It’s been two decades since bluesman Don Van Vliet aka Captain Beefheart stopped making records — but that hasn’t left dedicated fans empty-handed. Although every effort is made to convince consumers that Dust Sucker is the authorized release of Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band’s “lost” version of Bat Chain Puller, it is not. Likewise, the remaining seven tracks can be traced from various spurious releases. The full story of Captain Beefheart’s ill-fated “Bat Chain Puller” – potentially his greatest musical statement after “Trout Mask Replica“.

Several excellent archival releases have filled the gap, including the recent live set “I’m Going to Do What I Wanna Do” and “Grow Fins, a huge five-CD box of unreleased fare.

Here’s another essential recording for the faithful from 2002 “Dust Sucker”, a set of long-lost studio tracks from 1975 and ’76. Originally recorded for release as “Bat Chain Puller“, these tapes ended up buried in a barrage of lawsuits, though similar-sounding new versions turned up on 1978’s aptly titled “Shiny Beast” (“Bat Chain Puller”) and later Beefheart albums.  This is The very Magic Band, running with inspiration as its fuel. By the time the legit “Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller)” was issued some three years later and after several multi-million dollar lawsuits were settled, the songs had become notably tempered. “Dust Sucker” also includes the spoken word piece “Seam Crooked Sam,” which may have similar origins as “Sam with a Showing Scalp Flat-Top” — which surfaced around the same time and can be heard on the Frank Zappa collaboration “Bongo Fury“.

Finally hearing the original articles on this supposedly authorized (but bootleg-quality) release — augmented by a septet of live cuts from the same era is the equivalent of reading the first draft of a novel by one of your favourite writers: Technically, it may be a little rough around the edges at times, but the historical value and sheer creative energy on display more than make up for it. 

Dust Sucker” probabaly isn’t the place to start your Captain Beefheart collection, but it is an indispensable addition to the catalogue of one of rock’s true innovators.

The MURLOCS – ” Rapscallion “

Posted: August 11, 2022 in MUSIC

Hailing from Melbourne, 60’s tinged psych-rock punks The Murlocs release their brand new studio album, “Rapscallion”, on ATO Records. Strapped with fuzzy guitar licks, feverish bass and psychedelic brightness, the 12-track collection is a coming-of-age novel in an album form. The wildly squalid odyssey populated by an outrageous cast of misfit characters — teenage vagabonds and small-time criminals, junkyard dwellers and truck-stop transients — is partly inspired by frontman Ambrose Kenny-Smith’s own adolescence as a nomadic skate kid. Their most magnificently heavy work yet, the result is an endlessly enthralling album equally steeped in danger and delirium and the wide-eyed romanticism of youth.

“After a long day of truck stop fights, hitchhiking and getting kicked off trains, our beloved rapscallion protagonist decides to spend the night in an abandoned junkyard,” says Murlocs frontman Ambrose Kenny-Smith. “Finding peace within the garbage that surrounds him, he begins to question his purpose in life and whether or not he’s in control of his own mind.” The Murlocs’ Rapscallion LP is out September 16th via ATO Records.

The Murlocs Released16/09/22 through ATO Records

Grazer began life in a bare-brick basement in Melbourne, crafting propulsive dream-pop singles while recording vocals in an open wardrobe draped in blankets. But the band’s origins extend much further back, starting with bassist Mollie Wilson moving next door to bassist Matthew Spiller at age eight. Tethered by shared tastes in books and music while growing up in the rural New South Wales village of Uki, the pair became best friends and eventually romantic and creative partners.

You can hear that close bond in Grazer’s music, which entwines Wilson and Spiller’s vocals and artistic sensibilities alike. Their self-recorded songs also often arrive accompanied by videos that the pair make themselves. As painters who have also dabbled in photography and poetry, the two work incredibly well together, whether it’s making music, writing lyrics or filming and editing those videos.

“It’s all part of the same end,” Spiller tells us of that collaborative relationship across mediums. After enlisting friends to help make the Andy Warhol-inspired video for Grazer’s 2020 debut single ‘Fever Dream’, in which Wilson gets her hair cut in real time, the couple have since taught themselves how to do it all on their own. The same is basically true of their music, though NSW-based producer Rob Wolfe has mixed all of their self-produced material so far. “We’re quite fast people, and we do things quickly,” says Wilson. “I think when we delegate, we get impatient.” Spiller agrees: “What stops a lot of creatives is that they don’t know when to pull the trigger and get it out there.” Wilson adds: “There’s always much more to do. I don’t even know that we do that much.”

Grazer’s activity has certainly felt like a lot, especially when many bands were languishing during lockdown. Though their live performances were curtailed by COVID’s initial wave, Wilson and Spiller simply retreated to that makeshift basement studio and began releasing single after single of gorgeous, gauzy pop. It didn’t really matter that they couldn’t play to in-the-room audiences, because their songs found listeners around the world thanks to streaming: Their chiming 2021 single ‘Nostalgia Seed’ boasts more than 300,000 streams on Spotify alone.

