Category Archives: rock

Japanese Motors “Single Fins & Safety Pins”

Japanese Motors
Single Fins & Safety Pins
(Vice; 2008)

Japanese Motors are from Costa Mesa, CA which makes their name sort of incongruous; if there’s a Japanese car anywhere in Orange County I’ve never seen it. Added to which, this band makes music that’s more muscle-car than fuel-economy sedan. The sound on the first track we hear from their forthcoming album is a little old-fashioned but wears like a sunburn. The bass is quaintly cut-and-dried, the guitar echoes with a rockabilly kick, and the drums sync with groovy handclaps. Lyrically, there’s the kicking off of shoes and the tasting of wine. It sounds suspiciously like they’re having fun. They’re a little too late for a summer album, but you can still feel the wind in your hair and the sand in your shorts. “Single Fins & Safety Pins” is the first single from the Motors’ self-titled debut out this month on Vice. Just don’t call it surf music.

– Anthony Strain


Tigon “S/T EP”

Tigon \
(self released, 2008)

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Pretty much the only word I can think of when this EP starts is “yes”. Every part of opening track “Dethcult” from San Francisco’s Tigon is done precisely, carefully, and, above all, heavily. The guitars and bass chase each other around the smothering drums while the vocals spew from what sounds like the mouth and mind of a man on the brink of a deep, unacceptable insanity. The songs on their self-titled, debut EP are soaked in the legacy and legend of Botch, the filth and disregard of The Icarus Line, and the technical “nerd-core” of Frodus and Drive Like Jehu. Strangely enough, I wouldn’t consider myself a major fan of what most people call heavy music, but when something is good I like it. Tigon is good. I like Tigon.

To get down to brass tacks, you can tell Tigon put a lot of time and energy into the sound of their solid, debut EP. The recording has no superfluous production tricks to hide any short comings, and the mix and master of the music is beyond impressive for being self released. This attention and care for their sound pays off. You can hear every hammer on and pull off in songs like “The Feeding” as if you were sitting next to the amplifiers. The kick drum in “Suneater” punches you in the chest as if it were driving home it’s point in a fierce argument. The vocals of ranting interlude “The Path” get into the middle of your skull like the singer wanted you to go insane as well. These sounds were executed and arranged perfectly, and we, the listeners, are better for it.

If the opportunity arises for you to see Tigon live, you need to grab the chance by the horns and make it your bitch. If you don’t have such luxury please find a way to buy this self released EP through mail or download. Tigon are what heavy rock n’ roll need, and I say yes, Tigon. Yes.