The Fresh & Onlys

Three long years of anticipation have preceded San Francisco's psych-blasted, starry-eyed weirdos The Fresh & Onlys’ return with Wolf Lie Down. The opening title track is a searing return to form with chugging full speed rhythms, snotty Wipers wall-of-sound guitar gristle, and the unmistakable midnight croon of singer Tim Cohen. Their 6th LP and debut for Sinderlyn Records finds the band equally at home with anthemic garage rock burners like "Impossible Man" and "One Of A Kind," and the brooding western twang of "Walking Blues" or "Black Widow".

While Cohen and guitarist/producer Wymond Miles are not the new kids on the scene (both are fathers of two now), Wolf Lie Down strips back the layered feel of the last few records to reveal themselves full of passion, imbued with an uplifting romanticism, and their trademark (if often overlooked) wry sense of humor. Recorded mostly at Miles' home studio, the songs' foundation came to life in the studios of Bay Area analog garage/ psych veterans Kelley Stoltz (Electric Duck) and Greg Ashley (Creamery).

Wolf Lie Down builds on the band’s literate guitar-pop arcana, seamlessly incorporating their pastoral desert-noir sensibility into Cohen and Miles' dueling damaged art-punk songcraft. While the record is driven and performed predominately by the duo of Miles and Cohen, former members Shayde Sartin and Kyle Gibson lay down their classic rhythmic chug on a few tunes. They also enlisted original drummer James Kim, as well as touring companion James Barone (Beach House) on drums and some mixing duties.

This new chapter in the elusive world of The Fresh & Onlys is a triumphant return to form as underground jangle titans. Wolf Lie Down also wears the haunted pastoral vividness of their most recent work. Perhaps ironically, their latest LP in a vast canon of work may be the best introduction to this unapologetic multi-faceted rock ‘n’ roll band.

The World

Led by a double-saxophone attack, the rising stars of the Bay Area punk scene are set to release their debut record.

"Managerial material" is the language of aspiration and denial: the empty crap you write on hopeful resumes, and and a vague condemnation with which employers prevent those who don't fit their criteria from rocking the company boat. On the World's debut single, Amber Sermeno exclaims, "I'm perfect m-m-m-m-m-managerial material," evoking Poly Styrene's subversive naivety. Her jittery voice manifests the destabilizing effect of pretending to be something you're not in order to survive in the workplace, and the ridiculousness of having to do so.

The Oakland band emerge as kin to Downtown Boys on "Managerial Material," channeling their anger at the system into fiery punk-funk squall. They have not one, but two saxophonists, Alexa Pantalone and Stanley Martinez, one of whom blasts long drones while the other whips up a tarnished ska rhythm. Unlike the titular inspiration, there's little hierarchy between the five-piece: the track sounds like it was recorded in a bucket, and every instrument jostles together like kids in a good-natured fight pit. But the two-minute blast is meticulously regimented, snapping into yowling interludes and double-time verses without warning, because the World know that the best challenge to chaos is to organize.

Mall Walk

Oakland washed out, lo-fi post punk

$15.00

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