Sounds Of RVA Presents: On The Horizon, March 2014

by | Mar 25, 2014 | MUSIC

Spring is popping but winter just won’t let go. This does not, however, prevent many musicians in RVA from birthing some prime musical offspring in this season of new beginnings.

Spring is popping but winter just won’t let go. This does not, however, prevent many musicians in RVA from birthing some prime musical offspring in this season of new beginnings. Sadly, we just received the blow of Dave Brockie’s death, and that’s going to hurt for a while. But he’d want us to grab the bull by the horns and keep going, finding a new start in something so painful in passing.

photo by Greg Garner

Grass Panther is a new band featuring Michael Harl from Canary oh Canary. The band has released a teaser track called “Skinny Pants Hurt My Nuts,” a psychpop tune with a subject we can all relate to, even if our nuts are internal. With a Talking Heads pace and hypnotic guitar shredding, the track feeds some primal urges while being a nonstop rock block.

Catch Grass Panther on 4/1 @ The Camel with Canary oh Canary (RVA shoewave), King of Prussia (GA dreamwave….does the name reference Wilson from Phish lore?), and Chase Conrad (Swedish electro Americana, RIYL Coldplay). 7 pm, $5.

Thai Sun is a psych rock band reminiscent of The Doors, and they have released a pretty righteous live recording from their basement. Geek out to the trippy effects and get stoned on the sultry, lethargic blues guitar rock tucked with extra grunge appeal. You must check out “Gypsey Jam/Jesus Sold Me Mids.” The title is ridiculous in itself, but the rawkous rocking that springs forth from this twin spin of tunes might encourage you to take off all your unnecessary clothing, flock to the desert, and set fire to pretty much anything expendable. Recommended if you like The Dirty Picture Show, The Domino Effect, People’s Blues of Richmond, and more. I hope these guys schedule some shows, because I don’t know if RVA can handle it.

photo by The Cheats Movement, Ohbliv on right w/ The Honorable Sleaze

Everyone’s favorite smooth, funky beats man, Ohbliv, has released a loosie joint called “Unspoken Feelings.” This guy seriously hits a home run with everything he puts out, and this track is no exception. The heartbeat drums move right through you and the sampled soul singer irons everything out. Dirteesoulhop? Sounds about right.

Love Zombii, a progressive metal project by Kevin Moun, has released a track of experimental, operatic, and dark heavy rock. “Dear Friends” was written, performed, and produced by the same guy, so that’s extra impressive. Don’t press stop before it ends, because there’s a giant gap like a calm before the storm. Sorry, that sounded a little cheesy.

The Privies have dropped a new EP called Sloths/Slowdown Town, and it’s three songs of London-worthy punk riffage. Opening with “Save the Sloths, Save the World,” a play on the famous line from the show Heroes, the album is some controlled garage rock chaos.

A Shrewdness of Apes, a new melodic progressive post-rock trio, has released a new EP called Alpha EP. They combine the forces of acoustic and electric instruments for a unique crossover of Alice in Chains (multi-part dark vocal harmonies), System of a Down (Serj Tankian-timbred vocals by Ian Mabley, especially in “Summer Job”), Queens of the Stone Age, and Rush with a little Appalachia thrown in for good measure. The band earns extra points with naming themselves after the name for a gathering of apes.

photo by Sounds of RVA

Freaky J and the Bears have released a new album called Painterly Strokes*. The post-punk band known for antics during their live set is getting more comfortable with their sound. Check out “Pretty Faces Make Pretty Portraits” with just the right amount of dissonance and minor chords to keep the math-rock momentum shifts edgy. The guitarwork itself is “pretty” with clean melodies against the off-center vocals by Jordan Fust. Freaky J and the Bears just celebrated the album release at a show last weekend.

photo by EmJayRenee Photography

Last but not least, we present Noah-O and Taylor Whitelow‘s Monument Avenue, an epic hip hop album that deals with some real issues while sounding sweet in the process (and shouting out to their great hometown). These two dudes have been working hard on this release for about a year, and they’ve built the hype for such a massive, or “monumental,” record. They also included the talents of many guest musicians such as Erikka J, Sam Reed (Photosynthesizers), Nickelus F, Chance Fischer, and many more. The last track honors the late Kleph Dollaz with a finality that at the same time grieves and encourages to move forward.

By Sarah Moore Lindsey (

Marilyn Drew Necci

Marilyn Drew Necci

Former GayRVA editor-in-chief, RVA Magazine editor for print and web. Anxiety expert, proud trans woman, happily married.

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