Just to remind people: Under The Needle was created as an outlet for us to share albums we have recently been listening to. These albums are created by bands that deserve your support and money. I mean, think about how big music is in your life. We don’t have a style of music that we cover and not everyone will like what we post about. If one person that didn’t know about one of these albums enjoys it and in turn supports that band…it is all worth it.
Rabbits — Untoward
Rabbits on Facebook
Rabbits are the best. Two guitars and a set of drums are all this guy needs to be transported to heavy heaven. The guys in Rabbits have been making music together for a long time now. Releases have been spread across multiple labels and they like to play the dingy smaller club shows. It almost seems like they want to stay relatively hidden from the masses but I like to think they just stay real. They should be ruling the noise rock scene in my opinion.
Untoward is another shining example of why this Portland band is one of the best out there. The album stretches 6 tracks over 28 minutes. The first portion of the record feels more direct and to the point. Their purpose seems to grab a hold of your head and shake it. But instead of upside down margarita mixings you are swigging boiler makers. Then you come to “Reek And Ye Shall Find”. This might be one of my favorite Rabbits tracks that has been made to date. Shortly after hearing “YOU ARE WEAK AND WE ARE STRONG” they go on a two minute spree of gloriously trippy music leading into some seriously ferocious Doc Booze vocals. Just epic and brutal head banging waves of sound. The final 10 minutes come in the spaced out last track “Like You A Lot”. I love that they included a lengthy drugged-out track at the end of the album. Once it is over you flip it back to the start and your mushy face can get pummeled all over again. Purchase your copy on 150g vinyl over here –> Rabbits – Untoward
They are currently on tour in Europe so I don’t see any local shows on the horizon. However, when they get back and start playing shows in the PNW I will be keeping my eyes open. If you haven’t seen them play live you are really screwing the pooch.
Caribou — Our Love
Caribou on Facebook
Caribou’s newest release was definitely one of the most anticipated albums of 2014 over here at Grisl. In June Dan Snaith gave us all a sneak peak with “Can’t Do Without You”. It has been a long wait for the full album to be released but it was worth it. Our Love is on the short list of our favorite records of the year so far. Generally you see Caribou classified under the “electronic” section in record stores. I get why they do that but if you ever have seen Caribou perform live they are so much more than that. They reproduce their songs as a band with instruments in epic fashion. Anywhere from 3 to 16 people may be on stage but the end result is always the same….incredible. Our Love is more addicting than coffee. A little bit of Daphni (Mr. Snaith’s DJ persona) seems to have had some influence on the sound. You will find yourself dancing along to the sexy grooves. Caribou never stays in the same spot which makes each album so special.
I can’t stop listening to this album. It is great for every setting: sexy time, running, cleaning, driving and whatever else you do in your day. Purchase a copy over here –> Caribou – Our Love
As I mentioned, the live show that Caribou brings is outstanding. The shows have been selling out so don’t sleep on getting tickets. You will not be disappointed.
March 3 – Wonder Ballroom (Portland)
March 4 – Showbox Market (Seattle)
Hammerhead — Global Depression
Hammerhead on Facebook
Learning Curve Records
Minneapolis’ Learning Curve Records is crawling up my list of favorite labels. So far I am batting 1.000 when it comes to purchasing killer records from them. My first purchase was Hammerhead’s Global Depression. I am admittedly a newcomer when it comes to this legendary band. However, I don’t think that makes me any less believable when I say you need to own this EP. In the course of 15 minutes my mindset went from “Excited to check out this band I have heard so much about” to “Holy shit, I want to hear all of their albums”. Learning Curve says:
“Hammerhead emerged in the early nineties from Fargo, North Dakota, a remote outpost in the northern plains of the United States. In that cold and desolate city, drummer Jeff Mooridian, Jr., bassist Paul Erickson and guitarist Paul Sanders rejected eighties pop music and instead devoured vinyl records and mix tapes that spanned the range of early punk, hard rock and experimental music. Like an animal that evolved on a remote island, Hammerhead’s sound was unique, combining a relentless rhythmic attack, sub-octave bass lines and searing guitar riffs enveloped by a shared dystopian worldview that placed them even further off the map than their geographic location.”
What a mind trip this one is. Absorbing bass lines and kick ass drumming pull one way while the clench-your-fist vocals and shredtastic guitar pull the other way. They pull as far as they want and then just let go so both sides smash together at a high rate of speed. Brain puddy. It feels good. Very good. You can purchase a copy over here –> Hammerhead – Global Depression
Ngozi Family — Day Of Judgement
Info on Ngozi Family
Now-Again puts a lot of hard work into the releases they are offering. This one caught my eye because of the write-up posted back on 7/21 on their website. A short bit of it stated:
“We’ve been talking about an anthology centered around Zambian guitarist/vocalist Paul Ngozi for a while now. And – while we’re not there just yet, we’re announcing the issue of his masterwork. His debut album – issued under the name Ngozi Family – is important record: not just in the Zamrock genre, but in the global rock canon. Day of Judgement is an introduction to the most intense, raw and inimitable golden era Zamrock recorded, as it paved the way for a dozen Paul Ngozi and Ngozi Family releases (the most famous being drummer Chrissy Zebby Tembo’s My Ancestors) that straddled the line between funk and punk, of driving hard rock and Zambian folk melodies and rhythms.
Day of Judgement was released in 1976, the same year as other, now famous, Zamrock albums, from WITCH’s Lazy Bones!! to Rikki Ililonga’s Zambia to Musi-O-Tunya’s Give Love To Your Children, all reissued on Now-Again. But Day of Judgementsounds like none of its counterparts. Part of that stems from its frenzied primitivism, the Ngozi Family’s attempt to overcome a lack of musical acumen with sheer force of will.”
The full write-up can be found here -> Now-Again. Those words plus the track posted below equaled must-have status. Super good vibes are oozing out of this record. Some tracks will seem familiar to you, like you’ve heard that song before. Some songs are sung in the Ngozi’s native tongue. Paul Ngozi’s guitar work will win you over, too. Such a wicked style. At times you feel that you are singing around a camp fire with friends. While other times you feel that you are in the middle of Woodstock. It is a beautiful record and has been on constant rotation over here. Purchase a copy of this essential piece over here –> Ngozi Family – Day Of Judgement