Well, it’s officially autumn, and things are busy here at PoB. We just released the fine Promised Land Sound LP, and Chris Forsyth’s stellar Solar Motel is right around the corner. The major Hopscotch Day Party post with audio and photos from that mighty day is still in the works, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, there is plenty to report from the press trenches. Read on, gentle reader.
First off, we were delighted and honored to be profiled for eMusic by the excellent writer Stephen Deusner, who assessed us, generously, thusly:
“One of the most promising labels in the Southeast, arguably the entire country.”
Promised Land Sound
The young Nashville band’s new one is now available here and at fine shops and web stores around the globe, and it’s garnering some strong praise. Here are just a few of the recent highlights, beginning with the local.
What’s most interesting about the Nashville-recorded country rock of Promised Land Sound is how artfully the early 1970s sonic reference points have been modified with doses of garage rock. Promised Land Sound harks back to an era that was influenced by The Band’s Music From Big Pink and Gram Parsons’ GP, and the group plays with post-punk panache. “Money Man” is Charlie Rich-style blues about unlimited spending power, while “For His Soul” sounds like The Byrds circa Byrdmaniax. Powered by Evan Scala’s idiosyncratic drumming, the tracks rock out.
Some real next level shit. Such a cohesive amalgamation of influences is rare, especially in the first full length from a crew of twenty-somethings. “Make It Through the Fall” by itself stands as one of the best songs that’s come out of Nashville in the recent years.
The Nashville Scene proclaims PLS as the year’s Best New Local Band!
Uncut magazine has been particularly kind to the band, with the following accolades.
Brisk country-rock tunes that might make a young Gram Parsons kneel down and pray. This is a record that revels in tradition, pays faithful tribute to it, but never feels revivalist… a vibrant and exciting rock record, one that finds this young band finding its own voice by honoring (and sometimes matching) its forefathers. These airtight odes to both personal geography and wanderlust… pulse with young blood.
Promised Land Sound is able to put their stamp on a brand of music that has given us so much joy and make it their own. This is accomplished by quality songwriting, excellent work in the studio and some top-notch playing. At every turn the songs come off as fresh and inventive. This is one of my favorite debuts of 2013 and I can’t wait to see them live. As for Paradise of Bachelors, they are firmly on our radar as a label that is consistently putting out quality.
Channels ? Mark & The Mysterians through Keef’s record collection… one part Grateful Dead ramble, one part Exile redux, one part Burritos breakfast. Promised Land Sound grasp the rock and roll vocab in a way that puts those retro posers to shame.
Now that summer is over, and the conversation about “summer jams” can mercifully be put to bed, the search begins for the song of the autumn. I nominate “Fading Fast” by Nashville classicist rock outfit Promised Land Sound.
Promised Land Sound is hitting the road shortly–this is a top-notch live band, so check it out:
|16 Oct 2013||The Southern Cafe and Music Hall||Charlottesville, VA||buy tickets|
|18 Oct 2013||Bowery Ballroom||New York, NY||buy tickets|
|19 Oct 2013||Boot & Saddle||Philadelphia, PA|
|20 Oct 2013||DC9||Washington, DC|
|24 Oct 2013||Proud Larry’s||Oxford, MS||buy tickets|
|25 Oct 2013||The Nick||Birmingham, AL|
|26 Oct 2013||Georgia Theatre: Rooftop||Athens, GA|
|07 Nov 2013||Bluebird Nightclub||Bloomington, IN|
|08 Nov 2013||Hideout||Chicago, IL|
We’re tremendously excited for the impending release of Forsyth’s masterful Solar Motel LP, which you can pre-order here. We’re not the only ones–those who have heard the record or seen the Solar Motel Band live can testify to the guitar magick therein. Here’s a sample, courtesy of the folks at Shaker Steps:
Next level… Betrays an innate grasp of the serpentine structures and elevated duels that were integral to Television’s appeal. “Solar Motel Part II” emerges out of a raga and a bit of downtown firefight into the sort of face-off you imagine Verlaine and Lloyd – at least secretly – would be proud of. Heavy, throbbing hints of Glenn Branca underpin the jams, and the slide section being matched to a piano break conjures up a further relationship with The Allman Brothers. “Solar Motel Part IV” comes on like a particularly gnarly take on “Dark Star”, or one of those Dead-derived Sonic Youth epics like “Hits Of Sunshine”. Can’t recommend this enough, as you might have divined by now. I’m struggling to think of a live band I’d like to see more right now.
Heavy psychedelic stuff. It’s a robust album, prone to multiple minutes of knotted guitars, stumbling over each other to disorienting effect. It’s close to transcendent.
– Sam Hockley-Smith, The Fader
Escalating in sequence with head-swelling psychedelic bliss while showcasing Forsyth’s equal admiration for the guitar interplay of both Verlaine & Lloyd from Television & Garcia & Weir of the Grateful Dead. It serves as a perfect example for what Forsyth calls his music: Cosmic Americana.
