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Sound Check's Blog – June 2012 Archive (15)

#SoundCheck – New Retro Electro from Baron: 'RadioHeart'

Baron's latest EP RadioHeart accomplishes the almost impossible by seeming “retro” without actually conjuring a specific time or genre. It's a grab-bag of electro sounds past. There are bits of early 80s Depeche Mode, late 80s Nine Inch Nails, Old-school Chicago House, Soulsonic Force era Afrika Bambaataa, early 90s Jock Jams pop, and even some awesome touches of mid-90s game music (bonus points if the Purple Motion references were intentional. They totally validate…

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Added by Sound Check on June 29, 2012 at 8:00am — 1 Comment

#SoundCheck - DarqMatter (Free Download) Industrial Hip-Hop for the End of the World

Afropunk members DarqMatter's latest LP is all about the many textures of rage. From the mutated metal of opening track 'ElektroMagnetik' to the waves of industrial ambiance on 'Shipped Across Seas,' Motionfix and LUNZ have yet to find a sound that didn't need more reverb and distortion.

They've largely ditched the jungle-beats from their first full…

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Added by Sound Check on June 27, 2012 at 8:07am — 4 Comments

#SoundCheck – British Indie Soul-Rock Band The Heavy's New Single 'What Makes A Good Man'

British indie soul-rock outfit The Heavy have a new single out, and it's huge. On their 3rd album the band “wanted to make a bold statement – it’s not shy.” The orchestral swoops add a level of epicness when matched with Spencer Page's distorted bass indie thump. Singer Kelvin Swaby describes it saying “We went pretty cinematic, setting out to score a film that hasn’t been written.” I'd be surprised if filmmakers don't take them up on it later this year. This is the rare sort of…

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Added by Sound Check on June 25, 2012 at 7:07am — 2 Comments

#SoundCheck – Garage Rock Icons The Dirtbombs Drop New Track

Summer's finally here and The Dirtbombs have a new single! It's been 4 years since the Detroit garage legends played Afropunk fest. Since then they've lost a member, recorded an album of Detroit techno covers, and apparently fallen in love, or gotten a puppy, or something. The new song 'Crazy For You' shows a softer side of the venerable garage band. Playing like a lost Matthew Sweet track, or maybe early Lenny Kravitz, the…

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Added by Sound Check on June 22, 2012 at 6:58am — No Comments

OPINION: Analyzing the 'David Lowery vs. Emily White' Controversy About File-Sharing

So an NPR intern named Emily White wrote a thing. Then Cracker / Camper Van Beethoven frontman David Lowery responded with a thing.…

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Added by Sound Check on June 20, 2012 at 9:30am — 1 Comment

#SoundCheck - Debut EP by Chicago Glam Rocker Esh

“There used to be a better kind / of rock and rolling superstar / they'd strut around and do their thing / all I know how to do is sing” Weezer sang in the lost album 4.5 gem “Superstar.” An eulogy to the days when rock gods were rock gods. No irony, no self-awareness, no Andrew WK meta-commentary. Just big guitars and big voices. And drum fills. A song didn't count unless the drum fills could legally be used as a defibrillator. Chicago glam rocker …

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Added by Sound Check on June 20, 2012 at 8:00am — 8 Comments

#SoundCheck: Neneh Cherry's Triumphant Return With the Bold Jazz-Punk “The Cherry Thing”

On her first solo album in 16 years, the inimitable Neneh Cherry returns with an album of left-field covers backed by jazz trio The Thing. Taking on songs from MF Doom to The Stooges, the quartet bursts with raw energy. Despite a seemingly familiar formula (pop star + jazz band + covers = success!) The Cherry Thing is a record that sounds like nothing else. The musical chemistry between Cherry and The Thing is overflowing. This collaboration runs deep; The Thing take their name…

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Added by Sound Check on June 18, 2012 at 9:11am — No Comments

#SoundCheck Psychedelic Indie from Free Moral Agents (ex-Mars Volta)

