Now you’re in the realm of Harvesting, we’ve already reached beyond the number which is called “ten“. I’m hoping that you’ve been with us since the beginning, otherwise, you should join me in the march for even more Harvesting. I believe I will continue in this fashion, and I will introduce some nice things to you via this edition. There will also be a hell of a lot more stuff within the forthcoming editions, since I will pack them even full(er) with stuff you should listen to or may find good. In this edition I’ve carefully selected some of those releases that lie in the future or are new and some that I should’ve planted on the blog some time ago. The following bands and blogs are to be featured in this edition of Harvesting #12: Astro Children, The Foreign Resort, Sun Of Eyes, Leidkultur and Ribbon Around A Bomb. The last mentioned is a blog which is run by somebody from San Fransisco, so I’ve decided to interview the person behind Ribbon Around A Bomb this time around, hope you’ll enjoy it and the bands too.
Astro Children – Lick My Spaceship!
An interesting and naive record, with major shoegaze influences. With the first song “The One We Start With“, it sounds like they’re trying to employ something straight out of a cartoon-show. It sounds like something kids would listen to, or a happy-go-lucky kind of approach to both pop, with an alternative twist that clouds the more happier edge of it, into a more spaced out formula. But there’s a certain vilifying strength to the distorted background-noises, as I wallow through the sound-scape, with an increasing and tightened focus for the songs at hand. Even though the first song sounded like something I might’ve tried to listen to before, like Revillos meets a child-show, I think the second song “The Tribal Song (Suck My Shoe)” demonstrates perfectly clear that they don’t want to be categorized as what I’ve just said. There’s a more serious notion to this instrumental song than there was in the first song, but it served as a good opener, which made me think of them as more serious when I came to the second song. It might not be anything advanced, but I like the spaced out freakishness of the sound-scape, with a rock-oriented melody at hand but with a huge touch of the lunar sounds of shoegaze taking place in the foreground.
One of the better songs on this album, which I include when I review stuff, is the fourth song “Interlude“. Even though it might just be that, I like how they sound Astro, and therefore I can finally accept their name. The effects in that song are amazing and bring forth a sense of adventurous lust. I’d like to head into space anytime, thanks to this song. Hopefully they’ll finance my spontaneous request and fill me with joy, by docking in my spaceship and playing their tunes for me. If they’d ever need an environment to be in, space would be the first thing that would pop up in my head. I also like the fifth track very much, it’s like a ballad straight out of their alien hearts. Titled “Humiliation (Encore Song)“, where I get to hear more from the vocalist. I think her voice is absolutely fitting for this sound-scape and it sounds a little bit mournful, but at the same time the instrumentation in the background employ a semi-happy sound. So there are conflicting emotions whilst listening to this, but I think it’s got a good vibe to it and reminds me somewhat of our heroes from the same region: Opposite Sex. A pretty good album all-in-all, definitely something you should check out and get a taste of. We’ll all go to space someday.
Buy their album from their bandcamp and either receive a digital-only download for 7 US Dollars. Or you could get the limited edition album, with a hand-stamped and numbered recycled cardboard sleeve. Featured within this is a full colour insert and a pin-up poster. This goodness is limited to 100 copies, add some more dollars and you’ll get it for 15 US Dollars.
The Foreign Resort – Scattered & Buried
A familiar name in my vocabulary, returning with a pristine and totally new album. They’re actually one of the few bands I know that employ such an emotional sounding mix of post-punk, post-rock and new-wave. It’s noticeable in their first track on the album, titled “Delayed“. I’m also surprised over the fact that they’ve managed to balance the sound-scape so good, because every instrument can be heard and it gives the music that little extra touch. The vocalists voice is enthralling and pokes me at the base of my heart, since he really gives the instrumentation a face and voice to be reckoned with. Spilling out their hearts and minds into the miniature sound-scape, which can change at the blink of an eye and introduce a whirlwind of post-rock madness at the same time. The fluorescent riffs and the emotional edge to everything they do in this song is simply marvelous. It hits rock bottom and then carries you up on its shoulders once again, to fill you up with some kind of joy. It’s noticeable that they’re pretty varied and multifaceted when it comes to their music, which is even more present within their next song, “Buried“. A more up-tempo post-punk virtuosos, within a shell of post-rock. Fast drumming, flanged riffs and an induced feeling of some funkiness. I always find myself thinking about them being in between the mainstream and the underground, because they have some unconventionality to their music, definitely something that can be appreciated by both camps.
