Video: Dum Dum Girls – “Are You Okay”

Yesterday the Dum Dum Girls premiered their new video for “Are You Okay” off of Too True on Noisey, along with an interview and behind-the-scenes pics. Written by Bret Easton Ellis, famed author of American Psycho, the 11-minute video is creepy, haunting, and evocative of Too True’s darker, slicker sound.

The video is directed by Brewer, who has done videos for Purity RingAlt-J, and Passion Pit, and produced by Braxton Pope, with additional musical score composed by Tamaryn and Drew McDowall, of Coil fame.

Here’s the behind-the-scenes video, in case you’re curious:

- Jasmine

Metal Double Feature: Battlefields Forever and Godhead

bigbusinessbattlefields

Big Business is Jared Warren (bass/vocals), Coady Willis (drums), and Scott Martin (guitar).

For those of you familiar with the early sludge metal scene or 1980’s/1990’s Seattle rock music—Warren and Willis have been members of the Melvins since 2006, starting with the recording of (A) Senile Animal (which is probably the only Melvins album you’ve heard of anyways).

And they’re heavier than something really heavy, like a tractor or something, I don’t know.

Following the collapse of the Hydra Head Records empire last fall, Big Business relocated to Gold Metal Records. Their first release on their new label is the mysteriously titled Battlefields Forever. Sonically, Battlefields Forever is a welcomed departure from the punk-inspired minimalism that characterized the majority of their prior album, Mind the Drift. The riffs are slower, grimier, and more crushing than anything they’ve managed since their debut—a change largely due to the addition of Scott Martin (who joined the band in 2010).

After a few listens, Battlefields Forever gives the impression that the band decided to make an entire album that sounds like “The Drift,” the title track off Mind the Drift and their most successful single to date. The upside is that every song finds a perfect balance of melodic and aggressive overtones, all rounded out with a heavy dose of fuzz. But it also means that the tracks on the second half of the album start to blend together into a big indistinguishable mass of monstrous riffs, vocal chorus, and distortion. Which I guess could be a good thing too, if you’re into that.

Sound like your cup of tea? You can stream and buy Battlefields Forever from their Bandcamp.

 

 

sandridergodhead

Sandrider is a stoner metal band from Seattle that I found just a few weeks ago. Apparently they released a self-titled album in 2011, but I never saw or heard anything about it. That said, their newest release, Godhead, has been making waves in the stoner/doom scene (and has even caught the attention of Portland natives Red Fang). The album opens with Ruiner, which is arguably the best crafted stoner/doom/sludge/insert-metal-sounding-word-here song to be released this year. And it’s a damn good way to start an album, to say the least. The rest of the album doesn’t disappoint either—it’s one of the best structured stoner metal albums I’ve heard in the past few years.

It’s easy to compare Sandrider to the Melvins, Harvey Milk, or Kyuss, because they absolutely sound like all those bands at times.  What makes Sandrider stand out from the ever-growing host of stoner/doom bands is what they do otherwise. Layered into every track on Godhead are elements of sludge metal in the vein of Leviathan-era Mastodon, groovy blues reminiscent of Clutch’s Robot Hive/Exodus, and noise rock that wouldn’t be out of place on an Unsane album. The net result is a fun, fresh, and frighteningly listenable album in a genre known for its self-similarity and uninspired songwriting (for the unfamiliar—look into Brant Bjork’s solo work).

Imagine if you wrapped a Percocet in a slab of bacon, fed it to a wooly mammoth and shouted, “Dance hairy boyfriend, dance.” That’s what Sandrider sounds like, more or less.

You can stream and buy Godhead from Sandrider’s Bandcamp page.

 

Hail Satan.

- Zander

Bombay Bicycle Club Returns With A New Sound

1385_41949_bombay_bicycle_clubIt’s been a couple years since we have heard any new material from Bombay Bicycle Club. Recently the indie-rock group has taken a new approach to their fourth upcoming album, set to release sometime next year.

When we hear Bombay Bicycle Club we automatically revert back to the track “Always Like This” from their first album, I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose. With a track like that there was no denying that the band had refined the indie-rock genre. Their second album on the hand was very different from their previous album. Flaws was more of an acoustic and soft record. Giving off a folk like vibe that I found very delightful and charming. The third album A Different Kind Of Fix gave us tracks like “Shuffle” and “Lights Out, Words Gone.” These songs go back to Bombay’s old roots but and in the meantime were able to discovery a different feel to the album. Listening to the album we can hear little hints of 80’s new wave fused together with pop and indie-folk.

