Album Reviews and Latest Rescheduled Shows | Music Picks | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Music » Music Picks

Album Reviews and Latest Rescheduled Shows

Dad Bod, After Thought; Daisy on Drugs,TV Jesus; Michael Barrow & The Tourists, Something New, and more

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BOONE HOGG
  • Boone Hogg

Album reviews:

Dad Bod, After Thought
For a sound that is as played-out as jangly, reverb-soaked surf-influenced indie rock, it has remained an indie world mainstay for almost a decade. And while it often seems like a 50/50 chance whether a new band in that arena is any good, local band Dad Bod definitely do it right on their debut album, After Thought. Falling in line with the soft likes of Loving and the groovy likes of Mild High Club, they've also got some funky basslines reminiscent of those that are practically signature to Men I Trust (on "La Douceur Du Foyer" and the title-track). They don't disappear into these referential points, though, but edge into something distinctive with an almost devotedly sleepy approach. The album opens with "Brand New," a noisy, static-filled little filler track full of sound bites of conversation and glittering synths, which breaks into the mildly angsty, fairly catchy pop track "Don't Say." They're not afraid of meandering instrumental tracks either ("Suzy," "Un Lago"), which admirably shows they're into more than just melodies. The songs, from the haziest, sultriest points ("Foreign Lands") to the faster-paced ("Some Kind of Confidence") all maintain the sense that everyone is coming out from under thick blankets—muggy and warm like a summer night. The single exception is the lively, dynamic closing track, "Enough"—which, though it doesn't fit entirely with the pleasantly cohesive rest, is worth that departure as the stand-out. There's borderline frustration in vocalist Michael Marinos' husky refrain, "you've got it, you've got enough, you've got everything that you need," while groovy guitar licks up the ante. While it would be cool to see them follow that line, it seems they're going to stick to their drowsy guns in the future—which is a perfectly fine place to be.(Erin Moore)

Daisy on Drugs, TV Jesus
Labels like "bedroom pop" are generally applied to guitar-based indie artists like Sebadoh, but in the world of DIY, accessibility is king. It's now easier to get access to a pirated copy of Ableton or Fruity Loops than it is to access a guitar. Even in the Salt Lake scene, where guitar music still has relevance, laptop DIY has a firm foothold. For young artists, no longer are we seeing so many acoustic rehashes of "Wonderwall" played at coffee shop open mics. Instead, artists can paste together fully produced, kaleidoscopic alt-pop in their bedrooms, then post it to Bandcamp. Daisy on Drugs is an artist for whom things seem to come naturally. On one end, this means that he's too busy having a good time to notice that many of the melodies on his 2019 release TV Jesus feel unfinished, like impressions of a full melody. He also has a tendency to take up too much space in his own songs, meaning there's hardly a quarter-rest that isn't filled with vocal parts. In that way, he draws attention away from his greatest strength—his music, which sounds finished, effortless and playful. This is best exemplified in opening track "Guerilla Daydream" and the standout "Americano," which bounces between drumline beats and joyful cacophonies of synth lines and looped reeds. His eager delivery and stream-of-consciousness flow, paired with messy major-key dissonance, produce energetic, dreamy and eclectic musical doodles. What's more, his militant, socialist politics supply his Technicolor alt-pop with a sense of revolutionary optimism that feels much more compelling than the careless or nihilistic attitudes characteristic of some of his bedroom-producer peers. (Alex Murphy)

DANI SORK
  • Dani Sork

Michael Barrow & The Tourists, Something New
It begins auspiciously enough: "I want to be something new ... So take the pieces of my broken heart/and make yourself a work of art/and let me be something new for you." That upbeat verse, culled from the title track of Michael Barrow & The Tourists' EP Something New, conveys the kind of unyielding optimism that's clearly needed now more than ever. Still,those who have followed the band over the course of its career also recognize it as a tack this Provo-based band has pursued since early on. Originally formed in spring of 2016, the group—Barrow (vocals, guitar), Trevor Harmon (guitar), Zach Collier (keys), Alessandro Improta (bass) and Reed Perkins (drums)—established its sensibility with the release of their widely heralded debut album, Juneau, and its successor, Santa Barbara Sessions. Something New continues to spawn upbeat arrangements and solid songcraft, all while mining instant accessibility. Although the EP features only five tracks, each song stands out: the optimally engaging "What Is It For"; the effusive pop precepts of "Sweet Honey"; the upbeat inflection of "No Such Thing (As Getting Over You)"; the soulful stance on "Never Stop"; the knowing sentiment distilled in the aforementioned title track. Overall, Barrow and company manage to keep matters mostly light and breezy, allowing for a radio-ready sound that bodes well for continuing commercial appeal. Granted, Something New might not be as innovative as its title suggests, but there's no cause to fault familiarity. At the moment, it's actually quite welcome. (Lee Zimmerman)

