We caught Portland's Landlines for the first time opening up for the Woolen Men and Male Gaze in San Francisco. Blown away by their Kiwi influenced lo-fi power-pop, we had to press their Log Out, Tune Up, Drop Dead cassette to vinyl, even if it meant an extremely limited run.
"Where does rock n roll fit into the new world? As an enduring form of folk art continuously handed down to generations of suburban malcontents, a quietly burning flame of rebellion against conformity? Landlines aren't sure. Like the once more typical yeoman embraced a work system that countered capitalistic trends way back in feudal times, Landlines, in their intention of pre-cellular, pre-full on atomization of western society, have reinterpreted the basic premise of homegrown, guitar driven songcraft. Never pleased to let sleeping dogs lie, this group wields through unforgiving emotional discord, while maintaining an ethos of anti defeatist sentimentality. Dustin Scharlachs worn in vision of discontent and desire weave a fabric of rock while Jheremy Grigsby and Wiley Hickson co pilot the navigation of the polarity between existential anxiety and inebriated withdrawal and acceptance. Landlines are, at heart, an American band." - Gregory Campanile
"The most recent effort from Portland's Landlines is an album that keeps you on your toes. It's songs nod to different eras of garage rock, power pop, and post punk without ever holding too tightly to any of them. Each track brings to mind it's own set of unlikely comparisons- Lou Reed meets Superchunk, Elvis Costello meets Silkworm, Tom Petty meets the Clean. They're smart and playful, and beg to be listened to again and again." - Portland Mercury
Limited to 100 copies!
Ryan De La Hoz been published by FLJ Magazine in Tokyo, Museums Press in the UK, IdN Magazine in Hong Kong, Juxtapoz Magazine and Beautiful/Decay in the US. He has participated in solo exhibitions in San Francisco, LA and Seattle + group exhibitions in the United States as well as the Philippines, Japan, Hong Kong, Germany, Canada, and the United Kingdom. He thinks a lot about loss, hope, isolation, freedom from oppression, the destruction of natural resources, myth, magic, the pursuit of happiness. Ryan is most recently known for the artwork he contributed to the recent Male Gaze releases on Mt.St.Mtn. and Castle Face.
"The work of Ryan De La Hoz exists in a very particular world, a world comprised of hauntingly nostalgic paper cut outs and drawings that look like a spooky cartoon reduced to the absolute minimum of expression. Delicate flowers, leaves and skeleton gloves contrast with gaping holes filled with dizzying Op-Art to create a landscape that seems like Tim Burton got together with Henri Matisse to make their own paradise. The works are so simplified they leave it up to the viewers to project their own narrative on the scene. We each have our own idea of where each ladder leads, and what is hiding behind those geodes and mountains of slime. The compositions are mysteriously devoid of humans, yet laced with the shadows of human characters. The gloves of skeleton costumes pepper many of his works, as if to signify not only death, but a human representation of death. Another common symbol used by De La Hoz is the ladder, one loaded with symbolism. Ladders leaning into a spiraling abyss, or simply leading to no where, bring to mind the question of where are we going and where have we been. While De La Hoz does have the tendency to appear Halloween-ish, with his frequent use of pointed witches' hats, cob webs, skeletons and blobby mounds with gaping mouths, the work transcends the threat of kitsch in its minimalism and precision. We are drawn to wonder about the age old truths, about death and what is left behind, and about what is hidden and what is revealed." - Amir H. Fallah (Founder & Editor, Beautiful/Decay)
24 pages, 5.25" x 8.25" saddle bound book, black & white + color, limited to 200 copies!
Jay Howell is an all around kind dude that lives in Los Angeles with a dog named Street Dog. When he's not illustrating/animating the Classic Tales series for Vans or drawing skateboards he can be seen on the streets fuckin' around and sayin' classic shit. Jay designed the main characters for Fox's hit show, "Bob's Burgers". He is currently working as an Executive Producer, Co-Creator and Art Director on "Sanjay and Craig" an animated children's show for Nickelodeon. Jay's also known for creating the artwork for most of our Mt.St.Mtn. releases, not to mentioned his books and zines we've published (most of which were collected and re-released in a massive volume for Last Gasp).