– Tony Rettman, Philadelphia Weekly
Each tune builds to meticulously wrought, transcendent climaxes that bring to mind Tom Verlaine’s solo albums (or at least the good parts.) In concert, this music explodes with the same sort of explosive, self-righting chaos that you can find on Television’s bootlegs. [The album’s] precisely arranged layers of keyboards and guitars have as many behind-the-door delights as an advent calendar.
– Bill Meyer, The Wire
A gravity-defying, multi-headed, electric guitar-worshipping hydra. The alchemy between these players cannot be overstated.
– Max Burke, Ad Hoc
Across numerous albums and collaborations with the likes of Loren Connors and Mountains’ Koen Holtkamp, dude has spent the past decade funneling minimalist abstraction, post-American Primitive folk and well-tread rock & roll tropes into an idiosyncratic tunefulness all his own. He even studied with Television axe-grinder Richard Lloyd for a time, which I think may partly explain some of the tight, economical phrasing on “Solar Motel,” layering together a series of repetitious note combinations until all that geometric simplicity suddenly tips over into something very wide-open and grand.
– Emilie Friedlander, The Fader
Chris will be playing some solo dates in Europe this fall:
10/27 – GENEVA @ CAVE 12 W/ PAUL METZGER & STEVE GUNN
10/29 – PARIS @ LES NAUTES W/ PAUL METZGER
10/30 – LYON @ GRNND ZERO
11/1 – CHARLEROI, BE @ LE VECTEUR W/ PAUL METZGER
Steve Gunn has been busy playing in support of his critically acclaimed album Time Off, and he’s already beginning work on a follow-up for PoB. Here’s a late, but very kind, review from Dusted:
Gunn, a musical polyglot, here works in the vernacular of the quieter parts of the American South, imbuing a little urbanity to sleepy Appalachian twang. Its bucolic, rollicking folk recalls The Grateful Dead, but its innate granularity — its players, remember, are avant-garde guns-for-hire — defies any tendency toward granola gaudiness. And while the connections to Southern California country-rock are intrinsic (the pysch-tinged vamp of “Street Keeper” suggests American Beauty, and the extended boogie of “New Decline” is directly descendent of Creedence’s choogle), Gunn’s playing on Time Off owes just as much to British folk-blues — Bert Jansch, certainly; side B of Led Zeppelin III, definitely; maybe even a little Nick Drake. Gunn’s luxurious guitar work — buoyed by Tripp and Truscinski’s knack for groove — and densely detailed workouts are so entrancing that they seem to fly by quickly.
The Wire kindly reviewed Time Off:
Steve assembled a mix for Dinner Party Download, which you can check out here.
And here’s the Tiny Mix Tapes announcement for his upcoming European tour. Dates below. Y’all in Europe owe it to yourselves to check out one of these shows.
10.12.13 – Barreiro, Portugal – Outfest #
10.15.13 – Vigo, Spain – Sinsal +
10.16.13 – Barcelona, Spain – Miscelanea +
10.18.13 – Paris, France – Espace en Cours *
10.20.13 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – OCCII *
10.21.13 – Ghent, Belgium – 019 *
10.22.13 – Brussels, Belgium – Ateliers Claus *
10.23.13 – Köln, Germany – King Gerog*
10.24.13 – Zurich, Switzerland – Elmo Delmo *
10.25.13 – Lausanne, Switzerland – Le Bourg *
10.26.13 – Torino, Italy – Blah Blah *
10.27.13 – Geneva, Switzerland – Cave12 *
10.28.13 – Bologna, Italy – Modo Infoshop +
10.29.13 – Rimini, Italy – Neon Club +
10.30.13 – Warsaw, Poland – Pardon To Tu +
10.31.13 – Copenhagen, Denmark – Din Nye Ven +
11.01.13 – Gothenburg, Sweden – Koloni +
11.02.13 – Moscow, Russia – Oldich Dress & Drink +
# duo show w/ Mike Cooper
+ solo show
* w/ De Stervende Honden rhythm section
Sat-Nov-23 – Chicago, IL – Constellation w/William Tyler
Hiss Golden Messenger
M.C. Taylor, Scott Hirsch, Terry Lonergan, and company have already begun recording for their follow-up to the critically acclaimed Haw (the great Alice Gerrard generously loaned her guitar, see below, to Taylor for the project.) Stay tuned for more information about the forthcoming reissue of Bad Debt, an important and nigh-mythological chapter–much-discussed, but little heard–in the HGM oeuvre.
We keenly encourage those of you in North Carolina or the Southeast more broadly to attend the full-band HGM show–featuring Phil Cook and a Mountain Man/Sylvan Esso-related project–at the Haw River Ballroom in Saxapahaw, NC on October 26. This will be the final full-band HGM performance of the year. Selah!