New Album Releases

Pierced Arrows — Descending Shadows

The anticipated second album from Dead Moon founders Fred and Toody Cole is upon us, and it seems that they’ve picked up about where they left off. Although they now call themselves Pierced Arrows, Descending Shadows embraces the fuzzy guitars, and slightly off-key vocal croons that endeared us to their old band’s bare-bones garage punk. Driving the album’s single, “Paranoia,” are Toody Cole’s bouncing bass line and Fred Cole’s lyrics about evil, prowling wolves and witches. In the chorus,  Fred declares in his anxious, breathy growl, “You know they’re coming after you!”  Somehow his voice manages to project the authority of both a raving drunk and a priest, mid-exorcism.

The Coles may think the world is out to get them, but clearly that is no reason for Pierced Arrows to change their M.O.  If anything, Descending Shadows serves to reassert that these Oregon-based rockers still have what it takes to keep doing what they’ve been doing all along: cranking out song after dark, bluesy, fuzzed-out song. And that is perfectly fine with me.

RIYL: The Wipers, Dead Moon, Mudhoney

Tour Dates:

Feb 7 — Slab Town  Portland, OR
Feb 23 — The Aquarium — Fargo, ND
Feb 24 — 7th St Entry – Minneapolis, MN
Feb 25 – Subterranean – Chicago, IL
Feb 26 — Majestic Café – Detroit, MI
Feb 27 — Beachland Tavern – Cleveland, OH
Feb 28 — 31st Street Pub – Pittsburgh, PA
Mar 1 — The Bug Jar — Rochester, NY
Mar 2 — Valentine’s  Albany, NY
Mar 3 — El Mocambo  — Toronto, Canada
Mar 4 — Green Room – Montreal, Canada
Mar 5 — Mercury Lounge  — New York, NY
Mar 6 — Maxwell’s — Hoboken, NJ
Mar 7 — Cafe Nine — New Haven, CT
Mar 9 — Kung Fu Necktie — Philadelphia, PA
Mar 10 — DC9  — Washington, Washington DC
Mar 11 — Golden West Café  — Baltimore, MD
Mar 12  — The Cave — Chapel hill, NC
Mar 13 — Lenny’s — Atlanta, GA
Mar 15 — The Mink – Houston, TX
Mar 16 — Rubber Gloves  — Denton, TX
Mar 17  — SXSW  Austin, TX
Mar 23 — Sail Inn  Tempe, AZ
Mar 24 — Bar Pink — San Diego, CA
Mar 25 — The Detroit Bar — Costa Mesa, CA
Mar 27 — Redwood Bar — Los Angeles, CA
Mar 28 — Echo Plex — Los Angeles, CA
Mar 30 — Bottom Of The Hill — San Francisco, CA
Mar 31 — Dante’s — Portland, OR
Apr 1 — The Funhouse — Seattle, WA
May 1 — Rotture  — Portland, OR

The Soft Pack — The Soft Pack

The Soft Pack are from San Diego. They play garage influenced surf-punk.  And, like all bands these days, they just released their debut s/t album after months of being blogged about.  How does it hold up?  Well, expect some surf riffs (“Answer to Yourself,” “Tides of Time”). Expect to be reminded of summer by crisp, poppy guitar lines (“Down on Loving”). Plan to get excited for the single “C’mon.” Also, anticipate feeling disappointed when the other songs on the album sound like, but are not quite as good as, “C’mon.” Prepare to be surprised when you realize that the singer sounds kind of like the guy from Drive Like Jehu, if that dude had sung for the Strokes. Smile when you notice that the guitars on “More or Less” remind you how much you like The Feelies. Take a nap for the album’s first half, but set your alarm for track eight  and wake up long enough to catch the galloping rockabilly drums on “Flammable” before falling asleep again to the reverb-drenched “Mexico.” Wake up to your roommate explaining to you how The Soft Pack used to be called The Muslims.

RIYL: Obits, Smith Westerns or any of Abe Vigoda’s really catchy songs.

Tour Dates:

Feb 2 — TOWER BAR — San Diego, CA
Feb 5 – CAKESHOP — New York, NY
Feb 12 — HMV Borderline — London, United Kingdom
Feb 13 — Joiners  Southampton, United Kingdom
Feb 14 — Freebutt  Brighton, United Kingdom
Feb 15 — Cooler — Bristol, United Kingdom
Feb 17 — KOKO — London, United Kingdom
Feb 18 –The Plug, Sheffield, United Kingdom
Feb 19 — Ruby Lounge  Manchester, United Kingdom
Feb 20 — Korova  Liverpool, United Kingdom
Feb 22 — Cluny  Newcastle, United Kingdom
Feb 23 — King Tuts  Glasgow, United Kingdom
Feb 24 — Cabaret Voltaire  Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Feb 25 — Rocket  — Leeds, United Kingdom
Feb 26 — Bodega — Nottingham, United Kingdom
Feb 27 — O2 Academy 3 — Birmingham, United Kingdom
Mar 1 — MTC — Cologne, Germany
Mar 2 — Paradiso –Amsterdam, Netherlands
Mar 3 — AB Club–Brussels, Belgium
Mar 4 — Nouveau Casino — Paris, France
Mar 6 — Indie Club Grüner Jäger — Hamburg, Germany
Mar 7 — Zapata (Tacheles)–Berlin, Germany
Apr 18– COACHELLA — Indio, California

Sub Pop

A choking astronaut. What may or may not be someone shrieking through the intercom of a crashing fighter jet. The sound of a hummingbird played backwards in super slow motion through a foghorn. These are just some of the sounds I think I heard on AFCGT’s new s/t Sub Pop release, a record much more interested in sounds than songs. There are definitely moments where something closely resembling a “song” begins to emerge, but these moments are diversions, set ups for the next disorienting blast of guitar squall. So, if songs are what gets you going AFCGT—which features members of  the A-Frames and experimental noise band Climax Golden Twins— might not be for you. However, if you dig music that might one day end up as the score to some deranged grad student’s experimental film about building demolitions or birth defects, then you have come to the right place.

– Thomas Seely

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