Their third song “Rocky Mountains” also employ about the same structure, but with more bombastic overtones this time around. A down-tempo sound-scape that reminds me more of bands on the industrial side of the sphere. They don’t let any influences slip away from them, utilizing these with extreme care and within a perfect range. The fifth song “Tide” is an emotional roller coaster, which enhances their standing, musically, in these times – to a pure maximum. I don’t know of any other bands that can keep such emotions and bring them to a whole other level. At least not in this genre of borderline post-punk/new-wave. I believe they can take it even further, which I hope they do. I hope that when I look back on these times, I realize how much of an impact The Foreign Resort made, at least within their realm. This album is much better than anything they’ve ever released before, and to have such a great line between the good and the old is just fantastic. There aren’t many bands that heighten their activity and make even better albums the further into their musicianship they get. You should be proud of yourselves and your music, because you’ve done a heck of a great job on this album and it’s surely in the top as one of the best releases 2012 had to offer. Let’s hope that you stay that way and lets hope it gets experienced by many, many more people in the years to come. I must also add that some of the remixes were good, but they got a lower number in my chart, because their original songs were superior in that aspect. I’d have to put in the following remix as an honorable mention: “Orange Glow (Novachild Remix)“, which was the best remix the album could offer. However, a big round of applause for this album, you must listen to it.
Buy their album from their site, so click this link. You can also get the physical CD from wherever you find it, but I think that Monolathe Recordings will supply you with it. There are a lot of options over at their site.
Sun Of Eyes – Bedroom Demo
This demo is really weird all-in-all, but contain some pure noise. The song “Idioten På Stranden (The Beach Idiot)” had me dying of laughter. Because I don’t know if this was meant to be serious, but probably not. It sounds like someone trying to hum something below water, so the only thing that comes out of it is incoherent babble. If you’ve ever tried to give away a sound when bubbling away under water, you should know what it sounds like. This sounds exactly like it. At the same time, the instrumental sounds pretty much Mediterranean. For some weird reason it reminds me of an old Onkel Kånkel song, at least in some parts of it. The fourth song “Clouded Judgement” is really one of the better songs on this album, it’s pure noise-rock at the core with an almost inaudible sound-scape. Reminds me of a lot of the earlier death-rock demos for some weird reason, but it’s also got a nice rhythm to it which keeps me listening to it. Even though I had to turn down my sound, because the noise is so overtly audible in the mix. Which in turn renders in both a plus and a minus, even though the song is good when you see to its structure and what kind of feeling I get from it, the noise is so loud that it’s annoying at times.
When I get to the fifth song on the album “Birthday Party Strychnine“, it reminds me a lot of their latest addition. Since I made a mistake of not reviewing this first, it might be a little bit weird in retrospective. But I have to say that this reminds me of some good old The Birthday Party. Maybe not as catchy, maybe not as violent and schizophrenic, but almost headed in the same miserable direction. That, in turn, is a great compliment for this band since I think its got some potential flowing out of the cracks. I don’t think this demo is that great to be fair, but I think it shows a potential of wanting and trying to be something. It’s also just a demo that they’ve released recently and I must say that they bring a whole other kind of music to the table than most of those that have released a demo in 2012. I appreciate this at times, but sometimes it’s just too much. Hopefully they’ll continue, since they’ve already put out something after this and I hope that they’ll get closer to their main goal – whatever that is. I’ll be keeping my eyes wide open for this band.
You can download this for free over at their bandcamp. Or send them a mail if you’re interested in buying the album, via the contact-button on bandcamp.
Leidkultur – For A Better World 7”
One of the first German hardcore punk bands that I’ve found myself. Since I like the German language a lot, I believe that the first song “Der Horst” packs a punch, German-style. It’s got one of the typical sounds of the old school American hardcore, but at the same time states its sovereignty within the sound-scape. Which sounds a lot like the older oi punk bands from Germany to one point or another, utilizing a great strategy of combining a pissed off vocalist with nice riffs and fast drumming. I like how they’ve crammed the baseline into the foreground instead of forgetting it in the background. Second song “Mariyam” is even more up-tempo, but adding a lot more melody to the mix and some nice tempo-changes before letting loose on the total destruction of the sound-scape. Feels like I’m in the pit already, invited by Leidkultur themselves. Running around in circles to this music or jumping up on the stage and doing some crazy stage-diving to this music would be a more concrete vision. Third song “Trottel Zum Aufziehen“, is a continuation of this great formula. There’s not much changing, but now they’ve also got a back-up singer in the mix. I like how the sound-scape is on the border of being to balanced, but has some kind of muddy feeling to it when listening through it.
Their kind of hardcore seem to be something special. With their last song “Giving Truth A Bad Name Since 1903“, the aggressiveness turns itself up a notch. But I feel like they’ve shown their steam in the other songs and leave this as a reminder in the end. It feels like the other songs, but it differs in a way that I really can’t explain. Maybe there’s a little bit more of a change, structure wise, because it switches from up-tempo to down-tempo in between and employ otherwise forgotten things in the mix. However, this album was pretty good and they’ve really bashed their way through my skull and made me realize that it’s a form of hardcore that I haven’t heard for quite a while. It’s got a little bit of that american touch, but I don’t know what I should call it. They’ve got a lot of steam, aggressiveness and attitude – like hardcore-punk should have more of. Which have managed to show me another side of hardcore, when I was thinking that I’ve discovered the most of it. Good album, maybe not the greatest, but definitely has a lot of potential.
I interviewed the author behind the “Ribbon Around A Bomb“-blog, which I found to be very interesting. She goes by the name of “La Lengua“, and she’s based in San Fransisco.