24 pages, 5.25" x 8.25" saddle bound book, black & white + color, limited to 300 copies!
We're pleased to announce the debut release of San Francisco-based weirdo power-pop super-group Tiaras. What comes after San Francisco's now fleeting garage rock scene? The answer remains to be seen but Tiaras continue the efforts of San Francisco's long legacy of refugee freaks writing pop music. Influences range from The Cars, Wire, The Dwight Twilley Band, Big Star, and yes, even echoes of Tears For Fears, the self-titled release features 10 guitar driven power-pop songs doused with supernatural melodies. Often going bright, the LP bubbles out harmonic echoes that balance sultry nostalgia while ruminating on what's next for the dreamers who value big hooks and soaring chorus' to bring it all home. In essence, S/T captures the sentiment of the unadjusted through intricate and sparkling sonic medleys.
Tiaras are partially composed of former members of the "sinister sunshine" group, Ganglians. Ryan Grubbs (vocals, guitar, and keys) and Kyle Hoover (lead guitar) started Tiaras as a bedroom project. Joined by Antonio Gualco (drums) of Fine Steps, Adam Finken (guitar) of Blasted Canyons, and Ryan Hansen (bass), these dudes came out the gate a well-seasoned outfit from their first show and only get better with each live performance.
Listen to "Thought I Could Know" here.
Watch their video for "Anyone And Everyone" here.
Sacramento party punks are back with their second album on Mt.St.Mtn. A slight departure from the wildly careening noise-punk of "Crap Culture", G.Green's "Area Codes" showcases a seasoned, confident touring band and Andrew Henderson's solid, soul-baring songwriting, all wrapped up in a cohesive LP that speeds effortlessly from song to song, always with reckless intent, but never so much to derail the party train. With producer Chris Woodhouse (Mayyors) at the helm, G.Green puts bad sex, drugs, heart-break, drunken frustration and fuck-you ambivalence to tape. G.Green will be touring in support of "Area Codes" in Summer and Fall of 2014.
Listen to "Brain Fuck" here.
Impose Magazine review.
"My favorite band in Sacramento has nailed an LP that is as good as seeing them live on their best night. Sonically, song-writingly, pop-sensibly, and song-singingly, GGreen's Area Codes is far superior to their debut Crap Culture LP, and yet it maintains equal punkness with producer Chris Woodhouse's signature detailed articulation of sharp guitar angles and splendid noise shards which punctuate the pretty and poppy parts with a personality and flair that is only rarely achieved by the best bands who betray a fascination with The Clean and the Desperate Bicycles, but also as American as you'd expect from a young and curious mind that traced southern Ohio's musical history backwards from Guided By Voices to Jim Shepard and Mike Rep. Yes, GGreen's Andrew Henderson actually spelunked that rabbit-hole, and he has also honed a fine singing voice which has always been described as "unique" by people who like it and "well...unique!" by polite people who don't. But those people ought to try again; his voice is still peculiar because he can play with his pitch even while holding a steady note like Robert Smith of The Cure, but he really is singing fantastically throughout the record, and his voice is joined by others including dashing coed group harmonies and songs sung by others such as the plucky punker fronted by drummer Liz Liles bringing the Neo Boys to mind. This album has been a frequent morning mood-changer, and it has been coming with me on roadtrips for back-to-back-to-back plays; it surely joins Public Nuisance, the Twinkeyz, Tales of Terror, and FM Knives as one of the best LPs ever from Sacramento." - DJ Rick Ele, KDVS 90.3FM
Male Gaze, featuring members of Mayyors, Blasted Canyons and The Mall. A trifecta of bad vibes: sheets of fuzz, feedback peeking out the corners, and a B+ Ian Curtis impression dress these diet pill pop tunes in your favorite sweater from 1996. Look for their first full-length on Castle Face this summer.
