Bandcamp Picks

Bandcamp Picks of the Week 4/13/2023


It’s our Bandcamp Picks of the Week, featuring Fire-Toolz expertly all-encompassing I AM UPSET BECAUSE I SEE SOMETHING THAT IS NOT THERE., and Aeronave Adolescente’s indie rock studied SEMPRE ESTÁ CHOVENDO NA BEIRA DO MAR!


Genre: Experimental

Favorite Tracks: “Paraclete Bhishajyati,” “It Is Happening Again (Thank You, Council Of Saturn!),” “I Couldn’t Have Been BoRn At ThE wRoNg TiMe Because I Was Never Even Born LOL!”

Angel Marcloid’s (Fire-Toolz) latest record, I AM UPSET BECAUSE I SEE SOMETHING THAT IS NOT THERE., derives its name from a spiritual modality and self-study program entitled A Course in Miracles that was published in the 1970s. The introduction to that course explains that the goal was to remove the things blocking one’s awareness of the presence of love. It states: “The opposite of love is fear, but what is all-encompassing can have no opposite.” In that specific sense, Fire-Toolz’ new record might be best described as all-encompassing. Genre traditions that would often be interpreted as in direct opposition to one another are constantly in flux and melded together throughout the record. Angel Marcloid’s music as Fire-Toolz has often felt like an abrasive and chaotic case study on those juxtapositions, whether that hypnotic contrast is pieced together with retro-futurist jazz fusion and screeching feedback or through progressive synth lines layered over Angel’s signature fry screams.

I AM UPSET BECAUSE I SEE SOMETHING THAT IS NOT THERE. pulls momentum from its own transience. Marcloid’s music fluctuates rapidly between seemingly disparate styles, and in doing so imbues each moment with a sense of critical urgency. When tracks like “Mantra-ing & Golgotha Double-Bind (Prequel)” descend into a warm ambient drone, there’s an added immersion that comes from knowing that your sense of comfort from an ingrained understanding of song structure and stylistic boundaries will soon be stripped away in favor of bursts of harsh noise or guttural vocals layered over funky soft-rock guitar lines. While some artists in this vein of experimental music might draw their value from that shock factor, what makes Marcloid’s music so striking is how she makes those sonic ricochets seem so logical.

On “The Great Allower,” Marcloid opens with blistering technical metal that slowly devolves into freeform jazz which inevitably gives way to ambient noise and then builds into wonky synthesis that wouldn’t be out of place on a Mort Garson record. Through maximalist production and sudden stylistic shifts, Angel is able to squeeze every last drop of raw emotional impact out of a song. The cathartic crescendo of any other track is every moment on a Fire-Toolz song. Marcloid herself screams it best in the record’s lead single, “pummeling ideas at you like you’re in a batting cage.” The moments after one finishes listening through I AM UPSET BECAUSE I SEE SOMETHING THAT IS NOT THERE. are flooded with the desire to do a deep dive into a genre that you have absolutely no idea how to look up. Inevitably, you’ll just run the album back from the top because there’s no way you caught it all. Check it out on Bandcamp. [Zach Troyanovsky]



Genre: Indie Rock 

Favorite Tracks: “Héroes, disco, perfil,” “Servicio de organización,” “Pegadas no pavimento”

Aeronave Adolescente makes music so raw and intimate that you might think you found it on a furry web forum in 2011. Over the past few years, Daniel Valcárcel Colino—a songwriter based in Culleredo, Spain—has released numerous indie rock songs under the project’s name. Now, Colino has harnessed his ambition for the band’s first full-length album, SEMPRE ESTÁ CHOVENDO NA BEIRA DO MAR. The opening track, “Héroes, Disco, Perfil,” showcases how catchy the album can be, with a power pop energy, revving power chords, and synths that give the mix a good amount of heft. Colino’s vocal performance, which on past releases often defaulted into a soft head voice, is firmer now—somewhat nervous but determined all the same. It’s all immediate.

The singing is entirely in Spanish, but nothing here should be all that hard to swallow for a North American mono-linguist music fan. While Spain’s indie rock scene is, and has been, thriving in its own right, Colino is certainly inspired by acts like Sweet Trip and Car Seat Headrest—as of this writing, his Twitter bio is a Mount Eerie lyric. As such, US indie rock fans have no excuse not to eat this up. “Pegadas No Pavimento,” ironically enough, features the type of vocal melody Stephen Malkmus likes to ride: breezy and deceptively catchy. The guitar work all over the record is consistently solid. It’s nothing flashy, but played with vibrant intention. For example, “Carrera Hacia El Sol” is filled with plodding synths and delayed guitars–it’s a murky tune that only grows denser before its climax, but Colino’s voice manages to disperse the fog. This song and others (especially “Caminos Y Cómo Estos Se Convierten En Hogar”) captures the magic of a curious artist simply experimenting with sound in a DAW. 

Lyrically SEMPRE ESTÁ CHOVENDO NA BEIRA DO MAR is dreary but never cliché or cynical—or at least, that’s the vibe I get from Google Translate. After all, the synth line on the album’s closer, “La Ayuda Está En Camino,” is too fun for the world to be all bad, and the lyrics here seem to find Colino trading out self-deprecation for self-improvement. You can improve yourself too by giving the album a listen. Here it is on Bandcamp. [Jaden Amjadi]

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