Here’s the scoop on the latest album releases from your favorite Gainesville bands. Did your band release an album within the last six months? How about your friend? Your girlfriend? Your mom? We’d love to hear them all. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to some of your tracks. Put “For the Record” in the subject line.
Blue Herons: Blue Herons
Released / November to December
Recorded at / Rubin’s apartment
Sounds like / Real Estate, Foxes & Fiction, Panda Bear
Inspiration / The Microphones, My Bloody Valentine, The Flaming Lips
Key tracks / “You Didn’t Have to Be So Nice,” “Attrition,” “Barb”
Where to get it / blueherons.bandcamp.com
Upcoming shows / TBA
Guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, vocals / Eric Rubin
Genre / Shoegaze
This is the kind of stuff you’d imagine the cast of “My So-Called Life” listened to. Eric Rubin’s self-titled album is filled with soft vocals and gentle strumming — the kind of shoegaze music that makes you want to hop into your car and drive to Ginnie Springs with your closest buds.
Although Rubin is the only member of Blue Herons, he doesn’t like to think of it as a solo project.
“I know exactly how I want my music to sound, and so I record it immediately in my apartment,” he said. “I do plan on working with other people though.”
He said he doesn’t like to set aside a certain time of day to create music but prefers to work on his music whenever inspiration hits, which, thankfully, his flexible work schedule allows.
He’s been playing music for the past 10years and has been able to pick up different instruments quickly in the process. For example, he learned how to play the drums for the album.
Rubin said music is a cathartic way for him to deal with being introverted, and creating something new in his apartment helps him express his emotions when he’s unable to in other ways.
“It’s more therapeutic,” he said. “If there’s no one there to hug me, then I make my own hug.”
The album begins with the whimsical track “Attrition,” which sprinkles Rubin’s vocals among sulky guitar riffs, reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine. “On Repeat” is a strikingly different track– an upbeat melody with distorted vocals, though still as heartbreaking as the rest of the tracks.
Rubin has an understanding of what it’s like to fall in and out (of love, friendships, jobs) during your ‘20s. “You Didn’t Have to Be So Nice,” one of his first singles, expresses the delicate nuances of maneuvering those ins and outs.
Rubin said hereleased two singles per week until the entire album was released. He said he didn’t want to send out a whole album and have people do a drive-by listen. For him, it’s all about the anticipation.
“I want them to want more,” he said.
And yes, we really do.
Strange Lords: Strange Lords
Released / July
Recorded at / White Moon Recordings
Sounds like / King Tuff, The Growlers, Witch
Inspiration / Black Sabbath, Captain Beefheart, Dick Dale
Key tracks / “Carroneros,” “No Grave,” “The Golem”
Where to get it / strangelords.bandcamp.com
Upcoming shows / Dec. 13 at Nobby’s in St. Augustine
Guitar / Waylon Thornton
Drums / Andrew Seward
Genre / Creepy, lo-fi heavy rock
The opening wail of intense guitar riffs, similar to what you would hear during a shootout in a Western film, cuts right to the point that Strange Lords are ready for anything.
“Knuckle Duster,” the first track off Strange Lords’ self-titled album, makes clear that Thornton and Seward are ready to take you on an adventure of a lifetime. The adventure: They are strictly an instrumental band. But only using two instruments — the guitar and the drums — allows Thornton and Seward to demonstrate their twist on rock music with Waylon’s grisly guitar riffs and Seward’s unabashed drumming.
Together, the two change moods with each song. They wanted the songs to speak for themselves, Thornton said.
“People get upset that we’re an instrumental band because they don’t have someone barking at them,” he said. “We want people to enjoy what rock used to be about.”
The self-proclaimed “dad rock” musicians have stripped down to basics. Between Thornton and Seward, they have about 20 years of live performances under their belts, evident in the first song they collaborated on, “Amano-Iwato.” The heavy guitar riffs make you forget there are only two guys making this music.
Their first show was at the Toplantic’s 10th Anniversary Block Party this summer, and Thornton and Seward had technically rehearsed only three times before the show. With the duo living in different towns, rehearsing should have been tricky — but not in this case. They sent each other their tracks online, and Waylon mixed them at his recording studio.
“We send each other tracks when we have time, and it’s never a rush,” he said. “We have fun.”
Thornton said that although the album is out, they still plan on pressing vinyl copies.
“Once we had all the songs done, we posted the entire album on Bandcamp the next day,” Thornton said.
They didn’t want people to have to wait until they could get the album pressed, which won’t be until early 2015.
“We thought it would be unfair to have everyone to wait that long,” he said.
Thankfully, we don’t have to.
By Melia Jacquot
Bear Puck: A Slightly Poetic Description of How I Became Pathetic Trash
Released / Early December
Recorded at / Steven’s porch
Sounds like / Against Me!, Defiance Ohio
Inspiration / Screeching Weasel — if they were sad and acoustic
Key tracks / “Leaving Gone Right,” “No! You Be Happy”
Where to get it / bearpuck.bandcamp.com
Upcoming shows / TBA
Vocals, Guitar / Steven Leighton
Genre / Sad acoustic singalong drinking songs
It’s the second day of Fest, and the sole member of Bear Puck kills the last of the hard ciders he forgot to finish last night before going to see some of his dream bands play.
“I woke up still drunk,” he said. “But like, I met Mikey Erg.”
Bear Puck, Leighton’s solo project, is steeped in the raw misery of sad-boy songs, and is meant for a demographic that he pictures as “a bunch of 20-who-gives-a-fucks” who relate to not realizing what you have until it’s too late.
Coming to Gainesville had been a strange turn of events, he said. His love of independently produced punk rock led him to a collaboration run by Samuel Parrish called Artichokification, which produced live shows on a stage in the middle of the Minnesota woods. He eventually moved to Gainesville with absolutely no plan, he said, and started playing shows as a solo act.
“The point of (the music) is to explain what it feels like to be let down and alone,” Leighton said.
Despite this, Bear Puck’s songs are wildly catchy, the kind you find yourself singing under your breath at work. He deftly turns saddening lyrics into wry, self-aware mockery. And the combination strikes a chord: His shows are often filled with excited friends and fans, all shouting his musical rants along with him.
The danciest depression song of the album, “No! You Be Happy,” catalogues the feelings that bubble up after making regrettable decisions based on temporary tantrums. Alcohol is guaranteed to be the sole inspiration of the punk ballad.
Leighton’s most popular track, “Leaving Gone Right,” maintains the sad-boy influence, telling a story about regretting love that never was. Its constant stream of promises to run as far as possible and change lead into a toe-tapping chorus, which, at live shows, usually turns into a full-on singalong.
Overall, the raw, obvious cries for help work. And Leighton’s ultimate pick-me-up, he said, is a crowd of people listening to him sing about what it’s like to be young and confused. And his remorseful, unabashed lyrics only make his fans sing along more.
And, really, that’s his ultimate goal: Tell a depressing story to the sound of his fans cheering him on.
By Micah Jameson