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Glasgow-via-London foursome Veronica Falls blend aggressive garage punk with sweet Sixties pop, and morbid lyrics with sunny stories, making for unpredictable music that’s boldly ominous one minute and charmingly delightful the next. The dual moods give their songs an extra depth, but it’s their ability to straddle seamlessly between the haunting and the fun that makes Veronica Falls — especially singer Roxanne Clifford, whose vocal work calls to mind a more somber version of The Mamas & The Papas — stand out against other similar acts.
Don’t doubt Brooklyn four-piece Shark? despite their unusually punctuated name. They blend scruffy garage-rock and riotous post-punk for music that swerves from catchy lo-fi hooks to wild distorted yelping in the blink of an eye. The band — made up of Kevin Diamond (vocals/guitar), Andy Swerdlow (drums), Andy Kinsey (bass), and Chris Mulligan (guitar) — have toured relentlessly in and around New York City for years and finally, after a successful Kickstarter campaign, were able to release their first full-length album, True Waste, this past summer.
Glasgow-via-London foursome Veronica Falls blend aggressive garage punk with sweet Sixties pop, and morbid lyrics with sunny stories, making for unpredictable music that’s boldly ominous one minute and charmingly delightful the next. The dual moods give their songs an extra depth, but it’s their ability to straddle seamlessly between the haunting and the fun that makes Veronica Falls — especially singer Roxanne Clifford, whose vocal work calls to mind a more somber version of The Mamas & The Papas — stand out against other similar acts.
My guests this week are filmmakers Ian Markiewicz and Alex Hammond. They are the co-directors of Better Than Something: Jay Reatard, a film that tells the story of Memphis garage rock auteur Jay Reatard.
Originally a solo endeavor, San Diego’s Tropical Popsicle eventually grew into a 4-piece fronted by vocalist Timothy Hines (Lights On, the Stereotypes). Playing shimmery, feel-good melodies soaked in a blanket of muffled reverb, the band’s strain of psychedelic surf-rock calls to mind a mix of Beach Fossils and Real Estate.
Brothers Nick and Pete Furgiuele, along with Peter DeLorenzo and Chris Kaufmann make up the Atlanta-based band Gringo Star. Together, the foursome infuses classic rock ‘n’ roll and garage rock with pretty indie-pop. Though most of their songs are simple and catchy — perfect for sing-alongs and continuous toe-tapping — they still retain a unique, Southern rough-around-the-edges grittiness.
Atlanta foursome Carnivores play the kind of lo-fi, brooding rock native to the corners of a gritty, abandoned garage. Though hints of softer melodies peek through occasionally on “Prom Night,” the song is mostly blanketed in a prickly, thrilling layer of ominousness — especially when Caitlin Lang’s vocals twist and soar like a haunted soul or mad scientist. The song captivates with its dissonance and drama.

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