TEDD.GIF – ‘Finder EP’

In 2016, TEDD.GIF released bags of music and established himself as one of Orlando’s top rappers. His most notable project of the year was Lil Mixtape, his take on the turn-up, commercial sound that’s flooded the airwaves as of late –exclusively  produced by Lanlord Collectin.

Finder, a three-song EP strung together in a single track, is TEDD’s most experimental, cohesive release to date. (It’s also probably my favorite.) The sonics blend melty and harsh production seemlessly. And our man is doing what he does best, showing his confidence and desire to go against the grain. Because Lil Mixtape proved he can execute the current sound, now TEDD.GIF is showing more of his own colors. I can’t wait to hear what he and Lanlord cook up for Lil Mixtape 2, out later this season. 

READ OUR INTERVIEW W/ TEDD.GIF.

donkng-daydreams

DONKNG Release ‘Daydreams’ EP (name your price)

DONKNG hasn’t been around long, but they’ve kicked Florida’s ass so hard in 2016. The slacker garage three-piece all grew up South Florida but have all since relocated to Gainesville. Orlando has been lucky enough to pull the boys over a lot this year. They’ve played Spacebar, Uncle Lou’s, and house parties with the likes of Slumberjack, RV, and Maximino. To end a hot year, DONKNG released their first ever recordings, a five-song EP titled Daydreams. 

The first comment on the EP’s  “name your price” Bandcamp page is from “axelito”; it reads, “wow bros, The Strokes cover band? My love for you guys can’t be expressed with five bucks but you know, go hit up that dollar menu or something.” First off, DONKNG is too good for the dollar menu — they deserve steak. But that first bit kinda makes sense. It wasn’t as obvious in a live setting, but Camilo Isaza’s voice has that low, moan that Julian Casablancas’s uses. But, “The Strokes Cover band?” The Strokes suck now, right?

DONKNG feel fresher. Camilo’s vocals are carried by a jangly, midtempo wave. The band’s South Florida shows in their surf rock temperament. Examples of this laidback, innocent nature are the “doo, doo, doos” in “Jesus Christ,” talk of the high school dance in “I Remember,” and the line “You had me on my ass” in “Title Fight.” There are tents of uncertainty and darkness under the cool paint, though. The title track attacks the dated establishment and warns us not to fall in line. “Daydreaming about all the things you could have been.” The young dads have collected a handful of solid pop tunes; it’s easy to hum along, but there’s more to it than just vibes.

Orlando Musicians Make Compilation To Benefit The Center Orlando

City Beautiful: A Compilation For Pulse

Music is love in search of a word. — Sidney Lanier

In the aftermath of the Pulse Orlando strategy, members of the Orlando music community have come together for City Beautiful: A Compilation For Pulse. It is currently listed on Bandcamp under the name your price option, and every dollar paid will go The Center Orlando, an LGBTQA+ safe space that is providing free counseling for anyone who needs it. This 10-track compilation features TVW alumni Boxing At The Zoo, You Blew It, Fortune Howl, BABY!, and Pathos, Pathos, and newcomers Kinder Than Wolves’s Paige Coley, Henrietta, Europa, Mag.Lo, and Goodmorning, Love. Stay strong Orlando. We will shine brighter than ever. I love all of you so much. ❤

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, knwon suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciiation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compasssion, gentleness, and a deep lvoing concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” — Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

The Ashtray Sweat Weather

The Ashtray – ‘Sweat Weather’ (ep review)

The Ashtray is an Orlando garage rock trio whose debut EP Sweat Weather was released just a few weeks ago on April 26. The band features TVW contributor Andres Andrade on fuzzed-out guitar, acting as a thick base for Brendan (vocals/guitar) and Paul (drums) to go absolutely insane and leap off of. Brendan’s vocals on songs like “Late Last Week” and “P I N K” sound like the walls of his throat are caving in. He holds nothing back.

Although a short four songs, Sweat Weather covers a lot of distorted ground, jumping in-and-out of punk, garage rock, noise, Pixies-esque grunge, and sad boy emo–there’s even elements of drone in the walls of guitar I previously mentioned. EPs often get overlooked as the precursor to a full-length album, but I’ve always seen them as band’s compacted mission statement. Four or five really good songs is so much better than an album bogged down with filler. And at less than 10 minutes, Sweat Weather is a great snack of a listen that feels like a journey through noise both past and present. 

Fast Preacher Never Leave

Fast Preacher – ‘Never Leave’

Recorded over the span of two years (March 2014 to March 2016), Fast Preacher’s Never Leave is a musical journey. It changes as much as Dan Hanson must have. Dan, of course, is the sole owner of Fast Preacher Inc. and co-singer/sole guitarist in Orlando/Chicago R&B monster Fat Night Co. His latest is all parts rock, roll, R&B, S&M, funk, folk, man, and beast — Who were you two years ago? 

Two years ago I was living in Orion on Orpington, an apartment complex within walking distance of the UCF campus — I know because three years ago I walked home after a failed date with this girl from my LIT 2 class. But two years ago, I was a junior AD/PR student living with a drug dealer. He wasn’t scary. He was actually pretty nice (to me) for being a drug-dealing douchebag. I smoked his blunt roaches, and we played Super Smash Bros and watched The World Cup on the daily that summer. That might explain why I wrote this favorable review of Mac DeMarco’s Salad Days on April 10, 2014.

