Tag Archives: Garage Rock

Album of the Day: Reese McHenry, “No Dados”

The story of Reese McHenry’s struggles—of her stroke in 2008, followed by more strokes, followed by the loss of her job, followed by the loss of her home—is devastating. The powerhouse vocalist could barely speak, let alone sing. Performing was untenable. What followed was a half-dozen operations, the installing of a pacemaker, years devoted to addressing the atrial fibrillation and congestive heart failure. Maybe it’s overly sentimental to put too much on the rebuilding of a heart, but McHenry makes garage rock and soul for thick-skinned romantics: it just comes with the territory.

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Digawolf’s Bilingual, Indigenous Garage Rock

Digawolf

Yellowknife is the only bona fide city in Canada’s Northwest Territories; it counts around 20,000 residents—nearly half the territory’s population. A hundred kilometers north, on the upper reaches of Great Slave Lake, resides a community of about 2,000 called Behchoko, which is the capital of the Tlicho nation. These two locales, and all the places in between, are the home and beloved stomping grounds for Diga, guitarist and singer of Yellowknife-based rock outfit Digawolf.

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Album of the Day: Ty Segall, “Freedom’s Goblin”

Over the past decade, Ty Segall has established himself as one of garage rock’s most loyal ambassadors, releasing an album’s worth of expertly-crafted odes to his ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s forebears roughly once a year. On Freedom’s Goblin, Segall’s expansive, deeply ambitious record, the multi-instrumentalist crystallizes a career’s worth of musical reference points into an altogether fresh pop-rock statement. Continue reading

Album of the Day: L.A. Witch, “L.A. Witch”

Over the past several years, beginning with their 2014 self-titled EP, L.A. Witch have stood out from an abundance of West Coast garage rock bands with their fresh and forceful blend of post-punk, retro girl group, and reverb-heavy psychedelic bubblegum. Recently, the trio released a handful of singles (many of which ended up on their debut LP) and have become a mainstay in Los Angeles, gigging around the city and developing a cult following with their high-energy live shows. For a group that’s already toured Europe and opened for The Kills, this debut comes with a fair bit of anticipation attached.

L.A. Witch is the ideal introduction to the group’s range, with mid-tempo shoegaze highlights like “Brian” transitioning into seamless rockabilly raveups like “Untitled.” Lead singer Sade Sanchez delivers her tales of lust and loss in a powerful howl that shifts between muffled snarl and clearly enunciated directness to great effect. “I’ve seen you ride / I’ve seen you feel like you just might die,” she sings on “Baby in Blue Jeans”; “I’ve been hypnotized / I’ve just never seen you cry.”

Bassist Irita Pai and drummer Ellie English round out a rhythm section that adds force and vigor to heavy thrashers like “Get Lost” and “Drive Your Car.” Throughout the album, the band balance the grungy melodicism of bands like Nirvana and Pixies with the blurry retro psychedelia of Brian Jonestown Massacre (a major influence) and the Cramps. The result is an arresting introductory LP that underscores the band’s newfound melodic chops while staying true to their noisy goth-grunge origins.

Jonathan Bernstein