Free Moral Agents has been in the studio the past few months finishing up a new full length record. The first single, the super chill 'Walk Away,' is available on the band's Bandcamp page. The song builds from an icy soul jam led by Mendee Ichikawa's sky high vocals. Isaiah "Ikey" Owens (band leader and former keyboardist for the Mars Volta) layers piece upon piece in his incredibly detailed production. Like the collapsing relationship that seems to be at the heart of the song,…

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Added by Sound Check on June 15, 2012 at 9:20am — No Comments

#SoundCheck Rediscovering The Apes – Ghost Games (2008)

These days there's somewhere between 27,000 and 40,000 albums released every year. Some of them are great. Some of them are not so great. Some of them blow up. Others, not so much. But in the internet era, nothing stays lost forever. Today we rediscover The Apes – Ghost Games. Travel back in time with us to the year 2008. Gas hit $4/gal for the first time in history. George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg proved that yes, you can make a crappy Indiana Jones movie. Hope and Change…

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Added by Sound Check on June 13, 2012 at 8:30am — No Comments

#SoundCheck: The Seshen Are Your New Favorite Bay Area Electronic Pop Septet (New Video)

When you listen to as much new stuff as I do, the moments when you hear something truly new and unique are few and far between. The new San Francisco septet The Seshen perform that rare magic trick of doing something fresh without ever sounding like they're trying to. They blend so many sounds and ideas so seamlessly that picking it apart is like analyzing the ingredients in a seven layer cake. Just accept that the combination of parts is way better than eating 4 raw eggs or a…

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Added by Sound Check on June 11, 2012 at 7:47am — 1 Comment

#SoundCheck - Ninjasonik + Unstoppable Death Machines Go Old School Punk on 'Lucy Is The Boss'

Alternative hip-hop duo Ninjasonik has joined forces with art-punk duo The Unstoppable Death Machines for the brutal new track 'Lucy Is The Boss.' The duo of hyphenated duos has been performing together recently and definitely has some serious chemistry. Ninjasonik has always brought a punk energy to their music and embraced DIY ethos, but with 'Lucy Is The Boss' they finally take the plunge head-first into old school punk rock.

The song has a definite 80's hardcore flavor;…

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Added by Sound Check on June 8, 2012 at 7:36am — No Comments

#SoundCheck Free Download - Me And This Army's new single 'You'

Baltimore trio Me and This Army just dropped their badass new single; the minimally titled and maximally loud 'You.' Anchored by lead singer Courtney Hargrove's kick-in-the-teeth vocals, the track pulls no punches. It's a song about betrayal and anger, plain and simple. A fierce kiss-off to a wayward ex. “There you go / breaking everyone's heart / there you go breaking everyone”.

The band builds from a bouncy syncopated beat to a giant pop-punk hook, calling to mind The Exit…

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Added by Sound Check on June 6, 2012 at 7:26am — 20 Comments

#SoundCheck Free download: The Invisible's new single 'Protection' + Video

On the Invisible's new single 'Protection' from their forthcoming 2nd full length Rispah, the London trio pushes their love of ambiance to the front. Treating lead singer Dave Okumu's voice like another texture in their tension stew, the band creates a beautiful mess of a song. Vocal lines swell and fall while synth lines burble up and explode. As if trying to recreate an Aphex Twin beat live, Leo Taylor's jagged off-kilter drums shift and mutate to create a palpable…

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Added by Sound Check on June 4, 2012 at 8:30am — No Comments

#SoundCheck – Blah Blah Blah: the Kings of Ballroom Rock

Championing a genre of music fittingly called “Ballroom Rock,” Blah Blah Blah are definitely a band deserving of your attention. Their first two EPs, Thank You Thank You and the aptly titled Charm, serve up a dynamic mix of ethereal ambiance and loud badassery. Solomon's voice soars to Jeff Buckley-esque heights on the first single 'Why Am I The Only One Laughing.' The impossibly joyous song 'Soon As I Get Home Tonight' with it's equally…

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Added by Sound Check on June 1, 2012 at 7:30am — 5 Comments

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