5 ON THE FLY: Five mini reviews all in one place.


constellation flight

Kao Kazlauckas takes us on another Constellation Ride on his second EP. Fortunately for us all he does not abandon the style and sound he honed on the first outing, he has just expanded his pallet a bit. There is still some funk/disco (see “Day By Day”) and yacht rock (“Lonely”), but Kazlauckas gets a tad experimental, with an odd reverse tape interruption in the middle of “Day By Day” and Beatles-style psychedelics in “Just Relax”. He even moves forward in genre-time from the ‘70s to the ‘80s on the wild and woolly “On The Other Side”. Perhaps most interesting of all is the heavy guitar work on the improv-style “I Have Been Seeing Things That Make Me Wonder Why”.

Prime cut: “I Have Been Seeing Things That Make Me Wonder Why”

NO JOY – Drool Sucker

no joy

A brief but highly note-worthy EP from Montreal’s No Joy. The 3-track ‘Drool Sucker’ finds the band defying expectations and getting both heavier and less-conventional than usual, as best exemplified on “XO (Adam’s Getting Married)” which is more of a kiss-off to all things sweet and sentimental. Even on the somewhat lighter “Theme Song” there is a definite down-beat and the band mixes things up with some dialogue samples. This is great stuff because the more they steer away from the light the more we love them.

Prime cut: “Theme Song”

FUZZY P – On A Lawn

fuzzy p

To be sure there have been a shit-load of bands that have tried desperately to be the new Velvet Underground. In a way, Fuzzy P succeed (where most have failed) even though I am quite certain they were not even trying. It’s just what happens when you have a low-key (but serious) approach, a don’t-give-a-fuck-what-you-think attitude and a lead singer who sounds just like Lou Reed. Like the VU, many of Fuzzy P’s songs start out sounding almost sweet until Joey LeBrun pipes up and seems not to give a shit whether he sings on key or makes any sense. Despite all of this (which includes some heavy influence from ‘90s slacker rock) the music works beautifully. And they aren’t the least bit predictable, throwing in oddities like “Sea Shanty” with its vocals getting lost in the next room or having Lauren Nelson take over lead vocals on “Tomato Guitar” with a sweetness and innocence that sounds like the polar opposite of LeBrun (but it probably really isn’t).

Prime cut: “Cherry Plastic Earrings”

WRECKAGE WITH STICK – To the Delight of No One


Wreckage with Stick are not for the faint of heart (yes, the band name is a warning). In fact, you get the distinct impression that they’d be smugly pleased to know they’ve scared the shit out of you. Not that their music is overtly sinister, it’s just … disturbing. There’s an art-school feel to their wild experimentation (especially on the closing track “To the delight of no one, pt. 1/Proverbial dogohouse/It came in a blue painted bottle”) and their impenetrable lyrics. However, their choice of music can be sludgecore, punk, screamo and weirded-out electronic drone/static. If you are feeling adventurous…

Prime cut: “To the delight of no one, pt. 1/Proverbial dogohouse/It came in a blue painted bottle”

PRIME JUNK – Sunnyvale

prime junk

‘Sunnyvale’ is a charmer, due in large part to Natalie Resimes’ low-key persona. It’s deceiving, however, because there’s a tough resolve beneath it all — a resolve that doesn’t have to be aggressive to be felt and appreciated. The opening cut “Gone”, for example, starts out as a restrained baroque folk number but it soon dives down into darker waters where Resimes’ voice takes on more resonance. “Glacial” is perhaps more upbeat, but just as off-beat, whereas the rather indistinct “Surf Brat” gives doo-wop a swift kick in the teeth. Just when you think you have her all figured out Resimes then hits you with the gorgeous “Ocean” with its pretty and ethereal self-harmonies.

Prime cut: “Gone”