Diarrhea Planet, The Lovely Bad Things
The Lifeforms, Memphibians
100 E Adams St.
Jacksonville, FL, 32202
Diarrhea Planet is a six-piece rock and roll band from Nashville, TN. Their sound has
often been described as The Ramones holding Van Halen hostage with an arsenal of
fireworks and explosives. Diarrhea Planet's four guitarists provide enough riffs to make
Jack Black squeal like a schoolgirl, while lead singer Hodan delivers enough hooks to
straighten the curl out of Justin Timberlake's hair. In a world of unintelligible lo-fi
recording, reverb drenched vocals, and tuneless guitars, Diarrhea Planet aims to put the
backbone back into rock and roll.
The band initially formed in the Spring of 2009 with drummer Casey, and two guitarists
Jordan Smith and Evan P. Donohue. That fall the band decided to flesh out their sound
with bass and a third guitar, adding Mike Boyle and Brent Toler. They self-released the
five song EP, Aloha, in November. The album sounded like a mix between an
uncontrollable college party and a gut-wrenching Tae Bo workout. With the Mediafire
link popping up on a variety of blogs, Aloha became a sleeper online sensation.
Perhaps due to the unusual band name, the EP garnered around 1,500 downloads in its
first week online. By the time the band took down the Mediafire link early the next year,
The EP had collected over 10,000 downloads.
In the summer of 2010, Evan P. Donohue decided to focus on his own music and left
Diarrhea Planet. The band quickly adopted shredders Evan Bird and Emmett Miller,
generating Diarrhea Planet's most empowering line-up. The band shifted some of their
focus from delinquent party rock to slightly more sophisticated songwriting and guitar
theatrics that will make every living guitar hero cry out of joy and/or despair. After this
change-up, the band played an exhausting amount of local shows. They have opened
for acts such as Wavves, Fucked Up, Jeff the Brotherhood, Andrew Jackson Jihad,
Defiance OH, Jacuzzi Boys, The Spits, and The Coathangers. They have also played a
variety of basements, warehouses, frat bars, and dorm rooms. The overwhelming
volume and sheer brutality of their live onslaught satiates those who crave power and
thunder, while the meek grovel on the beer-soaked floor. The wall of heavy riffage and
intricate shredding infuses audiences with enough electrical energy to stave off sleep for
the rest of the weekend. Despite their leanings towards punk and heavy metal, Diarrhea
Planet swears by the Bible of pop. With a distinct emphasis on vocal hooks and
harmonies, their shows often morph into massive, drunken sing-alongs.
The Lovely Bad Things
Brought together by time and fate—they'd all known each other since high school, but finally made a band together in 2009—and named by some kind of esoteric computer filename error too complex to further explain, Orange County's The Lovely Bad Things are the hyperactive omnitalented and relentlessly hilarious garage-pop band who crowdfunded their way to an encore performance at the world-famous Primavera Sound festival and whose new album The Late Great Whatever was titled during a dream at the suggestion of their spirit guide, who happens to look strangely like Dinosaur Jr drummer Murph. Was that a lot to take in all at once? Then now you can sympathize with the cop who pulled them over on their way to the UFO museum in Roswell, New Mexico: "'Who here has ADD?'" Brayden Ward remembers him asking. "And we all raised our hands."
The Lovely Bad Things are Brayden and brother Camron Ward, Tim Hatch and Lauren Curtius, each a multi-instrumentalist and each devoted to a bottomless knowledge of ridiculous pop culture and comprehensive appreciation for the Pixies, though if you dismantled their songs and their record collections both you'd find Sonic Youth, Modest Mouse, the B-52s, the Wipers and of course Redd Kross, whose sense of humor and sense for a hook the Bad Things have inherited. They mostly come from the city of La Mirada, but their true home is the Lovely Bad Pad, a converted suburban garage—converted personally by the band members—that's hosted truly legendary backyard punk shows, up to and including a surprise set by Peter, Bjorn and John, who know a good thing when they hear it.
It's this combination of D.I.Y. spirit and off-the-wall luck that carried The Lovely Bad Things from that backyard to a cassette release on trendsetter label Burger Records that would be called one of the best L.A. punk releases of 2011 by the L.A. Weekly. And from there they ricocheted into a surprise slot at Primavera Sound festival, crowdfunding and benefit-showing just barely enough for airfare to get there and winning over their audience forever once they did. Now, after building a fan base show by show and person by frothing-at-the-mouth person—a guy once came all the way from Belgium to see them play one special song—The Lovely Bad Things have finished The Late Great Whatever for Volcom Entertainment.
