Monthly Archives: August 2010

FEB008: “These Are Dark Times” by The Tyler Trudeau Attempt

February Records and fromage-cinq records announce the co-release of a limited-edition 7” vinyl single, “These Are Dark Times,” from New Haven/Brooklyn powerpop outfit The Tyler Trudeau Attempt.

If the fruits of Tyler Trudeau’s recent unemployment are records such as the ones he’s been turning out, then may he never find work. It hasn’t been long since we last heard from the Brooklyn-via-New Haven songwriter/singer/multi-instrumentalist — the debut album by his pure-pop one-man band, Women’s Basketball, the acclaimed An Octopus, but Like, an Octopus with Massive Wings, and Junk, was one of February Records’ inaugural releases in January of this year. And this spring, his career-spanning compilation CD-R Hey Turdo! unearthed some surprising stuff, out-of-print or previously unreleased tracks that would’ve counted as album highlights for a lesser songwriter.
Now Trudeau’s firing another salvo with his main band, the wide-ranging pop group The Tyler Trudeau Attempt. “These Are Dark Times” is the lead single from the Attempt’s upcoming album, Something, Anything Else (label and release date to be determined). The album stands as a handy summary of the band’s garage-rocking pan-pop, which pinches ideas from early punk rock, Brill Building pop, surf rock, jangle-pop, post-punk, the British Invasion and whatever else catches their restless fancy. Trudeau has often claimed, somewhat disingenuously, “I write three-minute pop songs about feeling bad.” Add 10 seconds to that statement, though, and that’s “These Are Dark Times.” The record is backed with backed with “We’ll Win This One Yet.”
Originally a solo home recording project commenced during Trudeau’s high school years, The Tyler Trudeau Attempt has been a gigging live band for over half a decade. Today’s incarnation of the band includes current and former members of the bands Apse, The Cavemen Go, Shark and FayRey. They are Tyler Trudeau (vocals, guitars), John Mordecai (keyboards, vocals), Alex Larson (bass) and Bob Breychak (drumkit).

RIYL: Elvis Costello, Richard Hell, Billy Bragg, The Ramones, Modern Lovers, The Knack, The Romantics

From the New Haven Register:

Tyler Trudeau Attempt, a band that makes pop music the way it should be: with garage-like guitars and quality hooks.

From the Hartford Advocate:

I was reminded of all manner of awesome late punk and new wave bands. The Tyler Trudeau Attempt specialize not only in evoking the sounds of that time, but also the stubborn awkwardness, the diffculty of interpretation. … Trudeau’s musical vision may seem to call upon cultural moments too disparate to make sense — but the thing is, his music makes it gel.

The single is also available through these Connecticut independent record stores:
Redscroll Records (24 N. Colony Rd., Wallingford, 203-265-7013)
Exile on Main Street (265 E. Main St., Branford, 203-483-6228)
The Telegraph (19 Golden St., New London, 860-701-0506)
Brass City Records (489 Meadow St., Waterbury, 203-574-7805)
Cutler’s Records & Tapes (27 Broadway, New Haven, 203-777-6271)

EDIT: Aug. 17, 2010: “These Are Dark Times” reviewed on Surviving The Golden Age:

Connecticut indie label, February Records, seems to always be releasing great music and being from CT, I try to hold it down for them. Their latest release is a seven inch record by The Tyler Trudeau Attempt. “These Are Dark Times” is the a-side of the single. The track mixes surf rock guitars with strong power pop hooks. The track is pretty irresistible. Check it out.

EDIT: Aug. 27, 2010: “We’ll Win This One Yet” featured on Burning World’s Pod Fodder.

EDIT: Sept. 21, 2010: Review on Sugarsours blog:

So hey! The Tyler Trudeau Attempt have a 7″ out on February Records RIGHT NOW! Sometimes you need a little kick-start in the morning (or morning, evening, and then morning again in my case), and These Are Dark Times is like a powerpop-punt. The surf inspired riffs mixed with a heavy dose of reverb and distortion get “The Are Dark Times”‘ proverbial foot in the door of the reverb-drenched garage scene that’s so hot right now, but make no mistake, this is solid power pop. Flip it over for “We’ll Win This One Yet,” and wind things down as Tyler winds things up, doubling the tempo before just drifting off.

EDIT: October 9, 2010: Review on Milk Milk Lemonade blog:

For those already listening and angling for a specific influence, genre or time period to pinpoint, your finger might not find a proper resting place and the beauty of this sound might be overlooked entirely. Although any ridiculous comparison on our behalf might include classic artists Dick Dale and/or Joe Jackson, please take time for listening to this infectious blend of energetic guitar-driven pop guided, if not tempered, by accenting waves of surf-goodness.

EDIT: December 3, 2010: Feature on The Deli NYC.

FEB006: “Ghost of Chance” by Ghost of Chance

New Haven, Conn.’s Ghost of Chance channels elements from the past in a way that keeps the music sounding fresh and relevant. The group’s distinctive style is characterized by subtle time signature changes and sonically-open experimentation set to surrealist lyrics.

Ghost of Chance’s sound takes its influence from ’60s psychedelia and ’90s indie and alternative. The band hints at math rock and post punk while maintaining the shimmer of classic pop sensibilities.

The band’s self-titled debut album is the brainchild of Jayson Munro and George Moore, who crafted and recorded the music in the sweltering confines of an attic apartment during the summer of 2009. The live set consists of Moore on guitar, Munro on vocals and guitar, David Corsak on bass and Mark Niciu on drums.

