The Sexual Side Effects

The Sexual Side Effects is the name of a band who sells condoms as a part of their merch. They say they’re combining elements of Britpop, post-punk and the androgynous mystery of 70s glam rock. I wouldn’t argue with them. They’ve got some psychedelic elements as well as some Arabic elements. These people are too interesting. Check them out.

There’s a video on their website for a song called “All She’ll Ever Hurt.” I would stand by a strong statement that this would be a first exposure to this band. It’s well made, and it shows you what this band is all about.

The Sexual Side Effects often bring even more visual aspects to their performances with a companion art show, guest musicians, go-go dancers, body painters, burlesque dancers and fire performers, among other spectacles. I’m sure this is the kind of show that would not leave your eyes bored.

You can download The Sexual Side Effects album High Maintenance for free or donate to it from the band’s website. It’s definitely interesting and it’s also extremely mature for a band that’s only been together about a year. These folks have played everywhere from The East Atlanta Strut to The Masquerade, and they’re showing no signs of slowing down.

Give them a look and a listen and decide for yourself what you think about The Sexual Side Effects. I’m pretty sure you’re going to have an opinion. This isn’t the kind of boring band that will leave you feeling pretty neutral. 

Takenobu

Momotaro

I don’t listen to nearly enough classical cello music. Takenobu recently put an album called Momotaro on BandCamp, and it’s incredible. These 13 tracks are this artist interpretation of the Japanese traditional folk tale of the story of Momotaro, the boy born from the peach.

Momotaro grows up, meets three animal companions, and fights the demons that marauded his village. This is the kind of music that deserves to be taken in slowly with good speakers and a free mind. Read the Wikipedia article about Momotaro, make sure you don’t have too much to do, sit somewhere comfortable and take this story in.

All of this music is Nick Takenobu Ogawa’s originial composituion for cello. It’s a continuous piece, but you’ll need to purchase the album to experience it without some minor gaps between tracks. The purpose for the tracks is to indicate which part of the story is being represented. It’s all beautiful music.

You could easily listen to this piece with no prior knowledge of Momotaro and fully enjoy it. This music is wonderful. The cello is one of the most beautiful instruments, and Takenobu really understands how to make music that both represents something and stands alone as wonderful, flowing sound.

It is rich, dynamic and exactly what you might need to listen to in a world of constant drum machines and digital synthesizers. Take some time to sit down and listen to these natural sounds and hear this natural story. It’s more than refreshing.

Werewolves

Georgia DIY Punk

Werewolves love freedom, love, and peace, and their music is totally great! I think a lot of people around the country would call this folk punk, and it’s totally in line with that cute sort of honest, DIY, plan-it-x type of pop punk that I want to find more of in Georgia. These dudes would fit in really well in Indiana or Florida. Their album “Georgia” is on Bandcamp as a digital download for one dollar. You know what they say: “If it ain’t cheap, it ain’t punk.”

“Georgia” starts off with a really cool fade in track called “This Is Where We Come From” and then blows right into tons of great tracks. The first full song, “The County Line” really establishes that sort of folk punk sound. Fans of Nana Grizol, The Heligoats, Paul Baribeau, or Defiance, Ohio should definitely check these guys out.

My Favorite song is probably “I’m An Archeologist.” All of these songs have lots of honest, mature themes, but this one seems to be deeper than most. The melody is catchy, the words hit hard, and the music carries it along perfectly.

If you’re in Athens, be sure to find these guys! If you’re not, head over to their Bandcamp and stream songs for free or help the cause with a purchase. Turns out, they know Kyle Hall, Mitch The Champ, and Madeline Ava! Who knew? Those are great people, and I’m sure Werewolves are great people for knowing them. Keep up the good tunes, good ideas, and great feelings, guys!

 

Quiet Hours

Atlanta Indie Rock

Quiet Hours is making some great indie rock down in Atlanta. They released a five-song album on Bandcamp called “When I Was Dreaming” on April 13 this year, and you can download it for five dollars or stream it for free. Their album artwork seems to be a high speed photo of a water balloon or bubble bursting. That initially drew me in for a listen, but these songs are really interesting! If you like happy college rock, check these guys out!

The biggest stand out on these songs is the vocals. They’re highly reverberated, and nicely layered. That kind of thing is hard to pull off well, but it totally fits in here. It’s refreshing to hear some arena reverb on something that doesn’t sound at all like the Fleet Foxes. “Boarding School” is the first track on the album and it really demonstrates this idea.

My personal favorite of these five songs is “Neighbors.” It begins with a really interesting drum beat, and then those indie rock guitars and beautiful vocals come in.  This song feels the most mature to me, musically and emotionally. That drum beat throughout the song somehow never gets boring. Great job!

Go check out Quiet Hours! Look them up if you’re in Atlanta, or head over to their Facebook to hear their music online. These guys are doing great, and they deserve the encouragement of some album purchases. This is the kind of music I want to find more of in Atlanta.

 

Mark Tulk

Art Rock from RoomFiftyThree

Mark Tulk runs a recording studio in Athens called RoomFiftyThree, but he’s also got his hands on quite a bit of his own music. He says he’s been composing, recording, and arranging for almost twenty years, and the maturity on his album “Central State” really shows the experience. You can find all 10 tracks from “Central States” on Mark Tulk’s Bandcamp page. They’re varied, complex, subtle and satisfying.

