Posted by Todd Hamm
The first single (second if you count "Director's Cut", which was generously donated to Cafe Vita's GIVE compilation) from HLAK's third album Dreams Suspend Night, comes with an suave video directed by Matt Wesson. Although the video doesn't quite compete with Chase Jarvis's prolific artistry on the "Director's Cut" vid, Wesson does a formidable job of capturing the band's costume-laden goofballery with a conveyor belt full of dressed up (frontman) Dave Einmos and (touring drummer) Trent Moormans. Former The Saturday Knights MC Tilson once again comes along for the ride, and delivers a couple of quality verses that are delightfully lip-sunk by the rest of the characters as they float stage left.
Look for Dreams Suspend Night to drop May 18th on their very own record label, and catch their album release party May 21st at Neumos (SEA) with support from Daedelus, Thee Emergency and DJ Terry Radjaw.
Posted by Justin Hoyt
Being weird for the sake of being weird rarely appeals to my senses. Too many bands take this approach as a way to get attention and overshadow the fact they lack the chops to let the music stand on its own. However, there are times when done right an over the top, weird, gross out video is perfectly in order. Take for example MGMT's freak-fest of a new video for their mind bending new single "Flash Delirium":
The images of a soldier returning to a surreal, bourgeois household with his apprehensive companion seem to have very little to do with the song but I think that's the point. There are some truly hysterical moments in the video; for instance the elderly woman handling flute solo duties or the spaghetti filled iron lung which destroys the monster living inside MGMT's Ben Goldwasser. The single itself rivals anything off of 2008's Oracula Spectacular and is relentless in its refusal to get stale. There is a chorus but it only becomes recognizable after a few listens allowing the song to shape-shift and progress through multiple genres without the urge to drive back into a hook every 16 bars. I can tell you that Congratulations, which comes out April 13 and is streaming now at the band's website, contains much of the same lucidity and unconventional format as "Flash Delirium".
I gotta admit I was expecting very little out of Goldwasser and band-mate Andrew VanWyngarden on their follow up to the hugely successful Oracular Spectacular, but they did not disappoint. The album is a singular entity combining electro/surf/indie/alternative music seamlessly throughout. And while there is no "Kids" or "Electric Feel" on Congratulations, which will probably cost them a couple of bandwagon fans, there is an overwhelming sense of a band living up to their immense potential instead of caving to the pressure's to repeat a proven winning formula.
MGMT will be hitting the pavement to promote Congratulations including festival stops at Coachella and Sasquatch before heading to the UK for a lengthy visit. My assumption is they will return for an extended American tour soon after though no dates have yet been announced, but if the video is any kind of precursor for the live show this will be one not to miss.
Posted by Justin Hoyt
I so want to champion Brooklyn band Bear Hands as that next shit, if nothing else just to have it in print that I knew about it before you did (I am a music blogger now after-all). The problem for me is that they sound to much like one of their major influences, Modest Mouse, for me to buy the hype. They'll find success I'm sure, they're talented and make genuinely good, catchy, pop songs. I just can't help but feel by the time they release their forthcoming LP (no title or release date) they will have missed the window that was opened by MGMT, of whom they also sound familiar with.
What I will say though is that this danceable, indie-rock, gotta be from Brooklyn group makes music I would like to see live, which I'll have a chance to when they play The Doug Fir Lounge in Portland on March 3. Seattle residents can catch them on March 2 at Neumo's. From what I hear they kill live having been together for around three years and having 150 shows under their belt, however this is their first trip to the west coast so expect them to be especially eager to showcase their sound. Hopefully they'll change my mind, this is definitely not a band I would be upset hearing more of if they can find a way to define their sound.
What a Drag