Tag Archives: Cool Tara

#BandcampGold-Scapegoat by KGFREEZE

#BandcampGold-Scapegoat by KGFREEZE

by Dan-O

As someone who is fanatical for music I do not resent the layer on the outside of the onion of interest. The layer on the outside is composed of folks who just like songs going behind them: they don’t know the artists, album, and producer and that’s a valid way to live. The layer underneath them is the problem. The poacher who checks pitchfork and follows up only to find “classics” to brag about. Beyond how annoying the condescending “Have you heard __” conversation is, it puts pressure on artists to always seek perfection which is not how art works.

The poacher robs the process of transitions.

The new KGFREEZE project Scapegoat is a perfect example of this. It is the slimy nerve-racking birth of something new not the last sanding away of rough edges. The Freeze has always been the name Kyle Gervais created for his own solo career; the players rotate underneath him while he pushes furiously in different directions. His will and vision was always centerstage but like any good coach he plays to the strength of the team he has at the time. Now is definitely the time for his new line up.

The components have vastly changed and Scapegoat is a project of adjustments and experiments. It was recorded live in a warehouse with very little tweaking.  Chris Gervais comes on as drummer and brings palpitating new wave urgency to every second of his play. Chris likes it loud and once Nate Carll was brought in they were able to go to new places within the term. Nate worked with Kyle in the band Cosades back when Iphone was how Tarzan asked to make a call. I met Nate Carll once and he was so normal it was shocking but the scary part is how potent his guitar wizardry is.  Of the ten songs on Scapegoat On The Hill is his baby from foot to teeth and it is gorgeous. Very few people are allowed to take up Kyle’s authorship space on a KGFREEZE album and On The Hill shows you why Kyle has the faith he has in Nate. It rolls around in guitar noise until the noise takes on shape, form and a light dance. Kyle comes in with his most delicate vocal delivery of the project and for two minutes and nineteen seconds it is a different world from any KGFREEZE song before it. It is indicative of the sweet to savage and back again Siamese Dream-ness of the new Freeze; the ability to get crazy while promising never to lose melodic focus.

Sanks is the most recognizably Kyle song on here and has an absolutely fantastic chorus. The title track fits well within the heard Freeze-verse but not everything on the project works as well. On the con side of this experiment Seyton is a novelty exploration of Pantera screaming and hard rock that the band is just not going to explore. It is a thing they wanted to do and did but doesn’t have any legs to it. Bark For Me, Tom is an infidelity concept song that doesn’t have enough lyrical bite to make up for how bland it sounds compared to the punchier songs.

The punchier songs are the real building blocks for this group. They could go a bunch of directions. My favorite songs are Connection and Insanity both a little over a minute long and indicative of this groups ability to actually give us a polished Costello style Get Happy; something that showcases short electric elegantly constructed songs in great number. They could push the volume and the guitar hero riffs of songs like Freeway of Drugs and see how large and anthemic they could make a full polished project.  Either way they should not record like this again. It was a great way to showcase the difference in loudness, force his audience to buy better headphones, but in the future vocal overdubs will help Kyle’s voice stay comfortably over the sea of sound.  This is not the album poachers will brag about but it could be signifying one is on the horizon.

Stream or Download Scapegoat below:

https://kgfreeze.bandcamp.com/

 

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#BandcampGoldFOLLOWUP-EP TWO by Cool Tara

#BandcampGoldFOLLOWUP-EP TWO by Cool Tara

by Dan-O

Tell you what sucks, if you google search Cool Tara Review my October review of their Bad Moves EP is the sixth entry and the first actual review. This is depressing because who the F__ am I? The answer is a dinky blog off in the deep niche net of wordpress. The truth is audiences train themselves to the music they like and locally a lot of folks aren’t trained for Cool Tara. The band just released a project EP TWO which is fascinating because it’s clear that they don’t really care.

