Disparate Grooves [DspG31]
28 March, 2013
Today's article features two highly danceable bands that share little else in common. They aren't even from the same side of the Atlantic!
Wild Cub – Slick, exuberant, funky, and yet ethereal…this is the two-man dream team of Keegan DeWit and Jeremy Bullock, from Nashville. Though their debut LP, Youth, is bright and decisively 80-ish (you can’t miss the air drums on “Wishing Well”), it's got one big, thumping soul, with thick beats, crisp riffs, and sublimely seductive vocals.
There’s so much to love in this album, that it’s difficult to single out a few highlights. It opens with the soaring and shuffling “Shapeless”, then veers into the charming, upbeat likes of “Colours”. “Straight No Turns”, on the other hand, is supremely soulful, with its suspended synth chords, slick riffing, and so smooth vocals.
Not every track was made for the dance floor, however – Youth has its share of more mellow numbers, too. The most notable example is “Drive”, which features a very Hook-like bass line and distant, floating riffs. Although the lead vocals are humbly somber, the rest of the band sings joyfully in the background; it’s a striking, yet soothing, combination. Youth also ends on a serene note with “Windows”, a heavenly fluttering of noise that triumphantly blossoms into yet another groovy beat.
By and large, however, my favorite track is the first that caught my attention on the radio. “Summer Fires/Hidden Spells” kicks off with a driving bass line stripped from “Billy Jean”, features a gloriously infectious chorus, and continues to build and morph as new parts fade and return. It’s a dancer’s ecstasy, I tell ya. Trust me.
In short, friends, I can’t get enough of this album. I am irreversibly hooked. So hop over to Wild Cub’s Bandcamp page now and give this Youth a whirl. It’s available in both digital and CD formats (both for a price, of course).
T.O.Y.S – Infectious indie pop trio from London and Leeds. No riffing about from these dudes, though – there’s not a single six-string among them. Instead, T.O.Y.S use one beastly bass and a kinky synth to forge their punchy melodies. I do love the acerbic, very post-punky vocals, too. They’ve only released one EP so far, but it’s a solid debut that begs for a follow-up.
The EP opens in top form with “Poland”, a somewhat wistful track that nevertheless pulses with its mega-charged bass. “Love Hurts” – probably my favorite – seethes with so much bass power that you can hear it squawk with feedback in the opening, and jives with the most indelible chorus. “Uptight” races out so strongly that it never needs vocals; yet, when the singer finally pipes in, the tune grows even more sinister (and awesome).
If you downloaded last year’s Indietracks, compilation, then you’ll recognize “Fun Time For The Love Shy”, the bouncy, catchy tune with the rollicking synth solo – it’s actually one of the tamer numbers on the EP. It’s followed by “When I Was A T.O.Y”, an angular number with a rather enigmatic verse - “When I was a toy/I used to play with you/And I’d be overjoyed.” I still can’t tell if it’s an earnest admission or some sort of cynical voyeurism – the menacing bass and the light-hearted synth line accommodate both interpretations. “Doll” wraps up the EP on another wistful note, but with some far-out keyboard lines that sound at times like harmonious fire alarms. (That sounds bad, but it’s actually very awesome, I assure you.)
T.O.Y.S’ self-titled EP is a pay-what-you-want digital release, available here on their Bandcamp site.
Update: Dandelion Radio recently released a 4-track session with T.O.Y.S, recorded at DJ Rocker's place. More bass-rocking goodness - and all proceeds go straight to the station! Digital download only, though.