The self-titled, debut album from Seattle’s The Gods Themselves has such a wicked charm, that it melts over into a purposely tattered, yet seductive sophistication within the confines of punk, a hastier side of an edgier pop rock sensibility along with a darker blues appeal. The Gods Themselves possess a very vibrant, unique sound that is easily unlike anything else. Their reworking of R&B singer Ginuwine’s raunchy ’90s club hit, “Pony,” ignites with magnetically fuzzed-out guitars, certifiably sexed-up bass riffs and unrelenting drums and with that, their distinctively delicious flavoring cannot be denied or forgotten. “Gaslighter” has such a hypnotic appeal that the crawling lines of guitars, the upbeat pounce of rhythms along with charismatic vocals reaches towards a sort of ’70s rock psychedelic affair. “What Should Have Been Said…But Was Never Said” also feels like an ode to stadium rock’s yesteryear where songs and solos reached far beyond a corporate time constraint and into the upper echelon of the heavens creating an undulating, spellbinding reality all within the embrace of just one track at the hands of capable musicianship. Astra Elane, Collin O’Meara and Damion Heintschel are the trio that make up the powerhouse that is The Gods Themselves and within the familiarity of genres, they have created something unique, captivating and new.
Once upon a time there was a band called Atomic Bride, about whom I once wrote that they sounded like, “Grimy psychedelic pop shoved kicking and squealing through a garage rock blender.” Said band liked that quote and used it as their band description on their Facebook page, then said band promptly split.
Rejoice however, as singer Astra Elane is back, with the boldly named The Gods Themselves and the self proclamatory, not lacking in confidence, exercise in self esteem building 1st single, I Am The President.
While there’s less psych, there a great deal more filth and gutter induced groove, that make The Gods Themselves an easy listening, attractive proposition, to these crust engrained ears anyway.
… and talking of filthy groovers, the very lovely Astra Elane, lead hollerer of TGodsT, took the time to go through our 1 Minute With … assessment. Take care dear readers, it’s a harrowing journey
1. Who are you, and what are you pushing?
I am Astra, daughter of Joe and Deanne. My band, The Gods Themselves is what I bring to the table
2. Do you believe in ghosts? Tell us why?
Yes! I had an encounter with one when I was 9 years old. It was terrifying, but also enlightening. The ghost was not malicious, but it was still a frightening experience that turned me on to the significance of spirituality at a young age.
3. What is your favourite Bon Jovi song and why?
I lived in NJ so I think I’m exempt from this question?
4. What celebrity deserves a good slap with a wet fish? What have they ever done to you?
Amphibi-Anne Hathaway. She has burned mine eyes with her obscenely large facial features!
5. If you weren’t in music what would be your dream job?
Service person for a handicapped dog.
6.How long do you spend in the shower? Describe your process?
I shower once a week and it takes me an hour and a half. It’s the goddamn hair that takes up all my time. Shampoo, rinse, repeat. Oil treatment, deep conditioning, detangling. I have my mother to thank for that.
7. What’s your favourite song? And what’s your guilty pop pleasure?
Geez Louise. Favorite song for the moment is: “Beyond the Clouds” by The Poppy Family
Guilty pleasure: Anything from the early 90’s magnificent new jack swing era: Bel Biv Devoe, Tony Toni Tone, Color Me Badd Al B. Sure, etc.
8. Name 3 things you can do with a brick
Knock the big bad wolf over the head
9. If you were a fruit which one would you be and why?
A banana because I love all things banana flavoured!
10. What’s your favourite colour, and what does that say about you?
I love a bright, tacky, glossy orange-red. It says that I’m Italian and I like all things shiny and gaudy.
Dirty Lungs have been sending out their own Southern sonic smoke signals from their Birmingham, Alabama home with their recent self-titled album from Communicating Vessels. Premiering the Paul Cordes Wilm video for “Space, Man”, The quartet here can be seen making the most of their days and nights, engaging in primitive art practices, skateboarding sports, pyrotechnics, to confronting their alien, spacemen-opposites that resemble their own image. What first begins as an extension of summer idleness and fireworks late into autumn turns into close, chance encounters with their intergalactic doppelgangers.