See Fast Preacher live at The Vinyl Warhol’s Zine Release this Sunday. 

This theme of change is best encapsulated with Never Leave’s longest, the almost six minute “Envy” — a Zeppelin-like evolution in both styling and structure. The song’s instrumental preface rings like Jimmy Page’s classic riff in “Ocean.” The drums are primal and Bonzo-esque <<< probably the most ridiculous  non-word in history. This dissolves into acoustic guitar with thin, echoed vocals. ” The song then morphs again into something Zeppelin could have made if the were twice as far-out. Sensational.

Over its six songs, Never Leave cycles through contemplation, desire, love, and fulfillment (or lack thereof). In “Tell,” Dan searches for “a new distraction.” This comes in the form of affection from another, a love that progresses in the music that follows. Conflict ensues in the title track; he could see himself never wanting to leave while at the same time comparing his relationship to an agitated scratch. So it goes.

The Plush Monsters exclusive stream

exclusive stream : The Plush Monsters — ‘Is It Cool (for a brother to be sad)?’

Orlando indie rock quintet The Plush Monsters played their most recent show in May of 2015. It served as a release show for the band’s latest album, Is It Cool (for a brother to be sad)?, distributed to attendees on flash drives. Since then, the band members went their separate ways, playing in other bands or starting new chapters of their lives, and Is It Cool has remained unheard by anyone not at that show. Until now. For some reason, the band chose the The Vinyl Warhol to serve as their baby’s nesting ground ahead of the greater release on February 1. I’m not entirely sure what this release means for the future of the band, but fingers crossed for more. Stream Is It Cool below and read our review. Enjoy.

An album of many colors, Is It Cool (for a brother to be sad)? covers a wide soundscape without losing focus. The opener is “Valley Bird.” It’s a journey that is constantly shifting, the tempo speeding and slowing, instruments coming in and out. At 1:57, a triumphant snare builds and builds only to settle in to a chunky, bass-led pace. This, of course, hollows back out into the chorus. This theme of metamorphosis spans Is It Cool?. We are always being shown something new.

At different points, glockenspiel, djembe, and harmonica stop by to take us further into The Plush Monsters’ joyous rumpus. The glock shines in the bright dings that drape “It’s for Real.” The song’s psychedelic lack of urgency acts an extended bridge between the former and proceeding songs. Those two songs, “Ruby” and “Mad Dog Mary Flies The Coop,” are two more sporadic bursts of energy. We visit space for a second a la The Who’s “Baba O’Riley” during the intro of “Mad Dog,” proof that these Monsters can make anything sound good.

“Empty Nest,” the longest slow song on Is It Cool, is the closest the boys get to being sad. Bryan Sherbook’s guitar cries his own version of the blues into the canyons created by Thommy Laverack’s croons. Even here at The Plush Monsters’ lowest, you can’t help but smile when the cartoony harmonica sings along side Laverack.

To further understand The Plush Monsters’ world, look no further than Is It Cool’s cover. Each band member is depicted as a different animal (an orangoutang, a fox, a horseshoe crab), a monster if you will. But these aren’t scary monsters. Dave Hanson (the bear) doesn’t maul his drums like their Leonardo Dicaprio in The Revenant.  Instead, they’re more akin to the friendly stop-motion characters of Fantastic Mr. Fox. They’re plush monsters…

Crit Overthought album review

“I Am Happier Than I Have Ever Been” | Crit – ‘Overthought’ (album review)

…but it’s Overthought, not over thought, an homage to Nevermind. Overthought, a feeling mutual to us all.

Headphones in. Fuzz on. Distortion tone set to HI, color set to OD.

90s California is the band’s influence; Pavement, The Flesh Eaters, The Bay Area. They’re holding apathetic self-aware parking-lot sprawl rock to a high standard, and Crit’s Overthought is an apex example of how music is no longer bound by location, but based purely off influence. “Fucking Up///Fuck Me Up” hits us with the pleading vocals that hold throughout the whole album. It’s asking for accountability and he’s “fucking exhausted.” Punk rock with its own fangs that are not store-bought, but handmade. The mixture of Wowee Zowee and American post-punk Replacements brings a sense of nostalgia you didn’t even realize you experienced, let alone missed.

“I know it’s just wrong / to shrug it off.” (A brief comment in Orlando Weekly’s 2015 Undie isn’t something to shrug about, either.) “Lose It All” rattles ice picks of misguided anxiety in just under three minutes and this trend of impaling riffs and vocal presentations never halters. “On Me” shows off the immutable mixing and mastering of this record. Vocal cracks bring real power to this track drilling in “It’s all fun.” “Asking Myself” is another anthem. Crit knows that self-degradation makes for killer tracks when done genuinely. “What am I doing? / Feeling hopeless all the time.” We’ve heard it time and time again, but when Crit presents it, we listen. It’s pop and there’s nothing bad about it.

“Waiting Too Long seems to call in The Ramones, if they where pissed that they got called sissy’s and are throwing knives into the ashcan eardrums of the audience. The tone presented matches the title track; anxiety becomes nervous energy and explodes into the closing track. Apathy reached its logical conclusion, acceptance but with remorse.

Crit exemplifies revivalism in indie rock before it broke the mainstream and was separated from alternative. They are the local band to watch. 2016 should be marauded of emotion for their sophomore album.

Crit Overthought Album Review by Andres Andrade.