Two of the best singles of the year! Bonus supergroup!

Jason Jackowiak

Ok, we're back, and just in time for allergy season to be kicking our sinus' asses up and down the parkway. Regardless, our ears still work, so we're bringing you some real heat for you platter this week, since all of our picks are full blooded rock 'n' roll types from various parts of this nation. We could drag this intro out, but instead we'll just get to matters at hand and leave the pointless drivel to folks like Paste Magazine or Jeff Dunham.

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First up this week is the ace debut single from Bloomington, Indiana's Apache Dropout “Do the Splendid Crown” b/w “All I'm Gonna Do is Laugh” on their own Magnetic South imprint. Naming yourself after an Edgar Broughton Band song is bold, but when you've got ex-members of John Wilkes Booze and Hot Fighter #1 among your ranks, your pedigree is already enough to carry it off without getting bottled. A-Side “Do the Splendid Crown” is buried in 18' of analog tape murk, yet their love of all things bombastically lysergic shines through in the lurching guitars, R&B-flavored rhythm and a perfectly plodding middle eighth topped off with a vocal so surprisingly suave Seth almost can't believe it himself. Flipside “All I'm Gonna Do is Laugh” is a slow-burner, a whiskey-soaked midnight torch song with a crest of rambling guitars and three lifetimes worth of redemption all crammed into four minutes. As if the fantastic tunes and ace cover art weren't enough, the single is in fucking mono! Single of the year? There's a damn good chance. Not a lot of distribution on this one outside of Bloomington, but if this sounds like something you need, and trust us, it is, then get at the band directly or bug your local record hole to try and grab some copies.

While that's definitely a tough act to follow, Houston firebrand Black Congress do a more than admirable job with their debut single, “Davidians” b/w “London's Burning” on Team Science. While not exactly elusive, this quintet are relatively unheralded outside of their hometown, despite the fact that they are, unquestionably, one of the finest noise-rock/hardcore bands currently making the rounds. Sprung from the grand tradition of bands like This Moment in Black History and Hammerhead, Black Congress' sound is an impossibly dense morass of AmRep-inspired cacophony and lurching bottom-end all topped off with the crazed preacher howling-at-the-moon vocals of Bryan Jackson. The A-Side hits like a black power first to the jaw, its libidinous squall squaring off against feedback-drenched riffs in a street corner brawl, both sides worse for wear as they stagger towards a furious breakdown before collapsing in a heap just as the runtime expires. The flipside is no tamer, with a brace of buzzsaw guitars gnawing their way through a snarling vocal harrumph of Yow-ian proportions and an airtight rhythm that sucks all the air out the tune until everyone, band included, is on the ground desperately gasping for oxygen. Why people aren't frothing at the mouth at the very mention of this band is a mystery for the ages, especially considering how bands (Trash Talk) with inferior approximations of their sound are selling out mid-sized halls. Regardless, grab this like your life depends on it, preferably from the label themselves so they'll release more records from these boys. P.S. I heard you guys have a new single out, however, I can't find it anywhere, so if any of you happen to read this, we'd love to hear it.

Our final offering this week comes from Houston supergroup Grandfather Child, “Waiting for You” b/w “Dog Water”, released in conjunction with Team Science. Not quite as stellar as our previous two releases this week (which, let's be serious, will go down as two of the best singles of the year) this spinner dwells in the pastoral valley once inhabited by bands like the The Allman Brothers and Humble Pie, with a blooze-soaked melancholy permeating its otherwise upbeat facade. The A-Side is rife with fatback organ swells and some nice falsetto vocals, but ultimately feels more like pastiche than anything else. Instrumental flipside “Dog Water” is a far more likeable proposition, with a laid-back groove and some really nice ensemble playing that reminds of Ten Years After in certain spots. Alongside Mount Carmel, these boys are taking a traditionalist's route back to blues-rock, which, should excite both purists and new-guard fans alike. Best to check out the band's site to see which shops are stocking this particular platter.

That's all we've got for this round, but damned if there aren't some absolute gems hiding under rocks in a sea of mediocrity (Best Coast, really?), and we're doing our best to unearth them for you lot. So stick around, we'll make sure you are ahead of the bell curve as the school year continues to gain steam. You know where to find us, we'll be the ones with the grease paint on our faces and a (Misfits) song in our hearts. So until next time, keep your needle sharp and your platter locked and loaded.

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