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August 2014
A Sunny Day in Glasgow
"Sea When Absent
Sea When Absent (Lefse Records) opens like a shoegaze-y car crash. The latest album from A Sunny Day in Glasgow doesn’t bother gradually layering melodic elements; they get right to business from millisecond one, hitting you with reverberating electronic tones, orchestral violins, and the crooning vocals of Jen Goma and Annie Fredrickson. It’s a weirdly aggressive move for such an intensely soulful LP, but it’s pretty emblematic of how the record works as a whole. For an album as focused at creating moments of subtle beauty, Sea When Absent doesn’t have the time to let you gradually pick up on it on your own. A Sunny Day in Glasgow is the rare type of band that takes beauty and emotional resonances and waves it around like a chair in a bar fight.
In the strictest possible sense, this is a shoegaze-psychedelic-electronica album with a particular emphasis on vocals. But the more you listen; the more you start to discover what a diverse series of musical influences are rattling around in there. Mixing the electronica stylings of Flying Lotus and Saltillo with the indie-pop elements of bands like Death Cab and Phantogram, the basis is a percussion of grungy electronic tones, topped with a combination of guitar and synth, adding just the right balance, while being mixed in with a cavalcade of classical instruments and outlandish effects.
But the crown jewel of the album is Goma and Fredrickson’s understatedly gorgeous vocals. They play off, sometimes bizarre, instrumentations perfectly, complimenting them while also adding a fulcrum of relative normalcy to Sunny Day’s outside-the-box compositions. This is what really gives the album its sense of slick melancholy, creating an ambience of stylish vulnerability in tracks like “Byebye Big Ocean (The End),” where there is a sense of crooning sorrow, while “Oh I’m A Wrecker” sees them go much farther into the indie-pop paradigm.
While this record maintains the complexity and delightful weirdness of past A Sunny Day in Glasgow albums, it also comes with a newfound sense of clarity, in great part due to the outside production of Jeff Zeigler (of The War on Drugs and Kurt Vile fame). Zeigler is able to successfully piece together the moving parts of this bi-continental band, with mastermind Ben Daniels orchestrating things from the other side of the world in Australia, making the album’s abrupt left turns from spacey psychedelics to grounded punk-pop a little easier to digest. The wealth of ideas rarely feels busy or forced. Sea When Absent is ultimately proof that weird doesn’t necessarily have to mean messy. 

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Heavy Medical

Psychic Teens, Heavy Medical & Pinkwash Opening for Weed at Golden Tea House July 1

Tonight, Golden Tea House offers you a chance to embrace the darkness. Kicking off an abbreviated run of dates, the trio of Psychic Teens usher in a noisy littered-filled musicality, building a creepy avalanche of anticipatory danger that makes their full-throttled instrumental approach an exhilarating horror film meets rollercoaster hybrid - a horror-coaster if you will. Heavy Medical will be joining the proceedings with their all-out sludgy, sledgehammer noise-punk, continuously smashing forward in conquest mode. The tandem of Ashley Arnwine (Bleeding Rainbow) and Joey Doubek (Hume) will also be combining forces to become Pinkwash, releasing an energetic experimental punk EP Your Cure Your Soil. Vancouver’s grunge rockers Weed close out the evening of heaviness in West Philly. Golden Tea House, (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.), 8pm, $5 - $7, All Ages - Michael Colavita.

New Heavy Medical Demo EP Available for Streaming

"We are back! Just FYI We are still a fucking band!!!! Here is proof!" Heavy Medical’s new three-song demo EP Constant Disappointment comes at you in full-on attack mode. The penetrating percussion smashing away, vocals tearing through in that authoritative pissed off perspective. It’s an unrelenting release of aggression forcefully tumbling down a steep hill headed right for you. Heavy Medical will be performing next in Philly on Wednesday, June 25 at Kung Fu Necktie. They also have plans to release new material and do a couple of small tours this summer.


Drums Like Machine Guns Ready to Do Some Damage at KFN May 21

Harsh vibes (not the band) will be coming at you all night at Kung Fu Necktie this evening, and conjuring up the spirits of eardrums lost will be experimental noise duo Drums Like Machine Guns. It's pretty impressive or pretty sad that besides a handful of YouTube clips you can only find the group's tracks online at an ancient MySpace page. Well, we are pretty sure that Drums Like Machine Guns aren't very concerned about building their fanbase. In fact, they might actually derive a bit of pleasure from scaring them away. And tonight, you'll also find other local cohorts trying to test your aural pain threshold. Heavy Medical will be sending a barrage of sonic body blows to the gut, after Pale Shelter, a trio made up of members from Fight Amp, Bubonic Bear, and Braille. They'll play host Brooklyn noise-pop outfit VAZ and Portland, Oregon via San Francisco sludge crew Prizehog. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St., 7:30pm, $7, 21+ - Alexis V. 

Heavy Medical Helping to Release Some Father’s Day Aggression at PhilaMOCA June 16

If you happen to hear some loud, strange noises coming from PhilaMOCA tonight, don’t be afraid. It’s just sludgy, noise rockers Heavy Medical tearing shit up. The former duo now trio lay down bludgeoning beats while unapologetically attempting to tear your face off (in a good way if that is possible). They’ll be hosting a pair Japanese acts, Tacobonds and Groundcover, who will certainly be adding to the chaos that will be found in the former mausoleum this evening. Also visiting town will be Baltimore’s Echo Hey Hello. If you need to let out some aggression after spending the day with your family or just hate Father’s Day because it reminds you of the asshole who was never there for you, this show is a good place to let out some steam. PhilaMOCA, 531 N. 12th St., 8pm, $7 - $10, All Ages - Alexis V.


