“God Is Going To Get Sick of Me” – Aberdeen City
Straddling the thin-wide line that forever separates Coldplay and Radiohead is the Boston quartet Aberdeen City, at least as they display their wares in this itchy, sharply-produced, knowingly melodic song. Lead singer Brad Parker, who also plays bass, sounds a lot like Thom Yorke and yet more solid and approachable, uninclined to take his powerful tenor towards the warbly stratosphere. As a matter of fact, the way Parker lays back in this song, allows himself to stay reined in by the hard-charging guitars that burst with creative authority in and out of the mix, sets up a transcendent moment three-quarters of the way through: the imperceptible, breath-taking glide he takes to move to the higher register between the phrases “support gets stronger” and “each time something”–well, that just nailed the whole thing down for me somehow. In addition to listening to the song, I suggest visiting the Aberdeen City web site, which features some truly arresting imagery related to the band’s new CD The Freezing Atlantic: the bleak panorama offered is nearly sublime in its evocation of the ocean’s terrifying day-to-day majesty, never mind the juxtaposition of the mysterious wrapped and upright bodies, some of which fade in and out of view. “God Is Going To Get Sick Of Me” is the third track on the new CD, the band’s first full-length effort, scheduled for release on Dovecote Records next month.
“Pangs of Guilt” – the Bridge Gang
With the harsh but beguiling charm of an early Clash single, “Pangs of Guilt” delivers two brisk minutes of that affecting sort of rock’n’roll that’s both very straightforward and oddly edgy. (Cross perhaps the Pixies and the Cars and maybe you’re part of the way there, if you keep Jonathan Richman in your head as well; hm, these guys are from London but maybe they should’ve been from Boston?) The guitars have that “we just plugged them in and turned the amp on too loud” sound, the lead singer JosÃ© (no last name to be found) yowls the sparse but engaging melody with no concern for his vocal cords, and the one-line chorus has the gut-satisfying resolution of classic garage rock. The Bridge Gang is a relatively new three-piece band with just a few recorded songs to date. “Pangs of Guilt” is a downloadable single made available via London-based Dogbox Records in the spring of this year.
“A Quoi Bon” – Delaney
There’s something both fresh and comfortable-sounding in this homespun bit of trip-hoppy sing-songiness. Parisienne Christelle Delaney has a teetery pitch and a deadpan delivery that joins the beat-driven vibe with a what-the-heck sort of consonance. There’s not that much to it–she basically repeats the same simple melody over and over, but the interplay of her voice, the giddily percussive acoustic guitars, and the spiffy beat is a tasty aural treat to my disaster-soaked ears. Be sure not to miss the oddball instrumental coda that starts at 2:43: first we get deliberate, off-kilter keyboard chords, then we get an increasingly assertive sort of stretchy-crunchy sound rising to the forefront, along with some random tinkles, before everything draws demurely to a close. The 33-year-old Delaney was 25 when she recorded “A Quoi Bon” for her self-titled debut CD; released in France in 1998, the disc just saw the light of day in the U.S. earlier this month, courtesy of L.A.’s introspective Pehr Records. Thanks as always to the hard-working humans at 3hive for the lead.