Mathias Mental is back again! This is, as far as we’re concerned, forever and always cause for excitement. This one is a little more guitar driven than some of his other work, and cleaves to his recent trend of singing in French. The bridge bit when the synths come in is perfect. This guy seems to just keep getting better.
Home Alone‘s Teddybears & Weed comes to us from dreary suburbs of Toronto, and its studied, meandering lo-fi grandeur is a testament to the benefits of semi-urban isolation. Its languid tempos, heavy reverb and bedroom and basement production create a space that is at once limited and expansive, building a sense of wonder and possibility through understated means. Beneath the layers of fuzz and delay there is a sharp pop sensibility at work, perhaps most evident in the reeling sample driven stomp of the title track, which recalls Toronto’s lo-fi heroes of yesteryear The Russian Futurists. Elsewhere, “Sleep.Walk.In” delivers a Buddy Holly guitar lick at a glacial pace, while the leadoff track, “Keep Breathing”, is a hypnotic semi-instrumental trip, gradually building through a haze of unintelligible vocal samples. “Teenage Tide might be the highlight, shambling along under the power of a jangly lead guitar line it’s reminiscent of The Shins’ pre-Shins band Flake Music, but with a greater eye for adventure. Over the album’s six songs there really isn’t a bad track and they hold together remarkably well, its a near-perfect dispatch from too-stoned suburbia.
Teddybears & Weed is available as a download on bandcamp and in a physical format through Orchid Tapes. This post first appeared in our column on No Fear of Pop.
In this week’s dispatch from the long long ago we’ll be having a cursory glance in the direction of Kinetic Ideals, scritchy scratchy postpunkers from Mississauga, Ontario. Their relatively brief career spanned just three EPs and a one off single but they put out some excellent Factory Records inspired post punk including this gem, the pyrotechnic In A Second, the final track on their final release, 1983′s A Personal View. It gets heavy.
This feature seems to have been spending a lot of time in Vancouver recently, but Images in Vogue are worth the trip. Formed in 1981 Images in Vogue made icy, synth driven new wave, propelled by the golden voice of Dale Martindale, who was initially asked to join the band because he looked like the drummer in Japan. The band also originally featured percussionist Kevin Crompton, better known for his work with his other project, Skinny Puppy. They had some chart success with their 1983 single Lust for Love, accompanied by the spectacular video you see above. So many haircuts! So many wonderful haircuts. It’s a pretty weird little pop single, being both quite slow and sparse, and featuring some interesting vocal production. They have a tendency toward the experimental, especially with the instrumentals and the triumphant first single Breaking Up, a slow burner that takes a throw-it-at-the-wall approach reminiscent of early Human League. A super interesting group with a relatively brief discography that’s well worth diving into. Also, hilariously enough, they had a song on the soundtrack of Being Erica.