New Track: "2" - Heavy Medical

Below is a new track from noise rockers Heavy Medical called "2" that should snap you out of your Monday daze. GOOD MORNING!


Fear Tinnitus w/Heavy Medical, Xanax & Drums Like Machine Guns at KFN March 6

Sludge purveyors Heavy Medical are planning another ambush with their battalion of all things noise and mayhem. Ready for the promised destruction that could only be brought on by a bass guitar swallowing two drum kits? Yeah, most people aren’t. Along with them will be my new favorites, the ever so explosive Xanax. This project boasts a lineup featuring members of +HIRS+, Saetia, Des Ark, and Amateur Party, but despite the orgy of sound suggested through previous text, this band wants one thing: to burn down the building with its chunky, punching bass, violent guitars, and piercing howls. Also in tandem will be the brothers of noise Drums Like Machine Guns. Check out this blast beat brigade upstairs at Kung Fu Necktie tonight. Please, don’t forget your earplugs. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St., 9pm, $3, 21+ - Ed Newton


Weekend Warrior, November 16 - 18

Get bloody and bruised tonight at Kung Fu Necktie with locals Heavy Medical and Nothing supporting Toronto’s Metz (Sub Pop). It’ll be an evening where you’ll travel through the land of noise rock, float in a cloud of shoegaze, and go full throttle into a wall of flesh with some Canuck punk. Yeah, I’m hearting on Metz these days so I’ll see you in the pit. Fuck yeah! Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St., 8pm, $10, 21+ - Alexis V.
More haps going on this weekend…
Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) FRI The Head & The Hand Launch Party w/The Great Unknown, Johnny Showcase, DJ Slowpoke (Birdie Busch), SAT The Bailey Hounds, SUN Residuel
Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) FRI Nothing, Heavy Medical, (Upstairs) Ashencult, Pissgrave, SAT Sunset Recorder, (Upstairs) Strawman, SUN Spacin', The Residuels
Voyeur (1221 St. James St.) FRI Making Time
North Star Bar (2639 Poplar St.) FRI The Byways, SAT +Church+, HogMaw, The Wounded Healers, Victoria Spaeth and The Spaeth Cadets, SUN W.C. Lindsay
The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.) FRI The Donuts, Morning River Band, The Knife and Fork Band, SAT Hidden Lights, The Stammer, SUN G. Calvin Weston, GhettoSongBird
M Room (15 W. Girard Ave.) FRI Hidden Lights, Katie Becker and The Brick Layers, SAT Ronald Reagan? The Actor?, Agent Moosehead, Impressionist
Tin Angel (20 S. 2nd St.) SUN Aiden James
The Trocadero (1003 Arch St.) SAT (Balcony) Internal Ailment, (Downstairs) Travia, Reckless Behavior, Sick Trust
Electric Factory (421 N, 7th St.) FRI The Wonder Years
Ortlieb’s (847 N. 3rd St.) FRI Turning Violet Violet, SUN Julie Charnet and Her Quartet
Fergie’s (1214 Sansom St.) FRI The Jersey Corn Pickers, SAT Marc Silver and The Stonethrowers, SUN Rusty Cadillac
World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.) SAT Beru Revue
The Rotunda (4014 Walnut St.) FRI Jeff Zeigler & Mary Lattimore, SUN Dan Blacksberg
Millcreek Tavern (4200 Chester Ave.) SUN Sadgiqacea, Sunburster
The Legendary Dobbs (304 South St.) FRI John & Brittany, SAT The Wayside Shakeup, Dime Street Joker, The Beta Phase, SUN Franco Olivo Alto Voltaje, El Malito, Franco Olivo, Papo Gely, DJ Rahsaan, Tiva Tiva
PhilaMOCA (531 N. 12th St. Philadelphia) SAT BAA RAM EWE, 2nd Opinion
JR's Bar (2327 S. Croskey St.) FRI Hollenlarm, Chimpgrinder
The Barbary (951 N. Frankford St.) SAT No Tolerance
Milkboy Philly (1100 Chestnut St.) FRI The Miners Record Release Show w/Shark Tape, SuperFive, SAT I Am Love, Brethren, Twin Ghost, Boog
The Grape Room (105 Grape St.) FRI Hopscotch Jefferson, Matt Gauss Band, Transitshop, Meg Wilkinson, Danielle and Jennifer, SAT King Slugger, 58 Fury, The Tressel, The Gazettes
Double Deuce (Please contact one of the acts or the venue for more info.) SAT New Miseries, Cavities, Passage
Sprinkle Kingdom (Please contact one of the acts or the venue for more info.) SAT Marietta, Little Pirouettes, Triceratopolis, Pill Friends
Dreamcastle (Please contact one of the acts or the venue for more info.) SUN Bad Braids

Heavy Medical Get Loud at Pilam Aug. 18

When I initially heard about Heavy Medical, I first checked their Facebook and found their cover photo to be two guys grinning knowingly covered in some gory fake blood, and thought “hey, these guys look pretty cool.” Intrigued, I went to Youtube and discovered a video of one of their basement practices. Through careful examination, I found that they were a band of two bass players and two drummers and that they play heavy fucking hardcore, and thought “holy goddamn shit, this is awesome!!!” So in summation, I’m here to tell you that Heavy Medical are on a bill with Fight Amp, Bubonic Bear, and Cassils tonight at Pilam, and it’s going to be loud - like, the kind of loud you imagine the chanting armies of Mordor being - and that you oughta go because it's also gonna be pretty damn sweet. Pilam, 3914 Spruce Street, 8pm, $5, All Ages - Adam Downer




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