Some questions for The Shones!

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The Shones is a band that has been active for a very long time. They play something in between surf punk, garage punk, blues rock and good ol’ rock’n’roll. However, sometime in 2012 they decided to re-locate from Madison, Wisconsin to Boston, MA. It wasn’t a hasty judgement, because they wanted to change their style around totally and also their music. So, they arrived for real in 2013 when they released their debut-EP titled “The Shones EP“. Since this was of interest for the Invisible Guy, he began to investigate it further. After writing some lines about their newly released EP, he wanted to ask some questions. So, Teddy Matthews, whom is the drummer and back-up vocalist in the band – answered these questions in his own manner. Have fun!

You’ve been active as a band for a very long time, but suddenly decided to leave your own area in 2012 for Boston. The reason for this was to re-invent your own sound and style. But what happened from the later years that got you going to Boston?

– Yeah, we have been playing together since 6th grade, and during our last year of high school we decided that we wanted to take at least a year to work on music. We did not want to stay in Madison, WI because we wanted a change of pace as well as a broader music scene to be a part of. We decided we wanted to go to the east coast because the cities are all much closer together than the west coast, and we chose Allston because we had heard that there was a very active underground scene here. People always ask us why we did not move to New York, but I think that Boston was a great choice because the scene here is very collaborative and open.

Since you’re now in Boston since September of last year, you’ve been recording stuff and released an EP titled “The Shones EP”. Which is a long trip from 2012-2013, when it was released. Why did it take so long to put it out?

– When we moved here we wanted to start fresh and see how changing our surroundings would affect our sound. So when we got here we began writing and practicing. At that point we knew we wanted to release a proper record at some point but did not know whether we could do a decent job on our own or if we should pay for studio time. Once we had a bunch of material written and we had been practicing and performing it, we decided to use a couple of drum mics that we had lying around to record some practices and see how it sounded. Even just using four mics for everything and doing it live sounded pretty good so our bassist Alex, who has a background in producing hip hop and electronic, decided to try and teach himself how to record, mix, and master. After several practice recordings we decided to record the final product, which was all pretty time consuming considering we were learning as we went.

The aesthetics of the EP seems to be a little bit of everything. When I saw it, I thought of America back in the 50’s or 60’s, including some of the more tobacco-influenced stuff. Who made the artwork and what do you make of your own aesthetics?

– Our good friend Miles Jackson is an incredible artist who works out of Chicago but does work all around the country. We came to him and asked if he’d like to work with us and he was more than down so we threw him some ideas that he ran with. As we reinvent ourselves after high school, there is much more of a 1960’s/surf undertone to our music. At the same time it isn’t completely beachy or washed out, so we like to call it Northern Surf. For example, I like to listen to the band Beach House in the summer but it also fits really well in a snowy winter wonderland type scene. We don’t sound like Beach House but I think our music fits the same way.

Do you have any other material that you’re hoping to get released any time soon?

– We have a lot of material already started and it all is cohesive in its sound, so a second album will be underway very soon and the process should be quicker now that we know what we are doing in terms of recording. We also came up on a couple more mics so the next album should be even better for several reasons.

Thank you for answering these questions! What’s happening in the near future for you as a band?

– Right now, we are working on booking shows for the spring and beginning plans for a tour in august. We are conceptualizing a video for one of the songs off of the album, and we should have some merchandize soon too.

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Surflight: The Shones – The Shones EP

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Oh, what a perfect blend. These sincere patrons from Boston blend punk, blues, rock’n’roll, garage and surf together, which elevates into a fantastical emotional outburst. Coloring the world with their aesthetics, freely floating away in the summer breeze as the wind takes a hold of them. Yet another sign that Spring is here and that Summer is coming, as this will probably be the tune of these seasons entry into our lives once again. Let the catchiness of their songs reap what it sows, let them into your world as you gracefully swing your feet to the melodic and rhythmic content. The Shones is Paul Arbaje, Henry Stoehr, Franciscus Pobar Lay, Alex Leeds and Chevy Mathews. Also, this is more than a story about changing seasons, emotional outbursts and good music in general – it’s a story about a re-located band and sound. Listen to their newly released debut-EP down below.

Spotlight: Transform | Transport | Transcend

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An impressive compilation compiled via teamwork between the German labels aufnahme + wiedergabe and Totally Wired Records. This joint operation is passing through the genres of minimal synth, post-punk, cold wave, garage punk, power electronics and much more. Artists featured on this release are the following: Dot Dash, Bruch, Ana Threat, Gran, Pü, Crystal Soda Cream, Kate Kristal, Dazed Pilots, BruchGran, Al Bird Dirt, Clemens Denk, Tommy Weinberg and the Dreams, Rigor Mortis, Krafftmalerei, BLACK VASE, The Anxiety Of Love, In Death It Ends, Die Selektion, Bloodygrave und die Lust!, Novva Falla, Marrow Mandler, La Fete Triste, Death Of Abel, Xiu, Bloated Backdoor and Die Nerven. So this 26-tracked compilation is split in between the both labels. Totally Wired Records have curated the tracks from 1-14, whilst aufnahme + wiedergabe curated 15-26. Go on a field-trip in sound and discover bands you’ve probably never heard about. Below is a descriptive piece of the purpose, written by them:

aufnahme + wiedergabe teamed up with TOTALLY WIRED RECORDS to compile “Transport | Transform | Transcend” [a+w TWR], a free download sampler, in honour of the TRANSFORMER INAUGURATION. if you choose to pay for this compilation (“name your price”), you directly support the new TRANSFORMER shop in Vienna.
there is also a limited edition of 40 C-100 tapes of [a+w TWR] that are exclusively given away for free to customers at the opening day of TRANSFORMER.
www.transformermusic.at
www.facebook.com/events/137323306443094/

