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Mouth Reader's Fuzzy Psychedelia

Mouth Reader takes a hybrid approach to constructing their sonic niche. They harness the timbre of fuzz rock classics like Dinosaur Jr. to create massive sounding psychedelic power ballads reminiscent of slow-moving but powerful shoegaze bands like Slowdive. The percussion is big and reverby and the vocals are belligerent in their tone, making for a band that sits perfectly in the dive and basement venues of Nashville and Murfreesboro. Their work is tastefully lo-fi, with production developed enough to be accessible, but carrying the kind of DIY nature that makes you wish you had made the songs yourself. Be sure to catch their next show on June 6th at Ddrkmttr.

-Andrew Strader





Promweather's Raw Fuzz Rock Power

Sharing members with popular Nashville psych outfit The Pills, Promweather harnesses the kind of garage rock sloppiness that garnered the early work of bands like Dinosaur Jr. and modern derivatives like Car Seat Headrest so much attention. Dissonant guitar chords provide layers of sound that drone in key, odd television samples usher the songs in and out, feedback layers swallow otherwise empty sonic space. This band loves noise, but not in the blissed out psychedelic sense. The drums are tight. The guitars are close and dry, cutting through layers of feedback and chaotic noise. Promweather brings us raw form and raw energy straight from the garage. They’re as interested in raw fuzz rock power as they are in delay and reverb and all the conventions of psych. Making dissonant, supposedly undesirable instrument noise beautifully contribute to songs is Promweather's surest talent and they certainly deliver it in their live shows. Be sure to check them out the next time you see them on a bill in town. You won't regret it. 

-Andrew Strader

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Album of the Month: Thad Kopec's "The Shadow & the Caster"

It’s been called baroque, ambient, and psychedelic, but whatever it is, Thad Kopec’s style of songwriting cuts through the noise created by today’s two dimensional “indie folk” crowd. Immersing himself in a creative tradition of poetry and southern gothic literature, his lyrics build layers of imagery over complex orchestral arrangements and unique sonic collages that showcase a knack for songwriting talent and undeniably good aesthetic taste.

The Shadow & the Caster isn’t content to offer listeners anything other than total sonic immersion and its songs feel as unlimited and as expansive as the landscapes they often describe. In the literary vein of John Steinbeck or Flannery O’ Connor, much of the narrative and symbolic elements Kopec wields in his work center around the natural world and the descriptive nature of his language is undoubtedly born out of past experiences on a rural Florida farm.

In addition to the literary traditions the album keeps alive, it also displays a fondness for modern folk god influences like Fleet Foxes or Sufjan Stevens. He manages, however, to stay away from the caricatured second-generation style imitation that haunts indie folk today. Even Kopec’s voice feels entirely authentic with its relaxed disregard for being always perfectly pitched.

As a body of work, The Shadow & the Caster masterfully balances variety and elemental agreement. The songs all float down the same stream, and despite immediate twists and turns or sudden directional disorientation, every song comes out as a simple break in the current. All the water comes from the same source and goes to the same place.

Be sure to make it to Thad’s release show on Friday, May 12th at WELD Nashville and pick up a copy of the album. His live performances are magical.

-Andrew Strader

 





A Deli Premiere: PONCÉ's "Afterglow"

PONCÉ is a twin brother duo entirely unafraid to showcase an emotional intensity and sonic variety rarely reserved for indie rock. They harness dance rhythms and guitar/synth combinations in ways that remain largely unexplored in modern contexts. The songs sit comfortably within a pop orientation, freely crossing genre with harmony-driven melodies that bring both recent electro-rock favorites like Polica and Americana classics like Tom Petty to mind.

The twins’ debut effort serves as a bold, experimental work that showcases a variety of sonic influences while remaining true to the traditions from which the songs were born. Afterglow is a collection of tunes that work well in tandem, each one serving a functional purpose that situates the piece as a complete whole. The opening track “Surrender to the Night” harkens back to 80s style dance music, with tight, chorus-heavy guitar hooks and spacey synth pads, while other works like “Whoa Dakota” incorporate the alternative country/Americana tradition with breezy acoustic guitars and beds of rhodes organ.

This is a work that, aside from being impossible to ignore, situates PONCÉ as an outfit instrumental in Nashville’s indie rock scene. Pick up a copy of the album tomorrow and be sure not to miss twins’ next show at Little Harpeth Brewing on May 6th.

-Andrew Strader





Overwatcher Brings Big Band Intensity to Post-Hardcore

Overwatcher is a big band of melodic post-hardcore screamers. They maintain the aggression and intensity you might find in a Nashville DIY garage or punk outfit, but tease the sonic palette with a number of feedback techniques you might find in a psychedelic or noise rock band. That being said, the short bursts of dissonance and noise don’t overstay there welcome in the songs. The crew of six knows how to serve a song, offering just enough melodic instrumentation to keep the essential structures intact. If you’re a fan of high energy post-hardcore, post-rock, noise rock, or screamo dispositions, be sure to check out their next performance at The End on May 3rd.

-Andrew Strader

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