I was profoundly confused when I first listened to Founding Fathers. Here is a band that lists, among their 'influences' such groups as Ween, Beck, Wilco -- and to which other reviewers had compared to Talking Heads. My first impression of Founding Fathers was of a band that makes booty-shaking, bone-deep funk that just doesn't wash off. The first track on their latest CD, a song called "Stop Drop and Roll," is magnificent good-time party music to be sure but -- Ween? Wilco? I wasn't getting it.
I have not had the opportunity to see the band live yet so... maybe I am missing something.
For those unfamiliar with the band Gazer, it may be best to describe them in their own words: "post-punk with the intensity of hardcore [and] inconsiderate blasts of noise."
Last October, when I started listening to Gazer's Phone Commercial EP, they quickly became one of my favorite local punk bands. The sound on Phone Commercial is reminiscent of the industrial Midwestern post-punk of the 90's like Big Black and Brainiac - but Gazer has managed to take that sound, intensify it, and make it significant to the 21st century.
With this review, my intention is to get you to take a few steps through the looking glass into a Hellraiser-like universe where pain is beauty, ugliness is music and noise is pleasure. Looming ominously in a filthy back-alley somewhere in this universe is the band Public Housing.
I am overjoyed by the fact that I am now starting to review some local bands' next releases - meaning that I have a better frame of reference to speak to an artists' music by being able to compare it to what they put out (and which I reviewed) last time around. This is no way implies that I feel that I have started to exhaust the roster of local musicians that are creating and putting out music. On the contrary, I think this reinforces the perception that the local music scene is a quite vibrant and very active animal.
My first 'comparative' review came this spring when I received an advance copy of Buffalo Killer's Heavy Reverie. In late June I got my hands on the soon-to-be-released 12" of new music from Gazer (the review for which will be coming in early August); and most recently I was able to score local electronic artist ADM's latest album Another Dying Motive.
Heavy Hinges has been described as "a sublime ruckus… a beautiful collision of rock, soul, gospel, and western." In truth, what Heavy Hinges is is a well-balanced assemblage of rock, pop, country and traditional music with roots that run quite deep into the music of gospel choirs, chain gangs and saloons. They have a reputation around town of putting on very powerful live performances and have established themselves as one of Cincinnati's must-see bands.
The group has just emerged from the studio with their debut album Mean Old City. Recorded by Matt Hueneman at Newport's Audiogrotto and mastered by Ashley Shepherd*, Mean Old City is the band's attempt to bottle some of that on-stage lightning.