Monthly Archives: July 2012

Recommended: The Julia Sound – One For Ya Mind EP

Remember how just yesterday, I was informing you of my under-utilized pop side and letting you know I wasn’t all about the DARK and the NOISE just like other, normal human beings? Well, those day(s) are over, suckers. Back to the DARK and the NOISE and especially the last part.

The Julia Sound eradicates any other female-named Sounds and I’m pretty sure they can take down all the male-named Sounds as well, probably without breaking a sweat, all at the same time. Because The Julia Sound are SOUND with a capital-everything.

Former WOOD OWL (as featured previously here at Minor Scratches) [and cryptically abbreviated] R. has returned to the studio as part of The Julia Sound, picking up right where the WOOD OWLS left off: crafting incredibly loud, incredibly layered, sharply angled explosive blasts of white noise that hit your eardrums with enough force to cause vertigo and with enough abrasives to remove protective tympanic membranes, leaving you reeling around in an ear-ringing daze like a Who roadie after 35 years on the road. If this doesn’t sound like your “sort of thing,” I humbly submit that you are simply NOT playing it LOUD ENOUGH.

The Julia Sound’s EP, One Time for Ya Mind, is five end-to-end tracks that revel in the pitch black joy of ensnaring listeners in razor wire feedback and pummeling, thug-like, PiL death disco drums. As cathartic and confrontational as the Jesus and Mary Chain’s early live gigs and as resolutely uncompromising as some of the bands namechecked on its Facebook page (Pussy Galore, Meat Whiplash, zZz), The Julia Sound is an impossibility of logistics. How in the name of all that is unholy do these three persons (/R //E.V. Orman //No. 6), without a complete name between them, manage to create such an encompassing “Sea of Sound,” one which seems to be at least as much predicated on destruction as creation?

CIP, the First:

The Julia Sound – Absolved, As It Happens.mp3

Somewhere between the JAMC, the Sisters of Mercy (Vision Thing incarnation) and Suicide lies this pretty thing, and by “pretty” I mean “check out those sharpened incisors.” A brief noise, not unlike a motorcycle made entirely out of blown-out speaker cones, kicks off the track, revving the throttle in an altogether threatening way. And away it goes, replaced by reverbed, guttural howls and the occasional shouty, echoed f-bomb. The beat goes on in a relentless fashion, but not one built of insistence but resignation. All in all, it’s not completely out of the realm of possibility that this was once a Jesus and Mary Chain b-side that somehow slipped into a wormhole during an elongated drugs-and-drinking session, only to be recovered by The Julia Sound, who somehow, against all SCIENCE, discovered they had ALREADY recorded it. (Cue scary musical sting.)

CIP, the Second:

The Julia Sound – Injection N°. Hate.mp3

The OED doesn’t seem to be particularly lacking in words for stuff, but when it comes to something as intensely brutal and beautiful as this track, there’s suddenly a dearth of adequate adjectives. It runs 8:46 and as such qualifies as “epic,” even before a single note is played. But the notes are played and what begins as something you might be able to term a “first-date song” quickly devolves into something more in line with a “post-devastating-breakup song.” The drums go from “nonexistent” to “inescapable,” and the track itself from “inviting” to “tinnitus hellscape,” inviting comparisons to Stellarium’s “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” epic sonic destroyer Dead Nebula and My Bloody Valentine’s live finale You Made Me Realise* (“whatever doesn’t kill you leaves you desperately in need of immediate medical attention”). Gentle, it isn’t.

*Affectionately referred to as the “holocaust” by fans.

This is the sort of track that leads to this scenario when experienced live:

Uninitiated friend: “So… this is like performance art or something?”

[WAVE AFTER WAVE OF TJS SONIC BRUTALITY]

You: “I KNOW! HOLY FUCKING SHIT! I THINK MY NOSE IS BLEEDING”

Uninitiated friend: [slowly sinks into fetal position]

You: “FUCK YEAH! IT IS BLEEDING!”

Be initiated. The sight, taste and smell of your own blood as heightened by the collapse of Western Civilization in audio format is greatly preferable to laying in your own urine, hoping for a riot to cut the night short.

Download the whole EP over at Mediafire.

Stop by Facebook and add The Julia Sound to your “These Are the Sorts of Things I Like” List. Also, take a few seconds to gaze in awe and wonderment at the inspiration for the band and its namesake. (You won’t need more than 15 of those seconds.)

Share it with a friend.

SCREAM IF YOU WANT TO GO FASTER.

Wear proper hearing protection, etc. blahblahblah.

