With a rooted affinity for black-leather noise, synth-strewed weirdness and layered, wall-of-sound pop, Young Boys is a story that crisscrosses the continent. Formed by Oakland-bred David "Legs" McDaniel who, after traveling across the country, guitar in hand, looking for love and a place to call home, hooked up with fellow slimers Ethan Miller and a Minneapolis-bred player Lee Lichtsinn to solidify ranks in New York City.
Now knee-deep in NY grime and projected through technicolor static, Young Boys come armed with a pair of out-of-tune guitars, a drum machine and a certain, crunchy cohesion. The trio's slobbering stance on classic garage pop balladry has awarded them gigs alongside Crocodiles, Sleigh Bells, Dengue Fever, Ex Cops and SISU and gathered praise from the likes of NME and The Village Voice.
Holloweyed is honored to release Young Boys' debut longplayer; the six-song wave of growing deconstruction, New York Sun follows the group's 2010 split with California noise enthusiasts FM Face for Digitalis and a 7" of "Bring Em Down" for Chicago imprint, Rococo Records.
New York Sun will be issued on vinyl (w/ download card) and digital formats on February 26th.
Xray Eyeballs began as the brainchild of guitarist O.J. San Felipe and bassist Carly Rabalais, who, after founding Brooklyn garage rock juggernaut Golden Triangle (Hardly Art), sought a release that would sate both their sweet-toothed desires and their darker impulses, like a candy-coated Vicodin. Like their musical antecedents, The Jesus and Mary Chain and The Velvet Underground, Xray Eyeballs creates a world of their own. Low-lifes, night-walkers, pill-riders, and other sordid characters stalk the band’s New York City streets and their songs compel you to follow them until you find the peace of a night redeemed in the morning light.
On Splendor Squalor, Xray Eyeballs’ second full-length on Kanine, refracted rays of that redemptive light shine through the band’s eerie musical haze. The addition of Sarah Baldwin (The Girls at Dawn, Fergus & Geronimo) on drums and Liz Lohse (Heaven, Runaway Suns) on guitar and synths expands the band’s sonic possibilities with lush vocal harmonies, unique musical counterpoints and inspired songwriting contributions. Xray Eyeballs’ new lineup deftly maneuvers from unctuous drones to punk rave-ups and new-wave bangers with a confidence and melodic sensibility that illuminates the splendor in the squalor.
The needle drops on “Four” and you find yourself enthused with the will to cross the dance floor and talk to that crush your friends warned you about. “I’m feeling alright,” San Felipe sings. You believe him and feel alright, too. The bass throbs with Factory-style control as “X” sends you oscillating wildly in a lovers’ power struggle: “I control you/ You control me.” It’s 6 AM and you’re sitting on a couch between two guys who either wish they were Lou Reed and Alan Vega or actually are Lou Reed and Alan Vega. You shouldn’t have taken that last anything of anything. “Syrup,” featuring Christiana Key (Cult of Youth, Zola Jesus) on violin, wafts into the room and suddenly that time between last call and pancakes make sense.
Xray Eyeballs fully realizes their vision ofSplendor Squalor live: skater kids donning the band’s signature “Ghost Girl” t-shirt bounce off the walls; the oldest punks in the world reluctantly acknowledge the validity of something new; hands typically stuffed in the pockets of skin-tight jeans wave in the air like they just don’t care; record nerds dance as if nobody’s blogging; goths smile. The band’s undeniable energy brings the shadows in the darkness to life. These creatures bear witness to San Felipe’s blatant disregard for his physical well-being as the enraptured frontman, refusing to acknowledge the limitations of both stage and gravity, bounds recklessly around the crowd and dangles perilously from the ceiling, a provocation for the audience to match the band’s enthusiasm.
Named one of Turn Up the Sound's "favorite new artists," and described by Philadelphia Weekly as a band that "...makes you wanna shake, rattle and roll," they have successfully caught the ear of Brooklyn music scene regulars as well as a host of concertgoers who discovered the band at one of their infectious live shows. Whether it be the crunch of Ciancaglini's guitar, the energy of Gavigans's vocals, the rawness of their sound, or some a combination of the three, their music appeals to many.
Drawing on influences including Iggie Pop, the Pretty Things, and the Rolling Stones, Raccoon Fighter has created a unique sound and secured its place in the burgeoning New York City indie music scene. It's no wonder prominent music blog, Brooklyn Ski Club, confidently declares, "Mark my words...you will be a fan of this band in the very near
"Brooklyn's latest top-shelf indie export" - Chaos Magazine
"Pleasantly seductive, slinky style of raw rock" - the Deli Magazine
"The supple sonic waves hark back cross the pond to Brit Invasion trailblazers the Troggs and Hollies, before their antecedents locked themselves in the garage and turned that soulful R&B rock sound raw."
