Animal Hands – S/T digital EP

Lucy_Hardie_Transmutation_Operation2009-1Yet another review, I’m terribly behind on, shit this one hit my hard drive on February 25th. Debating the idea of giving up on reviews or just denying all but a few of the very best ones (this is one of those best ones). It’s just downright unprofessional, but then again, as I tell the bands, this is just a Mom and Pop (there is no Mom) operation, this ain’t no Decibel or the like, those guys do it for a living, I do it for the love of music. Anyway…

First off, if you want a lesson in how to pick out a cover for your album, this is a prime example.  Absolutely stunning artwork, that sets the stage for your own creativity. Your album will always be remembered for the graphics…good or bad. Animal Hands does more than live up to that artwork. My initial response was “You all have a hell of a good thing going on, pretty amazing, the music, the vids, the website, wow!” Here’s the deal they sent me as a way of introduction…
“Animal hands are a four piece independent rock band that was formed by singer song writer Danielle Whalebone in 2011. The band celebrated the release of their debut EP at the Cherry situated on AC/DC lane in Melbourne in April this year. Animal Hands have received a resplendent response to their EP produced by Lindsay Gravina (Magic Dirt, Rowland S.Howard, Living End). Their EP has gained airplay internationally. Allie Speers writer for Tone Deaf has described “The self-titled EP of Melbourne based Animal Hands as pleasing to the ear. The garagey, grunge sounds in juxtaposition to front woman Danielle Whalebone’s crooning vocals is a great combination. ‘Defiance’, the inaugural track has a great introduction, just a simple guitar riff that leads into a really neat track. It’s a clever start to the EP, you can really feel what the band are trying to achieve.” Since the formation of the band Animal Hands have maintained the D.I.Y ethic all the bands multimedia and producing three film clips . The band have worked to maintain a strong web presence and have been tearing up stages with guitar splintering performances since the release of their debut EP. Machine Steve writer for UK magazine The Black Flag has described Animal Hands as “pure grunge, with it’s slow cumbersome riffs and weary vocals beautifully stitched together to create an ambience that, in my humble opinion, has been missing from the music scene for well over a decade.”It seems Animal Hands is apart of the reemergence of a sound that defined a generation in the 90‘s Erin Lawler writer for ‘The Dwarf’ reminisces “Australian grunge in the ‘90s was a precious thing. But its absence has been felt by many in the Australian music scene while indie-pop becomes less catchy and more repetitive. Animal Hands is a band that has enough balls to bring back the grunge, fronted by Danielle Whalebone, a woman with all the strength and grace of Adalita Srsen of Magic Dirt. All of the songs on their self-titled EP sound like they belong on the soundtrack to Secret Life of Us, which I hope you know is a good thing. Those were the days.” The band looking forward to a busy schedule before returning to Birdland Studios to record soon.”
I’m sure by now the band has already made it back into the studio, hahaha. “Grunge” seems to be the word of day for reviewers of Animal Hands, but I have to admit that was not the first word I would have used to describe the band. Then again I was not a fan of Grunge when it first broke onto the scene circa 1990, my head was in a totally different space. Part of it was how it became so immediately popular on the college scene and that, to me, it seemed so tame. Here 25 years later, I’ve grown up quite a bit, and I realize that just because a band doesn’t immediately bash you in the face, doesn’t make them tame. Animal Hands, is not tame. It’s more subtle, if Animal Hands was a murderer, they wouldn’t kill you with an axe, it would be more like a slow acting, deadly poison. As I said, I didn’t think Grunge, my first thought was Siouxsie meets the Pixies (and heavy on the Pixies). I use Siouxsie a lot to describe female fronted bands, but if a fella knew how much I am totally in love with her, they would know that was the hugest of compliments. Their music is easy to listen to, but it’s far from easy listening. In fact lyrically, this is some pretty heavy stuff, poetry really.  Absolutely stunning vocals backed up by a very polished band (they have the perfect sounding guitar).  You get these lengthy bio thing from some bands, but I wanted something a little more specific, so I asked them what made them tick,
“I was thinking about your question and it would definitely be “The boundary between Human and Animal is narrow” I guess art is a complex way in which to communicate our feelings… send our story into space with the hope that it just doesn’t  just disappear like our mortal bodies are bound to do…that some how there will be a reply ..some reflected light… something… I suppose In hope  that we are not alone ..Its the burden of our conciseness  the fear of being trapped inside our own minds.. on a planet in space.. humans have created all these incredible ways to communicate and rebel against our mortality and isolation… we know  the natural world strives to survive so really there is nothing that we do as humans that isn’t just following the law of nature to survive and create… Animal Hands simply wants to survive and create..Cheers Danielle.”
Even in just a response to a simple question there is poetry. At this point in time you can find Animal Hands on the continent of Australia, but if there is any justice in the musical world this band will “survive and create” globally. They are well represented with their Animal Hands page, a Facebook, Twitter, Youtube vids and a
Spotify, so it shouldn’t be difficult to drink deep from their stream. This here is one of my favorite tunes of theirs…follow along with the lyrics, one of the things that sets this band apart…
“Bed of Dolls”