Listen to "Cliffs Of Madness" here.
"For now, the requirement of all updates concerning Male Gaze include mentions of the trio's past affairs, which include The Mall, Blasted Canyons, and Mayyors. Catalysts of Northern California garage et al (seminal dukes, if you please), unite as a power trio for a new life that finds the three peeling back the bloody scuzz to reveal a buried affinity for pop tunes. Before the big reveal of a full length on Castle Face this summer, bask in the radiation of Male Gaze's "Cliffs of Madness" a-side to a Mt. St. Mtn. 7".
"Cliffs of Madness" careens down a narrow passage of the expected bleed of red lines, blasting with the hope of rendering ear plugs obsolete, and the catered service of appetizing pop sensibilities. Harsh reputations are upheld, but "Cliffs of Madness" sinks its teeth in around the moment Matt Jones drags out the refrain "one more time-aah-ime-ahh-mme-aah-ime". Sure there's a b-side in "Think Twice", but Male Gaze are sneaking suggestive language into the songwriting on "Cliffs of Madness" that will have you lifting the needle back to the beginning of side a." - Impose Magazine
Burnt Ones picks up where it left off on debut LP 'Black Teeth & Golden Tongues" and "You'll Never Walk Alone.' Fuzzed out glam rock of the highest order on a release that fits the aesthetic of psych rock juggernauts Burger Records and Castleface Records. The vocals are more discernible and the instrumentals are tightened on this terrific sophomore effort.1960s pop themes intertwine with fuzzed out psychedelic rock in an unabashed celebration of all things glam. On earlier releases, the vocals of lead-singer Mark Tester often got lost in Burnt Ones all-encompassing wall of sound. Such is not the case here. The reverb-heavy vocals ride a propulsive crest of fuzzed out guitars. It's a much bigger sound than any four-piece has a right to offer.
The Mallard are an inside-out-echo-laser-garage-psych-rock four-piece from San Francisco. Their home fried songs harness the naked abandon of 60's punk (think earliest Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd), but inject the form with a deranged spirit all their own. Close attention to texture and dynamics allow the band to explore unusual terrain – to grant access into unexpected realms of beauty and terror. . .with dessert.
More on Burnt Ones here.
More on The Mallard here.
San Diego's Plateaus are back and following up their acclaimed debut LP on Art Fag with a limited one sided 10" coming from Mt.St.Mtn. Plateaus have a laid back minimalist sound doing more with less with a niche for catchy song writing and melody. Hazy guitar tones, pounding drums, fuzzed out bass, and blown out vocals they deliver a sonic sound scape your ears with be thrilled to hear. With a range of influences from The Clean to The Wipers to Guided By Voices to Harry Nilsson to The Country Teasers, their sound is hard to pigeon hole into one specific genre. Cover artwork by Jay Howell, design by Mark Kaiser.
"San Diego's current wave of underground snarlers comes to us in the form of Plateaus, a furiously laid back pop band with that special something everyone is striving for, clearly bleeding through and visibly staining their jeans for all to see. This band offers no hidden agenda, no life-changing song structures, or ear-bending production, just incredible sloptastic pop that hangs off the cliff of irresistibility like no tomor- row. It's always more impressive when bands can do more with less, and Plateaus fall squarely into that arena, knocking out hit after hit without breaking into any sketchy territory, and locking down the adora- tion of anyone lucky enough to cross their path. From the moment we heard their debut tracks on the Art Fag 7", it was true love: sharply ripped, revved-up pop songs that bring to mind the early dual vocal stomp of Red Cross and The Simpletones, crushed into perfect blasts of that modern "punk ambrosia," of which we just can't ever get enough. Yes, Plateaus are a band you can fall for quick. There's just something about their perfectly disheveled pop that's so massively lacking these days, but we're glad to be able to shove them into your life." – Victimoftime.com
Listen to a few tracks here.
