Posts Tagged ‘Trouble in Mind Records’

New Haven band Mountain Movers are back with new album “World What World” which will be out June 18th via Trouble in Mind. “In 2018, I wrote five separate songs called ‘Way Back To The World’ (some with lyrics/ some instrumental) about how the effort to get away from the world needed to be matched by an effort to return to it,” says guitarist and songwriter Dan Greene of the album’s first single. “The first verse talks about how temporary life is, while the second talks about how deceptive space and time can be. This song— like others on our new record—seem to have a direct connection to the pandemic, but all of the lyrics were written before the pandemic started.”

Mountain Movers arguably are the perfect band for all the true “heads” out there. The New Haven quartet have been at it for 15 years, and the “newest” line-up (now at it for well over a decade; vocalist/guitarist Dan Greene, bassist Rick Omonte, guitarist Kryssi Battalene and drummer Ross Menze) have firmly grasped what it takes to fry brains; achingly beautiful melodies buoyed by a life raft of white-hot guitar scree and mind-melting feedback. “World What World” is the band’s eighth album and third for Trouble In Mind Records.
   
“World What World” is the newest chapter of the group’s continued explorations and efforts to refine their sound. The lyrics of “World What World”s songs all imply a protagonist on a quest; the title itself is an implied query with no question mark; is it a question, or a statement?. The one-two punch of opener “I Wanna See The Sun” and “Final Sunset” lay out what’s in store; Crazy Horse-inspired sandpaper melodies sit comfortably next to improvised, PSF-influenced six-string ragers. The group performs together effortlessly and telepathically, subverting the loud/quiet/loud dynamic that has saturated independent music since the late-Eighties. The loud parts and quiet parts are like waves; indistinguishable from each other, creating a fluid dynamism and intensity that swallows the listener up in its current, sweeping it toward oblivion. Hyperbole, you say? Watch out for midway through “Then The Moon” when the tune’s lilting waltz pivots into a casually blistering solo by Battalene before fading into the melancholic “Haunted Eyes” – beckoning you with a mournful sidelong glance. Side Two opens with “Staggering With A Lantern”, an elegant, lumbering instrumental improvisation again showcasing the synergistic shredding of the group’s guitarists. The sticky lyrical hooks and sideways jangle of “Way Back To The World” and “The Last City”s midnight-hour, mellow singe come next, before concluding “World What World’s” journey with “Flock of Swans”. The song is the perfect closer and culmination of the album’s mission statement.
 
 
The subjects that populate Greene’s songs and visual imagery augment his elegiac lyrics, awash in magical realism and fantastic symbolism; knights, knife throwers, dragons, masks. Poetic missives are launched from the heart straight into the neural pathways, guided by the rhythm section’s otherworldly chemistry and Battalene’s masterful control over her instrument. Mountain Movers have been at it too long to care about acclaim. They do it because the music calls out to them, and they let it carry them away.     
 
Dan Greene – guitar/vocals
Rick Omonte – Bass
Kryssi Battalene – lead guitar
Ross Menze – drums
 
Releases June 18th, 2021

 

Philly duo Writhing Squares (Kevin Nickles [sax, flute, synth] & Daniel Provenzano [bass, vocals]) release new double album Chart for the Solution on March 26th via Trouble in Mind. Opening cut “Rogue Moon” gives you a good idea of what they’re about — an 11-minute jam that incorporates psych, jazz, krautrock, punk, prog and more across one-chord jam. If you’re a fan of Suicide and Hawkwind you’ll dig this. The cover art is pretty sweet too. Can’t wait to hear the rest of the album.

Over the course of “Chart For The Solution”s four sides, Nickles & Provenzano utilize the extended format to stretch out & settle into a groove all their own. From the relentless synth pulse of opener “Rogue Moon”, thru the aggro-throb of “Geisterwaltz” & four-on-the-floor scree of “Ganymede”, The Squares have no mercy for your weary ears. After a brief, (slightly) mellow respite thru three tunes (“The Abyss Is Never Brighter”/”A Chorus of Electrons”/”The Library”), the band ratchets up the intensity with the cacophonous clatter of “NFU” (featuring Philly legend “Harmonica” Dan Balcer Ripping thru runs on his harp) leading right into the album’s centerpiece; all of Side Three’s “The Pillars”, a near-nineteen minute epic suite that launches the listener straight into the maw of a black hole & thru the other side.

