This is the best week for Boston record releases in a dog’s age, and you should be plenty excited about that. Get psyched out to the new Quilt and Doug Tuttle albums, or get a little sad with GEM CLUB. Whatever you do, don’t snooze on them, because Boston is making quite a pleasant bit of noise.
While you read, check out Perry and RadioBDC’s Adam12 chat about some of these releases, as well as other music news from today:
Quilt – “Held in Splendor”
|The Jamaica Plain trio struck gold
with its first release in 2011, but with “Held In Splendor,” the band refines its psychedelic sound by adding dimensions to the recording quality, seeking out greater chord changes, and continuing to let wispy harmonies carry the load. There is a poppier side to this record, drawing less from the washed out freak folk of its previous material, and more a hook-driven haze pop that draws back to Kaleidoscope, Beauregard Ajax, and more lost psych-rock bands of the ’60s. Already one of the best albums Boston will see all year, Quilt’s tender loving care pays off in both the smallest and largest ways on this record.
Somerville trio GEM CLUB
picked the perfect month to release “In Roses.” The atmospheric balladry, led by the ethereal croons of Christopher Barnes, is the perfect backing music for wallowing in the slowness in January. Make no mistake, the record is a thing of beauty, but if it doesn’t cajole a bit of emotion out of you, you may be a little too jolly for your own good. A band comprised of piano, cello, and keyboard makes for a relaxing change of pace from the frantic rhythms Boston typically purveys. If you’re looking for a moment of introspection, a haunting piece of inspiration, or even a good cry, “In Roses” is here for you.
Doug Tuttle – “Doug Tuttle”
If you were ever lucky enough to catch MMOSS live, you would expect former frontman Doug Tuttle
‘s solo debut to be laden with 10-minute 12-string guitar jams. He does find ways to incorporate plenty or bars of fuzed out instrumentals, but he also maintains restraint to keep it more of a psych-pop record. There are massive layers to the recordings, which are mostly lucid and colorful, despite his sometimes eerie vocal style. Truth is, anyone who listened past “Elephant” on Tame Impala’s last record could easily connect with Doug Tuttle’s album, and any psychedelic purist would have little to complain about too.
Brooklyn’s Hospitality is one of those bands that all of your favorite Brooklyn bands are aspiring to be. The trio grabs a clean-shaven and intellectually stimulating angle to its songwriting that is better suited in galleries than basements, but has enough cross-appeal to fit in with both, in case you know of any good gallery-basements. Dance-y basslines on tracks like “Going Out” keep this album on its toes, while choppy grooves and time signatures on “I Miss Your Bones” challenge listeners, but with feel-good use of powerchords. Just about every online outlet called Hospitality a band to watch a few years ago, but with “Trouble,” Hospitality is a band to watch with a devilish Mr. Burns “exxxxxcellent” smile on your face.
Cities Aviv – “Come To Life”
Nashville-based hip-hop spark plug Cities Aviv has gotten glitchier and more production-heavy with each new project. If you thought that “Yeezus” was sonically overstimulating, you would be fried on the percussion and cloud-beats on “Come To Life.” As involved as it is, the record is extremely diverse, between the plays on vintage synth-pop in “HEAD” and the loved-up, bone-crushing sounds of “Dissolve.” Cities Aviv gives a gift with this release, both to underground hip-hop snobs and electronic club-dwellers.
Dum Dum Girls – “Too True”
Sub Pop quartet Dum Dum Girls had plenty to live up to after 2012’s excellent “End of Daze EP,” and while “Too True” gathers plenty of upbeat punkwave grooves, the level of attitude doesn’t quite hit the mark. Songs like “Are You Okay?” boast lovely pop songwriting, but ditch a chin-up garage-rock feel for a pitch to adult-contemporary radio stations. It’s a new era for Dum Dum Girls, which swaps excitement for sophistication, which isn’t a bad thing, just a different thing.
Habibi’s debut full-length is kind of exactly what the aforementioned Dum Dum Girls album should sound like. Simple but catchy grooves, floor tom rumbles, attitude, messy lipstick, and cool breeze boho vibe. Burger Records is the perfect spot for this Brooklyn quintet, grasping a bit of surfiness, but embracing the joy of three-chord grooves, finding a spot in the garage next to King Tuff with the mystique of Fear of Men. Habibi doesn’t over-scrub these cleaned up recordings either, reminding that the band can also kick it hard live.
The Lawrence Arms – “Metropole”
With pop-punk on an upswing, Chicago punk legends The Lawrence Arms delivers its first album in eight years, and return as strong as ever. Comparable to what Superchunk did with “I Hate Music” last year, “Metropole” isn’t quite black and studs ferocity, but it also doesn’t seem to play into the what-is-hip brand of pop-punk that the kids seem to love. It attacks with well-oiled guitar grinders, but shows a bit of meditation from time off, which could provide a solid tip for any group of youngsters with a guitar-riddled sense of aggression.