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DIY/Lo-Fi

September 2016
Them Jones
"A Mountain of Nonsense
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mp3

Philly rockers Them Jones craft far-out riffs and psych-drenched anthems, reviving and reinventing soundscapes reminiscent of the Age of Aquarius on their new LP A Mountain of Nonsense.

 

Beginning with the steady buzz of “Mended All Made Clean,” the five-piece's efforts make one take notice, as reverbed screams and gritty cymbals collide with satisfying repetition and impassioned diction. As if filling the narrative chasm between Mikal Cronin’s “Gone” and Ty Segall’s “Inside Your Heart,” Them Jones’ album opener sinks deep into the hearts of listeners without pretense or apology. “Hollow Man” captivates in a similar fashion by teaching its audience patience as atmospheric dissonance gives way to melodic guitar and harmonized vocals that paint a glaringly relatable portrait of a man with “wounds to mend.” A deliciously contemplative downer, the track is as haunting as its namesake suggests. Soon after its end, the infectious tempo and throbbing beat of “Outburst” fills the silence, switching the mood of the album from the musings of a contemplative loner to the pulsating heart of an unabashed romantic.

 

The bluesy growl of “One of These Days” casts a spell on its own terms, making the most of initially sparse but precise instrumentation, before blooming into an audible homage to the genre’s predecessors as well as its current greats. Furthered by “Acute Mountain Sickness Blues” and the addictive hook of “Honeytrap,” Them Jones prove that their metaphors are as memorable as their ability to shred. As the album progresses, the dreamy melody of “My Heroine Pretends” suitably precedes the delectable swagger of “Well Enough Alone,” which serves as the perfect prelude for the introspective depth of “Jennifer, My Plastic Girl” and “The Shrinking Violet Light,” which resurrects the candidness of Jay Reatard and the poetic genius of The White Stripes pre-De Stijil.

 

Ending with the delectably menacing “Now I Become Death” and trippy glory of “These Canyons,” A Mountain of Nonsense should be considered quintessential for any music lover. Them Jones’ official debut LP is well-deserving of heavy rotation and adoration. - Dianca London





Pete Curry brings his lo-fi pop to Strange Matter on 9.01

Pete Curry is a Richmond-based lo-fi pop artist whose latest EP Doin’ Nothin’ delivers six jangly pop tracks to set the mood for the summer. Curry makes use of acoustic guitars and keyboards on the record to capture the fun summer vibe, which serves as a departure from the garage-pop featured on his debut Advice on Love. The album’s title track takes a cheerfully goofy approach to Curry’s songwriting as he sings about sneaking into pools, doobies, and summer BBQ’s. Final track “Summer’s In My Head,” instead, slows down the pace with its dream folk sound. finding the singer reflecting on a summer love that he can’t get out of his head. Pete Curry will be playing Strange Matter on September 1st in support of Buffalo Rodeo! - John Honan

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Camp Howard plays Strange Matter on 9.01

Richmond’s Camp Howard was formed through Virginia Commonwealth University’s art community in 2014, and released their debut self-titled album in March of 2016. Their breezy rock ‘n’ roll pairs frontman Nic Perea’s laid back vocals over melodic, distorted guitars and sluggish drums. While the album draws heavily on relaxed vibes of indie rock acts like Mac Demarco, it features darker, grungier moments that take influence from acts such as Alice in Chains. The record’s lead single “Veins” creates a dreamy atmosphere driven by its fuzzed out guitars and washed out vocals. The haziness from these moodier tracks is carried over onto tracks like “You’ve Been Misled” and “Anybody”, which have a more upbeat tone. Camp Howard will be playing Strange Matter on September 1st! - John Honan

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¡Vamanos! bring their fuzzy punn to Shea Stadium on 09.01

Capturing the excitable nature of live performances on recordings can be a difficult task, but Brooklyn’s ¡Vamanos! have nailed this, letting their undeniable energy radiate throughout their recorded material. Their latest, release ¡Vamanos! Presents...A Ten Inch at 45 RMPs captures the duo’s raucous fuzzy punk that blends elements from psych rock to blues. The brief instrumental track “Chicken & Waffles” puts Tyler Bower’s clamorous drumming, while Alex Knoche’s guitar wails with psychedelic swirls and bluesy stabs. However, the song “Necktie” (streaming) is pure garage rock soaked with lo-fi buzzing and yelping vocals. ¡Vamanos! will be playing Shea Stadium on September 1st! - John Honan

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Krust Toons: "Advice for a Young Punk Musician" by Teddy Hazard

Krust Toons: "Advice for a Young Punk Musician" by Teddy Hazard - please feel free to drop him a line at teddandthehazards@gmail.com if you dig or have any funny ideas. You can also check out more of his illustrations and animation shorts HERE.

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