Plateaus west coast dates October 2013
A brand new double-zine featuring the work of Kelly Tunstall & Ferris Plock is in the works for their opening at FFDG. A combined 40 pages, the limited edition zine will release the day of the show!
The experimental yet classically grounded work of Ferris Plock and Kelly Tunstall lives comfortably in a space between graphic expression, stylized representation, surrealism, and sketch. Their preferred medium is a combination of acrylic, collage, spray paint, pencil, pen and ink, gold leaf. The binary contrast of masculine and feminine as the major theme in their work is also a very real and personal visual conversation between their imagined realities. Enhanced by complex, delicate layers, their bold pieces exist not only as individual pieces, but as part of larger installations or site-specific works.
Tunstall’s studied portraits render stylized female figures, as well as their pets, prey, powers, and dreams. Their physical forms and their relationship with each other represent and mirror internal thought processes and turmoil. Frequent themes, such as mermaids, twins, or extra limbs, concede a desire, a reliance, an adaptation, or more simply, an aspiration to something greater than the medium itself. In contrast, Plock’s work centers on the inner animalistic tendencies reflected in humans throughout the context of modern life. Transfigured into monsters in some cases, characters include a samurai cyclops and a delicious slice of fanged pizza on roller blades. The prominent theme of anachronism in his work features creatures in all walks of life coming together to aid each other.
More on Kelly & Ferris' "Loading" opening here.
Cruel Summer Tour
Cruel Summer are playing some west coast dates with Chicago's The Bam Bams (Burger Records)! Reminiscent of the mid to late 80's C86 and SARAH sound with a dash of 4AD's hazy early 90's catalogue, Cruel Summer offer up six tracks of shimmering guitars and hazy, fuzzy pop on the black wax. A nod to hours spent as a teenager in the late 80s digging through NME and Melody Maker issues to find out who the secret overseas DIY pop hit-makers were.
This is the debut of San Francisco's jangle darlings Cruel Summer. Reminiscent of the mid to late 80's C86 and SARAH sound with a dash of 4AD's hazy early 90's catalogue, Cruel Summer offer up six tracks of shimmering guitars and hazy, fuzzy pop on the black wax. A nod to hours spent as a teenager in the late 80s digging through NME and Melody Maker issues to find out who the secret overseas DIY pop hit-makers were. Two-color die-cut outer jacket, four-color printed inner sleeve. Artwork by Jay Howell, design by Mark Kaiser.
"It starts out whispy and crescendos into an intense explosion of fuzz and feedback, while settling back down on its dreamy little cloud in the end. Only complaint is that it doesn't last longer." - The Bay Bridged
"A giddy mix of swirlcore and shoegaze, *definitely* worth keeping an eye out on." -At My Heels blog
"best band of the 90's that actually exists right now. San Francisco is full of jangly guitars, but only Cruel Summer combines it with shoe gaze to sound like your favorite band when you were fifteen." - Unpiano
Listen to a few tracks here.
"I have been wanting to put out a new zine for a few months. Wicked Wendy Wild Wolf and Other Fun Drawings are a bunch of drawings i've been doing when I get home from work. I wanted it to look like tattoo flash mixed with some comics about Wendy and Wild Wolf. Making zines is fun." - Jay Howell
Jay Howell is an all around kind dude that lives in Los Angeles with photographer girlfriend Ruth Swanson and a dog named Street Dog. When he's not illustrating for Vans or drawing skateboards he can be seen on the streets fuckin' around and sayin' classic shit. Jay designed the main characters for Fox's hit show, "Bob's Burgers". He is currently working as an Executive Producer, Co-Creator and Art Director on "Sanjay and Craig" an animated children's show for Nickelodeon.
More on Jay here.