Right Hear, Right Now

New Music from The Technicolors, Sundressed, Wyves and More

Photo Courtesy of The Technicolors

The Technicolors - "Lilies For My Lily"
Just over a week ago The Technicolors dropped a new single out of nowhere. This is the way they do things, and while it is mysterious, the rewards are almost always great and professionally polished. They seem to be taking yet another slight turn in their musical direction with this one. I know they've been recording a new full-length album, and I believe this is the first hint of what's to come. On "Lilies For My Lily" they step back from the Britpop and 1960s psych-rock sound a bit to embrace an early alternative vibe that jives overwhelmingly well with early U2, Echo & The Bunnymen and The Mighty Lemon Drops, but especially heavy on the U2 here. This is a step away from their previous EP Ultraviolet Disguise, which was surprisingly synthy and drum machine heavy. It's also strikingly different from the Mix Tape that was available for three seconds last Summer. That said, no matter what approach they go of it, the band they most remind me of is The Technicolors. "Lilies For My Lily" is another showcase for the immaculate voice of Brennan Smiley as well and the analog sounding late-'60s mix applied to the whole thing makes it a catchy track perfect for kicking off the spring season. It will be how the rest of the new album compares. You can catch The Technicolors at Valley Bar on Friday night.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY CRAIG HEDGES
Photo by Craig Hedges

Sundressed - "A Little Less Put Together"
If you didn't pick up a copy of Sundressed's brand new full-length album last week at their amazing release show at The Rebel Lounge, you will be able to listen to it in its entirety this week. While their previous EPs and non-album singles were building up to this, A Little Less Put Together redefines the band and establishes them as the greatest weasel punks in this neck of the woods. It feels like the coalescence of six years of hard work, endless touring and sharp focus, because that's what it is, it's a brand new day for Sundressed. About a month ago, we were talking about three other songs from the record when the band slipped out the video for the title track. The song is one of my favorites from the album and let's face it, that's a killer title for an album or a song, the video brings the song to a whole different level. Cory Davis hits another homerun for Yellowbox Films with another great video that perfectly captures the feeling of the song as random individuals show confessional placards about their flaws and insecurities, then posting them to the wall behind Trevor Hedges and occasionally Forest Walldorf, when he provides backing vocals. There's a timeless quality to this track, not only musically, but lyrically and here, visually—we all have these hang-ups in our lives and some are crippled by them, no matter what age you are. The sentiments here are as true at 42 as they were at 22.
Photo by RaySquared - Ray² Productions
Wyves - "Jump Into The Water (Boogie Woogie)"
Wyves have been breaking out some killer new material at their recent live shows, and I'm eager to hear those songs on record, but first something a little different. In addition to some rabid new tunes, they've also been throwing around this reimagined, swagger-laden version of "Jump Into The Water" on stage that's a different beast than the original from last year's Spoils of War. Apparently they had some studio time to get that together and the "Boogie Woogie" version of the song is the result. Honestly, I've memorized that album note for note, so when they started playing it this way on stage, it fucked with my groove, but after spending some time with it I like it every bit as much, if not more. It's got a completely different feel and a more Exile-era Stones feel to the entire affair, accentuating the boogie-woogie aspects that make it stand out from the original. Whether it's the harmonica or Evan Knisely's completely different approach to the skins, the backing vocals by Nick Sterling, the wider groove to Brenden's bass line, or the various accents found throughout—it takes a dirty rock song and makes it even dirtier, even more exciting and more deeply invested in the American blues. Even Corey Gloden's vocal take provides a completely different feeling to the whole thing. The video captures them in the act while they were in the process of recording at Red Mountain Studios with Curtis Douglas. It's a minute longer, but in the end, slightly stronger.

Mason - "Rockstar Paperboy"

You may recognize the name Jacob Acosta before your recognize his latest music endeavor of 2017, Mason. You might know him from Roll Acosta or Race You There or from his amazing solo releases over the past few years. He mainly works out of Tucson, but has always kept close ties with the Phoenix music scene and when he sent me a two and when he sent me a two and half minute straight up rock song, I was eager to share it. The video for "Rockstar Paperboy" just dropped last Friday and the band is on fire here. It's funny how buried in the mix authentic rock'n'roll is these days, to the point that when you find some, it's nearly a revelation. That's how "Rockstar Paperboy" feels to me, the kind of thing that makes you say, "Ah, yes, that's actually pure rock." Nothing more, nothing less, but it just feels so fucking good. Mason is Jacob Acosta (vocals/guitar), Johnny Zapp (bass), and Andre Gressieux (drums) and this song finds their rock deeply steeped in the blues while Acosta gives a Hendrix-like cadence to his vocal delivery. This is working man's blues on electrified guitar and that's about as good a foundation you can give to presenting rock'n'roll in my book. This is the first single from their forthcoming album Midnight Road, so keep your ears peeled for Mason and some other projects Acosta is rolling out before the end of the year.

Devil Grass - "Pioneers"
I've got to admit I've got a bit of a problem putting down Devil Grass' debut EP Dog + Cross since I picked it up. It's only four songs, one of which ("In The Cut") I've been living with for a year, but when all the pieces are put together it's simply a triumphant debut where they run the gamut on all of their talents and explore unique territory on every track. Still, I feel compelled to say something about "Pioneers." This song blows me away on every listen, and I'm somewhere beyond three dozen spins. I don't usually get this excited over a track in the five-minute range, but with an introduction that's got a pure, snarling rock vibe that immediately dispenses of any noticeable twang in their sound for this round. This song would be a killer if it was just reliant on the vocal delivery and the guitars, because therein lies the fundamental draw here—Devil Grass is just rocking the hell out, like G'n'R rocking the hell out. There's more though; there's this manic piano part that kicks in around the 30-second mark and it drives my soul insane. Granted, this kind of adoration can only usually be engaged for three-and-a-half minutes before it runs its course, but at exactly that point "Pioneers" takes off in another direction of wild solos and prog-rock wanderings, to its benefit. The ultimate bonus is that every Devil Grass tune features the thought provoking lyrical poetry of Michael Roberts and this song is another ace in that department.