Aug. 2 2016 03:26 PM

A cursory listen to some new local digital releases

If you search for albums tagged "San Diego" on Bandcamp, you'll find some interesting stuff. In this semi-regular report, we sift through recent postings and relay the findings.

Bliss, High Sunn: The spelling of High Sunn's name immediately made me think of drone doom band Sunn O))), which was a plus in my book. They actually sound nothing like Sunn O))), instead more like a hybrid of Washed Out and Mac DeMarco, with lo-fi vocals and drum machine beats. It's fairly standard chillwave cassette fare—decent enough pop songs that would probably benefit from better production quality, but nice enough.

Last Call, Peter Lansford: On the subject of challenging expectations, the glass of water on the cover of this album, along with the title "Last Call," made me think it'd be a bluesy folk record. It isn't. It's spacey and dark techno that's best heard around midnight in a dark club with your choice of intoxicant.

Life of Skyler, PKSkyler: This blend of vaporwave (electronic music made from corporate advertising/promotional/training samples) and hip-hop positions PKSkyler as a producer with his own weird spin on cloud rap. Indeed, it is weird. It's pretty nerdy too—Skyler's cadence in "My Journey" is less rapping than odd, semi-melodic sing-speak with just a hint of Shatner.

Here He Comes, Mortal Bicycle: Mortal Bicycle has apparently been releasing a new album every month in 2016. Having not heard the others, I can't say if this is characteristic, but the music is so all over the place that it's hard to make much sense of it. There's some gentle acoustic music. Some rhythmically jumbled electronic beats. A weird reinterpretation of the melody from "Lay Lady Lay." And some overwhelming, terrifying digital noise. I don't actually know if this is good, per se, but it's definitely interesting.

No Woman Please Die, Goth Marley: I literally laughed out loud when I saw this. The title No Woman Please Die is all I needed, though the description of Goth Marley being "the world's very first gothic reggae band" is a little misleading. They're mostly witch-house style covers of Bob Marley songs with industrial noise and lots of distortion. It's stupid, and I love it.


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