Indie Rock

VIDEO: ‘Right Out The Window’ | Sunshine Boysclub

photo credit: Daniel Yoon

 

Sunshine Boysclub, the new solo project by Sam Martin (lead singer and songwriter of local indie-pop veterans Youngblood Hawke), has released “Right Out The Window,” the latest single from his self-produced solo debut Hut on The Hill, out independently on all major streaming services.  

The “hut” referred to in the title of the album is an abandoned shack on the side of a hill behind Martin’s suburban L.A. house, which he cleaned out and renovated, making it into a small studio which witnessed the creation of the Sunshine Boysclub debut. Consider it a more temperate West Coast version of Bon Iver’s legendary cabin in the Wisconsin woods. The music’s also much more energetic and uplifting, if the lyrics are less so, according to Martin: “…The one theme that runs through this album is failure, as dark as that may seem. These songs are me working through the past, trying to close that door and move into a new space with new thoughts. I spent years struggling with depression, I stopped making music and was ready to quit. Writing these songs helped me work through those years of struggle and taught me valuable lessons about creativity and happiness, and how connected those two things are for me.”

 

It sounds like Martin connected creativity and happiness almost perfectly. Take the new single “Right Out The Window,” for instance. It’s a thick, syrupy cut that recalls 70s Eurodisco through a 21st Century set of ears. The bass is nimble and insistent, the compressed “four-on-the-floor” drums are locked-in and ooze with vintage squash. and Martin’s vocals recall the falsetto acrobatics of the Bee Gees with a hint of distortion tucked into the mix for some added edge. The little whistling synth touches scattered throughout the track also add a wee bit of late-70s ABBA flavor to the proceedings.

 

Meanwhile, the music video (directed by Kate Hollowell) is a nifty one-shot production that finds Martin lip-syncing the song while coasting down the sunny hills of Mount Washington on a mountain bike, outfitted in retro blue baseball cap and jersey, living out some sort of second childhood. According to the artist, "I wanted to capture the ease and energy of the song and felt like one long, continuous ride would help display that. The giant hill I rode down in this video is the hill I looked up at everyday while writing this album."

 

Hut On The Hill is out now. Gabe Hernandez

 

   

Kerosene Stars "Law of Resistance"

Kerosene Stars recently released a double single that features the tracks "Law of Resistance" and "Get Up". These are the latest in a series of singles from the quartet that began with the release of "Where have you been?" back in July.

This is the Power Pop of Scott Schaafsma (bass, vocals), Andy Seagram (guitar, backing vocals), Jim Adair (drums), and Tom Sorich (percussion).

   

Mock Nine "Rolling Stone"

Mock Nine has released a new single called "Rolling Stone". This is the Psych Rock duo of Tommy Langford and Mac Campbell and "Rolling Stone" their fourth single of 2021.

   

Nihiloceros forecasts end of world, release custom hot sauce and guitar pedals

You may recall a review posted in this space a few weeks ago about Nihiloceros’ third and final single “Dirty Homes” from their upcoming “concept EP” Self Destroy (Totally Real Records) or hey let’s be generous and call it a full-blown concept album because six songs is pretty much in-between an EP and an album and anyway it’s all revolves around an end-of-the-world scenario and that fact alone makes it monumental enough to deserve full album status, even if, as singer/lyricist/guitaristMike Borchardt describes it, it was never planned to be an actual concept album, but the through-line took shape organically as the album was worked over and re-worked again during lockdown which was very condusive to brainstorming dystopic concept album scenarios I imagine. 

Well, anyway, I hope you didn’t forget about Nihiloceros in the meantime (or Dre! never forget about Dre!) because the record just came out this weekend and obviously you need to clear 20 minutes from your schedule asap to give it a close listen. And hey just be thankful this is no Tales From Topographic Oceans or 2112 (RIP Neil Peart, yes we forgive you for the whole Ayn Rand thing and have the utmost respect for any sticks-man who owns a drum set with 23 roto-toms and then actually uses them all) because who has two spare hours to spare sitting inside on a nice weekend trying to figure out why the heck a cabal of malevolent Priests hanging out in the Temples of Syrinxs would choose to outlaw creativity and individuality or how they would enforce such drastic measures. 

And Nihiloceros realize this too because they’ve distilled the most powerful bits of those albums into a concentrated paste of rocking-your-face-off, and what’s more they don’t go all pretentious about it with a fold-out gatefold design that if you stare into it long enough the whole album suddenly “makes sense." Because instead the whole idea, according to Mr. Borchardt, is to “cut the legs out from under any grandiosity” by placing the listener into the brainpan of an average schlub facing down the apocalypse and over the course of six songs working through the five stages of grief (binge-watching The Wire, stress-eating, suddenly conrtrating hives and dropsy, more stress-eating, and just being generally unpleasant) so put away that bushel of ‘shrooms because you won’t need ‘em sorry to say.

Btw speaking of weekends and monumental things, Nihiloceros will host an album release party tonight (Sat. 9/18) at a mysterious location known as EWEL (probably an acronym for East Williamsburg Exploding Lo-Fi Inevitable but don’t quote me on that) with both Desert Sharks and Kissed By An Animal on the bill as well so hell yeah that’s gonna be an epic time.