Secret address
walk through the door
here’s Jonny screaming from the wall
float on by fall through the floor
Baby sweet your so cold
I touch your eyes and they wont close
lovely in lace the eternal rose
Baby sleep in a bed of dolls
Girl with the mantis arms
fits the bill
I’m becoming numb
The jewels are set in the foxes head
heart beats so low
I can speak to the dead
The death collectors
and their killing jar
my knees are week
and my mind is scarred
Scorpion and human skull
rest upon their mantel
Mamma she don’t want me
I’ll sleep like a baby
Papa he don’t want me
I’ll sleep like a baby
In a room filled with dolls
they lay me down as I grow cold
pretty forever never to be old
I will become one of their dolls.

Here’s their latest vid to yet another stunning song…

Lvxvria – Con Poses Y Sin Apuros 7″

LuxuriaGod I am so behind on these reviews, finally getting around to this one, a gift from my buddy Freddy a month or so ago (you want to make this old burn out happy, send me a record). This is one of those punk rock archeology things, something that would have been just a memory to a very few, had it not been for some benevolent soul. New, old you might say. The time is 1987, the place is Peru, the band is Lvxvria (as it is spelled on the 7″, I’ve also seen it spelled “Lujuria” and “Luxuria”). I asked Freddy to give me his take on this here thing as there is zippo on the internet, “About Lvxvria: they’re one of the original “Rock Subterraneo” bands from Lima, Peru circa ’85-’87. That movement comprised raw HC bands like Ataque Frontal, Narcosis, Descontrol plus punk bands like Leuzemia, Zcuela Zerrada. There’s not much in English about Lvxvria, they were a 3 piece with guitar, drums & vocals, no bass. Not necessarily by choice but more to a lack of resources in those days. The 5 songs on the 7″ are taken from a 12 song demo they did in ’87. Maybe if this record gets a good response, they’ll be able to release the rest of the songs. To me, their songs have always had a melancholic & resigned yet hopeful air about them. The lyrics & sound reflecting the dark political & economic times in Peru during those years as well as the gloomy atmosphere that pervades Lima during the long rainy season & greatly affects the national character.”  In other words this thing is a BADASS piece of wax! A little slice of history that sounds so old, partially due to the raw recording, but is so fresh today. This is South American Punk Rock at it’s finest.  I don’t even know how to categorize it, suppose if I knew more about this subterranean rock phenomena, that would help.  It’s punk as fuck, I know that, nobody told the Peruvians that punk was dead, this thing is alive and kicking.  Real basic stuff as you might suspect with just a guitarist doing bar chords and a drummer with simple beats and fills.  The singer is very passionate in that Joy Division kind of way, I wish my Spanish was a little better. Despite the raw simplicity, hidden in some of these songs are these neat little melodies that these guys bounce off each other. You can get this bad boy from Freddy’s Wardance Records distro for dirt cheap (really you should have that page saved in your favorites anyway). All the songs are hits, so for your listening/sampling pleasure, here’s the first tune…
“El Reflejo”


Those five tunes weren’t enough for me, so I went on a search (part of the reason this took so long to post up), but as I said there is minimal web presence. You can find most of the tunes from this 7″ on youtube, you know, just audio with a graphic, but I did manage to find a live vid that will take you out of whatever box you’re in and do some educating in the phenomena of a different culture’s take on familiar music…


Of course that still wasn’t enough, damn it I wanted the whole 12 song demo. Alas, it was up at some blog, but the links were long since dead. I found the next best thing in the form of a short live set, along with two other bands, this vid of a show recorded in 1986 at a place called La Cabana, I’m assuming in Peru. It was a great find, but I figured what heck, I’ll rip and edit that into tracks. Oddly enough they play a little slower on this live stuff than they do on the demo, most bands it’s the other way around. This is a killer little set though and if after your done listening to those, you don’t hit up Freddy, then I can’t help you…
No lo Hare
S.M.O.
Cachacos a la Guerra
Destruire
Arroz con Leche
Terror

Scab Queen / Snowbride – “PM016” split cassette

scabkingSeveral months back (maybe a year, I don’t know) I was on this Industrial music kick, more a feverish obsession, educating myself in it’s history from the 70s to the present. Things have a way of working in my favor (seldom) and now the Industrial, in it’s many forms, is finding me. A lot of people don’t dig that shit (you have to question your status as a music lover if you can’t at least groove to early SPK or their [Graeme Revel mostly] Songs of Byzantine Flowers) and that’s fine, but the argument that there’s no talent required is bullshit. Michael, of Scab Queen recently hit me up,
“I wanted to drop you a line that Scab Queen has released a new album via split tape ‘PM016’ with Atlanta’s Snowbride on Persistentmidnight 02.28.14. Our style consists of textural and harmonious explorations for guitar and cello and fits somewhere between the sound-art and tape/loop experiments of groups such as Cabaret Voltaire and This Heat and the free improvisation of players such as Leroy Jenkins, Derek Bailey and Lol Coxhill. Last year, scab queen released 4 EP’s (BRAGS, released May 2013, features vocalist Leo Ashline of Austin TX’s Street Sects, recently reviewed by Pitchfork as “an exciting new direction for heavy music”). For 2014 we’ve extended to the duo of Michael Lauden (8-string guitar) and Alec Lividitis (cello). Live, we utilize transistor radios, tape loops and FM transmitters as well as the live manipulation of video feedback projected on the stage-areas and sometimes across multiple monitors. On top of our instrumental/vocal loops, we have prepared tape loops and sample underlying audio from VHS tapes (mostly found footage, at Tea Club/murk daddy flex “genesis” listening party on 4/6 we used a tape simply labeled “London 1998”). For our live visual rig we utilize dueling signals from VHS camera & VCR, which is then projected on the stage-areas and across monitors. On top of our instrumental/vocal loops, we have prepared tape loops and sample underlying audio from VHS tapes (mostly found footage, at Tea Club/murk daddy flex “genesis” listening party on 4/6 we used a tape simply labeled “London 1998″). For our live visual rig we utilize dueling signals from VHS camera & VCR, which is then projected on the stage-areas and across monitors.”
I know that was rather lengthy, but I didn’t know how to regurgitate all that information in a more concise way, except to say that these guys are serious about what the hell they’re doing. Well, well, Industrial artists that know how to play instruments (and I’m a huge fan of the cello, even though I know very little about music written for the cello, downright moved when modern bands throw it in the mix). I think my response to him was describing the music as “otherworldly”. I guess I should elaborate. I went to Scab Queen’s Bandcamp page, they have a shit ton of recordings and I did a shit ton of listening. “Otherwordly” just kind of scrapes the surface. A song popped into my head at some point doing that listening, The Creatures – Pluto Drive. It completely reminds me of that kind of other-worldliness. A lyric from the song goes, “I want to see Pluto, I want to have fun, I want to turn blue, under an alien sun”…that is Scab Queen. They are so otherworldly, they’re not even in this solar system. Their ambient styled Industrial would make the perfect soundtrack to a movie set in the most alien of worlds. It would work well as Alice’s caterpillar sits thoughtfully puffing on his opium. I’ve smoked opium and you don’t need that shit, you need Scab Queen. These guys really could get a gig doing soundtrack as so many Industrial types have. I’m not sure how they do it, even though it’s explained quite well, the execution is spot on. Ambient is a tough sell for me sometimes, I don’t like the drone ambient, it’s just too monotonous, but these guys are not drone, they’re unfolding a musical story, slowly but deliberately. When I hit Michael back, I wanted to know what made the duo tick,
“I would describe our sound as heavily improvisational. I really like the idea that radio waves are all around us. I like the idea that constantly and consistently, we’ve been living our entire lives entangled in a field of invisible signals. We create loops not only from our instruments, but from whatever is playing over the AM/FM airwaves. I also have the ability to project my signals over-the-air via a modified home intercom system/FM transmitter.”
All that talk and thought about Scab Queen and it wasn’t until today that I gave Snowbride a whirl, but it was Michael of Scab Queen who I have been in touch with. I think it was someone’s really good idea to put these bands together on a tape as they are very different, so you get a little variety. Snowbride is still under the greater umbrella of Industrial, but their compositions have more rhythmic structure (2 of the 3 songs), and harken back in a remote sense, to early New Wave (maybe it’s the synth-y-ness). The vocals (there’s no lyric) are dreamy and I think their overall soundtrack would be something a little more psychological. The songs don’t unfold as much as permeate. Very enjoyable. As far as the tape as a whole, I’d say Georgia has more going on than you think. You can listen to you heart’s content, Snowbride and Scab Queen. Below is a vid Scab Queen put together of one of the songs from the cassette…