- Philadelphia Weekly
"Kurt may have passed on, but his style lives on in bands like Raccoon Fighter that blend hard-edged lyrics and melodies with a really emotive lead singer. Same goes for other pioneer bands that had similar-sounds, like The Pixies. One review called Raccoon Fighter "great, raw rock;" that's damn right."
- Bits and Watts
Guilt Free Pleasures "particularly tantalizing"
"Its hotter in Bushwick, Brooklyn during the summer than most places in America. Under a small atmospheric layer of smog: fire hydrants burst open and shower neighborhoods, Italian Ice push-carts litter the streets, and the $1 bags of sliced mango boil under the Myrtle Ave/ Broadway J Train tracks. Exhausted from a night of sweat-induced tossing and turning you comprimisingly hit your Bodega; now complete with your newly acquired $4 Deli Sandwich, $1 Arizona, and your $1 Chips you sit at your computer (complete with stolen wireless). Oh, what's this? What an incredible surprise! Raccoon Fighter released two FREE albums: Liars Feet & Terrified (respectively)? FANTASTIC. GLORIOUS. GUAVALICIOUS. What? Two completely different records with one similarity: real, honest Rock and Roll."
- TK421 Music
Turn Up The Sound "raw rock and roll"
"Mark my words, you hear it here first, etc: You will be a fan of this band in the very near future"
- Brooklyn Ski Club
Punks on Mars
All music wrote this (shout out to yearning ex-basist Andrea) Punks on Mars is the "glitterpunk" project of Ryan Howe, who has also performed with similarly minded lo-fi pop bands like Greatest Hits, his cyborg-surf project Luke Perry, and the experimental electronic duo dANA. A shiny, catchy fusion of '60s British Invasion, '70s punk and glam, '80s power pop, and '90s lo-fi elements -- with a heavy dose of campy sci-fi for good measure -- Punks on Mars first emerged in May 2011 with the Madame Tussaud Overdrive 7", which featured a cover of "Shout Your Lungs Out," a song by the Beets, the band from the '90s Nickelodeon cartoon Doug. That July, Punks on Mars' self-titled debut album arrived on Howe's Ratgum label, and spent equal time with interstellar mood pieces and fizzy pop songs. Early in 2012, Howe returned with the sharply written Hey! Tiffany single.
Following beautiful Tiffany came People Talk, the single that Punks on Mars released a few months before Bad Expectations arrived, hinted that Ryan Howe's sci-fi power pop might be a lot less lo-fi than it was before (YOURE RIGHT!), but that's just the beginning of the changes ushered in by this album. For starters, Punks on Mars have a more fleshed-out, four-piece lineup to match their more polished sound, so the glitter sparkles even more brightly and there's more crunch to the punk on these songs. Nowhere is this more apparent than on "Hey! Tiffany," which first appeared on a January 2012 single and remains one of the band's most powerful pieces of pop, only now its "Pictures of Lily"-style guitar slashing and blippy keyboards sound even brighter and tighter. The addition of bassist/vocalist Andrea Schiavelli adds yet another dimension to the band's sound, especially on "You Do, You Don't," where her girl-group toughness and yearning provide the perfect counterpoint to Howe's sparkly rock & roll fantasies. The synth-driven interludes that dotted Punks on Mars are relegated to the sidelines on Bad Expectations, as is some of the sci-fi storytelling -- although "The Sad Toy" is a notable exception -- in favor of a bevy of hard-edged pop songs like the fey "Chandelier" and "Showers of Pain," which crams heartbreak, tumbling riffs, and a thunderstorm into just 80 seconds. It's obvious that Howe and company are hyper-literate when it comes to pop history: "Tabloid Tomorrow" is more than a bit Kinks-y, and not just because it involves a girl named Victoria, while "Poltergeist" and "Is It Me?" are great examples of just how much angst churns underneath power pop's shiny riffs. However, what makes Punks on Mars interesting is their willingness to turn that knowledge on its ear, especially on the duet "She's a Glitterpunk" and the final rave-up, "Little Runaway," both of which salute teenage dreams and rock-star moves as much as they send them up. However they play it, Punks on Mars sound retro, fresh, and completely catchy on Bad Expectations, and the album's only drawback -- if it can be called that -- is just how breathlessly full of fast-paced, hook-laden songs it is from beginning to end. Howe's switch from lo-fi to hi-def takes a bit of getting used to, since Punks on Mars' earlier music had an evocative, staticky quality that lived up to his project's name, but receiving his transmissions louder and clearer can only be a good thing. Bad Expectations might be the band's second album, but it feels like the beginning of something bigger and better for Punks on Mars.