Heartbreaking Bravery

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Tag: preview

The Trucks – Space Famous (Demo Review)

Between The Trucks’ Space Famous demo, the PRIVILEGE demo, EP’s from Miserable Friend, Green Kid, and teasers of the upcoming cassette releases for Black Thumb and Technicolor Teeth, Wisconsin’s had a reasonably insane past few weeks. While all of those titles are worth a listen or two, the first one’s going to be the one discussed today. There’s only so much room and so much time to provide coverage for a release influx as formidable as this slate’s been, so even if there’s a release that picks up a central focus, listening’s encouraged for every listed title. Now, with that out of the way, on to The Trucks and Space Famous.

Having started only a short while ago with a scrappy one-song demo to their name, the Appleton-based band had started playing out more consistently prior to the release of Space Famous, wisely finding their niche comfort zone before committing to recording. With a sound that falls somewhere between Superchunk and Archers of Loaf, there’s always a tough balancing act to overcome; how to sound impassioned about being relatively passionless. The Trucks are well on their way to finding that precise point and Space Famous indicates pretty strongly that they’re looking to perfect it.

With this being a demo, the band’s sound, already considerably thick, is made even thicker through the lo-fi production. It’s something that’s immediately evidenced on the title track, when one of the first noises blasting out is a guitar tone that sounds suspiciously like a brass section. What follows is a quick-witted and hard-charging powerpop song that carries a noticeable amount of 90’s indie punk influence. In that regard, the lyrics (courtesy of lead personality Jake Royer) frequently and appropriately recall those of Robert Pollard during Guided by Voices first classic lineup run.

Following the promising opener is “So She Says”, Space Famous’ longest track, which allows more space to provide emphasis on the talents of the members surrounding Royer; Danzo Clavers, Luke Crowe, and Ryley Crowe. This spread-emphasis continues to an even greater extent on closing track “Heartbreak Motel”. Throughout both tracks, there’s a palpable almost acerbic energy that’s anchored and held in check by the power drumming of Ryley Crowe (who also drums on the releases from Miserable Friend and PRIVILEGE mentioned above, likely on the upcoming Black Thumb cassette as well).

By the time “Heartbreak Motel” wraps up Space Famous in an inspired burst of cross-vocal performances, it’s clear that The Trucks are doing more than a few things right- chiefly, resurrecting the 90’s slacker punk sub-genre in a way that feels honest instead of forced. There are traces of early-era Weezer and their kin throughout that promise this band’s got a lot of interesting things to offer musically, many of which may very well be hidden up their sleeves. If they’re all as consistently great as Space Famous then there’s a very good reason to keep both eyes on them. During the wait to find out, relax, find some junk food, turn the volume up, keep an eye out for their upcoming shows (they’re absolutely on the mark live) and take a trip through Space Famous below.

Cloud Nothings Preview New Record in Brooklyn

“This is the best song they’ve ever written. This song right here? So fucking good.” That quote comes from an anonymous concertgoer right before Cloud Nothings kick into “I’m Not Part of Me” capping off an 8-song run of entirely new songs at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn. From the (admittedly muffled) sounds of “I’m Not Part of Me”, whoever said that just might be onto something. The song is one of the band’s most dynamic and melodic, as scorching as anything on Attack On Memory while blending in a sense of new-found freedom that elevates it into wide-lens majesty. While the four songs from Attack On Memory that follow it sound as extraordinary as ever, the seven songs that precede “I’m Not Part of Me” sit comfortably alongside the final stretch.

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this yet-to-be-named record is the fact that it seems to comfortably marry their newer darker tendencies with the undeniable pop sensibilities of frontman Dylan Baldi’s earlier Cloud Nothings work back when it was a solo venture. Both sides of the band seem to have been maximized to make a deeper impact- and it works. Everything on display here feels like a band that’s coming into their own, finding unparalleled success in the pursuit of evolving their voice. This is absolute must-listen material across the board. When the record finally does arrive, there’s little to no doubt that it’ll make a strong, bruising case for year-end honors. Consequence of Sound is hosting the exclusive Soundcloud stream of the set, which can be accessed here.

UPDATE: The stream has unfortunately been taken down for the foreseeable future. Apologies for any raised hopes. Salute anyone that’s holding out for the string of miracles that would be necessary to bring the stream back. Join them in their impassioned rain dances, just for the hell of it. Who knows, could end up doing the trick. In any case, those raised hopes previously mentioned? Absolutely warranted. Expect a monster of a record. This won’t be the last post about this record in this space. Guaranteed.

Sunn O))) & Ulver Preview Upcoming Collaborative LP

Eternal Return(excerpt) cover art

This pairing is likely enough to bring a wealth of new music blogs like this one into existence. It’s the reason several more exist in the first place. When two critically acclaimed behemoths like SUNN O))) & Ulver team up for a record, the prospect of that record is not to be taken lightly. Both bands have maintained their status as two of the most interesting on the planet since their founding in 1992 (Ulver) and 1998 (Sunn), respectively.

Earlier this week they unveiled a three minute preview from Terrestrials and made it available on a bandcamp set up specifically for the collaboration. “Eternal Return” is the song the excerpt is taken from and is one of the three improvisational pieces that Terrestrials will be composed of. “Eternal Return”, or at least the preview of it, is a melancholy ambient piece that’s punctuated by piano, an erratic propulsive bass line, and hints of menace. Synthesizers appear unexpectedly as the preview trails off, leaving a distinct impression that Terrestrials may be one of next year’s most surprising records.

If the three minutes of “Eternal Return” that are previewed are any indication, Terrestrials is going to be a priority purchase. Are those three minutes worth the outlandish $100 price tag that currently accompanies the “Eternal Return” preview? Absolutely not. From the sounds of them, though, Terrestrials sounds like a million bucks so far.

Listen to the “Eternal Return” excerpt below and be sure to pick Terrestrials up when it’s released in February.