With the upcoming fourth album, “Carry Me” is the single off of the album and by listening to this track I couldn’t help but feel anxious and excited for what the rest of the album has in store. “Carry Me” gives off a euphoric feel with a slight industrial yet heavily percussive sound giving the song a grand appeal. I think front-man Jack Steadman has got something brilliant on his hands. This is nothing like the classic songs of Bombay Bicycle Club but their new approach I believe will attract new listeners.

Having had a listened to “Carry Me” repetitively there is no doubt that this next album will translate that euphoric feel with a new sound to follow.
- Catalina

Metal Double Feature: Serpents Unleashed and Chemistry of Consciousness

This last week marked the release of Skeletonwitch’s Serpents Unleashed and Toxic Holocaust’s Chemistry of Consciousness. Coincidentally, the opening tracks for both albums are about snakes.

Which makes them pretty brutal, obviously.

I don’t think I’ve had as much fun listening to a record since Torche’s Harmonicraft as I did Serpents Unleashed. The riff structures and melodies are absolutely brilliant and refreshing, and Chance Garnett’s vocals are absolutely on point. Serpents Unleashed avoids the blandness of Forever Abomination and the cheesiness of Breathing the Fire, and instead delivers something akin to the hyper-rhythmic melodies on Beyond the Permafrost. You don’t have to look much further than the second track to figure out that this is a fundamentally revamped Skeletonwitch, complete with welcome improvements in songwriting. The riffs are heavier and more evil, the vocals are more twisted than ever, and the rhythms are faster and more chaotic than their previous efforts. This album is heavy and relentless, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Don’t believe me? Check out “I Am of Death” below:

I traditionally haven’t been the biggest fan of Toxic Holocaust’s thrash-revival thing, but Chemistry of Consciousness genuinely surprised me with how fresh it sounds. They brought their black metal influences to the forefront of their riffs and stepped back their party-rock vibe, making Chemistry of Consciousness sound more like a mature record from a mature band and less like something I’d only listen to when I wanted to drink beer and break stuff. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course.

If any of you metal wizards are into Toxic Holocaust, definitely try to find them live this winter. Joel Grind is a Portland native, and holy f**k can he put on a live show.

Basically, if you’re in the mood for some feel-good blackened thrash, give these albums a listen. Both are out now on Relapse Records.

Hail Satan.

Skeletonwitch Tour Dates: http://www.skeletonwitch.com/tour.php

Toxic Holocaust Tour Dates: http://www.toxicholocaust.com/

(Even though Toxic Holocaust is only scheduled for the east coast right now, I’d be surprised if they didn’t have a show in Portland at least once this winter)

- Zander

Defne – “At Home/Not Home”

Image

Toronto based musician, Defne Inceoglu, wrote and recorded some music late at night in her bathtub which make up her latest release At Home/Not Home. Using what she describes as a “shitty” USB mic, she recorded 5 tracks of lo-fi, fuzzy, organic, and warm goodness. If you are ever in need of some relaxing music then look no further! You can go ahead and stream it below.

Check out more of her stuff on her bandcamp here.

Emily Reo & Friends Pullman House Show

Emily Reo

Sunday night something magical happened in Pullman. And no, I’m not referring to the storm raging outside (although that added quite a bit to the ambiance). I’m referring to the musical storm of holyfuckthisisamazingness that was raging inside of the newly-dubbed residence Maiden Haven, located on College Hill. The culprits behind this shit-storm of excellence were three very talented and extremely nice individuals playing under the monikers Cuddle Formation, Peace Arrow, and Emily Reo.

The night started out on an awesome, but unassuming, note with a few rounds of Mario Kart 64. Some won. Some lost. Some ended up spending more time stuck in a corner than on the track (names not provided to protect the Mario Kart-inept). While the party of about 20 people was engaged in watching the video game, Noah Klein slowly and quietly set up his equipment for his Cuddle Formation set, which consisted of an electric guitar, looping pedals, and some other technological musical equipment that I haven’t the knowledge to explain. He put it all on a patterned mat and sat in front of it like a gypsy getting prepared to read tarot cards. He stayed there the entire time, bewitching us with his dreamy and unique blend of sounds.

 

Up next was Mitch Myers with his project Peace Arrow. And let me tell you, none of us were prepared for his set. I’m not exaggerating at all when I say my jaw was just hanging open at points during his set. Using a guitar, a looping station, some effect pedals, and a floor tom and high hat that we managed to scrounge up for him; he gave us the most raw, animalistic performance I’ve witnessed to date. Sometimes singing, sometimes shrieking, sometimes doing complicated riffs on his guitar, sometimes banging on the drum like he’s trying to get a part in that Nick Cannon movie Drum Line (don’t tell me you don’t remember it). And apparently God has a new job as a lighting technician because thunder and lightning started raging outside in the middle of his set as if it was cued exclusively for his set. It was intense. To quote my homegirl Erin, “I think we just saw Animal Collective play.”

