Very reminiscent of early Wavves, DREGS takes advantage lo fi to fashion a hazy and lulled atmosphere. I don’t know much about this group beyond that fact that they are teenagers from Los Angeles, but they have a lot going for them. Their demo, OOooOOoo, is slightly more melodic than songs by most bands who opt for clustered low fidelity recordings, which gives the track an almost entrancing feeling. Lyrically, the chorus is entirely summed up by the song’s title, but due to the aforementioned atmosphere, it seems totally appropriate. Unlike most lo fi, the vocals are very distinguished in the mix,. As lame and overused as this is, OOooOOoo is the kind of song that is suitable summer listening; but in terms of song writing, is about as gratifying as I’ve encountered in the past month.
Physical Forms is not what one would expect from a group comprised of Busdriver and ex-members of The Mae Shi, Upsilon Acrux and Division Day. While I’m kind of disappointed that they aren’t a noise-rock take on Nu-Metal, what they are is still satisfying. Most groups containing members that were at one point a part of The Mae Shi have managed to be different enough from The Mae Shi so that they don’t just sound like an attempt to recreate the group, but retain the group’s integrity. Everything from Ezra Buchla to Signals have been amazing, and Physical Forms don’t fall short. Their first single, “On The Brink” starts out with a synth part that immediately reminded The Islander of “Pwnd” by The Mae Shi. The drums come in which brings the song’s energy level to something one would expect of a project that includes Jeff Byron. Busdriver’s vocals are the song’s distinguishing factor. They manage to be almost bluesy while still having a theatrical quality to them. Overall, “On The Brink” is an exciting song from a band that is bound to start causing a lot of excitement very soon.
Listening to White Arrows is like listening to glorious mishmash that incorporates hints of everything from Glam to Hardcore. Their E.P., White Arrows (Free on Bandcamp, Link Below), features very energetic tracks, but also has a few calming notes. The standout track is, “8050 (Too Fast, Too Slow),” which just sort of rules. The song’s intro has a remarkable resemblance to Chromeo’s, “Mama’s Boy,” but it become clear that the two songs have very little in common. They vocals sound very influenced by Marc Bolan, and the lead vocal melody sounds very Glam-rocky. The background vocals on the other hand sound a lot like The Blood Brothers, and this juxtaposition is really interesting. The two vocal parts are layered over a very cohesive synth, guitar, drum and bass instrumental track, and as a whole, the song manages to sustain interest. White Arrows made decisions akin to The Morning Benders, and covered a Fleetwood Mac song. White Arrows’s Cover of “Save Me a Place,” really differs from anything on their self titled E.P. It is very calming and floats along, and while the song is extremely different, the group is stylistically consistent.
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.