Review: Mong Dosus – We Are Ready

553702_496099710412205_506324006_nCrazy psychedelic rock, with groovy punk-vibes. Dissecting each way of an ordinary sound-scape with their bare hands, instrumentation aside, the unconventional yet conventional approach in one, is a 2-in-1 offer. With the first track “We Are Ready“, their sheer humbleness can be felt through the chorus, while at the same time; being unafraid of anything. Proclaiming that: “We’re Mong… Dosus!“. The heavy bricks of perfectly laden psychedelia, crazily offering the best of both the rock’n’roll sphere and the punk outfit they’ve covered themselves in. It’s simple, but at the same time complex. Two worlds collide with a heavy effect, your mind is ready to be swallowed by a synthesizer gone berserk and four guys gone totally mental. As if that isn’t enough, the next song “I want my X back” is introduced with an 8-bit mayhem. The apocalyptic suddenly went out into space, covering two layers of a delusional world. When the galactic emperor meets his earthly counterpart, you can count on the punks to prevail. Heavy, fast and wicked riffs, overwrought havoc in tubes of greasy green matter. A little hint of psychedelia, but more of their quick and merciless punk hysteria. Add to that a laid out Alien singer and sufficient synthesizer, in a smoggy mess of disco balls and lights.

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Thee Showcase [#8.4]: Juventud Juché and Gardland!

379909952-1Well, we’re not even done here, so what am I doing? I’m searching far and wide, collecting some of the bands that needs to be showcased. Time for Thee Showcase, this time finding its way to southern latitudes. The Spaniards from Juventud Juché are featured this time. Their latest 7¨ is estimated to have been released in 2012, but they’ve put it up on bandcamp this year. It’s titled “Discos Walden” and is a messy upbeat, rhythmic annihilation that deserves a slap on the wrist for the most post-punkish thing since the 80’s. It’s probably one of the more fitting releases to have the Spanish language included on a release. Since I haven’t really bothered to listen to any Spanish post-punk, this is as close as I get. The melodies are simply outrageous in their own right. A hint of garage can also be found, in the middle of everything, making the vocalist sound crazy and confronting. In any universe where the baseline and the riffs don’t collide, will make a new planet that is deserving of the name “planet“. Both the rhythmic jig of Juventud Juché is celebratory at best and continuous at worst. The kind of energy they bring to the table is filled with suspense and it will make you rock out in your own bedroom, making a fool out of yourself. It also makes me want to learn Spanish. The crossover between garage-punk and post-punk is simply awesome, garnering the tight baselines of post-punk and the distorted landscape of garage-punk in the one and the same, tight category. Also, the variation of their sound-scape, when it comes to how they lay it out – is simply astonishing. It can go from extremely upbeat, to almost downbeat and annoyingly repetitive. But at least there’s a point to it being that, which is to withhold more of the same and bring out more of the other. Featuring songs ranging from “Gibraltar Español” to “Ainhoa“, originally released in 2012 on Gramaciones Grabofónicas, also put out on bandcamp at the 22nd of February.

1369216745-1My, oh my, do we like analogue over here? Yes we do. Remembering the true days of real shit. No, just kidding, but it is kind of nostalgic. The duo featured here is Gardland, a pair of techno-crazed Australians. He’s currently put up his self-titled debut-EP “Gardlands“. Something that’s great with analog sounds is that you get a deeper, more crisp and broadened sound. It doesn’t sound the least plastic and the dynamics between the booming base drums and the more experimental sounds in the mix sound terrifyingly close. It actually reminds you about a lot of the more classic techno, or at least of that which has seen its years. The chaotic environment, the stable and pumping beat, equipped with the analogue vitality that is Techno – can only go one way, which is the successful way. At least if you think about it in a musical perspective. Everything is connected, through and throughout, with a more subtle change within the sound-scape that totally ridicules everything that’s gone through a filter. Here’s some real stuff that will make you shake, that will make you appreciate the sound. It slowly progresses into an abomination, a rolling ball which you cannot stop and a coherent landscape in which those addicted to the genre, can get their fix. I must admit that I rarely write about this genre, their predecessors or anything related, but I can always appreciate a good round of Techno if I ever feel one. My eardrums aren’t bleeding, but they’re shaken because of the experience. Much of it is thanks to the equipment, but the work with the sound-scape is the key. Now, all I can hear is: “Repetition is the key“, which is a line from the track “1767“. Quickly, you’re focused with all your senses and you feel them activating, just to captivate the experience alone. It might be repetitive, but there are things that keep you listening to it and there are things which you simply can’t let go from. Probably some of the better Techno I’ve heard for a while. Tracks featured on the EP are “Decalogue“, “1767“, “Plague Bearer” and “Haut Mal“. Released by himself on the 28th of February. It seems to be totally D.I.Y.