Ed Cole interview (part 1)

Ed
In my self imposed isolation (something I am content with), I find that I have good friends all over this (great?) nation of ours. I haven’t seen any of my old friends in almost ten years, some much longer than that, so I do daydream at times about what it would be like to have some of them as close neighbors. Ed Cole, musician, band mate and longtime friend, would be one of those ones that would nice to have living down the road. We could visit and discuss family life, talk shit about the status quo, ponder over music past and present, and I would be able to see him do his art live. He is the second guitarist that I have played with, that I have also asked to do an interview (I now have plans to interview the third). Ed is one of the finest human beings I know (I wish the world was filled with more Eds) and just an amazing musician. My burnt out brain has left me with just scattered memories, but what I do remember is that we had a blast creating together. Here’s Ed…

Garden WeaselDamn Ed, I was thinking about it and we’ve known each other a long time. We haven’t hung out in forever, your Son Cosmo was newborn last time I saw you, but through the web we’ve managed to stay in touch. I think our meeting had something to do with KHSU and you being a DJ (Dead Ed) up there, but do you remember the circumstances of how we met and what was going on with you at that time?

A: I first remember seeing you onstage with WD40 at Tsunami’s opening for MDC in 1990. I first met you at KHSU in the engineer booth, I think Cathy M introduced us. I remember your fish tattoo looking very fresh.

Husband, Father of some youngens, long time organic produce warehouseman (what’s your official title?) and musician, where do you find time for it all?

A: My official title is Purchasing Inventory Maintenance and I review quality and “select lots” for specific customers at Organically Grown Company in Portland. It’s actually a really fun job. I don’t find time for it all, I feel like I barely get anything done except for work, sleep, raise kids, eat food, spend time with my wife Tina and then sometimes if I’m motivated I go downstairs into the basement studio and work on recording my music. I wish there were more hours in the day.

Ed1You are a fellow music lover and you’ve never let genre hold you back, I’m curious about what was your earliest exposure to music and how did that affect you?

A: My earliest music memories are the Beatles, they were huge with my older brothers. “Yellow Submarine” was my first favorite song, followed by “Rhinestone Cowboy” by Glenn Campbell and “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” by John Denver. When I had the opportunity, I would play those 8 tracks over and over again. I really liked FM radio hits when I was 8,9,10, I loved whatever shitty classic rock was big at the time. I first wanted to be in a band after being exposed to AC/DC, Van Halen and Ozzy. I picked up guitar at age 13 when I traded a BMX bike for a shitty electric guitar that I plugged into my stereo. That was 1984.

