FYR007: Champ s/t CS
Red-tinted cassette tape with full-color 3-panel j-card. In the same vein as Cali counterparts Wavves, San Diego-based foursomeÂ CHAMPÂ play a punchy form of garage rock that’s rooted in punk and 90s alternative. On their debut self-titled album, the quartet build a distinct sound fusing moody punk with experimental effects, noisy guitars, and ear worm melodies. This stellar unveiling also proves CHAMP to be one of the most exciting bands on the rise unafraid to represent dejected youth and the darker side of sunny California.
FYR008: Dirty River s/t CS
Smoky tiny cassette with gold inkÂ and full-color 3-panel j-card with lo-fi photography from the band.Â Hailing from Rhinebeck, New York,Â Dirty RiverÂ is rock trio that deliver debauched experiences and fantasies deadpan over serpentine open D rhythms. Their alternative take on lo-fi/rock/blues develops thick and murky like jungle fog, giving weight to lead singer Forrest Hackenbrock’s stark, blasÃ© breath. His tales of numbness, despair, and depravity are matched with wanton guitar fuzz and naked downbeats that feel uncomfortable yet alluring to the ears, like dirty secrets.
FYR009: Clouder – ‘Sister Raygun’ CS
Dark blue cassette cassette tape with full-color 3-panel j-card featuring a vivid painting-turned-cover by Chad Turner. 2014 sees Clouder reemerging with their sophomore album, Sister Raygun, after an 8 month hiatus full of personal trials and tribulations for some members that almost led to the band’s demise. The emotional turmoil and intensity weathered during this break can be felt throughout 10 explosive tracks, as themes of anxiety, paranoia, debauchery, loneliness, reverie, and psychedelic esotericism inflame equally overwrought rhythms. The frazzled sense of urgency on this album reflects not only the cathartic themes, but the excitement and chaos of coming back together as a band after a long period of uncertainty. The beginnings of the album were fleshed out by Clouder’s rhythm section (Max, Jim, Steve, and Matt) in their Brooklyn practice space and then sent off to lead singer Eric Gilstrap who was living in North Carolina. After months of immersing themselves in writing and recording rough demos back and forth, Clouder rekindled in producer Jeff Berner’s (Psychic TV, Heliotropes, Dead Stars) Brooklyn studio and left it ablaze with Sister Raygun in hand.
FYR011: Habits – ‘Unselves in Arrival’ CS
Pro-dubbed cassette tape with full-color 3-panel j-card full of Habits’ signature trippy digi art. HabitsÂ is the synthesizer/sample based musical vision of Los Angeles based songsmith and cat owner, Dustin Krapes. Driving rhythms and a psychedelic collage of otherworldly synths provide the sonic backdrop to Dustin’s lofty metaphysical themed lyrics, typically delivered in a nonchalant speak-sing style of crooning. Habits’ revolving cast of collaborators currently includes professional wrestling hall of famer Dithy Ramb on drums and vegan taxidermy expert Gabriel Armenta on bass.
FYR012: Rasputin’s Secret Police – ‘Comfortable’ CS
Green tinted cassette tapeÂ with full-color 3-panel j-card. ComfortableÂ is considered RSP’s magnum opus. It’s the answer to the question of “What album do I start with if I’m going to listen to RSP.” Despite it being their most DIY release, it’s their most focused and accessible. Recorded on a Tascam 8-track digital recorder above a fishing and hunting retailer in Drexel Hill, PA, the album captures RSP’s raw intensity as Ayres’ fervid, semi-disturbed croons ride his equally ardent guitar scrapes while Phillips’ impassioned drumming forces sweat beads to roll off your own head. The lo-fi, DIY quality of the recordings were left untouched, but it adds something extra to the sound they found during these sessions.