5 ON THE FLY Five mini reviews for Weird Tuesday.


Vulvets – La mort / Tu ne sais pas

Vulvets delight with nifty little EP of surf-psych. It’s baroque garage rock that swirls around lovely female francophone vocals. “La Mort” is trippy and dreamy, but has a rockin’ underbelly, while “Tu ne sais pas” is more spaghetti western blues/rockabilly.

Listening to Vulvets is like driving through the south-western desert in a ’61 Puegot. The Ventures are playing on the radio and your crazy French girlfriend insists on singing, even though it’s an instrumental. And you smile.

Prime cut: “Tu ne sais pas”



Cheap Whine – Cheap Whine

Eric, Steve, and Jordy are Cheap Whine and they play punk. Well, punk is where it starts anyway.

It’s a simple guitar/bass/drums outfit, and they don’t do anything fancy. It’s essentially indie-leaning punk-pop, but there is an urgent sincerity to the vocals lending the tunes some weight. And the songs crackle with imagination as the trio bounce through the tracks with gusto. There are post-punk goth strains found in “Masquerade”, which also features a really cool “ah-ah” chorus. There are grunge touches in the speed-punk “All the While” and a definite nod to glam in “A Little Change”.

There’s something very unassuming about Eric, Steve , and Jordy, and yet they make one heck of a creative statement.

Prime cut: “Masquerade”



Holy Data- Holy Data

Holy Data, Batman. If trippy, bizarre synthpop is your thing then this brainy, talented quartet really deliver the goods.

A math-edge pervades their frenzied compositions, although they do slow things down on number like the hippie-psych “Moonkisser”. For the most part though it’s sprightly paced with lively, sometimes choppy, beats. The engaging, lightly sung, baroque pop tunes gets livened up with the occasional spin into lysergic kaleidoscopic eddies of synth.

Prime cut: “Hello Loneliness”




BEDS – Whispers

If you think soulful, melodic pop has no place on this list then you haven’t heard BEDS take on the genre. For one thing, it’s wonky. Maybe the master tape got warped sitting out in the sun. Then there’s this whole David Lynch/gothic thing going on, like Portishead without the trip-hop.

The singer sounds earnest enough, but when she is surrounded by garage-rock organs (“Heaven”), cheesy ‘70s guitars (“Waltz in Lee Major”), country-funk twanging (“Duluoz”), and psychedelic synths (“Burning Fuse”) the result can’t help but be some kind of acid flashback to an episode of Sonny and Cher. I mean, a really good flashback.

Prime cut: “Heaven”


snoqualmie – Sad Sack Canadiana

‘Sad Sack Canadiana’ may be the album title but it also quite accurately describes the genre. Even when the music reaches americana heights of hopefulness (as in the opening track) there is always a dark streak of, what is likely, uniquely Canadian wryness.

“Two are Going” and “St. Clair” have upbeat, optimist rhythms that are betrayed by the mournful disdain of the lyrics. “Good Luck & Good Times” hits more of a country-blues low, while “Parkdale” veers off into Neil Young “ditch” era (particularly the stellar ‘Tonight’s the Night’). And you don’t get more sad sack Canadian than that.

Prime cut: “Parkdale”