Need some subdued tunes for hiding from the hot sun? Is/Is is your jam. Their cool shoegazey cosmic pop is a solar eclipse for your ears. The songs keep good rhythmic progressions and pleasant dreamy melodies which mix together and just sound great. The track “Rune” showcases Is/Is’s psych sensibilities, with a sound reminscent to My Bloody Valentine or early Besnard Lakes. The very next track “Sideways” shows more of an interest in garage rock with a nod to 90’s revivalism. This is what makes Is/Is successful, their seamless blending of everything we love. Their live shows are highly recommended. Lucky for you, Portlander, they’re playing Star Theater with Ancient River on July 9th, and Mississippi Studios with The Coathangers and Marriage and Cancer July 18th.
Check out this disc that dropped back in February. Five years in the making, it’s called THRU.U by White Rainbows. If you’re looking for a massive dose of sunshine–like enough to leave you with a little sunburn on your ears– then have a listen to THRU.U. The album starts off with Batman Palace, a starry-eyed number which vibrates with upbeat drum machines and distant reverb’d vocals saying “it feels alright.” It sure does. Cuban Egg is a funky super reprise which leads us into Killswitch, basically approaching the pinnacle of ambient EDM. More funky and psych vibes float through in Don’t Wait which take liberties that distinguish White Rainbows from other producers like Odesza or Shlohmo. The mood remains that of subdued elation, evoking the type of happiness that comes from anticipation. Trance, dance, trap, and fun. White Rainbows– get down.
Tuesday was Portland’s first Red Bull Sound Select showcase where three awesome local PDX groups come together and shred the Doug Fir. A mixture of new-wave, post-rock, and doom metal fans RSVP’d for three bucks to see up-and-comers WL, our favorite local dreamcatchers Aan, and the untouchable stoner outfit Red Fang. We snagged our very first interview with Aan to talk about their new album Amor Ad Nauseum out in February.
WL is always a joy in concert. With a sophisticated and stripped down sound, they don’t leave much not to like.
Aan is an ethereal beast. Leadman Bud Wilson works in patches of color and swaths of shimmering light. The powerful songwriting and lo-fi aesthetic recall Modest Mouse, but Aan is more. They’re Portland’s unsung pioneers of pop music for a new dawn. We crave this experimental, vaguely spiritual quality in our music. And Aan gives us this. Their debut album Amor Ad Nauseum comes out February 4th. Listen to their polished up version of Wet & Dripping off Amor Ad Nausium and check out what Aan had to tell Killing Sasquatch about their LP, touring with Smashing Pumpkins, and more.
RED FANG DESTROYS \m/ Period.
Today sees the release of a lot of good records, none more prominent than Pond’s second album Hobo Rocket. The “side project” of Tame Impala, this Australian band has so many groovy tunes packed onto one tiny album. Hobo Rocket has such a great classic rock and roll sound, yet they have really original ways of presenting that classic sound. Pond is able to mix and blend all types of psychedelic music in the last 50 years and put into a poppy, highly listenable modern type of sound. This album is one of my favorites so far this year, so listen to “Xanman” and “Giant Tortoise.”
Another new album from a local Portland band, this one is from Summer Cannibals. Their debut album is called No Makeup. Summer Cannibals has a huge punk-pop garage rock sound that translates from their hot live show to the album. Their music has huge crunchy bass lines and great guitar riffs, but the main focus is on the lead female vocals. They are quickly becoming one of my favorite local bands here. Check out “Wear Me Out,” it’s one of my favorites.
Available for pre-order now is the latest adventure of Portland explorers Blue Cranes. Before you even read, just have a listen.
What you’re hearing is what some bloggers might call post-jazz. The minimal and progressive song structures are reminiscent of post-rock groups like Explosions or Godspeed, But what Blue Cranes puts forth is a bold mixture of abstract heavy metal, classically inspired orchestral movements, and jazz improvisation. Where many groups struggle to incorporate such diverse elements, Blue Cranes builds a brilliant synergy. The aptly named “Everything is Going to be Okay” is a gorgeously representative piece that begins in a slow slog of gloom, then moves through an extraordinary little epiphany, until it breaks into joyous piano over groovy bass. When the sax solo kicks in, man, I really felt like everything was going to be just fine.
Sun Angle’s debut album Diamond Junk is not chaotic like the critics say. Fast, yes, but it’s calculated. Messy, they say. I say, enthusiastic. With speed and precision, Sun Angle delivers a potent blast of psychedelic multi-instrumental indie rock. The rough aesthetics do not mask their technical prowess, as shredding solos bleed seamlessly into soaring progressive compositions. The album shines iridescent like a pile of Diamond Junk. A long-time favorite of mine, these fellows are not to be missed in concert, where the spectacular guitar-work and worldly beats move the crowd in all dimensions and raises the roof all the way to the quasars. Things get weird below: