Photo Credit: Justin Evans
FOUR ON THE FLOOR: Jim Wilson (The TaxiCab Verses) has a new project underway named Los Cantares (translation: “the songs”). The group just released an EP of four songs it recorded in Joshua Tree, CA called Hecho en Joshua Tree. Although the band cites both Lou Reed and The Modern Lovers as influences, there's basically none of the jittery claustrophobia of the former, nor the phony naïveté of the latter. There is a propulsive groove and rhythm throughout that nods to the Velvet Undergound but could just as easily nod to, say, The Doors. And, yeah, the vocals have a definite Jonathan Richman-style inflection about them. But that's where it ends. The guitar work walks a fine line between spindly and fat-bottomed, which most players can't really pull off. Mostly, this music sounds free and airy, much like the climate in which it was recorded. Check it out at loscantares.bandcamp.com and follow along at facebook.com/LosCantares.
CAREER OPPORTUNITIES: Muuy Biien has been super quiet on the local scene for a while but will release its third LP, Age of Uncertainty, Oct. 28. It'll come out courtesy of Los Angeles label Autumn Tone, which was co-founded by Justin Gage, who created the highly influential music blog Aquarium Drunkard, and distributed by punk powerhouse Epitaph Records. Other Athenians associated with the label include Bloodkin's Daniel Hutchens and Futurebirds. Muuy Biien's previous two full-lengths came out on Athens' HHBTM Records, and you can dig through both of those and a couple of EPs over at muuybiien.bandcamp.com.
BARELY THERE: Although he's been across the globe this year with Athens band Mothers, musician Matthew Anderegg managed to squeeze out a new EP of songs under his Group Stretching moniker earlier this month. The four-song release is titled Wave Goodbye to Your Visitors. We previously heard from Group Stretching back in January via the single-song release “Rant Brittle.” Where that song made serious inroads into both earthy and atmospheric melodicism, including a patently 1960s-era swell just before the one-minute mark, this new EP barely makes such concessions. It's not atonal, but it is asymmetrical, and the only track coming close to easy listening is the opener “Fork.” That immediately transitions into the Jandek-ian sparseness of “Broken Measures,” which segues into the signal-bent mash of “Base Solo” before winding up with an Ameri-indie take on Kraftwerk, “Our Dated Reference.” Wave Goodbye functions less as a standard record and more like an aural flipbook; it takes a few listens to grasp a discernible image, but it's there, and you can see it for yourself at groupstretching.bandcamp.com.
HOT DAMN: OK, feel free to lock me away in a sacred haunted tower with the sword of Damocles over my head after I admit this, but I had no idea that a cool heavy metal label, Unspeakable Axe Records, existed here in Athens. With a staggering 31 releases in its quiver, Unspeakable Axe started as an underlying label of Colorado's Dark Descent Records in 2013 and is run by the seemingly totally down-to-earth Eric Musall. (I'm making this judgment based entirely on his conversational, personable social media posts. I don't actually know the dude.) The label's most recent release is Immortalized in Suffering by Sewercide, and there's two released planned for September (Pyrrhic by Voidspawn and a four-way split from Gatecreeper, Homewrecker, Outer Heaven and Scorched). Most everything falls within the parameters of death, thrash, crust and black metal, so if this sounds like anything you're even remotely interested in, I can almost guarantee that once you visit unspeakableaxerecords.bandcamp.com you'll get totally sucked in. See facebook.com/UnspeakableAxeRecords for more information.
SOUND AND VISION: Production company Dominar Films never takes a break. This year alone, the firm has shot videos for the UK's Don Broco (the clip of whom feature Monsoon's Sienna Chandler), Starbenders, Wanderwild, T.S. Woodward, the Dexateens and more—and that's not even including Dominar’s work in advertising and other areas. I know for a fact the head production team of producer Katie Gregg and director Benjamin Roberds captured a ton of footage during the Athens Popfest, but I have no idea what will happen with it. For now, interested folks can head to dominarfilms.com and catch some stuff they may have missed. There's a lot of work available at vimeo.com/dominarfilms, too, if you'd rather head there.