Friday’s Find: Ttotals – Spectrums of Light 7″

ttotals spectrums of light 7 twin lakes records 2013

Nashville outer-blues duo TTOTALS just released their first 7″ Spectrums of Light. It comes courtesy of the Twin Lakes Records label in Connecticut, acting as the follow up to the duo’s self-released EP Silver on Black from 2012. Continue reading “Friday’s Find: Ttotals – Spectrums of Light 7″”

Alex Bleeker & the Freaks 12″

My Rating: 8/10
Genre/ Tags: Blues, Folk, Psychedelic

By now, I feel like most people have come across and heard of the New Jersey band Real Estate. Their music evokes a hot, hazy summer day where you probably spent more of less of that day walking on the beach in the company of good friends, old and new alike. The band I have for you all today, in terms of band members, is practically the same exact thing as Real Estate. Alex Bleeker & the Freaks features three of the original Real Estate members, being Alex Bleeker, Matt Mondanile, and Martin Courtney IV. The fourth member of the band is no less known than the boys of Real Estate though. Although he is not in Real Estate, this talented young man is known more for his solo accomplishments before anything else, and that man is Julian Lynch. If you have yet to hear any of his solo material, please stop reading right now and follow this link HERE. This is the first track on the Underwater Peoples Summertime Showcase that came out this past summer, and what a perfect first track it is.

But as for Alex Bleeker & the Freaks, these guys all left their other musical outfits at the door for this project, and put forth their efforts into one place and worked together. The result was this still fairly new 12″ record that was put out by the Underwater Peoples out of Washington D.C., and the record is kind of like a thesis statement for a band who seems to have much, much more for us up their sleeve. If you haven’t heard any of the music yet, it tends to be folky at times and bluesy at other times, but they never forget to bring forward the psychedelic elements that’s present in most of the band members other projects (Real Estate, Ducktails, Julian Lynch). Songs like the opening tracks “Summer” and “Epilogue”, as well as “Spring Jam”, and even the short but ridiculously sweet “Dead On” all feature this eye-opening psychedelic feel that I think most people would have a hard time denying how sweet it really is. As the description on the Underwater Peoples blog reads, this release was built solely on the love and passion for music, and that is crystal clear when listening to the record. As the description reads, these boys have all “channeled their romantic energies into an electrified musical powerhouse”, and what an electrified musical powerhouse it is. Have I mentioned that I absolutely love electrified musical powerhouses? If you love them too, then you really need to check out this record. You can still buy it from the Underwater Peoples website, but you better do it sooner than later, because they only pressed 1,000 copies of the LP. I myself will also say that it is a “special privilege” and quite an honor to have let these tunes flow into my ears, and to hopefully bring this wonderful bands music to your ears as well. Please do yourself a favor and BUY THIS RECORD! Thx!

Alex Bleeker & the Freaks 12″: Tracklist
1.) Summer
2.) Epilogue
3.) Spring Jam
4.) Animal Tracks (Mountain Man cover)
5.) Prisoner of the Past
6.) Dead On
7.) Common Sense
8.) Part 2

AB & the Freaks 12″ – BUY!!!
AB & the Freaks on TheirSpace
A short list of songs to check out by the band on Pitchfork

The Strange Boys – And Girls Club

Hello, hello. Today I have an album for you that I wish I had known about much, much sooner. This album surely would have been included in my “Best of 2009” lists, but it’s a bit too late for that now, huh? This album is called “The Strange Boys and Girls Club”, and it was released by In The Red Records on March 3rd, 2009. Before initially listening to the record, I didn’t think it was going to be anything special, but I was sadly mistaken.

