Skip to main content

Verbal Cabbage by Dunes...No Shame, Blowin' Up Like Propane

On Verbal Cabbage by Dunes, a collab between beatmaker Sweeps and lyricist Bill Grease, Grease raps about "blowing up the spot, shit's propane", the record cover's neon blue and mustard hues looking like a propane flame itself. Like synesthesia, you can hear these colors in Sweeps' beats, while Bill Grease cuts thru the sunset soft shades with slightly saturated vocals and dense flow in nicely asymmetric patterns.

Grease states "you think I'm doberman but lately baby I be puggin' on velvet pillows". Sweeps' beat is that soft texture: ghostly flute on "Cold Game", cinematic strings and keys sprinkled later, soft synth pads omnipresent, seductive horns making appearances throughout. And yes, as Bill Grease sums up well, "this is nice init".

"Billy Grease got the beats that make your speakers melt metal", "more retarded than the President", and in "Cold Game" Bill Grease states "I'll be slicker this year", a simple statement amid his his surrounding cerebral imagery. While Sweeps and Grease bump their latest of two EPs, and others start to record to catch up, let's hope Dunes close out the year with another slicker, even greasier, sweeping record.

Popular posts from this blog

Considered Less Than, Then Reconsidered

Unreleased tracks may carry excessive flubs, something out of key, production quality below some standard. Years pass, maybe each mistake's shock erodes. Maybe, after separation, the songs even sound different, as if barrel aged. With a release, maybe listeners will look past any lack of musical hygiene and appreciate each song's intent.

Antbrain's Considered Less Than, production wise, sounds clearer than many contemporary self produced rock bands. Meaty guitars chug under saw wave synth and lead guitar flurry. The two singers trade lead duties, Dave Bonawits' casual, pretenseless tenor and Jiyoung Lee's smooth, polished, and alternatively wispy delivery. Altogether, their voices are authentic, nothing over affected or too theatrical.

In the opener, "Why Should I Care?", a jolting prelude revs into Bonawits' crescendos as he hits his higher register at the right frequencies. "George Remus" has a bombshell bass line so fuzzed out it's al…

BSÍ by BSÍ - krútt pönk

This self-titled record opens with 1-2-3-4 in Icelandic, and as an American, I initially thought the count-in sounded kinda cute. But a dark sound kicks in, Sigurlaug Thorarensen starts singing about "running out-out-out-out-out", and the drums and bass drive and drive, getting away from something chasing fast.

Thorarensen's stand-out vocals are naturally strong and crystalline, foregoing any frivolous inflection. They're really catchy, too. Julius Rothlaender applies solemn synths, like a curtain of notes dropped down at each chorus, then pulled back up at each verse. The rhythm section reminds me of post-punk bands like Gang of Four, but BSÍ's more introspective, ambient electronic textures replace shrill lead guitar. BSÍ is a two-piece, but their sound is fuller than most bands twice their size.

From Reykjavík, Iceland, BSÍ describe themselves as krútt pönk. I'm having trouble understanding what krútt pönk means; top Google results direct me to BSÍ'…

Peridots of Sard by Sandcastle

Philadelphia’s Sandcastle sound like a band of mystics that crafted a flying machine in Renaissance times and floated from village to village, chanting over lutes and futuristic instruments.

Wispy vocals, medieval plucking, as well as ominous, chilling lyricism highlight Peridots of Sard. In "Violin", a muffled back-beat and organ accompaniment lead into barely perceptible, ear-tickling synths that sparkle like tiny gemstones. Lyrics touch upon God’s judgement, the cycle of seasons, and the catchy, dark refrain of “this never will get better… this self-inflicted treasure of the brain”.

“Through the Eyes of the White Spider” is another stand-out track centered on the occult animal spirit, layered pitch-shifted vocals, and expansive low-bit synths reminiscent of classic SNES soundtracks. Peridots of Sard is an excellent record that brings the arcane and archaic into our plastic millennium. Listen below. Released 8-31-18.

Peridots of Sard by Sandcastle