The long weekend has arrived and with the extra day, there's plenty time for thinking about music and finding new sounds to discover. For this week, I took a few chances this week to listen to things I hadn't heard of before. As always with a gamble, some paid off better than others. Of course, I also threw in a few albums that I'd been looking forward to listening to. There's mostly rock on here, but several different varieties. Next weekend I'll get a little more diverse again. Until then, enjoy.
Sleepy Sun - Private Tales: On their fifth album, the San Fran psych rock band feels to have matured into one of the finer examples of the genre. This album is pure psych rock, not heavy psych, not psych folk, something few do very well. This album reminds me of Black Angels and even Morning After Girls and The Coral. "Crave," "Throes," "Reconcile," and "The Plea" are standouts on a really enjoyable album.
Savoy Brown - A Step Further: After their '67 debut, the British Blues band released six albums in their first three years, this being the fourth, and second released in 1969. Built around the classic British Blues sound, this album sees the sound taking a heavier turn that would continue throughout the '70s and eventually lead to blues based hard rock and heavy metal. The first side of the album is dynamite. The second half is a live set that is a little messy, but in a boozy sort of way that works for the style.
Miraculous Mule - Two Tonne Testimony: The third album from the London blues rock band was released this past spring and is pretty much by-the-book hard blues rock. There's nothing on here that will surprise a listener educated in the genre, though young listeners will probably be impressed and seek out older bands that have done this sound before. "Where Monsters Lead," and "The Fear" are my personal favorites on a solid album, but nothing really essential.
American Opera - Small Victories: The debut album from the Michigan indie duo is an interesting blend of indie folk and emo that feels uneven while still quite listenable. It feels like one of those debut albums where the band has developed a few different styles and hasn't quite decided where to focus their attention. They will get there. "Jack Pine" and "The Farewell" are standouts for sure.
Black Kids - Rookie: The second album from the Florida indie pop band was a pleasant surprise for me. I tend to steer away from indie pop, but took a chance on this one. Heavy new wave influences make this record very enjoyable. It feels a lot like The Kooks with a healthy dose 80's pop thrown in, which is fine by me. There's absolutely nothing original about this, but it doesn't make it any less fun. A nice ode to teen longing and 80's rhythms with "Illin'," "Rookie," and the fascinating "Obligatory Drugs" as standouts.