Monday, October 19, 2009

Los Hories - Don't Bother Us

Los Hories
Don’t Bother Us
Off the Hip

We forget sometimes, but garages exist in other countries besides the U.S., Spain and that area of England around Toe Rag Studios. For example: Auckland, New Zealand obviously has some nice carport domiciles, as evidenced by the presence of trio Los Hories. The five songs on Don’t Bother Us all sound like they were recorded in a concrete square surrounded by tool shelves and junk boxes. Tunes like Guilty and the title track are essentially pop songs, with the usual horny angst sublimated beneath hooks and listener-friendly melodies. That’s all for the better – the frustration inherent in the concept of young men whacking their instruments off becomes subversive rather than obvious, and shows off these dudes’ talent better than an exciting but unfocused blare. Los Hories have real songwriting chops, sounding more like 70s power poppers on a budget than 60s revivalists, and that’s going to take ‘em farther than any carbon-copy Nuggets-worship ever could.

- Michael Toland


Unbeliever EP
ARCTIC frontman Marcus Martin spent his childhood in Canada's Northwest Territories. (In case you don't have an atlas handy, that is far fucking north, friends. A land of ice and snow, the way you southerners picture Canada if you have never crossed the border into Windsor to hit the casino.) And I gotta come clean up front: there is nothing particularly sleazy about this Vancouver band. The four songs on this EP are lush and layered and, yeah, kind of ambient and icy, like The Bends-era Radiohead. They won't leap across the bar with a broken beer bottle and stab you in the throat; rather, they will slip under your skin with the ease of a skilled anaesthetist and leave you swaying rhythmically back and forth, thinking about how cool your hand looks when you move it in front of your face. (They are also really great live, so if they are playing in your area and you are more in the mood for a sociable high than a bar brawl, you should check 'em out.)
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