The video for “Space, Man” begins simply enough, with the band getting back to basics by drawing primal sketches with crayons while squatting in an abandoned home in their choners. Indulging in all the restless ways to pass the day, Dirty Lungs sketch to their hearts’ content before freaking out the neighborhood by skating along the suburban streets. Searching for a kind of rudimentary heaven on earth, the band finds something more with a box full of unused/full-fused fireworks that sets the explosive scene. Cuing up the climactic unleashing of grueling guitars and gravely moon howls, Dirty Lungs ignites the gunpowder chocked cylinders into a dazzling midnight dance like cave dwellers who have just discovered the advent and invention of fire. In the backyard aftermath of a wild night, outer-space alien others appear on the scene dressed in space-suited attire that contrasts the band’s own minimalist threads. A face-to-face, head-to-head battle ensues, until helmets are removed and Dirty Lungs meet their galactic matches who collectively gasp in an astonishment larger, and louder than collided universes. Carson Mitchell chatted with us further, providing the following thoughts on the video’s mix of skateboarding in your skivvies, to the joys of lighting off fireworks of dubious legality:
Skateboarding in your thunderwear [sic] is something that’s hard to describe without doing it. The feel of the cool breeze on parts of your body not normally seen by man is exhilarating, if not cathartic. The locals gaze upon you with curiosity, disgust, and confusion yet feel compelled to ask, ‘what exactly is it you are doing, young man?’ with the utmost concern. Little do they know that in a few hours, when the evening moon has risen and the stars are aligned, a display of gunpowder and bohemian excess will be entering their corneas and consciousness with no regard for reason or comfort. No amount of daily tasks, from walking the dog, jogging the neighborhood, or retrieving the trash can will stop 5 young men and a Sony HD camera from documenting your mundane domestic trials. They left their dignity at the door, did you ever have yours?
Indie rock band Radio Birds, began as four Atlanta musicians sharing a knack for versatile rock. With four years under their belt the band has released three EP’s, toured over 150+ dates, and played on The Rock Boat 2014. Having just completed their sophomore album at the legendary Southern Tracks studio (Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, Stone Temple Pilots, The Black Crowes), Radio Birds will be returning to The Rock Boat for the inaugural dates of their 2015 tour.
Brash Music CEO, Steve Jones, said of the signing, “I have been following the career of Radio Birds for a little more than four years now, and have seen their songwriting and performance grow, advance and mature to a level that warrants greater exposure. I am excited to welcome them to the Brash family and look forward to helping them endear their music to the world.”
Brash Music is an eclectic independent record label based in Atlanta, and founded on the belief that opportunity in the music business lies between a vast, eager talent pool and a need for fresh perspective. Brash addresses that need by operating from a set of core values that emphasize our commitment to integrity, transparency with our artists, innovation, efficiency and financial prudence. Brash’s mission is to passionately deliver quality music in a way that’s profitable for all involved.
Seattle-based The Gods Themselves’ sound has soul, edge, and groove. The trio is cosmically linked and prepared to usher in a rapturous new age where, as lead singer Astra says, they “will blow your ear’s mind.”
The video for their debut single “I Am The President” seems to surmise that being in such a position would allow one to indulge in any sort of nonsense one wishes. While this sentiment may not be entirely true, it makes for a good ol’ post punk rock anthem that is accentuated by a fiery, Egyptian guitar arpeggio and lots and lots of wha-wha pedal. The song excels in its ability to twist the famous phrases of our forefathers into breezy slogans such as “ask not what you can do for me… ask for magic wishes baby, I’ll give you three.”
For the last fifteen years, local non-profit organization Nuci’s Space has provided financial aid, practice space and mental health services to Athens’ musicians. It has always been and remains one of the most essential players in preserving the Athens music scene.
On November 3rd, Nuci’s Space launched an IndieGoGo Campaign to help restore St. Mary’s Steeple, the last remaining remnant of the church where R.E.M. played their first official show in the spring of 1980. While the building itself was torn down several years ago to make room for yet another parking lot, the steeple still stands tall as an important Athens landmark. However, as the steeple has begun to deteriorate, the structure requires extensive repair.
In an effort to support the restoration, several Athens musicians have supplied unique items to be used as donation incentives. Items include (but are not limited to):
- A limited edition steeple logo poster from long-time R.E.M. art director and renowned graphic designer Chris Bilheimer
- Three Rickenbacker guitars autographed by R.E.M., Widespread Panic, Drive-By Truckers, and Kevin Barnes (Of Montreal)
- Stage props designed by Michael Lachowski of Pylon
- A smashed Gibson SG and tour costumes from of Montreal
- A limited-edition autographed Wes Freed steeple poster from Drive-By Truckers
- New limited-edition Chuck Sperry posters and Brute posters (featuring autographs by both Mike Houser and Vic Chesnutt) from Widespread Panic
- Drumheads, albums, poster, etc autographed by Neutral Milk Hotel
The campaign, which runs through December 12, has already raised over $50,000 dollars and has received press from publications like Pitchfork, Rolling Stone and Spin. For more info contact project manager Marc Tissenbaum via [email protected] or by telephone at 706-410-6758. Nuci’s Space has provided a video detailing the restoration effort. Check it out below!
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- The Shondes share new single with Spin!