Now with a firm five-person line-up and a strong debut album in ‘Melancholics Anonymous’ – not to mention a spot on the NME 100 2022 – Grazer are finally ready to take their intimately conceived sound on the road. “[Grazer has] always been a band, from the very beginning,” notes Wilson of their full line-up, rounded out by Thomas Lee (guitarist), Thomas McMullin (drummer) and Sam Knight (synth). “But in terms of how it’s been recorded and written, [the two of us have] had creative control. 

Signed to Los Angeles/New York label Cascine (also home to Banoffee and Yumi Zouma), the band cite the influence of soft-focus US bands like DIIV, Beach Fossils and Launder while continually circling back to the touchstone of Joy Division’s 1979 classic ‘Unknown Pleasures’. The pair points to that album’s unlikely combination of dark lyrics and resilient bass lines, which Wilson describes as creating “a depth to the music, but then a guiding light out of it”.

The band: Matthew Spiller, Mollie Wilson, Thomas McMullin, Thomas Lee

Grazer’s ‘Melancholics Anonymous’ is out August 12th on Cascine Records. 

TALLIES – ” Patina “

Posted: August 11, 2022 in MUSIC

Toronto’s Tallies have been perfecting their own shimmery, jangly take on ’80s and ’90s dream-pop”

Tallies have been honing their shimmering brand of dreampop for the last five years, drawing from a very specific place and time — I put it at England from 1987 to 1991 — when 4AD and Creation were the among the coolest labels around, and dorm rooms walls were decorated with posters of The Smiths, Cocteau Twins, The Cure, and The Stone Roses. Tallies proudly still have those posters on their walls and they aren’t shy about those influences (see below), but they’ve grown as songwriters, performers and arrangers, and use these shimmering sonic touchstones to their own means. Their just-released second album “Patina” is terrific, and you can listen to that below.

Tallies singer Sarah Cogan says the influences behind the album, which include The Sugarcubes, Saint Etienne, Ride, Cocteau Twins, The Sundays and more.

released July 29th, 2022

Courtney Barnett‘s massive summer continues with the announcement of a new compilation, to accompany her traveling Here and There festival. “Here And There: B-Sides, Live Tracks + Demos” features artists joining Courtney on the road this summer, and will be released on a limited run of 600 cassette tapes, with all funds raised benefiting the National Network of Abortion Funds and Advocates for Youth. 

Artists featured on “Here And There” include Julia Jacklin, Bedouine, The Beths, Faye Webster, Sleater-Kinney, Caroline Rose, Hana Vu, and Courtney herself. She’s shared her contribution, a demo of “If I Don’t Hear From You Tonight” off her most recent album “Things Take Time, Take Time”

releases August 19th, 2022

Dream shoegazer Winter (aka Samara Winter) has announced a new LP, “What Kind of Blue Are You?”, due October 14th via Bar/None Records. (It’s her first since 2020’s Endless Space.) The album was recorded and produced by Winter herself in collaboration with producer Joo Joo Ashworth at Studio 22 in Los Angeles, of which she says, “I felt like I was making music in a dark cave with an old friend and no one else existed.” She continues, “I feel like I’ve come full circle, making an album that my 22-year-old self who just started Winter would love. It’s my inner shadow girl, revealing herself in all her brokenness, despair and beauty.”

Winter has also shared new single “Atonement.” It’s infectiously cool and slightly grungy, with an awesome feature by Hatchie Harriette Pilbeam and Joe Agius. “Every time I hear this song a new version of the story plays out in my head – an escape, a mystery, a forbidden love,” Winter Says. “By the time it reaches full climax there is a big reveal – the secret is out, the we discover who committed the crime, the two lovers find each other.” Check out the retro, Matrix-looking music video for “atonement” below, plus the artwork and tracklist for “What Kind of Blue Are You?”.

Winter are to join Hatchie as a bandmate and opening act on a tour of Australia, and she’ll play a host of just-announced North American dates with Peel Dream Magazine

May be an image of 4 people, people standing and outdoors

Palma Violets are sadly no more, but three of the band’s members have been joined by members of The Big Moon to form their new project, Gently Tender. This means they’ll sound instantly familiar, even though their slower brand indie rock might not be. Our new single ‘True Colours (Sometime I’ll Get Through)’ is out today. We shot the video in the historic Chislehurst caves just outside south east London . It was like being In another universe for a day far below the surface blistering heat of London .

“True colours (Sometime I’ll Get Through)” is a song that on the surface seems like a conversation between two people in a relationship. It’s actually based on a conversation between myself and unwanted emotions – like feelings of anxiety and depression. This is a theme in quite a few songs on the record – but on this song I’m studying and welcoming thoughts as if they are a long lost friend. Showing interest in the feelings and showing them I’m willing to be patient with them. Once you welcome them in, they’re less of a threat. This is how I’ve learned to manage these emotions throughout my life. Sam

our album “Take Hold Of Your Promise!”

