By Tom Reardon, April 2020 Issue.
Spring has sprung, kids. Whether it is high highs and beautiful
moments of noisy joy or a total suck fest of wasted time, spring has sprung.
Dig into these recent singles, if you dare, and feel free to dance, sing, or
just enjoy the weather while it lasts. In the immortal words of famous bassist
Flea as the character, “Razzle” in Penelope Spheeris’ 1983 punk classic, Suburbia,
“Happy Easter, Asshole!”
Kills Birds — “Jesus Did”
Kills Birds just played
Phoenix last month with Hot Snakes and while I was unable to attend due to an
injury, I was intrigued by this band a great deal. Fans of angular, a touch
noisy, post-indie/post-punk music will dig this cool band from Los Angeles. One
can only guess they will play Phoenix more as they grow their crowd. Female
vocals, intricate guitar and bass interplay, and a fairly straight-forward
drumbeat size up “Jesus Did” succinctly. There is a quiet part before a heavier
bit, so they are not breaking any new ground, but when singer Nina Ljeti sing
shouts, “Prog rock, fast cars, cocaine money, hi there honey” as the heavy part
kicks in, I’m hooked. Give a try and you might get hooked, too.
Lady Gaga —“Stupid Love”
Gaga is riding her
time machine again. This song has some nifty synth work that sounds directly
off of either an ABC or Yaz record. I don’t think this song is meant to
challenge any social norms or make you think about much, but it is charming in
the way that Lady Gaga gets in your knickers and starts rubbing and touching
your butt to help you get your groove on. I’m hoping to see local drag
performer Kim Etiquette (or one of her sisters) rock this song one day, because
it most definitely needs to get a treatment from a worthy queen.
Arizona Zervas — “Roxanne”
Let’s see: How
about we all say, “Fuck this song.” Maybe the worst song ever with “Roxanne” in
the title and the autotune happening here is revolting. Sting takes more
talented shits than this.
Dixie Chicks — “Gaslighter”
While this is not the best song I’ve ever heard by the Dixie Chicks,
“Gaslighter” is lyrically interesting and describes a few people I know to a
tee. We’ve all had experience with a person like this who will take and take
and take. Country music in the 21st century seems to rarely pay homage to the
roots of the genre but I’m guessing a lot of fans of classic country will dig
this effort. Worth a listen if you like the Dixie Chicks or well-done country
and western or if you know someone who wrecks everything and everyone they come
in contact with a smarmy smile on their face.
Overcoats — “New Shoes”
I kinda love this.
These ladies have the voices of angels on “New Shoes” and I feel like I should
have known about Overcoats before this but alas I have been sleeping on this
New York-based duo. The instrumentation is sparse, but the vocals are so pretty
that the understated acoustic guitar is just perfect here. I see this as being
a great song to listen to you when you want to feel something. Maybe it’s a
good feeling and maybe it’s not so good, but this is one of those songs that
will make your soul feel lighter and that’s a good thing. Fuck it, I don’t kinda love this, I really
Coriky — “Clean Kill”
So, Fugazi’s Ian Mackaye and Joe Lally have a new band with Mackaye’s wife, Amy Farina, and it’s called Coriky. Their first single, “Clean Kill” is pretty damn good. For those, like me, who have been wishing for a new Fugazi record for a long time (sorry, it doesn’t look like that will happen) this is something of a tonic to help soothe the longing. There is some of Mackaye’s signature guitar work dancing around Lally’s always clever and intricate bass lines over Farina’s adequate, yet sparse drum style. All three sing here and any song that talks about washing off the dirtiness with soap and water in this age of the Coronavirus is good with me. Listen to it now and order a record.