Are there genres that you find distasteful or others that maybe you’ve grown to appreciate?

A: I savor the moment anytime music disturbs me enough to almost offend me. I was recently exposed to large doses of Ke$ha, Brittney Spears and Katy Perry; part of me wanted to barf but I still find some musical value in that very crass, commercial crap. Of the three, I like Katy Perry the best. I so far can’t get into techno or club type music. I have lots of friends who are into it but it’s for sure not for me. Modern country is pretty revolting, it’s pretty much the worst. I’m pretty sick of 1980s music about now, I heard enough Duran Duran the first time around, it makes me puke when I hear it at a restaurant now. Bleccchhhh!!

Garden Weasel – Look and Judge
Tulip – Wipe It Up

At what point did you make the transition from listener of music to wanting to play an instrument? What was your first band experience like?

A: before I could really play guitar I had a crappy acoustic guitar that I would tune to an ugly chord and just make up “rock riffs”. My friend Bear (Bar with an umlaut is how he spells it) had a home-made drum kit constructed of a plastic bucket, a tinker-toy can and the top head of a banjo, would would jam free of shame and then make overdubs of piano, clarinet and have the cello play a bassline, etc… We would just pile on tracks by holding one boombox near the other recorder and then playing along with our own tapes, eventually making a masterpiece mainly composed of tape hiss. A year or two later we had actual instruments and a 4 track, we spent many afternoons and evenings in his bedroom making up our own songs. Bar later went on to join the group Mr. Bungle. I learned everything I know about self-recorded songwriting from watching him work. Near the end of our collaborative high school years, Bar was playing every instrument and doing 4 part harmonies with the 4 track, really cool stuff.

Did you have anyone you looked up to, or who sort of showed you the ropes in life or music?

A: My brother Monty comes to mind immediately. He was always very musical, learning clarinet early on and expanding to many other instruments. I remember him banging away on piano when I was 5 or 6, really just thinking he was a god because he could play Scott Joplin ragtime piano as well as popular hits of the day like Styx or Supertramp. He also played guitar and taught me my first chords. He is a monster musician who is a woodwinds professor and lives and teaches in Macon, Georgia. My older brothers Mike and Darrow and my sister Neva all went to pains to expose me to what they felt was cool music, I think they all gave me the impression early on that music is very important.

Ed with Meat Puppets 1988First memorable show you went to see? Or feel free to list several.

A: A third-tier heavy metal band called Rail played in my town (Crescent City) in 1984. They sounded like most every other heavy metal band ever from the 1980s but it was cool to see a loud show . Van Halen 5150 was my first arena show in 1985, not very memorable but it was ok. The first show that really blew my mind was Meat Puppets with Mr. Bungle at HSU, this was probably 1988. They were the first underground band I really connected with because I sensed a similar kind of nerdy, classic-rock-hard-rock fandom with the Meat Puppets, and they were fucking weirdos, really did their own thing at the time, so I was happy to have a band that seemed like “mine.”

How about that first time you hit the stage yourself in front of an audience, what was that like?

A: After playing for 4 or 5 weeks I got up onstage with my brother’s (former) band Puffin, an R&B blues band and I played “Peter Gunne” out-of-tune but with sunglasses and feathered hair. I had a solo all worked out and still probably have a recording of it somewhere. Next was the Catholic school talent show at the Octoberfest in 1984. Bar and Ed did a kind of medley of Kinks and Quiet Riot songs that we knew. I played as often as possible during the first few years of high school with different bands at assemblies school events and what not. I was pretty comfortable on stage from the beginning, I always liked it.

HeadphonesYou’re like me, been collecting music for a long time, can you list some of your favorite bands, or maybe the influential ones, and what makes those bands so special to you?

