Get in line everyone — it’s ‘new music’ time again. Consider it an early Valentine’s day card, from us here at Our Vinyl to you wonderful readers.
We’re really proud of this month’s issue. Sure, every edition of Back of the Rack is something we work hard for and have pride in, but something just seemed special this month. Maybe love really is in the air, because we couldn’t have been any more head-over-heels for this batch of big talent artists. Check out these twelve tracks of fresh new music (that’s right, two bonus tracks this month) and tell us you don’t agree.
The Back of the Rack tracks have expired for this month, but you can still click the download arrow in the embedded tracks below. To download more great tracks click here and sign up on the most recent issue. Once a month we will send these tracks right to your inbox.
Remember, hardly any of your favorite musical artists are making substantial amounts of cash these days. The guys you listen to here can really use our follows, likes and overall support, now more than ever. Take a second to give them your support if you enjoy one of their songs.
Without further introduction, I give you the February 2012 issue of Back of the Rack.
Gentleman Hall – Close to Me
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Genre: 80’s rock, Synth, Electro Pop
Ambassador: Arianna Soto
Hungry for more of that retro, 80’s sound? Gentleman Hall has plenty of that to deliver, but don’t think they’re going to let you get away without incorporating plenty of their own style into the mix. From synths to guitars to flutes, this six piece band has it all, and they’re not afraid to flaunt it. With hopeful lyrics like “All we have is everything,” it’s hard not to get caught up in their buzz.
VCR Monster – Coast
Location: San Bernardino, California
Genre: Electronic, Trip Hop
VCR Monster gives that eerie yet hopeful vibe that’s been growing momentum these days by combining the synths and deep bass made popular by electronica with spot-on soulful vocals. The duo released their debut EP, Dangerous, back in December of 2010, and will soon be back with their first full length. Featured here is their first single off said release.
The Chocolate Robots – Young Luff
Location: Sarnia, Canada
Genre: Garage Rock, Psychedelic Pop
Remember being a kid? No, not being picked on on the playground, all the time outs, and being grounded – forget those memories. But how about that rush when you first rode your bike without training wheels? Or when you built the most kick-butt lego spaceship ever? Or that mega crush you had on your babysitter, who was ten years older than you? That feeling is what The Chocolate Robots are all about.
The Hinkley Veltones – Noam Chomsky?
Location: Bristol, UK
Genre: Alternative, Rock and Roll
We’d normally take the time to write up our own thoughts on The Hinkley Veltones, but how can you top the description found on their website? “The Hinkley Veltones are a big clanging bell, caught at the moment just before it cracks. Everything reverbed into sobbing submission, music you put on in order to light up a cigarette and calmly drive your car off a cliff.” Yep. That’s about perfect.
Indian School – Cocktail Flu
Location: Rosemead, California
Genre: Indie, Rock
Singer/Songwriter Arturo Barrios hadn’t written music in years. His defunct band had toured relentlessly for four years, found only minor success on Kung Fu Records, and disbanded after two released records. However, two major car accidents in a period of 8 months led Arturo back to his instruments, the product of which is Indian School. Check out “Cocktail Flu,” the first single off their soon to be released EP, “The Cruelest Kind.”
Castle Lights – Saint Era
Location: Houston, Texas
Ambassador: Arianna Soto
Genre: Rock, Pop
“Castle Lights is quickly gaining recognition for their carefully crafted pop songs with a European flair,” says the band’s website, understating the obvious. Castle Lights has a sound both unique and yet very familiar, allowing new fans into the fold without much hassle, but giving those who have stood by, dedicated, plenty of depth to soak in and listen to. Check out the way guitarists Jeremiah Wood and Tyler Susuras play off of each other on this track. Beautiful.
Common Citizens – A Galaxy Awaits Us
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Genre: Electronic, Trance
This track can be summed up in two words: AMBIENT PADS. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with some good pad usage if you know what you’re doing, and Common Citizens seems to have a PhD in th field. While their sound ranges from chill tracks to banger beats, this track shows us the calmer side of Common Citizens, where melodic vocals breeze easily over layers and layers of synth richness. Be prepared for the mesmerizing effect.
Fevers – Passion is Dead
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Genre: Electro Pop, Rock
Ambassador: Consuelo Bernardi
Fevers is a five piece independent electro-band from our great northern neighbors. Their sound bumps with excitement and love, and while the title of this track may claim otherwise, you can feel plenty of passion mixed in as well. Currently in the process of producing their debut LP expected to be released later this year, check out Fevers “Passion is Dead” for a taste of what’s in the works.
The Floorwalkers – Three Wishes
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Genre: Funk, Soul, Americana
The Floorwalkers have one of those classic stories you love to share. Growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, the members of The Floorwalkers played little league baseball together. As they grew up and went to high school, the kids-turned-teens formed a band and played together from 2000-2004. After school, half the band moved out to Columbus to hone their sound. It wasn’t long after that the rest of the group followed suit, and the band has since created a strong, grassroots following throughout the midwest.
The Ruminaters – Dead Stuff
Location: Sydney, Australia
Genre: Beatnik, Garage Rock, Glam Rock
Somehow, Jake Voroshine’s voice screams desperation, rebellion, love, nostalgia, and fun all at the same time. While bandmates provide schoolyard chants of “la-la-la” in the background and a simple yet solid guitar lick shines brightly through the mix, it’s tough labeling this track anything other than “anthem.” Let’s just say that couldn’t be more of a compliment.
The Mobbs – Better than the Devil You Know
Location: Northampton, Massachusetts
Genre: Garage Rock, Blues, Rock
Don’t base your whole opinion on The Mobbs solely on this tack. That being said, “Better than the Devil You Know” is a solid jam, with rough and tumbling blues riffs and snarling lead vocals. But one visit to the band’s website, or one listen to their whole album, and it’s soon apparent that these guys are much more than just blues-rock. Their tastes and style lends itself to a much more energized vibe, almost on the edge of punk. See if you can catch hints on that on this one.
Whiskey Folk Ramblers – The Penitent
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Genre: Folk, Rock
Ambassador: Wendy Taliaferro
Found on their webpage, The Whiskey Folk Ramblers describe their sound as so: “Like the soundtrack to a spaghetti western set in the Dust Bowl, Whiskey Folk Rambler’s “folk noir” blends ominous, reverb-dripping guitars with boot-stomping train beats and funereal horns to create sonic backdrops for down-on-your-luck ballads and beer-soaked anthems.” If that doesn’t get you in the mood to check out this track, who knows what will.
About the Artwork
Nicole Martinez is from was born in Miami and went to UF for undergrad. Nicole’s parents were born in Cuba, and they came to the US in 1959 as a result of the Cuban revolution. She also studied design in Miami, Madrid and NYC. You can check out more of Nicole’s artwork at http://arterdesignist.com/.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this month’s issue of Back of the Rack as much as we have putting it all together. Don’t forget to spread the word about the free tracks and the great musicians you’ve heard here, and we can’t wait to get back in touch with you guys next month for another piping-hot batch of talanted-artist goodness. Until next month!
On twitter: @unleash_this