Asbury Park natives Brick+Mortar will be releasing a 7” on June 19th under Drexel University’s Mad Dragon Records, in collaboration with Motion City Soundtrack. The Making Moves series involves some emerging bands, such as The Company We Keep, Goldrush, The Skies Revolt, and A Great Big Pile of Leaves. The release from Brick+Mortar includes eight and half minutes of some of the most instantly infectious music since, well, the band’s last release.
Aesthetically, the Making Moves effort is on par with the Heatstroke EP, another wonderful three song collection available on Brick+Mortar’s bandcamp page. The first track “Bangs” starts out raw and dirty, with Brandon Asraf’s bass crunch dueling with John Tacon’s drumming, which is a pure treat if you happen to catch them live. Asraf’s vocals are as smooth as they’ve ever been. “Bangs” carries a refrain through most of the song, accompanied by infectious rhythm. The other two tracks, “Old Boy” and “Other Drugs,” are less smooth with more groove. The tracks are quick, a little creepy (in a good way) and manage to sound unique while still maintaining a sense of familiarity. There are many types of genres that Brick+Mortar must have spent grueling hours in the basement refining, (such as indie, funk, and electronic) until a fusion of the best sounds emerged.
Brick+Mortar’s Making Moves 7” can currently be preordered through Interpunk, and includes a free autographed poster.
If post-rock is supposed to be about the movements throughout an album, then Icelandic vets Sigur Rós have crafted a slow dance on a doomed planet, or a ship drifting through an endless undulant sea. So much lies in the imagination of the listener, but one facet is clear; Valtari is the most beautiful album you will hear in 2012.
Be careful, Valtari is deceptively simple. With a translation such as “steam-roller,” listeners would be smart to expect a powerful release. However, Sigur Rós has repositioned themselves from several past outings, such as Takk, which arguably featured a handful of pop sensibility and hopefulness. The band’s latest release is slow paced, minimalistic, and relies on tone more than rhythm. At first listen, there may not be enough of a band mentality for some. Sigur Rós may be considered post-rock, but they’re far from anything else in the genre, or any genre for that matter. That in itself is what keeps listening consistently satisfied. There is no other band quite as captivating as Sigur Rós. Jónsi’s vocals are simultaneously haunting and comforting, often the glue that sticks listeners, despite singing in a made up language. However, vocals are absent through the last few tracks of the album. Even drumming has become a rare element of sound, but that doesn’t seem to be the current game plan.
While Valtari may not be energizing, jubilant, or some other feelings one might expect from a post-rock album, it will certainly tug and pull at every emotion. Valtari is not a rock album, it is an experience. Though not entirely new or innovative (only by their own standards,) Sigur Rós reminds us that the gentle hand can be the strongest. No two listeners will imagine Valtari’s world the same, a trait that makes any Sigur Rós album so special.
Here are all the albums that are coming out in the near future, or that have recently been released. Check back for reviews.
Sigur Ros - Valtari (out now)
Julia Stone - By The Horns (out now)
Gates - You Are All You Have Left To Fear (out now)
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes - Here (out now)
Dntel - Aimlessness (June 5th)
Right Away, Great Captain! - The Church Of The Good Thief (June 12)
Motion City Soundtrack - Go (June 12)
The Tallest Man On Earth - 1904 (June 12)
Kristian Matsson, aka The Tallest Man On Earth, is releasing his third full length, There’s No Leaving Now, on June 12th. The above is the official album cover, and Matsson has tweeted what the back of the album will look like. Rolling Stone posted the song “1904” for download here. Check out The Tallest Man on Earth on tour all through the year throughout Sweden, the UK, and all across the US.