The Week in Fresh Tracks [JEFF the Brotherhood, The Kingston Springs, Sugar Sk*-*lls, Blank Range]


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Some very satisfactory new action coming our way this week. First of all, there are brand-new Daytrotter sessions from locals including James Wallace and the Naked Light, Photo Ops and Kopecky Family Band, so if you're a DT subscriber (or haven't yet taken the plunge), get your ass to downloading. Now, follow me below to hear: satisfyingly sludgy psych rock from our old pals JEFF the Brotherhood; a pleasant bit of rock 'n' roll from The Kingston Springs; various bloops and blips from 8-bit experimentalist Sugar Sk*-*lls; and the Cream debut from very fine retro rockers Blank Range. As always, have a look back at past weeks in fresh tracks here, and if you have something for us, email cream[at]nashvillescene[dot]com.

JEFF the Brotherhood, "Melting Place"

On May 6, Williams Street Records — that's the label brought to you by the folks at Adult Swim — will release a compilation called Garage Swim, and that will feature new-to-us tunes from the likes of Bass Drum of Death, Black Lips, King Tuff, Thee Oh Sees and our very own homegrown gruesome twosome, JEFF the Brotherhood. The Bogus Bros track is called "Melting Place," and it just debuted over at Noisey. "Melting Place" showcases the sort of sludgy, fuzzed-out, Sabbath-influenced psych-metal that was the Orrall brothers' calling card way back in the Castle Storm days — it's a little lighter on the kind of poppy stoner punk that they've been honing in recent years. And hey, it comes complete with a Motorhead-esque double-time shred sequence! Stream that one above, and stay tuned for Garage Swim on Monday.

The Kingston Springs, "Secret Game"

So, our second dose of product integration for the week! Converse has this series called Rubber Tracks, which I mentioned back when Atlanta's Turf War rolled through town, and the latest band to contribute a tune to the series is Nashville's own shape-shifting rock 'n' roll four-piece The Kingston Springs. I say "shape-shifting" because, well, TKS have been known to display elements that you might call post-grunge just as much as elements that you might call roots rock, blues rock, garage rock or even Americana. They wear many hats, you might say, and the "Secret Game" hat is a sort of a patient, down-tempo, groove-centric hat, adorned with slide guitar and pleasantly 'verby vocals. Stream or download "Secret Game" at this link, or watch the accompanying in-studio making-of vid above. The Springs will play next weekend's East Nashville Underground fest at The East Room, but we'll have more on that soon enough.

Sugar Sk*-*lls, Intermission

You know Sugar Sk*-*lls, yes? It's the 8-bit project of electronic experimentalist Ben Marcantel, who recorded his brand-new Intermission "in a handful of days over the course of a year, getting deep with [his] Gameboy." Thanks to some help from Cleft Music's Loney Hutchins and Battle Tapes' Jeremy Ferguson (on production and mastering, respectively), Intermission's nine blipping, glitchy, entrancingly textured tracks come to us in high fidelity. Well, as high-fidelity as nine songs constructed with help from an antiquated handheld gaming device can be. Anyhow, yes, 8-bit is a genre/approach that's a bit niche, but no matter the means by which these songs are carried out, it's the melodies and progressions themselves that are enjoyable and well constructed. Stream Intermission above, or download it for any price you like at Sugar Sk*-*lls' Bandcamp page.

Blank Range, Phase II

And finally, a dose of well-crafted rock 'n' roll from a band that's fully new to me. Nashville five-piece Blank Range has a six-song Sturdy Girls-released cassette by the name of Phase II, and it features just the sort of retro-minded, groove-centric, lo-fi rock 'n' roll that brings to mind heartland rockers like Seger, Springsteen and Petty just as readily as pub-rock and power-pop outfits including Big Star, The Kinks, Faces and Badfinger. Not only that, but there's a pleasant air of mirth to it, with songs like "Roommate's Girlfriend" indicating that these boys do indeed have a sense of humor. Soulful, well-executed, melodious and laid-back, certainly recommended for fans of Dr. Dog. Stream Phase II above, or download it for any price you like at Blank Range's Bandcamp page. Good find, and looking forward to more from these fellas.


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