A: Wow. I have so much music on my mind all the time. Where to even start? Lou Reed was huge to me because I also sing in a low register and he has probably above all others been my guiding artistic muse. Bob Mould, Paul Westerberg, David Bowie aer all top favorites for general listening. My late-night listening includes lots of mellow music like Devendra Banhart (only his early stuff), Cocteau Twins, Nick Drake, Robyn Hitchcock and Swans. I listen to lots of jazz, mostly at work. For Punk-era stuff, my initial favorites were Minor Threat, Black Flag, Agent Orange, Social Distortion, Fear, Devo – I still rock my exact same mix tape of all that shit in the car. Black Sabbath I’ve listened to so much that I almost can’t listen to it anymore but I think all that music is in my DNA. Rolling Stones, Hendrix, Stooges, the Who, the Doors – I guess I’ve gone classic rock, I’ll listen to any of that still. And Helios Creed and Chrome and Killdozer. And Thin LIzzy. I pretty much eat, breathe and shit music, I’m always curious if there is stuff I haven’t heard yet.

You’ve been in a hell of a lot of bands, can you possible name them all? Or how about just the memorable ones?  We talked the other day about all the bands you play in, two, and your solo project. Give me your take on those bands and what’s the deal with your solo project?

A: Sure I’ll try:

1. Bar and Ed/No Nik Muk No Tin Lik 1985-1990
2. Garden Weasel 1990-1992
3. Tulip 1994-1995
4. Billy Jack 1995-1996
5. the Naysayers 1996-2002
6. Velocirapture 2000 1999-2000
7. Activator 2001-2004
8. Ed Cole and the College Girls of Tora Bora 2002-2005 http://tinyurl.com/o9hslj6
9. White Hot Odyssey 2004-2005 http://tinyurl.com/pmxwtjt
10. The Underlings 2006-present
11. Thundering Asteroids 2014

The deal with my upcoming solo album is: I have 10 new songs that are all-acoustic. I’m very nearly done with the music-making part of it. There are about 6 different people on it, lots of odd (for me) instruments like banjo and cello and jaw harp. I plan to have it released by the end of summer.  (See the song/vid at the end of this interview…

Ever since I went to visit you that one time, I’ve loved Eugene and thought it would be a great place to live (like Frisco it’s got a shit ton of cafes). After being a long time Eugene Oregon resident, you made the big move to Portland, what the hell man? What’s so special about Portland? Are the scenes different?

A: Eugene is the ultimate hippy town, which is both good and bad. Lots of good, healthy food and good coffee, etc… The music scene in Eugene is actually pretty good for a small town and all the players are fairly close-knit. There is a great pub called Sam Bond’s that everybody knows about and at least 7 or so other places to play music at around town. The WOW hall is one of my favorite venues. I’ve seen Nomeansno there perhaps 12 times? It’s THE place for all ages punk shows for touring bands. Too much reggae and hippy jam music in Eugene but it’s a nice place that I’ll always come back too. There are some younger people with good taste who are hosting interesting bands, there’s a lot going on for such a small city.

Do you have any records/CDs for sale and where can a guy get those?

A: You can download my home recordings at my Bandcamp page. The Underlings have 2 CDs you can get through CD Baby
and we have a 7″ . You can order those by emailing us on Facebook.

The Underlings – Part Time Crime

The Underlings – Foreign Sausage

The Underlings – Vice Squad

Ed Cole – Cross 2 Bear

Ed Cole – Working Class Losers

Ed Cole – Underbelly Set

What new stuff spins on your turntable these days?
A:Today it was John Fahey, Return of Blind Joe Death. Earlier it was Guided By Voices ??? I forget which album and then Brian Eno, Before and After Science. I listen on headphones to spotify at work, I often play Dead Boys, Warren Zevon, Amanda Palmer (barf! I can’t believe I liked her, that was last year), Kurt Vile, Camper Van Beethoven, Pere Ubu, Judas Priest, I think I listened to all of that and more this week. I listened to Mylie Cyrus’ “Bangers” this week also, it wasn’t very good but I still like her.

As I said earlier, you seem to always have a lot of coles (pun intended) in the fire, any future projects in the works?

A: I’m working on an album in my head right now, a rock album that is going to be like Lou Reed meets Tom Petty with Television as the backing band.

