s/t LP
Richie Records // TestosterTunes #39
March 17, 2015

The CV on Aye Aye, the long-rumored self-titled debut by Philadelphia’s premier desert blues marsupials, runs deep through the beer-strewn underbelly of Philly rock. The Gibbons Bros’ unmistakable slow-motion, big-chord fuzz will be familiar to anyone who’s taken a plunge into the Bardo Pond soundpool over the last few decades, though a cultivated ear will note more grits and butts and less pedalboard worship here. Ben Leapheart retains his very official title of greatest drummer in Philadelphia—have you shmoes not heard Purling Hiss or Watery Love?—with his innate understanding that the drums lead, not merely keep time. And then there’s the high lonesome harp of Harmonica Dan Balcer, a record hound of profound depth. He’s been the public face of Boogie Witch, blown his harp on records by Jack Rose and Birds of Maya, blasted noise with the Megajam Booze Band, patiently schooled dingdongs from behind the counter at the Philadelphia Record Exchange, and devoted unhealthy decades to an insatiable thirst for true rock spirit. Yeah, yeah, cool, but what does it sound like? OK bub, how about terrestrial crunching rock drifting over a great expanse? Aye Aye is limited to 300 copies on vinyl and includes a complimentary digital download with purchase.

Ships by March 17, pre-order now in the webstore.


MORDECAI’s springtime Predicament

Neil’s Generator
available May 27

Why does everybody make such a big to-do about Mordecai’s Montana origins?  Hell, it’s a place just like any other, just bigger than most.  And it’s not like the (true) story of them recording in a YMCA bathroom really offers a proper “big sky” vibe, although I’m sure it had a more unique aroma than most studios.  But on Neil’s Generator things really do open up in a way where the juxtaposition between huge space/not so huge amount of people really makes sense. If the previous College Rock formed a friendly union between noisy Swell Mapsian clatter, post-garage Fall prickliness, and the all-American DIY basement joy of Mike Rep/Tommy Jay, “Neil’s Generator” is the kind of loose, ragged glory as perpetrated by the Meat Puppets, Rayne, Dead Moon, and the Velvets staring into a cracked and filthy mirror.  The guitars- and make no mistake, this is a GUITAR record, and a DAMN FINE one indeed!- retain a spiky waywardness, like if Robert Quine had recorded a Rough Trade single.  But these songs have more space to  breathe, and therefore function as a launching pad for some gleeful six-string abandon.  Not sure how many rodeos the Bodish brothers have watched (or taken part in for all I know), but they certainly understand the risky notion that while sometimes you’re in control of a guitar, other times the guitar can get the best of you.  If they’re not afraid to take the chance, you shouldn’t be either.  So hop on board.

catch ‘em this spring:

May 20
@ The Hexagon
w/ Ex-Cocaine

May 21
@ The Owl
w/ Axis:Sova

May 22
@ Cafe Bourbon St
w/ The Bugmen and Degreaser

May 23
Now That’s Class (horrible fest)
w/ Homostupids, Unholy 2, and Counter Intuits

May 24
@ PhilaMOCA
w/ Watery Love (Decorative Feeding record release) and Igneous Eyes

May 25
New York City
Union Pool
w/ Endless Boogie and Watery Love and DJ Brian Turner

May 27
@ a house somewhere
w/ Yi



2/28/14 Summa in Baltimore, MD w/ Jana Hunter & Dan Bachman
3/1/14 Crayola House in Harrisonburg, VA w/ Invisible Hand
3/2/14 The Mothlight in Asheville, NC w/ Cadavernous, Ancient Whales
3/3/14 Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, NC w/ Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks
3/4/14 Terminal West in Atlanta, GA w/ Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks
3/5/14 The Bottletree in Birmingham, AL w/ Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks
3/6/14 The Parish in New Orleans, LA w/ Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks
3/7/14 Fitzgerald’s in Houston, TX w/ Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks
3/9/14 Granada Theater in Dallas, TX w/ Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks
3/12/14 Last Exit Live in Phoenix, AZ w/ Petty Things, WEBS
3/13/14 Soda Bar in San Diego, CA
3/14/14 The Smell in Los Angeles, CA
3/15/14 Hemlock Tavern in San Francisco, CA w/ CCR Headcleaner
3/16/14 The Night Light in Oakland, CA w/ Fine Steps, Tiaras
3/18/14 Bunk Bar in Portland, OR w/ Landlines
3/19/14 The Sunset in Seattle, WA
3/20/14 Treefort Music Festival in Boise, ID
3/25/14 The Mill in Iowa City, IA
3/27/14 Hideout in Chicago, IL w/ Axis: Sova
3/28/14 The Cactus Club in Milwaukee, WI w/ Technicolor Teeth