For Vengeance Legacy
8 ENCRUST From Birth To Soil Density
9 LAST VEGAS Bad Decisions FrostByte
10 I AM WAR Outlive You All Razor and Tie



birp 2

New Music

Birp has released their new September 2012 playlist! The playlist’s music genre ranges from Indie rock to various other genres and features the work of bands like Sun Airway, Wild Nothing, and Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti. Newer remixes by Teen Daze, Beat Connection, and Nicolas Jaar are also featured within the September playlist. Birp is a music site that features playlists and reviews, similarly to Pitchfork. The music site also features interviews with artists like Trevor powers of Youth Lagoon about his last album, the Year of Hibernation. For More Indie Rock music here at the Great 88 KZSC, listen to Joe’s Garage (Monday from 8:30-10:30 PM),The Kids Are Not That Revolting (Wednesday from 12:00PM–3:00PM), or Indie Babies (Thursday from 2:00-4:00 PM).

Got Twink?

Like it or not, we are well into the age of digitally enhanced music.  There is no escape & resistance is futile.  Our only defense is to sort through the truly awful with great speed & alacrity.  But every now & then, you come across a little gem of digital virtuosity.  Such is the case with, “The Broken Record” (21 musical novelties), by Twink, the toy piano band!  Actually, Twink is the brainchild of Mike Langlie.  “The Broken Record” CD is hundreds of fragments of sound taken from hundreds of vintage children’s records all mixed together with new sound elements from Mr. Langlie.  The result will delight any child’s natural sense of fun while keeping an adult ear curious with its complexity, density & overlap of sound.  True, listening to this album is akin to drinking a highly caffeinated beverage, but I say, hats off to Twink, for using digital techniques to create a sonic work of art that puts a smile on your face.