Side Four closes out “Chart For The Solution” starting with the slinky stomp of “North Side of The Sky” into “Resurrect Dead On Planet Whatever”s unsettling, cosmic-funeral dirge.

Fittingly, “Epilogue” closes out the album, with Nickles’ sax dive bombing around Provenzano’s bass throb like an alien interpretation of “Funhouse” howling anarchy, augmented by live drums by John Schoemaker & organ by Alex Ward. “Chart For The Solution” really is a Zone, & the perfect auditory cleanser to scrub away the stain of the previous year. 

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The Writhing Squares are Kevin Nickles and Daniel Provenzano. Two piece psych explorations constructed out of bass, sax, drum machine and a few more things. :
Kevin Nickles: Sax, Flute, Clarinet, Synth, Vocals
Daniel Provenzano: Bass, Synth, Percussion, Vocals

“Harmonica” Dan Balcer: Harmonica on “NFU”
John Schoemaker: Drums on “Epilogue”
Alex Ward: Organ on “Epilogue”

releases March 26th, 2021

All songs written by Writhing Squares except for “NFU”

 

 

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Chicago trio FACS have announced their fourth album, which is titled “Present Tense” and will be out May 21st via Trouble in Mind. The title would also make a great descriptor for the band’s style of bleak, tightly wound post-punk, but this album marks a progression into slightly more approachable music.

The album was made at Chicago’s Electrical Audio before and during the pandemic, the seeds of which were planted with “Alone Without,” FACS’ 2020 Adult Swim single. “Alone Without was the first song we recorded and we really built it in the studio” says singer-guitarist Brian Case. “Alianna [Kalaba] and I played different instruments, and I think that freedom informed how the other songs developed. All the lyrics were random phrases on a big sheet and were put together as the songs took shape, so I feel like I was collecting these thoughts and trying to figure out how to process them as a big picture vs making complete ideas in individual songs.”

“Strawberry Cough” is about the world of interiors, and the line between where influences come together or split off. Going into record stores and having conversations with strangers, learning about new sounds, and finding something I’ve been looking for has been sorely missed over the last year. Seeing records spread out all over the house while working on Present Tense made me wonder how these different eras and sounds found their way into our music. I spent a lot of time trying to find the visual / emotional connections between seemingly unrelated works, and walking that back into my subconscious when writing. Sometimes the video is a visualization of the words or music, and sometimes it’s just some random themes you notice while refiling your record collection.”

The new single is “Strawberry Cough” which is the friendliest face FACS have put forward yet. It’s still pretty dark, though, with Noah Leger’s massive drums leading the charge. Taken from the Chicago band’s fourth full-length album “Present Tense”, out May 21st, 2021 via Trouble In Mind Records (www.troubleinmindrecs.com)

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Glasgow indie band Nightshift (featuring members of Spinning Coin, 2 Ply and Robert Sotelo) are shrewd in their sonic choices. On their new LP, “Zöe”, avant-garde and no wave tendencies mingle with classic indie-pop influences, resulting in an alluring push and pull. For an album that thrives on their rhythmic interplay and colourful chemistry, it’s surprising that these songs were recorded remotely during lockdown, but they’re still able to lock into grooves with ease. The extended breakdown on the blissful “Power Cut,” for example, finds them riffing over each other like it’s a rapturous jam session—synths, bells, and guitars flutter and glow, until a screeching flute solo invades and takes the track into wonderfully freakish territory. Other tracks like “Make Kin” and “Infinity Winner” thrive on their spacious, hair-raising qualities, with a palpable gloom brought on by jazzy post-punk. Whether it’s an offbeat drum passage or charming shared pop vocals, Nightshift have plenty of curveballs and plenty of heart

Initially formed by guitarist David Campbell and bassist Andrew Doig as a “No Wave/No New York/ early Sonic Youth/This Heat-esque” group, the addition of Eothen Stern (keyboards/vocals) and Chris White (drums) instantaneously transformed their approach (guitarist / vocalist/clarinetist Georgia Harris joined as the band was writing “Zöe”). The band self-released a full-length tape on CUSP Recordings in early 2020, laying the foundation of their sound; hypnotic, melodic, understated indie post-punk with hooks that stick around long after you’ve heard them. “Zöe” is the band’s newest effort, and first for Trouble In Mind. Unlike the band’s previous album, the songs on “Zöe” weren’t conceived live in the band’s practice space, but rather pieced together and recorded remotely during quarantine lockdown, with each member composing or improvising their parts in homes/home studios, layering ideas over loops someone made and passing it on. The isolation actually allowed for an openness and creativity to flow and many of the songs took on radically different forms from when they were originally envisioned.