 

 

The album opens with “Open Sky,” which is most likely my personal favorite of the 10. Almost everything on this track is relatively sparse and extremely well placed. Especially the drum sounds. They almost meander around for the whole track, as do pianos and violins, but it somehow seems perfectly organized. There’s a great bit of subtle complexity here.

“Shadow Light” is another stand out. From the beginning, the piano sounds are incredibly and perfectly reverberated. The layers build an almost ambient atmosphere before the song really kicks in. And when it does kick in, it’s refreshingly immediate. Multiple vocal tracks punch in altogether and make this one of the stronger songs on the album.

 

Mark Tulk is tagging his music as folk, art rock, acoustic, and alternative. I’d say those are all pretty accurate for this sort of Patrick Watson-esque folk rock. He’s certainly got a unique sound going, and his experience shows on every song on “Central State.” Head over to his Bandcamp to give them a listen. You can buy the album for $10 or stream if for free.

Ancient Whales

Popular Athens riff, garage and grunge rock band

 

Athens based band Ancient Whales tagged their six track album “Ancient Whales Birthing” with riff rock, garage rock, and grunge rock. Riff rock couldn’t be more accurate. These riffs are catchy and huge, exactly what you’d want from an Athens garage rock band. So many great bands have given Athens very high standards, and this band doesn’t disappoint.

My favorite of the six tracks is probably the first one, “City Life.” It’s a direct statement on the need to escape something. Everybody can relate to that. But also, this one has the greatest riffs. I played lead guitar for a while in a band, and this is definitely one of those songs I could see a band playing over and over again just for fun in their basement.

“Announce Pronounce” is another great one. The guitars are just as catchy and fun, and everything else continues to pound through perfectly. I like the vocal melodies a bit more on this one. It sounds a little more mature. It’s nice to have that sometimes.

Be sure to check out Ancient Whales if you can! If you’re in Atlanta, get over to your great sister city! If you’re in Athens, be proud! Bands like this make college towns worth living in. These guys are on Owlphabet Records, an organization of lots of awesome bands. They’re all definitely worth checking out, and I’ll absolutely be writing about some of the others in the future! Keep it up Ancient Whales! Keep it up Athens!

Young Orchids - 'Kid Sister'

Down n' dirty, rock n' soul. The meaty guitars make this one. Free, too.

Stonerider

Whoa. I can't believe this came out in 2012 and not about fifty years ago. This is one of the only things I've ever heard that I would be totally comfortable with calling "rock and roll". This is like the time period immediately after Elvis started getting more popular meeting all the new technology we've got these days.

Go to Stonerider's Bandcamp page and check out their sixteen sogn album, "Foundtains Left To Wake." Be sure to listen tot he full dynamic range vinyl master version though. Since they went as far as to put that version up there, you should totally take advantage of it and listen to the best quality you can.

It's great to see something not ultra compressed on Bandcamp. I'm pretty sure the way Bandcamp works though is that the preview you get to hear without buying it is always an mp3, but if you download this one, I'm positive it would sound way better than the other one.

The first track on this album is my favorite. It's so perfectly rock and roll. It's called "When I Was Young", and it has everything you want to hear when you'r ein the mood for good old 1970s classic rock. I'm imagining all my favorite visual stereotypes while I listen to this, but I'll not spoil your visual imagery though and let you make those calls for yourself.

This band is perfcect for the classic rock crowd, the guitar crowd, or anybody who thinks that music these days is missing something huge. Check them out!

Wowser Bowser - 'E Dialeda Ho'

Psychedelic electroacoustic rock from the southeastern United States? I feel like I've heard this story somewhere before. While Wowser Bowser certainly sound as if they've enjoyed a few Animal Collective records, their tropically catchy tunes veer a little more towards the dance-punk side of things. Apparently they're notorious for releasing scores of balloons at their live shows.

Small Reactions

Even before I starting writing for this site, I went through all the bands I could find in Atlanta and tried to decide what I liked. Small Reactions was one of the first bands I settled on. They’re really solid, and I hope I get the chance to see them live soon!

Go to their Bandcamp page and check out the five tracks they have listed there. They’re all really great. “Nerve Pop” from their August 2011 releases is probably my favorite. It’s catchy, and of these five it’s the obvious choice for a single.

“Teaser Trailer/Sudden Walks” is super solid too though. I’m a sucker for beautiful/sloppy guitar solos, and this five minute track has plenty. Once the bass slides up, everything breaks out for a second, and then blasts back in way faster it gets crazy. It’s a song about repetition! Perfect! Perfect! That’s one of the best themes for lyrics in my opinion. They list Sudden Walks separately as well on the Bandcamp, but I think you should definitely listen to the version that includes Teaser Trailer. That transition is great. Transitions are totally another thing I’m a sucker for. This is definitely my favorite Small Reactions track.

If you get a chance, go see Small Reactions live! I’m sure that they’re great! They’re playing at Moccasin Bend Brewery in Chattanooga on March 9th and The Earl in East Atlanta on March 31st. Hopefully these dudes will be making it up here to Middle Tennessee soon too!

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