As deeply captivating as the pop sensibilities of Cool Tara are you can never forget that they are punk. The antagonistic thread runs lyrically, structurally, and sonically through the bands identity. You wanted these songs to be longer? You’re wondering why you can’t place a 2015 musical comparison point for this? Imagine a middle finger responding to all those concerns. This is what is punk about Cool Tara they own the destroy-to-rebuild spirit of the fed up and the pure joy of creation. All of the tag descriptions on their bandcamp page hint at this: garage rock, indie, punk rock. As a project this new one is only seven songs over an eighteen minute span but it builds on their identity in every feasible way.

Lyrically EP TWO weighs a lot more than anything I heard from them before. The lyrics are questions from an argument, The first song (Museum Exhibit) starts with lead singer, and drum set Mozart, Chris Gervais admitting that he’s finally ready to start and his next lines are “How do I know you?! Why did we do this?! I should have never been with you from the beginning?!”

Chris has a sense of rhythm that is dynamic and thrusts each song forward but Gabe Noblesmith and Kara Rowley are terrifying monsters on guitar and bass respectively. This is not a band for self-indulgent noodling; the Tony Iommi-ish joy of riff creation runs through muscular songs like Show Me Your Teeth. The only song on EP TWO that is over the three minute mark is the last one, Speaks Like Children, which stands in marked contrast from the rest of the project. It’s hauntingly muted instrumentally and thickly lyrical including the lines “I call my mother on the phone, ask her if I’m gonna die alone. Loss and regret are my only two friends and all I hear is the silence on the end.” The angry argument Chris has been having ends somberly with a tall glass of his own despair. He shouts about numbness spreading and wishes that he was dead, roll credits.

I was playing my favorite song from EP TWO (8 Out of 10) for my wife the other night, holding the laptop up while she cooked dinner and staring at her while she listened (I know this paints a really weird picture of living with me…it’s as weird as it sounds). When I finally rolled the question to her “What do you think? ” she shrugged and said “it’s good…” and I nodded assured that she just hadn’t heard it a thousand times yet. By the thousandth time she’ll excitedly wait for the end of song hand claps. She’ll realize that the stability of Cool Tara, the 70’s harmony’s, the complete disregard for what other music is like now…is so god damn special.

You can stream 3 songs from the album on their bandcamp page:

Boring White Girl

https://cooltara.bandcamp.com/track/boring-white-girl

Museum Exhibit

https://cooltara.bandcamp.com/track/museum-exhibit

and a live version of 8 out of 10

https://cooltara.bandcamp.com/track/8-10-live-at-the-flask-lounge

once you are satisfied that this thing is as dope as I say it is stream then buy it here

http://cooltara.bandcamp.com/album/ep-two

#BandcampGold-Bad Moves EP by Cool Tara

#BandcampGold-Bad Moves EP by Cool Tara

by Dan-O

This three song set kicked off a pretty cool discussion of the most necessary/underrated parts of a rock band in my house. That’s not coincidence either. While Cool Tara sometimes fall back into the anyone-can-do-this two minute punk song(new ep is going to be 7 songs 18 minutes according to the band) you can hear all of the elements so clearly and distinctly separate while the song progresses and puts them together.

The song Moriarty was a key turning point in me needing to recommend this. I realized after a while that I was humming Chris Gervais drum pattern from my LEAST favorite song on the EP. That’s how profoundly important a great drummer is. If your vocalist sucks that can be your style and it can work but the drums are a brittle situation. To quote my wife “At its worst your drummer is a metronome and it’s best your drummer is an artist making decisions and leading the song.” This isn’t taking away anything from Matt and Gabe on guitar who slam at all the right points or Kara on bass. It’s just a different sound. Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers change your definition of jazz when you hear them because you’ve never heard the drums start end and own like that before. At their best Cool Tara are really weird. Pig Of A Job is a beautifully indulgent 70’s jam that sounds like it should be seated next to a Chicago song. I want them to make more Chicago songs! Take a listen and then come back to it. See if Egg Sandwiches doesn’t stick to you like a stalker.

stream or download Cool Tara’s-Bad Moves EP (name your price) below:

https://cooltara.bandcamp.com/album/bad-moves