From the album “Zöe”, released on February 26th, 2021 via Trouble In Mind Records

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It only takes a few seconds of their single “In / Out” to realize that En Attendant Ana have something special. “Shred” isn’t a word you’d normally associate with jangle pop, but it can definitely be used to describe the chiming, pummeling riff that’s sprinkled throughout the Parisian band’s single. Margaux Bouchaudon’s vocals evoke Stereolab’s Lætitia Sadier and Alvvays’ Molly Rankin—she was practically genetically engineered to sing perfect, hyper-melodic dream pop. It would be unfair to dub them a dream pop outfit—they tap into avant-pop, post-punk and college rock with similar ease.

With their second album Juillet, they subvert listeners’ perception of them on nearly every track. “From My Bruise to an Island” is a soothing, horn-led ambient piece, “Flesh or Blood” is incisive post-punk at its best and “Words” drops a warped synth interlude alongside wailing brass. They approach familiarly blissful indie-pop (“Do You Understand?”) with as much care as they do their more complex, off-kilter moments. It’s rare to find such thoughtfulness in a record so unabashedly tuneful.

Taken from the Paris, FR quintet’s sophomore album “Juillet”, out January 24th, 2020 via Trouble In Mind Records

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Nebraska songwriter David Nance returns to Trouble In Mind Records with his fifth (proper) studio album “Staunch Honey”, his follow-up to his acclaimed 2018 album “Peaced and Slightly Pulverized”. Returning to the home-recorded magic of his early albums, “Staunch Honey” was recorded entirely to tape by Nance himself at his Omaha home with the occasional assistance from his long time live bandmates Jim Schroeder & Kevin Donohue.

Guitar man David Nance continues his prodigious output of underground heartland rock with what might be his most accessible album yet. “Staunch Honey” sounds instantly timeless, but also as fresh and unique as any other rock album that came out this year. “My Love, The Dark and I” is probably the best union of Nance’s country-rock influences and his lo-fi aesthetic, without the confrontational squeal of his “Silver Wings” cover, but with just enough of a rough-hewn, homemade feel to please fans of Honey Radar or, well, Nance’s earlier, rougher records. Normally a White Light / White Heat kinda guy, “July Sunrise” and its loping guitar lines is more The Velvet Underground, but with Nance singing like Tony Joe White instead of Lou Reed. “Learn the Curve” is a slinky, bluesy vamp, while “If the Truth Shows Up” finishes the whole thing up with the stoned-out-of-its-mind psych chug of Endless Boogie. If you ever wanted to hear one of Dickey Betts’ almost saccharinely upbeat Allman Brothers songs turned into a smokey, hazy space journey, you’ll probably want to listen to “Gentle Traitor” which starts off with the colourful, chiming guitars of Betts songs like “Blue Sky” and “Jessica,” before drifting off into the cosmos. Nance has been keeping up the good fight for years now and with Staunch Honey, he might finally win over your rock ‘n’ roll uncle. 

Many of the tunes on “Staunch Honey” feel like classics, but that’s because in Nance’s hands – they are. Not content to let the album go by without the rumble of guitar, “If The Truth Ever Shows Up” closes out the album. It’s an instrumental jam with Nance wrangling and riffing on a gut-punching guitar solo for 6-plus minutes that feels very much like the end credits to a long-lost midnight movie.

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Online music marketplace Discogs has just launched the Discogs Daily Dig, an initiative to support indie record labels during the coronavirus pandemic. Each day they will focus on a different indie label that will sell rarities, test pressings, out-of-print releases, and back catalouge through Discogs. It started today (5/5) with Numero Group and here’s the first week’s schedule:

  • Tuesday, May 5 – Numero Group
  • Wednesday, May 6 – Captured Tracks
  • Thursday, May 7 – Burger Records
  • Friday, May 8 – Trouble In Mind
  • Saturday, May 9 – Stones Throw
  • Sunday, May 10 – Drag City
  • Monday, May 11 – Third Man Records

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Portland band Lithics are back with “Tower of Age”, their first record for Trouble In Mind which will be out June 5th. Excellent first single “Hands” stays tightly coiled for most of it’s existence, though it unleashes some serious noise when you least expect it. After introducing themselves to the world with 2016’s “Borrowed Floors” (Water Wing) and throwing down the gauntlet with 2018’s “Mating Surfaces” on Kill Rock Stars, Lithics make the jump to Trouble In Mind for “Tower of Age”.