Ed Cole Fucking RocksAny additional words of wisdom? Anything to the young musician? Or perhaps to the world and humanity in general?

A: Play because you want to, play because it feels good, make music freely and don’t worry about the consequences. Don’t get bogged down worrying about success, just keep making music because it’s just the best thing that humanity has come up with so far. Music will heal you or at least make your transition to death much more pleasant.

Thanx bud!

Ed is well represented on the net with a Bandcamp to get your listening on of his solo material, a Facebook where you can socialize and swap recipes, more listening at Reverbnation, you can get inside his head at Edhead 101, and you can take an epic journey in his Garden Weasel Diaries.

After a while here we’ll have part 2 of the interview with a ton of killer tunes. For now, wanted to finish this off with what I consider to the culmination of years writing and performing music. This here vid, I need to give anonymous kudos to the videographer who did a stunning job, is the kind of stuff that should be popular on the radio right now and really is testimony to the sophistication of Mr. Cole as an artist and composer, enjoy…

Stroamata – “Dollar”

stroamataPRESSdb65ceYou know it’s nice when a really good tune just drops right into your lap and you’ve just gotta pass that on to someone else. I don’t know much about the scene in New York (or more specifically Brooklyn) but I have a feeling Stroamata is not as under the radar as most of the music I seek out and am exposed to, but rightly so, this band has something special going on and a wide variety of folks could relate to their groove. Their newest single, “Dollar” is certainly worthy of 3 and a half minutes of your ear time. Here’s the press release type deal about the band…
“With backgrounds in music and performance ranging from self-taught to classical and theater to conservatory training, Stroamata translate their skills into an edgy sound. Stroamata has been coming into their own and absorbing new vibes and inspirations since their start in 2008. Originally backing MCs and performing as a triphop/psychedelic soul band in Boston, MA, Stroamata delved into writing original material with an indie rock edge when Dorothy (Dara) Eagle (lead vocals, rhythm guitar) joined Robert (Rob) Morrison (lead guitar, vocals), Akil Marshall (bass), and Alexander Markowitz (drums/backing vocals). After releasing their EP The Phoenix in 2010, the quartet made the move to New York in 2011, continuing to gig heavily at notable venues, such as The Bowery Electric (NY), TT the Bear’s (Boston), and Church (Boston). Stroamata began releasing monthly singles starting in 2012, catching the attention of fans and press alike, receiving an Honorable Mention on Adam’s World Blog for “Best Live Band 2013” and taking the title as Harpoon Brewery’s “Best Unfiltered Band.” The future holds an upward trajectory as Stroamata continues to innovate their sound and audiences revel in the band’s newest single and accompanying video, “Dollar“.
What I got outta that is that these gal/guys are multiply inspired, not novices at what they do and they’re willing to go where the action is. I asked the band what made them tick and got a commendable response,
“Stroamata keeps ticking and creating because we want to be on the road, touring cities all over the world for the rest of our lives! We stick to our signature style because we want to create the kind of music that we want to hear. We hope to one day be considered one of the best band’s in world, but we really keep going because we all have that unnameable drive in our hearts to make music!”
They have crafted a hell of a lot of tunes as you can see/listen/buy at their website (Bandcamp), but this latest tune is a masterpiece. I listened to several of the songs from the past 6 years, all pretty rockin’ tunes, but “Dollar” doesn’t just rock, it grooves. It has this mature sound, showing off everybody’s individual talents, but as one marvelous composition. The vocals stand out to me, reminding me a bit of Siouxsie, a sultry warm voice, but in a more general sense a hopping cabaret or a lively lounge. But this ain’t lounge or cabaret, the song is very much in your face and seems to have a life of it’s own. I really hope this band sees the success and happiness they desire and can make a living from their art. You know they at least got their shit together enough to have a video that captures that rockin’ vibe…

…and just because one song is never enough here at the Relics, one of my favorites, a garage-y intro followed up by some funk, some folky metal, progressive jazzy-ness, maybe a little psychedelia, with those sensuous vocals throughout. I see a fog machine and a strobe light for the video of this one…
“Edge of the Sky”