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Artist of the Month
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July 2016
The Retinas
"chaba
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Post-garage rockers The Retinas' new EP chaba is an unexpected essential for surviving the dog days of summer. Chock-full of lo-fi backbeats and skull-buzzing riffs, the five track stunner transforms the grit and grime of urban summers, late nights, and complicated feelings into memorably evocative songs worth dancing to alone or with friends.

 

Opening with the trippy hiss of “Accident,” chaba’s first track is seeped in xanax-coated romance and the sort of self-awareness that made great’s like Daniel Johnston iconic. The song's lyricism hums with recognizable disenchantment that is bound to resonate at an instant with listeners. Tom Mchugh’s diction brings to mind the cinematic apprehension of Andrew Bujalski’s mumblecore masterpiece Mutual Appreciation meshed with the emotional imprint of “Tame the Sun” by Male Bonding. “Accident,” much like it’s namesake, ends abruptly without warning, leaving its listener to cope with its passing before “Aries” begins.

 

chaba’s second anthem paints a familiar portrait of the post-adolescent malaise of cynical dreamers with earnest hearts. Lo-fi in all the right ways, “Aries,” like a mirror, reflects reality without pretense. Like the less anxious version of Happy Birthday’s “2 Shy,” the charm of “Aries” is undeniably sincere. The oscillating intro of “Cheesepuffs” quickly evolves into a surf-pop banger - reminiscent of The Jacuzzi Boys; the track’s fervent riffs and fuzzed-out screams serve as the perfect preface to the notably catchy “Beat It Out”. The energy of the song doesn’t falter, keeping the momentum of chaba as cymbals crash and Mchugh croons - “Cause you chew my bones, acid soul/I've been off time with myself, I don't mind” - a sentiment that is echoed in the EP’s final track “Hey Julia.”

 

After listening to The Retinas' latest record, you will find yourself hungry for more. - Dianca London

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scene blog

Many Arms Team Up w/Colin Fisher to Perform New Material at The Rotunda Jan. 4

Many Arms Team Up w/Colin Fisher to Perform New Material at The Rotunda Jan. 4

Nick Millevoi’s way with intricate jazz-rock has spawned a solo career and the consistently impressive power trio Many Arms with bandmates John Deblase and Ricardo Lagomasino, as well as the numerous other projects that his magical fingers have touched. Recently welcomed into the Tzadik Records stable, the patchwork aesthetic of this group is an experimental gem. They play an entrancing combination of punk and free jazz, harnessing the gnashing relentless forward motion of the former to the wild unpredictability of the latter; however disjointed their compositions get, such as the appropriately-writhing “Snakes In The Grass,” though, the rapport of these three musicians shines through, with a clarity to each member's contribution. Their show tonight at the Rotunda is free, and they'll be teaming up with master tenor saxophonist Colin Fisher to perform a set of new material. Fisher will also be opening the evening with a solo guitar set of his own. The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St., 8pm, Free, All Ages - Alyssa Greenberg

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