The extremely limited debut EP on So Young records from NYC’s Been StellarBeen Stellar is what you get when you leave the youth alone in a metropolis; they grow up. They make noise. Their songs are formed and lived somewhere on Broadway, on Hester, on 34th, in Union Square, on the bridge, in the gutter, and under your shoe. The trivial street scenes lip sticked by well-loved decades are fully recognized in Been Stellar’s hail of guitar tones and insistent lyrical earnesty. Crackly, bright and distorted – stories of violence, love, and a new, un-glamorous, New York City.

NYC rockers Been Stellar take Larry Clark’s iconic cult movie as the basis for a scuzzy slacker anthem that opts out of trying to make sense of the world and, instead, embraces the chaos.

Following the release of mega single ‘Manhattan Youth’ last month, Been Stellar share their debut, self-titled EP this Friday.

The Brooklyn five-piece have been generating some serious heat in the UK and have just wrapped up their first UK headline tour, gathering what might go down in history as the coolest looking bunch of people ever recorded in one room for their headline show at The Windmill. They hit the road again in November, supporting Just Mustard around North America. 

Releases August 12th, 2022

“Leader of the Pack” out now! It’s a classic angry betrayal song. I’m glad I wrote this when I was still a teenager, otherwise I would have probably calmed down before it came out of me. If you’re anything like us, you’ll have had that sensationally catchy riff from ‘Leader Of The Pack’ soundtracking everything from your morning Cheerios to your evening teeth clean for the last two weeks.

Just to make sure it’s firmly wedged in there, and have a watch of the lads rocking out in the track’s new video. Wunderhorse is the alias of British musician Jacob Slater, who fronted the Dead Pretties, a London band who arrived in a haze of hedonism and hype, bowing out before the dust had time to settle.

Blink and you’d have missed them. time-stamped yet timeless. if there’s any justice, he’ll soon be played out live in sticky basement rooms up and down the country, limbs everywhere, sweat dripping from the walls. an absolute mess, but what a beautiful one.

“Leader of the Pack / Butterflies” 7″ vinyl available now on the official store alongside CD/Vinyl & merch bundles of the debut album Cub, out September 16th.

Debut album ‘Cub’ comes out on September 16th. It’s been a long time coming and I’m looking forward to getting the songs out into the world.

Arny Margret proudly announced the release of her debut album, ‘They Only Talk About The Weather’ , out October 21st. The gorgeous new single ‘sníglar’ is out now. With poetic proficiency and a knack for composing melodies that bury themselves deep into the subconscious, Arny writes of loneliness and existentialism with stark relatability. Musically she draws inspiration from folk and blues roots, utilising a less-is-more approach to convey openness, choosing to rely mostly on the delicate strumming of acoustics and her dulcet voice.

Arny Margret has spent the last year making waves, not only in her Icelandic hometown but across Europe and the US, touring extensively, supporting Leif Vollebekk, playing Reykjavik Calling, Iceland Airwaves and more. She released her anticipated debut EP to critical acclaim in February and now she’s proudly announced the release of her debut album, ‘They Only Talk About The Weather’ out October 21st. 

‘They Only Talk About The Weather’ is an album of acute emotional exploration. It’s Arny’s coming-of-age journey, from writing in school, staring out of dorm room windows, being on the road, to today. With poetic proficiency and a knack for composing melodies that bury themselves deep into the subconscious, Arny writes of loneliness and existentialism with stark relatability. There’s a quiet confidence that comes from these tracks; crystal clear in their conception, completely honest, and masterfully arranged. She walks us through her relationships growing up and her realisations about other people as well as herself. We listen as she unpacks herself to a backdrop of vividly painted natural landscapes.  

The album’s relationship with weather is noteworthy. Examining her surroundings is how Arny puts to words her feelings. The sparsely populated and confined Westfjord peninsula in north-western Iceland is its own character here, and the bitter but playful snow colours her deeply personal prose across the whole LP.

In this sense, “They Only Talk About The Weather” can be a warming comfort to those who need it most as ice forms outside and nights fall earlier in the evening. She tells us; “I like to use the weather, in one of my songs I even make it a person, I sing “I am blinded by the light of winter, but it comes and goes away, I don’t like her very much, you can’t depend on anything she’ll say”. Musically she draws inspiration from folk and blues roots, utilising a less-is-more approach to convey openness, choosing to rely mostly on the delicate strumming of acoustics and her dulcet voice. On two tracks, ‘Cold Aired Breeze’ and ‘Ties’, Arny plays with a full band for the first time on record, adding layers of shuffling drums, soaring lap steel and synth padding to emphasise impact. Elsewhere on the album minor flourishes reveal themselves constantly, rewarding repeat listens.

Taken from new album ‘they only talk about the weather’ out on October 21st One Little Independent Records