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Five at 5 – Vol. 121

Surf rock, ’90s college alt, “angular” dance punk… it’s all rock ‘n’ roll from the Ed today.

10 Jul, 2013

Arjun S Ravi

Editor

The Indiecision Five at 5 is your one-click stop to check out great music curated by NH7.in’s editorial staff and users. NH7 Ed Arjun S Ravi brings an all rock ‘n’ roll set to liven up your midweek blues.

1. Bloc Party – Ratchet
UK “angular” dance rockers Bloc Party made a triumphant return with their 2012 release Four (highlights ‘Kettling’, ‘Team A’, ‘Octopus’). The quartet now gearing up to release a new EP titled The Nextwave Sessions following which they’ve indicated that they’re probably going to take a break from recording and touring for a while. ‘Ratchet’ has one of the grooviest hooks you’re going to hear this year, the kind of earwormy, four to the floor deliciousness that you can’t help but move to. Your move, Foals.

2. Franz Ferdinand – Right Action
I watched Franz Ferdinand play a club set in Los Angeles earlier this year and the band previewed a bunch of material from their upcoming fourth studio album Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action (out at the end of August, w00t). Three albums down and the Scottish quartet are still sticking to their roots with that quintessential post-Britpop guitar swagger; a sonic pool that gets deeper every time you think it’s been drained of its melodic goodness. The hook of ‘Right Action’ (buy on iTunes) has been stuck in my head ever since that gig, and now it’s out in all its studio recorded glory, with a great video to boot.

3. La Femme – Antitaxi
Parisian psych-rockers La Femme released their debut album Psycho Tropical Berlin earlier this year, and ever since I first heard them (courtesy the unlikeliest of sources – Anuj Gupta) I’ve had this record on loop. They make the kind of upbeat surf pop that wouldn’t seem out of place soundtracking a montage from a Wes Anderson film, and not just cos they’re singing almost entirely in French. ‘Antitaxi’ kicks off the record at a sweaty pace with guitars that have just the right twang, lo-fi beats that have just the right muffled thump, and a singer with just the right French breathiness.

4. Pond – Xanman
Aussie rockers/semi-Impalas Pond have been a favorite here at the NH7 offices since their breakthrough 2012 release Beard, Wives, Denim. We’ve been digging their fuzzy, ’70s psych-rock sound and tracks like ‘Moth Wings’ and ‘Elegant Design’ are mixtape regulars. The band is now prepping the release of their fifth studio release; Hobo Rocket will hit stores next month and the band already previewed material from it in the form of first single ‘Giant Tortoise’. ‘Xanman’ is the second single from the record and feels like it’s just emerged from a time capsule that was buried by Syd Barrett himself.

5. Wavves – Demon To Lean On
A few years ago, I watched Wavves play a solo set at a rooftop club in Austin as part of a SXSW showcase. The large stage that had previously seen a set by Nico Vega, looked bare with the sole, diminutive figure of Nathan Williams and his light blue Fender Mustang in front of the vocal mic. Still, once that quintessential surf rock guitar tone rang through the PA, the open mic vibe of the club was transformed by a then-buzz artist playing songs about being a loner. That same guitar sound has evolved into a ’90s college alt powerhouse on Williams’ latest release, Afraid of Heights. ‘Demon To Lean On’ is the first single from the album and if you’re not immediately transported back to the days when you were into Lit and American Hi-Fi, then you and I probably went through different musical phases. Damn, I miss getting wasted and rocking out to ‘Miserable’.

Honorable Mention
Cloud Control – Dojo Rising
Slow things down a bit.

Check out previous editions of Five at 5 here.

Editor's Pick

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