AU means gold when you’re a chemist, an Astronomical Unit (approximately 150 million kilometers or 93 million miles) when you are an astronomer, or pain when you speak Dutch. But to us AU (pronounced ‘ay-you’) is a Portland, OR. experimental pop collective that sounds like an Animal Collective splinter group. It is the work of multi-instrumentalist Luke Wyland who is at the moment aided by Dana Valatka on drums. We love them, and that’s why they’ll be playing ZXZW this year. Expect to hear a lot more from them!
Oneida’s Rated O is another massive indie release from the great Jagjaguwar label. And by massive we mean MASSIVE. It’s a triple album and the second instalment of Oneida’s much-anticipated “Thank Your Parents” triptych of releases. In August of 2008 Oneida released the first instalment, Preteen Weaponry, and now, Rated O, the centrepiece of the “Thank Your Parents” trilogy, has been bestowed upon us. It’s full of experimental and spherical songs, some them reaching up to 10 or even 20 minutes. Take your time for them, it’s an experience. Expect a lot more great releases from Jagjaguwar the coming months, they’ve also got Dinosaur Jr., Sunset Rubdown and Lightning Dust coming up.
Richard Swift just released his fourth album, The Atlantic Ocean, but it somehow managed to escape our attention. We do want to spend some attention to it, though, because the album consists of great Beatlesque pop songs. This time ‘round, Swift seems to have experimented with some other instruments like organ and electronics.
And of course we wouldn’t want to forget old favourites Rancid. They just released their new album Let the Dominoes Fall, and it’s great so see they’ve still got the magic. The album is loaded with straightforward energetic punk anthems. Check it out, for old times sake.