Dishital Weekly: absinthe father, Dracula and his band the Draculas, JEEZ LOUISE, The Modern Folk, West Vegetable

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. absinthe father – soften

soften

Haley Butters, beyond running the popular this band fucks twitter account, is absinthe father, a Philadelphia-based lo-fi dream pop project. The first new material from Butters since jane in October of last year, the 3-song collection soften was written and recorded within the span of a few hours, the result of an immediate bolt of inspiration not overly fussed with, beautiful and unfiltered. soften also marks the first new material since Butter’s sobriety, and the cover art is a family photo of their mother, both adding to overall personal qualities of this small and lovely package.

 

2. Dracula and his band the Draculas – Halloween Jamboree

dracula

Under most circumstances, we’d save this one for Halloween, but as time waits for no man, Draculas and his band the Draculas didn’t wait for October and neither will we. Halloween Jamboree is a novelty rock ‘n roll record released earlier this month via Ded Sullivan Productions based on the theme of being a collection of recordings found in Dracula’s castle in Encino, California after his band failed to take over the modern American modern pop charts. Dracula might’ve had an easier time doing so six plus decades ago, with songs such as “Vampyre Münch Münch” greatly reminiscent of that era’s best novelty hits. While they may have come short of Billboard domination, Dracula and his band the Draculas have succeed in making an album that’s fun despite being released at the wrong time on about 666 different levels.

 

3. JEEZ LOUISE – DEMONSTRATION RECORDING

jeez louise

Post-Nancy, Joe (now JOE JOE JEEZ) has formed JEEZ LOUISE and released the band’s DEMONSTRATION RECORDING, far too perfect to be called just a demo. A delicious power-pop-punk candy milkshake with bits of Ramones, Dickies, and Coneheads in it, JEEZ LOUISE blast through seven sweet and crunchy hook-laden masterpieces in fewer than ten minutes. As the artwork above suggests, there seem to be cassettes floating around somewhere, but they seem to be limited to shows. In fact, despite the Nancy connection, it’s not all that easy to find much info on this project at all unless you’re local or friends with the members. The release is doing well considering the complete lack of intentional push, which is a testament to just how great it is.

 

4. The Modern Folk – History of the Modern Folk, Vol. 1

modern folk

Dabbling in the world of digital-only releases, young tape label Hypnic Jerk has recently released History of the Modern Folk, Vol. 1, an assorted compilation series of Josh Moss’ work as The Modern Folk, Vol. 1 consisting of recordings made between the years of 2011 and 2016. While this material has been previously released, Moss’ catalog is daunting at more than 40 albums and this compilation is focused in theme. Josh’s friend Ben Telfer made selections across his catalog consisting entirely of Moss’ interpretations of traditional American folk and blues songs. While the compilation itself is not a comprehensive overview of The Modern Folk, it seems to be the beginning of one: it looks to be the first in a series that attempts to abridge Moss’ catalog for the initially overwhelmed.

 

 

5. West Vegetable – s/t

west vegetable

St. Cloud, Minnesota’s Jeff Varner, the brilliantly dumb mind behind such projects as the Christmas-oriented Fountain Dew and mock ‘local metal’ band Brundlefly (whose Demo CD-R we reviewed earlier this year), has a new project in West Vegetable, which takes form as a super weird blend of lo-fi garage punk and synthwave, but definitely not synth punk. Varner’s signature topical idiocy is on full display with songs such as “Mickey Moose”, “Leroy Jenkums”, and “Get Off Your Ass, Assy”, but also feels less tied to a gimmick when compared to his other recent projects. If Varner were to have a ‘main’ project with regular output, it feels like this could be it.

Favorites include opener the propulsive opener “Just Shapes Baby” and the previously mentioned “Get Off Your Ass, Assy”, which is the most vocally aggressive (“GET OFF YOUR ASS, ASSY / WE’VE GOT PLACES TO BE”) but musically subdued with its slow synth and bass groove. We like to imagine that if Assy McGee ever came back, this’d be a great song for Sanchez to finally lash out on his partner to.

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