As promised, here are a few shoutouts to amateur acts that’ve followed @OdyshapeDotCom since we cracked open the handle a few weeks ago.
Butcher Knives - Brooklyn, NY
I can’t avoid being trite here - these guys are a lot like Gogol Bordello (with a banjo). Were there enough bands with this sound, that would be a criticism - but there aren’t, and I’ll take what little of it I can get. That said, if creepy uncle Hutz has charm, it’s because the central precept of his gypsy philosophy is: ‘don’t take my gypsy philosophy precepts seriously… party!’ Butcher Knives are kind of his no fun disciples (from Facebook):
Brooklyn-based Butcher Knives is a multilingual whirlwind of international musical and cultural movements, anchored to a high-octane punk rock aesthetic. The band’s members collectively hail from four countries, speak five languages, and possess three U.S. passports and a handful of work visas. With roots in Morocco, Israel, Colombia, New York, and New Orleans, Butcher Knives truly embody their multi-lingual, diverse, and multi-cultural sound and message. Together they test the outer limits of their musical dexterity in the context of the simplicity and anarchy of punk rock.
“Punk rock aesthetic?” “Truly embody?” “…context of the simplicity and anarchy of punk rock?” Hm… Fortunately, they seem to take the music nearly as seriously as they take themselves: “Tell Me Why” is rightly the track they advertise most widely, an Eastern-touched barnstormer (lumbungstormer?) of an anthem about… telling me why - it would make for a fine entry in, for instance, a theoretical Flogging Molly album produced by Oren Kaplan.
Sol Flare - London, UK
A Twitter self-summary: “A Melodic Electronica group based in London, with a sound in the vein of Grimes, M83 and Goldfrapp.” Okay, so that promises to be… horrible. Except lead vocalist and ethnically indeterminant Shasha Rakhman can actually sing - with, here’s a rarity, a set of pipes grooved for synth connectivity. In other words: T-Pain’s ‘light skinned girl with curly hair.’ DJ and, uh, drummer Dom Wood does his best to stay out of the way with an AOR Flying Lotus impersonation - which isn’t as harsh an insult as you might imagine. We’re talking Flying Lotus, after all. While “Silver Moon,” which I hope name checks Sailor Moon at 2.14, is the best thing here by roughly an AU - I sense mild star potential in time. Pitchfork, you paying attention? The flaming bag of shit you left on my doorstep has a pack of Juicy Fruit in it.
Inland Electric - Yorkshire, UK
Darkside without the worst part: the vocals! Which means: I love whatever this guy is doing. Condense the lovely tension between Lee’s Dead Head Sunshine and Thurston’s vaguely functional Battle of Britain into one computer, then add the funk requisite to get your ass in the discotheque… and we’ve arrived Inland Electric. “Golden Lights” is the most deceptively intense (headphones only) track I’ve heard this fall, “Newspapers” is better by itself than that entire Radiohead Newspaper Album, and “Chocolate Islands” pretends Eno just played Skyrim for the first time.