New Plastic Ideas – week of Oct 11 2012

This week is packed with good new releases so let’s get to it: Tame Impala ’s Lonerism has been making waves across the Pacific and the Australian psych-pop group’s sophomore effort really does up the “psych” end. This band’s schtick is basically unabashed Beatles worship — frontman Kevin Parker’s vocal delivery is the closest John Lennon impression I’ve ever heard — but the songwriting is competent the production is interesting without being obnoxiously slick and while I don’t make a habit of listening to worshippers of the Fab Four I’m happy to hear a release this popular which I don’t also find completely stupid.

Speaking of things we can all agree on there is a new Ladyhawk record! It is called No Can Do and it is a solid rock record. No more no less — no complaints!

Elsewhere last year Charalambides guitarist Tom Carter fell ill with pneumonia while on tour in Europe; the band had to cut the tour short and as you’re likely aware if one is an American and falls sick enough to go to the hospital unless you’re stupidly wealthy (i.e. not an experimental musician) you’re pretty much fucked. So here’s Music for Tom Carter a Bandcamp-hosted digital compilation full of lengthy tracks from the likes of Bill Orcutt Pete Swanson Jefre Cantu-Ledesma and Marcia Bassett (formerly of Double Leopards) to name a handful with all proceeds going to Carter’s medical bills. If you don’t recognize any of these names consider this your formal urging to educate yourself on some of the best artists in contemporary drone noise and experimental music — it’s for a cause even!

And finally I get to write about a new noise-rock release. It seems too rare nowadays that I get to write about my favourite genre but the self-titled offering from METZ is out to fix that. I saw METZ back in 2009 and picked up the Toronto group’s two 7-inch singles at the time quickly forgot about them and now three years later there’s a debut LP out on Sub Pop of all labels. Crazy! The trio’s debut full-length is a burly affair with hard-hitting drums and guitar feedback splintering off every which way. I’m definitely into Sub Pop releasing this kind of thing but unfortunately the songs aren’t particularly memorable; this stuff probably kills live but I’ll be damned if I can remember anything about this record beyond “high energy” “shockingly good feedback-addled guitar tone for a contemporary Sub Pop release” and “people are probably going to lazily compare this to Nirvana.” If your introduction to noise-rock was with that really tepid façade of a record Cloud Nothings released earlier this year this’ll probably make you piss your pants but for the really good stuff I’d suggest checking out this year’s releases from Neon Blud and White Suns — so start here and move on up!