“Tower of Age” bristles with invention, wedging lyrical Dadaism into right angles of rhythmic minimalism. This is music in ellipses. A circular communication and a fusion of decades worth of musical insight into a singular refraction of thought & sound. Guitars plunk and scratch, and rhythms pulse and syncopate tightly wound around an imagist’s philosophy to “use absolutely no word that does not contribute to the presentation.” The band’s austere approach to composition and wordplay elevates them above and beyond bands seeking similar sounds; it’s not that they use less; it’s How they use less.

Aubrey Hornor: Guitar, vocals Bob Desaulniers: Bass, guitar, tape loops Wiley Hickson: drums Mason Crumley: Guitar

Taken from the Portland band’s third album, “Tower of Age”, out June 5th, 2020 via Trouble In Mind Records (www.troubleinmindrecs.com)

“When the Tree Bears Fruit” is the debut album from Melbourne four-piece Parsnip. Following on from two 7-inches singles in the last two years, Parsnip’s first full-length album is playful, poetic, propulsive punk. An album perpetually in motion, When the Tree Bears Fruit is just over half an hour of absurd, understated energy. There’s an immediacy to the sheer joy, velocity and whimsy of Parsnip’s delivery.

The band formed in 2016, and played their debut show in a sharehouse living room. When the Tree Bears Fruit was recorded over three days, and truly captures the energy the group are known for live, of a cannily controlled chaos. This is an album that invites its listener to join in its celebration: the record’s title, inspired by the ideas of guru and poet Sri Chinmoy, refers to the idea that a tree will grow fruit and it will be offered for anyone and everyone to share in. The band see this principle as it applies to their work – to sharing their joy and nonsense with the world, and hoping people will enjoy it.

Off-kilter, absurdist, dream/nightmare, 1960s pop forms form the basis for Parsnip’s sound. The fresh Melbourne quartet’s debut album is a fun, funky jaunt that seems all about creative mixing-and-matching, in a minimalist style riddled with quirky organ and singy-songy, art-school nursery rhymes. Not to mention exuberant group singalongs, all four women seemingly joining together for a chorus of delightful weirdness. Parsnip’s been around just a few years, and seems to be having a blast.

Second single from Parsnip’s debut LP, “When The Tree Bears Fruit”, released August 9th in AU/NZ through Anti Fade and out worldwide August 30th through Trouble In Mind.

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Chicago quartet The Hecks have been at it since 2012, starting out as the duo of guitarist Andy Mosiman and Zach Hebert. The band drafted guitarist Dave Vettraino into the fold, a recording engineer who was recording the band’s s/t debut (Trouble In Mind, 2016) & ended up joining the band shortly thereafter. The band’s journey to the end result of “My Star” their second album – has taken them nearly three years in the making.

The new Hecks album is way more fun than anything released by a godchild of Women has any business being. Despite mining the same corner of ’80s pop culture at nearly the same time as Ceremony and Omni, neither of those bands were quite as playful with their homage to new wave, even if that recreational period doesn’t extend all the way to My Star’s repetitive eight-minute closer. The slow build-up of vocals, percussion, synths, and an additional guitar over a single, simple riff across the title-track’s extensive runtime is subtle in a way the rest of the record definitely isn’t, recalling the harsh guitar-rock of their debut.

After recording an initial version of the album in 2017, The Hecks started gigging with new fourth member & keyboardist Jeff Graupner, whose synthesized squiggles added some welcome heft & swagger to the band’s tunes. After reworking & rearranging much of the new material to integrate Graupner, the band scrapped the recordings & rebuilt them from the ground up, incorporating Graupner’s skills at the keys.

Dave V: Vocals / Electric Guitar / Electric Bass Guitar / Engineering
Andy M: Vocals / Electric Guitar / Electric Bass Guitar / Drum Machine / Synthsizer
Jeff G: Vocals / Synthesizer
Zach H: Vocals / Drums / Electric Drums / Drum Machine

“My Star” Trouble In Mind Records, Released on: 2019-10-11