Welcome to the May 2018 edition of the Monthly Roundup. The deal here is to give a shout out to all of those submissions that became victims of time in our inbox over the past 30-ish days. This month was loaded with some dirty (and downright pretty) gems that we simply did not have the time to cover, but they still deserve attention from your little ears. See below for a list, with some purposely brief and succinct summaries of what you will encounter while listening. Keep it thorough and listen to as many as you can – it’ll be good for you! Promise!
CHRIS REIMER: Mr. Reimer was the driving force behind the now-defunct Canadian band WOMEN. As you may or may not already know, Reimer passed away unexpectedly in his sleep from a heart condition on February 21st, 2012. He suddenly left behind family, friends and his band(s), but also a large catalog of unreleased music and personal recordings that never saw the light of day – until now. Produced by The Chris Reimer Legacy Fund Society, Hello People is a 2xLP absolutely loaded with personal content created by Reimer, spanning from uplifting guitar ambiance, dazed guitar-pedal drones, acoustic melodies and experimental noise. As far as I know, the last Women song to see the light of day was “Bullfight.” With the type of ambiance heard in that track, it’s no surprise what you’re going to encounter while listening through Hello People (and the particular track we chose to stream below), which becomes a profound experience in its own right. You should not wait to pick up this album.
WARM SWORDS: Demostruction is the project of lo-fi mastermind Caelan O’Flaherty. He was originally born in New Zealand, but then moved to France, followed by Belgium, and now currently resides in Leipzig, Germany. It is here that O’Flaherty met the right support to round out the live edition of Warm Swords – the end result being a tour in Europe throughout May with his new personnel. La Pochette Surprise Records (in conjunction with Hotsjumenas in Belgium) brought Demostruction to life in the form of a cassette tape, which is crammed with these mutated garage-punk/post-punk monstrosities. They’re hazy yet energetic and explosive, showing off an angular approach to songwriting. There is 8 tracks in all, made up with muddy bass and squealing guitars.
DONNY LOVE: Donny Love is a band from the Gold Coast in Australia. Sensation is the title for their brand new debut; an album that sounds like it was a long time in the making. Sensation is brimming with 10 tracks of light and airy “motel bop,” built cleanly with stringy guitars, floaty keyboards and a soulful edge. Their songs are gentle, smooth and carefree at times, but driving and notably more aggressive in other moments. “Never Coming Back,” the track we chose to stream for you below, is absolutely one of the punchiest numbers Sensation has to offer.
HALF HUMAN: Slated for release on June 8th, Specious Arts will drop the debut LP from Brooklyn, NY trio Half Human. The 12″ vinyl, Positive Image, brings the band’s frenetic post-punk attack to life, with this track “Harbinger” being an excellent showcase for what’s in store. Warbled electronic textures, nerve-wracking vocals, and expertly placed slices of guitar urgency drive the propulsive song forward, delivering an assault on all of the senses that will leave you itching for more. June 8th isn’t far off and luckily their Bandcamp features two other sci-fi flavored tracks you can preview until then.
MEANT TO BEND: San Fran power-trio Meant to Bend has plans to drop their first EP Minimum Frowny later this summer. Their lead off single “Light for One” takes on this big, stadium-esque sound with a driving hook to start, sending things into sinister territory with soaring layers of haunted house-noise. It’s followed by nasty guitar work halfway through, which suddenly changes gears into a more poised approach as they come down the stretch. It’s a great track on its own, loaded with a handful of exhilarating change-ups and flip-flops you may not see coming. Needless to say, it’ll leave you wondering what else the trio has up their sleeves for Minimum Frowny.
THE WIDEST SMILING FACES: Milk Garden is a momentum changer if we’re solely focusing on this roundup post. Aviv Cohn is the mind behind The Widest Smiling Faces. Already Dead Tapes recently added Milk Garden to their already enormous catalog of music, ripe with 15 tracks of sometimes hazy, sometimes glistening, always pensive guitar/ambient pop (if we can call it that) that really hits home when you’re in those quiet, meditative moments. Throughout May in Philadelphia, there was a heavy handful of long and dreary rain-drenched days – Milk Garden was possibly the best soundtrack we could have discovered through those times.
THE LICE: The best bit of information we have on the Lice is that they hail from Long Beach, California. “No Facebook/ No Instagram/ No Hope,” their Bandcamp description reads, posted along with two weird little CD-R releases (that you can purchase, nonetheless). Each one contains but a few minutes of their strangely satisfying lo-fi noise pop, coming with odd titles “Muzzled in Fuzz” and “He’s the Chair.” “Runout Runt” hit a particular mark, with its peacefully glowing synths paired with a juxtaposed buzzing backdrop.