The SoundDiego Record Club features some of the best new musical releases from around the county. Read on and listen in. As always, be sure to support our local artists and purchase their music -- and if you can, go see them at a show.
Based out of Tijuana, Glasmus is the perfect example of the musical excellence arriving from our neighbors to the south. Our Mexico-based brethren know how to do goth-leaning indie rock better than most (why is that?), with Rey Pila, Los Dynamite, El Mato a un Policia Motorizado and a host of others leading the way these days. With "Vahum," Glasmus has made a case for their inclusion in the top tier. All reverb-drenched and echo-laden, the first-named lads (MagDalen, Moosni, Macondo, Mousiky and Moncho) lend wiry electric guitars and monstrous bass lines instantly danceable beats that you’d find in the best Interpol, Bloc Party and Placebo hits. Case in point: "Waves" bounds out of the gate with a frenetic pace that skits and scatters about while dueling dissonant guitars bounce off each other in a strangling dance. Cavernous and urgent, every track winds up tightly during verses and explodes like a fireworks display on Fourth of July. It seems strange that even with an ever-permeating darkness about ‘em, the quintet still deliver sweeping anthems with towering choruses in a delicate, tightrope-balancing act between grandiose heights and shadowy depths -- as if one stumble would lead to the band’s entire destruction. Luckily for them (and us), "Vahum" is as sure-footed as it comes. [Listen/buy it here]
"Come On and Slam"
Sledding With Tigers, releases July 28, 2015
Who knew an album written entirely about 1996’s epic (?) Michael Jordan/Looney Tunes mashup film, "Space Jam," could be so friggin’ … good? If there’s one guy capable of tackling the litany of existential problems introduced in the now-classic live action/animated movie, it’s Sledding With Tigers’ gloriously bearded frontman, Dan Faughnder. How on God's green earth did this happen, you might be asking yourself. Well, last year, when UCSD’s Che Café initially came under fire by the administration, Faughnder -- a core member of the nonprofit collective -- offered up this tweet to help save the club: "If we get 1,000 RT’s on this tweet, I will record an ENTIRE ALBUM of songs about Space Jam. Change.org/checafe -- SIGN IT #savetheche." To his surprise/horror, it racked up 1,086 retweets and Faughdner was faced with the unenviable position of putting up or shutting up. He put up. Big time. The album moves along almost seamlessly from one acoustic/ukulele-based track to another, with some of the best titles around: "Aliens Exist 2 (Swackhammer’s Lament)," "Take It From Me, Michael Jordan," and "Short People by Newman From Seinfeld." Wayne Knight would be proud. In the span of 18 minutes or so, the emo/folk group barrel through a brief album that could possibly speak to any situation (besides the constant references to Michael Jordan and stuff, but whatever). Let's break it down: The Warner Bros. cash-grab film was arguably about pursuing your dreams despite the odds and helping your friends because that’s what friends do -- pretty worthwhile and universal themes, right? Here, the band morphs them into impossibly sincere yet silly tunes with equally silly lyrics like, "I know short people have trouble playing basketball/Besides Mugsy Bogues, the exception that proves the rule," and when faux-mariachi horns kick off "Retirement" and Faughnder bellows, "My name is Michael Jordan: Don’t question my dreams!" it’s simply an uplifting sentiment -- however ridiculous and hilarious -- with a vibe that anyone can get behind. Swish. [Pre-order it here and listen to the first single]
Read about some of our other SoundDiego Record Club inductees.
- Birdy Bardot: self-titled
- Jimmy Ruelas: "Smoke Your Youth" EP
- Barbarian: "Night Blooms"
- Shady Francos: self-titled EP
- Spero: "Pride" EP
- Shake Before Us: "Radio Time Bomb"
- The Burning of Rome: "Year of the Ox"
- Eukaryst: "Dreams in the Witch House"
- The Donkeys: "Ride the Black Wave"
- The Midnight Pine: "Buried"