The Molochs’ America’s Velvet Glory is the first great album of what promises to be a dreadful year, epoch, eternity. But hey, if the country gets destroyed in the process of Making It Great Again, we can at least have the comfort of this boss band’s first album, America’s Velvet Glory.
So maybe they’re named after the ancient god associated with child sacrifice. Given the state of our nation, we prefer to think of their name as coming from the Indian tribe from the Pacific Northwest that, with knowledge of the local territory and a hardy band of warriors, made fools of the soldiers sent to “snivelize” them. We all could use a bit of that spirit these days.
The Molochs make us think of AM radio in 1966, when a boy could hear the Brian Jones-inflected sound of those mid-decade Rolling Stones, the pop dynamism of The Kinks, and the aspirations of The Monkees all playing back to back. Pre-psychedelia, before rock’n’roll got serious, music that rocked with a wee bit o’ organ underneath the guitars. This band has already made our entry into 2017 palatable enough to have put away the razor blades. Yeah, that’s something.
On Talk Tight, a mini-album released last spring, which we entirely missed until the nice people at Uncut alerted us to a second such output this spring, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever launched their campaign of world dominance with the most glorious and infectious string of songs we’ve heard in some time. Sure, the sheer thundering gallop they get off to can make you think of fellow Aussies King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, but these guys are so much more.
To begin with, unlike KG & TLW, this record doesn’t sound like the band all got cranked on molly and set the tape deck to record. These are fabulously well-constructed songs that bear homage to bands as disparate as national heroes Radio Birdman and our very own Luna. They’ve just released “Julie’s Place” from the forthcoming mini-album, and pledge that upon the new thing’s release, they’ll go into the studio to get down a proper LP. Cannot wait, for these guys will vanquish the lifeguards and overrun the power stations, leaving us yawping in the light of day.
We missed Cherry Glazerr‘s show at DC9 on Sunday, because we were somehow asleep at the switch, but our bet is that those people there will have bragging rights for years, because Apocalipstick is going to launch like that rocket on the album cover. Clementine Creevy — one of the best rock’n’roll names of all time — has come a long way from 2014’s Haxel Princess, when the content of songs was made up of things like her love for grilled cheese sandwiches and the lo-fi production sounded like the rec comprised demos recorded in the broom closet of the LA high school she and the band were still in.
From the moment you hear the big-time mastering of “Told You I’d Be With The Guys,” you know that Secretly Canadian opened the checkbook to pay for a real studio for their next breakout band. Think The Breeders, Veruca Salt, and maybe Chastity Belt in the hands of Steve Albini, and you’ll get a sense of how ready for the big time these guys are. We eagerly await the full album download on, we believe, the same day a certain orange-hued braggart is sworn in: when the Apocalypse begins, we will happily listen to Apocalipstick.
Every January, we find out about albums from the prior year that we completely missed, which if we’d been less dense, woulda made it on Tulip Frenzy’s Top Ten List (c). Sometimes we even hear about them from the same source — in this case, NPR’s Bob Boilen’s 2016 Top 10 List of fave recs. Lucy Dacus is a Richmond alternative songwriter and peppy little New Wave combo bandleader whose No Burden was for us as big a discovery as the last artist Boilen pointed us to: Angel Olsen.
She can nearly effortlessly go from catchy rock’n’roll to a quieter, more contemplative sound, but the one thing that’s certain is that everything is melodic, her voice and sense of humor and irony dominate, and if you listen to just one song from this magnificent album, you will inhabit the rest for days at a time.