New releases: Magū, Death Cow, Relax It’s Science; New Pornographers, Diane Coffee tonight at The Slowdown…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 1:31 pm February 13, 2020

New Pornographers at 2017 Maha Music Festival, Aug. 19, 2017. The band plays tonight at The Slowdown.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Here’s a handful of recent local Bandcamp releases that may trip your trigger.

I stumbled across Magū via Facebook, the band’s drummer / vocalist David McInnis sent a friend request and, once connected, said, “This is something you’re interested in.” Oh really?

The newish Omaha collective includes Sam Lipsett on bass, John Staples on guitars and vocals, Di Ren Chen on keyboards, Cameron Thelander on saxophone and McInnis. I haven’t seen these folks live yet so I don’t know who handles the majority of vocals.

The band dropped a new EP Renovate last Friday via Bandcamp. The 4-songs collection, recorded by McInnis at his Magroover Studios, is a refined psych-rock experience that borders on prog rock. Certainly more arty than indie. And at times, very spacey, though I wouldn’t confuse it with shoe-gaze (Thelander’s warm, echoing tenor sax takes care of that).

I can’t put my finger on any one thing they remind me of, though It’s True and Adam Hawkins’ past efforts came to mind (Whatever happened to Mr. Hawkins? Plenty I’m sure). Flaming Lips also popped up. Opening track, “Never Want” is a fave of the bunch, along with “Glad I’m Not in Love.” Or maybe I’m just a sucker for that sax? I’ll be checking them out live… eventually.

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The name Death Cow reminds me so much of Bloodcow that I figured the folks at Bloodcow might be pissed about the name grab, but after corresponding with one of the BC dudes, they couldn’t be more gracious about the name similarity, tipping the hat to the next generation and all that. Plus, it’s unlikely we’ll be hearing from Bloodcow in the near future.

No doubt Death Cow glommed more from Bloodcow than just the naming configuration. The band’s new seven-song EP Pioneer, released Jan. 31, has similar — if not so abrasive — love for heavy riffs. But whereas I’d classify Bloodcow as metal, Death Cow falls more into the high-flying rock ‘n’ roll category. The songs’ harmony vocals, overlaying the riffs on almost every track, well that’s ’90s FM rock territory. It’s also what makes these guys stand out over the other locals trying their hand at straight-up rock.

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Relax, It’s Science has been playing live around Omaha for at least the past four or five years. Their formula is two basses — Pat Mclivain and Craig Hoffman — and veteran drummer Jeremy Stanosheck, playing rough, loud instrumentals that border on metal. It’s as bludgeoning as you think it is.

Recorded at Archetype by Bryce Hotz and mastered by the inimitable Doug Van Sloun, this debut, titled Now It’s Your Problem, is a long time coming. Somewhat relentless, just like their live shows.

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Tonight at The Slowdown it’s the return of New Pornographers. The Canucks are on the road supporting their 2019 release, In the Morse Code of Brake Lights (Concord Records). No doubt you’ll get A.C., Calder and Neko but no Dan Bejar (You’ll have to wait until he returns with Destroyer to The Waiting Room in March). The theatrical gyrations of Diane Coffee opens at 8 p.m. $30.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

 

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