Alta – Dead Western Plains


Tucson, Arizona, was home to Jacob Cooper (Wavves, Mae Shi, Signals, Bark Bark Bark), and when I saw that he did a remix of a track by a group from his home-town, I was intrigued. I am formulating my entire opinion of Dead Western Plains based exclusively on the formerly mentioned track, and while this makes me a bit uncomfortable, it is all I have to go off of. This song is called “Alta” and the physical 7in. is being released as some undisclosed date before the end of the year.  This track sounds like if Animal Collective (circa Feels) wrote a song, recorded instrumentals, and then gave it to The Polyphonic Spree to record the vocals.  The combination of almost disorienting electronic sounding samples with extremely poppy vocals yields a familiar but still original sounding song. “Alta” is all over the place, but in a good way. The song goes from a whistle heavy intro to an outro that wouldn’t be out of place on a Steve Vai song, and covers everything in between. While this song is so unfocused that it is kind of overwhelming, it makes for one of the most interesting tunes I’ve heard in a while.

Alta – Dead Western Plains

Bayburn Wash – Denson Shore


When a friend approaches me saying something to the effect of, “Check out this song I wrote!”, I’m often apprehensive. While it seems like my apprehension is reasonable, I am often very surprised by how talented my friends can be. Denson Shore, a group which is the brainchild of Michael Kim, was one of these pleasant surprises. Both as a guitarist and vocalist, Michael has a really sound sense of melody. “Bayburn Wash” is the project’s newest track, which I personally really enjoy. The first fifty seconds of the song are, for lack of a better description, a dreamy  jam that doesn’t feature a single word, and when the vocals come in, it only intensifies the atmospheric energy that the song emits.

Bayburn Wash – Denson Shore

Serious-Face, Ps


Traps, Ps are currently in their second incarnation. Initially the band was Andrew (guitar/vox), Debbie (bass), Mark (percussion), and Mike (drums), and currently their line-up is Andrew (guitar/vox), Miles of Moses Campbell (drums), and Danny of Rare Grooves (bass). The Islander has only seen the current band preform, but really enjoyed it. The show was well, danceable, which is sometimes the best quality a show can have. Everyone in the audience was having a good time, and it was clear that the band was having fun as well. Their sound makes The Islander feel like he is listening to Television covering Gang of Four, which is much weird in concept than it is in reality. On the track “Prove It To You” the band displays ridiculous amounts of potential. The song starts with drums, and then vocals and a bass part come in. In the last twenty seconds in when the song really picks up and the whole band comes in. This song was written and recorded by the former line-up and while it is quite fun, the newer material was a bit more developed and even more enjoyable. If one has a chance to see them, it is absolutely worth it.

Prove It To You – Traps, Ps



The Rare Grooves (family band) emerged out of the ashes of the recently broken up Widow Babies. Former Widow Babies, Tabor (Drums and Vocals) and Danny (Guitar and Vocals), were joined by Chris (Bass) and are performing nonstop.  The Islander was introduced to the band when The Islander saw them perform at the Smell along with Signals and Heller Keller. While hanging in the ally before the show, the Islander spoke to many of The Islander’s friends, and many of them expressed that they were each respectively entangled in a love affair with this band. Obviously anticipation built up, and when it was time for the Rare Grooves set, ass was kicked. Their show was, a bundle of fun. Danny’s exclusive use of finger picking and Chris’s flowing basslines give the band a very distant “islandy” sound, and Tabor’s simple yet sturdy beats gives the band a refreshingly un-muddled sound. No Garden starts out with a twangy guitar motif and builds from there. In conclusion, The Islander is stoked on Rare Grooves. 

No Garden – Rare Grooves