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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

Echo Orbiter CD Release Party at JB’s Sept. 18

Echo Orbiter CD Release Party at JB’s Sept. 18

Talk about an expansive musical career that’s about to unfold in a ray of light onstage! Ever since brothers Justin and Colin Emerle formed Echo Orbiter in 1996, and put out their first two albums with the help of sound engineer virtuoso Brian McTear, they have been about doing things with a little flare. From smashing instruments on stage in a Who-like fashion to recording 2 short film scores, the brothers have certainly demonstrated their adventurous musical nature, and they have 10+ albums to document it. Tonight Echo Orbiter celebrate the release of their newest album Eupnonicmontage at Johnny Brenda’s, and it will also mark the first time the band has played a show in 9 years! Joining them on this momentous occasion will be legendary frontman of the Dead Milkmen, Joe Jack Talcum, who is currently getting ready to bring back the Milkmen for their final show of the year at World Café Live next week for the Philly F/M Fest. Also on the already unique lineup are The Circadian Rhythms, who are currently busy working on 2 new EPs of their own. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 9pm, $10, 21+ - Bill McThrill
 
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