 

The grand finale of the evening was, of course, the adorable Emily Reo. Most of us at KZUU had been jamming to her album for the entire week before so we knew it was going to be fantastic and she most definitely did not disappoint. With a projection of flowers, stars, and possibly beehives (?) behind her, she delivered an effortless, euphoric, vocoder-filled performance of songs from her latest release Olive Juice, including “Wind”, “Coast”, “Peach”, and her cover of Built to Spill’s “Car”.

 

Despite our desires for “one more song”, the music eventually ended. The party did not. But that’s a story for another time….

Long live Maiden Haven.

- Jasmine

KZUU’s Cure For Your Boredom

If you’re anything like us or what seems like 90% of campus right now, then you’re probably sick. Which means you’re also probably lying in bed bingeing on Netflix. No shame in that. But if you’ve already run through every season of Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead then check out these awesome music videos by some of our favorite bands right now (and then maybe take a shower ya slob).

Ra Ra Riot – Beta Love

If you’ve listened to KZUU at all in the past couple of weeks then you’ve probably heard the title track off of Ra Ra Riot’s Beta Love at some point. But have you seen this video? I mean, nothing puts a smile on my face faster than watching white people in bright outfits from the ‘70s awkwardly dance. Let’s all just laugh at them for a moment. Done? Good. Because in 20 years our children will be laughing at the videos of us dancing. Or crying…I’ve seen you at Stubbies you dirty dirty kids.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra – So Good At Being In Trouble

What do you get when you cross Unknown Mortal Orchestra, a hippie commune (possibly cult), and an older, crazed McLovin bashing a baseball bat around with pantyhose on his head. The video for UMO’s track So Good At Being In Trouble off of their sophomore album, aptly titled II, of course! Along with McLovin, (or Chris Mintz-Plasse if you prefer to refer to his birth name. I do not.) the video also stars director Ruban Nielson, who has worked with Animal Collective and Black Dice.

Aan – Mystery Life

If you missed Aan at the Belltower on February 8th for the Built to Spill show then I don’t know what to tell you. Basically you need to reevaluate your life choices because it was an amazing night of music. These guys are super cool and apparently know how to put together a super cool music video as well because this one is fantastic. It’s a story of life, friendship, betrayal and, ultimately, death. Plus it’s just f$%#ing funny.

MØ – Glass

Danish electro-pop artist MØ (known by her mother as Karen Marie Ørsted) is one bad ass chick. Or at least that’s what I gather from this video for her amazing track Glass. She twirls a hula hoop in slow motion, smokes cigarettes at a casino, hangs out at aquariums, uses a vacuum to suck up her hair, whips her hair back n forth, and has a very sad goth friend who appears to enjoy grocery stores and rubik’s cubes. If that isn’t the epitome of a badass then I don’t know what is. But in all seriousness, the only thing that matters in this video is THAT VEST. Holy mother of god is that not the best thing you’ve ever seen? I see a new project in my future…

Also, FYI: MØ’s debut LP Waiting For Something To Happen will be released sometime this year.

Foxygen – San Francisco

This is another track that’s been getting a lot of airplay here at KZUU and for good reason! I double dog dare you to try to be sad while listening to this song. It’s not physically possible. It’s all happy, sunshine, sparkles, and freaking rainbows coming out of the speakers through this song. This correlates squarely with the ‘70s in my mind. Ahhh the days of love, peace, music, and drugs. Foxygen’s latest release, We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace & Magic is very clearly ‘70s influenced and there’s no reason the video should be otherwise. Just sit back, relax, maybe smoke a bowl (hey it’s legal now! I can say that!) and let Foxygen take you on a beautiful ride to happiness.

Portland Cello Project – Please Leave a Light On When You Go (featuring Patti King), from Beck Hansen’s Song Reader

Call me a nerd, but the cello may be one of my most favorite instruments in the entire world. Portland Cello Project has been together for six years and covered the gamut of artists such as Radiohead, Kanye West, and Justin Timberlake. But the sextet has stepped its game up and has taken on all of Beck Hansen’s Song Reader. If you’re unfamiliar with what that is, basically Beck decided to release his latest album as sheet music only, for artists to take a stab at playing and putting their own spin on. Portland Cello Project and Patti King of Radiation City took on Please Leave a Light on When You Go and it is fantastic. Seriously. Check out their entire album on iTunes.

Oh, and you’re welcome.

- Jasmine