Colin Medley / Courtesy photo
Fear not students, finals are only one week long, and after all the tears dry it will be summer vacation — where hopefully your plans are jam-packed with good friends, good times and good music (with a little school and work sprinkled in).
Tune into Radio 1190 for some background music. Here are some albums we have spinning in rotation this week:
Following up a critically acclaimed debut album, Massachusetts-based Speedy Ortiz entered 2015 with the announcement of its sophomore effort Foil Deer. In the same vein as the first record, Speedy Ortiz crafts catchy and churning machines of indie-rock tunes, but with a wrench stuck deep in the gears.
It’s apparent Speedy Ortiz is heavily influenced by indie-rock acts of the 1990s. The group showcases the fuzzy-guitar tone of Dinosaur Jr., and incorporates the twangy, off-kilter guitar interplay of Pavement. Most of the melodies could be overly sweet, but the band puts in enough sour off-putting notes to keep Foil Deer from being a pop-rock record.
What makes Speedy Ortiz more than just 90s worship is Sadie Dupuis’ vocals. She fills the record with personality, making the record endearing. Sadie’s lyrics are so esoteric, homespun and personal that the tracks read more like homemade comic strips, rather than songs.
Sadly, because of this album’s strong similarity to the band’s first release, Foil Deer seems like a tamer version of the band’s sound — like old ideas rehashed. But, it’s a great record regardless and will hopefully reach more ears than the first record and allow the band more time to evolve and experiment.
Burger Records is ruling the Southern Californian garage-rock scene. It seems every day there is a new band of bros who play surfy garage rock signs with Burger. But out of all the hoopla, Los Angeles’ Peach Kelli Pop has perfected the formula of mixing poppy-punk and surf melodies with a punch. Though this group originally released its first two albums through Bachelor Records and Lolipop Records, the third record, fittingly titled III, is now out on Burger to a much wider audience.
III is no major departure from the last two releases, as Peach Kelli Pop still kicks out the jams at a breakneck pace. The lead single, “Princess Castle 1987,” is possibly the group’s fastest and most instrumentally diverse track to date. Throughout its 90-seconds, a toy xylophone is featured in a fast-paced goofy melody — which further encapsulates the punky cuteness of Peach Kelli Pop’s sound, which is reminiscent of Shonen Knife. Thankfully, this sugarcoated aesthetic does not get terribly grating since the album is only a little more than 20 minutes. Underneath the bubblegum pop, the lyrics encapsulate struggles that women deal with on a daily basis, which balances things out nicely.
Three years after its debut album, Canadian noise rock newcomers Metz are back with a second record, METZ II. Much like the first, Metz comes bursting out the gates with a monstrous opener, “Acetate.” Over sharp and jagged guitars, the vocals barley reach above the surface with the lead singer’s pained and agonizing yelp. The group continues the album with the same level of energy, with little to no stop in its force.
This album is pummeling. The mix of hardcore punk, noise rock and grunge make for one hell of a loud album. Metz seems to channel the sludgy-ness of Jesus Lizard, with the ferocity of labelmates Pissed Jeans. But unlike those two acts, Metz is well-read and literary. Tiny flourishes, like tambourine shakes and vocal harmonies, show the group is comprised of capable musicians who create more than just noise.
James Calvet is Radio 1190’s music director.