Thursday, July 31, 2014

Phratry Records Reviews: Gazer and Shanks!

At first you will think you got a split LP when you look at Fake Bulbs/Phone Commercial by Cincinnati Ohio’s GAZER but its not. The record, marked as a 12”, is a 45-rpm record hence, the 12” thing but trust me, it plays good at 33 1/3rpm too/… Fake Bulbs/Phone Commercial is a collection of two separate EP’s. Fake Bulbs, an unreleased work and on side B you got Phone Commercial which I interpret as the bands older recorded material due to it being previously released by the band in digital format and its availability as short run of CD-Rs. Whereas both EPs are great Fake Bulb shines brightly and gets the needle a bit more. Like a combination of early Bob Bart Early-Sonic(Youth), Jesus Lizard, Footwork or No Babies and also bringing to mind the energy and spastic notions of Swear Jar which is interestingly enough, also on Phratry. Is Gazer the band-of-tomorrow? I hope so. In the press release, it mentions Gazer being connected to the local bands White Walls, Weakness and other and that is something that should be noted… Those bands have definitely made their mark just as Gazer is destined to make theirs. Imagine the surprise to me when, silly enough due to their name, I expected some easier listening introspective shoegaze jams! Ha! Good job Gazer. This record is a must-have.

Friday August 1st catch the 12" release show Gazer with The Frankl Project and Knife The Symphony at Mayday (21+FREE)

Big secret coming up… You know what I do the first time I get a record like SHANKS Surfing the Lexicon? I ignore all press releases and even packaging and go strait for the music. I don’t even look at what side the record is going on… Getting the music in my ears is priority number one. Release artwork and whatever else is secondary… to later be ingested while you listen. The thing is, I couldn’t ignore as much of Shanks as it seemed to jump out at me from regular Internet surfing. Apparently, this band has been around for years! Surfing is their eighth full-length! This record could be an alternate universe Wussy mixed with Queens of The Stone Age. Shanks songs are sensible, catchy and sing-a-long… Surfing The Lexicon is one of those albums that just play nicely and fits into your day without effort. Eight albums deep in their career now, I’m just still amazed how, after all of my music buying and listening, taking up whole sections of where I live, I’m still being turned onto great bands like this… Plus, they have a thing for tentacles! The album art is smashingly awesome and eerie at the same time. Despite how it seems, the ‘Thwart Submarine’ design was done without knowledge of this Surfing The Lexicon cover art! Now that’s syzygy!