This Wednesday at White Eagle Hall in Jersey City, indie rock O.G.’s Guided By Voices will take the stage in celebration of their latest release, Space Gun. The album is the 25th from the band since their debut Devil Between My Toes in 1987. Leading up to the show, N.J. Racket was given the unique opportunity to interview Mark Shue, Guided By Voices’ bassist for their previous three albums and member of the live band since its inception in 2016. The interview was conducted by Eric Truchan, the drummer of New Jersey band Secretary Legs and a true Guided By Voices and Robert Pollard super fan. Eric has his own blog in which is a song by song review of every Robert Pollard song ever, which, as you would guess, is an unbelievable amount of music.
From Eric’s own review of Space Gun, posted to An Earful O’Wax: Guided By Voices/Robert Pollard Song By Song Review, “Space Gun is further studio progression in the new life that pulsates through the ultimate band, keeping it in motion; behold the mighty Guided by Voices. Back from their possibly best sounding studio LP, How Do You Spell Heaven, the newest LP is another exercise in high kicks, and top notch production courtesy of recording engineer Travis Harrison. Harrison was also at the helm for the sonic bombast of ESP Ohio’s Starting Point... along with much of August By Cake.”
After a year of heavy touring, Bobby Mahoney and the Seventh Son have released their eponymous EP. With boundless energy, driving guitars, and catchy choruses that beg you to shout along, Bobby Mahoney and the Seventh Son works to convey all the spirit of a live show by a band that truly seems to love what they do.
The band wastes no time getting down to business with “Empty Passenger Seats.” Mahoney’s growly vocals infuse just the right amount of punk-rock whine over the pounding drums and guitars, and leave this first track with a shouting refrain to get you pumped up—but don’t get too excited yet. Things are just getting started.
Tory Anne Daines’ new project, Fair Panic, has recently released FEELS, a baroque rock masterpiece. Backed by Tom Monda, Michael Abiuso, Steven Kirsty, Dan Bindschedler, Rob Fitzgerald, Kennedy Grey, Skylar Ross, and Ryan Palermo, the band blends theremin, omnichord, and electric violin with guitars and brass to create a modern baroque sound. Everything about this album, is beautiful, yet dark and complex enough that it avoids coming off as saccharine. This is one of those albums where I listen to a song and think, “Oh, this is the best track on the album, for sure.” Then the next song comes on.
With the release of his debut full length album approaching, aBIRD premiered his third, and final, single “A Cool Island Song” on the heels of recent releases “Polluto” and “The Sun and the Moon.” A lot has been made in the past year about the artistic turn made by Adam Bird. He’s adopted an electro pop sound which he employs so uniquely and proficiently. The beats are catchy and the composition is tight and succinct. However, different still from the past two singles, “A Cool Island Songs” features a lighter, tropical swing to juxtapose the more straight ahead pieces.
New Brunswick’s Secretary Legs have been making some waves in the past few years with the release of two EPs coupled with a busy performance schedule spotted with some short tours. Though comprised of members of former New Jersey stalwarts Brick Mower and the Soft Maybes, the band was patient in developing and refining their sound, working towards the conception of an album that would really stand out. That album, Cool Myths, was released last Friday on Sniffling Indie Kids.
Long time indie rock vet Tony Saxon announced his signing to Mint 400 Records back in the fall of 2017 and has since wasted no time making his presence felt. The infectious, high energy guitar riffs of “Black Hearted Gypsy Woman,” the album’s first single, teased listeners and left them wanting more. The wish was granted back on January 26 with the release of Old Souls & Long Term Goals, eleven hard-rocking melodies like nothing you’ve heard for a long, long time.
Saxon draws influence from the early, experimental days of rock music and embodies that spirit so effectively throughout this album, which was tracked live in it’s entirety. In today’s digital age, it’s pretty uncommon for a piece to be so raw and untouched which truly adds so much to the authentic feel Saxon creates and is just one example of the risks taken and rules broken throughout Old Souls & Long Term Goals.