Entries tagged with: Castle Face
The Herms - 'Drop Out Vol 1' cover art
John Dwyer is a busy guy these days, what with his band Thee Oh Sees cranking out records and him designing guitar pedals. But his label, Castle Face, has gone from releasing a couple records a year to full-on force in 2013, not just with new records (like Warm Soda and The Blind Shake) but also a bunch of cool reissues too. What ties it together is Dwyer seems to be releasing all these records because he loves them, not because he's trying to make any money off it. (Though I'm sure he's not against that.) Which is why I pay attention when something new comes out on Castle Face.
The latest is a compilation of demos and singles from mid-'00s Bay Area band The Herms titled Drop Out Vol. 1. The band made skronky, post-punky indie rock that nodded towards UK acts like The Fall and The Monochrome Set and released their sole album, Record Machine, in 2006. Drop Out Vol. 1 is out next week (9/24) but you can stream it in full, which we're premiering in this post. Here's Dwyer with more info:
The Herms are a smudged window into a neighboring dimension to ours, Berkeley. Even though it's right next door to Oakland and San Francisco, it may as well be a million musical-miles away. Back when they were playing around town, it felt to me like not too many in my scene "got" this band. I thought people should have been going crazy for these guys. The local rag gave them accolades (a curse perhaps?), and even a cursory listen to this collection should clue you in to how great they were. This may be one of the few times that I have to concur with a music writer - this band is amazing. They are sun, heartbreak, pop and fried-static all in one master package, evolving from song to song, and I think they're fantastic.Dwyer, meanwhile will be out on tour with Thee Oh Sees, bringing The Blind Shake and OBN IIIs along for the ride, this fall.
The Herms did have a proper release years ago, but on CD only (gasp!) and frankly I've always been in love with these earlier, rawer 8 track Tascam demos. They sound like the band did when you were standing in front of them. I love The Herms and have been waiting a looooong time to do a proper release for them. Sorry it took exhuming their songs from the grave before I was ready. Please listen loudly with the windows open, so maybe that music writer may pass by, hear it and think, "Finally! I told you so, you assholes".
John Dwyer 7-10-13
The Herms album stream below...
by Bill Pearis
The Blind Shake @ Bruise Cruise, SXSW 2013 (more by Sarah Frankie Linder)
Thee Oh Sees, whose latest album, Floating Coffin, came out back in April, are getting ready for a fall tour that includes what is their biggest headlining NYC show yet: Irving Plaza on October 29. No word on when tickets go on sale to that show, but you can keep checking Live Nation's website.
UPDATE: Tickets are on sale Thursday (8/29) at 10 AM.
Some of the shows on this tour are with OBN IIIs (who were just in NYC) and Minnapolis' The Blind Shake. (
Not in NYC unfortunately. UPDATE: both OBN IIIs and Blind Shake ARE playing, yay!) The latter have a new album, Key To A False Door, which will be out September 17 via (Oh Sees frontman) John Dwyer's Castle Face Records. Like their last, the record inhabits the stomping ground between protopunk and post punk (which you'd think would just be "punk," but it's not). We've got the premiere of the lead track from the LP, "Garbage On Glue," which you can stream below.
The Blind Shake are best experienced live, though, with an image that seems straight out of cheapo dystopian sci-fi flick and a drummer who seems like he's going to hammer the drums through the floor. They're playing Gonerfest next month, and maybe they'll add some more East Coast dates. All currently scheduled ones are listed below.
'Vinegar Mirror' cover
In other news, John Dwyer is releasing a book of photos titled Vinegar Mirror which includes over 200 shots taken from 2010 on. He's also, as mentioned, reissuing the first album by his old band Coachwhips, Hands On The Controls, which is out via Castle Face next week (9/3). He also helped create the "Fuzz War Overload" guitar pedal for Death by Audio.
Thee Oh Sees and The Blind Shake tour dates are listed, along with the Blind Shake track stream, below.
by Bill Pearis
After an onstage meltdown during SXSW 2012, Bay Area band Bare Wires called it quits, though their final record, Idle Dreams, didn't come out till December. Main man Matthew Melton has formed a new group, Warm Soda, who carry on his giddy power pop vision with that would sound great coming out of a Snoopy AM radio in 1979.
Warm Soda's debut album, Someone for You, actually kind of sounds like it is coming out of a transistor radio: tinny and compressed (in a good way), but with giant hooks and choruses packed into 27-minute running time. It's a great album and it's out now on John Dwyer's Castle Face Records. You can stream "Waiting for Your Call" from the album below and order your copy here. If you like Jay Reatard, Cheap Trick, or The Nerves, you need to hear this now.
The band are going on tour at the end of the month and their trek will take them through Austin for SXSW (hopefully no problems this year) and then to the East Coast, including an NYC stop at Cake Shop on March 28 with tourmates White Mystery. All tour dates are below.