3 months ago

JAVA March 2018


LEE PERREIRA What’s That Gotta Do With My Dreams? CHEAP HOTELS Late Last Night EXXXTRA CRISPY Endlessly Devastating It’s hard to believe it’s been five years since Lee Perreira released Melodies for Marie, that came out and left you wanting more. But you had to wait half a decade to get more – a lot more. What’s That Gotta Do With My Dreams is the new full-length album from Perreira. With fifteen tracks in just over an hour, this could keep you occupied for a while. There are a lot of folks in this town who play blues rock, but I’m not sure there are many who actually play it better than Perreira, plus he has a voice that probably tops any that do. For as long as I’ve been digging his tunes and catching his performances, it’s always been about the combo of his masterful licks and that fantastic voice. This album is the culmination of that magic and also a hell of a lot of hard work. “Born in Da LBC” opens the whole thing up, and it joins rough-hewn blues rock with a touch of The Faces around the chorus. The success of the album isn’t the songs where Perreira shows his chops as a maestro, but rather the ones where he takes more chances and swims into slightly different territory. For instance, the title track, made into an acronym, mixes Jack Johnson with a touch of John Mayer in the best possible way. “Celebrate” is just straight-up rock ’n’ roll and a searing, sexy number. “Whiskey Lullaby” has a vocal warmth and emotional vulnerability even with its minimal musical backdrop. With “Freedom,” Perreira gets a new groove on, and it’s one of the most rewarding moments of the album, with an added touch of funk. Those are only a few highlights of an album that’s akin to sipping whiskey, best enjoyed when you’ve got the time, so it goes down smooth. I can’t believe it’s been two years since Cheap Hotels put out their last record, because it’s still on repeat. Without a doubt, Late Last Night will be one of my most played records of the year. It’s a full-length filled with sunshine-soaked indie pop. This time around, there’s a bit more Strokes influence, but luckily the early entries in their catalog. Cheap Hotels is Ian Wilson (vocals/guitar), Isaac Kolding (vocals/bass) and Jordane Raub (drums), and together they’re making some of the best hook-heavy power pop to be found in Arizona. They seem to instantly fit in with bands like Dogbreth and Diners before they left for yonder horizons. Just check the opening one-two punch of “Untitled Melody” and “Honey.” This is enjoyable music for any occasion, whether just hanging out, hitting the streets with a board or staring at the sky in a headphone dream. Even a longer, slower number like “Don’t Look at Me Like You Love Me” becomes so intoxicating that you’re caught in the swoon. I thought “Folks” sounded a lot like a folk tune on amphetamines before I saw the title, so that somehow stands to reason. Meanwhile, “The Night Before” has a near Americana feel, if for no other reason than that it’s a waltz with a bit of twang. The ’70s AM rock sound of “Daydream” will cause you to do exactly as the title suggests, as though you were swimming in sound. “The Guys” kicks you right back into overdrive, while “In Time” is a midtempo straight-up rocker. Late Last Night finishes appropriately with “It’s Morning,” a sobering, sweet tune that ends the album awash in an ode to daily positivity, without being over the top in its optimism. Exxxtra Crispy has been around for less than a year, and in that time they’ve become my favorite live band. Why? Because they’re super fun, because they’re rambunctious punks with horns, because they’re the kind of kids your parents told you not to hang out with, because they’re dangerous AND hilarious. Exxxtra Crispy is a lot of things, and they’ve just released their sophomore record, Endlessly Devastating. Luckily, their records are just as weird as their live shows, but the rub is that it’s for completely different reasons. On record, you have strange sample collages like the title track. On stage, you have frontman Dirty Dalla$ proselytizing the scumbag gospel. “Exxxhausted” has become one of my favorite songs at live shows, and it’s every bit as incendiary on the record, with a touch more attention paid to the guitar. It’s a punk anthem of how millennials feel every day of their waking life in America. It’s nowhere near the hook factory that is “The Ballad of Chocolate Jesus,” which has a groove that can walk on canal water – it’s that good. “White Gurrrl” is essentially a trumpet solo with an opening salvo of “got pills, cocaine and weed, chocolate jesus provides what you need.” It’s pretty cool for a minute. DaDadoh, Dalla$ and Swish Buckets take turns behind the mic on “Lost in the Sauce,” and it’s a pretty awesome gritty hip-hop fusion. “So Many Problems” is the quintessential gem on this record (“my dumbass took acid for breakfast, even though I knew it was reckless”) and features Danny Torgersen (Captain Squeegee) adding even more trumpet to the mix. The record finishes with “Subtle Torture,” which is two minutes of saxophone bliss that begins with an apropos Dave Chappelle quote. 32 JAVA MAGAZINE Sounds Around Town By Mitchell L. Hillman

