Posts Tagged ‘PPM’

Best Coast // PPM 7”

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Been waiting on this one for a while as twice I’ve tried to pick up a copy at their live show and both times learned that they sold-out of all their 7”s earlier in the tour (seems to be a trend…). Thankfully, Dean Spunt’s Post Present Medium label decided to do a limited re-pressing — 200 on orange, 300 on black vinyl — which I snagged as soon as I got word of the news.

The A-side features a duo of live favorites “Something In the Way” and “Wish He Was You”. Both tracks are upbeat, reverb-laden, infectious pop songs that Bethany Cosentino and Bob Bruno are known for. However, it’s the B-side “The Road” which I find the most intriguing of the bunch. A more heavy — and certainly more heady — song than anything else I’ve heard since Cosentino’s early Where the Boys Are Cassette, the track chronicles, what else, the hurt of lost love. (However, a more exotic interpretation could be “the son’s” later reflection of “his father” in Cormac McCarthy’s book of the same name. The lyrics, such as “I remember when I was younger / I used to sit around and think about you”, are certainly ripe for comparison).

You can listen to an mp3 of the “ballad” B-side as well as watch a live version of “Wish He Was You” that someone recorded at a Portland gig I went to:

Best Coast // The Road

Pearl Harbor // Calistonia Dreamin’ EP

Friday, January 29th, 2010

Back before their Something About the Chaparrals 12″ EP sold-out — even at the sky-high price of $20 Mexican Summer is notorious for — and prior to them becoming a household name in the Californian lo-fi scene with fellow acts Best Coast, Wavves, and of course No Age, Pearl Harbor was Pearl Harbour. During this time with the no-doubt trademark infringing name (why else would they drop an awesomely superfluous ‘u’ ?) they self-released a pretty good CD-R entitled Calistonia Dreamin’.

Although there were only four tracks containing a paltry 17+ minutes of music on the burned disc, the CD-R caught my attention and had me eagerly awaiting a proper follow-up. 2010 seems to be the year for their big breakout as they already have four projects slated for release (including a 7” on Dean Spunt’s PPM label and a 12” on the absurdly named Art Fag). Hell, they’ve already garner a lot of attention for their new dream-pop track “Hubbsian Lament”, so they are prime for a takeover.

However, with Calistonia Dreamin’ you find a band still trying to figure out their sound but nevertheless on the brink of creating something lasting. A lot noisier than any of their new tracks (possibly due to the bedroom recording or them being caught up with the resurgence of reverb the winter of ’09 brought), the songs are more about dabbling around with ideas than solidifying “their sound”. The lead track “Sunburn” sounds more like an improv jam session with the twinkling guitar line moving more at the whim of the guitarist than reproducing notes on sheet music.

Unsurprisingly drugs play a large role in Pearl Harbor’s music. Besides blatantly acknowledging the use of banned substances in their lyrics à la jj, tracks like “High Road” and “Vapor Girlss” certainly seem like they were recorded lazily after a smoke-out. With varying tempos and melodies that don’t exactly line up with the beat, PH seem to exemplify the uncaring attitude most lo-fiers profess but are unable to show in their music — a sort of talk-the-talk and walk-the-walk.

No doubt the hit track of the set is the last one on the EP: “Lost @ Sea”. With an enchanting melody acting as a life-preserver, carrying the listener through the otherwise murky waters of the song, it’s tough not to hum this one over-and-over at the bus stop. A sort-of precursor to their wildly popular “Luv Goon“, “Lost @ Sea” shows the dream-pop direction the band has been heading towards as of late.

Here are mp3s for the tracks “Sunburn” and “Lost @ Sea” for your listening pleasure:

Pearl Harbor // Sunburn

Pearl Harbor // Lost @ Sea