REVIEW: Hazy Sour Cherry – Tour De Tokyo (2019)

If the members of either Frankie Cosmos (US) or Hazy Sour Cherry (Japan) ever see this, for the love of god, go on tour together. Your audiences may just see the best show of their lives.

Hazy Sour Cherry wastes no time getting into its melancholic, somewhat beach-y style of indie rock. Drums, guitar, bass and vocals hit the listener with immediate clarity on opening track I Need Your Heart, putting the band’s song-writing skills front and center. But don’t be confused by Tour De Tokyo’s clarity and delicate guitar work, this record is raw. Occasional chimes and vocal backing only enhance the already well written songs’ emotional communication atop its very warm instrumentals.

The emotions are forefront, and it’s perfectly-raw engineering opens the runway to any potential listener, even those whose listening habits may be a little intense.

Tour De Tokyo is, in a lot of ways, the perfect album. The use of light melancholy works as a cohesive bond between each songs’ varying intensities and slight stylistic changes. So what am I saying? Well, Hazy Sour Cherry manages to break free of the monotonous uniformity that befall most indie, punk, and rock acts, which is incredibly refreshing and hopeful.

I regularly listen to this record from start to finish, and I recommend you give it a try.

For fans of: Big Eyes, Haircut 100, Ginny Arnell

Like Hazy Sour Cherry? Give these a listen: Frankie Cosmos, The Temptators, Palm

REVIEW: Shorty Can’t Eat Books – Shorty Can’t Eat Books (2014)

This post originally appeared on the 10th Dentist blog on Friday, March 5th, 2021.

    Back in pre-covid days, as I faintly recall, Shorty Can’t Eat Books was introduced to me through a local barista (and I believe former member of the band) one morning before work. There is not much to be found on Shorty Can’t Eat Books. An Asheville, NC band whose only release was this 2014 self-titled album recorded at Hi Z / Lo Z Studio (now defunct) located in the back of Static Age Records. A music video for instrumental ruckus-romp surf punk song Breakdown was made and posted on Youtube to little fanfare a week before the album’s release. A sense of camaraderie may or may not have been shared over the laborious process of stop-motion animating. Such interactions are seen through rose-colored glasses now.

    Tracks like I Was That Guy and Baby Baby are perfect examples of a specific vein of punk music that thrives within southern DIY circuits. Too honest for for indie hipsters and too weird for punks nationwide (with exception to the Midwestern scene, godbless’em). Essentially, the musical equivalent to The Captain & Casey Show.

    After three tracks of fake-jazz verses and patio lounging surf diddies, it could be best described as the meeting of The Minutemen and Southern Culture on The Skids. That is of course until the aggression and secret agent-pastiche of Breakdown and Dumb Town break up the albums seemingly established route. Breakdown may be the longest (2 mins, 20 secds) the album goes with out sleazy ska horns, clunky no wave piano smashing, or (quite honestly) goofy (but fitting) bongo percussion parts.

    Shorty Can’t Eat Books may be the quintessential Asheville band. They released one self titled album that fell on deaf ears, remembered only by long-time locals and dedicated scene goers. Their influences range incredibly and pastiche may be one of the three main ingredients. But through this is a great sense of honesty. This album is almost unforgivably North Carolinian. Lazy days on the patio, weird folk influences, and a lack of direct aggression that shows itself instead through scorned (but never embittered) melancholy.

    As Asheville city officials and the tourism industry continues to kill and run out its locals through neglect (“sacrifice zone”), lobbyist interference, and lack of accountability, it’s important that outsiders remember what actually makes Asheville special; the locals. The locals who have created a sense of community, who have created the art, albums, and cool spaces you inevitably run them out of.

    This angst over the city was certainly felt by many around this time, and maybe now more than ever after the empty promises of reparations to Asheville’s black community and the lack of support for local businesses. All of this makes closing track Nuclear Doowop’s melancholic desperation feel more like an omen and less a feeling of its time.

For fans of: The Minutemen, Polvo, The Big Boys

Like Shorty Can’t Eat Books? Give these a listen: Nature Boys,Pleasures of The Ultraviolent,The Krektones

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