RIYL: Built To Spill, Modest Mouse, The Zombies, The Appleseed Cast, Guided By Voices, Explosions In The Sky, Electric Prunes

June 21, 2010: Track reviews on CT Indie blog:

… Jayson Munro does some solid early ’90s guitar work that could be bookended by anything from the Lilys to Teenage Fanclub. … ‘Sir’ is definitely my favorite of these two preview tracks. … The track closes by going outdoors with found sounds, including some summery chirping. Makes me think the song just floated off out of the careless hand of a little girl like a birthday balloon.

EDIT: Aug. 3, 2010: Review on Hartford Courant’s SoundCheck blog by rock critic Eric Danton:

The quartet says it draws from ” ’60s psychedelia and ’90s indie and alternative,” with “hints at math rock and post-punk while maintaining the shimmer of classic pop sensibilities.” Although all of that is certainly true, it’s really just a complicated way of saying the band plays catchy rock ‘n’ roll with some unexpected twists and turns. … the group delivers a bracing blend of well-constructed songs on what is certainly a welcome introduction.

EDIT: Aug. 16, 2010: “Strangled In The Meadow” included on Beat The Indie Drum Monday Morning Tape #63.

EDIT: Sept. 25, 2010: Review on One Base On An Overthrow blog:

February’s most recent CD is from New Haven’s Ghost of Chance, and even though the vocals at times veer a bit too close to Smashing Pumpkins to be considered safe, the CD on the whole is an impressive bit of work. I think CT Indie nailed it with their Lilys/Teenage Fanclub comparison, so I won’t bother going any further. The opening track I’ve posted below, “Sir” (not to be confused with another fine opening track, Lotion’s “Dear Sir”, I guess), starts out quietly and ends quietly, but there’s a fairly messy ride in between. Word is that Ghost of Chance are on one of the final bills next month at the soon-to-be-shuttered Popeye’s Garage, along with The Field Recordings, so you know I’m planning on checking that one out.

EDIT: November 22, 2010: Ghost of Chance named as one of CT Indie’s “12 Local Bands To Be Thankful For” on The New Haven Register.

EDIT: December 14, 2010: Review in New Haven Advocate:

Records RIYL list includes Modest Mouse and Built to Spill and, maybe, live with a bassist and drummer, those comparisons might ring true. But this record, with drum and bass low in the mix, quirky time changes, big, wide reverb-wash and Mellotron patches aplenty sounds more like late-era, John Lennon Beatles. “Dreams” and “The Breath” are sonic reminders of “Julia” and “Across the Universe.” There’s a quote of the crazy guitar line from “She’s So Heavy” on “Vaporized Philanthropic Autopilot,” and “Livin’ Life to the Fullest” delights in mixing three- and four-beat bars. Random sounds, handclaps, pre-recorded voices, odd percussion and backwards tape sounds pop in and out. In short, it sounds sort of like The White Album, and that’s not a bad thing.

FEB009: “Silver Springs” by Dexter Poindexter

Dexter Poindexter is Tommy Komorowski. The young musician hails from the suburbs of Chicago and records pop gems in his parents’ basement.

Twenty-one year-old Komorowski has multiple self-released recordings, as well as a 2009 EP released by London’s WeePOP! Records. The Adventure EP was acclaimed by pop critics, garnering 5 stars from Norman Records and placed as No. 6 on the IndiePages 10 best EPs of 2009.

Komorowski draws inspiration from a number of influences including the guitar playing of Johnny Thunders, the vocals of Simon and Garfunkel and the lyrics of Adam Cox. His biggest inspiration is “… drawn from my love of Wheeling, Illinois, and how I feel living there, and the love for my friends.”

Silver Springs offers three new Dexter Poindexter tunes as Komorowski readies a full-length release on Nebraska’s Series Two Records. Silver Springs evokes the breezy playfulness of summer and a carefree, yet emotional, essence of youth.

RIYL: Hefner, Jeremy Jay, American Football, The Smittens, One Happy Island, Jens Lekman, WeePOP!

Norman Records said about Dexter Poindexter:

I was floored when I realized that this ‘outfit’ was, in fact, one person. Dexter Poindexter’s first release … seems like something a music veteran might have released; Perfect tight sound with melodies you feel like you heard before (in a very good way).

April 3, 2010: Feature on Dexter Poindexter on Even In The Future Nothing Works blog:

Dexter Poindexter is Tommy Komorowski. … Unlike the previous recommendations, Tommy is significantly different. Instead of having years under his belt, he has very few of those in music, but those years he has spent, already have been precious ones. To me, his music lightly evokes Lou Reed, Jens Lekman, Lloyd Cole, Felt and Klas.

EDIT: August 7, 2010: “Two Cracked Heels and a Ghost” featured on Burning World’s Pod Fodder:

This is a track from Dexter Poindexter’s new three track EP “Silver Springs” which is the latest in February Records series of free digital singles. This track is just pure summer all the way through, whatever that means.

EDIT: Aug. 16, 2010: Silver Springs reviewed on Beerandbands:

All 3 of these songs are excellent, it’s nice to see consistency in an EP, and considering Dexter Poindexter hasn’t released too much stuff so far, it’s very confident and reassured. There are artists who’ve been around for years who don’t make songs as catchy as this. I get the impression there might be even better to come from him. Bottomline, if you like your bands jangly, a little bit country, and full of joy and chorus that’ll stay with you, then this is right up your street.