Courtesy photo / Captured Tracks
Radio 1190 is bringing back a summer tradition with its on-air feature, “Artist of the Week.” This week’s featured artist is the Kansas-based emo group The Appleseed Cast. Tune in all week learn more about this awesome group and hear a few tracks from the band’s expansive discography. And if you dig the group, head to the Hi-Dive (7 S Broadway, Denver) tonight to see them live (the show is 16+). Tune in every week to learn about a new Artist of the Week.
Between songs from The Appleseed Cast this week, listen to cuts from these albums that are new to 1190’s rotation:
After the rise and fall of garage rock in the early 2010s, there have been very few records that have blown the minds of punk and indie fans. But this year, Polyvinyl released the highly anticipated debut LP from White Reaper, White Reaper Does it Again. Though the Louisville, Ky., group only released one six-song EP in 2014, the quartet generated enough buzz rise as a keystone group in the garage-punk genre. Much like garage-rock forefathers, like Jay Reatard, White Reaper plays with sky-high energy and youthful, shouting vocals that would fit well in a small sweaty venue or in the background at a skateboard shop.
What White Reaper does best is it mixes grit with pop — the group can go from a gnarly verse grind and switch gears to an anthemic chorus howl. The jumpy synthesizer adds a layer of personality, differentiating White Reaper from the hoards of cookie-cutter garage-rock bands. But although the production accentuates each instrument equally, it’s not as clean or polished, sounding akin to an eight-track recording. And though all elements of a good garage-rock record are present, White Reaper Does It Again lacks a sense of variety, featuring 12 straightforward garage tunes. Aside from that, White Reaper Does It Again is one of the most satisfying garage records in years. For those who were disappointed by the latest King Tuff or Wavves albums, this LP is sure to satisfy a need for scuzzy, fast and reckless garage punk.
Those itching to hear Mac DeMarco’s new mini-LP but can’t wait until Aug. 7, Walter TV’s Blessed is the perfect appetizer to hold listeners over. Walter TV is essentially DeMarco’s touring band, but with his usual bassist Pierce McGarry as the lead vocalist and Joe McMurray, who switches instruments each song. The LP is loose, playful and devoid of serious subject matter — much like what would be expected from a DeMarco side project. The guitars are sharp, fluid and drenched in reverb, while the drums are loud and full, sounding almost as if Blessed was recorded in a DIY venue.
Overall, the record is fun, but it lacks substance. But, taking into account that Walter TV is DeMarco and his band’s side project, it’s safe to say this album is not meant to be taken seriously. For what it is, Blessed is a great summer album for those freaks experiencing a DeMarco dry spell.
After gaining significant Spotify buzz, Fort Worth-based soul singer Leon Bridges finally released his debut LP, Coming Home, on Capitol Records. Unlike most modern soul singers, Bridges shies away from using electronic or hip-hop crossover techniques. Instead, Leon takes a late-’50s revivalist approach by using real instruments and production, giving it a sound that is incredibly close to analog recordings. With this, Bridges incorporates his smooth and soulful croon, but also features light drums, deep bass, sparse electric guitars, back-up singers and plenty of horns and organs.
Though the idea of reviving ’50s soul and doo-wop seems cheesy and derivative on paper, what Bridges does is incredibly genuine and it’s obvious the players are true soul musicians. Each track is easy to digest, but provides enough fantastic musicianship to keep any listener engaged. With this all being said, those who aren’t fans of old-school soul, blues or R&B, this record will not convert you. It is chock-full of nostalgia for early AM radio hits, but it doesn’t have enough crossover value to hit a wider audience.
James Calvet is Radio 1190’s music director.