Mitchell Hillman listens to more local music than just about anyone in the Valley. He presents his picks for best new music in his column, Right Hear Right Now.
Tigerface - "Slip Away"
After nine years of releases, the dance rock outfit known as Tigerface is finally set to release their first full-length album in the form of Paint The Sky next month. In preparation, they have unveiled the first single from the album, "Slip Away." You wouldn't expect it from the slightly over-dramatic synths that start off the song, but these guys really rock out while maintaining a strong sense of electronica danceability. The combination actually works quite well. I often find it refreshing when genres combine, and "Slip Away" is a damn fine example of exactly that. I'd love to see these guys live, because if their show compares to their recordings it's got to be a hell of an event just from an energy perspective alone. The chorus is also damn catchy. It doesn't seem that Tigerface is attempting to be anything that they aren't, there doesn't seem to be any pretension here, just a group of guys that like to rock AND dance in equal measure. I'm not actually sure which is better , the dance pop backdrop or the vocal rock delivery, so I'll just enjoy both together. One thing is for sure, I can't wait to hear the rest of the album when it drops next month, because if this track is any indication, it's going to be pretty magnificent.
Prehab - "Wrong Door"
I loved the last release by Prehab, and I could kick myself for not getting to it in time to cover it in any capacity, but I won't make the same mistake on this go around. This rock outfit is set to release their new album Light Up The Sky tomorrow with a release party for it at Rockbar in Scottsdale. The first single is the opening track for the album, the rocking, slightly Americana tinged "Wrong Door." While musically, the song is just pure rock 'n' roll, vocalist Chris Kay has a quality to his voice reminiscent of Dave Pirner from Soul Asylum -- that is to say that his voice can deal in rock just as well as it could in alt-country. There is just a magical rough-hewn perfection to it that finds home nested above twin searing guitars courtesy of him and Jason Kay, with a fantastic rhythm combo of Chris Cantu on bass and Phillip Rhodes on drums. This song has been getting some airplay on KWSS, and it's not hard to understand why after only one listen. To note, "Wrong Door" is literally only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Light Up The Sky, and I hope to hear many more singles throughout the rest of the year finding their way to the airwaves.
Celebration Guns- "The Volunteer"
I recently saw Celebration Guns at a killer show at the Yucca Tap Room, and one of the stand out tracks of the entire evening was "The Volunteer," the new single from their forthcoming EP The Me That Used To Be. If it sounds a bit familiar, first of all it's a staple of their live shows, and a home-recorded version of it appeared on a split release with Twin Ponies last year. This time they've gone into the studio with Bob Hoag and produced a studio version of the track that captures the magnificence of it is when performed on stage. The intro with the chimes/bells kills me every time. In the years since their formation Timothy O'Brien has become one of my favorite drummers in town, while the quirky vocals of Justin Weir, along with his guitar duel with Chris Blanco and bass thumping by Ryan Miller, just constantly make me think that this is what authentic indie rock sounds like.
HotRock Supa Joint- "Sensitive Drake Type Sh!t (High)
HotRock SupaJoint is many things. He is a musician, a comedian, a staunch advocate for weed, the head of joint rolling at 56th Street Records, and so much more. He is probably best known for his music. His songs seem to have a common theme amongst them with titles like "Rollin Stoned," "Weed Weed Mothafucka," "Who Loves The Weed," and "Yeah I'll Smoke That Shit." He tends to have a keen focus on all things marijuana related throughout his canon. A couple weeks ago, as it was inevitable, he finally dropped a love song, and in true form it's a love song about weed. Granted, "Sensitive Drake Type Sh!t (High)" also gives a shout out to his personal stylist and fluffer Baby K, it's largely about his love for weed. The song, released as many of his are, came out through a brilliantly hilarious video that you can watch above. All kidding aside and as funny as it is, it also happens to be a damn fine song. SupaJoint is like the Weird Al of Weed--clearly talented and clearly obsessed. He references Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Marvin Gay in one pop culture swoop with a sweet soulful delivery. Just make sure that no one in the Marvin Gaye camp hear this either yo, alright.
Zodiac Bash- "Bouncy"
One of my favorite emerging indie rock bands these days is Zodiac Bash and outside of their fan base and other musicians, no one really seems to be talking about them and I'm not sure why, honestly. They have been blowing my mind at live sets since sometime last year and I truly hope that we get an EP or an album out of these guys in 2015. Zodiac Bash is something of an a local indie supergroup featuring Patrao Gaston (Paper Foxes), Ari Leopold (Rolling Blackouts/Gus), Ben Fuqua (Bacchus & The Demon Sluts), and Ben Foos (Fairy Bones), jam those guys all together and they create something that sounds like nothing else the members are otherwise involved in. "Bouncy" isn't exactly a new song, but it's their best recording to date as of its February release. Patro handles the synths and the manic vocals that define the sound of the band, but everyone else is sure as hell supporting that vision throughout this single. For as energetic, frenetic and fascinating as this track is, imagine it turned up to eleven on full tilt and you have a notion of how their live shows go. If you want to get a taste of this for yourself, swing by The Rogue Bar on the remaining Tuesday nights of this month where they have been holding down a weekly residency.
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