AND THAT’S NOT ALL!! Because if you really wanna “self destroy” you’re advised to buy one of the album bundles that’ll soon be available (in the next week or two) because one of the bundles comes with an exclusive limited edition “Halfway Human” hot sauce mixed up especially for you in Mike’s bathtub which (the name says it all) which includes ingredients such as habanero peppers, grapefruit juice, Allspice™, chile de árbol (also known as bird’s beak chili and rat’s tail chile, yum!) and some secret ingredients just so you don’t try to sell the recipe to Taco Bell or somebody. A couple bottles will reportedly be available at the show tonight so...

And if the sauce is too strong for your weak-ass taste buds to handle (lay off the tofu why don't'cha!) you can always use the stuff to strip the paint off your father’s ’67 Ford Fairlane because it could use a new coat anyway and boy won’t he be surprised. Anyway it’s a highly appropriate name for a hot sauce because just listen to how the song it’s named for starts with a single anticipatory note then with a subtle little melodic bit sneaking in before exploding into a skull-stomping riff about 15 second and that’s what it’ll feel like when the heat hits about 15 seconds after you swallow the stuff.

Or, if you’re one of these guitar playing people, you can get the Self Destroy album bundled with a guitar pedal or three custom-designed by the band's bassist/backup singer Alex Hoffman who in his down-time works as a structural engineer in the “power industry” and I’m not sure how you get better credentials for being in a power trio than that. Each pedal is named after a song on the album (and used on that song natch) so if you had a notion to form a Nihiloceros tribute band well it's your lucky day because now you won’t need to mess around with about 100 pedals trying to get that perfect Nihiloceros tone nailing every subtle timbral variation on every song.

I had a little phone convo with Alex the other day and he walked me through the creative process of pedal-making which entails getting your hands on some blank circuit boards and wiring and other components, not to mention the enclosure topped off with primer, spray paint, clear coat enamel, and (wait for it) glitter so you can make the thing look cool enough to take on stage with you. And so yeah, while you were spending days trying to bake your own bread during the lockdown, then inevitably giving up and drinking a quart of gin instead, Alex was busy teaching himself the fine art of pedal-construction and designing three of t hem on his own which frankly makes up all look pretty shabby in comparison so thanks a log Alex (he insists, however, that anyone can pull off making pedals from scratch with the help of online tutorials and some pre-printed circuit boards with the help of small businesses like Small Bear Electronics catering to the budding stompbox enthusiast).  

The first one of these pedal is called “Dirty Homes” named after the first song on the album and it’s sort of a clone of the classic Small Clone pedal but with with an MN3007 chip with "a depth knob instead of a switch and an added vibrato/chorus toggle" because we all like nice things don't we. To hear what this pedal sounds like just check out the intro of “Dirty Homes” and focus on the underwater-sounding tremolo effect (BTW you know you’re dealing with a serious pedal-head band when you can’t tell at many points if you’re hearing a standard electric guitar or a bass guitar at any given time) which is a distinctive timbre heard on chart-topping songs by chart-topping bands of today/yesteryear like The Police, Crowded House, and Nirvana (see the video above for evidence).  

The other two custom pedals are heard on the following couple of songs: “iamananimal” (eponymous pedal) and “Mammal Science Fiction" (the Velvet Elvis) which is along the lines of an “Acapulco Gold [pedal] modded with an added gain control” and a “Nihiloceros version of a big muff with a mids switch and a diode bypass switch” respectively as described by Alex himself. And hey why not pour some “Halfway Human” sauce (next song on the album!) on those diodes because no telling what kinda crazy sonics you’d get from that. 

But really nevermind all the hawt sauces and hot pedalboard action because the real secret ingredient on this record is the two musical collaborators who appear on four of the six tracks (two a piece!) that being Shadow Monster’s Gillian Visco and Desert Shark’s Stephanie Gunther—who also receive one songwriting credit a piece, because as Mike describes it, their contributions (in addition to the sweet harmonizing and hollerin’ they bring to the table) were so crucial that they changed the very fabric of the songs as they were still being completed—and then you also got drummer extraordinaire Carlo Minchillo (The Planes, Murder Tag, Brooklyn Drum Collective) contributing theremin on one track.

And so with the release of Self Destroy we got a true All-Stars record on our hands despite all of these talented individuals being beat out by underdog Fiona Apple for “Best Rock Performance” at this year’s Grammy Awards, but I think you know where the best rock performance will be happening tonight. (Jason Lee)

photo by @brooklynelitist

 

   

Lightleak “B.I.D.S.I.U.”

Lightleak has released the lead single, “B.I.D.S.I.U.”, from their forthcoming debut full-length album, Tender Fits, which is due on out November 12 via Model Love Songs. This single feature backing vocals from Sadie Dupuis (Speedy Ortiz, Sad13) and is accompanied by the video below.

This artful Post-Punk of Dustin Currier who, in addition to Sadie, has enlisted to the talents of Vivian McConnell (V.V. Lightbody), Krystal Rosenbrock, Seth Engel (Options, Patter), Ben Grigg (Geronimo!), and Logan Bloom for this project.

You can catch Lightleak at The Hideout on September 24th with Patter.

Photo by Emily Dupree