What’s the story of Ribbon Around A Bomb, who are you and where do you think you’re heading?
– Ribbon Around a Bomb started as space to post my ruminations about art and music primarily for myself, and has evolved into collection of subversive material that other people use for both educational and inspirational purposes. I think it helps that the content is tied together with motifs like experimentation, the 60s/70s, and generally offbeat and radical ideas. RAB has also become a radio show with a focus on strictly female-fronted punk, noise, goth, hxc, post-punk, and DIY sounds. Both the blog and the podcast are most popular in Latin America, although I havent figured out why.
Oh, the projects Im always trying to complete for the future! I want to do more interviews, more giveaways, and make it more interactive. I’m working on mailing a compilation of rare French punk to readers, as well as making some cool design-y t-shirts to sell.
So you’re living in the San Francisco area? What usually happens around there, could you tell me about the shows in that area that can be interesting and have been?
– San Francisco is the shit. It’s progressive and beautiful and a hot mess of different cultures, types of art/music, foods everything. Best shows I’ve been to since moving here about a year and half ago have been: Noh Mercy, fIREHOSE, Raincoats, Frightwig, Ceremony, and lots of small local groups that play all the time. Favorite venues include Slims, Bottom of the Hill, the Knockout, El Rio, Gilman, and Thee Parkside.
It seems like you’re concentrating on delivering female punk-bands, at least when you do your radio bit with RAB Radio. Why is this and what gems would you recommend for this blog?
– Really, I just feel like there are SO MANY female artists who make incredible punk music. It comes down to: I like it. That said, I think women put their own unexpected spin on aggressive music, and they dont get as much credit as some of the more popular all-male bands, so why not support them as much as possible?
Lately I’ve been really into Bizkids (Netherlands), As Mercenarias (Brazil), Vacum (Sweden) Sin 34 (USA) and Honey Bane/Fatal Microbes (UK). I dont listen to many contemporary bands, but I like White Lung (USA), and of course Pussy Riot (Russia).
What kind of categories are steadily returning to your blog and what is their purpose?
– Art, music, things going on in SF. Its all ultimately for me to create some sort of record or documentation of these things that are important to me, all in one space. I guess theres very little purpose for the reader, but if they want to check it out, well by all means
Since we’re pretty different when it comes to art – could you explain what you find interesting with modern art? Like the Bauhaus school of art, for example?
– I honestly dont think that I can. Not in this interview, anyway.
What other blogs do you read on a regular basis when you’re online?
– Only the Young Die Young, Bad At Sports, and girl shit like Pinterest. For music: Good Bad Music, Maximum Rock N Roll, Mutant Sounds, DIE or DIY, (and recently!) Invisible Guy.
I’d also like to ask you something about your vinyl-collection, what does it consist of and where did you get your latest vinyls from, and which bands/artists?
– It’s a clusterfuck of DIY punk, cowpunk, anarcho-punk, proto-punk, post-punk, folk punk, no wave, new wave, darkwave, hardcore, queercore, grindcore, noise rock, krautrock, garage rock, math rock, indie rock, avant-garde, minimalism, obscurities, desert/Southwest/American Indian songs, with a healthy dose of 60s soul and motown. Recent acquisitions include the Gits first EP from Thrillhouse Records in SF, and Yeah Yeah Nohs Cottage Industry from a thrift store.
You also do travel a lot it seems – what’s your favorite place in America and what other countries do you like?
– New Mexico and New York are my two favorite places to visit in the states. As far as abroad, I loved Buenos Aires, Athens, Reykjavik, and Ho Chi Minh City. I’m hoping my next trip is to Berlin to visit my sister!
What kind of labels do you like and could you recommend anything we should know of?
– I dig me some Acute, Superior Viaduct, SST, Fan Death, RRRecords, and 99.
You’re also very enthusiastic about the “no-wave” genre, what would you say is good about it and what would your own recommendations be that people might not know of?
– I can (and will) talk to people for hours at a time about why I love no wave so much. So I will attempt to keep this relatively short and bearable. But for me, I think everything (space-and-time, wise) lined up impeccably to produce this jarring, nihilistic movement that was destined to destroy itself. I still havent found a genre as abrasive and relentless as no wave. It NEEDED to happen. I think before I had no wave as a reference point in my mind, I felt desperate and confused. I didn’t know how to think about music. The fact that material can exist that is at once art-y and theatrical yet no less authentic and violent thats important to me.
Plus, its just good, strange music. I love that its an extremely isolated and cohesive movement, but manages to include an enormous variety of influences- at times cerebral, funky, angsty, atonal, melodic, mellow all tied by a certain violence. Its not pleasing music. And that pleases me. If you havent listened before, its customary to start with Enos No New York compilation. Then I recommend digging more into DNA, all of Lydia Lunchs projects, and Glenn Branca / Theoretical Girls. After that, you might want to check out NY post-disco like Bush Tetras and Liquid Liquid.
Thank you for this interview! Say what you want down below!
– Muchas gracias!
You can find her blog over here: