Part Novella, part Mazes and part Male Bonding, providing today’s #onegoodthing are White Sands.
Yes, they’re another Art Is Hard act and, yes, they’ve also recently unveiled their second track. But it’s their debut offering The Wait that gets the thumbs up today.
The track has a distinctly 90s feel to it, but rather than lurching towards Britpop, the influences are very much from across the Pond. Echoing some of the lighter touch-points of the Foo Fighters a la Cheatahs, there’s also a hint of Dinosaur Jr on a song that bursts with promise (backed up by second ‘proper’ track Expect Nothing).
Sulky Boy (Dan, to his mum) has featured on these fair pages before with the indie-croon (croondie?) sway of Carmela and has repeated the trick for today’s #onegoodthing.
French Kiss follows a similar template to the previous track, but already feels more evolved and hints at a maturer sound to the slight shanty stylings of Carmela. Maintaining a wistful, loverlorn essence throughout, it tugs on the heartstrings and it’s easy to imagine any accompanying video featuring a handsome rogue, mournful looks and a rain-soaked window.
There’s plenty of things you can rely on; mum’s cooking, Spurs’ ability to disappoint and, of course, the consistently high-grade output of Art Is Hard Records.
With a quite frankly sexual bassline that gets right under the skin (in a good way), Shimensoka – which apparently means “a situation beyond hope; defeat is clear” (back to Spurs again…) – is the debut offering from Thalassocracy.
That barrelling bass accompanies scuzzy guitars and a driving drum beat, that is a staple of Art Is Hard’s acts and it’s yet another corker.
Oh, and it’s a free download. Which is nice.
Aside from Paolo Wanchope and apparently not having an army, there’s not much I know about Costa Rica, but I can know add San José three-piece Las Robertas to that list.
From their 2014 album Days Unmade, today’s #onegoodthing is the excellent Inside and Out. Harnessing surf-rock and punkier influences, the band remind me a touch of the fabulous Feature, with crashing cymbals and melodic “aaahs” the perfect backdrop for some lush vocals. Meanwhile, the fierce drumming really drives a track that also has a hint of a less angular Elastica.
Irrespective of my inane ramblings and muddled comparisons, this is a cracking track and a fine way to begin the week.
As Hannibal used to say, I love it when a plan comes together (incidentally, Hannibal, a bit like Adolf, is a name that has seemingly lost popularity…) and the merging – on record and on tour – of two of my favourite bands of the past year or so was a plan I could definitely get on board with.
Last month, Slowcoaches and Feature joined forces (with Heather gamely playing in both bands on tour) to release this excellent EP, featuring two new songs from each band, as well as a Wire cover from both.
Both bands display their usual tautness of sound, with the all-female vocals of Feature colliding gloriously with their motorik sound and the heavier, rollicking Slowcoaches delivering more unrelenting punk.
Ooh, it’s a beauty.
It’s one of those rare(ish) occasions that I’ve opted for a whole album as today’s #onegoodthing, showcasing the Cultlove album by Dutch artist Yuko Yuko.
Released on Mexican label RVRB MUSIC earlier this year, it’s laid-back indie synth-pop, slightly meandering at times, but still featuring some choice cuts.
Fans of lo-fi synth sounds should certainly take a look.
Like an upbeat Interpol channelling Protomartyr, Arizona’s The Playboy Manbaby Experience crash and bang through this slice of rock to deliver an intoxicating and catchy track that is cunningly disguised as something of a messy free-for-all.
But what Killer High Life has in abundance is a delicious, driving sound to back the urgent almost-shrieked delivery of the vocals. It’s hard to pigeon-hole the sound to any one genre, due to the volume of influences and angles it goes in. Indeed, the song is a great example of what the band themselves perceive to be a slightly ‘schizophrenic’ sound.
You’ll either love it or you’ll hate it, but I bet it’s fantastic to see live…
Brooklyn’s BEIJU have only released the one track to date, but it’s a corker and is today’s #onegoodthing.
Drenched in synths and occupying a similar area to The Fall by Rhye or the ‘downbeat disco’ of Dent May’s Born Too Late, it’s got a dreamy vibe, soaked in reverb and tackles the prevalence of social media in its lyrics.
A more-than-promising beginning, certainly.
Out on Couple Skate Records, Year Of Patience was the first single from Mega Bog‘s Gone Banana album and is a fabulous slice of indie-pop.
Channelling the likes of Camera Obscura and even a bit of St Etienne, Erin Birgy – Mega Bog’s given name – delivers a delicately delivered vocal over a jangly, jazzy, horn-indebted backing.
Coming across as a less maniacal Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, five-piece Dracula Legs deliver barrelling indie-rock, with a gloomy edge but killer riffs.
Today’s #onegoodthing is their second single, Sand to the Beach, which very much follows the same formula of their previous double A-side release Heartburn Destination/Cold Licks. But don’t think this is lazy repetition, there’s layers of depth here, as well as myriad influences including country and rockabilly, that meld seamlessly with the heavier, garage-tinged sound.