/s/CLT

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Filed under Rock

Recommended: Leann Grimes – I’m Not Too Skinny

I know that this blog, being representative of my music tastes, tends towards the “dark” and “noisy” ends of the musical spectrum, often serving up both at the same time. I APOLOGIZE FOR NOTHING. This is what interests me now and considering my age*, is probably NOT a “phase.”

*Quite possibly older than you think, but I skew younger thanks to my boyish good looks and childlike fascination with swearing.

But that’s not ALL I am. I’m not always searching out the darkest corners armed with a flashlight with a beam made of out feedback and faulty electronics. I’m also a fan of ear-pleasing noises, which aren’t, in fact, noisy at all, but rather suitable for all ages (possible exceptions: 7 and 43.) I can be just as suckered in by poplike art as the next childlike post-teen with a potty mouth. I like stuff I can hum. I like stuff that I can’t get out of my head. (Caveat: I have to be the one putting it there, not some Top 40 DJ pretending to be local while broadcasting from ClearChannel’s bomb shelter in the cold, steely heart of Industryville.)

Case in point: Leann Grimes. I’ve gushed in an almost embarrassing fashion about his music before. Having placed his debut album squarely at the top of a severely truncated Best of 2K11 list, I attempted to share my (manly, no doubt) crush on LG’s beautifully spun samples-and-beats with the world, or at least as much of the word that Yet Another WordPress Blog will reach.

Long story short: here’s another shortish story. This showed up in my (e)mailbox at the tail end of a soul-crushing day. You know those days where everything seems like the only way the dial’s going to budge from “bad” is when it heads to “worse,” and the most promising thing on the horizon is bedtime? One of those days. Even if you don’t know those days, play along.

Shane Conerty (Leann Grimes) graced me with an inadvertent care package just when I needed it. A brand new Leann Grimes album. If you’ve read my previous review, you’ll know why this is the best thing that could have happened at this moment. No one, I mean absolutely NO ONE, makes albums so full of sprightly tunes and pure celebratory joy as Leann Grimes. It was pure, ridiculous fate, like someone tapping you on your slumped shoulder and saying, “You look beat, brother. Life can be that way. It’s dangerous to go alone. Take this.”

LG celebrates the bliss of discovering new music you love and, like his last album, returns the favor to all the artists he (now) loves and the blogs that pointed him in these new directions, by crafting brisk, radio-ready (if radio didn’t suck ALL OF THE ASS EVER), bouncy, effervescent, drunk-on-life tracks that grab your ears with the enthusiasm of orally pleasured female approaching orgasm. (Seriously: we are hiring for the position of Metaphor Writer, citing specifically complaints from artists that they “can’t show these reviews to their mom.”)

I’ll post a few here and I motherfucking dare you to be unmoved. To sit there without a toe tapping or finger drumming or party ensuing. Because if you can’t move to this, you might need to have you soul removed and given to the nearest vampire-esque teen scowling away miserably, because chances are it might do them some good and shatter their face with unexpected smiling. Tell them it’s available for download on Friday the 13th and that will be all the excuse they’ll need to get up earlier than nightfall.

[How can you resist this? It features something that sounds like the only calliope ever that has never been tainted by clown proximity and it fucks around with your groove by shifting the tempo this way and that, much like Pepepiano’s famous “disconcertos.” And stay tuned for the sample near the end, which briefly resurrects 60s girl pop in Conerty’s own particular idiom, which means that it’s familiar but twisted.]

[This one samples an artist called “Gringo Starr,” whom I’m not familiar with but beginning to regret that fact with each re-reading of the name. At times this track resembles what would happen to 70s-era AOR (Steve Miller comes to mind) if someone made off with the master tapes and diced them all into tiny pieces and reassembled them later with the help of a Dirty Beatniks 12″ and none of the Original Manufacturer’s Instructions.]

[If you’re going to kick off an album, you could do a fuck-ton(ne) worse than Yeah, We Up, which kicks down the door, drags your groggy ass out of bed and heads to the hills, which presumably contain a speedy vehicle waiting to transport you to the Nearest Club of Your Choosing for a night of dancing, drinking and possible arrest, all in 2-1/2 minutes.]

You can stream it now to pre-get-your-groove-on. And as God is my witness, I wrote this entire “review” sitting outside like one of those cheerful, bongloaded hippies with a hardon for mother nature and sans natural aversion to sunlight. Like the sort of person I mentally punch in the face because of their obvious satisfaction in just doing nothing and getting high on life after getting high on everything else. I, for an undetermined amount of time, was THAT person, and you know what? LISTEN TO THIS ALBUM. It will make you more cheerful than should reasonably be expected under the circumstances. GO.

Note: Leann Grimes is also available in SOUNDCLOUD and Actual Band Form, not to mention the ever-popular Facebotnet.

/s/CLT

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Filed under Electronica, Remixes