Growwing Pains play what they describe as “anxiety pop” – and speaking as someone who loves music and needs prescription drugs coupled with an aggressive amount of wine just to get on a plane, I concur. The playing is loose, succinct, and hazily perfect.
Part of my mission statement with Visions of the Unexcused is to expose bands & labels that are under the daily radar – and over the past six years Volar Records have been exemplary in regards to small, independent, and utterly fantastic record labels that repeatedly put out music that places a smile in my ear.
Run by Craig Oliver out of San Diego – Volar has released favorite LP’s and 7″ records that have become mainstays on my platter, in DJ sets, on my Radio Show, and on this very site. Craig’s taste and ear have a batting average that’d make Tony Gwynn blush, and I hope he’s putting out records for many more years.
Below is a 45 track sampler(yes….forty five!!!) that will be available for another week via BandCamp at a price you decide. As lover’s of music it’s equally important for us to not only support the bands, but the labels that are brave enough to put their time and money on the line to expose freaks like me to music that’s as important as air. And if you know what’s good for you you won’t just stop at the sampler, jump on over to the Volar Store and purchase some beautifully pressed (and priced) wax.
Released last year as part of Volar Records Strange Mutations Vol. 2 7″ boxed set – Fine Steps provide a trio of stand out tracks that’ll sway you into a place of good. Bright guitars coupled with mopey-dream vocals and a bouncy back-beat make Fine Steps sound as if Joy Division moved to L.A. and formed a Smiths inspired Surf Band.
LA power-pop trio Susan bring it on their debut 7″
The LA based trio Susan will be debuting their first 7″ via Volar Records this coming September, and you can hear the first of three tracks – “Just Call It” – below. Susan recently completed a West Coast tour and will be back at it this Fall to support the Volar 7″ as well as a cassette to be put out via Burger Records. Susan’s gorgeous three part harmonies drive their songs with bright sun soaked tones masking some cloudy commentary. This dichotomy of conflict make for some memorable tunes, and this 7″ is hopefully the first of many memories.
Tropical Popsicle would fit seamlessly with the kids on the Woodsist record label, but being from the West Coast (California) there’s a slant to their brand of lo-fi psych that the East Coast just doesn’t have. Their sound weaves between bright Byrds harmonies, bummer bop, and reflective gaze. One minute you’ll be lost in a carnival space dream on “The Beach with no Footprints” only to find yourself swaying on the next track to the driving jangle of “Tethers”.
With this deft diversity The Dawn of Delight has many looks within it’s collection, however, like a seasoned cigarette soaked fashion designer it’s able to weave a cohesiveness that may make the album a masterpiece, or at the very least, a great album.
The Audacity play a punchy brand of rock with heavy punk overtones and sufficient pop undertones. It’s California garage at it’s finest and “Ears and Eyes” exhibits deft control of itself while showing slight signs of careening. This could be music for stunt drivers.
If you knew what was good for you, you’d listen to Far Corners.
Standout label Volar Records recently released their inaugural Strange Mutations 7″ set Vol. 1 and the limited run of 150 is absolutely excellent. What first attracted me to the set, aside from Volar’s high batting average, was that an Eat Skull 7″ was included, which on it’s own is killer – but so far the stand-out and star of the set is the Far Corners record.
Far Corners are out of Las Cruces, NM and play an aggressively fuzzed out lo-fi hybrid of really good garage pop. The songs make you want to pogo about while spilling your drink with a best friend. “Sanity Suck” in particular is a searing track that starts hard and ends in a blister.
Let Cosmonauts take you to the other side of the tracks.
Cosmonauts provide a street worn vibe that takes you to a part of town where shoes hang from power lines and the bars have no windows. Hailing from Fullerton, CA – Cosmonauts vibe is anything but “sunny” as it imbues the growing danger that elongated shadows forewarn with a rapidly setting sun.
“Sweet Talk” is to be released as a 7″ on a favorite label of mine, Volar Records.
Recommended If You Like: Black Angels, Bad Times, Psych Garage, Dark Liquor on the Rocks