The Strange Boys, like many bands these days, come from Austin, Texas. Their roots can be traced back to 2001, when lead singer/guitarist Ryan Sambol and the now former drummer Matt Hammer used to be a punk rock duo back in 8th grade. More on that here. Since the 8th grade, the members have continued to concentrate on finding their very own sound, and this was most prominent on their 2007 EP, which is called “Nothing”. The EP contained just 4 short songs, and it was released on Dusty Medical Records. Unfortunately, this EP is no longer available, but hopefully they’ll press it again someday. The Strange Boys continued to work, self-releasing another EP in 2008 that they called “The Strange Boys Will Now Forever Be Known As the Martin Luther Kings EP”. It was a bit more difficult to find any information on this release, considering it was self-released by the band. Moving on to 2009, this would end up being the best year for the Strange Boys yet. Most importantly, they released their first full length album, which brought in some positive reviews from places like NME, Pitchfork, and the Austin Chronicle, amongst many others. While playing the album, many different genres might run through your head that you could tag The Strange Boys with, but once you pin one down, The Strange Boys are already making you change your mind. You might be thinking country music one second, and then all of a sudden you’ll be listening to striped down garage rock song with a bluesy guitar twist. One such song would be “This Girl Taught Me a Dance”, which appears on their full length album. Like this song here, every song has it’s twists and turns, and every song is just as good as the next. Some other album highlights would be “Heard You Wanna Beat Me Up”, with it’s insanely catchy first line “I’m in trouble with another man/I did something I shouldn’t”. I found myself singing this line all day yesterday. Singer Ryan Sambol continues in the song with “I didn’t do anything you wouldn’t”, which is 100% true. Listen to the song…you’ll know what he’s talking about! I could sit here and type all day, because each track is good in its own way. Seriously. Just download the album and find out for yourself. Thanks for reading, and enjoy!!!

The Strange Boys and Girls Club: Tracklist

1. “Woe is You and Me” – 2:13
2. “They’re Building the Death Camps” – 2:51
3. “Should Have Shot Paul” – 1:55
4. “MLKs” – 1:49
5. “This Girl Taught Me a Dance” – 3:06
6. “For Lack of a Better Face” – 3:15
7. “Heard You Wanna Beat Me Up” – 2:09
8. “No Way for a Slave to Behave” – 3:11
9. “Poem Party” – 1:53
10. “To Turn a Tune or Two” – 2:25
11. “Most Things” – 1:36
12. “A Man You’ve Never Known” – 2:00
13. “Then” – 2:11
14. “Who Needs Who More” – 2:18
15. “Probation Blues” – 2:14
16. “Death and All the Rest” – 2:39

The Strange Boys on Myspace.
And Girls Club: BUY

Top Drawer – Solid Oak

Top Drawer is without a doubt one of those bands that has been long forgotten about. If it wasn’t for this wonderful compilation record, I don’t know if I ever would have stumbled upon these guys. This obscure band hailed from the rural center of the United States, coming right out of Kentucky. There aren’t many facts to be said about the band, considering they were around back in 1969-1970 and they only have one album that I am aware of. Their one and only album, titled “Solid Oak”, was recorded back in 1969 at Fultz Recording Studio over in Kentucky, and if you have one of these original records in mint condition, it could sell for well over a hundred dollars. The album is constantly being sought out due to it’s rarity. According to the record sleeve of the compilation I mentioned above, the album was only repressed one time back in 1980 on Akarma Records from Italy, and has never been pressed since. On top of that, none of the band’s original members have ever surfaced to talk about the music, and it’s not looking like they’re about to show up anytime soon. This song was included on the compilation in hopes that the band members would take notice of the praise that their almost-perfect record “Solid Oak” has continually received over the years. Then perhaps the band members can give us their side of the story on what it was like to be twenty-something years old in the middle of America and release a psychedelic masterpiece, and then vanish back into normal life without a trace. Listen to the first track of their forgotten masterpiece right here on YouTube. This track is the main reason the album is so sought out, with its monumental guitar soloing and the constant loop of the keyboard, this song undeniably flirts with perfection. That’s enough from me, now it’s time to find out for yourself. Check out the amazing “Solid Oak” with the link below…and…oh yeah…

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL! I hope it’s the best one yet!

Solid Oak: Tracklist
1. Song of a Sinner
2. What Happened Before They Took the People Away
3. Middle Class America
4. Time Passes Much Too Quickly
5. Messed Up
6. Baker’s Boogie
7. What’s in Store
8. Sweet Memories
9. Lies

Solid Oak: BUY, good luck finding anything else. Try checking eBay.