Dishital Weekly is Counterzine’s weekly roundup of 5 digital only releases we think are worthy of your attention. The only rules are that we like it and there’s no readily available physical version at the timing of writing. When it was released, genre, platform: none of these matter. If it’s new to us and it’s new to you, it’s new.
1. Family Feast – Return on Investment
Family Feast is a collective of artists based out of Toronto with a penchant for absurdity, concept records, and synths. Their latest album, Return on Investment, like their past work, blurs the line between compilation and album, with a cohesive theme and sound despite all nine tracks being written and performed by different artists. Return on Investment is a satirical take on the business world, featuring infectious and funky tunes about working overtime to trying to climb the corporate ladder and robot pop about analytics. This is the music of sniffing coke and trading stocks in the eighties. Their bizarre sense of humor combined with legitimate songwriting chops that disqualify them from being discarded as pure novelty is reminiscent of Ween, and like Ween, it’s definitely worth delving into their backlog after Return on Investment (they did a full St. Anger cover album and Maddy Wilde’s “Chateau du Spook” from World of Horrors is probably the best Halloween song of all-time).
2. Kevin and the Bikes – Dorkcore 101
You don’t know Kevin and the Bikes?! Get with the program, DORK!! What program? How about the 101-step-program Dorkcore 101? Yeah, the “101” doesn’t just mean introductory course. Dorkcore 101 features 101 songs, all of which are thematically tied to legendary Cartoon Network program Ed, Edd n Eddy. I can feel you desperately clinging to the ‘core’ portion of Dorkcore 101, pleading for them to be three-second-long grindcore blasts, BUT NO! This class is nearly four hours in length and includes lessons on noise rock, synth punk, jangle pop, jazz, podcasts, Weezer and Foster the People covers, and more! Wait, wait, don’t go! This is the type of idiocy that truly does circle around to brilliance. We just mentioned Ween when discussing Family Feast, but it applies here as well, particularly God Ween Satan: The Oneness (Half Japanese fans should also find quite a bit to like here). There’s an undeniably charm when creative friends come together to create something so ambitious with a core quality so stupid and generally unmarketable. And if you can’t find yourself setting aside four hours for songs about jawbreakers and Nazz, at least give “I Fucking Hate My Friends, They Don’t Understand My Love for the Eds” a listen: it should assuage any feelings that these guys are just a meme. An abridged CD version is on the way, but it’s not here yet and even if it was, everyone knows you’re not supposed to cut classes.
3. MOBVIBE – The Nusixties Invasion Pt. 1
You’ve heard of nu-metal, and now we’ve got “nusixties”. London’s MOBVIBE take the technological advancements of the 21st century and apply them to the songwriting styles popularized in the sixties to create an anachronistic take on the British Invasion. Their debut EP The Nusixties Invasion Pt. 1 is a tight 4-song introduction to the band’s sound, which plays out something like a mix between Beatles’ Merseybeat, Nuggets compilation bands, and the hip affair that populate modern British nightclubs. This is supposedly out or coming out on vinyl, but as the eshop is currently under maintenance, we’re going to cheat and include it here (but keep an eye out on the MOBVIBE website should you be interested).
4. Two Meters – The Blue Jay EP
Recently released on digital imprint Very Jazzed, Tyler Costolo aka Two Meters’ sophomore effort The Blue Jay EP is a brief, slow burn emotional rollercoaster built on suspense and the subversion of expectation. Mixed by Yuuki Matthews of The Shins fame, The Blue Jay EP is a slowcore record where the drops come at you fast. No better example can be found than “Pools”, a gorgeous, gently floating, reverb-soaked indie rock piece that morphs into heavy, sludgy drone metal by the end of its run-time. Those interested in the dichotomy presented by Deafheaven’s music should appreciate how Costolo plays with polarized sounds and forms, though the work of Phil Elverum might be a more obvious comparison to make.
5. Wolf Party – No Tribe
Texas experimental musician Austin Davis is the mind behind Wolf Party, a project blending psychedelia, noise, drone, neo-tribalism, industrial, goth, and country. If that sounds bizarre and overwhelming, that’s because it is: No Tribe is a disturbing and pummeling record that sounds like the auditory equivalent to watching that one scene from Bone Tomahawk while on an acid and ketamine cocktail. We’d also be remiss to not mention Wolf Party’s newest single, “Walk the Floor”, which pitches up the country elements inherent in his work to craft something slightly closer to traditional. Operative word: slightly.