Low Culture’s garage-punk is about as straight-ahead as you could hope for. Simple chord progression, quick, jangly guitars, a nasally sneer of a vocal performance—it’s all here. It jumps in, crushes for two and a half minutes, and jumps back out, as a shot of punk should be. As long as the world keeps spinning and guitars keep being manufactured, this form of music will keep moving forward, and it’s nice to see it still thriving.
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Hungarian folk/rock band Thy Catafalque issues its latest album, Meta, on September 16th via Season of Mist. Following on the heels of last year’s Sgùrr, the new record provides a heavier, more metal-driven examination of the band’s sound. Culled from Meta is the tune “Sirály”. Joining Thy Catafalque mastermind/multi-instrumentalist Tamás Kátai on this haunting, melancholy track are vocalist Ágnes Tóth (The Moon and the Nightspirit) and cellist Judit Csere.
Mandolin Orange‘s “Hard Travelin’” is a delightful mix of Americana, bluegrass and country. As the band’s name might suggest, mandolins feature heavily alongside loosely-tuned snares and slide guitars. Solos trade off between guitar and mandolin, injecting an otherwise standard verse-chorus stomper with an immense amount of vigor. Mandolin Orange’s consummate musicianship honors the genres they traverse.
Dead Horses’ “Brothers”, despite immaculate audio engineering and weighty honky-tonk piano, captures the folk sounds of the late ‘60s. It’s a wandering song, oscillating between acoustic and electric guitar, loping forward on understated drums and wailing vocals. The song travels in the most melancholy way, a modicum of misery following it wherever it goes. In other words, its disenchanted folk mines a fertile ground that’s bloomed for the past 50 years, and its slow crescendo works as well now as slow, sad crescendoes did for Bob Dylan and Joan Baez in days of yore.
Riley Etheridge Jr.‘s “Hush” is the sound of reconciliation, an acceptance that things are how they are for a reason. Its mellow lyrics are accentuated by its simple, gorgeous backing, acoustic strumming that occasionally makes way for starry electric guitar. It’s a gorgeous song, a strong case for the potency of minimal arrangements. It doesn’t have many moving parts, but its parts fill the room properly, leaving the perfect amount of space. In other words, it’s a full piece of music — and that fullness leads to incredible things.
// Moving Pixels
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