Self-Released January 6, 2017
Cherry Crush’s first release, DEMOS, came out nearly two years ago, experimenting with different approaches to their sound. Since then, the band has solidified their sound into something more instantly recognizable as their own – Turning is a testament to this. The tracks here are compact and flooded in grungy guitar chords, chugging basslines and drums, echoey lead guitar, with reverby vocals placed prominently in front. “How it Goes” starts the EP with this sound, as vocalist Drew Slone sings “I can’t seem to find the way how to make it on my own … I guess that’s just how it goes.” My favorite on the EP is “Made in America,” whose chorus “made in America, born with a loaded gun … think I’m the only one that matters” has been rattling around in my head over the last week. The EP’s title track, “Turning,” is the shortest of the bunch, and another of my favorites – the lead guitar imitates the lonely lyrics “broke into your house last night … I don’t wanna die alone.” The EP’s six songs span just twenty minutes, but further establish a strong presence for the band’s sound and lyrical tone – those that liked DEMOS should enjoy Turning as well – it’s a very strong, concise, great-sounding release.
Tracks I Liked: How it Goes!, Made in America!!!, No Control!, Turning!!
Ben Southworth – January 15, 2017 – Kenwick Place
Lo-Fi Indie Pop
February 12th, 2016 – Jurassic Pop
Beat Awfuls has been making noise around Lexington for the last few years, playing shows, releasing EPs, all that good stuff. This Friday, they’re putting out their first full length album, Nothing Happens, and it’s nothing short of stellar. Submerged in lo-fi crunch and distortion, the songs here amble along, jangling with poppy charm. The singles are good – “Maui Wowie” is full of dissonant guitars and sings about wanting love; “You’re Not Gonna Love Me Anymore” is laid out with arpeggiated chords on guitar, glockenspiel, and its catchiness nails itself right into your head. But the thing that makes this a good record, I think, is that they could have just as easily picked any two other songs as singles to represent it. “Who’s Driving?” stuck out to me immediately, a song that sings “I sold my little brother heroin, now he’s writing a novel” as drums chug along and the guitar plunges through the verses. “Shitty City” is uptempo, with verses singing “I live in a bad neighborhood, but it’s good … I live in a bad neighborhood ’cause I should” and filled with choruses of overdriven “oooooh’s.” If you like lo-fi rock, even a little bit, you’re pretty likely to dig this one – each song on Nothing Happens is a catchy piece of pop music ripe for laid-back listens on repeat.
Tracks I Liked: Jackie Ono!, Maui Wowie!, Who’s Driving!!!, Lemon Drop!!, You’re Not Gonna Love Me Anymore!!, No Dice Cold Bones!, Shitty City!!, The One They Love!
Ben Southworth – February 10th, 2016 – Kenwick Place
Murky Psych Rock
Self-Released – January 15th, 2016
I got to see Teal Grapefruit play live for the first time on Friday night, having previously only heard their music online or over the air from WRFL from time to time. Their sound was heavy, but not in the way that one would describe ‘heavy’ metal or ‘heavy’ rock – it was as if their songs were grinding along with boiling intensity, exerting a massive, weighty force on the crowd. Heart of Being channels all this energy, but with the advantage of the clarity and nuance that comes with a carefully-made recording. Featuring former members of Cross and Warmer Milks, R. Clint Colburn (vocals) and Ma Turner (guitar), the four songs here have sounds that come somewhere between both the former groups while managing still to add things new. Immediately unmistakable is Colburn’s voice, affected with echo, reverb, and panned thoughtfully to either ear as he snakes through the four songs. Ma Turner interjects between verses with guitar parts that range from beautiful to disgusting, from impeccably tight to frustratingly free from the songs’ grooves. Holding things together rhythmically are bassist Philip Farmer and drummer Jim Marlowe, who not only maintain an impressively steady backbone to the songs, but help propel tracks through their most intense moments. Each of the four songs are great – the title track is one I could have mistaken for a Jovontaes song before I heard Colburn’s voice come in; “Faces” is washed out, echoey, and has some of my favorite guitar work and textures; “Clean / Clear” is a song in two parts – the first a sparse, arhythmic setting for Colburn’s murky lyrics, the second is funk-flavored with grinding guitars that ends the EP really well. Heart of Being is only four tracks long, but comes in at nearly half an hour in length, truly covering a lot of ground and sounds over its course – it’s a must-listen, and one of my favorite releases from a Kentucky group from the last several months.
Tracks I Liked: Hanging Chassis!, Heart of Being!!!, Faces!!, Clean / Clear!!
Ben Southworth – February 1st, 2016 – Kenwick Place