Fresh Fish: Ringo Deathstarr- Imagine Hearts

11 03 2011

Goofy named (but Awesome) Ringo Deathstarr revive some shoegaze greatness on the opening track from their debut LP, Colour strip. Now, the entire album doesn’t sound entirely like this, a lot of these songs have a distinct garage sounding Noise Pop sound, but Imagine Hearts sounds like a long-lost My Bloody Valentine Single. Warped and disorienting, gorgeous but ugly, sounding like the listener is going through a washing machine. A track you gotta check out if you’re a fan of massive waves of guitar chaos.



The Squeezebox: ELIKA – Snuggle Bunnies

20 01 2011

For most musicians, the creative process of making music starts with an emotion, an intangible feeling that they can convey only through sound.  I’ve often wondered if there is any correlation between emotional trends in music and broader world events and cultural trends, but that is a discussion for another day.  Suffice to say, the more emotion an artist conveys in their songs, the more accessible it becomes to emotional people.

It goes without saying that Elika, a two-piece, Brooklyn-based DIY electronic-pop band, has mastered this art of conveying emotion.  Though the prevalent feeling of their new album Snuggle Bunnies is a mixture of angst, pain, and frustration, there is a certain prevailing sense of hope and potential permeating the entire album, lending an unexpected brightness to an album primarily about breakups and heartache.

Let me be straight: you can call Elika indie shoegaze/dream-pop, but to accurately define their music would require much more space than we have here.  Snuggle Bunnies is a multi-genre album in the truest sense, ranging from danceable, bubbly, multi-layered electro to dreamy ambience and synth psychedelia.  Evangelia Maravelias has a beautiful voice, and her harmonizations throughout the album are absolutely wonderful.  All the elements combine to form a very compelling and diverse selection.

The only concern I have with this album is in its flow.  Why put the single, “Summer,” an upbeat, angsty hipster-anthem at the front of the disc?  “Stand Still,” track two on Snuggle Bunnies, sounds like the Intro of a great album.  Putting “Summer” before it feels odd and threatens to derail the flow of the whole album right from the get-go.

Elika has the vision, the talent and the relevance to make it as a fantastic chart-topper.   Their DIY production style is very encouraging to other budding hipsters/artists, and if it weren’t for the tracklist and the relatively low level of thematic diversity in the lyrical content, this album could have been a late addition to my top albums of 2010.  As it is, I am very much looking forward to hearing more from this duo.  87/100 B+


ELIKA website

The Squeezebox: Soundpool- Mirrors in your Eyes (2010)

13 01 2011

Brooklynite 5 piece band go from flirting with a concept to embracing it wholeheartedly and delivering a unique blend of sounds on their latest: Mirrors in your Eyes. Shoe-gaze/reverbed guitars/keyboards and ethereal, far off vocals married to a deep dance groove. while sounding strange on paper, this synthesis is Swirling and Intoxicating; breathing new life into a genre of Indie Rock thought to be decades dead. Soundpool creates a feeling that instead of looking at your feet sheepishly, you are more inclined to  stare at a disco ball, rock your glow sticks, and strut your stuff. crafting its own little world to wash over you. Brilliant album for fans of Deloreon and School of Seven Bells and other indie influenced electronic acts. Check out their new video below and you’ll definitely see what I mean –Armordillo

SqueezeBox: Telescopes-Self Titled (1994)

10 12 2010

“The Telescopes?! who are they?” you ask, “I’ve never heard of them” To be frank, no one else has either. Criminally overlooked during The Shoegaze era of the early 90s, they were lost in a wave of bands such as My Bloody Valentine,Ride, and Slowdive and were written off as derivative and just imitating their peers with nothing new to say. As the group was about to call it quits,they instead reformed with a new line up and style to release their self  best album.The group finally develops thier own take on Space rock and forged a hidden gem of the genre.

Instead of filling their songs with monstrous walls of Guitar distortion and feedback like they did in their formative years, They give this album a sense of space and texture. there is an almost 60s production vibe at times, bringing in keyboards,ringing acoustic guitars, and boy-girl vocal harmonies that flesh out their new sound. The guitars are brighter and clean: using electrics for spaced-out melodies and atmospheric swells to accent the track rather than pummel you. the mumbling lyrics of singer Stephen Lowry might put off some listeners, but if you’ve heard shoegaze (or 90s rock in general) you should know the deal.      -Armordillo

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