T.O.S.O. The Cleanse SNAILMATE Existential Anxiety WOLFZIE Homebody Friends By the time I got a hold of T.O.S.O.’s last non-demo release, “Soul Junk,” it was too late to talk about it, which was a shame because I had fallen in love with their unique live performances, which are different every time. Their energy, vitality and creativity on stage may not entirely carry over to record, but their new EP, The Cleanse, makes a damn fine attempt at it. T.O.S.O. is Zac White, Marc Ellis, Eric Ellis and Evan Dorney, along with any guests they may need. “Hungover Forever” is the perfect way for the band to reintroduce themselves on record, mixing the pathos of Lou Reed with the sound of the Butthole Surfers. It’s dizzying, confusing and wonderful all at once, like the band itself. There are more shades of early Black Flag and Dead Kennedys on “Lye,” which is odd, because they aren’t really hardcore punk, but the vibe is there somehow. “Fried Piper” continues our journey of debauchery (yes, there’s something of a concept at hand), and it takes a psychedelic bend recalling Syd Barrett and early Floyd, with a hint of Flaming Lips for some extra scorch. Kicking off the second half is “Burnout,” a great indie rock tune and a touch of slacker anthem. “Cicadadoo” is nearly a straight-ahead rocker that has one of the most memorable hooks on the record. Their songs are strange, but for some reason this one sticks with me and gnaws at my mind. “Head Movies” concludes The Cleanse with the same kind of heavy bass that commanded the start, but the neurotica of this song brings the record to dizzying heights for its finale, placing the crescendo in the middle to bring you down for a soft landing. Having completed their Escargot trilogy last year and then compiling those tracks into the Love in the Microwave album, the only thing left for Snailmate to do before heading out on another cross-country tour was record another record. When Snailmate released their Escargot EP in 2015, it seemed like it would be a side project for Kalen Lander and Ariel Monet, but then they started touring, people started loving it, and in time the trilogy was complete. Existential Anxiety is the first EP to follow their debut concept, and it’s a brief four banger that, if nothing else, lets you know that Snailmate is here to stay. “Night Life” is the opening track, and it is all over the place in all the right ways, including a harrowing introduction, followed by a Lander rap that includes some sly references to previous singles. Snailmate keeps it weird and slightly terrifying on “I Woke Up For This?” With their patent combination of soul-shaking screams and entertaining rapped verses, they are cementing their intrinsically weird alchemical sound. “On You” steps aside for a moment and introduces some new dimensions, and it’s a total showcase for Lander’s stream of subconscious hip hop. They’re eyeing this up for the first single or video, and it should be. As fantastically strange as this band gets, it’s somehow slightly more accessible than usual. “3D Glasses” finishes this installment perfectly. As you sit and stare in the silence afterward, unsure of what to do next, your nervous system is not the same as when the record began. As much of a continuation of Snailmate as this is, there is a noticeably different vibe in their post-Escargot landscape, which excites me even more about this duo’s future. Sounds Around Town By Mitchell L. Hillman What’s that? You were expecting the next WOLFZiE record to be The Memory Department, Pt. 2? Nah, WOLFZiE is in it for the long game, so you’re going to get Homebody Friends right now. WOLFZiE’s aim is having the comfiest cult around, and if you’re chill and somewhat antisocial, you may be a Homebody Friend too. This is their soundtrack, and it opens with the stunning dream-like trip hop of “You,” featuring Tru Vonne, melting more genres in a minute than you can hope to come up with, sinking you into the musical equivalent of a down comforter. Jimmy Sticcx and Bubba Dak are featured on “7 Works,” which delivers a fantastic flow over WOLFZiE’s trippy musical backdrop, hitting some key interplay with your neurons. “What You Need” gets into some psychedelically reworked jazz that’s as fascinating as it is hypnotic. The brief “Seeds” follows, with strange modulations and a wild soundscape designed as a link track to what follows. “Mau” features Roqy Tyraid with a righteous, amazing tirade that extols the beauty of all that is black. The record concludes with the title track, a stunning instrumental that gives you a taste of the cozy cult, where you text your friends from bed with no intent of leaving the comfort of home. Technology has allowed us to socialize without the discomfort of actually socializing. It’s also a pretty dance-ready number. And if you’re wondering, Homebody Friends do a lot of dancing at home alone if the music’s right. This is it – this is legit Homebody music. For more on these events and other highlights of the Phoenix music scene, check out Mitchell’s blog at For submissions or suggestions contact him at mitchell@ JAVA 33 MAGAZINE

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