Idi et Amin, Texas Rose
Texas Rose, Idi et Amin's debut album, is definitely shoegaze—but also at least a little bit more. Though it wades through familiar shoegaze territory, there's a bright core that outshines any individual track. This is an album where moments of melancholy run deep, but melancholy never bubbles over into becoming its defining trait. It's there, but it doesn't manifest out of any one element; it forms from the combination of Idi et Amin's beach rock melodies and synths blanketed over their noise. It's a balance that changes throughout each song—sometimes the vocals will come through loud and clear, and sometimes they'll be drowned out—but what makes Texas Rose work is its timing. In shoegaze fashion, the songs are often long and droney, but no part ever overstays. Some songs like "Mellow Susan" bear the familiar rhythm of chillwave's shoegaze roots, like they were ripped from Causers of This (an early Toro y Moi album that always knew when to linger and when to switch it up). In that way, Texas Rose feels like a shoegaze album filtered through the 2010s surfer rock ethos: It might be grounded in wailing, but it's uplifted by sheer cadence into brightness. Whatever noise lies at the bottom of any given track often folds into a larger, swelling sound. For instance, the opening track "Echoed Sleepily" shows how the band's experimental noise tends to give in to melody as a way of reining it all in for something cohesive. Texas Rose has an immediate warmth that I was happy to chase all the way through to its wailing end. (Parker S. Mortensen)


UPCOMING SHOWS:

Metro Music Hall
While initially Metro Music Hall (metromusichall.com), along with all other S&S owned venues, took the precaution of putting off every show until the end of March, cancelations have now been extended to at least May 11. While there are many reasons to feel this virus is going to linger for a while, this is one unpleasant reality check for anyone who was hoping to get back out to shows soon (not to mention the performers, bookers and the rest of the behind-the-scenes staff that make it all happen). Keeping in mind that everything is subject to change, here are shows currently scheduled through the month of May after they re-open. Get your tickets and help support our local venues.

—Erin Moore

VASSILA
  • Vassila

WEDNESDAY 5/13
Archgoat/Valkyrja
Blackened death metal band all the way from Finland (and also all the way from the origins of blackened death metal to begin with), Archgoat will be blasting the house with sound alongside another Scandinavian group of the black metal variety (they're different genres), Valkyrja.7 p.m., $22, 21+

SUNDAY 5/17
Once Upon a DIVA!
If you've been missing your favorite divas, and also missing brunch with the gals and guys and pals, don't miss this chance to fix your need for drama, flare and pomp with SLC's finest joint drag show and brunch event.12:30 p.m., $30, 21+

MONDAY 5/18
Chicano Batman, Le Butcherettes
With a new album, Invisible People, out May 1, Chicano Batman put their psychedelic, soul-infused sound to work and crafted an album that's all about highlighting society's downtrodden. Expect their typical Tropicalia sound, but with a purported new dose of depth and layering.8 p.m., $20, 21+

SUNDAY 5/24
Out Of Anger, Become Ethereal, My Queen, Rakshasi, 99%
Come out to Metro for a night local rock, one of the first in a while. Ogden's Out Of Anger, after having a show pushed from March like many locals, will be back on the stage with their hard rock sound. SLC act and symphonic metal-ists Become Ethereal support.7 p.m., $10, 21+

WEDNESDAY 5/27
Pigface
Perhaps the collaborative band to end all collaborative bands, Pigface has featured a lineup and contributions over the years from pretty much every freakin' good band. Trent Reznor is just one name among many who have made Pigface the legend it is today, with other alumni including Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Michael Gira of Swans, Lydia Lunch and Joey Santiago of the Pixies. Don't miss this legendary show, where anyone and everyone could show.7 p.m., $30, 21+

Soundwell
Soundwell (soundwellslc.com) is another beloved local venue that has shuttered its doors for a period during this crisis. They've opted to follow the SLVHD mandated 30-day closure order, which places them at around an April 16 reopening. In a statement about the closure on Instagram, management said, "The light in the darkness for us is knowing that we'll fight through this together, as a community, and have so many great nights to look forward to." I'm sure we can all agree. Again, keeping in mind that everything is subject to change, here are the shows beyond the projected reopening date for your ticket-buying pleasure.

PAUL DISIMONE
  • Paul DiSimone

TUESDAY 4/14
The Expendables, Bumpin' Uglies, Artikal Sound System, Of Good Nature
Legendary rockers and fusers of reggae, punk and flaming guitar solos come to wake up the town and shake us back to life with their loud, party-ready sound. They'll be joined by a band of about the same stature and seasoning: Bumpin' Uglies and their unique combo of reggae and punk rock.7 p.m., presale sold out; $23 day of show, 21+

WEDNESDAY 4/15
RDGLDGRN, Little Stranger
Despite their name being a shortened version of "Red, Gold, Green," this is no reggae band, but rather an indie hip-hop project made up of three members who go respectively as Red, Gold and Green. They'll be joined by the similarly minded Philly-based act Little Stranger, which does incorporate some reggae beats into their sets.7 p.m., $15 presale; $18 day of show, 21+

THURSDAY 4/16
ATTLAS
This young artist has spent the last several years plying the craft of production under the prolific deadmau5 label, mau5trap, releasing tracks sporadically before finally coming out with his debut full-length album, Lavender God, which is the subject of this tour.9 p.m., $13 presale; $18 day of show, 21+

THURSDAY 4/30
Julian Jeweil
Something of an underground near-legend, Julian Jeweil is an oft-touring DJ based in (alternatingly) the South of France and Berlin, where he perfects his style of minimalistic dance club music, perfect for moving one's body to.9 p.m., $15 presale; $20 day of show, 21+