The Late Great Whatever was started just after the release of the maxi-EP New Ghost/Old Waves, until now the Lovely Bad Things' signature release. Although they'd released a full-length called Shark Week in 2010, the album that would become …Whatever was going to be something new, they explain: "Our first real full-length," says Tim. At least half of Shark Week's songs were written in … oh, about two minutes, calculates Lauren, because back then Lovely Bad Things were just discovering the knockout sugar high that came from just playing music with each other. But this would be different: "How do I say it and not sound like a super-cliché musician?" asks Camron. "More mature, I guess?"
So what's that mean? Not one but two Star Wars references on the tracklist, Bigfoot on the cover, a shout-out to Macho Man Randy Savage and a relentless collection of the strongest songs The Lovely Bad Things have ever done. What, did you think "mature" meant? They were going to get all mopey and slow? ("Just say it's 'globular' and 'shapeshifting,'" suggests Camron.) Produced by Jon Gilbert in the studio built and run by Crystal Antlers' frontman Jonny Bell, this is a record by a band who've developed a telepathic language of their own, with songs that stop and start and turn inside out in ways you just can't play unless you know exactly what everyone else in the studio with you is thinking.
On The Late Great Whatever, Lovely Bad Things roll out just about anything you'd want about 15% faster than you'd expect. Do they do it all? They indeed do it all. They have stormers like "Kessel Run" and the stand-out "Randall the Savage," which is all jittery post-punky guitar and gradually building insanity. Then they have sweetheart pop-punk like "Maybe I Know," which is born for the best mixtapes of 2013. They have surf's-up guitar ("Styx And Branches") and wah-wah guitar ("Oozin It") and oh-my-God-I'm-being-attacked-by-furious-bees guitar ("Kessel Run"). They have Frank Black-style spoken-word stammer ("Fried Eyes") and cooled-out Kim Deal back-ups. And those heartbreaker harmonies that are part of what make The Lovely Bad Things so special? Pretty much everywhere, thanks to Lauren's gift for melody, but why don't you go right to "Rope Swing" if you need 'em right away? And if this still seems like a lot to take in at once, don't worry—down some (or too much) caffeine, roll down the windows and let The Late Great Whatever take the wheel. Just watch out for the cops on the way to the UFO museum. When they hear music like this, they pay way too much attention.
The Lifeforms consist of Jeff Flores, Steven Marshek, Daniel Ring, and Jon Dailey. The band can trace its origins back to when Jeff and Steven met and became friends in highschool and soon thereafter began playing music together. After high school, the pair gained experience by playing separately in various bands, and in 2011 started the Lifeforms as a threesome with friend Matt Arias on drums, soon joined by Joelton Card on bass. As this four-piece (though with Joel on drums and Matt on guitar), they recorded a 5-song demo titled "Ooo Cadillac."
In 2012, the band recruited a new drummer, Daniel Ring, whose steady backbeat and fluid fills gave the band a brand new sound. With Jeff on guitar and Steven on bass, the three recorded a more well-produced self-titled EP which included the hits The Number One and For Lovers Only which is now available for purchase upon request. In late 2012, in order to expand their sound, the band added ex-Monarchy V, Jon Dailey on bass, with Steven switching to guitar. It's this line-up which has begun to make a name for itself with rave reviews from around the Southeast.
"In this light my spirit suddenly saw through all,"
Böehme wrote in his opus "Aurora" (1612) "and
suddenly in that light my will was set on by a
mighty impulse, to describe the being of God."
Folio Weekly can say freely without
hyperbole, hesitancy nor the gentle nudging of
direct bribery that Memphibians' latest release,
"How to be Followed Alone" shines with a spectral
descendent of that same, ineffable light" - Dan Brown (Folio Weekly)
"The two most notable things from their performance are that they're loud as hell, conjuring up a big, big sound, and the second is that Memphibians' music is deeply weird and damaged; any time they start to veer towards Arcade Fire-style anthems, they take a drastic left turn into climes unknown, the kind of place where Half Japanese and Pastels keep summer homes. Good stuff." - Matthew Moyer (INK 19)
"Their clanging riffs, endearingly harsh vocals, xylophone and French horn hooks and rock-solid drumming got the punks in the crowd dancing and bouncing off each other....Grand arty/grungy fun." - B. Schultz (Here Comes The Dumptruck)
"The most improved band of the year...maybe ever!" - Jack Diablo (EU Monthly)
"Memphibians' sound is difficult to classify, as it avoids the affected distance of a lot of indie rock, while also deftly sidestepping meatheadisms that too many young guitar bands fall victim too.....It's heady and confused, in all the best ways." - Matthew Moyer (Movement Magazine)