Every week we collect a new batch of songs for your listening pleasure – plus a classic that you should definitely know and love. Here’s this week’s Blerg Bangers:
Caveman – ‘Never Going Back’
Picking up right where the War On Drugs left off with ‘Red Eyes’, Brooklyn rockers Caveman have taken up the modern indie Springsteen charge with their latest single. And as easy as that might be to dismiss, the energy and the infectiousness of this song is undeniable. That speeding beat running under through the mix like a Cadillac tearing down a highway, the anthemic piano chords morphing into heavenly synth notes, and the chugging guitars propping up the falsetto vocals, you can’t help but be dragged away by its power. It’s nothing new, but it’s everything we love about the old.
Gun Outfit – ‘Expansion Pact’
Context is everything. You read a song like this score a Best New Music rating on Pitchfork, praised for its “melodically dour voice” and for “offering a quietly beautiful backdrop for an emotionally scattered moment” and you’ve gotta think to yourself “fuck, I hope Tex Perkins never gets wind of this.” The similarities between these LA rockers and Perkins’ mighty Dark Horses are palpable, and that’s probably why I feel this song run so deep in me. But seriously, I’d love to hear what Tex would say when he finds out the hipsters have finally caught on.
Luca Brasi – ‘The Cascade Blues’
After the unrelenting energy of their last effort ‘Aeroplane’ it’s no surprise Tassie punks Luca Brasi have taken a step back to suck in some oxygen on their new single ‘The Cascade Blues.’ That being said, this is Luca Brasi – they can’t maintain that controlled pacing for long, and true to form gradually let the punk rock rage release itself. But this is a mature move by the band, and shows a whole new songwriting dynamic. Awesome to hear them evolve in sound and harness and control that passion that endears them to so many in the local punk rock family.
PJ Harvey – ‘The Wheel’
As per usual, Polly-Jean has proven to be completely impossible to pigeon hole. Every maneuver she makes in her career seizes attention and simultaneously challenges the listener with her ever evolving approach to production and sound. ‘The Wheel’, however, might be secretly one of her best straight up rock songs in a long, long time. It pulsates and hammers along, with a memorable chorus and a majestic atmosphere that resonates amongst the calamity of the mix of claps, guitars, horns and voices. It’s why she’s an artist that will forever command attention with each new record. She’s a creative juggernaut.
Mike Watt – ‘Big Train’ [Classic track]
I had no knowledge this project ever existed until it popped up in my Facebook feed a few weeks ago as throwback tribute to classic moment of rock. Obviously the immediate appeal is the supergroup involved – the former Minutemen frontman bellowing voice and bass, Dave Grohl’s signature thunder on the drums, Pat Smear ringing every last note with his sloppy slide, and Eddie Vedder checking his ego at the door while he provides a jangly rhythm and controlled backing vox. But the song itself is, like its name suggests, is like a massive coal freighter rocketing along the track at 100mph about to lose total control and crash into the cliff face. I highly recommend taking a ride – just hold on for dear life.