…if you’re a kid anyway, or a teacher who just had the whole summer off. Yeah, BACK…TO…SCHOOL. So here at Schizomusica let’s have a big back-to-school bash with some cool September music releases!
Arrica Rose & The …’s – Low as the Moon (9/8)
Boy, it musta finally happened: ALL the band names in the world have been taken. So poor Arrica Rose has to name her backing group The …’s (pronounced the “dot dot dots” – ok, I guess it’s still an actual name). So on to the music…(dot dot dot). As soon as the gorgeous, atmospheric guitars and Arrica’s haunting, hard-to-make-out-exactly vocals take off on first single “Whole Lotta Lows,” there’s no doubt this will be an early fall classic. A “Suddenly Last Summer” feel with the sensuous guitars of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” swirling around it – plus a bit of the Cowboy Junkies’ 1998 classic, Miles from Our Home. That air continues on the lovely “Glitter Gold” and the Spector/Springsteen-ish “Bobby.” The rest of Low as the Moon is hit-or-miss, but be sure not to miss the rockin’, almost-Heart “When You’re Gone” and the mysterious, pseudo-Bond theme “So Many Ways to Die.” Arrica Rose & The …’s hail from Southern California and perform primarily in the Golden State, but here’s hoping they head east at some point!
Double Naught Spy Car – MOOF (9/8)
Actually Double Naught Spy Car & friends, the friends being 13 musicians who collaborated with the main band of guitarist/steel guitarist Paul Lacques, bassist/keyboardist Marc Doten, percussionist Joe Berardi, and guitarist Marcus Watkins. The friend list includes a few familiar names (Mike Watt, Ben Vaughn), a lot of not-so-familiar ones, and an abundance of guest guitarists. Yes, MOOF is a guitar album. Eerie slide guitar (“Tale of the Comet,” “Criminal Luminosity”), lonesome, Hawaiian-y slide guitar (“Men Without Steel”), Byrds-style, 12-string guitar (“Rhymes of Chimney,” a play on “Bells of Rhymney”?), oblique, Zappa-esque explorations (“Hairsuit”), dark, watery guitar (“Like Standing Water” – indeed), wah-wah workouts a la Hendrix (“Marginalia”). And it’s an instrumental album. Besides the all-encompassing guitars, there are keyboards (“Peaches Sans Herbes” featuring Danny McGough on spaghetti-western organ) and horns (Vince Meghrouni’s sax and Carlos Alvidrez’ trombone make “Loose Cannons in Tight Quarters” sound like something straight out of an Otto Preminger film score, accompanying a damp, dimly-lit chase scene). Formed in L.A. by a bunch of session players/composers, Double Naught Spy Car has been “making people nervous since 1994,” according to their website.
Ω▽ (Ohmslice) – Conduit (9/8)
If experimental sound-collages with free-form female poetry are your thing, then this group is your homeslice! Ohmslice! Stylized as Ω▽! From Brooklyn! Weird! Hip! The main instrument here, played by the main guy, Bradford Reed, is “drums through modular synthesizer and echoes.” There are regular drums, by Josh Matthews, on about half the tracks, horns courtesy of Daniel Carter on a few, Bill Bronson’s guitar on one, and Jane LeCroy’s voice – all at once spacey, tantalizing, and annoying (uh, in a good way?) – on most. Think of Grace Slick possessed by Björk if you like. For those who feel the need to skip around stuff like this looking for the better moments, then skip around to the engaging-but-still-weird opening track, “Crying on a Train” (the one with guitar), the spooky wordplayground “Get Matter,” the even more spooky – no, scary – sax-infused mayhem of “Gravity,” and the wittily-titled “Paint by Numbered Days” which runs like spilled paint into the industrial-strength love song “Machine of You.” Ω▽ will be celebrating Conduit’s release with a show at Halyards in Brooklyn on September 9, so get that dreaded weekend homework done!
Gene Loves Jezebel – Dance Underwater (9/15)
This one’s been out for a few months as a UK import…but it sees the light of day here in the States on September 15. And for anyone who was club-age during the club-heyday of the 1980s-90s, the name Gene Loves Jezebel will probably trigger something like “I remember them!” or “Oh no, that band’s back?” Actually they never left – in fact there are now two Gene Loves Jezebels, each led by an Aston brother. As might be expected, lawsuits were flying, and today the band on Dance Underwater, known as Jay Aston’s Gene Loves Jezebel in the US, consists of Jay Aston (guitar and vocals), Chris Bell (drums), Peter Rizzo (bass), and James Stevenson (guitar). The other GLJ, led by Jay’s twin Michael, is apparently a whole ’nother animal. Suffice to say Dance Underwater is everything the dear old GLJ was: upbeat guitar pop with a gothy edge, catchy choruses, and Jay Aston’s just-affected-enough vocals. Sing along to the sunny choruses of “Summertime” and “IZITME”! Dance like you’re at Danceteria to opening track “Charmed Life (Never Give In)” and the apt “World’s Gone Crazy”! Pretend you’re watching videos on MTV for “Cry 4 U” and “Chase the Sun”! And it’s all packaged in a very dark, very stylish cover.
images courtesy 45cat.com, amazon.com, discogs.com, doublenaughtspycar.com, ghostcultmag.com, highwiredaze.com, vinyl45s.com