Cat Be Damned
Daydreams In a Roach Motel
Richmond • May 20, 2016
Cat Be Damned has been cooking up a variety of homemade music for the past four years, starting out in Fredericksburg and eventually moving to Richmond. After many genre pivots (folk to indie rock to electronic drone to near-Americana), Daydreams in a Roach Motel showcases their latest and most well-conceived sound to date, consisting mainly of low-fidelity pop melodies. Vestiges of past iterations of the band are still obvious on this new record: the drone loop intros on “Soft Collision” and “Drown” are akin to their ambient electronic EP You Make Me Feel Ten Feet Tall and the pervasive acoustic guitar accompaniment harkens back even further to releases like Your Other Birthday and Singing About Places I've Never Been.
Cat Be Damned isn’t just playing around with old tricks, though. Daydreams is awash in Casiotone synthy backdrops reminiscent of other lo-fi staples like Elvis Depressedly’s 2015 release New Alhambra and Molly Drag’s Tethered Rendering from earlier this year. The album draws its strength from being a perfect balance of modern pop sensibility and classic songwriting technique. Snag it on cassette via Joy Void Recordings.
Charlottesville • May 13, 2016
Urgent swells and pizzicato strings drowned in nearly infinite delay and reversed, reverbed loops define Preface, the debut EP from post rockers Woods Running. Drawing from contemporaries like Explosions in the Sky and Moving Mountains, this band has quietly created a shimmering exercise in the technicalities of slow, riff-laden, spacious music. Ranging from the quiet acoustic elegy of “Eleanor” (reminiscent of modern compositions by Helios), to almost post-metal distortion on “Swift and Certain” (like that of Sólstafir), these four modest tracks somehow manage to encompass the entire spectrum of post-rock.
Collin Thibodeauxx & GHOSTS
Richmond • May 19, 2016
Surfy vibes with the mid-levels turned way up flood this split EP between Richmond DIY musicians Collin Thibodeauxx (now known as Lance Bangs) and GHOSTS. Even with its simple Tascam Portastudio production value, these two bands knock out some serious jams on this split. GHOSTS hits hard on “Without U,” an anthemic slacker surf track that would be right at home on a Wavves album, while Collin Thibodeauxx sounds like a grittier Homeshake. Together, these bands complement each other sublimely, balancing garage distortion with beachy chorus. Available on cassette via Citrus City Records.
The Grand Schemes of Things
Richmond • April 16, 2016
Fly Anakin’s raps cut through the dreamy beats washing out the back of The Grand Schemes of Things. Almost every track on this album has a different producer, providing a nice variety while still maintaining an overall paracosmic vibe. The trip-hoppy backdrop, reminiscent of producers like Flying Lotus and Thundercat, is generally quite fast paced to match the quippy pace of Fly Anakin’s vocals. The genius of The Grand Schemes of Things is the equilibrium between its chilled out rhythms and heavy hitting vocal performances, each supporting the other both musically and conceptually. Limited cassette release via Inner Ocean Records.
Sterling • May 20, 2016
In this brief addition to Virginia math rock, Roraima delivers blistering riffs in unusual time signatures. Drawing from the effects-heavy influences of early Tera Melos and the twinkled-out tunes of This Town Needs Guns, Roraima has achieved a heavy, yet technical, sonic aesthetic. Short spurts of delay and angular distortion provides a melancholy range of tones throughout. At only three tracks, these frantically tapped-out melodies will leave you wanting more. Limited cassette release via Tape Modulator.