2014 is our year. How difficult is it to not get inspired this time of year? I’d like to see some research some time that focuses on the month with the highest in composition. Let’s face it, January sorta blows, but musicians know how to make the most of it.
2014 is our year. How difficult is it to not get inspired this time of year? I’d like to see some research some time that focuses on the month with the highest in composition. Let’s face it, January sorta blows, but musicians know how to make the most of it. Everyone is in the studio! Studios with cats earn extra points for warmth. And there is still a ton of awesome shows happening every night of the week. What winter slowdown? I urge you to take this time to make something of your own. Transform your “someday” into today.
photo by Josh Sisk
2014 sees America getting a little greener. Who better to start off our list of new music from RVA than Cannabis Corpse? They are teaming up with Ghoul for a split entitled Splatterhash on Tankcrimes. Check out “The Inhalation Plague,” a dark death metal track festering and expanding in your lungs and earholes.
Listen to the rest of the split via Decibel Magazine.
DJ Harrison (aka Devonne Harris of Butcher Brown, etc) is already releasing new ushtffs (isn’t that the sound the radio makes when they bleep “shit” lately?) and it’s hard to even keep up. Lately we just checked out 4.Dollah.Feel.Good, released 1/20. I don’t think it’s possible to have better taste in music…the covers he chooses, samples he vibes, and influences he incorporates into his own sound are just on point. He creates all the sounds and produces everything from his home studio the Jellowstone House. D’Angelo (RVA rep!) doesn’t even have to be in the studio or performing to have great rhythm. DJ Harrison samples what sounds like an interview in “D’Angelo’s Dream Land” where D’Angelo waxes intellectual about the underpinnings of American rock and roll. “Saturdaze” might be the chillest beat ever, with a flickering of magic which happens to sound like my washing machine letting me know it’s finished. If he did not sample that, I’m going to!
Graphic Melee, aka Phillip Gilliam-Cuffee, has just put out Cosmic Process, a particularly nasty set of old school sounding tracks. “Swingin'” is reminiscent of TLC’s “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” bassline, and it takes the listener to some neat psychedelic, electronic places. Heavy bass and kick drum wreak a little havoc while Melee speedily spits some poetic flow. “Heart Attack” might just start your own with the lowest, illest scratchy digital bass-line while Melee slices right through like that guy in those Scream movies.
Diamond Hairbrush (feat. members of Southside Stranglers, Dry Spell, Unholy Thoughts, etc.) are some grunge punks that take a few cues from Screeching Weasel with more of a garage heaviness. They’re like Mean Jeans without as much blow. They just relinquished a 4-song EP called Demo-lightful, following up on last year’s Demo-licious and Demo-lition. It will probably be on repeat here for at least a week. You will gain a great appetite for punk rock robots from space by the time you get the last track, “4437238697309.” Jeez, how did they memorize those numbers?
Check out Diamond Hairbrush on 2/9 @ Strange Matter with NOBUNNY, The Hussy, The Nervous Ticks, and DJ Cocobuttons between sets. 10:00 pm, $10.
Rob Milton is back with another banger, Electric Feel, which blends psychedelic sounds, Cee-Lo-grade production (by Roman Lee Norfleet) and vocal harmonies, smooth neo-R&B, raucous beats, and so much more. Check out a D’Angelo-esque “Jump & Move [A Raze in Harlem Mix]” for beats like “Devil’s Pie.”
Slayton Dixon is a young emcee from RVA who got signed to MTV Artists and will release a new album on Valentine’s Day called Realms EP. Here is the latest track, “Parkedge,” which asks a chick to stay and check out Marilyn Monroe’s grave; move in with him as long as you’re cool with getting arrested in the “whip” for some haze.
Black Water Gold (formerly Black Brothers) has released an intimate, acoustic album of post-rock, Americana, and lo-fi pop. Familiar names like Marcus Tenney, Andrew Randazzo, Allen Bergendahl, and Parker Black all lent their respective talents to create this gem. Check out “Strange Estuary” for a grungy guitar atmosphere replete with shifting dynamics. Saxophone (Tenney) comes in toward the end of the tune and magnifies the impact times ten.
Gracious Ghosts, a pop trio, has gifted us a 5-song self-titled EP. Singer/songwriter Chris Hennessy worked on tunes with his brother, Kevin Hennessy, bassist Felix Falcon recorded and mixed, and drummer Joe Morris mixed and mastered the album. The roots rock tunes have a jam-friendly vibe, which makes sense considering Hennessy’s other project, Lost Dreads, has just released a new reggae EP as well.
Lost Dreads: Live Session
photo by Ashley Travis
Lastly, The Welcome Hips (members of The Kindling Kind) offer a lo-fi set of sunny tracks and hazy instrumentation. Grunge guitars and and pop melodies meld with punk vocals that sometimes sound a tad off but nonetheless heart-wrenching. Synthpop backbones allow the band to play around with vocal reverb and effects. But they don’t branch out too much, because the sound is minimal and there are only about one or two other accompanying instruments at a time. It is worth noting that one of the members’ names is Drew Carey–but it’s not the same guy.
Check out The Welcome Hips on 2/6 @ Emilio’s.
By Sarah Moore Lindsey (soundsofrva.org)